Member Bios - Part I
Our Hall of Fame members have extensive and diverse backgrounds in industry, interests, and areas of study. They have been brought together by their shared passion for The W. A. Franke College of Business and its dedication to business students. To read a biography on any of our members, please click on their name below.
This is Page 1 | Page 2 HERE.
Note: FCB alumni honored by the NAU Alumni Office 1996-2001 were inducted into the 2003 Hall of Fame.
If you would like more information on the FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame, please contact Connie Ott at (928) 523-0538 or Connie.Ott@nau.edu.
Lisa Autino ('86) 2011
Lisa Autino,1986 BS in accountancy. After earning her Bachelor’s degree, Ms. Autino received her Certified Public Accountant designation in 1989 and initially began her career in the public accounting arena. She began her career in the construction industry when she joined Corbins Electric in 1992. In 2001 she was named the company’s CFO when she became an owner. Ms. Autino’s commitment to continued education and professional development is evidenced through the successful completion of the ABA Leadership Development Forum, Rapport Leadership International, and in her participation in the Valley of the Sun CFMA Chapter as past president. She is also extremely active with the FCB. She has participated in the Executive Job Shadow Program and has been a judge for the BizBlock class presentations. 2011 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Scott Coor ('76) 2011
Scott Coor,1976 BSBA in marketing currently serves as vice president of Sales and Marketing for Trendwood, Inc., a company he began with four partners in 1985, which manufactures solid wood youth bedroom furniture. He is a third-generation Arizonan who grew up in Phoenix and graduated from Camelback High School in 1972. While at Northern Arizona University, Mr. Coor was a member of the Blue Key National Honor Fraternity and served in leadership positions as a member of Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity. He began his career with Southwest Forest Industries. In the fall of 2006, he was recognized with The Volunteer of the Year Award from Northern Arizona University for his key role in helping to secure the $25M contribution from Bill Franke and arranging the student field trip to visit Warren Buffett. Mr. Coor has been married for the past 34 years to Debbie Weber Coor, an NAU nursing graduate. They have two grown children, Tiffany and Steve. 2011 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Dr. Jack Dustman, 2011
Dr. Jack Dustman, emeritus professor of management, retired May 2010 after 41 years of teaching at Northern Arizona University. During that period Dr. Dustman provided intellectual and academic leadership and service for the FCB and NAU. His service included work as an area coordinator, serving on the FCB Promotion and Tenure Committee, and the NAU Faculty Senate. In addition to working at NAU, Dr. Dustman worked at California Lutheran University, California State Polytechnic University, University of Southern California, and Arizona State University. He holds degrees from Arizona State University (B.S. and M.S.), and University of Southern California (Ph.D.). 2011 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Dr. David Chase, 2011
Dr. David Chase, managing member of Vestor Associates, LLC (Santa Fe, New Mexico), has led Vestor since its founding and has been active in private equity investing since the late 1960s. Chase is involved with Vestor’s acquisition strategy, equity investing, financing, and investor relations. He has served on or advised the Boards of the portfolio companies of Vestor Partners, LP. In addition, Chase is a trustee of Thornburg Investment Trust, the governing Board of The Thornburg Mutual Funds; and an emeritus director of the Museum of Northern Arizona, the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, and the College of Santa Fe. He holds degrees from Principia College (BA), The Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College (MBA), and ASU (PhD). Chase was a professor at NAU from 1966 to 1978, teaching corporate finance, investments, and banking courses. 2011 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Dennis Austin ('69) 2003
Dennis Austin, 1969 B.S. in finance. Mr. Austin is the president and CEO of Denmar Corporation – Scottsdale. The Denmar Corporation owns and manages a number of Phoenix-area retail businesses, including several Shell and Chevron convenience stores and car washes, dba DenMart Convenience Stores. 1998 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Lisa Rojas Bacus ('86) 2003
Lisa Rojas Bacus, 1986 B.S.B.A. cum laude in business management, B.A. in Spanish. Ms. Bacus earned her dual degree while working as an interpreter for the law offices of Aspey, Watkins & Diesel. She also holds an MBA from Duke University, Fuqua School of Business. Ms. Bacus is vice president of Marketing at American Family Insurance Group in Madison, Wisconsin. She previously served as director of global marketing strategy with Ford Motor Company (Detroit) and director of marketing for Ford of Mexico (Mexico City). She has been the recipient of a number of professional awards and honors, including Ford’s Zone Manager of the Year. Ms. Bacus currently serves on the NAU-FCB National Advisory Board and the NAU Foundation Board. 2000 NAU Alumni Honoree; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Dr. Frank Besnette, 2004
Dr. Frank Besnette served as executive director of the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) from 1992–1999. Prior to moving to his role with the Regents, Dr. Besnette enjoyed a long association with Northern Arizona University. He joined NAU in 1967. Over the next twenty-four years he served in a variety of academic and administrative roles including professor of marketing and management, dean of the The W. A. Franke College of Business, vice president for administration and finance, and senior vice president. In 1987, he was named executive vice president of NAU. In 1978, Dr. Besnette received the Distinguished Faculty Award from the NAU Alumni Association. He was honored again in 1985 when the students named him Homecoming Dedicatee. 2004 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Rick Blomquist ('81) 2008
Rick Blomquist, 1981 B.S.B.A. in marketing. Mr. Blomquist’s post-graduate career of 27 years has been spent at Farnam Companies, Inc in Phoenix, working in many areas of the company including purchasing, manufacturing, distribution, new product development, acquisitions, and business development. He has served as president of the Horse Products Division and as the company’s CEO. He is currently the president of Branded Consumer Products for the newly established Central Life Sciences operating group within the Central Garden and Pet Company. Locally, Mr. Blomquist is a member of the Scottsdale Mounted Sheriff’s Posse, the North Scottsdale Polo Club and the Verde Vaqueros. 2008 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Jim Bolin ('73) 2003
Jim Bolin, 1973 B.S.B.A in finance and accounting, CPA. Mr. Bolin graduated magna cum laude, and was recognized as the FCB’s Outstanding Senior in Finance. Following graduation, he held positions with Price Waterhouse & Co., Hometels Management Company, and as president of Rural/Metro Corporation (NASDAQ: RURL). Mr. Bolin served on the Employee Stock Ownership Plan Association Board (Washington, D.C.) and is a past chair of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society–Arizona Chapter. He is a past president of the NAU Foundation Board and serves on the NAU-FCB National Advisory Board. 1996 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Michael Ceballos ('80) 2005
Michael Ceballos, 1980 B.S. in accountancy. Mr. Ceballos received an MBA from the University of Colorado in 1997. In his twenty-ninth year with Qwest, he assumed the position of president for Wyoming in July 1998. Mr. Ceballos serves on the boards of Cheyenne LEADS (the local economic development organization), the Wyoming Taxpayer’s Association (vice-president), the Wyoming Business Alliance (chair), McREL (regional education laboratory), the University of Wyoming’s College of Business Advisory Council, Wyoming’s National Teacher Certification Board and Wyoming’s P-16 Education Council (vice-chair). In addition, he is a member of Leadership Wyoming’s Class of 2001, the Telephone Pioneers and HOPE (Hispanic Organization for Progress and Education). 2005 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Tom Cullen ('81) 2003
Tom Cullen, 1981 B.S. in marketing. After graduating from NAU, Mr. Cullen earned his MBA at the University of Colorado. He is currently executive vice president of Corporate Development for EchoStar Communications. He has held various leadership positions in the media, telecom, and wireless industries including executive vice president of Charter Communications, and president of MediaOne Ventures. While focused on new technology deployment, as well as strategic and venture investing, Cullen has served on the board of directors of various public and private companies in the technology sector. 2001 NAU Alumni Honoree; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Randy Davidson ('66) 2003
Randy Davidson, 1966 B.S.B.A. in accounting. At NAU, he was a member of the Alpha Sigma Chi accounting club. He began his copier career in Phoenix, Arizona as an owner from 1974–1986 of the Sharp Dealer Uni-Copy Corporation with offices throughout the Southwest and served as its president and COO. In 1986, Mr. Davidson formed Dahill Industries, Inc., a full line Authorized Sharp Dealer. He led and expanded Dahill to include eight branches in Texas and Arizona. From 2000–2006, Mr. Davidson built the Regional Sharp and Savin (Ricoh) Copier Dealership of Imaging Systems of Arizona to include eight branch office locations in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. In 2008 the dealership obtained the Full Line Cannon Authorization for Central Texas and expanded into San Antonio with another branch operation. He has been honored with the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Dealer of the Year Award by Global Imaging Systems, Inc. He currently serves on the NAU-FCB National Advisory Board. 2000 NAU Alumni Honoree; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Pamela DiGiovanni ('68) 2004
Pamela DiGiovanni, 1968 in business education. Ms. DiGiovanni is the senior vice president of labor relations for Fox Entertainment Group (Beverly Hills, California). Her thirty-seven year career at Fox began working for Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and today the scope of her responsibilities include handling labor-related matters for Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Twentieth Television, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox TV Studios, Fox Broadcasting Corporation, Fox Cable Networks, Fox Sports Net, Fox Television Stations, Hulu, MySpace and related companies. Ms. DiGiovanni has served on the board of trustees for the Motion Picture Pension & Health Plan and currently serves as a trustee on the Directors Guild and Screen Actors Guild Pension & Health Plans. Additionally, she currently serves on the NAU-FCB National Advisory Board. 2004 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Joe Dox ('70) 2003
Joe Dox, 1970 B.S.B.A. in accounting. While at NAU, Mr. Dox participated in Sigma Nu. He earned his MBA in 1973 at Santa Clara University. Prior to retiring, he was the president and COO of Novellus Systems. Before joining Novellus, Mr. Dox held several senior financial management positions with Exel Microelectronic, SEEQ Technology, and Applied Materials. He served on the board of directors of Novellus Systems, Electroglas, Obsidian, Mars Technology, Accent Optical (recently purchased by Nanometrics), Eagle Test, and Nanometrics. 1999 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Theresa Jeszka Drew ('79) 2003
Theresa Jeszka Drew, 1979 B.S. in accountancy with highest honors. Ms. Drew is currently managing partner of the Charlotte, North Carolina practice of Deloitte & Touche. In 1995, she received the Outstanding Woman CPA of the Year Award from the American Woman’s Society of CPAs. She was named to the list of Top 100 Women in Business in Arizona annually from 1996–2001. In September 2000, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation honored Ms. Drew with the Woman of Distinction Award, recognizing her community leadership and philanthropic work. In 2005, Beta Alpha Psi recognized her as its Business Information Professional of the Year, having been nominated by the NAU Delta Upsilon Chapter for her contributions to the accounting profession, and in 2010, Smart Business recognized Ms. Drew as a “Smart Leader” in their San Diego edition. Ms. Drew is a past NAU Foundation Board member. 1997 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Debbi Fitzgerald ('86) 2012
Debbi Fitzgerald, 1986 B.S.B.A. in accountancy
Partner, Advisory Services
Ernst & Young
Ms. Fitzgerald is a senior advisory partner and practice leader at Ernst & Young (EY). She serves a wide range of companies, including several Fortune 1000 companies. She leads innovation in EY’s National Advisory Practice Center of Excellence for Risk Transformation and Enterprise Risk Management.
She has been a champion of diversity by leading the Arizona Professional Women’s Network and serving on Ernst & Young’s America’s Gender Equity Task Force. She was appointed by the governor to the Arizona State Board of Accountancy and eventually served as its president. She is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor.
Ms. Fitzgerald is married and has three children.
2012 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Steve Harris ('77) 2003
Steve Harris, 1977 M.B.A. Mr. Harris also received his B.S. at NAU in physics. While at NAU, he was a member of Sigma Pi Sigma. Mr. Harris is the vice president at SimDesk focused on international markets. Previously, he was president and CEO of Elite Logistics; the senior managing partner of the Forte Group; and general manager responsible for developing foreign markets at Compaq. As Europe, Middle East & Africa Business Development marketing director for Compaq, he was responsible for all marketing and product activities. Mr. Harris currently serves on the NAU-FCB National Advisory Board. 1999 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Rebecca Hickman ('74) 2008
Rebecca Hickman, 1974 B.S. in accountancy, magna cum laude. She is a CPA and has an M.B.A., summa cum laude, from Grand Canyon University. Ms. Hickman is director of Investor Relations for Pinnacle West Capital Corporation in Phoenix, a Fortune 1000 company with a market capitalization of $3 billion. In her current capacity, she serves as the company’s primary liaison with the investment community, overseeing relationships, communications, and marketing. She is a member of the National Investor Relations Institute, Edison Electric Institute Investor Relations Steering Committee, and the Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants. 2008 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Scott Hill ('77) 2003
Scott Hill, 1977 B.S. in business administration, magna cum laude. Mr. Hill earned the FCB’s Wall Street Journal Outstanding Senior Award, the Gold Axe Award, and the President’s Award for outstanding service to the University. Mr. Hill is the Americas director of international tax services for Ernst & Young, based in New York City. After being promoted to partner in Ernst & Young’s Minneapolis office in 1987, he moved to Dallas where he was the regional director of international tax services, and to Chicago where he served as managing partner of tax. He currently serves on the NAU-FCB National Advisory Board. 1999 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Dr. Neil Jacobs, 2007
Dr. Neil Jacobs, emeritus professor of management, retired from his faculty position with The W. A. Franke College of Business in May 2007. Students and the university community benefited tremendously from the extraordinary contributions Dr. Jacobs made throughout his career with the college. Among his many achievements, he guided the college’s efforts toward reaffirmation of its AACSB accreditation while serving as associate dean from 1996–1999. As a teacher of computer information systems and management, Dr. Jacobs embodied the spirit of the FCB – dedicated to student learning. Caring about the futures of his students, he challenged them to do their best and expected no less. Prior to joining NAU in 1977, he worked for 12 years with IBM and 8 years with Memorex in management positions in manufacturing, materials management, and information systems. 2007 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Marsha Jones ('79) 2003
Marsha Jones, 1979 B.S. in accounting. While attending NAU, Ms. Jones was a member of Beta Alpha Phi and Phi Kappa Phi. She operates her own financial accounting consulting practice, Marsha C. Jones & Associates (Saratoga, California), specializing in technical accounting projects. Prior to this, Ms. Jones was a partner for Deloitte & Touche. 1998 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Michelle Kerrick ('85) 2006
Michelle Kerrick, 1985 B.S. in accountancy. Ms. Kerrick is the managing partner for Deloitte & Touche LLP–Arizona Practice. With 22 years of experience, she has served a diverse group of publicly and privately held clients, assisting them with acquisitions; divestitures; and equity and debt offerings. Besides serving many companies as lead client service and audit partner, she has acted as co-leader of the High Tech Industry Group and leader of the Real Estate Group. Ms. Kerrick’s professional and community activities include: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; Arizona State Society of Certified Public Accountants; Arizona Host Committee: (2008) Super Bowl XLII; Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, board of directors, past chairman of the board; Greater Phoenix Leadership; Herberger Theater, past board of directors; Arizona Technology Council, past board of directors; Contemporary Forum, Phoenix Art Museum, past board of directors; Valley Leadership of Phoenix, Class XVII; Maricopa Partnership for Arts and Culture. 2006 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Kelley C. Knutson ('81) 2003
Kelley C. Knutson,1981 B.S. in accounting. While attending NAU, Mr. Knutson was a Phelps Dodge Scholar and selected by the Alumni Association as the Outstanding Male Student upon graduation. Mr. Knutson also holds an MBA in finance and international business from Loyola Marymount University. Currently, he is group executive, Global Services and a member of the Management Committee at TSYS (based in London) and is responsible for international growth plans outside North America. He was previously the CEO for Clear Money Limited. Mr. Knutson joined Clear Money from GE Capital, where he was senior vice president of the Global Cards business within the Global Consumer Finance (GCF) division.1996 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame
Robert Korte ('77) 2003
Robert Korte, 1977 B.S. in accounting. Mr. Korte is a partner of Cornelius Korte Shum, LLC, an investment banking firm in Phoenix. Mr. Korte earned his CPA certificate after graduating from NAU and gained his early experience at KPMG. He held a wide variety of staff and line positions over 17 years at FINOVA Capital Corporation, including M&A, HR, Strategy, and Capital Markets. His ultimate position was executive vice president. Mr. Korte also participated in University of Virginia’s Executive Program. 1998 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Mark Layton ('81) 2003
Mark Layton, 1981 B.S. in business administration and management information systems. Mr. Layton served as past chairman of the board, president, and CEO of PFSweb (Plano, Texas) since its inception in 1994. Mr. Layton is past chairman, president, and CEO of Daisytek International. He is a recognized leader in the utilization of technology in business. He served as a management consultant with Arthur Andersen & Co. SC (Accenture) from 1981–88.
Mr. Layton has also served on the public company boards of uBid, Inc., a leading internet auction site; ISA plc, a European office products distributor; for 12 years with Daisytek International; and with PC Mall. Mr. Layton currently serves on the private board of Stampede Brewing Co. and is the owner of Markian Enterprises, a franchise restaurant operator. He is a past NAU Foundation Board member and chairs the NAU-FCB National Advisory Board. 1997 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Criteria fall into the following categories: professional achievements, community service, and loyalty and support to NAU-FCB. Nomination guidelines can be found HERE.