Class Notes


See What Your Peers Are Up To

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Benjamin Steers ’98 BSBA (MIS), ’00 MIS writes to say: “I currently work for my hometown of Santa Monica, California. I am responsible for the technology for fire, police, office of emergency management and ‘Big Blue Bus.’ The University of Arizona recently ran ads on the side of our buses that run all over the westside of Los Angeles. If you are not up on your UArizona trivia, Sandra Bullock was a Wildcat in the movie Speed. The ‘Big Blue Bus’ was the bus used in the movie.”


Michael Glass ’00 BSBA (Finance) was promoted to senior vice president at Marcus & Millichap, a leading commercial real estate brokerage firm specializing in investment sales, financing, research and advisory services.

Congrats to April Dew Boerger ’01 BSBA (Marketing) who was recognized by the International Association of Women (IAW) as a 2020-2021 Influencer. IAW is a global in-person and online networking platform with more than 100 local chapters, international chapters and more than 1,000 in-person and virtual events. For the past six years, Boerger has held an executive sales role with Novartis Pharmaceuticals, managing a territory in Orange County, selling an anti-body used for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Three years ago, she founded The Deweffect Company. 

Lani Baker '02 BSBA (Accounting) has been named CFO of Holualoa Companies, a Tucson-based real estate and investment firm.

Food-tech start-up Freshly, launched in 2012 by Michael Wystrach ’02 BSBA (Finance), partnered with Nestlé and Meals on Wheels to provide access to safe and healthy food delivery and distribution for vulnerable seniors amidst COVID-19. Wystrach is Freshly’s CEO.

Jason Kessler ’03 MBA published Simple Acts: Practices for a Broken World through New Degrees Press. The book is now for sale on Amazon.

Ian McDowell ’03 MBA will serve as the vice chairman for the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in 2020, moving to the position of Chairman in 2021.

Crystal Adams ’04 BA (Sociology) ’14 MBA was named president of Tucson Young Professionals Board of Directors. As president, she will be responsible for helping further TYP’s mission of attracting, retaining and promoting young professionals in metro Tucson. She previously served on the TYP Executive Committee and as a chair for their programs and events committee.

In February Kristen Hernandez ’05 BSBA (Marketing) was named CEO of Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona.

In March 2020, Courtney Williams ’06 BSBA (Marketing) was featured in a article titled “This Tucson Entrepreneur is Working to Make Portable Ultrasound Accessible in Arizona and Around the World.”

Nicole (Forzano) Rivera ’07 BSBA (Finance) has been busy since graduating! She worked at Raytheon for about six years before starting the first mixed martial arts gym in Tucson, now located across from Tucson Mall. She has also become a mom, a boxing champion, a judo champion and a mixed martial arts champion, competing in grappling and fitness competitions. Additionally, she’s been working toward becoming a financial advisor for her father’s firm, IFC. She’s become Series 7 and 66 licensed and is currently working toward additional licensing to have her own branch office in Tucson. Says Rivera: “We are adapting to the pandemic through the closures and working hard in this new environment, which is challenging for our very physical mixed martial arts gym.”

Jenna Biancavilla ’09 BA (Economics) has been named one of the 40 Under 40 honorees by the Phoenix Business Journal. She owns Pearl Capital, a financial services company.


Ian Epstein ’11 BSBA (Business Management) and Luke Pergande ’11 BSBA (Finance) were profiled in the Chicago Sun Times for the way they handled their business after sports tournaments were cancelled in the midst of COVID-19.

Kevin Tùng Nguyên ’11 BSBA (Finance) was profiled on and is one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 Asia for 2019.

Congratulations to Ian Ross ’11 MBA, who was recently selected as the Senior Marketer of The Year for all of Genentech. 

Congrats to Ryan Arredondo ’13 BSBA (Business Economics) who graduated in May 2020 with a Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law. After taking the bar exam in July, he will be working at a law firm in New York City that works primarily with clients in the financial services industry. He writes: “The opportunities I've been given are due in no small part to my time at Eller.”

Congratulations to Ben Coronado ’13 MBA who was selected by the U.S. Secretary of the Army as a new Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASAs) during an investiture ceremony on May 14, 2020, at Fort Huachuca. CASAs provide vital links between the Army and the communities they serve. CASAs are usually business or civic leaders who possess a keen interest in the welfare of the Army and their communities. CASAs serve a two-year term without compensation. Coronado is currently the regional business director for Pfizer, West Region, overseeing 120 personnel in 13 states responsible for delivering revenue of more than $300 million. 

In January, Scott Peterson ’13 MBA was named vice president of hospitality and office development of United Properties. Peterson will focus on hospitality and office development, including site acquisition, project underwriting, design, development and construction. His hospitality projects include the upcoming Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Minneapolis at RBC Gateway. Prior to joining United Properties in 2019, Peterson served as senior director of development and construction for CSM Corporation in Minneapolis, bringing more than 13 years of residential and hotel experience across various markets. He is an active member of the NAIOP Minnesota chapter and also dedicates his time to mentorships at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and several other community organizations.

Marisol Flores-Aguirre ’14 MBA was featured in a article on women makers in the Southwest and Mexico.

Michael Potter ’14 BSBA (MIS, Finance, Operations Management) has been named operations development manager at Gordon Electric Supply, a distributor of electrical products in Kankakee, Illinois.

While in the doctoral program at Eller under the advisement of Professor Melanie Wallendorf, Andre Maciel ’15 PhD received $2,500 from the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship as part of the Entrepreneurship Research Small Grant Awards. Maciel used that grant to launch a research project on collective action. The resulting paper has been published in the Journal of Marketing, an elite journal in the field of business. Maciel is an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Ravi Grivois-Shah ’16 MBA is running for Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) governing board, having served on its audit committee for the last two years. A medical doctor, Grivois-Shah is the medical director of Alvernon Family Medicine.

Jasper Puracan ’16 BSBA (Accounting) recently received one of the first Primary Care Physician Scholarships from the College of Medicine-Phoenix.

Paulina Bueno ’16 BA (Psychology) ’18 MS (Marketing), who works at The Walt Disney Company, has been able to set up a remote work space at her home using company equipment. She writes to say: “I think working remotely hasn’t negatively affected my team; we still have a lot of TV promotional spots to produce, which has been great. Our workflow has remained the same.” Bueno mourns that she has not been able to come home to visit Tucson since the pandemic started. “My parents have also taken this global pandemic seriously, and we haven't physically seen each other since February. But we do communicate frequently through Facetime.”

Andrew Nurse ’16 BSBA (Finance) has joined HawsGoodwin Wealth as a wealth management adviser. Nurse is a Certified Financial Planner Professional and is pursuing an MBA from Grand Canyon University. Nurse began his career in the financial services industry with Vanguard. He served high-net-worth and ultra-high-networth clients for three years.

Sonali George ’17 MIS MBA, program manager at Microsoft, co-authored an article called “Transforming the CSR Landscape” that was published in Alliance magazine, a magazine for philanthropy and social investment, which aims to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas among philanthropists, social investors and others working for social change worldwide in order to maximize the impact of funding for social development.

Congrats to Keith Meyers ’18 PhD (Economics) whose research related to nuclear testing was cited in a Washington Post article. Keith is now at the Danish Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Southern Denmark.

Beatris Mendez Gandica ’18 MIS program manager at Microsoft, was featured in Marie Claire magazine as well as on Telemundo’s social channel Unstoppable Women, which highlights Latina role models in the United States. She was also featured in Austin 360 as keynote speaker for the Latinitas–Future Chica conference held in July.

Kat Delgado ’20 BSBA (Business Management) was featured in a New York Times article on entering the workforce from her bedroom. Delgado is a retail vendor manager with Amazon.

Bronson Teles ’20 BSBA (Economics) was drafted into Major League Rugby by the Dallas Jackals.

Malvika Banerji ’21 MIS was featured on in an article about studying abroad.


Class Notes is a professional way to share news as a way to foster community and strengthen connections among Eller alumni. Submissions are moderated and are updated twice annually. Eller relies upon an environment of trust and mutual respect for the rights and differences. Any views and opinions expressed by alumni are theirs alone, and are not endorsed by the Eller College of Management or the University of Arizona.