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National Executive Board Profiles

2013-2014 National Executive Board of Directors

Vaughn Anita Vaughn (BA ’77, MPA ’83), President of the University of Memphis Alumni Association National Executive Board of Directors, is serving her sixth year on the National Board. She was named as Outstanding Alumna of the College of Arts & Sciences in 2005. Vaughn and her husband, James, are Life Members of the Association and have one son. She has worked in the Baptist Health Care system for 40 years and is currently administrator and Chief Executive Officer of Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women.
Prescott Allie Prescott (BA ’69, JD ’72), Association Life Member and past president of the University of Memphis Alumni Association National Executive Board of Directors during the University's Centennial, is serving his sixth year on the National Board. In 2002, Prescott was named Outstanding Alumnus from the College of Arts & Sciences and Distinguished Alumnus from the University in 2003. A native Memphian, he is the owner of a consulting company, Allie Prescott & Partners LLC. In addition, Allie is the Senior Advisor at Waddell & Associates, Inc. Wealth Strategists. He and his wife, Barbara (BSEd ’71, MEd ’73), have two children, Allie and Allison (BA ’06).
Ben Watkins (BBA '78), Association Life Member and Vice President for Finances, is serving his fourth year on the National Board. He has served on the FCBE Alumni Chapter board for many years and received the Chapter’s 2010 Outstanding Alumnus Award. He is a Member of Watkins Uiberall, PLLC. He and his wife have three daughters.
Wei Chen (IMBA ’98), Association Annual Member and Vice President for Communication, is serving his fifth year on the National Board. Chen received the Fogelman College of Business’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2008. He is the founder and CEO of Sunshine Enterprise Inc., a Memphis-based multinational corporation that manages logistics and manufacturing operations in the U.S. and in China. Chen met his wife, Isabell (MS ’98, PhD ’01), while pursuing his IMBA. They are the parents of three young children.
Barnett Kim Barnett (BA ’95, EMBA ’99), Association Life Member and Vice President for Membership, is serving his seventh year on the National Board. He was the president of the Fogelman College of Business & Economics Alumni Chapter from 2005-06. Barnett is a senior manager at FedEx. He and his wife, Phyllis, have one student at the U of M and one in high school.
Renee DeGutis Renee DeGutis (BS ’83), Association Life Member and Vice President for Programs and Events, is serving her ninth year on the National Board. As a former Color Guard member of the Mighty Sound of the South, DeGutis says the Band Alumni Chapter holds a special place in her heart; she is an active volunteer on that board. She is a personal accountant and has two sons in high school.
Childers Robert “Butch” Childers (BBA ’71, JD ’74), Association Life Member, is serving his seventh year on the National Board. In 2002, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Childers and his wife, Amy Amundsen (JD ’87), also an Association Life Member, are both on the board of the Law Alumni Chapter, where Childers served as co-chair of the Grand Opening Gala for the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and Amundsen served as gala speakers committee co-chair. He is a Shelby County Circuit Court judge.
Roberto Young (BEE '02, BSCE '03), Association Life Member, is serving his fourth year on the National Board.  He lives in Atlanta, GA, where he is a Financial Advisor for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. While at the U of M, Young played football. He attended Harvard Business School for his MBA.
Karimeh McDaniel Karimeh McDaniel (BA '02) is serving her first year on the National Board. She is the First Vice President over Fixed Income Sales at Morgan Keegan. Karimeh has been very active in the Alumni Association as a founding member of the Young Alumni Committee and co-founder of the group's True Blue 5k. As a student at the U of M, she was Student Government president, a Student Ambassador Board member. Karimeh and her husband, Spencer, are both Life Members and have a daughter.
David Kustoff (BBA ’89, JD ’92), Association Life Member, is serving his fifth year on the National Board. In 2007, he received the Outstanding Young Alumnus award from the U of M. In 2006, Kustoff was appointed as the U.S. District Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. Currently he serves on the U of M Board of Visitors.  He is a partner with Kustoff and Strickland, PLLC. He and his wife, Roberta (JD ’98), have two young children.
Ron Hart (BBA '82, MBA '83), Life Member of the Alumni Association, is serving his third year on the National Board.  Ron is a nationally recognized financial advisor with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and is based in Atlanta. He is a syndicated columnist whose work appears in 30 newspapers weekly, appears on CNN, and has been quoted in numerous publications. He is also the author of the book There is No Such Thing as a Pretty Good Alligator Wrestler. Mr. Hart was the recipient of the 2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award. Ron and his wife, Jackie (BN ’88), live in Atlanta, GA.
Eric Robertson (BA ’03), an Association Annual Member and former president of the College of Arts & Sciences Alumni Chapter, is serving his fourth year on the National Board. He is the president of CommunityLIFT and very involved in the Memphis community, including having graduated from the Leadership Memphis Executive Program. Robertson received the 2007 Arts & Sciences Alumni Chapter Outstanding Alumnus Award.
Dana Gabrion (BA '98), is a Life Member and serving her third year on the National Board of Directors. Dana is currently the co-executive producer of the TV show America’s Next Top Model. She also has worked on various film and television projects including The Rainmaker, MTV’s “Sports and Music Festival II”, The Sweetest Thing, and Scream III.  Aside from her entertainment career, Dana is also the proprietor of the Talbot Heirs Guesthouse in Memphis. Ms. Gabrion was the recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Young Alumna Award. Dana currently resides in Venice, CA.
Strickland Jim Strickland (BBA ’86, JD ’89), Association Life Member, is serving his sixth year on the National Board. He was elected to the Memphis City Council in 2007 and is an attorney/partner with Kustoff & Strickland. Strickland and his wife, Melyne, have two children.
Andrew Bailey Andrew Bailey (BBA '00, EMBA '05), Association Life Member, is serving his first year on the National Board. Drew is the marketing principal at FedEx Services. He was named the 2010 Distinguished Young Alumnus for the Fogelman College of Business & Economics Alumni Chapter. Drew is the current vice president of the Luther C. McClellan Alumni Chapter and is a guest professor with the College of Business. During his time as a student at the U of M, Drew serves as Student Government and Student Ambassador Board President, Student Activities Council Vice President, and Mr. U of M. He and his wife, Melody, have three children.
Greg Siskin Greg Siskin (BBA '85, MBA '00), Association Life Member, is serving his first year on the National Board. He has been a loyal University of Memphis sports fan his whole life. He is on the board of the Cooperate Relationship Board for the American Association of Endodontic. Greg is president of Ultimate Dental, which is a sponsor of the Penny Hardaway Basketball classic. He and his wife have two children.
Marla Johnson Norris Marla Johnson Norris (BA ’81), Association Annual Member, is serving her fourth year on the National Board. She is the founder and CEO of Aristotle, Inc. and resides in Little Rock, AR. She was honored with the U of M Distinguished Alumna Award in 2005 and has served on the University's Board of Visitors.
Jamie Russell Jamie Russell (BBA '02), Association Life Member, is serving his first year on the National Board. Prior to being named to the National Board, he served for many years on the Young Alumni Committee where he worked primarily on the True Blue 5K. Jamie and his wife, Lauren (BA, 04), are both Life Members of the Association and have one daughter, Anna Claire. He has worked at First Tennessee for nine years and is currently a Senior Marketing Manager working with the Small Business segment.
Parker Deanie Parker (BPS ’77, MPA ’88) is past president of the University of Memphis Alumni Association National Executive Board of Directors. She is a life member of the Association and is serving her seventh year on the National Board. She was the 2006 recipient of the University’s Distinguished Alumna Award. Parker is the retired CEO of Soulsville (Stax Museum of American Soul Music) and was instrumental in organizing the 50 Years of Soul celebration. She is executive director of the film project I Am a Man.
Long Mark Long (BSEE ’85) is past president of the University of Memphis Alumni Association National Executive Board of Directors. He is an Association Life Member and is serving his tenth year on the board. Long and his wife, Judy (BSEd ’74), own Holliday Flowers and have two sons and daughters-in-law who have all attended the U of M.
John Lawrence (BA ’94, MS ’98), Association Life Member, is serving his sixth year on the National Board as Advisor to the Executive Director. Lawrence has a long-standing tradition of supporting the U of M in his family, as his father, John (BS ’70), was president of the national board and has served the University for decades, including as past president of the Fogelman College of Business & Economics Alumni Chapter. John is the third generation of U of M graduates, as his grandfather, John (Law ’38), is also an alumnus. John is currently serving as the Acting Director for Livable Memphis.
Holeman Theopolis Holeman (BSET ’71), Association Life Member, is serving his fourth year on the National Board as Advisor to the Executive Director. He is Group Vice President, US Operations, of Spectra Energy. Holeman serves on the Herff College Advisory Council, received the 2008 Outstanding Alumnus of the Herff College of Engineering award and the 2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award. Holeman was named as one of the 75 Most Powerful African-Americans in Corporate America by Black Enterprise Magazine. He lives in Houston, TX, with his wife and has three sons and four grandchildren.
Cathy Ross Cathy Ross (MBA ’82), Association Life Member, is serving her sixth year on the National Board as Advisor to the Executive Director. She received the Distinguished Alumna Award in 2008. She currently serves on the board of directors of Steelcase Inc., and in 2008 was named to the board of directors of the National Civil Rights Museum. Ross is Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at FedEx Express.
Bobango John Bobango (JD ’83) is an Association Life Member and is serving his fifth year on the National Board as Advisor to the Executive Director. He was active as president of the Law Alumni Chapter from 2008-09. Bobango is a partner/attorney with Farris Bobango PLC. He and his wife, Lisa (JD ’83), have two children in high school.
Koski John Koski (BA ’88), Association Life Member, is serving his tenth year on the National Board as Advisor to the Executive Director. Koski is the vice president/general manager of WHBQ-TV Fox 13 Memphis and has worked at the station for more than 25 years. He and his wife Whitney, also a Life Member of the Association, have three daughters.
Jewell Paul Jewell (BA ’78), an Association Annual Member, is past vice president for communication and is serving his seventh year on the National Board as Advisor to the Executive Director. He is also on the Journalism Alumni Club’s board of directors after having served as president of that group. Jewell is the director of marketing for The Commercial Appeal.
Wright Dr. Robert Wright (BS ’77), Association Life Member, is serving his ninth year on the National Board. An Advisor to the Executive Director, Wright lives in Boston and is director of Advanced Graduate Prosthodontics at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
Vescovo Diane Vescovo (JD ’80), Association Life Member, is serving her eigth year on the National Board as Advisor to the Executive Director. She is also active in the Law Alumni Chapter, having served as co-chair of the Grand Opening Gala of the Law School and is on the University's Board of Visitors. Vescovo has been a U.S. magistrate judge for the Western District of Tennessee since being appointed in 1995. She has two children, including one attending the U of M’s Law School, and is married to Mike McLaren, whose son is a recent graduate of the Law School.
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Alumni Event Highlights

09/02 UMAR Breakfast Bunch
09/04 Memphis Matters - President's National Listening T
09/09 UMAR Coffee & Conversation
09/16 University President Reception in DC
09/20 Pouncer's Pals Walk Around the Field

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Last Updated: 2/1/13