Distinguished Alumni Award Nominations

The Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes one graduate who has exhibited outstanding leadership and service in both the professional and philanthropic realms. The recipient will have also contributed significantly to the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management by donating time, energy, talent or financial support and will have built networks through class activities, regional programs such as CityOwen, board involvement and service to current students and faculty.

Congratulations to all the nominees for the 2016 Distinguished Alumni award!


Kevin Kaseff, MBA ‘89
CEO, Titan SenQuest Management, Inc.


Van Heyst

Eric Van Heyst, MBA ‘80
Trade Credit & Political Risk Insurance Program Manager Safehold Special Risk


Nancy Abbott, EMBA ‘91
Retired – Global Human Resources Leader, GE Capital;
Adjunct Professor, Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management



Virginia “Gigi” Lazenby, BA’67, MBA ‘73
Founder & CEO, Bretagne LLC


Jack Long, MBA ‘83
Chairman & Co-Founder, Peopleadmin, Inc.


Dr. Ron Ford, EMBA’92
Sr. Vice President & CFO, Silgan Containers


C.T. Fitzpatrick, CFA, MBA ‘90
Founder & CEO, CIO, Vulcan Value Partners

Constance “Connie” Ritter, MBA ’80
Global Planning & Development Manager,
Exxon Controllers Department in Dallas


Steve Berneman, JD’10, MBA’10
CEO & Co-Founder, OverDog (Acquired by Odd Networks)


Trisha Fridich, MBA ‘16
Founder Multriply


Cotter Cunningham, MBA ‘91
CEO, RetailMeNot, Inc.

The dean will present the award to the chosen recipient at the Wine and Cheese Reception on October 21, 2016.

Past Distinguished Alumni Recipients

2015 Heiki Miki (MBA'96) Executive Officer and General Manager of Overseas Business for Americas, Europe/Middle East and Oceania, Shinagawa Refractories
2014 Brent Turner (MBA '99) Chief Operating Officer, Rover.com
2013 Eric Noll (MBA '90)  Executive Vice President of NASDAQ OMX Group, Transaction Services
2012 Jim Sohr (BE '86, MBA '90) past President and Co-founder of AIM Health Care Services; Co-founder of CorrectCare Solutions
2011 David B. Ingram (MBA '89) Chairman and President of Ingram Entertainment Inc. (IEI)
2006 A.J. Kazimi (MBA '84) CEO, Cumberland Pharmaceuticals
2005 Amy Jorgensen Conlee (MBA '77)
2004 William Douglas Parker, Jr. (MBA ’86) Chairman, President, & CEO, America West Airlines, Inc.
2003 David C. Kloeppel (MBA ’96) Executive Vice President & CFO, Gaylord Entertainment Co.
2002 James H. Herring, Jr. (MBA ’89) Vice President, Goldman Sachs & Company
2000 Kimberley G. Newton (MBA ’99) Senior Product Manager, Hallmark Cards
1999 Brad Williams (MBA ’94) VP, Private Equity Products, Goldman Sachs Asset Mgmt.
1998 J. Smoke Wallin (MBA ’93) Chairman & CEO, eSkye Solutions, Inc.
1997 Donald E. Townswick (MBA ’92) CFA, Senior Portfolio Mgr., ING Investment Management
1996 Robert W. Davis (MBA ’91) Chief Financial Officer, Verline, Inc.
1995 Thomas Eckert (MBA ’90) Head of Global Securities, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (Frankfurt)
1994 James Welch (MBA ’89) Principal, Pittiglio Rabin Todd & McGrath
1993 Mark Hilling (MBA ’88) Owner, Great Harvest Bread Co.
1992 Brian M. Cote (MBA ’87) Vice President, SunTrust Bank
1991 Carin L. Barth (MBA ’86) President, L.B. Capital Inc.

The award is presented annually at the Owen Community Celebration Dinner during Reunion Weekend. A plaque listing all Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management Distinguished Alumni Award recipients will hang in Management Hall at Owen.