Huntsman Alumni Magazine - Fall 2018
Gene Dunford, Marketing ’91, was named by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the 500 most influential people in Los Angeles. Dunford, a senior vice president in corporate banking with Umpqua Bank, is a 25-year veteran of LA’s commercial banking sector. Dunford’s team specializes in middle-market and upper-middle-market commercial and industrial companies. Recent deals include financing and deposit arrangements with commercial insurance, apparel, auto parts, pharmaceutical and real estate companies. Dunford also helped secure $42 million in bond financing for three private schools in Los Angeles. In an interview with the LA Business Journal, he noted that “helping clients achieve their dreams and aspirations is always my proudest moment as a banker.”
Huntsman School Director of External Relations Kim Larson, Marketing ‘00, MBA ‘03, was named as the Utah State University Associate Vice President for University Advancement, responsible for alumni relations. Larson was a key contributor to the completion and opening of Huntsman Hall and the School’s branding and marketing effort for the past seven years.
Dalton Wilson, Management Information Systems ’16, began his career as a software engineer for the Huntsman Cancer Institute in the research informatics department. Soon after, he began shadowing the founder and executive director of the Opportunity Fund for Developing Countries (OFCD).
The OFCD is a Utah-based non-profit that raises capital to “empower women, educate children, and enhance health for all”. The fund currently focuses efforts on schools and women’s health in Kenya.
The organization was winding down when I came on board and was in its last year of operation,” Wilson said of his experience beginning with the OFCD. “I shadowed underneath the founder to become more familiar with the organization and take over the role of executive director to keep the organization going.
Wilson took his first trip to Kenya with the fund in September 2017 and was voted in as the executive director by the board of trustees in November 2017. He continues to work full-time at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in addition to his volunteer work at the OFCD.
Alumni of the Year
Finance grad Duane Shaw ‘73, and his wife Marci were named USU Alumni of the Year. Their Aggie pride runs deep. Duane grew up near Old Main Hill, and all six members of his family graduated from Utah State. Marci also grew up in Cache Valley and attended USU. Duane began a career as a mortgage banker shortly after graduation and went on to found Academy Mortgage Corporation in 1988. Today, with over 330 branch offices and licensed in 49 states, the company is one of the nation’s largest independent mortgage lenders. Duane and Marci are longtime supporters of the Huntsman School, where Duane serves on the National Advisory Board.
Microsoft to Nike
Tyler Allen, Management & Human Resources ’00, is the Senior Director of Human Resources at Nike. After graduating from the Huntsman School, he joined Arthur Andersen, one of the Big Five Public Accounting firms. He went on to Michigan State University for a Master’s degree and landed a job in Microsoft’s newly formed Human Resources Development Program.
At Microsoft, Tyler worked on the Mergers & Acquisitions team and performed a two-year assignment in Munich, Germany, where he had significant responsibilities in Human Resources for Central and Eastern Europe. “This was an amazing experience both professionally and personally”, Tyler said. “Living amongst and working with people from so many different countries and backgrounds and where we were in the minority was an amazing long term learning experience not only for me but for my wife and children as well.” Tyler received the Practice Management Award for his work on the acquisition and integration of Nokia, a culmination of two years of work.
In his current role at Nike, Tyler leads the HR team for the global apparel business. His division is responsible for the product management, design, and manufacturing of all of Nike’s clothing, accessories, and equipment business. “My team is responsible for building extraordinary teams that will achieve our business strategy – to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world,” Tyler explained.
Tyler encourages his colleagues to develop and maximize the power of a network and the importance of doing great work on a daily basis. “Rarely do you work on anything in isolation,” he says of networking. “Being able to tap into your network to learn from others’ experience can be most helpful in solving problems and accomplishing objectives.” Tyler says that many workers take their eyes off the ball (the daily routine) in search of the next project, and these people fail to produce great work. “Keep your eye on the ball and knock it out of the park – then they’ll come calling.
A New Adventure
Huntsman School National Advisory Board member Tessa White was often the only woman on the leadership team in a 20-year career spent in the C-Suite at various companies. And so, she decided to step down as the SVP of human capital at Vivint Solar to help develop and highlight the talents of women across the globe as the founder of SHE Team. She has already put her new hat to work for the Huntsman, moderating panels as part of our Focused Fridays initiative.
Jessica Larsen, Marketing ’12, joined the Utah Governor’s Office of Management and Budget earlier this year as their communications director. She is responsible for devising and implementing a communications strategy for the office, using the full gamut of marketing and communications, including media relations, graphic/web design, social media and content creation. Prior to this position, Jessica spent three and a half years as the communication director for World Trade Center Utah.
Silicon Valley Success Story
Jimmy Stephens, Finance ’17, initially landed with SoFi, an online personal finance company based in San Francisco. When a couple of senior executives left SoFi for a tiny start-up called Brex, Jimmy joined them. In a very short period of time, Brex has found the perfect product-market fit, providing capital for start-ups through corporate credit, rather than the personal credit of founders, and is becoming the go-to company for Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.
Alan Raymond, Finance ’88, and Skyler Raymond, Marketing ’13, MBA ’16, shared their life and career experiences at the Huntsman MBA Fall Start-up meeting. Alan is vice president of sales at DigiCert, a technology company based in Draper, Utah, while his son Skyler is an account executive with Adobe. Alan’s grandparents, Ace and Arvilla, both graduated with degrees in business from USU, making Skyler and his sister Savannah fourth-generation Aggies.