Class Notes


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William Duncan '58 BSBA (Business Economics) had a long career working in the missile defense industry, including acting as general superintendent of the fabrication of the 700-ton Titan II missile, doing missile building at Vandenberg Air force Base and working on the Titan I missile sites in Northern California in the 1950s.

Mary Kay Crockett '52 BSBA (Finance) writes to say: "I think I may have been the first female finance major at Eller. Glenn Strickler was one of my professors. He was terrific. Karl Eller was a classmate and friend. Arizona gave me a very good business education. I was hired to be Valley National Bank's first management trainee. I left that program to care for my mother when she became ill. After several more jobs, a marriage, two children and seven years living in Africa, I went to work for Merrill Lynch in Washington D.C., as their first female trainee (and then manager). I stayed there 30 years. I have lived happily in Carmel since 1978. I'm thankful to Arizona for my preparation."


Following retirement as vice president at the Bonneville Power Administration, Michael Weedall '78 MPA released his first historical novel Iva: The True story of Tokyo Rose which was recently named on of the best Indie books of the year by Kirkus Reviews. The book was also highlighted in a program sponsored by the Ninth Circuit Historical Society and three national Japanese American organizations about the injustice served in the racially and politically charged Presidential election of 1948.


Prabhudev Konana '91 MBA '95 PhD has been named dean of the University of Maryland Smith school of Business. Previously, Konana was an associate dean and professor at the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.

Keith Oltchick '96 BSBA (Accounting) '06 MBA has been named senior vice president of acquisitions and development at Remington Hotels, headquarters in Dallas. Oltchick will be responsible for the growth and expansion of Remington Hotel's third-party platform and supporting clients in acquisitions, management transitions and new build development efforts. He began his career as a controller for Claris Services and has since held a variety of senior leadership roles Hersha Hospitality Trust, Marriott International and Pyramid Hotel Group. 


A letter Chris Tompkins '00 BSBA (Marketing) wrote his six-year-old nephew went on to become a published article, a TEDx talk, a workshop and most recently, a book that will be published in May 2021 by Rowman & Littlefield called, Raising LGBTQ Allies: A Parent's Guide to Changing the Messages from the Playground. The purpose of the book is to encourage families to have open and authentic conversations and to prevent homophobia, transphobia and bullying before they begin. The book is available for pre-order at

Adriana Kong Romero '01 BSBA (Finance) was named commercial banking market executive in the Southwest for Bank of America. She will lead a team of bankers in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara in California; Southern Arizona; El Paso and Amarillo in Texas; and the state of New Mexico. She will also continue her role as Tucson Market President for Bank of America. Kong Romero joined the bank in 1998. 

In March 2020, Izetta Morris '02 BSBA (Business Management) '08 JD started as inaugural director with the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Charitable Organization which is dedicated to improving the lives of people living in the Pascua Yaqui communities. Since starting her position, she has secured more than $85,029.76 in competitive grant funds, individual contributions and foundation grants. The primary program area of the nonprofit is the Tu'l Bwa'ame (Good Food) Pantry, which serves approximately 300 families per month. Learn more about the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Charitable Organization.

Freshly, a company founded by Mike Wystrach '02 BSBA (Finance) and Carter Comstock '09 BSBA (Business Management) was acquired by Nestle.

Shayne Neuwirth '03 BSBA (Marketing) was featured in AZ Big Media as one of the top give influential accountants for 2021. 

After Andrew Acedo '04 BSBA (Business Management/Marketing) graduated from the University of Arizona, he spent a few years in California but found himself itching for something bigger. "I didn't quite know what I was looking for, but I wanted to be in a big market," he says. "I had a lot of drive." Part of his ambition had been fostered through his experience at Eller, which, he says, mapped well with exploring the world and putting out feelers for new adventures. He landed in New York City in 2010 and has been there ever since, working in a software sales capacity and running a global team. His company partners with more than 2,000 brands on digital marketing initiatives and customer experience. Now that he's got some successes under his belt, he's ready to pay it forward—by creating a scholarship in his name in the Eller College. "I was able to go to college because of my parents' support," he says. "But tuition is challenging for many young people—especially under-served populations. I want to open up opportunities like the ones I had for someone else." Equally as important, Acedo hopes to inspire others to do the same. "Alumni should be giving back," he says. "Especially people within my age demographic. We're still young professionals and there are mechanisms in place to be impactful, that can scale to our own means. In other words, even if we don't have $10 million to name a building, we can still make a shuge impact. 

Congrats to Anna (Suarez) Plumley '05 BSBA (Marketing) who is featured in Billboard's "40 Under 40 Young Executives Pushing the Industry Forward." She is currently senior director of tour marketing, U.S. concerts, for Live Nation. 

Research titled "High Policy Uncertainty and Low Implied Market Volatility—an Academic Puzzle?" by Huong Dang '06 MBA, senior lecturer at University of Canterbury, is being published in the Journal of Financial Economics. Dang is an Eller MBA mentor. She earned her PhD at the University of Sydney. Her research interests include credit ratin, financial distress, IPOs, portfolio management, financial institutions and national culture.

Congratulations to Joe Stapleton '06 BSBA (Finance/Entrepreneurship) for being named the 2020 Citizen of the Year by the New Port Beach Chamber of Commerce. The award is presented annually to an individual who best represents long term, continuing commitment to the community and for "being there" when there is a service called for. Currently, Stapleton serves as a member of the finance committee for the City of Newport Beach Foundation. He also serves on more than a dozen boards of directors for community and civic organizations.

June, a smart cooking startup co-founded by Matt Van Horn '06 BSBA (Marketing/Entrepreneurship) has been acquired by outdoor cooking and kettle-grill-maker Weber. June will continue to operate as it's own brand wholly owned by Weber-Stephen Products and will continue to both sell and develop the June Oven and related products. Van Horn will act as president of June under the terms of the new arrangement and will continue to lead development of its current and future products.

Congrats to Bryan Schachter '07 BSBA (Marketing/Entrepreneurship) who was named one of Tucson's Next Great Leaders under 40 by the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. 


Jon Carpenter '09 BA (Economics) '12 MBA and Marisa (Trevino) Carpenter ' 09 BSBA (Marketing) married in December 2020 Although they met after college, they love that they share the Eller bond. Jon worked for Pima county as a manager in their data governance and analytics division, and Marisa has the honor of engaging with Eller MBA alumni.

Congrats to Mike Kintner '13 MBA for being named senior vice president and general manager of Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino.

Yvette-Marie Margaillan Tapia '14 BSBA (MIS) '15 MS MIS has been named one of Tucson's Next Great Leaders under 40 by the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Kathryn Hunnicutt '15 BSBA (Marketing) has been added as a law clerk to Jones, Skelton & Hochuli. 

Melissa Rose '15 BSBA (Finance) was promoted to vice president at Goldman Sachs.

Andrew Nurse '16 BSBA (Finance) has successfully completed the requirements for the Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA) credential from the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA). He is currently a wealth management advisor at HawsGoodwin Wealth in Nashville.

Cynthia Aragon '17 MBA has been appointed White House liaison with the Department of Commerce. She is part of the team tasked with vetting political appointees, called the White House Presidential Office.

In November 2020, Valerie Kading '19 MBA was featured in a Q&A with AZ Big Media.

Bryanna Samuels '19 BSBA (Finance and Entrepreneurship) was featured on Lazard's main LinkedIn page. She is a Lazard analyst.

Emmanuelle Tapia '19 BSBA (Marketing) won Ellen's "Game of Games" in January 2021.

Simply Noted, an automated handwritten letter company founded in 2018 by Eller MBA attendee Rick Elmore (2017-2019) recently moved to larger headquarters on South Ash Street in tempe. The new Simply Noted headquarters spans 3,000 square feet and will be able to produce more than 250,000 handwritten notes per month. Simply Noted has grown by more than 300 percent in the last year.

Blake Konrardy ' MBA is the author of Millennial Millionaire. Starting with $232 in his bank account, Konrardy became a self-made millionaire at age 28. He shares his money optimization findings in Millennial Millionaire, which distills complex financial concepts into actionable tactics for everyone seeking to accumulate wealth at a young age. Konrardy is the founder of a protein beer company. He is also a former professional sports bettor, a licensed pilot, and creator of more than 40 patents granted by the U.S. Patent Office.


 Samuel Anderson '20 MSF has been appointed vice president of exploration at Heliostar Metals. Anderson has 19 years of experience in exploration, development and production geology including a 17-year old career with Newmont Gold, where he held successive positions from exploration project manager to senior manager of exploration business development. As superintendent of the Merian Mine in Suriname, Anderson hired and trained staff, defined operating and safety procedures and built strong interdepartmental relationships through construction and start-up stages from an initial inventory of less than one million ounces of gold. His other accomplishments include: being part of the Newmont team, which he discovered the Saramacca deposit in Suriname, currently being mined by Iamgold; acting as exploration project manager in Haiti; and contributing to numerous other mines and project evaluations throughout the Caribbean, Latin America and North America. In addition to his MSF from Eller, he holds a bachelor's and master's degree in geology from the University of Idaho.

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.