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A rare Arizona rainstorm threatened to dampen Thunderbird’s Rugby Alumni Weekend on Feb. 28 and March 1, 2014, but the sun appeared minutes before kickoff for the annual game between the students and “Old Boys.” Thunderbird Alumni Rugby Association President Chuck Hamilton ’91 said neither side worried about the weather anyway. “Rain is not an issue,” he said. “It slows everybody down the same.”
Charles “Chuck” Whitcomb ’54 has a mini Thunderbird reunion every time his family gets together . His daughter, Laura Whitcomb ’80, and his son-in-law Terry Healow ’85 (married to Charles Whitcomb’s daughter, Deb) are also Thunderbird graduates. Chuck Whitcomb, 86, serves on the Board of Directors at First Bank of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. Laura Whitcomb, who worked for many years at American Express, is a homemaker and part-time worker at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania. Healow is a federal bankruptcy lawyer in Butte, Montana.
Caption: Charles Whitcomb ’54, center, attends his grandson’s graduation from Montana State University on May 4, 2013, in Bozeman, Montana. Fellow Thunderbirds Laura Whitcomb ’80 and Terry Healow ’85 are also pictured.
International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated annually on March 8. IWD has been marked by the United Nations since 1975 and is traditionally recognized with a message from the UN Secretary-General as well as with statements and events from across the UN system. With Thunderbird’s commitment to developing the next generation of global leaders, providing opportunities and support for global businesswomen is a top priority.
Hong Kong alumni celebrated the arrival of the “year of the horse” on Feb. 19, 2014, at the Happy Valley Racecourse, built in 1845 for British expatriates living on the island. “Hong Kong has a long tradition of horse racing,” Hong Kong alumni chapter leader and Thunderbird Trustee Kevin Rohrer ’82 says. Thunderbird Career Management Center staff members Helen Wu ’12 and Mike Kennard ’15 joined the gathering.
A team of Thunderbird MBA students won the APICS West Coast Case Competition on Feb. 21-22, 2014, in Costa Mesa, California, and will represent the region in the national championships on Oct. 17-18 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Overall, 22 teams from 15 business schools competed. The winning team, pictured at left, includes Alekhya Yerrakalva ’15, Jonathan Harmon ’14, M.H. Karunakaren ’14 and Wade Sutton ’14. Karunakaren said Thunderbird's winning strategy involved selecting team members with different strengths and backgrounds. “We knew each other’s skills, and we had a diverse team,” he said.
Each team had six hours to analyze a cross-border logistics case for an auto parts supplier, write a paper, and present solutions to a panel of judges. Four teams were invited to come back on the second day of the competition to make a second presentation. “The company in the case was losing $1 million a day,” Karunakaren said. “We had to help them figure out better approaches.”
Thunderbird for Good will host Native American women from four Arizona tribes through a new business skills training program in 2014 and 2015 sponsored by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold. “Working with women from the Native American community is something Thunderbird for Good has wanted to do from the beginning,” said Thunderbird for Good client director Wynona Heim ’08. “If we are going to help women halfway around the world learn to grow their businesses, then it only makes sense to do the same thing for underserved women in our own back yard.”
As a certified career coach and Senior Professional in Human Resources, Michael Seaver ’10 welcomes the challenge of helping business professionals unlock their potential. “I help people see themselves as the CEO of their own brand,” said Seaver, named by the Arizona Republic as one of 35 top Arizona entrepreneurs 35 and younger in fall 2013. “I help people identify their strengths, and then we figure out how to sell that on a piece of paper or on LinkedIn.”
Starting on March 3, 2014, Seaver will focus full-time on helping Thunderbirds worldwide as Director of Career Management, Alumni Services and Engagement at the school’s Career Management Center in Arizona. The position is part of the school’s broader commitment to provide career services for life for all Thunderbird alumni. “This opportunity in many ways has brought me home,” Seaver said. “It feels good to come back to Thunderbird and build the brand that changed my life.”
The summer 1973 issue of Thunderbird Magazine features the International Auction and World Trader Fair, a campus event sponsored by the Thunderbird Women's Club.
MBA student Kelly Tiller ’14 had an ally during her summer 2013 internship at Johnson & Johnson in Pennsylvania. When she needed guidance during the first week, she sent an emergency text to Executive MBA student Jacquelyn Tallarico ’14, a neurosurgical specialist at Johnson & Johnson in Arizona. “She called me back immediately, and we talked for an hour,” Tiller said. “It changed the whole trajectory of my summer, which ended with a full-time job offer.”
Tallarico is one of 27 volunteers matched with Thunderbird students through a mentorship program that Tiller manages for campus club Women International. Unlike other mentors in the program, Tallarico is a Thunderbird student herself — although farther along in her career. Participants in the Executive MBA program, which caters to working professionals, come to Thunderbird with an average of 14 years of work experience. Tallarico and Tiller will graduate together on May 9, 2014, and then continue working for Johnson & Johnson.