70 People You Should Know

From the time Bishop Ireton requested the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary establish a school in Virginia to present time – God has directed Marymount through challenging and joyful times. As Marymount University celebrates its 70th anniversary, we thank each and every one of you for the role you have played in our mission to emphasize intellectual curiosity, service to others, and a global perspective.

We are pleased to present a series of 70 human interest features to recognize some of our exceptional alumni, faculty, and friends who exemplify professional expertise and achievements, commitment to the community, and dedication to Marymount. By no means is this an exhaustive list as we have over 38,000 alumni and more than 15,000 friends and we value each and every one of you. We hope you enjoy learning about our vibrant, growing community. Follow along via our monthly e-newsletter, and social media.

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70 People You Should Know

An innovative educator and administrator, Sister Marie Majella Berg (July 7, 1916–April 5, 2004) served as president of Marymount University for more than thirty years and transformed the school from a small, all-female, junior college to a large, coeducational university with several campuses.

In 1960 Sister Majella was appointed president of Marymount College of Virginia, in Arlington County. Inheriting a two-year school with 240 students, she spent her first decade as president raising the number and quality of academic offerings, attracting new faculty, and expanding the student body. Using her outstanding relationship-building and fund-raising skills, she attracted a sizable endowment that allowed for the construction of many new buildings on the college’s original site and the acquisition of two new campuses in Ballston and Sterling, Virginia. The college began offering bachelor’s degrees in 1973, and in 1986 it achieved university status and became fully coeducational. By the time Sister Majella retired in 1993, Marymount offered thirty-eight undergraduate programs and twenty-three graduate degree programs to a student body of nearly 4,000. Sister Majella held honorary doctorates of humane letters from Georgetown University (1970) and Marymount Manhattan College (1983). At the time of her death in 2004 she was the longest serving woman college president in the nation.

70 People You Should Know

Onelio Aguilar currently teaches ELL students at TC Williams high school in Alexandria City. He graduated from Marymount in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. He is passionate about teaching and says that he is blessed to be working with former teachers who taught him when he was an ELL student in high school. Onelio is originally from Guatemala and is also a foster care alumnus. His way of giving back to his community is through teaching and inspiring students who have recently arrived in the country to also dream big and never give up on their dreams. Onelio was recently featured in the Washington Post where he shares his story and his trajectory in becoming a teacher.

Onelio Aguilar is currently enrolled in graduate classes at UVA and plans to get an M.Ed. in Curriculum Instruction while teaching full time.

Tell us about your favorite faculty member:

The English Department professors are amazing. As a student, they were very supportive and took their time to get to know me. After I graduated they still have stayed in touch and I think that says a lot about who they are and their dedication to their students.

70 People You Should Know

Maame Nyamekye, Esq. is an attorney at Whiteford Taylor Preston, LLP where she represents churches, faith-based organizations, nonprofits and associations, and businesses. In 2011, Maame graduated from Marymount University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In 2016, Maame earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from University of Baltimore School of Law and was admitted to practice law in Maryland. At Marymount, Maame was a four-year member of the Women’s Basketball Team, a two-year Resident Assistant, and the 2011 Undergraduate Student Commencement Speaker. Maame was involved in a variety of the university’s events and activities including, Black Student Union, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, African Caribbean Student Association, and a model in Portfolio in Motion and Voyage to Utopia fashion shows. Additionally, while a student at Marymount University, Maame interned at the Supreme Court of the United States and the Washington Football Team (formally known as the Washington Redskins). Maame is committed to serving her community. Currently, she sits on the Board of Directors for the Association of Community Services for Howard County and serves on the Education and Professional Development Committee. Maame is a member of the American Society of Association Executives Ethics Committee. Maame also serves in various capacities within her home church. Maame currently resides in Glen Burnie, Maryland with her husband, John Nyamekye and their two children, Yaw and Joy.

What was your most memorable moment at Marymount University?

2011, being named the CAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Year

70 People You Should Know

Lisa P. Bonanno has 20+ years of experience building and scaling integrated marketing strategies for high-growth B2B technology organizations. As a marketing executive, Lisa sets the marketing vision and direction, builds brand equity and drives revenue growth. She currently is the head of marketing for Deltek’s GovWin product. Prior to this role, Lisa was the VP, Marketing for Knowland, a private equity-backed SaaS provider of data and analytics for the hospitality industry. Lisa has held many other executive-level marketing roles where she has built marketing departments, launched marketing frameworks, and established the MarTech stack. Out of increased demand for her services, Lisa established a consulting practice, LPB Marketing Consulting, providing marketing services to organizations looking for go-to-market strategy and execution. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science Business Administration (BSBA) degree in marketing from American University and a MBA from Marymount University. When not working she is helping to advance women in the workplace by supporting nonprofits she believes in, running around town with her two young children, or eating and drinking good food and wine with her husband and friends. Follow her on Twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn.

What advice do you have for current students?

My advice for current undergraduate students would be to pursue your MBA. My MBA has checked the box on so many job applications and gotten me in the door where it may have otherwise been a barrier. My other advice is to do what you love and build a career around it. I absolutely love marketing. I minored in psychology because I enjoy learning about what motivates people to buy. And lastly, I would tell students to not be afraid to ask people you do not even know for career help. LinkedIn is a fabulous platform to do this on. You will be surprised how willing people are to offer guidance, coaching, or an introduction. You just have to ask.

70 People You Should Know

Peter Converse retired in 2014 after 40 years as a community banker in the Washington Metropolitan Area. A native Virginian, Peter spent the last twenty years of his banking career as President and CEO of Arlington-based Virginia Commerce Bank. During that tenure, he was actively engaged in the Northern Virginia community serving on a number of boards including Virginia Hospital Center and the Arlington and Fairfax Chambers of Commerce. He is a current director on the Boards of Marymount University and United Bankshares, Inc., as well as various committees including the Executive Committee of both boards. He is also a trustee on the board of the Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges.

Peter and his wife, Susan, are longtime residents of Arlington and neighbors of Marymount. Although not alumni, they are ardent supporters who have developed a strong commitment to the ideals and future success of the university. As a result of their generous support, the main campus field house and sports complex have been named after the Converse family. Peter received his undergraduate degree from Washington and Lee University and is a graduate of the Stonier School Of Banking. He has two children, Cari and Alex, and two beautiful granddaughters, Madison and Mackenzie.

What makes Marymount University Special?

As a native Virginian who has lived and worked in Arlington for many years, I am very proud of Marymount’s uniqueness as Virginia’s only Catholic university and the only university headquartered in Arlington. More importantly, Marymount stands out as a comprehensive, diversity oriented institution with a strong liberal arts foundation, yet an impressive array of undergraduate and graduate programs. While considered small in terms of overall enrollment, it offers 20 master’s and doctoral programs as well as many dual master’s degree programs. It is clearly focused on the overall educational, professional and personal growth of its students in its mission pursuit of “the education of the whole person”.

70 People You Should Know

Dr. Raja T. Nasr, taught at Marymount University for twenty-five years as Professor of Education and Applied Linguistics. He taught in several universities around the world, trained teachers of English in twenty-one countries, served sixteen different governments in planning teacher training programs, and published forty-six articles and sixty books in the fields of Education and Applied Linguistics, including three bilingual dictionaries. In recognition of his educational endeavors, he has received five gold medals from two governments and three educational and social institutions.

What advice do you have for current students?

Don’t be transit passengers in your years at Marymount. Be as active as you can. Your education here will be very valuable to you in the future, but also learn from your personal contacts with faculty members and other students. Contribute as much as you can to life on campus and develop life-long friendships with your colleagues.

70 People You Should Know

Adriana Hoyos is a pioneer of a unique style, timeless, warm and sophisticated interior design and furniture design. Throughout a career that spans over 27 years, thirteen furniture collections, and hundreds of interior design projects, Adriana has created a versatile portfolio of residential, commercial and hospitality projects for prominent individuals and corporations internationally. Adriana ́s journey began after completing a degree in Design in the U.S.at Marymount University and establishing a design studio that has now expanded to an international multifaceted organization with offices in Miami, Quito and Guayaquil. Adriana’s innate talent is the creative force behind the design team. Her continuous investigation of the latest design trends has helped her Interior Design firm be in constant evolution.

Tell us about your favorite class

My favorite class was textiles. That is the class I enjoyed and learned the most. I also remember free hand sketch was challenging yet rewarding.

70 People You Should Know

Jimmy McKay is a physical therapist, podcast host, and the director of communications for FOX Rehabilitation. He earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Marymount University in 2016 after a degree in journalism and mass communication and a 15-year career in radio broadcasting. He works heavily in the intersection of science and communications with the goal to improve the knowledge translation in physical therapy and the sharing of experience between clinicians.

While studying at Marymount he combined his previous career as a rock radio broadcaster and launched a podcast (PT Pintcast) with the goal of having casual conversations with experts in physical therapy over a beer. The show has gone on to be downloaded more than three million times in 175 countries around the world and has been ranked on the iTunes top 100 in the category of science and medicine.

Jimmy is a Trustee for The Foundation for Physical Therapy Research as well as being a member and volunteer for the American Physical Therapy Association. While at Marymount he was a graduate assistant within the department of physical therapy. He currently resides in Orange County NY.

What was your most memorable moment at Marymount University?

My most memorable moment at Marymount didn’t occur on campus, or in the US! On a service-learning trip to Costa Rica, I met a boy who was living with Muscular Dystrophy. It was this point in my education where I was close to graduating but had no idea where in the profession of physical therapy that I would fit. I was there to treat and teach the patients we were assigned to about how to improve their function. But I was the one learning about life and where I could fit into the world from that 18-year-old patient who was living in an orphanage. I decided that the boy deserved a power wheelchair, something that would be well out of what he would likely ever able to afford. I wanted to make sure that he had that chair, that would change his minute to minute existence, before I walked across the stage at graduation. The class and Marymount community rallied around the idea and we raised $20,000+ in just sixty-six days to make that idea a reality. The experience was one that I will never forget and think about often when I’m making major life decisions. We learn a lot within classrooms, but what we learn outside of them can have a large impact on our lives.

70 People You Should Know

Shingai Mavengere is a director in the government contractor advisory practice of Baker Tilly US, LLP. His role entails assisting government contractors alleviate the financial risk associated with government compliance. He previously served as Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis at UnitedHealthcare, and began his career at Ernst & Young, LLP. He earned his BBA in Accounting in 2002 from Marymount University, and his MS in Accounting from the University of Virginia in 2003.

Shingai is proud to serve as treasurer on the Board of Directors at Calvary Women’s Services. This local DC nonprofit empowers homeless women to transform their lives through housing, health, education and employment programs. He is also a member of several notable professional associations including the American Bar Association’s Accounting, Cost and Pricing Committee, the Professional Services Council, and the National Contract Management Association While at Marymount, Shingai was involved in activities across campus. He served as a resident assistant, a student ambassador, a member of the Ethics Bowl team, a member of the gospel choir, was heavily involved in Campus Ministry, and worked in the Office of Student Activities. Shingai currently resides in Arlington, Virginia with his wife Kat Mavengere and bright, beautiful daughters, Kiera and Sydney.

Tell us about your favorite staff member

The person who had the greatest impact on me at Marymount was Carlton Sauls, Director of Residence Life. He was my mentor, confidant, and friend and he helped Marymount feel like a home away from home. He taught me how to recognize and appreciate the good in every person, and he taught me that “we are only disappointed when our own expectations aren’t met”.

70 People You Should Know

Dr. Jeff Doucette is Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals and Associate Dean, TJUH Partnerships at the Thomas Jefferson University School of Nursing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He earned his Associate in Applied Science, Nursing in 1993, Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1995, and his Master of Science in Healthcare Management in 1998 from Marymount University. He earned his Doctor of Nursing Practice from Old Dominion University in 2013 where he holds and academic appointments as Associate Adjunct Professor. Prior to joining Jefferson Health, Jeff served as vice president of the Magnet Recognition Program® and Pathway to Excellence® at the American Nurses Credentialing Center. In this role, he traveled around the globe working with organizations to improve the work culture for nurses as well as with ministries of health to elevate the profession of nurses in emerging economies.

Dr. Doucette believes in giving back to his profession and the community. He serves on the editorial advisory board for Nursing Management Journal and The Journal of Nursing Administration. In addition, he works with local organizations in the Philadelphia area supporting LGBTQ equity and equality in healthcare. Dr. Doucette is a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow, a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

While at Marymount, he was the President of the Student Nurses Association and Vice President of the Virginia Nursing Students Association. He was active in campus ministry and was a resident assistant.

He is the proud dad of Camdyn, 17 and Carter 15 and resides in center city Philadelphia.

What advice do you have for current students?

Make the most of your time at Marymount. You have access to professors and alumni who are at the top of their field and always willing to help a fellow saint. Don’t be afraid to reach out and make connections.

Claudia Melara Chase Photo

Claudia Melara Chase is an attorney at the law offices of Brian V. Ebert, P.C. in Fairfax, Virginia. Born in El Salvador, Claudia was the first in her family to graduate from college. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies from Marymount University in 2000 and her Juris Doctor from University of Maryland School of Law in 2011. After completing a legal externship at the U.S. House of Representatives, Claudia was awarded a Certificate of Congressional Recognition. Claudia has a passion for assisting marginalized immigrants. Using her bilingual and legal skills, she changes lives. During her early years as lawyer, Claudia represented immigrant families facing foreclosure and enabled them to remain in their homes. More recently, Claudia was a staff attorney at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) where she represented children fleeing persecution. While at KIND, Claudia worked tirelessly defending many children facing removal in immigration court and helped them to ultimately live safely in United States. In her current role, Claudia continues to represent low-income clients without access to legal representation. Claudia enjoys playing soccer and cooking. Most of all, she enjoys time with her three children, Cristina, Cruz and Santana, and her husband, Jason Chase.

What advice do you have for future graduates?

If in your shoes, I would ask myself these questions: What will be my legacy? How will I make a mark in this world? What am I doing in the next year to five years? What should I be doing today to reach my goals? I would use this opportunity, before your work life consumes you, to focus on your connections, including faculty members and professors, especially part-time students. With technology today, it will be possible to stay connected for a long time.

70 People You Should Know

Tim Sheehan is the Co-Founder and CEO of Greenlight. Greenlight is the safest way for parents to give their kids money, approve their spending, and prepare them for financial independence. Prior to Greenlight, Tim was the Lead Entrepreneur In Residence at Georgia Tech’s startup incubator, the Advanced Technology Development Center. Earlier in Tim’s career he was Director of Yahoo! Finance and responsible for growing it to the #1 finance site in the world. Tim also served as SVP Products, Marketing and Strategy for Biller Solutions at Fiserv, was a Cofounder & CEO of Reachable, General Manager of Yodlee, and Senior Product Manager at E*Trade.

Tell us about your favorite faculty member.

I enjoyed all of the professors who I was lucky enough to learn from, but my favorite faculty member was my Mom -Dr. Kate Sheehan. She was kind, smart, and wickedly funny. She taught mathematics at Marymount.

70 People You Should Know

Dr. Francoise O. Lepage has served as a university professor for over a half century. She is celebrating 45 years at Dominican University of California, currently as Sarlo Distinguished Professor of International Business and Special Assistant to the President. She was founding Dean of the School of Business and International Studies, now known as Andrew P. Barowsky School of Business. She founded the Dominican’s MBA program and renowned M.A. in Pacific Basin Studies and was Program Director and Department Chair in multiple disciplines, such Humanities, Political Science and International Studies. She is an alumna of both Marymount College in Virginia and Tarrytown. While earning her M.A. and Ph.D. in International Relations and Comparative Politics at Catholic University, she was Assistant Professor at Marymount College, Virginia for seven years. In 1992, Marymount University, Virginia, awarded her their prestigious Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. Dr. Lepage’s research interests include Asia, the role of business in economic development, global business, and small to medium sized enterprises. She has delivered keynote speeches worldwide to audiences of all ages and professions and inducted to the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame. Dr. Lepage’s career has been dedicated to advancing global understanding through her teaching, service and scholarship.

What was your most memorable moment at Marymount University?

As a student of Marymount University, I have always remembered that the faculty and staff always trusted the students. They inspired us through espousing a University Honor Code that encouraged us to always behave with respect and courtesy toward others. Students were trusted and treated as adults, providing us so many opportunities to practice our speaking, leading and teaming skills. Mother Majella engaged and invited students to participate in campus events, treating us as her valued colleagues.

As a faculty member of Marymount University, I was mentored by senior faculty to engage my students in the topics and disciplines of my courses with passion. Sr. Frances de Sales taught me how to teach.

70 People You Should Know

Christina J. Scott currently serves as national nonprofit, She Should Run’s Chief of Staff/CFO. She is also the Founder & CEO of Jackson Scott Advisory (JSA), a nonprofit organizational management and business operations consulting firm, partnering with mission-driven leaders and organizations to help operationalize vision into concrete outcomes, create internal business operations that are as strong as its mission, and increase stakeholder confidence in its ability to thrive, even through uncertain times.

Christina believes that mission-driven organizations can change the world for the better, and her purpose and passion is to support them along the way.

Christina has earned a Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate from Georgetown University, an M.B.A. from Marymount University, and a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

As a former teacher, she stays connected to youth through volunteer mentoring programs, and has served as 1st Vice President, Programs Chair and Bylaws Chair of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Washington D.C. Chapter, advocating for education, health, and economic empowerment within target populations in the District.

In her free time, Christina loves watching Netflix and laughing on the couch with her husband, spending time with her twin nieces, and learning about different cultures through cooking.

What was your most memorable moment at Marymount University?

My most memorable moment was my acceptance into the MBA program! I knew that having that access to local community and business leaders as my professors would be a game changer for me.


70 People You Should Know
Dr. Todd Rimkus joined the faculty at Marymount University in 1996. His love of teaching and engaging with students in research has made Marymount University a perfect home for him ever since. In 2017, Dr. Rimkus was recognized for his excellence in teaching and contributions to the Marymount community by receiving the Robert A. Draghi Outstanding Faculty Award. Dr. Rimkus has served as a leader of his colleagues for over 20 years. Serving as the Chair of Biology & Physical Sciences starting in 2000 and currently as the Director of the School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics. Marymount has offered him many opportunities, but his proudest endeavor involves his commitment to the Gales Point, Belize community that he fell in love with in 2006. Dr. Rimkus leads a study abroad program to Belize each summer and this has led to the foundation of his charity, Hawksbill Hope. Originally started by Dr. Rimkus and Marymount students to protect sea turtles, the charity now embraces educational goals and supports funding of high school tuition for the entire community of Gales Point, Belize. Dr. Rimkus and his wife, Julie Rimkus, have three children, Samantha Hutton, Daniel Rimkus, and Mark Rimkus, as well as, two grandchildren, Wallace Todd Hutton and Olivia Jean Hutton.

Tell us about your favorite campus activity.

My favorite campus activities revolve around working with the students. Study Abroad trips to Belize, Basketball Games, Soccer Games, Swim Meets, Campus Ministry Events, and of course Graduation and all celebrations of students and their accomplishments! These are my favorite times at MU the ones I will look back on and know that we made a difference at MU and we impacted the world too.


70 People You Should Know
Priscilla Guthrie joined the Institute for Defense Analyses as the ITSD Fellow after serving as the Special Command Advisor, Cyber Security/Information Technology/Information Assurance for U.S. Cyber Command. Prior to that, she was a VP at ViaSat, Inc. In 2009, she was confirmed by the Senate as the Intelligence Community Chief Information Officer. Prior to that, she was the Director of the Information Technology and Systems Division at IDA and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Deputy Chief Information Officer).Before moving to the Pentagon, Priscilla was a VP of TRW Inc. where she worked in, and led business units in defense/intelligence, automotive and information technology. Priscilla supports various advisory groups for the Department of Defense, primarily in the areas of cybersecurity and information technology, including the USSTRATCOM Strategic Advisory Group and the Defense Science Board, and several outside advisory boards including Penn State’s Outreach and Online Advisory Board, and the Society of Distinguished Alumni executive board. Locally, she supports the Falls Church City Habitat Restoration Team. She has a B.S.E.E. from the Pennsylvania State University and an M.B.A. from Marymount College.

What advice do you have for current students?

Avail yourself of the amazing resources the University provides – particularly the people. You may not know how you’ll use it, but I’ll bet you’ll be surprised at how many times you suddenly see how things fit together and realize the value of what you learned.


70 People You Should Know
Robert McKay is currently in his last semester in Marymount’s highly regarded Cybersecurity Doctoral program. On top of being actively engaged in the cyber consulting community and being a published cybersecurity researcher, Robert operates a local microbiology lab that services D.C. Metro area. As a former Fairfax county police officer, he believes in community first. Robert currently works cooperatively with local water authorities. He loves to give back to other researchers and is a reviewer for the renowned Computer Security Journal. In his spare time, he is actively involved with cyber conferences, including BSides NOVA. He hopes to get it held at “The” Marymount University next. He completed two degrees at the University of Central Florida. After finishing his Master’s in Cybersecurity at Marymount in 2015, he decided to continue with their new Cybersecurity Doctoral program which he describes; “as the most enjoyable and rewarding experience in his life!”

What was your most memorable moment at Marymount University?

All-time favorite moment at Marymount was a toss-up between a research field trip with Dr. Diane Murphy to NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia and Marymount sending me to Maui for a presentation on machine learning.


70 People You Should Know
Rebecca Penno is the Owner and Principal Designer of Penno Interiors, based in McLean, Virginia. Rebecca earned her Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design from Marymount University in 2006 and practiced as an interior designer for two award-winning firms in the immediate area prior to establishing her own firm in 2013. For several years, Rebecca served on what was formerly known as the Alumni Association Board at Marymount. She currently serves on the board of the International Furniture and Design Association (IFDA) as the Washington DC Chapter President and has volunteered in the past with Room to Rebloom as a designer for creating a beautiful home for survivors of domestic violence. Rebecca is an active member of The Falls Church Anglican where she volunteers in several of their ministries. As a local alumnus, Rebecca and her husband Leland Penno reside in Annandale with their young children, Wyatt and Charlotte.

What advice do you have for future graduates?

Regardless if you live on campus, or commute, take the time to form true, meaningful relationships with your peers. It will build your character if you surround yourself by those who reflect your own values.


70 People You Should Know
Thomas J. Donohue is chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. From 1997 to 2019, he served as Chamber president and CEO, the first person to hold both titles concurrently in the organization’s history. During his tenure, Donohue has built the Chamber into a lobbying and political powerhouse with expanded influence across the globe and has helped secure business victories on Capitol Hill, in the regulatory agencies, in politics, in courts of law and in the court of public opinion, and before governments around the world. Previously, Donohue served for 13 years as president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, the national organization of the trucking industry. Earlier in his career, he was deputy assistant postmaster general of the U.S. and vice president of development at Fairfield University in Connecticut. Born in New York City, Donohue earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University and a master’s degree in business administration from Adelphi University. He holds honorary degrees from Adelphi, St. John’s, Marymount, Bradley, and Pepperdine universities, along with the National University of Ireland at Maynooth.

What was your most memorable moment at Marymount University?

I spent more than 20 years on the board at Marymount University, and to this day I can’t forget how Sister M. Majella recruited me. Her insistence that I join was just short of kidnapping me, but I was absolutely impressed with her vision, courage, and strength. I learned something new from her every time we were together.


70 People You Should Know
Mr. James L. Jennings is President of Omega Plus, Inc. located in Huntsville, Alabama. Having retired from NASA, Mr. Jennings led an exemplary 38-year career in the following areas: as a Mathematician, Deputy Comptroller, Director of Resource Management, and Deputy Director of the NASA Kennedy Space Center. He ended his NASA Service as Associate Administrator of Institutions and Management at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. He is an experienced change agent who made innumerable contributions to the transformation of NASA’s culture and workforce. His lasting accomplishments with NASA were both impressive and vast. He led the NASA Team that created the principal strategy blueprint for the NASA Shared Services center, and led the Agency’s commitment to champion culture change recommended by the Columbia Accident Investigative Board.

Mr. Jennings believes Marymount University is one of the most diverse, inclusive and progressive universities in the United States. His community involvement includes serving on the Board of the Huntsville Salvation Army, the Air Force Museum Foundation, the Huntsville National Space Club, the RISE Foundation at Alabama A&M University and the Board of Trustees of Marymount University.


70 People You Should Know
C. Fara Francis
is a C-Suite Executive and currently, Chief Information Officer for the ASCD an organization supporting educators in the K-12 space with over 100,000 global members. After graduating from Marymount in 1998 with an MBA in Finance, Fara went on to work with Grant Thornton, LLP as a Senior Consultant and then Manager for almost 7 years. She then served as Project Manager at Broadpoint Technologies, Inc. In 2006, she was appointed Chief Information Officer for AGC of America – the leading construction industry association successfully leading the organization’s technology initiatives which she did for 12 years. In 2019, she was selected as the Chief Information Officer for the ASCD in Alexandria. Fara also holds an Executive Leadership Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management and is PMP certified. Her passion is in giving back and building a legacy to support and elevate those who are coming up in their careers offering mentorship and guidance where needed. Her goal is to create a platform to share her story of career growth and ascent – a roadmap of courage, tenacity and resilience to other women who desire to see change in their careers. She particularly wants to share at colleges and universities. She supports the YearUp Workforce Development program and has served on their Tech Council. She is currently on the board of the DC Chapter for the Society for Information Management (SIM).

Fara enjoys global travel, international soccer games (Go Brazil!!) and salsa dancing and lives in NW Washington DC.

What was your most memorable moment at Marymount University?

One of my finance classes organized a trip to Wall Street. Some of us were selected to go down to the floor of the NYSE – I was selected. An amazing and exciting experience. The energy on the floor among the traders is something that I have never experienced. Grateful for that walk through. The tour guide had us hopping through there at rapid fire pace – matching the frenetic energy of the floor. The second memory for me was graduation. That feeling of accomplishment and relief.


70 People You Should Know
Rebecca Shambaugh
is an internationally recognized leadership expert, author, keynote speaker on transformational leadership. She is President of SHAMBAUGH, a leadership consultancy firm whose mission is to develop high-performing and inclusive leaders who transform workplace cultures.

Rebecca is Founder of Women in Leadership and Learning (WILL), a nationally recognized leadership institute known for accelerating the growth and advancement of women leaders.

Rebecca speaks at major conferences and forums before thousands of leaders and executives around the world every year in helping them find a winning strategy that drives organizational growth and high-performance culture, while creating the most powerful competitive advantage on the innovation front. Rebecca has been showcased on CNBC, TED Talks, Fox News (New York), NPR and featured in Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, and Fortune Magazine.

Rebecca is a known thought leader in the industry and is the author of the bestselling books titled, “It’s Not A Glass Ceiling, It’s A Sticky Floor” and “Make Room for Her: Why Companies Need an Integrated Leadership Model to Achieve Extraordinary Results.”Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Relations from Purdue University and a Master of Arts Degree in Organizational Development from Marymount University.

70 People You Should Know

Jim Dyke has been a prominent figure in Virginia politics for 30 years, since he served as Gov. L. Douglas Wilder’s secretary of education. He currently serves as a senior advisor for McGuireWoods Consulting.

He is an active leader in the Northern Virginia business community having served as president of the Northern Virginia Community College Educational Foundation; chairman of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, Northern Virginia Business Roundtable and the Emerging Business Forum, an organization focused on enhancing minority and women entrepreneurs in business. And he’s a member of the powerful Virginia Growth and Opportunity (GO Virginia) Board, which allocates funding for economic development initiatives across the commonwealth.

Jim has received numerous awards and certificates related to education, government and community service. Most recently, he was recognized on Virginia Business magazine’s Virginia 500 Power List, which features the state’s most powerful figures in government, politics and lobbying.

Jim graduated with honors from Howard University and the Howard University School of Law and has earned honorary degrees from the University of Richmond, Virginia State University, St. Paul’s College, Randolph Macon College and Northern Virginia Community College.

What advice do you have for current students?

My advice is to take full advantage of your time as a Marymount student to learn as much as you can to prepare you for a productive career and life, establish relationships that can serve you for the rest of your life, and prepare you to make a great difference in this world. Good luck and stay safe.


70 People You Should Know
Gregg McCrary received a Master of Arts in Psychological Services from Marymount University in 1992 while serving as Supervisory Special Agent with the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit at the FBI Academy. Mr. McCrary was one of the pioneers of the famed FBI Profiling program and, as such, assisted law enforcement agencies throughout the United States, Canada, Central America and Europe in bringing serially violent offenders to justice. Since retiring from the FBI he continues to consult with law enforcement and on innocence project cases. His work has been highlighted in several television documentaries including the Emmy nominated, The Mind of Serial Killer, produced by NOVA for the Public Broadcasting System. He has also consulted on various movies and television programs including the Academy Award winning “Silence of the Lambs” and the Netflix series, “Mindhunter.” Mr. McCrary is the author of The Unknown Darkness, Profiling the Predators Among Us, published by Harper Collins.

Upon retirement Mr. McCrary was privileged to return to Marymount University as an adjunct professor in the Forensic and Legal Psychology Program where he shared his experience and expertise with students for over 20 years.


70 People You Should Know
Anthony Award-nominated Ed Aymar’s most recent thriller, The Unrepentant, was published in 2019. His next thriller, They’re Gone, will be published in November 2020 under his pseudonym E.A. Barres. His past thrillers include the novels-in-stories The Swamp Killers and The Night of the Flood (in which he served as co-editor and contributor). He has a monthly column in the Washington Independent Review of Books, is a former member of the national board of the International Thriller Writers and, for years, was the managing editor of The Thrill Begins, an online resource for debut and aspiring writers. He is also an active member of Crime Writers of Color, the Mystery Writers of America and SinC. He also runs the Noir at the Bar series for Washington, D.C., and has hosted and spoken at a variety of crime fiction, writing, and publishing events nationwide. He received his Masters of Arts in Literature and Language from Marymount University in 2011.

Tell us about your favorite faculty member.

The faculty was so good and, really, my best memories are of them. I remember a management training seminar I once attended, and the presenter asked us why most people quit their jobs. The answer wasn’t salary or opportunity; it was because of their boss. Similarly, a professor controls the experience a student has of his or her class. My warm feelings to Marymount are, in no small part, because of how fun and intelligent and approachable the faculty was. I’m still friends with many of those teachers, and those are friendships for which I’m profoundly grateful.


70 People You Should Know
Over five years into recovery from a decade-long opioid addiction,
Ryan Hampton
has been rocketed to the center of America’s rising addiction recovery advocacy movement. A former White House staffer, he has worked with multiple non-profits and national recovery advocacy campaigns. He is now a prominent, leading face and voice of addiction recovery. He was part of the core team that released the first-ever U.S. Surgeon General’s report on addiction in 2016. Ryan connects a vast network of people who are passionate about ending the drug epidemic. He has been featured by—and is a contributor to—outlets such as USA Today, MSNBC, Fox and Friends, the New York Times, NPR, HLN, Vice, Forbes, Slate, HuffPost, The Hill, the Wall Street Journal, and others. A former aide to President Clinton, Ryan has received praise from Democrats and Republicans for addressing addiction as a trans-political issue—crossing the political spectrum to build an inclusive coalition. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich has lauded that “Ryan’s story gives government leaders on both sides of the aisle smart commonsense solutions to consider.” His first book, “American Fix — Inside the Opioid Addiction Crisis and How to End It” published by St. Martin’s Press, was released in August 2018.

What was your most memorable moment at Marymount University?

The day my dad dropped me off to Marymount and I walked into my dorm. I met my roommate and some of the first friends I’d had in a very long time. I felt at home immediately. I remember everything about that day. I never thought I’d make it to Marymount, and the pride my dad had when he dropped me off was something I will never forget. My dad passed a little over a year after that day–and it’s one of the best memories I have of him today.


70 People You Should Know
Dr. Amy Dufrane, CEO of HRCI, a learning organization focused on meeting career, business and workforce demands for businesspeople in the people business. She has spent many years as an innovator of human capital strategies for progressive organizations and in higher education teaching the leaders of tomorrow. Dufrane’s thought leadership encourages individuals to stand at the cutting edge, discover new skills and become fiercely agile. She serves on the Wall Street Journal CEO Council, Economic Club, CEO Roundtable and the Board for the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind. Co-founder of the podcast Inevitable: The Future of Work; founder of the webinar series Alchemizing HR; driver/author The Rise of HR: The Future of Work: 73 HR thought leaders.Dufrane holds a doctorate from The George Washington University; MBA and MA from Marymount University; BS from Hood College. She holds the certification SPHR® and CAE. Awards and honors include: DCA Live Leadership Award; smartCEO Award; International Development Accelerator (IDATeam) and Associacion Mexicana en Direccion de Recuros Humanos A.C. Award; ASQ Middle East/Africa Quality Fundamentals; The Adjutant General’s Corps Regimental Association: Horatio Gates Honorary Medal and HR Leadership Awards of Greater Washington.Amy lives in Falls Church, Virginia, with her husband, Vince (a graduate from Marymount University) and her three children: Elizabeth, Emily and Vincent.

What was your most memorable moment at Marymount University?

I have spent more than 20 years being a part of the Marymount Community as a graduate student, employee, campus resident, Alumni Board President and faculty member so I have so many memories! The best and most treasured memory is that I met my husband at Marymount. Our first daughter was born and spent her first six months on the Marymount campus. I spent many Easters with the RSHM community celebrating the trilogy of masses long into the night with Sr. Majella, Sr. Eymard, Sr. Michelle, Sr. Catherine, Sr. Mary Louise, Sr. PJ, Sr. Irene and Sr. Jackie. I had the honor of working in HR and had so many amazing colleagues – many are still part of the community today. Long before technology made is possible the major snow storm of 1996 shut down the campus for days. My team could not make it to campus and I lived the closest, so I cross country skied up Glebe Road to make sure that the many dedicated staff at Marymount got paid. As President of the Alumni Board, I had the honor of welcoming a class of new graduates and the distinct honor of following General Colin Powell who delivered the Commencement address.


70 People You Should Know
A graduate of the University of Richmond, Alice Mandanis received an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America. Shortly after joining the faculty at Marymount in 1971, she became its chief academic officer, and for 21 years supervised its academic transformation from a junior college for 500 women to a comprehensive, coeducational university enrolling 4,000 students. She oversaw development of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in business, education, humanities, nursing, physical therapy, and behavioral sciences. As Marymount expanded she oversaw new off-campus sites in Loudon and Fairfax Counties and Ballston in Arlington. As one of the first women holding leadership positions in higher education, at a pivotal time when new types of institutions were seeking recognition, she served as trustee at the University of Richmond, Centenary College in New Jersey, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in Georgia. She chaired SACS accreditation committees at 25 colleges and universities in the Southern Region. The recipient of several awards for meritorious leadership in higher education, Dr. Mandanis also served on advisory boards of the Arlington Free Clinic, the Virginia Women’s Leadership Identification Program, and the Wolf Trap Foundation.


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David (Ian) Hopper is a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State, serving since 2002. He is currently the Deputy Director of the Office of Iraq Affairs. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Marymount in 1996.During his Foreign Service career, Ian previously served as the Consul General in Baghdad, Iraq; the Consul General in Amman, Jordan; and in various positions in Frankfurt, Germany; Chennai, India; Lomé, Togo; and Manila, Philippines. Ian specializes in immigration and citizenship affairs and won the State Department’s 2016 Barbara A. Watson Award as consular officer of the year. He previously worked as a journalist at various news organizations. Ian speaks French and Arabic.During his current domestic tour, Ian resides in Arlington, Virginia. He has been married for the past 24 years to Michele Beaulieu Hopper (B.S. Biology, ’95), and has four adult children, Katherine (B.S. Psychology, ’18), Rebecca, Nicholas, and Jonathon.

What advice do you have for future graduates?

I’m sure many current students are worried about how the pandemic and economic depression is going to affect their job prospects. It will, of course, but they should keep in mind that they have the advantage of flexibility. Don’t feel confined by your major; the job market doesn’t care that much what you studied. I spent almost 10 years working in a field outside of my major, but I had skills — like critical thinking and writing ability, enabled by my Marymount education — that made me an attractive candidate. Be flexible in your job search, whether that’s the field, the type of company or organization, or the location. Take advantage of Washington, where there are loads of government agencies, non-profit organizations, and international organizations looking for new talent. Finally, look to public service. While it isn’t likely to make you rich, service in the military, teaching for AmeriCorps, traveling with the Peace Corps, or teaching English abroad can give you an interesting resume and, more importantly, give you the breadth of global experience that will make you stand out.


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Jim Ryerson served as the Dean of the School of Business Administration from 2006 to 2017. During this time of transition from the Blue Goose to the new Ballston Center, the School saw significant growth in the BBA and Technology programs. Professor Ryerson came to Marymount in 1982 as a marketing professor where he created and taught courses in Consumer Behavior, Marketing Research, and International Marketing. He was the Chair of the Management and Marketing Department from 1996 to 2006 and in 2005 was the inaugural recipient of the University’s Robert A. Draghi Outstanding Faculty Award. In 2020, in addition to his teaching responsibilities, he became the first Director of the School of Business within the College of Business, Ideation, Leadership, and Technology (BILT).

What was your most memorable moment at Marymount University?

After serving for a year as an interim dean, the announcement, at a School Honors Ceremony, that I had been named the Dean of the School of Business Administration.


70 People You Should Know
Carey Schuster is the President & CEO of Yellow Goat Design. Yellow Goat Design has been creating award-winning lighting, screen, and sculptural art designs for the hospitality, corporate, retail, healthcare, aviation, multi-residential, and education markets for over 20 years.
Just a small handful of their projects include Tailfeathers in Loew’s Miami Beach Hotel; Shooting Stars for the Newman Marcus project in Westchester, NY; The Denevue in Sephora’s World Trade Center, NY location. Some of Yellow Goat Design’s work can also be found in the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, the Bacardi Headquarters in Miami, the Bristol-Myers Squibb corporate campus in New Jersey, and the Lincoln Experience Center in Newport Beach, Calif.Schuster received a Bachelor of Arts from Penn State University and a Master of Arts in Interior Design from Marymount University.


70 People You Should Know
Preston (Pres) Caruthers was born in 1927 in a small town near Tulsa, OK, where he and his family felt first-hand the effects of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. He dropped out of high school to enlist in the Navy during WWII, serving with distinction as a Corpsman, broadening his horizons, and earning a GED through military correspondence courses.

Jeanne was born in Staunton, VA, and moved to Washington, DC as a little girl. She graduated from Washington & Lee High School in 1947.After the War, Preston Caruthers was drawn to Washington, DC, primarily, to relocate close to his sister and her husband, Lorraine and George Snell. Pres attended George Washington University while working in home construction for his brother-in-law. Looking for a place to live, he answered a newspaper ad for a room for rent in a home in Lyon Village. It was there he met his future wife, Jeanne, whose parents had posted the ad. A romance blossomed, and the two married in 1948. They made Arlington their home, where they raised their five children. Pres began his own home building company in 1949 with Jeanne handling the books, and, over time, shifted into developing high-rise apartments and office buildings. They were the consummate Arlingtonians.

Over the years, Pres quietly and effectively involved himself in Northern Virginia’s business, civic and political realms. He was a leader. His deep and abiding passion, though, is his keen sense of the value of education. He proved time and again that he was willing to do “whatever it takes” to advance education and to increase access and opportunity for all citizens to partake of what he calls America’s most precious asset and resource. He is a past chairman of the Arlington County School Board, served on the inaugural founding Board of Visitors of George Mason University, served many years on the board of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC), and was appointed President of the Virginia State Board of Education.

As a VFIC trustee, Preston co-sponsored Marymount’s membership in that organization that supports the University’s mission as a private college. During the presidency of Sister Majella Berg, he was instrumental in assisting Marymount’s acquisition of its Ballston Campus.

In 1989 the Caruthers Family established the Friends of Nursing program at Arlington Hospital (now, Virginia Hospital Center) that recognizes nursing excellence and promotes the nursing profession. Myriad nursing students at Marymount have been awarded scholarships through this program.

In 2018, the Caruthers Family and Virginia Hospital Center Foundation teamed up to provide $400,000 in scholarships specifically for students in Marymount University’s nursing program to support these exceptional students as they join the nursing profession. Through this program, future nurses partner with the hospital staff to provide critically needed care in their own community and augment their exceptional education. The Caruthers support has strengthened the bond and enhanced the collaborative synergies of these two Arlington institutions. Together they are able to provide the highest level of care to all.

Also in recent history, Preston and Jeanne provided the naming gift towards the construction of Caruthers Hall, where Marymount’s nursing program is housed.

It should be noted, the content shared so far may suggest to readers that this support was from Preston, alone. However, none of these feats would have been possible without Jeanne. Her love and support on the home front were integral to Preston’s business success. Their shared belief in the importance of education and service to one’s community is what induced the couple’s magnanimity towards Marymount University. Jeanne passed away in August of 2015, after more than forty years battling Parkinson’s disease. The Caruthers’ involvement and support of Marymount University has spanned over 60 years, and the tenure of four different Marymount presidents.

Upon the opening of Caruthers Hall, Preston fondly expressed the following: “I have long observed that the students who attend Marymount are wonderful young people. They are bright, compassionate, and ethical. They have big dreams for the future. The new science and health science building will benefit these terrific young people for years to come. It will also benefit the wider community; by giving Marymount students every educational advantage, we ensure that they will go forth from the University well prepared to serve others and make a positive difference in the world.”


70 People You Should Know
Carlos Y. Benavides IV is a Texas attorney working in the city of Austin at Ikard Law PC, where he represents clients in matters related to fiduciary law. Carlos dual majored in Philosophy and English at Marymount University and graduated with a Bachelor of English in 2009. In 2013, Carlos earned his Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was later admitted to practice law by the State Bar of Texas. While attending Marymount, Carlos was elected President of Sigma Delta Pi and he was made Editor of Marymount University’s Literary Arts Magazine, Blueink.

In law school, Carlos participated in and was a member of the Hispanic American Lawyer’s Association, Health Law Society and American Constitutional Law Society. Carlos began his legal career in Hidalgo County, Texas as a state prosecutor. During his time as a prosecutor, Carlos helped to establish and then serve as prosecutor for the first Domestic Violence Specialty Court in South Texas to rehabilitate domestic violence offenders, reduce potential recidivism and improve upon victim safety. Carlos served on the Texas Council on Family Violence Prosecutor’s Leadership Core to provide advice on legislative amendments and bills relating to domestic violence submitted for consideration in the Texas Senate, formulating prosecutorial continuing legal education modules to assist prosecutors addressing domestic violence crimes and to help assist with the awareness campaign of domestic violence issues across Texas. Subsequently, Carlos went on to help establish and serve as the first labor trafficking specialty state prosecutor in the State of Texas which originated as a joint project between the Buffett-McCain Institute Initiative to Combat Modern Slavery and the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office. In 2019, Texas Governor Greg Abbott appointed Carlos to serve a six-year term on the Specialty Courts Advisory Council as a gubernatorial appointee. As a member of the advisory council, Carlos evaluates applications from specialty courts across the state for grant funding from the Governor’s Office and makes recommendations to the office’s criminal justice division regarding best practices for these courts. In addition, Carlos is presently a member of the Texas Bar College, the American Bar Association, the Travis County Young Lawyer’s Association, the Hidalgo County Young Lawyer’s Association, the Austin Bar Association and the Real Estate, Probate and Trust Section of the State Bar of Texas.

What advice do you have for current students?

Many people struggle with imposter syndrome, in which an individual doubts their skills, talents or accomplishment and has an internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. Do not allow yourself to be paralyzed by indecision if you find yourself feeling like an imposter. I am of the firm belief that those suffering from this syndrome are usually the best practitioners in their respective disciplines for the simple reason that that fear of inadequacy spurs them on to keep improving and reaching higher and higher than others, to ensure that not only do they not fail but rather succeed beyond expectations. In that vein, I recommend honing critical thinking skills above all else. Lastly, and I cannot stress this enough: start reading all sorts of books and then keeping reading for the rest of your life.


70 People You Should Know
Katherine Kallinis Berman is a Pastry chef who co-founded the Washington, D.C. pastry shop Georgetown Cupcake in 2008. She is one of the stars of the TLC reality series D.C. Cupcakes and has been featured in media outlets like the New York Times, the NBC Today Show and ABC Nightline.

Berman, LaMontagne and their staff now bake over 5,000 cupcakes each day and ship their cupcakes all over the country. Their cupcakes have won numerous awards and contests, and was voted “Best Bakery” in Washington, D.C. They have also expanded Georgetown Cupcake with additional locations in Bethesda, MD, New York City, Boston, and Los Angeles.

Katherine received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Politics from Marymount University.


70 People You Should Know
Tyler Wisler is an international, influential and sought after designer. His spaces are fashionably aspirational with hints of the unexpected. He’s been featured on hit shows including HGTV’s “Design Star”, ABC’s “Good Morning America”, NBC’s “George To The Rescue”, and Lifetime’s “The Way Home.” He currently stars as a judge and mentor on Asia’s biggest design competition show, Sony Channel Asia’s “The Apartment” where he is known for tough love and sound, practical advice.His approachable personality has made him a popular speaker at major venues and events across the county, imparting knowledge to eager homeowners and design enthusiasts. Both Mashable and Huffington Post touted Tyler as “one to follow” because he is an “eBay Influencer”, a content creator for Skype, and, notably, a Pinterest “Pinfluencer” in both the Home Décor and Men’s Fashion categories. He helped launch the Behind The Design campaign for furniture super source Living Spaces.His work has been seen in Architectural Digest, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Elle Décor and Better Homes and Gardens. Companies like Kohler, 3M, TIKI Brand, BRIZO, Cosentino, AGA/Marvel, Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore have all collaborated for his edgy aesthetic and authentic narrative.Tyler expanded his brand by launching a line of eco-luxury bedding for Butterfly Dreams linens.

He supports philanthropic causes by aligning with DIFFA, Housing Works, and the Hetrick-Martin Institute. Whether talking trends, demonstrating a DIY project, or creating a rocking interior, Tyler believes everyone has the right to be surrounded by great design!


70 People You Should Know
Ms. Marlene Malek is a community activist, health care advocate, patron of the arts. Marlene earned her degree in Nursing from Marymount in 1979 while also raising her children. In addition to being an alumna, Marlene is an extraordinary advocate and volunteer at Marymount. Marlene serves on the Board of Trustees, and has been recognized for her dedication and accomplishments with the Mother Gerard Phelan Gold Medal for exemplary Community Leadership, and the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award. The Malek School of Nursing Professions is named in honor of Marlene and her late husband Frederic V. Malek for their service and commitment to the institution.Marlene is Vice Chairman of Friends of Cancer Research which is our country’s leading voice in advocating for policies and solutions that will get treatment to patients in the safest and quickest way possible. She serves on the Board of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, as well as the Duke University’s Cancer Institute. Marlene also served on the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center Leadership Council. Marlene received a Presidential Appointment and served the NIH National Cancer Advisory Board for six years.Marlene was a Presidential Appointee to the Board of Trustees for the J.F. Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts from 2002-2008, and now serves on their International Committee. Additionally, she serves on Boards for the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Ford’s Theater Society, Vital Voices Global Partnership, Explore Children’s Museum, the Public Broadcasting for Greater Washington WETA.Marlene is a member of the Executive Roundtable of the Republican Governors Association, and serves on the Board of the Vice President’s Residence Foundation, and the George & Barbara Bush Foundation.
The Washingtonian Magazine named Marlene, a “Washingtonian of the Year” in 2004, and one of The Most Powerful Women in Washington in 2019.Marlene resides in McLean, VA and has two grown children and five grandchildren.

What advice do you have for current students?

Volunteer for an organization in your community. It is amazing what you can do from the outside and help the people on the inside.


70 People You Should Know
Juleanna Glover advises major corporate clients, via Ridgely|Walsh, LLC, with high-stakes public and governmental affairs challenges in a myriad and diverse range of issue areas. Ms. Glover has decades of experience working on some of the most important government policy debates, high profile political campaigns and corporate controversies in the U.S. and abroad. The New York Times cited Ms. Glover as a “consummate political insider” and in September 2012, a Bloomberg profile stated: “[S]he brings Washington power players together in a way others can’t match. If you’re looking for the right introduction in D.C., you need to know Juleanna….” She is regularly included in publications’ lists of the most influential and powerful people in the nation’s capital.Ms. Glover has served on the senior staffs of then President-elect George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, presidential candidate Steve Forbes and then Senator John Ashcroft. She advised Senator John McCain in his bid for the White House, traveling with him throughout the 2008 presidential primary season.

Ms. Glover was a Senior Advisor and Managing Director at Teneo Intelligence. Prior to joining Teneo, Glover founded the Ashcroft Group, LLC, a corporate integrity consulting company with former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. She is also a former Director at Clark and Weinstock. Ms. Glover has advised some of the world’s largest and most interesting companies, including Uber, Microsoft, Oracle, eBay, Verisign, Snapchat, PhRMA, JP Morgan Chase, ArcelorMittal, First Solar, Chobani, the Big Four accounting firms, Eli Lilly, AT&T, LVMH, PepsiCo, Google and Alibaba.Glover has been profiled in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, National Journal, the Financial Times, the London Daily Telegraph, as well as Elle, Marie Claire and Washingtonian magazines since leaving the White House in 2002. She writes and comments frequently on U.S. public policy and politics in such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Politico, The Financial Times, Reuters and National Review.


70 People You Should Know
Lt. Gen. Steven W. Boutelle (Ret.) is a world-renowned expert in converged voice, data, and imagery over Internet Protocol (IP), particularly in helping large institutions adopt enhanced network infrastructure. As the former Chief Information Officer for the Army, he is prominent in military circles for his pursuit of technology that enhanced productivity and provided technological advantage to the warfighter. He is the former CEO of the Internet Routing in Space (IRIS) initiative and vice president for business development for the Global Government Solutions Group, both components of Cisco Systems.
In these roles, Boutelle advised government customers on business practices and technical solutions that address their mission goals. He remains a proponent of moving data using IP and was sought by Cisco after his distinguished military career because of his visionary leadership and critical experience in the technology fields.

A native of Pasco, Washington, Boutelle grew up in Portland, Oregon. He studied at Oregon State University before enlisting in the Army, attending officer’s candidate school. He was commissioned before moving to the Signal Corps. During his military career, he served in senior Army leadership positions, including Director of Information, Operations, Networks, and Space and Program Executive Officer of Command, Control, and Communications Systems. In 2005, he was named “U.S. Department of Defense Executive of the Year” by Government Computer News; the following year he was named a “Top 100 CIO” by Federal Computer Week.

Boutelle serves on the Defense Science Board Task Force for Interoperability and sits on the boards of PacStar Communications and ThreatMetrix. He is a sought-after speaker and has delivered keynote addresses at the World Economic Forums in Geneva and Jordan (2014 and 2015) as well as at the Berlin Security Conference in 2016.He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound, an MBA from Marymount University, and a Doctor of Law, Honoris causa, from the University of Puget Sound.


70 People You Should Know
Stephanie Yim Bell better known by her ring name Mia Yim, is an American professional wrestler currently signed to WWE, where she performs on the Raw brand as a member of the stable Retribution under the ring name Reckoning.She has appeared in WWE’s Mae Young Classic in 2017 and 2018 and has previously worked for national promotions such as Ring of Honor (ROH), and independent promotions such as Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), Shimmer Women Athletes, and Shine Wrestling. In Shine, she has previously held both the Shine Championship and the Shine Tag Team Championship (with Leva Bates). In addition, she has wrestled in Japan for Reina Joshi Puroresu. She also performed in Impact Wrestling under the ring name Jade, where she is a one-time TNA Knockouts Champion. In 2016, she was listed as one of BBC’s 100 Women.

While residing in Virginia, she received a Bachelor of Science in IT from Marymount University and was an athlete on the women’s volleyball team.


70 People You Should Know
Marcia Finnerty taught Environmental Studies and Marine Biology at Marymount University for over 12 years. Marcia and her husband Michael support the Finnerty-Sullivan Scholarship, which supports undergraduate students in the School of Health Professions, at Marymount University.

In addition, the Finnerty’s support the James Shelton Scholarship. This scholarship was named after a shuttle bus driver that helped Marcia organize class field trips. Marcia shared “Mr. Shelton would get into the canoes with us and paddle around the marshes yelling out encouraging words to the students who were tentative and nervous. He would put on the hip waders and help pull the nets through the shallows. He was a cheerleader and an inspiration. And he always had candy on the bus and equally “sweet” words of encouragement.”


70 People You Should Know
Toni Ardabell serves as the Associate Chief, Clinical Enterprise for Inova. In this role, she leads operations for Inova service lines, support services and facilities. Previously, Toni also served as VP & Administrator, Inova Surgery Service Line.Having joined Inova with more than twenty years of experience, Toni demonstrates practical, innovative leadership to meet today’s dynamic healthcare industry challenges. Driven by a passion for the health and well-being of our community, she exemplifies a servant leader with particular interest addressing the needs of the underserved.

Prior to joining Inova, Toni was the Chief Executive Officer of Bon Secours Virginia, where she enhanced clinical access and efficiency focusing on patient access and experience. In addition, she launched the clinically integrated Network CENERGY with more than 800 physician partners in the Richmond market as well as partnering to create a Bon Secours insurance product for small employers.

Ever community minded, Toni created the Richmond Community Health Coalition in partnership with Bon Secours and community leaders, underscoring pediatric asthma and trauma informed care and launched the Sarah Garland Jones Center for Healthy Living to improve the health and well-being of residents of the East End of Richmond. The organization also partnered with Safe Harbor to open two shelters for victims of human trafficking. Recognized for her work, she has been bestowed the Distinguished Alumni Award from Penn State; cited as one of the YWCA’s 2016 Outstanding Women; named Remarkable Woman of the Year by the Richmond Urban League and selected by Richmond’s Style Weekly for the Executive Woman in Business award.

Toni received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Pennsylvania State University, her Master of Science in Nursing (Cardiovascular) from Catholic University of America, and her Master of Business Administration from Marymount University.


70 People You Should Know
Nuha El- Quesny is the Founder of Nadalina Cosmetics, a luxurious nail lacquer that prides itself on culture and believes in healthy, vegan and cruelty free cosmetics. The nail lacquer is manufactured in a state-of-the-art, eco-friendly and officially licensed site and is 100% vegan with no animal-derived ingredients, no animal testing and the ingredients are mineral and plant-based. Nadalina Cosmetics are also Halal certified by International Halal Integrity Alliance.

El Quesny’s company has been featured in in luxury publications such as GQ, Vogue, and Vanity Fair.

El Quesny received a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design from Marymount University.


70 People You Should Know
Demond Gibson is the Chief Administrative Officer at National Institute of Nursing. He manages administrative services across the Institute, including those related to personnel, property, acquisitions, facilities, and travel. He previously held positions at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the National Cancer Institute.

Gibson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies from Marymount University.


70 People You Should Know
During more than 40 years with GEICO, Tony Nicely served as regional vice president, senior vice president, executive vice president and president. Nicely retired from the company in 2018 but remains its Chairman. Under his leadership, GEICO policyholders increased from 2 million to 5 million, and the company’s assets more than doubled to $12 billion.In addition to his leadership of GEICO, Nicely serves on many boards, including the Insurance Information Institute, the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the Presidential Classroom. He is on the board of consultants for Riggs National Bank and is a member of the Federal City Council.

Nicely formerly served as chairman of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and recently stepped down as chairman of the National Association of Independent Insurers’ Board of Governors. He is also past president of the board of the Metropolitan Washington USO.Dedicated to encouraging an ethical business culture, Nicely has supported GEICO’s sponsorship of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges’ annual Ethics Bowl, as well as various business-ethics initiatives at Marymount University. He received an honorary doctorate from Marymount.


70 People You Should Know
Tonye Garrick is a Nigerian singer who has lived and worked across Europe, America and Nigeria. After obtaining a bachelor degree in international business and fashion merchandising from Marymount University, Virginia, Tonye worked for UBS Financial and Deloitte. She then decided to dedicate fully her career to singing and now lives in Nigeria.

Her acapella song titled “What About Us?” was used at the Nigerian Youth Presidential debate in 2011. In 2015, she released a marriage-themed single titled “Ari Belema” which got her nominated in the “Most Promising Act” category at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards.

 


70 People You Should Know
Paul Richard Tan is a talented Senior Health Care Executive with 22+ years of experience in diverse organizations ranging from administration, business development, clinical operations and project management. He currently serves as a Chief Operations Officer for the US Navy.Tan received a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Care Administration from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and a Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration from Marymount University.


70 People You Should Know
Dr. McMahon began teaching history and political science courses at Marymount in 1965. She became Chief Student Affairs Officer in 1972 and later was named Vice President for Student Services. She stepped down from her VP position in July 2003 to return to faculty full-time. Dr. McMahon retired from the full-time faculty in 2012. She is now a Professor Emerita.In addition to being a dedicated faculty member, Dr. McMahon has given 34 consecutive years to Marymount scholarships and funds.


70 People You Should Know
Noor Rashid Al Khalifa is the Founder, CEO and Designer of Noon By Noor. Having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fashion Design at Marymount University, Noor has returned to her homeland of Bahrain to develop a line that captures her intrinsic vision of fashion. Her unconventional career choice was driven by a life-long passion to translate her vision to paper and transform her artwork to life.Her fashion has been seen on the likes of Queen Rania, Camilla Belle, Lea Michelle, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lopez, Solange Knowles, Alexa Chung, Kate Bosworth, Poppy Delevingne, Olivia Palermo, Blake Lively and Coco Rocha.

Noon By Noor is sold in exclusive retailers worldwide including Harveynichols.com, Forty Five Ten, Saks Fifth Avenue Bahrain, Tryano and BySymphony.

In 2018, the brand launched its playful childrenswear collection, Noon by Noor Mini.


70 People You Should Know
Maria Coakley David is the CEO and CFO of C. J. Coakley Company. C. J. Coakley is a full service interior contractor with a specialty in acoustical ceiling and fine plasterwork. The company was started by Maria’s parents, Cornelius and Ellen Coakley, in 1962. C.J. Coakley installs drywall, plaster, and acoustical ceilings in commercial spaces in the D.C. area, including Dulles Airport, Redskins Field, and the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

In addition to her work as a CEO and CFO, Maria serves as co-chair of DC’s Dancing Stars Gala. The gala is an opportunity for local DC Celebrities to learn a choreographed routine and perform at the Gala with a professional dance partner in a competition mirroring the television show Dancing with the Stars! A panel of celebrity judges along with the audience select the winner who will win the coveted mirror ball trophy and $10,000 for the charity of their choice.

Maria graduated from Marymount University with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business. She also serves on Marymount’s Board of Trustees.

Maria and her husband Jim have lived in Northern Virginia for over 35 years, where they have raised their four children, Kristin, Shannon, CJ and Michelle. Kristin and Shannon.


70 People You Should Know
Jonathan Skinner is the Chief Marketing Officer at Sectigo a computer security service. Jonathan is responsible for all marketing strategy, programs, and personnel including branding, lead generation, and sales enablement. Jonathan brings to his role nearly ten years in the TLS industry and more than twenty years as a technology marketer at the likes of Symantec, Dropbox, and MCI Worldcom.Jonathan received his Bachelor of Communications from Marymount University.


70 People You Should Know
Patricia Porter leads Booz Allen’s talent acquisition team, a dynamic group of professionals who are dedicated to placing top talent in roles that meet their personal and professional goals. She drives key programs including employment branding, enhanced talent acquisition technology, functional recruiting, strategic sourcing, veterans and transitioning military, diversity recruiting, employee referral, and alumni initiatives. Patricia has more than 20 years of progressive human resource experience that includes developing and executing recruiting strategies to attract, hire, and retain talent with specialized skill sets across federal, commercial, and international markets. Her experience demonstrates her passion for helping people and spans talent management, technical recruiting, workforce planning, performance management, human capital, and program management. As a strategic advisor, Patricia influences the firm’s direction regarding demand planning for key talent communities and pipelines. She ensures that talent acquisition programs support strategic growth areas while delivering innovative approaches to identifying, hiring, and growing diverse top talent. She says, “When you get a seat at the table, use your voice and take part in the conversation.” Patricia holds an M.S. in organizational development from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Marymount University. To learn more about Patricia, connect with her on LinkedIn.

What advice do you have for future graduates?

Find your passion. Use this time in your life to be open to all your options when it comes to your career. Focus on growing skills and experiences by exploring different career paths that are aligned with your interests. Remember that you can pivot as you go—most people have four to six jobs in their lifetime. Don’t limit yourself by opting out of a role or an opportunity, even at the same company. Try things that allow you to use all the knowledge and experience you gained while at Marymount. Stay connected to your graduating class, network, and professors, and create new relationships while you find your passion in life.


70 People You Should Know
John F. Rowles is an award winning composer and author. He is the Founder of J4 Music and Composition, LLC, which offers services such as original music composition, voice overs, editing, writing (including ghostwriting), and proofreading. His book Manku is a parody take on the ancient form of haiku with a humorous twist. Manku takes on the description of a man’s various stages of life: marriage, kids, work, aging and much more.

John Graduated from the University of Mobile with a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management and a Masters of Business Administration from Marymount University.


70 People You Should Know
Daniella Alexander is a senior at Marymount studying Fashion Merchandising with a minor in Communication. She has served as an Orientation Leader (team lead 2019-2021), a Peer Mentor, the President of the Marymount University Fashion Club, and the President of Marymount University’s Student Government Association. She has worked with the Fashion Department to
facilitate the annual Portfolio in Motion fashion show and in the Admissions Office, supporting the active recruitment of future Saints.

Daniella knows the importance of being involved on campus and has worked over the past four years to improve the student experience. She is dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at Marymount, and emphasizes her belief that learning happens both in and out of the classroom. Daniella is a proud sister of Selina, who is also currently enrolled at Marymount, and daughter to Todd and Altagracia, who inspire and challenge her to achieve greatness, despite her occasional objection.

What was your most memorable moment at Marymount University?

There have been so many memorable and vital moments during my time at Marymount but the one that slightly outshines the others is one of the first nights during training for Orientation in 2018–we went to play frisbee at night on the Converse Family Field. It was the beginning of many friendships and priceless memories that I have made as an Orientation Leader and has led to many other opportunities.


70 People You Should Know
In the 1930s as a teenager, Rose immigrated to the United States from Germany. Later, when she married Raymond H. Bente, his reputation as an entrepreneur coupled with her talent as a designer with a fondness for fabric and fashion, made them an ideal match. By combining their talents, they founded House of Fine Fabrics, which grew into a large retail chain of 17 stores in the Washington area.

After Ray’s death, Rose sold the business in 1978. Now established as an astute businesswoman, Rose began investing in development and partnered in projects in the metro region and beyond.

Already charitable, she truly embarked on her philanthropic lifework after she married Robert E. Lee, a commissioner and chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. The focus of her eventual legendary generosity included her faith, education, healthcare, the arts and the poor.

After the death of her second husband, she married Rear Adm. William M. Ostapenko in 1999, who encouraged Rose to continue and expand her philanthropic legacy.

A vital component of Rose’s generous acts of giving was that her gifts delivered permanence and resulted in multiple brick-and-mortar projects. She accomplished this by establishing the Robert E. Lee Oncology Unit at Virginia Hospital Center in memory of her late husband who died of cancer. She later funded the Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko Outpatient Oncology Center. She also supported the Vince Lombardi Cancer Research Center at Georgetown University Hospital as well the Hospice Center in Arlington.

As a board member at Marymount University in Arlington, Rose’s vision and generosity established the Rose Bente Lee Endowment Scholarship in Nursing, benefiting close to 100 students to date. Her gift of the Marymount Student Center, later named the Rose Bente Lee Center, was followed by the Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko residence hall in recognition of her contributions and leadership.


70 People You Should Know
Martinelle Allen came to Marymount’s program in English with the goal of becoming an exceptional teacher of English at the secondary level. In addition to being a full time graduate student, she worked as a graduate assistant and taught high school reading and math part time.

After graduation, she moved to Shenzhen, China where she taught High School English for several years before moving to Egypt, where she currently works as a high school English teacher at the Modern English School Cairo.

What advice do you have for future graduates?

With the exception of attending Marymount, not all graduate students attend graduate school for a singular reason. But the one piece of advice that I can think to give that can apply to everyone is this: make your classes and your degree work for you.

It made sense for me, as an English teacher, to earn a degree in literature and language. I not only was able to apply what I learned to benefit me personally but also professionally so that I could impact my students and my lesson plans. So everyone needs to keep that in mind when they are scheduling which classes they enroll in, choosing a topic for their papers, and organizing and giving their thesis defense. It worked for me, so hopefully, it can work for someone else, too!


70 People You Should Know
Mary Tucker has more than 20 years of combined experience in leadership, management and operations in the corporate and nonprofit sectors. An independent defender of women’s rights and ardent patient advocate, she founded UPIC Health, LLC in 2014 after identifying an urgent need for value-based customer care in the healthcare industry.

Prior to launching UPIC, Tucker served as the Director of National Contact Center Operations for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America where she was recognized for aggregating meaningful patient insights and exposing barriers to continued care and optimal health.

Before her role at Planned Parenthood, Tucker advised the District of Columbia’s chief technology officer streamlining technical help desk operations in nearly 83 district agencies and implementing best practices, such as the nation’s first public sector deployment of Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology.

Tucker earned her early street cred as a site manager for five years with Teletech Holdings and then moved up the traditional management chain through positions of increasing responsibility at Computer Generated Solutions and Philips Consumer Lifestyle.

Tucker was recognized by Smart CEO Magazine with a 2016 BRAVA Award and has been featured on Federal New Radio’s What’s Working in Washington talking about empathy as the most important skill for today’s leaders. Tucker also served on the Campaign Board of the Victory Fund, an organization dedicated to putting LGBT candidates in office. UPIC Health, sponsored a table at the Victory Fund’s 2017 Annual Event, assuming the organization’s place alongside all those who fight for human rights spanning gender, race and sexual orientation. Tucker also is a member of The Women’s Media Center’s SheSource, an online database of media-experienced women experts that WMC connects to journalists, bookers, and producers.


70 People You Should Know
In 2010, Zahn became a small percentage managing partner of a New York City restaurant and two years later, he co-founded the NIEUW Group Inc., and opened Manhattan Proper. Proper West opened in New York City in 2014 and two years after that, NIEUW opened its first Washington location, Proper 21.

Zahn is a graduate of East Carolina University and also has a degree in forensic psychology from Marymount University.


70 People You Should Know
Katherine Thornton is the President of the RHS Foundation, a non-profit organization that oversees community contributions to further the mission of Reading Health System. Prior to her role as President, she was the Interim Executive Director from 2015-2016.

Katherine holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies from Marymount University and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Alvernia University.


70 People You Should Know
Yene is a hairstylist, salon owner, and educator based in the greater D.C. metropolitan area. Immediately following cosmetology school, the Ethiopian- American, La Palma, California native launched her career and within six months she packed her bags and moved to Washington, DC, to become one of the two personal hair stylists to the Obama Family.

Her work has gained her a celebrity clientele such as actress Tracee Ellis Ross, Aja Naomi King, Skai Jackson, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, actor Hugh Jackman and New York’s NBC anchor Jummy Olabanji.

Yene earned her Bachelor’s of Business Administration from Marymount University. She has consulted a number of budding entrepreneurs on developing and executing improved operational procedures to achieve their organizational objectives. On her free time, Yene still finds way to give back to her community. She currently sits as an advisory board member for The Color Vision where she and has donated her time to help Society of Girls Inc., which empower the next generation of girls to be smart, resourceful, and confident by engaging them in their communities, building their self-esteem, and encouraging them to make a positive mark on the world.


70 People You Should Know
Skye is the Director of the School of Health Sciences at Marymount University, which includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, public health, exercise science, and health education programs. She is also a professor in the DPT program and she teaches pathophysiology and gross anatomy. Skye has a Ph.D. in biochemistry, and two MS degrees; one in physiology and biophysics and one in physical therapy. Her areas of practice include orthopedics and sports medicine.

Skye is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) where she sits on the Board of Directors. Skye has served in several leadership roles for the APTA including acting as the Combined Sections Meeting Planning Co-Chair, serving on the student leadership development task force, and as a member of the Centennial planning committee.

Skye presents her research at national meetings, such as those of the APTA, American College of Sports medicine, and the Arthroscopy Association of North America. She also publishes in a variety of peer-reviewed rehabilitation and health-care management journals. Skye is also highly involved in service, serving as the Go Baby Go liaison with Jason Craig for the mid-Atlantic region, and was awarded the Societal Impact award from the APTA in 2020.


70 People You Should Know
Chad Palmatier is the co-founder and Chief brand Officer at Lick Honest Ice Creams, an ice cream shop based in Austin, Texas. Chad received his bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Marymount in 1997. He then began a career in interior design, working with fashion brands such as Kenneth Cole, H-E-B, and Victoria’s Secret.

In 2011, Chad founded Lick Honest Ice Creams with his business partner and fiance, Anthony. Based in Austin, Texas, Lick Honest Ice Creams is dedicated to creating preservative free, artisanal ice creams using locally sourced milk and cream. Since its founding in 2011, the business has grown to support over 20 employees and open a second “Scoop Shop” location in San Antonio, Texas.

Ever the interior designer, Chad was also featured in Austin Monthly for the design of the home he shares with Anthony.


70 People You Should Know
Nana Konadu Asare is the founder of Nana’s Project, a medical nonprofit organization focusing on medically underserved communities in Ghana. Born in Ghana herself, Nana came to the United States with her family at a young age. She graduated from Marymount in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion Form, going on to complete a biology degree at George Mason University. Nana currently works as a Care Liaison Consultant while managing her nonprofit.

After a family member passed away due to medical misdiagnosis, Nana was inspired to learn more about the medical infrastructure in Ghana. When she learned that many Ghanaian communities do not have access to efficient, quality medical care, Nana founded her nonprofit to expand medical accessibility to patients that need it. She was awarded the 2017 Quint Studer Difference Maker Award and the 2018 George Mason Community Engagement Medallion for her work. To learn more about Nana’s Project, visit www.nanasproject.org.


70 People You Should Know
Jennifer Wise Siciliano is the Chief External Affairs Officer at Inova Health. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communications from Marymount in 1992, going on to complete a master’s degree in Public Communications at American University. After her graduation from Marymount, Jennifer immediately began work with political organizations in D.C., working as a scheduler, press secretary, and communications director for several Congresspersons. She also served as the Director of Communications for the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee before taking a position with Inova Health. She has been with Inova Health for the past 14 years and was promoted to Chief External Affairs Officer in 2018.


70 People You Should Know
Michelle Spata Myers is the Chief Revenue Officer at Wright’s Media in New York City. Michelle graduated from Marymount in 1991 with her bachelor’s degree in Communications and Marketing. She went on to work with publications like Shape Magazine, Allure, Star Magazine, Condé Nast, and People Stylewatch. At Wright’s Media, Michelle works with publishers on content and licensing, provides sales advice, and assists licensing businesses in their development efforts. In her free time, Michelle contributes to her community through her charity work, having founded charities herself and served on the Board of Directors for several others.


70 People You Should Know
Vernice D. Ferguson was a prominent figure in America’s medical history. She began her career as a nurse, quickly making a name for herself in her profession as a champion of racial and gender equality in her profession. She eventually became the nursing department head at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. She served as a medical executive for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and held teaching appointments at many universities in the area, including Georgetown University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Marymount. She retired from nursing in 1992.

Vernice received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Marymount in 1977. She received numerous awards and honors throughout her career, recognized in the United States and the United Kingdom for her work in racial equality in the medical field. Although Vernice passed away in 2012 at the age of 84, her legacy lives on in the change and progress she inspired.


70 People You Should Know
Amy Rodriguez Baz graduated from Marymount University in 1984 with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Finance and Marketing. She went on to receive her master’s from George Washington. After her education, Amy founded her marketing and advertising conglomerate, the Rodriguez Group, in Miami, Florida. Since its founding in 1998, Amy has served as the president and owner of the group.


70 People You Should Know
Peter Market received his Bachelor’s in English and Business from Marymount in 1993. Since his graduation, Peter has been a Financial Advisor for Market Wealth Management. The company assists its clients with financial literacy and helps them achieve financial independence with its personal approach. Peter now holds the position of Owner and Financial Advisor with Market Wealth Management. In addition to his position, Peter focuses on financial education. He hosted a weekly radio show, “Money Made $imple” and has written financial articles for American Dream Magazine and PoshSeven. Peter also hosts educational events for various corporations and universities in the area, talking about retirement planning, risk management, and wealth transfer planning.


70 People You Should Know
Brandon Thorne has worked in accounting and finance management for nearly 20 years. He received his MBA from Marymount University in 2004. Brandon currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Technology Officer for Feed More, a non-profit organization that provides food for those in need. Based in Richmond, Virginia, Feed More serves 29 counties and 5 cities in the Central Virginia area. In his free time, Brandon volunteers as Den Leader for his local chapter of Boy Scouts of America.


70 People You Should Know
Cindy Eckert is a highly regarded entrepreneur, a strong advocate for female entrepreneurship, a pharmaceutical leader and one of the few women to have ever sold a company for a billion dollars. New York Times called her pharmaceutical product the “drug of a generation” and Fortune called her a “tireless force of nature.” Associates of hers call her unapologetically pink.

Over a distinguished 24-year career in healthcare, she started and sold two businesses for more than $1.5 billion. Having co-founded and sold Slate Pharmaceuticals, which redefined long lasting testosterone treatment for men, she launched Sprout Pharmaceuticals immediately thereafter. As Co-Founder & CEO of Sprout, the company broke through with the first ever FDA-approved drug for low sexual desire in women named Addyi — dubbed “female Viagra” by the media. In 2015, Cindy sold the company to Valeant Pharmaceuticals for $1b cash.

Today, Cindy is focused on mentoring, investing in, launching and building other women-led or focused businesses. In 2016, she opened the doors to The Pink Ceiling — a cross between a VC firm, a ‘pinkubator,’ and a consulting enterprise — where she is CEO. At The Pink Ceiling, she has personally invested $15m across 10 different health tech companies at various stages of development.

Cindy’s work has been featured in countless major publications including The New York Times, Fast Company, Financial Times, Vanity Fair, Bloomberg, CNBC, CBS, Fox, Yahoo and on the cover feature of Entrepreneur Magazine. Cindy has been an invited speaker at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, the Fast Company Innovation Festival, Ad Week, Inc. Magazine, and many more.


70 People You Should Know
Beverly joined The City of Columbus as Executive, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer in 2020. In her role, Beverly and her team are responsible for the execution of the Mayors Equity Agenda, activation and strategic evolution of the City of Columbus Diversity and Inclusion efforts (both supplier and workforce) while supporting an employee population of 8000 plus in the one of the fastest growing cities the country.

Previously Dr. Beverly Stallings-Johnson, PhD was the Global EEO Officer, Senior Executive, Diversity Inclusion & Equity for Xerox Corporation. Overseeing the delivery of Diversity practices, Culture, and Diversity Legal Consultation to the corporation. Beverly was responsible for Global Diversity Equity and Inclusion for worldwide governance matters, Human Resource issues, and Employee Relations.

Beverly received her Bachelor of Arts in Marketing & Communications, a Masters in Culture & Change Management, and a PhD in Management & Organizational Effectiveness. She currently serves on various Board of Directors of non-profit organizations in Columbus, Ohio & Richmond Va.

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