Alumni Success Stories

One of the ways we measure success is through the success of our students as they leave our doors. Here are a few of those stories, in their own words.

  • Josh Albers ('13 MBA)
    Josh Albers ('13 MBA)

    Josh Albers ('13 MBA)

    IT systems anaylst

    I have been with the same company since I graduated. They have treated me very well. I began as a Clinical Services Coordinator working with doctors and patients.

    Now a System Analyst in the IT department, I manage our Phoenix office IT, reporting directly to top management.

    I have never stopped learning. It has helped me become the go-to person for all things business in my office.

  • Nick Arce ('08 BSBA)
    Nick Arce ('08 BSBA)

    Nick Arce ('08 BSBA)

    Cognex Corporation

    Before NAU I was in the U.S. Navy, then went through FCB on the GI Bill.

    I started my sales career at a local motorsports shop in Flagstaff, then became a sales engineer in Los Angles. I was promoted several times with this company, and recently was recruited by another industrial automation firm, Cognex Corporation.

    In the transition I was promoted to Western Regional Sales Director, and am now tasked with leading a large sales team to grow our business in our region.

  • Shannon Atkison ('08 MGT)
    Shannon Atkison ('08 MGT)

    Shannon Atkison ('08 MGT)

    Vanguard, manager in Retail Advice

    With Vanguard since I graduated, I have held several different roles from individual contributor to people and project leadership roles. Currently, I lead a team of Certified Financial Planners who have the responsibility of managing client portfolios in a very turbulent market environment.

    I recently passed the Series 65 Exam, a FINRA requirement.

    Fondest NAU memory? BizBlock.

    Read more about Shannon  HERE.

  • Caleb Boone ('15 FIN)
    Caleb Boone ('15 FIN)

    Caleb Boone ('15 FIN)

    Mortgage loan officer (~5 yrs)

    Before FCB, I worked in financial services (~8 years; accomplished my series 6 and 63 investment licenses) and as a personal banker (~ 5 years).

    I balanced being a father, student, and mortgage professional while being involved in the community. I earned a 3.75 GPA not because I am the smartest student, but because I was persistent.

    One goal? Be in the top 1% of U.S. mortgage originators.

    Read more about Caleb HERE.

  • Connor Campbell ('16 FIN/MGT)
    Connor Campbell ('16 FIN/MGT)

    Connor Campbell ('16 FIN/MGT)

    Level 3 Communications, Inside Sales Account Mgr.

    In January 2017, I started a 3-month sales accelerator program in Broomfield, Colo. focusing on solution-based selling and extensive product knowledge within the industry. Afterwards, I will relocate back to the Bay Area to move into a Strategic Account Manager role.

    At NAU, I participated in the Executive Job Shadow Program and finished top ten at the Arizona Collegiate Sales Competition.

  • Glenda Chavez ('15 MGT)
    Glenda Chavez ('15 MGT)

    Glenda Chavez ('15 MGT)

    Vanguard, supervisor in training

    Through Vanguard's Accelerated Development Program, I have grown as an individual contributor, a leader, and a teammate. I faced the Series 7 and 63 exams, obtaining my licenses. I’m currently rotating through the Cost Basis team, having the opportunity to lead crew members. Vanguard has a strong focus on giving back to our communities, allowing me to merge what I love – partnership and leadership – with my passion for philanthropy.

    Read more about Glenda HERE.

  • Rebecca Clark ('06 MKT)
    Rebecca Clark ('06 MKT)

    Rebecca Clark ('06 MKT)

    Vanguard, relationship manager in Retirement Plan Client Services

    I have nine years of experience and hold CFP® and ChFC® designations and FINRA Series 7, 6, & 63 licenses.

    I recently was able to influence change to the investment lineup to lower cost mutual funds which will help lower investment fees, affecting thousands of employees and resulting in savings of several thousand dollars over each participant’s lifetime!

    Read more about Rebecca HERE.

  • Jonathan DiBlasi ('15 FIN)
    Jonathan DiBlasi ('15 FIN)

    Jonathan DiBlasi ('15 FIN)

    Tintri, senior inside sales representative

    I started working at a tech startup in Silicon Valley called Tintri in August 2015. I was hired as an Inside Sales Representative, and after 9 months on the job was promoted to a Senior Inside Sales Representative, along with a significant pay increase.

    I was able to land the job from another NAU Alumna, Breanna Walter, and without her, my education, and the networking that NAU provided me, I would not have the career that I have today.

  • Jaimee (Elder) Carnes ('13 MGT)
    Jaimee (Elder) Carnes ('13 MGT)

    Jaimee (Elder) Carnes ('13 MGT)


    Recognized by NAU's Office of Alumni Engagement with the 2016 Excellence in Achievement by a Recent Graduate Award, story HERE.

    I'm part of Vanguard's contractor support team for our operations department, including setting up and facilitating their training and orientation.

    Fondest NAU memory? My Berkshire Hathaway/Warren Buffet trip!

    Read more about Jaimee HERE.

  • Andrew Fairbanks ('15 FIN)
    Andrew Fairbanks ('15 FIN)

    Andrew Fairbanks ('15 FIN)

    Aramark, strategy growth team member

    During my time at NAU, I was a Teacher’s Assistant for CIS 120 blended courses from 2013 – 2015. I was recruited by Aramark as a Finance Manager in November 2014, carrying additional responsibilities in process and project management. I work remotely out of Chicago.

    I recently accepted a promotion onto one of Aramark’s Strategy Growth Teams and will be moving to Aramark’s HQ in Philadelphia in June 2016.

  • Nicole Foree ('08)
    Nicole Foree ('08)

    Nicole Foree ('08)

    Summit Utilities, operations accountant

    I worked for a small accounting firm in Flagstaff then opened my own firm there. I then made the jump to Denver working for a high-end marketing firm, then I landed the job I have now for a company called Summit Utilities who provides gas utilities to Colorado, Missouri, and Maine.

    As an Operations Accountant, I am in charge of the accounting for the state of Missouri. It was a huge jump in my career and I am loving it!

  • Andrew Furphy ('14 ACC/MGT)
    Andrew Furphy ('14 ACC/MGT)

    Andrew Furphy ('14 ACC/MGT)

    FOCUS, campus missionary

    I work for FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students), meeting students where they are at to invite them live life to the fullest.

    This past year and a half I've been working at Cal-Fullerton. I've been promoted to team director, and I'll be moving to Boise State University.

    I'll manage a team with 4 people, making sure their health and well-being are good, that they are working hard, and assisting them in any way I can in that.

  • Josh Griffith ('12 MGT)
    Josh Griffith ('12 MGT)

    Josh Griffith ('12 MGT)

    Vanguard, retirement plan specialist

    I’m a Retirement Plan Specialist with Vanguard, assisting retirement plan participants with transactions, fund discussions, and rollovers. I also assist our Online Services team. I successfully passed both my Series 6 and 63 licensing which has allowed me to open up more conversations around investments and fund discussions.

    Fondest NAU memory? I loved my experience of going through BizBlock in my junior year.

    Read more about Josh HERE.

  • Matt Holdsworth ('99 ACC)
    Matt Holdsworth ('99 ACC)

    Matt Holdsworth ('99 ACC)

    CPA, CFO of CrossFit, Inc.

    Matt moved to Prescott in 2002, starting his business, Holdsworth Chadd Fuller CPAs PC but met CrossFit owner, CEO Greg Glassman in 2007. He became their outsource guy for a time, but in 2015, Glassman asked him to take on their CFO position.

    His biggest challenge? "Our brand has exploded worldwide, so trying to remain internationally compliant is definitely my biggest challenge."

    Holdsworth is featured in the October 2016 AZ CPARead the full article in AZ CPA HERE, pgs. 11-12.

  • Thomas Hernandez
    Thomas Hernandez

    Thomas Hernandez

    Fastenal, general manager

    I worked at Coca-Cola for about 15 years before I returned to NAU as a nontraditional student. I participated in the 1st annual sales competition with Fastenal. Upon graduating, they offered me a general manager position for their Flagstaff location.

    Working as a GM is like running your own small business. All of the courses I took have helped me in ways I never imagined. I am grateful for all of the amazing staff at FCB.

  • Paul Martello ('04  MKT)
    Paul Martello ('04 MKT)

    Paul Martello ('04 MKT)

    Martello, LLC, Entrepreneur

    I recently started a new business which won the 2016 ECRM/Drug Store News Buyers Choice Award for our Yummy Spoon, a self-feeding baby spoon designed to help parents easily feed their babies.

    While at NAU, I competed in track which gives you the confidence to do anything in the business world. I liked my business professors so much that I decided to stay in the industry and keep going. My story has inspired many students to start their own businesses.

    Learn about Yummy Spoon HERE.

  • Heather Rittenhouse ('16 MGT/MKT)
    Heather Rittenhouse ('16 MGT/MKT)

    Heather Rittenhouse ('16 MGT/MKT)

    Govig, executive recruiter

    I was fortunate to be a past intern with Govig, getting to know then in this way, and was brought on board to become an executive recruiter.

  • Santiago Sanchez ('15 MBA)
    Santiago Sanchez ('15 MBA)

    Santiago Sanchez ('15 MBA)

    Core Mark International, Territory Manager

    Thanks to the career fair that NAU holds, I was introduced to Core Mark International and was hired as a Territory Manager.

    The different tools learned while studying my MBA at NAU helped me have a smooth adaptation to working for a Fortune 400 company.

    Since I started, I have had different roles that have directed me on the right track and growing my career at Core Mark International.

  • James Shankland ('10 ACC)
    James Shankland ('10 ACC)

    James Shankland ('10 ACC)

    Heinfeld, Meech & Co., P.C., audit manager

    I’ve been working at Heinfeld Meech for about five years now.

    In April 2016 I was promoted to the position of audit manager. My job responsibilities include training and mentoring audit associates on firm-wide audit methodology and procedures.

    I feel that my NAU education has been paramount to my success, and I have nothing but positive things to say about the FCB and the accounting program in particular.

  • Kathy Thomas ('78 MGT/MKT)
    Kathy Thomas ('78 MGT/MKT)

    Kathy Thomas ('78 MGT/MKT)

    Stowebridge Promotion Group, president

    President of Stowebridge Promotion Group, ranked as the 42nd best Promotional Product company to work for of 20,000 in our industry. I share this knowledge, writing, training, and speaking on vision, leadership, and business culture. I volunteer for FCB as BLP mentor, member of the Sales Advisory Board, visiting guest lecturer, and whatever else is helpful for the students.

    Learn more about Kathy's involvement with the FCB HERE.