Member Bios - Part II
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.
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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 Pam Ramos at (928) 523-8278 or Pamela.Ramos@nau.edu.
Mark Layton ('81) 2003
Mark Layton, 1981 BSBA in business administration and management information systems. Mr. Layton is currently serving as the CEO of Success Partners in Lake Dallas, Texas. For over 25 years, Mr. Layton served as chairman of the board and CEO of PFSweb, Allen, Texas, since its inception in 1994 and as past chairman, president, and CEO of Daisytek International, the former parent of PFSweb. 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 currently serves on the board of directors of Johnstone Supply Group and as an advisory board member for Agilone, a leading silicon valley “Big Data” software company. Previously, Layton served as chairman of the board for both PFSweb and Daisytek and has also served on the public company boards of uBid, Inc. a leading internet auction site, ISA PLC, a European office products distributor, and with PC Mall. Mr. Layton has also served 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 FCB National Advisory Board.
1997 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Bruce Leadbetter (1958–1960), 2003
Bruce Leadbetter, 1958–1960 at NAU. Mr. Leadbetter was the CEO of Sponsor Investments, LLC, Dallas, Texas. He was a partner of the Beta Capital Group, LLC and the CEO of Dalfort Aviation, Dallas, Texas. Mr. Leadbetter served on the boards of Adam Aircraft, iSecuretrac, and North American Technologies Group. He also served on the boards of the Post Company as director and CEO, as director for Fore Golf Partners, The Dropout & Truancy Prevention Network, and Levitz Furniture Company. He also served as director and chairman of the executive committee for Braniff II. Though he is retired, Mr. Leadbetter still serves as CEO of the Astraea Companies and on the Board of Millennium Partners, a golf course ownership company. 1996 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Ken Lorek 2015
Ken Lorek has a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, an MBA and BSC degrees from De Paul University, and is a Certified Public Accountant. He spent 21 years on the accounting faculty at The Florida State University. Mr. Lorek joined The W. A. Franke College of Business Accountancy faculty in 1996. He became NAU’s first endowed chairholder, The Ralph M. Bilby Chair in Business Administration, until his retirement in May 2015. He has published over 45 articles in leading academic journals. On four separate occasions he was designated the Outstanding NAU MBA Professor. In May 2015, he was the first recipient of the Kenneth S. Lorek Research Leader Award by The W. A. Franke College of Business. Currently, he serves as a Director of the NAU Foundation Board.
2015 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Dr. Alden Lorents, 2013
Alden (Al) Lorents, PhD, professor of computer information systems, joined the faculty of the College of Business in 1971 as an associate professor, and was promoted to full professor in 1975. He started programming in 1960 as a programmer/analyst for Honeywell Aerospace in Minneapolis after graduating in accounting and math from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. In 1966 he took over responsibilities for computing at Bemidji State College, where he installed their first computer and taught beginning courses in data processing. Dr. Lorents did his graduate studies at the University of Minnesota obtaining an MBA in 1963 and a PhD in MIS in 1971. During his 37 year tenure at NAU he participated in a number of faculty internships that included Lawrence Livermore Labs, Sandia Labs, McDonnell Douglas, Arizona Public Service, Micron and the University of Kuwait. His research focused on the continuous development of Information Systems curriculum. Dr. Lorents was well-liked by students, faculty, staff and was known for his high energy and can-do spirit.
2013 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Mark Malinski ('77) 2003
Mark Malinski,1977 BS in accountancy and data processing management. Mr. Malinski also graduated from Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program in 1996. He is currently a co-founder, EVP and CFO of PetroEdge Energy III LLC, an independent oil and gas company in Houston, Texas. Mr. Malinski began his career with Pennzoil as an EDP auditor. He later became corporate secretary and finally group vice president - accounting and information technology. 1996 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Vince McKee ('79) 2003
Vince McKee, 1979 BSBA in management and marketing. He is currently the president and CEO of Pinal County Federal Credit Union in Casa Grande, Arizona. While at NAU, Mr. McKee was a member of the Quarterback Club, the FCB Community Advisory Board, and the Skyjacks. He was with Arizona State Savings and Credit Union, Flagstaff, Arizona, for 24 years, most recently as the vice president and northern regional manager. 1999 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Brad Meuli ('79) 2003
Brad Meuli, 1979 BSBA in marketing. Mr. Meuli was named president and CEO of the Denver Rescue Mission in January 2001. He joined the Mission after an extensive career in banking and having served as chairman of the mission’s board of directors. Mr. Meuli has served as president of the board of trustees of the Bonfils Blood Center, is an alumnus of Leadership Denver, has his MA in Leadership from Denver Seminary, and an honorary doctorate from Colorado Christian University. 2001 NAU Alumni Honoree; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Mark Minter ('75) 2015
Mark Minter 1975 BSBA. Mr. Minter is the Executive Director of the Arizona Builders’ Alliance (ABA), a trade association of commercial and industrial builders including general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and service companies. In 1977 he joined the Associated General Contractors in a variety of positions, including executive director, assistant director and Tucson branch manager. As Executive Director of the ABA, his duties include overall operation of the alliance. He has worked extensively in the areas of labor relations, lobbying, government relations, safety and oversees the Alliance’s educational programs.
In 1998, Mr. Minter was the inaugural winner of the Arizona Society of Association Executives, Executive of the Year Award. In 2013 he was awarded the “Distinguished Alumni Award” from Northern Arizona University’s Construction Management School.
2015 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Tom Modisette ('70) 2003
Tom Modisette,1970 BSBA in finance. In 1980, Mr. Modisette formed the RAM Group, a management services company to the food services industry, and served as president and CEO until 1986. In 1985 he led a team to acquire six macadamia orchards in Australia and a large macadamia orchard and processing facility in Hawaii, becoming the largest vertically integrated macadamia company in the world. The business was sold to Campbell Soup in 1990. He bought Honey Hill farms frozen yogurt in 1993 and sold the company in 1998 to Cool Brands International. In 2002, he founded the Greater Pacific Food Holdings, which bought MacFarms of Hawaii and Jeremiah’s Fine Foods (2004), and Buderim Ginger America (2005). These businesses were sold to Buderim Ginger in 2010. Today Mr. Modisette owns and operates Pan Pacific Foods in Hawaii. This company is a food distributor to all the islands.
2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Bob Montoya ('72) 2006
Bob Montoya, 1972 BSBA in management. Mr. Montoya was a third generation resident of Flagstaff. While attending NAU, in 1968 he founded Bob’s Shamrock and U-Haul Moving Center & Goodyear Tire Store. In 1970, Mr. Montoya founded Sun Mountain Real Estate and Development which he has turned into a successful real estate/development/consulting firm. He, along with various business partners, developed many of the beautiful buildings in downtown Flagstaff. Mr. Montoya served on the Arizona Department of Transportation Board, Flagstaff Medical Center Board, and was the chair of Northern Arizona Health Care System. Mr. Montoya passed away in 2013.
2006 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Don Murray ('61) 2003
Don Murray, 1961 BSBA in economics. In addition to his bachelor’s degree from NAU, he holds an MBA from St. Mary’s College, Moraga, California. Prior to Mr. Murray’s retirement, he was the group vice president after serving as international vice president for the Clorox Company, Oakland, California, with responsibility for more than half of the company’s sales and profits for the last 11 years of his career. He is past president of the NAU Foundation Board. Mr. Murray was conferred the Doctor of Humane Letters by NAU in 2004.
1996 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Julie Nackard ('78) 2003
Julie Nackard, 1978 BSBA in marketing. Ms. Nackard is the executive vice-president for the Nackard Companies, Flagstaff, Arizona, which include Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company, Nackard Beverage, Hi-Line Vending, and Jewel Trucking. While maintaining multi-faceted executive responsibilities, she has provided leadership to a myriad of community organizations including the American Cancer Society, the Flagstaff Main Street Foundation, Make-a-Wish, Oktoberfest, St. Mary’s Parent/Teacher organization, and the Flagstaff Alpine Ski Team. Ms. Nackard is an NAU Foundation Board member as well as a FCB Community Advisory Board member. 1997 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
R. Keith Newlon ('79) 2010
R. Keith Newlon, 1979 BSBA in finance and economics. Mr. Newlon is the president of Pioneer Title Holding Company which owns Pioneer Title Agency and Yavapai Title Agency. Pioneer Title has 51 offices and Yavapai Title has eight offices throughout Arizona. Mr. Newlon has served in many community and professional organizations.
2010 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame Inductees
Gregory Norwood ('79) 2004
Gregory Norwood, 1979 BS in accountancy. Mr. Norwood is the chief financial officer of First Niagara Financial Group, a top 30 bank serving the northeastern U.S. Prior to joining First Niagara in 2011, he held various leadership positions with Ally Bank, the successor organization to GMAC Financial Group. Previously, Mr. Norwood was treasurer of Wachovia Corporation responsible for funding, liquidity, analytics, and balance sheet management. Mr. Norwood joined Wachovia in 2005 and held various positions in the Treasury Group. Prior to that, he was the corporate controller of Bank of America from 2001 to 2005 and a partner in the Charlotte office of KPMG, LLP. He began his career with KPMG in 1980 in the Houston office. Mr. Norwood served a two-year appointment as a professional accounting fellow in the Office of the Chief Accountant of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Norwood also served as an accounting policy advisor to Fannie Mae, Washington, D.C. Mr. Norwood received the FCB Outstanding Senior Award in 1980 and the Beta Alpha Psi Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1994.
2004 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Bill Nyman ('70) 2016
Bill Nyman, 1970 BS in Business Administration, Marketing. While at NAU, Bill was a member of Blue Key National Honor Society and Sigma Chi Fraternity. Upon his graduation from NAU, Mr. Nyman attended the University of San Diego School of Law and received his Juris Doctor degree in 1973. He was admitted to the California State Bar that same year as well as United States District Court of Appeals.
During his 35 year career as a civil litigator, Mr. Nyman tried numerous jury trials to verdict. He was an active member of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel as well the Los Angeles County Trial Lawyers Association. He was the founding and managing partner of Nyman, Johnson, Maguire and Dyer, a mid-sized southern California defense litigation firm.
During his career as a litigator he handled many complex civil litigation cases, including construction defect and land subsidence cases. He was involved as a lead counsel on many landmark civil cases, including the MGM Grand Hotel Fire, Las Vegas, Nevada and Big Rock Mesa landslide, Malibu, California. He also was appointed as a temporary sitting judge for the Orange County Superior Court and served as both a court appointed and private mediator and arbitrator on numerous cases.
He currently is a member of the NAU Alumni Association Board of Directors and on occasion has enjoyed the opportunity to speak to The W. A. Franke College of Business student leadership group as well as upper division business classes. He resides in Prescott, AZ with his wife Cindy, who is also a graduate of NAU and a member of the College of Education Hall of Fame.
Kristy O’Bannon ('97) 2014
Kristy O’Bannon, 1997 BS in accountancy from Northern Arizona University’s Yuma, Arizona campus. Ms. O’Bannon is the co-owner of O’Bannon Anaya & Company Ltd located in Henderson, Nevada. Ms. O’Bannon was recruited prior to graduation in 1996 by the then big-five accounting firm, KPMG LLP, to work in their Las Vegas, Nevada office. She subsequently worked for a mid-size Las Vegas, Nevada accounting firm, where she obtained licensing as a Certified Public Accountant. Ms. O’Bannon is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and is a member of the Nevada and Arizona Society of CPAs. 2014 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
J. Duross O’Bryan ('78) 2003
J. Duross O’Bryan, 1978 BS in accountancy. Mr. O’Bryan is a partner with Resolution Economics in Los Angeles, California. He was previously with AlixPartners, LLP as a managing director. Prior to that he was with PricewaterhouseCoopers as the partner-in-charge of the dispute analysis and investigations practice of the western U.S. region, partner-in-charge of the New York Metro practice, and an audit partner of the Los Angeles office. Mr. O’Bryan has provided numerous services to the FCB accounting area, including recruiting and speaking with student accounting societies.. 1996 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Dr. Jon Ozmun, 2012
Jon Ozmun, PhD, came to NAU in 1974 as an assistant professor of economics. He was promoted to associate professor in 1978 and to full professor in 1982. He served as assistant dean for three years and served as interim dean from 1980–81. In his tenure at NAU he served on, and chaired, numerous committees for both the college and the university.
His most notable service was to the students as both a teacher and an advisor. He taught many economics and management courses and was respected for his knowledge, personal teaching style, concern, and encouragement of each individual student. He had a unique ability to pinpoint student problems and concerns, to anticipate questions, and to develop individualized academic and career plans for students. He routinely followed through with those students as they progressed through the business program. Dr. Ozmun once wrote an email to the faculty which included “… changing lives is the fulfillment of the opportunity that comes with the territory of our chosen profession – college education.” This quote epitomizes his service to the students, faculty, and staff of NAU.
2012 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame
Tom Palmer, JD ('67) 2011
Tom Palmer, JD, (1970 ASU), BS in accountancy (1967 NAU). Mr. Palmer practiced law in Mesa, Arizona from 1970–1974. In 1974, he was hired as an assistant professor of business law for FCB, where he taught for 26 years. Mr. Palmer retired as Professor of Law Emeritus in 2000. Since his retirement, he and his wife, Gretna, have spent several years overseas in India, Indonesia, and the Caribbean as humanitarian volunteers and trainers through their church.
2011 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Thomas B. Perkins ('80) 2014
Thomas B. Perkins, 1980 BS in Lodging, Restaurant and Tourism.
Upon graduation, Mr. Perkins went to work in the restaurant industry in Southern California. In 1985, he joined Arthur Andersen as a Certified Public Accountant.
Mr. Perkins worked for PepsiCo and Pepsi-Cola Company in a variety of finance roles from 1987 – 1993.
In 1993 he joined Core-Mark International, Inc. as a controller of the Los Angeles Division. He was the Division President of the Spokane Division from 1996 – 2000, the President of the Arizona Distribution Center from 2001 – 2003, the Vice President of U.S. Divisions from 2003 – 2007, and the Senior Vice President of Resources from 2007 – 2013. Mr. Perkins was appointed the President and Chief Executive Officer and Director of Core-Mark Holding Company on January 18, 2013. Core-Mark Holding Company is one of the largest distributors to the convenience store industry. Core-Mark services approximately 33,000 customers from 31 divisions in Canada and United States.
Mr. Perkins and his wife Martha live in San Francisco. They have two children, their daughter is an undergraduate at Arizona State University and their son is a PhD candidate at the University of Arizona.
2014 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Kay Pitt 2016
Kay Pitt and her husband, Ron, joined the Northern Arizona University accounting faculty in August, 1981. She previously taught financial and managerial accounting and worked in the Comptroller’s Office at Arizona State University.
Kay taught financial and managerial accounting at NAU for 30 years. It was a great place for her to reach out to students who showed an aptitude for accounting and encourage them to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the subject. In 2004, the accounting faculty began offering a course in Governmental Accounting and asked Kay to teach it. She enjoyed working with the senior level students as they worked to learn a topic that was “so different” from other accounting courses they had taken.
Kay served as the faculty advisor to Beta Alpha Psi, the International Honor Organization for Accounting, Finance and Information Systems students, for six years. She also served as faculty advisor to Cardinal Key, a national honor society for students at the junior and senior level for three years.
One of Kay’s accomplishments that she is proud of is the chartering of the Flagstaff Chapter of the American Society of Women Accountants in December of 1982. The chapter is still active thirty-four years later. It provided the opportunity for continuing education and networking for local women accountants. She also served on the national board of ASWA from 1990 – 1992. The organization has changed its name to Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance.
Professor Pitt is very much honored to become a member of The W. A. Franke College of Business Hall of Fame. She has many fond memories of the faculty and staff she worked with during her thirty years at Northern Arizona University.
Ron Pitt 2016
Ron Pitt and his wife, Kay, joined the Northern Arizona University accounting faculty in August, 1981. He previously taught at Arizona State University, where he received the College of Business Administration Outstanding Undergraduate Faculty Award in April, 1981. Ron taught in the financial accounting area and specialized in the senior-level courses of consolidations and theory.
Ron served as Accounting Area Coordinator from 1984 to 1988 and as Associate Dean of the College from 1986 to 1995. During his tenure as Associate Dean, he was instrumental in the 1989 implementation of the first NAU college-based student exchange program with the Haarlem Business School in The Netherlands. This was followed by the faculty exchange program which began in 1992. Ron and his wife, Kay, participated in the faculty exchange program spring semester, 1995.
In August, 1995, Ron was appointed to the position of Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies and in 2002 became the Associate Provost for Academic Administration, a position he held until his retirement in July 2010. His responsibilities during this time-period encompassed most of the university’s undergraduate, academically-oriented functions. He was also responsible for all university commencements from 1998 until his retirement.
Nationally, Ron served seven years on the Board of Directors of Beta Alpha Psi, the International Honor Organization for Accounting, Finance and Information Systems students, and was President in 1992. He twice served as chair of the American Institute of CPAs five-day Faculty Summer Seminar for faculty teaching at HBCUs.
Dr. Pitt is honored to become a member of the college’s Hall of Fame and expresses his appreciation to all faculty and staff of the college for their support and friendship during his tenure at NAU.
Timonthy M. Rastello ('75) 2016
Timothy M. Rastello is a 1975 magna cum laude graduate of the College of Business where he earned a BS in Accountancy degree and was named a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the premier business honor society. He obtained his license to practice as a CPA in both Arizona and Colorado before attending and graduating from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1981. Mr. Rastello practiced law with the national law firm of Holland & Hart for 32 years where he became a senior trial partner. His trial practice includes complex commercial litigation, intellectual property, civil rights, and constitutional law. Mr. Rastello was named a “Trial Lawyers of the Year” in 2009 by Colorado Law Week and a Colorado Super Lawyer during multiple years between 2006 and 2014. In 2014, he opened his own law practice in Boulder, Colorado.
Rick Rodriguez ('84) 2012
Rick Rodriguez, 1984 BS in accountancy. Mr. Rodriguez played four years of basketball at NAU. After graduating in 1984, he played one year of professional basketball in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. Mr. Rodriguez, a veteran of the entertainment industry, has held various finance and accounting positions for media giants Sony Pictures Entertainment, MGM, Turner Entertainment Company, and Columbia Tristar Television. He has shared his career experiences with NAU business students through on-campus lectures as well as participating in the FCB Executive Job Shadow Program. Mr. Rodriguez lives in Costa Mesa, California with his wife Melody and is the proud parent of twin daughters, Briana and Brittany, NAU students. Mr. Rodriguez serves as a mentor for the college’s Business Leadership Program, and is a member of the FCB National Advisory Board.
2012 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Mike Santellanes ('60) 2003
Mike Santellanes, 1960 BS in accountancy. Mr. Santellanes also attended the Thunderbird School of Global Management. He is retired as senior partner and chairman of PriceWaterhouse Interamerica and is currently president of Compania Agropecuaria Las Brisas, S.A. in Costa Rica. Mr. Santellanes also served as a member of the Price Waterhouse World Board and the PriceWaterhouse World Firm General Council. 1987 Alumni Achievement Award; 1990 The Jubilee Year Distinguished Alumnus Award; 1996 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Ronald Simonsgaard ('66) 2003
Ronald Simonsgaard, 1966 BS in marketing. While at NAU, Mr. Simonsgaard participated in many student activities, including Sophos, Pi Sigma Epsilon- Marketing, Sigma Pi, and Blue Key. He also represented married housing as a student senator. After graduating from NAU, he worked in sales for Xerox. Now, he is a retired senior vice president of Grubb & Ellis Co.1998 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Tony Skrelunas ('92) 2003
Tony Skrelunas, 1992 BSBA in management, 1994 MBA. Mr. Skrelunas directs a highly innovative program for the Grand Canyon Trust that assists Hopi and Navajo communities with focused sustainable economic development expertise. He is a partner in several companies including Southwest Tradition Log Homes and Keya, Inc. He is the former director of the Navajo Nation Economic Development Division. He has helped secure federal delegation of business site leasing authority, leading efforts to create business -friendly legal changes ranging from delegation to chapters allowing for local governance, privatizing several tribal owned companies including shopping centers and the Navajo Times newspaper, and institution of a sales tax at the local level. He served as the first president of the newly privatized Navajo Shopping Centers Corp., a $50 M asset management company. 1998 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Sherri Slayton ('85) 2007
Sherri Slayton, 1985 BSBA finance. Ms. Slayton, a Chartered Financial Analyst, is Executive Vice President and northern region manager for Alliance Bank of Arizona. She is a member of Flagstaff 40, a trustee at St. Luke’s Health Initiative, and serves on the Coconino Regional Council of First Things First. She remains actively involved with FCB serving on the FCB National Advisory Board and is a member of the NAU Foundation Board. 2007 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Fred W. Smith II ('83) 2016
Fred W. Smith II earned his BS in Business Administration, Marketing degree from Northern Arizona University in 1983 and is currently Regional Manager West of Novitex Corporation, a document outsourcing company that focuses on custom solutions and document processing to streamline workflows. At Novitex, Fred manages the on-site support services of records management, receptionist, copy, mail, and guest services for the western 15 states supporting PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
After graduating from NAU, Fred joined the sales force at XEROX Corporation in Montebello, CA, quickly moving into management roles for marketing and sales activities throughout greater Los Angeles. In ten years at XEROX, Fred consistently increased sales revenue and customer satisfaction. In 1996, he joined Danka Corporation as Regional General Manager, managing an operating budget of $30 million. There, he doubled the customer base and received the General Manager Leadership Award three years in a row. In 2000, IKON Office Solutions hired Fred to create an operations and audit process through a period of corporate re-structuring. He reduced operational, selling, and administration expenses and led an employee-based quality team resulting in a company-wide recognition program that improved overall employee satisfaction by nearly 20%. In 2001, Fred joined Ricoh Americas Corporation in Irvine, as their western region Operations Manager, where he consistently exceeded revenue, net profit, and DSO targets.
When Fred was a student at NAU, he received the Golden Eagle Student Athlete award. Today, he serves on several local boards and is a charter member of The W.A. Franke College of Business National Advisory Board. He is also founder of the Malachi Smith Scholarship Education Endowment Fund at Henderson State University, Ark.
Thomas P. Smith ('91) 2009
Thomas P. Smith, 1991 MBA, is co-founder and former chairman of the board of TASER International, headquartered in Scottsdale. Mr. Smith served as the company’s president from April 1994 through October 2006. As the prime manager of domestic and international sales, he travels worldwide to conduct presentations for government officials and law enforcement agencies. Along with his brother Rick, Mr. Smith was awarded the 2002 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, awarded by CNN, AT&T, NASDAQ, and USA Today.
Mr. Smith now serves on the board of EPIC Diagnostics and is involved in two new startups, SetJet and All Clear Fire Systems. Mr. Smith holds a BS in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona. 2009 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Richard Stone ('77) 2007
Richard Stone, 1977 BS in accountancy. He also completed Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development in 1994. Mr. Stone is currently a consultant with Gray Stone Advisors (business aviation industry), after eight years in public accounting (Arthur Andersen & Co.) and 24 years in the recreational marine industry, including serving for several years as the president of the Sea Ray Boats, Knoxville, Tennessee. Sea Ray Boats is the world’s largest manufacturer of superior quality pleasure boats and is part of Brunswick Corporation’s Boat Group. Rick also serves on the board of directors of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (1986), The Tennessee Theatre Foundation (2007), and The Fort Loudoun Lake Association (2009). 2007 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Renee Teran ('78) 2003
Renee Teran,1978 BSBA in business administration and communications. Ms. Teran currently is the Principal of Lorena Global Enterprises, San Diego, California. She was the principal of the San Diego based New York Life insurance practice, Lorena International, specializing in asset preservation of world wide, executive benefit planning, and investment consultation to companies.
1991 NAU Alumni Achievement Award; 1998 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Kathy Finnery Thomas ('78) 2016
Kathy Finnerty Thomas grew up working in her family’s business and graduated from NAU with honors with a degree in Marketing and Management. Upon graduation, Kathy joined Eastman Kodak, where she held several positions at Kodak in sales, sales training, national accounts and marketing. In 1998 she joined AirTouch Cellular as Director of Marketing. After AirTouch merged with Verizon, she joined her husband in the promotional product company he started.
Today, as President of Stowebridge Promotion Group in Chandler, AZ, she works with her husband, Ron, the Founder of Stowebridge. They help companies in North America and around the world create promotional products and programs to promote their brand, grow their business, reward employees, thank customers, promote safety and other key messages. In addition to her responsibilities at Stowebridge she gives talks, provides training, and writes articles on values-based corporate culture, vision, and leadership.
At The W. A. Franke College of Business, Kathy gives back as a Business Leadership Mentor, President of the NAU Professional Selling Advisory Council, the Business Shadowing Program, and classroom guest speaker. She is inspired by working with the FCB’s great students, faculty and administration.
Glenn Tubb ('75) 2015
Glenn Tubb 1975 BSBA in accountancy (Magna Cum Laude). Mr. Tubb is the Senior Vice President of Products for Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc., a successful start-up that provides electronic monitoring technology and services to the community corrections market. He is responsible for all product development and delivery, including engineering, software development, web operations, manufacturing and logistics.
Mr. Tubb also holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and his Certified Public Account designation in Arizona.
2015 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame
Jana Turner ('77) 2005
Jana Turner, 1977 BSBA in marketing
As a principal/partner with RETS Associates, Jana Turner brings clients more than 35 years of experience in the real estate services sector. Jana joined RETS Associates in 2008, utilizing her extensive networking and recruitment experience. The firm provides talent exclusively for the commercial real estate industry and offers interim, permanent and executive talent solutions ranging from financial analyst to executive-level positions.
Prior to RETS Associates, Jana served as President of the Asset Services Division for Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis, the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm and an S&P 500 company.
Jana’s community and philanthropic activities include serving as a state wide Board Member and Executive Committee Member for Uplift Family Services, being an active member of Working Wardrobes as well as serving on the Advisory Committee for the Building Blocks Foundation.
Jana is a graduate of Northern Arizona University with a degree in Business Administration, and she holds a Certified Property Manager (CPM) accreditation from the Institute of Real Estate Management. 2005 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
James Umland (1978–1980) 2003
James Umland,1978–1980, later graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a BS in accountancy. While attending NAU, Mr. Umland was a Phelps Dodge Scholar and president of Sophos. He is now the owner and CEO of Johnson Precision, one of New England’s fastest growing plastic injection molding companies. Previously, Mr. Umland was a CPA, a founding partner of a Wall Street private equity firm and then director of acquisitions and strategic planning for two Fortune 500 manufacturing companies 1996 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Jim Upchurch ('80) 2009
Jim Upchurch, 1980 BS in accountancy, is the founder, president and CEO of Caltius Capital Management, a mezzanine and private equity firm headquartered in Los Angeles. Since Caltius’ inception in 1997, Mr. Upchurch has overseen the deployment of more than $1 billion of capital in over 70 debt and/or equity funded transactions. Mr. Upchurch started his career as an accountant in the Phoenix office of KPMG.2009 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Joe Walka 2014
Joe Walka, PhD served as dean of the college from 1987 to 1996, the longest tenure of anyone in that position. He came to NAU in 1985 as founding director of the Center for American Indian Economic Development and director of the MBA program. He is now Professor of Economics and Dean Emeritus of the college. Prior to coming to NAU, Dr. Walka was on the faculty of Idaho State University and the University of Arizona. He served as Assistant to the Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. A graduate of Grinnell College, where he received a BA in English and American Literature, an MBA from Indiana University and a PhD in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University. 2014 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Robert Williams 2014
Robert Williams along with his family, arrived on the Northern Arizona University campus in 1978, retiring in 2010. He taught primarily in the marketing area with a specialty in marketing research. However, he also taught forecasting, consumer behavior, and introduction to business. Dr. Williams served as Associate Dean of the college and the Director of the MBA program from 1981 to 1986. He also served as the first faculty chairman of the University Academic Standards Committee and as a member of that committee for 11 years. Dr. Williams believes that his primary contribution during his years at NAU was encouraging and motivating his students to master the course material and to better understand the primary role that marketing plays in business success and in the free enterprise economy.2014 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Cheryl Wilson ('69) 2003
Cheryl Wilson, 1969 BS in accountancy. Ms. Wilson, a CPA, earned her MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. She began her career with Ernst & Young then moved to Coopers & Lybrand, now PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she became their third woman partner and served as a partner for 18 years. Prior to retiring, she was president of THEATREplex Entertainment Properties, Inc. Ms. Wilson is a past governing council member of the AICPA, a past chairperson of the Illinois Society of CPAs and recipient of their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. She is a past chairperson and a current member of the State of Illinois Board of Examiners. 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Larry Wilson ('67) 2003
Larry Wilson, JD, 1967 BS in accountancy. After NAU, Mr. Wilson earned a law degree from the University of Arizona. He was a CPA and a practicing lawyer before he made his way to radio. Prior to Mr. Wilson’s retirement, he was CEO of Citadel Communications Corporation, which was sold in 2001 to Forstman Little. 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.