National Alumni Association Executive Board of Directors
July 2014 - June 2015
National Executive Officers
Anita Vaughn (BA '77, MPA '82)
CEO, Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women
Anita, Association Life Member, is serving her seventh year on the National Board. She was named as Outstanding Alumna of the College of Arts & Sciences in 2005. Vaughn and her husband, James, also an Association Life Member, have one son. She has worked in the Baptist Health Care system for 40 years and is currently administrator and Chief Executive Officer of Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women.
Allie Prescott (BA '69, JD '72)
President, Allie Prescott & Partners; Senior Advisor, Waddell & Associates, Inc. Wealth Strategists
Allie, Association Life Member and past president of the University of Memphis Alumni Association National Executive Board of Directors during the University's Centennial, is serving his seventh 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).
Wei Chen (IMBA '98)
Vice President for Communication
Founder and CEO, Sunshine Enterprise, Inc.
Wei, Association Annual Member, is serving his sixth 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.
Greg Siskin (BBA '85, MBA '00)
Vice President for Finances
President, Ultimate Dental
Greg, Association Life Member, is serving his second year on the National Board. He has been a loyal University of Memphis sports fan his whole life. He is on the board of the Cooperate Relationship Board for the American Association of Endodontic. Greg is president of Ultimate Dental, which is a sponsor of the Penny Hardaway Basketball classic. He and his wife have two children.
Kim Barnett (BA '95, EMBA '99)
Vice President for Membership
Director of CTCE, Southwest Tennessee Community College; Ret. Sr. Manager, FedEx
Kim, Association Life Member, is serving his eigth year on the National Board. He was the president of the Fogelman College of Business & Economics Alumni Chapter from 2005-06. Barnett is a retired senior manager at FedEx and is the current Director of CTCE at Southwest Tennessee Community College. He and his wife, Phyllis, have two children.
The Honorable Butch Childers (BBA '71, JD '74)
Vice President for Programs and Events
Circuit Court Judge, State of Tennessee
Robert “Butch” Childers, Association Life Member, is serving his eigth year on the National Board. In 2002, he received the University's highest honor, 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.
National Executive Board of Directors
Terms Expire 6/30/2015
Dana Gabrion (BA '98)
Co-Executive Producer, America's Next Top Model; Owner, Talbot Heirs Guesthouse
Dana, Association Life Member, is serving her fourth 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. She was the recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Young Alumna Award. Dana currently resides in Venice, CA.
David Kustoff (BBA '89, JD '92)
Attorney/Partner, Kustoff & Strickland, PLLC
David, Association Life Member, is serving his sixth 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. 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.
Eric Robertson (BA '03)
Eric, Association Annual Member and former president of the College of Arts & Sciences Alumni Chapter, is serving his fifth year on the National Board. He is the president of CommunityLIFT 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.
Jamie Russell (BBA '02)
Senior Marketing Manager, First Tennessee
Jamie, Association Life Member, is serving his second year on the National Board. Prior to being named to the National Board, he served for many years on the Young Alumni Committee where he worked primarily on the True Blue 5K. Jamie and his wife, Lauren (BA, 04), are both Life Members of the Association and have two daughters. He has worked at First Tennessee for nine years and is currently a Senior Marketing Manager working with the Small Business segment.
Terms Expire 6/30/2016
Andrew Bailey (BBA '00, EMBA '05)
Marketing Principal, FedEx Services
Andrew, Association Life Member, is serving his second year on the National Board. Drew is the marketing principal at FedEx Services. He was named the 2010 Distinguished Young Alumnus for the Fogelman College of Business & Economics Alumni Chapter. Drew is the Vice President Imeritus of the Luther C. McClellan Alumni Chapter and is a guest professor with the College of Business. During his time as a student at the U of M, Drew served as Student Government and Student Ambassador Board President, Student Activities Council Vice President, and Mr. U of M. He and his wife, Melody, have three children.
Ron Hart (BBA '81, MBA '83)
Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
Ron, Association Life Member, is serving his fourth year on the National Board. Ron is a nationally recognized financial advisor with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. 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.
Karimeh McDaniel (BA '02)
Karimeh, Association Life Member, is serving her second year on the National Board. She was the former First Vice President at Raymond James & Associates. Karimeh has been very active in the Alumni Association as a founding member of the Young Alumni Committee and co-founder of the group's True Blue 5k. As a student at the U of M, she was Student Government president and a Student Ambassador Board member. Karimeh and her husband, Spencer, also a Life Member, have two children.
Angela Craig (BA ’94)
Vice President, Global Human Resources, St. Jude Medical
Angela, Association Member, is serving her first year on the National Board. Angela
Craig has more than 20 years of global experience in healthcare leadership and communications.
For the past eight years, Angela has been one of the top 10 executives at Fortune Magazine’s "Most Admired Company," St. Jude Medical. She currently is vice president of Global
Human Resources. Prior to St. Jude
Medical, Angela spent approximately 12 years at Smith & Nephew. Angela was awarded the 2013 Young Alumna Award from the Journalism Alumni Club. She is married to her wife Cheryl, and together they have four boys and are residents of both St. Paul, Minnesota, and Memphis, Tennessee.
Terms Expire 6/30/2017
John Bomer (BBA '72)
Former President, Consolidated Steamship Agency
John Bomer, Association and M Club Life Member, is serving his first year on the National Board. Bomer is a consultant for Intermarine, LLC., the largest independent project shipping operation in the United States. He was formerly partner and president of Consolidated Steamship Agency. Bomer was awarded the 2013 Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Fogelman College of Business & Economics. He attended University of Memphis on a football scholarship and was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1971. He and his wife Elizabeth, also a U of M alumna, reside in Houston, TX.
Jim Dean (BSET '80)
President, Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island
Jim Dean, Association Member, is serving his first year on the National Board. Dean is president of Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island. He formerly held positions as Chief Financial Officer at Sea World and Vice President of Accounting at Anheuser-Busch. Jim also serves on the board for the Tampa Bay & Company (Tampa Bay’s regional convention and visitor bureau), Tampa Bay Partnership (regional economic development committee), The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Tampa Innovation Alliance, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay. He received the 2012 Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Herff College of Engineering.
Summer Owens (BBA '01)
President and founder, S.O. What! LLC; Founder and Executive Director, S.O. What! Foundation
Summer Owens, Association Life Member, is serving her first year on the National Board. Owens is president and founder of S.O. What! LLC and founder and executive director of the S.O. What! Foundation. Summer was recognized by the University of Memphis Alumni Association as Outstanding Young Alumni in 2013. Summer is a motivational speaker and author of the book Life After Birth: A Memoir of Survival and Success as a Teenage Mother, developed to help people eliminate judgment and excuses of all types and live life to their greatest potential. Summer was named one of the “Top 40 under 40” by the Memphis Business Journal and received the Tri-State Defender’s Women of Excellence award and the Women of Achievement Heroism Award. She was recognized as a Fogelman College of Business and Economics Outstanding Young Alumna. Her story has been featured on national television, as well as in The Commercial Appeal and Memphis Parent Magazine.
Robert Stephens (BSEE '90)
Vice President, Capgemini US LLC
Robert Stephens, Association Life Member, is serving his first year on the National Board. Stephens is currently a Vice President with Capgemini US LLC. He serves as the North American Head for Oil & Gas and is the Managing Executive for the Greater Houston Area. Robert was recognized by the University of Memphis Alumni Association as Outstanding Young Alumni in 2006. He and his wife, Pam, currently reside in Sugar Land, TX. Robert has created an endowed scholarship in the Herff College of Engineering and is a former president of the Houston Alumni Club.
Advisors to the Executive Director
John Bobango (JD '83)
Partner, Farris Bobango PLC
John, Association Life Member, has been a member of the National Board since 2009. 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.
Renee DeGutis (BS '83)
Personal Accountant; Professional Development Specialist, Fogelman College of Business & Economics
Renee, Association Life Member, is serving her tenth 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 currently works with the Fogelman College of Business at the University of Memphis.
Paul Jewell (BA '78)
Marketing Director, The Commercial Appeal
Paul, Association Annual Member, is past vice president for communication and is serving his eighth 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.
John Koski (BA '88)
VP/General Manager, WHBQ TV, Fox 13
John, Association Life Member, is serving his eleventh 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)
Private Consultant; Acting Director, Livable Memphis
John, Association Life Member, became a member of the National Board in 2010. 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. John is the third generation of U of M graduates, as his grandfather, John (Law ’38), is also an alumnus. John is currently serving as the Acting Director for Livable Memphis. He and his wife have a son.
Mark Long (BSEE '85)
Owner, Holliday Flowers, Inc.
Mark, Association Life Member, is past president of the University of Memphis Alumni Association National Executive Board of Directors. He is serving his eleventh 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.
Deanie Parker (BPS '77, MPA '88)
Retired President & CEO, Soulsville
Deanie, Association Life Member, is past president of the University of Memphis Alumni Association National Executive Board of Directors. She is serving her eigth 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 Emmy-winning film project I Am a Man.
Cathy Ross (MBA '82)
Retired Executive Vice President and CFO, FedEx Express
Cathy, Association Life Member, is serving her seventh year on the National Board. She received the University's highest honor, 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.
Jim Strickland (BBA '86, JD '89)
Attorney/Partner, Kustoff & Strickland, PLLC.; Memphis City Council Chairman
Jim, Association Life Member, is serving his seventh 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.
The Honorable Diane Vescovo (JD '80)
U.S. Magistrate Judge
Judge Diane Vescovo, Association Life Member, is serving her ninth 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.
Robert Wright (BS '77)
Professor, Chair of Prosthodontics, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
*Chapel Hill, NC
Dr. Robert Wright, Association Life Member, is serving his tenth year on the National Board. Dr. Wright is the director of Advanced Graduate Prosthodontics at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
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