Alumni Association - University of Memphis
Memphis Matters August 2011

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Alumni Association Spotlight: 2011-2012 National Executive Board of Directors


Last month we asked each of the current members of the Alumni Association to review and affirm the proposed slate of candidates for the 2011-2012 National Executive Board of Directors. The slate was very favorably received, so we would like to officially introduce you to the new Board members.

We would like to thank our past members as well as the outgoing president, Deanie Parker (BPS '77, MPA '88), for all of the hard work and dedication they have given to our Alumni Association.

We would also like to welcome the incoming president, Allie Prescott (BA '69, JD '72), as he leads us into the Centennial Anniversary Celebration for the University of Memphis. In addition, we would like to welcome the two newest additions to the Board, Dana Gabrion (BA '98) and Ron Hart (BBA '82, MBA '83).

For more information about the National Executive Board, please contact the Alumni Association at alumniassociaiton@memphis.edu or 901/678-2586.

AUGUST 2011
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2011-2012 National Executive Board of Directors

Prescott Allie Prescott (BA ’69, JD ’72), Association Life Member and President of the University of Memphis Alumni Association National Executive Board of Directors, is serving his fourth year on the National Board. In 2002, Prescott was named Outstanding Alumnus from the College of Arts & Sciences and Distinguished Alumnus from the University in 2003. A native Memphian, he is the owner of a consulting company, Allie Prescott & Partners LLC. In addition, Allie is the Senior Advisor at Waddell & Associates, Inc. Wealth Strategists. He and his wife, Barbara (BSEd ’71, MEd ’73), have two children, Allie and Allison (BA ’06).
Parker Deanie Parker (BPS ’77, MPA ’88) is past president of the University of Memphis Alumni Association National Executive Board of Directors. She is a life member of the Association and is serving her fifth year on the National Board. She was the 2006 recipient of the University’s Distinguished Alumna Award. Parker is the retired CEO of Soulsville (Stax Museum of American Soul Music) and was instrumental in organizing the 50 Years of Soul celebration. She is executive director of the film project I Am a Man.
Vaughn Anita Vaughn (BA ’77, MPA ’83), Association Life Member and Vice President for Membership, is serving her fourth year on the National Board. She was named as Outstanding Alumna of the College of Arts & Sciences in 2005. Vaughn and her husband, James, are Life Members of the Association and have one son. She has worked in the Baptist Health Care system for more than 30 years and is currently administrator and Chief Executive Officer of Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women.
Wei Chen (IMBA ’98), Association Annual Member and Vice President for Communication, is serving his third year on the National Board. Chen received the Fogelman College of Business’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2008. He is the founder and CEO of Sunshine Enterprise Inc., a Memphis-based multinational corporation that manages logistics and manufacturing operations in the U.S. and in China. Chen met his wife, Isabell (MS ’98, PhD ’01), while pursuing his IMBA. They are the parents of three young children.
Barnett Kim Barnett (BA ’95, EMBA ’99), Association Life Member and Vice President for Finances, is serving his fifth year on the National Board. He was the president of the Fogelman College of Business & Economics Alumni Chapter from 2005-06. Barnett is a senior manager at FedEx. He and his wife, Phyllis, have one student at the U of M and one in high school.
DeGutis Renee DeGutis (BS ’83), Association Life Member and Vice President for Programs and Events, is serving her seventh year on the National Board. As a former Color Guard member of the Mighty Sound of the South, DeGutis says the Band Alumni Chapter holds a special place in her heart; she is an active volunteer on that board. She is a personal accountant and has two sons in high school.
Ross Cathy Ross (MBA ’82), Association Life Member, is serving her fourth year on the National Board. She received the Distinguished Alumna Award in 2008. She currently serves on the board of directors of Steelcase Inc., and in 2008 was named to the board of directors of the National Civil Rights Museum. Ross is Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at FedEx Express.
Norris Marla Johnson Norris (BA ’81), Association Annual Member, is serving her second year on the National Board. She is the founder and CEO of Aristotle, Inc. and resides in Little Rock, AR. She was honored with the U of M Distinguished Alumna Award in 2005 and has served on the University's Board of Visitors.
Bobango John Bobango (JD ’83) is an Association Life Member and is serving his third year on the National Board. He was active as president of the Law Alumni Chapter from 2008-09. Bobango is a partner/attorney with Farris Bobango PLC. He and his wife, Lisa (JD ’83), have two children in high school.
Holeman Theopolis Holeman (BSET ’71), Association Life Member, is serving his second year on the National Board. He is Group Vice President, US Operations, of Spectra Energy. Holeman serves on the Herff College Advisory Council, received the 2008 Outstanding Alumnus of the Herff College of Engineering award and the 2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award. Holeman was named as one of the 75 Most Powerful African-Americans in Corporate America by Black Enterprise Magazine. He lives in Houston, TX, with his wife and has three sons and four grandchildren.
Roberto Young (BEE '02, BSCE '03), Association Life Member, is serving his second year on the National Board.  He lives in Atlanta, GA, where he is a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. While at the U of M, Young played football. He attended Harvard Business School for his MBA.
Childers Robert “Butch” Childers (BBA ’71, JD ’74), Association Life Member, is serving his fifth year on the National Board. In 2002, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Childers and his wife, Amy Amundsen (JD ’87), also an Association Life Member, are both on the board of the Law Alumni Chapter, where Childers served as co-chair of the Grand Opening Gala for the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and Amundsen served as gala speakers committee co-chair. He is a Shelby County Circuit Court judge.
Ben Watkins (BBA '78), Association Life Member, is serving his second year on the National Board. He has served on the FCBE Alumni Chapter board for many years and received the Chapter’s 2010 Outstanding Alumnus Award. He is a Member of Watkins Uiberall, PLLC. He and his wife have three daughters.
David Kustoff (BBA ’89, JD ’92), Association Life Member, is serving his third year on the National Board. In 2007, he received the Outstanding Young Alumnus award from the U of M. In 2006, Kustoff was appointed as the U.S. District Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. Currently he serves on the U of M Board of Visitors.  He is a partner with Kustoff and Strickland, PLLC. He and his wife, Roberta (JD ’98), have two young children.
Dana Gabrion (BA '98), is a Life Member and entering her first year on the National Board of Directors. Dana is currently the co-executive producer of the TV show America’s Next Top Model. She also has worked on various film and television projects including The Rainmaker, MTV’s “Sports and Music Festival II”, The Sweetest Thing, and Scream III.  Aside from her entertainment career, Dana is also the proprietor of the Talbot Heirs Guesthouse in Memphis. Ms. Gabrion was the recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Young Alumna Award. Dana currently resides in Venice, CA.
Robertson Eric Robertson (BA ’03), an Association Annual Member and former president of the College of Arts & Sciences Alumni Chapter, is serving his second year on the National Board. He is the project leader of Greater Memphis Neighborhoods and very involved in the Memphis community, including having graduated from the Leadership Memphis Executive Program. Robertson received the 2007 Arts & Sciences Alumni Chapter Outstanding Alumnus Award.
Ron Hart (BBA '82, MBA '83), Life Member of the Alumni Association, is serving his first year on the National Board.  Ron is a nationally recognized financial advisor with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and is based in Atlanta. He is a syndicated columnist whose work appears in 30 newspapers weekly, appears on CNN, and has been quoted in numerous publications. He is also the author of the book There is No Such Thing as a Pretty Good Alligator Wrestler. Mr. Hart was the recipient of the 2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award.  Ron and his wife, Jackie (BN ’88), live in Atlanta, GA.
Strickland Jim Strickland (BBA ’86, JD ’89), Association Life Member, is serving his fourth year on the National Board. He was elected to the Memphis City Council in 2007 and is an attorney/partner with Kustoff & Strickland. Strickland and his wife, Melyne, have two children.
Long Mark Long (BSEE ’85) is past president of the University of Memphis Alumni Association National Executive Board of Directors. He is an Association Life Member and is serving his eighth year on the board. Long and his wife, Judy (BSEd ’74), own Holliday Flowers and have two sons and daughters-in-law who have all attended the U of M.
Vescovo Diane Vescovo (JD ’80), Association Life Member, is serving her sixth year on the National Board as Advisor to the Executive Director. She is also active in the Law Alumni Chapter, having served as co-chair of the Grand Opening Gala of the Law School and is on the University's Board of Visitors. Vescovo has been a U.S. magistrate judge for the Western District of Tennessee since being appointed in 1995. She has two children, including one attending the U of M’s Law School, and is married to Mike McLaren, whose son is a recent graduate of the Law School.
Koski John Koski (BA ’88), Association Life Member, is serving his eighth year on the National Board as Advisor to the Executive Director. Koski is the vice president/general manager of WHBQ-TV Fox 13 Memphis and has worked at the station for more than 25 years. He and his wife Whitney, also a Life Member of the Association, have three daughters.
John Lawrence (BA ’94, MS ’98), Association Life Member, is serving his third year on the National Board as Advisor to the Executive Director. Lawrence has a long-standing tradition of supporting the U of M in his family, as his father, John (BS ’70), was president of the national board and has served the University for decades, including as past president of the Fogelman College of Business & Economics Alumni Chapter. Jay is the third generation of U of M graduates, as his grandfather, John (Law ’38), is also an alumnus. His sister, Collin Johnson, is currently pursuing an executive master’s in nursing. Jay is currently serving as the Acting Director for Livable Memphis.
Zummach Martin Zummach (BA ’85, JD ’93), Association Life Member is a twice past president of the Association and Advisor to the Executive Director. Before that, he was an active member of the executive board, serving in many capacities. Zummach is active on the Law Alumni Chapter’s board of directors as the scholarship and awards committee chair and is chair of the marketing committee for the Law School Grand Opening Gala. He and his wife, Becky (BSEd ’80, MEd ’93), also a Life Member of the Association, have established book scholarships to assist students enrolled in the College of Education. He practices law at Sparkman Zummach PC. The Zummachs and their daughter live in Germantown.
Jewell Paul Jewell (BA ’78), an Association Annual Member, is past vice president for communication and is serving his fifth year on the National Board as Advisor to the Executive Director. He is also on the Journalism Alumni Club’s board of directors after having served as president of that group. Jewell is the director of marketing for The Commercial Appeal.
Evans Rob Evans (MBA ’97), Association Life Member and past president of the National Board, is serving his eighth year on the Board. An Advisor to the Executive Director, Evans is currently a business unit executive at IBM. He and his wife, Kerri (MBA ’97), have two children.
Wright Dr. Robert Wright (BS ’77), Association Life Member, is serving his seventh year on the National Board. An Advisor to the Executive Director, Wright lives in Boston and is director of Advanced Graduate Prosthodontics at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.


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