WPC Class Notes

Dan E. James (MBA ’68) is the senior manager of James & Co. Business Advisors and CPAs in Ogden, Utah. His company recently merged with Eide Bailly, LLP, a regional public accounting and business advisory firm in Fargo, N.D.

Shirlee E. Blount (BA Insurance ’69) retired from the insurance industry after nearly 30 years as a property claims specialist supervising high-dollar claims, as well as instances of arson or fraud. She lives in Flagstaff, Ariz., where she is a volunteer reader for the blind at radio reading service Sun Sounds of Arizona.


David L. Chanko (MBA ’79) began his second year teaching mathematics at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Ariz. It will be his 43rd year in education since becoming a graduate teaching assistant in economics at ASU. Chanko and his wife reside in Scottsdale and have a summer home in Oregon.

Rosemary Coates (BS Transportation ’79) is the executive director of the Silicon Valley-based Reshoring Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that assists companies in bringing manufacturing to the U.S. With more than 25 years of management consulting and global manufacturing experience, Coates is also an Amazon.com best-selling author and a professor of global supply chain strategy.


Vince Ferraro (MBA ’82) is one of Money Inc.’s 20 Most Notable ASU Alumni in Business for his career roles as a senior financial analyst at Hewlett-Packard and vice president at Eastman Kodak, as well as for co-authoring two books, “In It to Win It” and “Brand to Sell Masterplan.”

Pedro Herran (BS Accounting ’83) is celebrating nine years as the founder and CEO of Girardot Capital Management in McKinney, Texas. He specializes in strategy and mergers and acquisitions advisory, management consulting, merchant banking, and angel investing activities.

Mark Feldman (BS Accountancy ’84) is managing partner and CEO of independent investment and wealth management firm MRA Associates in Phoenix. He is one of 25 Valley executives honored as 2019 Most Admired Leaders by the Phoenix Business Journal.

Phillip D. Bianco (BS Real Estate ’86) is a realtor at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Gov. Doug Ducey (BS Finance ’86) won reelection as governor of Arizona in 2018. He is one of Money Inc.’s 20 Most Notable ASU Alumni in Business for his roles as CEO and partner of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Cold Stone Creamery; lead investor and chair for Scottsdale-based digital media conversion service company iMemories; and serving on the board of Banner Health Foundation in Phoenix and St. John’s Jesuit High School Council in Toledo, Ohio.

Trish Gulbranson (BS Accountancy ’88) is one of AZRE magazine’s Most Influential Women in Arizona Business for 2019 for her impact on the region’s business climate, in the community, and in her role as founder and CEO of Derma Health Skin & Laser, a medispa in Phoenix.


Howard Lindzon (MBA ’91) is one of Money Inc.’s 20 Most Notable ASU Alumni in Business for his success as an author of books, “The Wallstrip Edge: Using Trends to Make Money – Find Them, Ride Them, and Get Off” (2009) and “The StockTwits Edge: 40 Actionable Trade Set-Ups from Real Market Pros” (2011). He’s also a hedge fund manager; the managing partner of the holding company Social Leverage; a super angel investor including stocks in Rent.com, Ticketfly, Uservoice, Klout, and BlogTalkRadio; and co-founder of StockTwits, a social media platform that has been named by Fast Company as one of the “top 10 most innovative companies in finance.”

Christopher Bissonnette (BS Management ’93) works with students in the Irvine School District, teaching financial literacy as the chair of the Irvine Chamber of Commerce Financial Education Task Force in Orange County, Calif.

Aaron Matos (BS Management ’95) serves as CEO and founder of Paradox, a startup that aims to transform the recruiting sector through artificial intelligence, and is one of Money Inc.’s 20 Most Notable ASU Alumni in Business.

Michael Nolde (BS Accountancy ’97) is an accomplished tax executive with Big 4 and Fortune 500 multinational corporation tax experience. He leads a group of 20 tax and treasury professionals as vice president of global tax for Isagenix, a global health and wellness company headquartered in Gilbert, Ariz.


Tyler Craig (BS Finance ’01) is a 14-year veteran of The Vanguard Group, an American registered investment advisor based in Malvern, Pa. He brings his keen advisory services experience as a planning team leader to Facet Wealth, a next-generation financial services company in Baltimore.

Corey Saba Basha (MBA ’02) is one of AZRE magazine’s Most Influential Women in Arizona Business for 2019. She was recognized for her work on the region’s business climate, in the community, and in her role as group lead and senior vice president of innovation technology and life sciences, Southwest division, at Wells Fargo in Phoenix.

Elizabeth Scherle (BA Marketing ’02) is the co-founder and president of New York City-based Influenster, a digital destination where consumers research and review products, and where brands can target and connect with highly engaged, empowered shoppers.

Darian Hall (BS Business Administration ’03) owns a holistic healing studio in the heart of Brooklyn, N.Y., that focuses on helping people of color. He and his co-founder teamed up to create HealHaus where black men and members of black fraternities can practice self-care, including yoga, meditation, group workshops and classes, and enjoy one another’s company in the café that serves medicinal teas and smoothies.

Jack Spitzer (MBA ’03) serves as treasurer and senior vice president of finance for Plexus Worldwide, a direct-selling health and wellness company in Scottsdale, Ariz. He oversees financial planning and analysis, treasury, tax, and accounting.

Jay Leo (MBA ’04) is the president of The Springs Living, a senior-living facility devoted to providing comfortable and warm communities in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Alexander Asnovich (MBA ’05) brings nearly 20 years of experience to his role as the vice president of global marketing and communications for Motorola Solutions company Avigilon in Dallas. He was named by Forbes as one of the World’s Most Influential CMOs (chief marketing officers).

Jameel Allen

Jameel Allen (MBA ’06) is vice president of business development at Charah Solutions, a Louisville, Kentucky-based provider of environmental and maintenance services for the power generation industry.

Charlton G. Park (MBA/BA Health Sector Management ’06) is chief financial officer (CFO) for the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics in Salt Lake City.

David Tucker (MBA ’06) guides a cohesive supply chain strategy across departments as vice president of Compass Minerals, a leading producer of minerals for its salt and plant nutrition customer base.

Ross Peterson (BS Supply Chain Management ’07) is vice president at Canada-based global commercial real estate services organization Colliers International. Peterson brings more than a decade of experience representing office tenants in lease transactions to the Phoenix location.

Josh Miller (MBA ’08) is executive director of compensation at CVS Health-Aetna in Phoenix, while also serving as managing principal for OnTarget Incentives, a compensation consulting company in Phoenix. He frequently speaks and writes on human resources and compensation best practices. Most recently he published an article on job functions in the global HR best practices magazine, Workspan.

Tiffani Montez (MBA ’08) covers digital channel interactions, marketing analytics, artificial intelligence, chatbots, and financial wellness as a retail banking senior analyst at independent research and advisory firm Aite Group, which is headquartered in Boston.

Michael Cripe (BS Global Business/Leadership Management ’09), a senior government relations specialist for the southwest region at Cox Communications in Phoenix, is an honoree of the Phoenix Business Journal 2019 class of 40 Under 40.

Sabrina Drago (MBA ’09) is the transportation office lead for WSP, an engineering and professional services consultancy company headquartered in Montreal.


Tony Hammond (MACC ’10), the senior vice president and senior commercial banking manager at Arizona Bank & Trust, is an honoree of the Phoenix Business Journal 2019 class of 40 Under 40.

John Gibson (MBA ’11) is a Phoenix Business Journal 2019 40 Under 40 honoree and the region bank president at Wells Fargo in Phoenix.

Bridget Cooney (MBA ’12) is one of AZRE magazine’s Most Influential Women in Arizona Business for 2019 for her efforts in the community, on the region’s business climate, and in her role as the senior vice president and retail banking group manager of the National Bank of Arizona.

Alexi Panagiotakopoulos (BS Finance ’12) recently created the exchange traded fund NETLease Corporate Real Estate (NYSE: ARCA: NETL), which was launched by New York-based Exchange Traded Concepts and Phoenix-based Fundamental Income. He co-founded Fundamental Income to identify and create investment strategies rooted in solid, understandable fundamentals that are expected to generate sustainable income and growth.

Richard Merrill (MBA ’13) leverages his integrated marketing experience as an account director at marketing and advertising agency Mower in Syracuse, N.Y. Previously, he was a director of marketing at NASCAR in Daytona Beach, Fla., and an account supervisor at marketing communications firm J. Walter Thompson in Phoenix.

Eric Verska (BS Finance ’15) oversees more than 300 properties as a property manager at Century 21 in Phoenix.

Samantha DeRose (BA Business Communication ’16) is a public relations account manager and social media specialist at the full-service marketing communications firm McRae Agency in Phoenix. Recently recognized as one of a “Who’s Next” among young communications professionals by The Arizona Republic, DeRose specializes in public relations, social marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and marketing communications for various industries, including retail, consumer products, and business-to-business industries.

Xinlan Xu (BS Business Data Analytics ’16) is a business intelligence engineer on Amazon’s human resources technical finance team in Seattle. She is responsible for innovation of predictive BI finance models to support human resource teams managing head counts for all Amazon business globally.

Albert Amini (MBA ’17), owner of and hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgeon at Arizona Premier Surgery in Chandler, is an honoree of the Phoenix Business Journal 2019 class of 40 Under 40.

Spencer Elliott (BS Business Entrepreneurship/Economics ’17) is the chairman for the Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee. He is also founder and president of Assets Elevated Private Wealth System in Chandler, Ariz. Elliot graduated from ASU’s Barrett, the Honors College as a Flinn Scholar.

Agnel Philip (BS Economics ’17) is an investigative reporter at The Arizona Republic, specializing in computer-assisted reporting.

Leandres Christopher

Leandres Christopher (MBA ’18) launched startup Knot-ed, which offers a monthly beauty box subscription for black women. Drawing from black-owned businesses, each Knot-Box contains enough products, tools, and accessories for women to create three new hairstyles for less than $40. “The buying power is there, but American retail has foolishly ignored this audience,” she says. “Other subscription beauty boxes for black women are product-based and don’t include accessories or tutorials by natural-hair influencers. The timing is right for their idea because black women are increasingly forgoing hair-straightening chemicals in favor of natural styles.”

Ambra Jordan (MBA ’18) formed Knot-ed with Leandres Christopher to bridge the gap in the market. She says that beauty-supply retailers typically devote only a small portion of store space to products for black women, despite the fact that black women spend nine times more on hair and beauty than any other demographic.

Zoila Bardales Harris (BS Economics ’18) founded Zoila’s Suite Escape, an eco-friendly boutique hotel in Peru that houses 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Zoila’s Closet, a community center that includes a library, clothing exchange, and food bank to empower impoverished Peruvian families to become independent.

Shiyu Hu (MACC ’18) provides multinational and international corporate clients with tax services as a consultant at the PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Dubai office.

Kevin Weller (BS Business Entrepreneurship ’18) was recently hired by SVN Desert Commercial Advisors, a full-service commercial real estate services firm in Phoenix. SVN specializes in multifamily, retail, office, medical/dental, and restaurant properties.

Chen Xi Zhao (BS Accountancy/BS Marketing/BA Business Sports and Media Studies ’18) is bringing sports coverage to China. After working for The Harlem Globetrotters and reporting on the Pac-12 Men’s basketball tournament, Xi Zhao plans to continue covering sports internationally through Pac-12 Global.