Davis College of Business at Jacksonville University

About DCOB

Top Students

AACSBAACSB Accreditation
Top 40.png

Meet the top 40 talent at Jacksonville University’s Davis College of Business.  Courtesy of Advantage Business Magazine VOL. 5, ISSUE 9.  To view the full article including the Top 40’s LinkedIn accounts visit AdvantageBizMag.com/archives/17590​

​Jenna Aihie
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Major: MBA

A​​ihie enjoys meeting new challenges and does so daily as a sales and marketing professional at CSX Corporation’s TRANSFLO Terminal Services subsidiary. Her exciting role emphasizes innovation and exposes Aihie to diversity. She embraces this, as she appreciates opportunities that allow her to apply her skills while also learning from colleagues with different perspectives.  In school, Aihie is most interested in executive communications and strategy. She aspires to be a leader within her organization and expects to add value in her next position by generating sales and efficiency.

Charles Allen
Hometown: Elkton, MD
Major: MBA

​Allen’s ideal work environment involves teamwork. It is a place where team members are engaged in meeting goals and working together. A place where collaboration is required but individual effort is also recognized.  During his studies, Allen was very interested in project management and operations management, specifically how to make systems more efficient. He was inspired by The Goal by Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt and would like to apply the principles of the Theory of Constraints in his future work.  A dedicated team player that always works to achieve the goal before him, Allen continues to hone the leadership skills that he developed as a Navy officer. 
Waleed Alsuhaibani
Hometown: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Major: MBA

Alsuhaibani appreciates organizations in which employees feel confident in discussing employment matters, both with management and amongst themselves. He also prefers work environments in which ongoing training and development stimulate growth and where hard work is recognized. A strong spirit of cooperation is paramount.  Alsuhaibani is most interested in accounting, finance, and human resources, and has a background in banking, investments, and economics. He is a results-oriented, strategic influencer who has sincerity, confidence, and integrity. Alsuhaibani prides himself on his ability to work with people of diverse cultures. He possesses flexibility and the ability to adapt to change.​
Subba Ayyagari
Hometowns: Jacksonville, FL & Hyderabad, India
Major: Executive MBA

​Ayyagari’s ideal work environment is best defined by words like collaboration, creativity, innovative culture, respect, fun, and work-life balance. It is a place where work is a joy. This environment would allow Ayyagari to grow personally and professionally, while also meaningfully contributing to the success of the company.  Professionally, he is interested in corporate innovation, marketing, and finance. Personally, he enjoys tennis, running, start-ups, and spending time with his kids.  Why should Ayyagari’s next employer hire him? He says it is because he listens, learns, collaborates, leads by example, mentors, works hard, delivers, and enjoys his work. He is motivated and motivates others.​
Kris Bacon
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Major: Finance

​Bacon’s cross-functional skill set includes project management, sales, customer service, contract negotiation, procurement, and budgeting. Specifically interested in real estate investment, and careers such as financial analyst and financial planner, Bacon prefers an environment in which he can work both individually and with others to attain an end goal. A self-motivator, he enjoys working in an environment where he can continuously learn, therefore improving his skills and adding value to the company.  Bacon says he has the determination and ability to persevere amidst adversity. He possesses high character, ethics, and integrity.​
Macy Bedingfield
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Major: Management

​Bedingfield prefers a multi-faceted work environment with a strong business ethic, reputation, and culture. She likes being challenged in a positive way and enjoys working with others to achieve real-world solutions that provide long-term benefits.  While working toward her degree, Bedingfield enjoyed all areas of study but has found she is most interested in leadership, international business, and quantitative business methods because they have been most applicable in her current role at CSX Corporation.  Bedingfield says she has been fortunate to have a wonderful career at CSX, and her experience there, combined with the education she is receiving at JU, gives her the knowledge and confidence needed to accomplish any objective.​
Andrew Broyles
Hometown: Lamesa, TX
Major: MBA

Broyles values work-life balance and prefers employers that do so as well. His ideal workplace is one in which people are professional, yet relaxed, and where opportunities for advancement are based upon ability and who is best for the company.  He is interested in management and marketing. Management appeals to Broyles because he enjoys working with people and communicating both up and down the chain of command. Marketing allows him to use his creativity and to expand his horizons with new product development.  Able to both lead and follow, Broyles managed multi-million dollar projects and supervised a department while in the Navy.
Veronika Funk
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Major: Executive MBA

​Funk thrives in a dynamic environment with a strong team of strategic thinkers who can execute a variety of projects. She prefers to work for a community-minded organization that focuses on the greater good and practices corporate social responsibility.  She is interested in business strategy, international business, leadership, and mergers and acquisitions. She hopes to leverage her degree for continued career development within the Florida Blue organization.  Funk enjoys spending time with her two children traveling and seeing the world.
Paramita Ghosh
Hometown: Asansol, India
Major: MBA Accounting & Finance

​Ghosh’s ideal work environment fosters the development of new skills and is marked by open communication and collaboration, with periodic performance reviews at individual and business unit levels. It increases her competitiveness day by day and allows her to add value to the organization.  She likes evaluating projections of financial performance of companies, and she is interested in profitability and risk analysis using financial ratios derived from financial statements.  A fast learner, Ghosh works hard and adapts to change quickly, as evidenced by her professional experience. She has worked across three different countries in various roles in her eight years in information technology.
Zachary Greenwald
Hometown: Palm Coast, FL
Major: Sport Business

​Greenwald believes that teamwork should not be obstructed by cubicle walls and instead feels interaction should be encouraged.  Based on past experience he would enjoy working in event marketing, but he is open to opportunities in product marketing, corporate sponsorships, and other areas in which he could contribute to an organization.  Playing soccer for over 17 years has instilled in him the desire to always do his best work and has taught him that a team can be more successful than an individual. He is a team player who works hard and learns quickly.
Alexandra Hoffman
Hometown: Gambrills, MD
Majors: Finance; Marketing

​Hoffman prefers a work environment in which she can grow professionally, socially, and intellectually. She would be most productive in an environment where there was strong teamwork, but she could still work independently.  Her ideal company would offer excellent training and her boss would possess great communication skills and an ability to lead effectively.  The company would have an enthusiastic environment where the employees share the same values of hard work and dedication with each and every task they set out to accomplish.  Graduating this year, Hoffman is interested in finance and likes working with numbers. She has a creative mind and would relish an opportunity to work with a marketing team that shares the same vision: to help a company succeed and to position it in the minds of its customers.
Timothy Hunt
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Major: Executive MBA

​In Hunt’s ideal work environment, strategic objectives are defined and pursued, established processes are valued with freedom to innovate, professional challenges are provided, and teamwork is encouraged.  His undergraduate studies were in the area of quantitative psychology and research design. His professional interests center on bringing these skills to provide some level of understanding of human behavior – be that customer experience management, market research, or developing models for customer satisfaction.  Hunt is a problem solver. His formal training and experience, along with data analysis and his Six Sigma Black Belt certification, enable him to identify issues by breaking down complex problems.  He has a range of experience both on the customer side and as a director of large operational departments.
Shaun Hysler
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Majors: Accounting; Finance

​Hysler wants to utilize and build upon her skills. She likes collaborating with co-workers who share the same passion for what they do.  Most interested in the tax portion of accounting, she also likes bookkeeping. She brings enthusiasm, skills, and a desire to learn and become all that she can be.  Hysler spends as much time as possible with her family. She also enjoys reading and scrapbooking.
Stefanie Jackson
Hometown: Middleburg, FL
Major: MBA Management

​Jackson’s ideal work environment is a health-care management setting that fosters learning and growth, with ample social interaction with both team members and patients.  She enjoys leading, identifying quality improvement projects and success metrics, and ensuring that her company is HIPAA compliant by utilizing the latest compliance guidance and technology.  Jackson is interested in health-care compliance, HIPAA compliance practices, finance and accounting, management, health-care IT and practice management. She possesses a diverse skill set with experience in a major health-care organization and private practice setting.
Kelly Jeanfavre
Hometown: Morris, CN
Major: Aviation Management

​Jeanfavre would love to work in a place where customer service and quality are the company’s top priority. Her ideal work environment would also involve a lot of interaction with others.  She is interested in aircraft operations, and would feel at home with a charter company, a corporate flight division, or a commercial airline company. She is ambitious, determined, and excited for the opportunity to apply what she has learned in her classes to real-world situations.  Jeanfavre loves being active, especially running, swimming, and playing tennis. She’s a big fan of football and hockey. She has always enjoyed reading any book she could get her hands on and tries to pass on her love for reading and learning by volunteering with after-school programs.
Patrick Jones
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Major: Aviation Management and Operations

​The ideal work environment for Jones has clear goals and objectives. It is built on teamwork but provides him autonomy to determine how to accomplish the tasks that he has been assigned.  Jones is interested in the complexity of decision making in management, especially aviation management. He enjoys analyzing ways to not only reduce costs, but to find more efficient methods and to provide a better value product to customers. He is loyal, passionate, willing to learn, and anxious to apply the knowledge and skills he has acquired in the workplace.
Skaife Jones
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Major: Management   
​Jones likes to directly benefit both the organization and the customer through his work. He prefers an organization that recognizes and rewards its employees for their hard work and efforts and also allows employees to make decisions and suggestions regarding the business.  Excelling at analytics, he enjoys analyzing problems and coming up with the best solution. This is what motivates and drives him.  Jones is a highly dedicated, self-motivated individual with a high energy level that helps him motivate others.  He has an exceptional ability to learn and apply the knowledge that he has gained toward success.
Thomas Johnston
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Major: Executive MBA

​Johnston’s ideal work environment provides new challenges as well as the opportunity and freedom to use his skills to meet challenges and help his company grow. He has thrived in this type of environment at his current company for 15 years.  Interested in international business and marketing, JU’s EMBA program has provided him with new knowledge and skills that make him a more well-rounded business executive.  He loves to spend time with his family and enjoys golf, travel, reading, and cooking.
Stewart Kelly
Hometown: Pensacola, FL
Major: MBA

​Kelly likes a fast pace, preferring multiple projects or activities going on simultaneously, all with varying deadlines. He enjoys being the “go-to” guy who gets things done. He builds relationships with those individuals who can help accomplish the tasks and cause the entire organization to be successful.  He is most proficient in presentation and relationship building. He also finds statistical analysis and decision science coursework intriguing.  Kelly’s next employer would benefit in knowing that he will create the bridges necessary to get the job done and make it happen. His drive feeds his hunger to succeed, and in doing so he learns new skills to evolve with the changing world.
Sonya Larson
Hometown: Elizabeth, CO
Major: Finance

​Larson’s ideal work environment is collaborative. She would love to work for an organization where individuals are encouraged to openly voice their opinions and ideas, with a strong support system from the leadership team. She says that is imperative to strive toward meeting goals and celebrating successes together.  Larson finds most areas of finance interesting, but is extremely interested in personal finance. She loves to read about finance and to keep current on what is happening in different markets. She enjoyed her Quantitative Business Methods coursework and likes working with Microsoft Excel and statistics.  She has proven her ability to manage projects and people during her career, with experience in customer service, operations, international markets, leadership, and project management.
Graham Leary
Hometown: St. Augustine, FL
Major: Executive MBA

​Graham has been fortunate to work with top companies such as Bi-Lo Holdings LLC, Colgate-Palmolive Company, and Black & Decker during his career. While each has been a unique experience, the common threads have been that they uphold high business standards, have a high degree of professionalism, and care about their employees and customers alike.  Economics, accounting, and international business are his strongest subjects. Bi-Lo Holdings has been very supportive, allowing Graham to undertake his EMBA, showing a strong commitment to developing their employees. He is often on the lookout to hire top graduates with strong analytical skill sets.  Graham follows global affairs and the global economy.
Tanja Leiser
Hometown: Hassloch, Germany
Majors: Management; Marketing

​Leiser believes that a work environment should support individuality while, at the same time, motivating workers to cooperate. Ideally, co-workers respect and support each other and management cares about the employees’ needs and opinions.  She is interested in event management, especially in dance/life entertainment events and, most of all, in the process of planning such an event by herself. She has enjoyed taking courses in accounting, finance and management. She likes how all of these courses combined, round out the picture of how to be a successful manager.  Leiser is reliable, responsible and passionate. She sets high expectations for herself and always finishes what she starts. She completed an internship in Sydney, Australia in the summer.
Peter Logsdon
Hometown: Holley, NY
Major: Corporate Finance

​Logsdon prefers a friendly environment where he can freely discuss business and ask questions. He enjoys working independently and supporting team efforts. His ideal workplace also offers opportunities to learn and advance his career. It provides the resources necessary to do his work and is focused on satisfying the needs of customers.  Investment analysis of mergers and acquisitions and financial statement analysis are two areas that interest him. Logsdon would like to choose projects to fund and decide how to finance those investments. He also would prefer to analyze the financial statements of companies to determine their value and make recommendations on what companies to acquire.
Mary Alice Lundy
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Major: MBA Management

​Lundy’s ideal work environment would allow for career advancement in a company that is invested in development and growth. It would expose her to different aspects of the company to capitalize on her entrepreneurial background and ability to capture the big picture. Being associated with an organization that provides a clear vision and strong commitment to its core values is paramount.  Majoring in Management led to a strong interest in leadership and organizational behavior/development, and culture. Marketing sparked interest in relationship development and the innovative and creative processes to evolve strategic marketing plans.  Her next employer should hire her because of her diverse background, as well as her problem solving and decision making capabilities. An operations professional with experience in several industries, Lundy would bring a people-first philosophy and a results-driven work ethic.

Brian Malek
Hometown: Spotswood, NJ
Major: MBA

Malek’s ideal workplace is one where people can grow professionally and intellectually and where innovative ideas are well received. This workplace should appreciate knowledge, skills, and work ethic and be flexible enough to maintain a healthy work/life balance.  He has been most interested by the leadership components that are integrated into the curriculum of JU’s MBA program. These tasks and goals have pushed him to become a better, more productive leader both at work and in school.  Malek has a track record of success in the corporate world, as well as in the MBA program. He has passion, motivation, and an exceptional work ethic.
Michelle Markum
Hometown: Maryville, MO
Major: MBA

Markum feels extremely fortunate that she has worked at Mayo Clinic for eight years. Her ideal work environment combines her passion for healthcare with administration and management. A focus on providing the highest level of quality service is paramount and there is collaboration, with a strong emphasis on building effective teams.  She is interested in healthcare administration, nursing administration, and operations management. Markum thrives in a challenging environment that encourages thinking outside the box to solve problems. Her clinical and educational background has prepared her for successfully managing the changing world of health care.  A Registered Nurse with a master’s degree in public health (MPH), Markum’s clinical background is primarily in cardiology.
Joseph Merritt
Hometown: St. Augustine, FL
Majors: Finance; Economics

​​Merritt’s ideal work environment involves a company focused on developing employees professionally, both through training and first-hand experience. Open communication between coworkers and supervisors is important. Some flexibility in working hours and opportunity for advancement is a plus.  As an economics and finance double major, he looks to combine both aspects of business in an area similar to business analysis in market trends, and government laws and regulations. He is interested in financial education and analysis of financial investments, markets, and institutions. He also is interested in corporate law as a profession.  With proven leadership experience and academic distinctions in his first year at JU, he has demonstrated interpersonal skills, dedication, passion, and responsibility for tasks of particular difficulty.
Ashishkumar Nayak
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Major: MBA

Nayak prefers a workplace that is friendly, supportive, oriented around teamwork, open to communication, and challenging. He likes to learn and advance his career while applying his skills on behalf of the company. He also values an employer that respects, recognizes, and rewards employees’ work, dedication, ideas, creativity, and knowledge.  An MBA finance major, Nayak is interested in corporate finance, investment banking, portfolio management, risk management, and finance management. He has confidence in his potential, his productivity, and his dedication and responsibility. He views work optimistically, tackling each project with planning and determination.
Amy O’Brien
Hometown: Poughkeepsie, NY
Major: MBA

O’Brien describes her ideal work environment as one that is collaborative and marked by ample growth opportunities, transparent and open communication, and acknowledgment of high performers.  She likes working with numbers and counts courses in accounting, finance, and analytical methods for decision-making among her favorites. An experienced leader, she also enjoyed a class on teamwork and organizational change because it helped her to better understand people and to solidify aspects of her leadership style, such as coaching and being a change agent.  O’Brien is enthusiastic and has a passion for success. She has great people skills and is willing to jump in and help wherever needed.
Roger Palmer
Hometown: Manchester, MD
Major: MBA

Palmer likes working in an office where everyone is invested because they enjoy what they do. His ideal workplace would be staffed with only exempt employees, so no one is worried about punching the clock.  A lover of technology, gadgets, and computers, Palmer trained himself to use Lotus 123 software when it was popular. He also learned Microsoft Office on his own and has since expanded his knowledge of it by taking a course.  Palmer is an extremely loyal employee who is not looking for the next job to jump to. He learns quickly and is a proven leader, preferring to lead by example. His people know that he has already done what he is asking them to do. A military veteran, Palmer was selected to be in the Brumos Circle of Excellence at the Davis College of Business.
Mark Reynolds
Hometown: Tampa, FL
Major: Aviation Management

Reynolds’s ideal work environment would include working together with a tight-knit group of colleagues. He believes that it is important to establish good relationships within the workplace in order to better tackle any challenges that may arise.  He wants to take on the challenge of the high responsibility and high stress environment of air traffic control. A fast learner, Reynolds is equally proficient in collaborating with a team as well as working individually. He works quickly and efficiently without having to be supervised and can adapt to any situation.
Teresa Richard
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Majors: Management; Marketing

Richard’s ideal work environment would be one that fuels a passion for excellence and creativity, whether in problem solving or completing a project. Within a framework of teams, her desired work environment is one with an atmosphere of synergy and meaningful recognition for a job well done. She can use her existing knowledge and experience, but also stretch with new challenges.  Ideally, the workplace would not be lacking in opportunities or the lacking in the ability to grow beyond what she might have already contributed to the organization.  Richard is most interested in looking at people and work processes or functions and coming up with new ways to accomplish more and to do better.
Valentin Romero
Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela
Major: Aviation Management and Flight Operations

Romero likes to work in a friendly place that is purpose-oriented, where objectives serve a purpose other than profit.  He would like to work with friends and peers, not just co-workers. His ideal environment would also be dynamic and decision-based to keep his interest.  Fixed base operator is an area of great interest to him. Romero also would like to learn more about corporate aircraft leasing and charter, and he wants to be a business owner.  A hardworking leader who sets and accomplishes goals, Romero is a people person who tries to develop relationships with everyone as a means of satisfying customers. He believes that all situations in life provide a lesson and that those who learn it step forward, while those who don’t go backward.
Joseph Schmidt
Hometown: Valley Stream, NY
Majors: Aviation Management and Flight Operations; Music Performance (Violin)

Schmidt prefers to work in an environment with people who are dedicated, trustworthy, and diligent. He considers leadership to be key to a successful work environment and would prefer to work for a leader with these same qualities. His ideal environment would be filled with people who want to be there and who will make the best out of every situation.  Aside from his favorite part of his major, flying, he enjoys learning about the history, birth, and growth of various airlines. He particularly likes analyzing NTSB crash investigations to learn as much as possible to prevent further incidents from occurring. He wants to pass down the information that he learns as a flight instructor.  His goal, always, is to be the best that he can be and to help others to maximize their potential.
Matthew Smith
Hometown: Warren, OH
Major: Economics

​​Smith works well in an environment that appreciates innovation and rewards efficiency and hard work. He would be satisfied working for someone who is willing to listen and to give feedback, so both the workplace and company can improve. Within the field of economics, Smith prefers to work with natural resource economics, econometric analysis, and/or financial economics. Time spent in the US Navy has left him with a strong background in electricity production and data analysis and interpretation.  Smith is adaptable to any work conditions, handles high-stress situations with ease, and always finds common ground with co-workers. A quick study, he has excelled in the Navy’s most challenging field of nuclear power and has completed the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in economics in only two and a half years — with a perfect grade point average of 4.0.
Phillip Springer
Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT
Majors: Business; Finance

As a leader, Springer’s ideal work environment would be one where he could pass along his knowledge and experience and watch the followers grow into great leaders. As a follower, his ideal work environment would be one where his ideas and work ethics would be recognized so that he could grow into becoming a great leader.  Springer is interested in corporate finance, investments, and looking into the future and making an educated guess as to where his company is going. He can balance work and his personal life so that one does not affect the other. He always takes responsibility for his actions and decisions, good and bad.
Alyssa Stubbs
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Majors: Accounting; English

As a leader, Springer’s ideal work environment would be one where he could pass along his knowledge and experience and watch the followers grow into great leaders. As a follower, his ideal work environment would be one where his ideas and work ethics would be recognized so that he could grow into becoming a great leader.  Springer is interested in corporate finance, investments, and looking into the future and making an educated guess as to where his company is going. He can balance work and his personal life so that one does not affect the other. He always takes responsibility for his actions and decisions, good and bad.
Fran Teller
Hometown: Fernandina Beach, FL
Major: MBA

Teller’s ideal work environment is more autonomous than micro-managed and has friendly and capable co-workers who are a unit.  Since graduating from JU with an undergraduate degree in Finance and Marketing in 2000, she has relied predominantly on her finance background. She currently is working in the investment arena and has enjoyed learning about the stock/bond market and observing how the business cycle and market news create volatility.  Teller has a proven track record of being an exemplary employee who can work well individually or as part of a team. Her strong background in Excel, her proficiency in grammar and writing, her excellent problem solving skills, and her ability to multi-task are additional assets.
Andre J. van Rensburg
Hometown: St. Augustine, FL
Major: Executive MBA​

Van Rensburg’s ideal work environment emphasizes doing it correctly, in consulting, speaking, training, and teaching.  He is interested in business intelligence, organizational behavior, and exploring why certain business teams succeed when others with all the right ingredients, skills, resources, etc., fail.  He believes that every person lives and works in a team structure. Few organizations have embraced the concept of creating a culture of successful and sustainable teams, but we improve efficiency, productivity, organizational direction, and focus by strengthening the organization as a team, he says. To be competitive, he believes every business team should be as strong as it can possibly be.
Paul Woodington
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Major: Executive MBA
Woodington enjoys working in an environment in which he can work as part of a team, as well as by himself, to achieve company goals. He also says that having the opportunity to learn in his position and mentoring others is important for not only his growth, but also the organization’s growth.  He enjoys accounting, statistics, and finance. His professors have helped him develop a deep understanding of how to create value through integrated financial, strategic, and operating decisions.  Woodington has more than a decade of leadership experience and is at the top of his EMBA class. His passion for developing solutions to short-term and long-term problems sets him apart from others and is an asset to potential employers.