Doctor of Business Administration
Class of 2019
DAGA Accounting Solutions
Daniel Acheampong knows his way around numbers. He is a founder and partner with the DAGA Accounting Solutions firm and teaches accounting at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida. But his expertise goes well beyond Florida and the United States. He also is in charge of implementing a planning and training program for his firm's operations in Ghana.
Prior to his current position, he was in the U.S. Army and a utility auditor for the state of Florida and now he is using that expertise to work up a strategic plan focusing on utility ratemaking and utility investment in Africa, information that will be used by companies poised to move into the as-yet untapped African market.
Acheampong earned bachelor's degrees at the University of South Florida (accounting)
and the University of Ghana (economics) and a master's degree at USF. He completed
a Doctorate of Business Administration from Argosy University in Tampa. His research
was published in the Journal of Finance and Accountancy. He has made presentations
at the Accounting and Tax Conference and currently is the course coordinator in the
accounting department at FGCU.
Land O' Lakes
Samer Balbaky is a seasoned process improvement, business transformation and Lean Six Sigma leader with more than 13 years of experience. He started at his family business in agricultural products import and distribution in Damascus, Syria. In 1999, he moved to the United States to pursue a graduate business degree and a career in global sales and product management. He quickly recognized his passion for operations and began his internal consulting career at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Balbaky has held internal Lean Six Sigma consulting positions at W. R. Grace and ADT Security Services, securing more than $10 million in hard savings. He moved to a senior consulting role in re-engineering and transformation with Genpact Limited, providing process improvement and business transformation services to global organizations, including H&R Block, Old Mutual Insurance, Amazon, Cartus Mobility, and Wacom Technology.
Balbaky is a senior manager and consultant for a global dairy and animal feed processing company. He is leading major business initiatives to improve production effectiveness and savings by increasing line efficiency.
Balbaky received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Damascus University
in Syria, a master's degree in operations research and an MBA from Northeastern University
in Boston. He is also a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certified from the American Society
for Quality and a Kaizen Facilitator Certified from ADT Security Services Six Sigma
Institute of Internal Auditors
Lily Bi is a seasoned internal audit leader with in-depth global experience. She is the managing director of global exam development with the Institute of Internal Auditors, headquartered in Lake Mary, Florida.
She provides overall direction and strategic management of the institute's exam development programs that support 12 certificates in 19 languages worldwide. She leads all aspects of the global exam development and analysis functions and that includes certification review/redesign, exam content development, technical writing, statistics and translation. Her role spans across China, Japan, Singapore and the U.S. Prior to her current position, Bi was the senior manager and executive auditor for Kirin Holdings, a multi-billion-dollar international company headquartered in Tokyo.
She received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in computer science from Dalian
Maritime University in China and an MBA from The University of Texas at Dallas.
Keith Campbell is a senior forensic investigator who probes allegations of Medicare fraud. He works for SafeGuard Services out of Miramar, Florida, and has been at the position since 2009. He examines financial components to identify, locate and track financial assets. Besides fraud prevention, he lists his strengths as accounting management, financial investigation and regulatory compliance.
He has worked in fraud investigations over the past 25 years. Prior to his work at SafeGuard, Campbell was the forensic financial investigator with Stop Fraud Today, uncovering scams for clients that included small businesses, non-profit organizations and non-governmental entities. He collected and analyzed data, organized written reports and built cases that were to be presented in court. He started out as a special agent with the U.S. Department of Treasury where he focused on money-laundering investigations, fraud, theft of government property and smuggling.
Campbell earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from The University of Southern
Mississippi and an MBA with an emphasis in finance from Tulane University in New Orleans.
He is certified as a fraud examiner and mediator.
There's no question what Russell Casey wants to do, and that is to teach. The former business owner who has been in the classroom for the past 17 years, is an associate professor of marketing at Averett University in Virginia. Besides offering lectures and insights on how to succeed in the corporate world, he also advises business students on their educational path and career options. He has eight peer-reviewed publications and several conference presentations. In 2003, he won the best paper award at the national conference of the Association for Global Business.
Prior to teaching at Averett, Casey was an assistant professor at Penn State Worthington Scranton in Pennsylvania and an associate professor at Clayton State University in Georgia. Before he began teaching, he was an account manager with Innovex Pharmaceuticals. He also spent time as an owner of both Pepperidge Farm and Murray Cookies franchises in Delaware.
He received a bachelor's degree in management at Wesley College in Dover, Delaware,
and an MBA from Delaware State University. He also earned a doctorate in business
administration from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
If Danielle Clark's days aren't filled up enough with the duties that come with being a human resources consultant to a Massachusetts company that has 300 employees and eight locations, she teaches at Nichol's College. The main focus of her job is finding process-improvement areas and ways to initiate changes. Currently, she is guiding the company's plan to implement a massive restructuring project.
She also is an adjunct professor at Nichols College in Massachusetts. At Nichols, Clark teaches critical thinking and business communication at the graduate level. She is also the vice chair of the MBA advisory committee and acts as a consultant.
Clark earned a bachelor's degree in business at Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts,
graduating summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA. She received a master's in organizational
leadership and an MBA in business at Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts.
Mike Costa's career, like his life, has been all over the place. Born in Italy, he moved to the Dominican Republic when he was a teenager, then back to Italy where he studied engineering at the Universita Degli Studi di Padova. Then, it was off to the United States where he graduated cum laude with an engineering degree.
He now wears several hats. He's the CEO of Turistica Nortena, a small business consulting organization commercial real estate management company in the Dominican Republic, a board member of Playa Dorada Plaza, a shopping center with 120 stores in the Dominican Republic and a partner with Everwell, a company that does commercial solar projects and residential installations. He is a volunteer mentor for SCORE, a Small Business Administration sponsored small business consulting organization. Costa also co-founded a company that installs microwave dish antennas and worked for a time as director of the Amber Museum in the Dominican Republic.
Costa received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in electrical engineering
from the University of Miami in Miami, Florida. He also earned a master's degree in
international business from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale,
Degrees of Success
Genevieve Dobson is reaching out to help students who owe tens of thousands of dollars, and in some cases even more, in student debt. Some are starting their professional careers already deep in the hole and need plans to manage, reduce and eliminate that debt and that's where she comes in.
Dobson is the president and owner of Degrees of Success in Tampa, founding the company in 2010. She consults students across the country who are accruing and living with that debt. She does the same for those who owe on credit/debit cards. She said she has saved her clients more than $1 million over the six years her business has been in operation. She serves clients from all over the United States and has spoken to students about student debt at universities such as Temple University, Rutgers University, the University of Pennsylvania, Nova Southeastern University and the University of Florida to name a few.
Dobson received a bachelor's degree in psychology and an MBA from the University of
Maryland in College Park, Maryland. She also is a published author, having written
three books about debt management, "Failing Successfully: Life After Debt," "Take
Back Control: Managing Your Student Loan Debt" (Volume 1), and "Take Back Control:
Get out of Default on Your Student Loans."
U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base
Michael Donahue's 23-plus-year career with the U.S. Air Force and working with the military has taken him all over the globe, from Turkey to Guam to South Korea. Currently, he's a civilian contractor working as a cyberspace technical analyst with U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. He has worked in information operations, space control and electronic warfare with additional experience in special technical operations.
Donahue, who retired from active duty in 2013, has expertise working at the highest levels of strategic leadership and counts 12 years' experience in geographic combatant commands, coalitions and NATO, and has a comprehensive grasp of cyberspace engagements, exercises and cyberspace planning. While at MacDill, he has forged inter-agency partnerships with the FBI and international partners in countering emerging cyber-hacking groups.
He received a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Temple University in Philadelphia,
a master's degree in international relations from Troy University in Troy, Alabama,
and an MBA in Aviation Systems Management at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The Dorsey Group
Carla Dorsey has been around the business of business all her life. She grew up in a family that ran a small enterprise and was exposed to all facets: success, failure, long hours and the mindset of entrepreneurs. She delved into accounting so she could have more of an insight into how to read and manage a business through its numbers.
She is the co-founder and COO of The Dorsey Group in Coral Springs, Florida, a consulting business whose aim is to implement structural and cultural improvement in organizations so that they achieve their goals and pursue growth. She manages and supervises all aspects of the firm, from strategic planning to marketing to staffing and project planning to, of course, accounting. She also taught accounting at Broward College and DeVry University. She is a certified public accountant, is a member of the Nova Southeastern University's Ambassador's Board, serves on the board of directors for Junior Achievement of South Florida and is a small business mentor for SCORE, a nonpofit association that supports small business growth.
Dorsey received a bachelor's degree in accounting from The Ohio State University in
Columbus, Ohio, finishing in three years, and a master's degree in accounting from
Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Mark Giddarie would rather be flying, but when he's got his feet on the ground, he's the CEO/president of Aquipmed, a Tampa firm specializing in the procurement of medical supplies and equipment for the Veterans Administration, the U.S. government and the private sector. He also is president and founder of the Alpha Eagle Aviation and Science Foundation, a Florida-based non-profit academic scholarship foundation.
The scholarship helps pay the way for underrepresented student groups in aviation and other S.T.E.M. disciplines at his alma mater, Embry-Riddle Aeronautic University. Giddarie also is pursuing a master's of science degree in entrepreneurship at USF and is a graduate assistant at the Patel College of Global Sustainability.
A U.S. Air Force veteran, Giddarie is a licensed commercial pilot and gold seal certified
flight instructor. He received a bachelor's degree in aeronautical science at Embry-Riddle
in Daytona Beach, Florida, where he also earned master's degrees in business administration
in aviation and management.
Clayton State University
Dustin Grant has crunched numbers as an accountant over the past seven years, starting out in the private sector and then for Clayton State University in Georgia. He now is a lecturer of accounting at that university where he works with a diverse group of students to help them learn the science of making ledgers balance.
He also conducts research in accounting and has one paper published and twice has presented his work at conferences. As a lecturer, Grant teaches financial accounting, managerial accounting, government and non-profit accounting. He also mentors students to motivate and encourage them to pursue their education and paths into the business world.
Grant earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from Clayton State University in Morrow,
Georgia, and a masters' degree in accountancy from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.
He began work at Clayton State in 2011 as a staff accountant and then served as interim
director of accounting before being appointed an adjunct accounting instructor. He
has served as a lecturer since 2013.
Julie Heffelfinger's 20-year career has included 15 years in politics as a lobbyist and business owner, as well as a health-care administrator. She moved into health care to make a difference, working as an executive staff associate for a non-profit system of hospitals.
She now is the site administrator for Metro Health in Parma, Ohio. She has started up and oversees the operations of a newly acquired 400,000-square-foot medical office and ambulatory surgery center with more than 75 providers offering primary care, OB/GYN, cancer infusion procedures, endoscopy and more than 25 other services as well as a retail pharmacy.
Heffelfinger earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Ohio Dominican
University in Columbus, Ohio, graduating with a 4.0 GPA. She received an MBA with
a health-care concentration from Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester,
New Hampshire, also graduating with a 4.0 GPA and currently is studying for a master's
degree in positive organization development and change from Case Western Reserve University
U.S. Central Command's Joint Cyberspace Center
John Hennings, a retired lieutenant colonel with the U.S. Air Force, still works closely with the military as a civil employee at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base. He is a cyberspace operations manager with the U.S. Central Command's Joint Cyberspace Center, with duties that include drafting, reviewing and coordinating policy, doctrine and plans for the center. He also has served as acting chief of the strategy division and has been instrumental in restructuring cyberspace operations within the command. He authored a training catalogue that enables the staff to stay current in a rapidly evolving field.
As an Air Force officer, Hennings served as deputy chief of the police intelligence advisory team in Kabul, Afghanistan and served as provincial liaison in Herat, Afghanistan, where he pioneered local training for police, boosted professionalism and instilled a sense of loyalty and duty among the trainees. He also guided the creation of mobile training teams in a program that is on track to train thousands of national police officers.
He received a bachelor's degree in political science from the U.S. Air Force Academy
and a master's degree in strategic intelligence from the National Intelligence University
in Washington D.C.
Charles Hilterbrand Jr.
Charles Hilterbrand Jr. is a real estate attorney in Ohio whose career has spanned more than two decades. His practice in the real-estate title industry has included stints as title examiner, title-insurance agent, a manager and president of a title agency within a law firm of nearly 40 attorneys. He also has launched successful title agencies in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida beginning in 2002.
The shale-oil boom in Ohio changed the direction of his law practice and in 2012, Hilterbrand switched his professional focus from commercial and residential real estate title and insurance to oil and gas real estate title examination and opinion. He has worked in that area for the past six years. On top of that, he is an adjunct professor in Walsh University's DeVille School of Business in North Canton, Ohio, where he teaches international business and economics, among other courses.
He received a bachelor's degree in political science and his law degree from the University
of Akron in Akron, Ohio. He earned an MBA with a concentration in finance from Kent
State University in Kent, Ohio, and a master's in tax law from Case Western Reserve
University's School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio.
Anthony Hinen's work is something he doesn't talk much about. As a program manager with Vistra Communications in Tampa, which oversees a cadre of workers supporting the U.S. Central Command's Joint Cyber Center, 95 percent of what he does inside a windowless, secure compartmented facility on MacDill Air Force Base is classified secret or top secret.
Hinen also serves as the senior cyber planner which provides direct support to the center at the base in Tampa and oversees a $12 million budget. His attraction to the military - particularly the Air Force - began when he was a child, and was realized when he started at the United States Air Force Academy in 1977. He retired in 2009. In 2006, Hinen was appointed commander of the 615 Contingency Response Wing at Travis Air Force Base in California.
He earned a bachelor's degree in history from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a master's
degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles
and a master's degree in strategic studies at Air University in Montgomery, Alabama.
Joseph Hodges has come a long way from his days scrubbing dishes in his local country club in Augusta, Georgia at 11 years old. He is the founder and CEO of INETICO, a technology-based medical cost containment business. In 2011, it was named the Tampa Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year.
He founded the company 13 years ago and hasn't been satisfied just watching revenue come in, additionally keeping a keen eye on the ever-evolving industry. Over the years, he has expanded the company to remain competitive in a changing marketplace, implementing additional areas of cost containment.
In 2016, he founded Care Valet and currently serves as its president. This company meets a new consumer demand and connects members, via a secure app, to doctors 24/7 for diagnosis and treatment within their provider network.
Hodges received an associate degree from Tallahassee Community College in Tallahassee,
Florida, and a bachelor's degree in health education and public health from Florida
State University in Tallahassee, Florida.
U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base
Gregory Ingram now serves as the senior strategic communications advisor for the director of communications integration at the U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. There, he develops communication strategies to support strategic and operational directives. Previously, he spent five years in Afghanistan, implementing marketing programs to increase voter participation and support security forces.
While in Afghanistan, Ingram worked in a program that sought to encourage insurgents to reintegrate into society and he served as information operations advisor for the Counterinsurgency Advisory and Assistance Team. He served in special forces, infantry, civil affairs and psychological operations in the Army, and retired in 2006 after 23 years of service.
Ingram received a bachelor's degree in international studies from the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and a master's degree in international
relations from Troy University in Troy, Alabama.
University of Montevallo
Gary Johnson's educational career is like training for and running in a marathon – like the one he ran on the streets of Paris nearly six years ago – and the finish line is the Doctorate of Business Administration. Johnson currently directs the first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign for the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Alabama. Heading up that campaign, he manages a portfolio of 200 principal and major gift donors comprised of individuals, corporations and foundations. He also is director of university relations, a role in which he manages the school's marketing, advertising and communications efforts.
He serves on the university president's cabinet and has a role in making decisions that impact the university, its staff, faculty and students. In addition to all that, he is an adjunct faculty member in the university's Michael E. Stephens College of Business, teaching marketing courses. Prior to his university work, he was a major gifts officer for the American Red Cross in the mid-Alabama region and before that, he worked in magazine publishing, sales and marketing with Time, Inc. and Hoffman Media.
Johnson received bachelor's and master's degrees in marketing from the University
of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Dennis Kimerer manages a formidable sales force in a business that is quickly taking over the hearts and minds of people all over the globe: smart phones. He is the business inside sales manager for Sprint and primarily manages accounts across the Southeast with a high percentage in Florida.
He manages a team of 11 account executives, each responsible for the growth, retention and management of about 200 small business accounts out of a headquarters in Maitland, Florida. He manages all aspects of the team, from hiring and firing to growth and development and recognition. He is responsible for meeting performance metrics in growth and works closely with Sprint marketing to meet these objectives. He also is interested in pursuing a career in academia; he taught marketing as an adjunct professor at the University of Tampa's Sykes College of Business and has co-authored several scholarly papers.
He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Stetson University in
DeLand, Florida, and an MBA and a master's of science degree in marketing, both from
the University of Tampa.
Aspire Financial Services
Peter Kirtland has more than 30 years' experience with some very large professional services and, over the past 14 years, has served as CEO of one of the largest independent record-keeping companies in the retirement-plan administration industry. He founded and heads Aspire Financial Services in Tampa, where he oversees an explosion of revenue growth of 250 percent over the past four years.
He has leveraged capital investment funding to grow his business with an additional 90 employees and acquisitions and smoothed what could have been a culture war between the existing employees and new ones. Kirtland was the Florida finalist for Ernst & Young's prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2010, his company was named one of the 50 fastest growing companies in the Tampa Bay Business Journal in 2011 and 2015, and he was a semi-finalist for the Tampa Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Award in 2013 and 2014. He also is a member of the University of Tampa's Board of Fellows.
He received a bachelor's degree in finance from Pennsylvania State University in State
Terry McGovern's career has included stints as a speech writer for the director of research cell for the chief of staff and security of the U.S. Air Force, as well as the U.S. Air Force Strategic Command's Director of Global Operations. He has filled roles in management positions in nuclear missile operations and satellite operations. All that was during a 20-year military career.
In 2011, he retired as a lieutenant colonel and took up teaching. He now is a tenured associate professor at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa, where he teaches graduate classes in project management, ethics, strategic planning, leadership and business operations. He served as department chair from 2013 to 2016 in the university's accounting and business department. He has written numerous articles, conference papers and currently is working on four manuscripts.
McGovern earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Iowa in Iowa
City, Iowa; a master's degree in human services from the University of Great Falls
in Great Falls, Montana, and a master's degree in strategic leadership from the Air
Force Institute of Technology in Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. He was awarded a doctorate
of management with an emphasis on organizational leadership from the University of
Phoenix's School of Advanced Studies.
Aberdeen Proving Grounds
Stephen Pomper is a retired U.S. Army officer, but he has not strayed far from the military in his retirement. He now is a civilian employee working as a senior plans analyst at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. He performs planning to support the Chemical-Biological-Radiological-Nuclear-Explosives operations across the globe. His job requires him to concentrate on programs that coordinate routinely with other federal and local governmental agencies, military combatant commands and other agencies in devising response plans should weapons of mass destruction be deployed.
Prior to that, Pomper was the program director for the ROTC unit at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He also was chief operating officer and executive with the U.S. Army's Combined Arms Battalion and was an assistant professor at the University of Tampa.
He received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of
New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire, and two master's degrees in military art and
science from the U.S. Army and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
He also earned certificates from the U.S. Army Force Management School and the U.S.
Army War College.
Vistana Signature Experiences
Carlos Ramos' work leads him through the complex maze of numbers; numbers he has to decipher and make sure they comply with laws and codes, not of just one country, but two. He is the director of international corporate accounting for Vistana Signature Experiences in Orlando, which operates hotels and resorts across the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean.
Ramos makes sure all the numbers that form the basis of the corporation are in order for subsidiaries in Mexico and in the United States. This includes tax compliance and statutory financial statements, audit coordination and balance sheet reconciliations that conform to standards in both the United States and Mexico. He has worked as an accounting specialist with Franklin Templeton Investments, an internal control manager at Coca-Cola Enterprises and senior manager with Marriott Vacation International, the timeshare division of the hotel giant.
He earned a bachelor's in accounting from the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras,
Puerto Rico, and a master's degree with a focus on accounting from the University
Florida International University
With more than 20 years of management experience – the last 16 of which in academia – Andrea Rodgers now serves as the assistant director of accreditation at Florida International University in Miami. She supports strategic initiatives of the university by implementing processes and systems of collection and maintenance of data, maintenance of accreditation, assessment of a portfolio of degree programs and the development of new initiatives.
She has implemented and redesigned processes and systems to achieve those ends, including collaboration with faculty directors for annual assessments and feedback and managed and administrated online student exit survey systems. She has led efforts in all aspects of accreditation for the university's college of business and its programs.
Rodgers received a bachelor's degree in management information systems from FIU and
a master's of science degree in management information systems from the same university.
Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce
Bob Rohrlack's résumé shows that he has experienced long-time success. He is now the president and CEO of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, which boasts 1,200 members, and he's responsible for all the aspects of the operations and success, including financial management, membership growth, leadership development and advocacy.
He supervised the chamber's ambitious Vision 2026, a 10-year plan that establishes goals for the business community and chamber and involved the work of some 750 members. Rohrlack has past experience as president and CEO of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce and most recently was senior vice president of Enterprise Florida, overseeing business retention and recruitment. Prior to that, he served as executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority and worked as a department manager for Progress Energy, now Duke Energy.
He received a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from Troy University in Troy,
Alabama, and a master's degree in economic development from the University of Southern
Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Between stored vital personal information and identity thieves stands Jamie Spradlin, who has guarded, in one capacity or another, that information for most of his career, beginning in the U.S. Air Force 20 years ago. Now, Spradlin is the deputy director of information security at North Carolina's Vidant Health, which keeps records for eight hospitals and more than 200 clinics. His team is responsible for the audit, risk, security education, compliance, identity and access provisioning and electronic health record security of employees and patients.
His résumé includes work as chief information security officer with the University of North Carolina in Pembroke, North Carolina, deputy chief information security officer with the state of South Carolina's department of education; co-owner and CEO of Barricade Innovative Solutions, a joint startup venture; cyber intelligence program manager with Northrop Grumman and intelligence officer with the U.S. Air Force.
He earned a bachelor's degree in business management from Bellevue University in Bellevue,
University of South Carolina Upstate
Tired of the constant travel – some 75,000 miles a year – along with at least three months a year abroad, Grover Walters stepped back from a South Carolina job where he managed the technology infrastructure and a $200 million global enterprise budget. He went from supervising a staff of 11 employees and overseeing five servers to teaching. It's a profession that allows him to give back to the business.
He had been the director of IT at DesleeClama U.S.A. for three years, until the company merged with BekaertDeslee in 2016. Walters became the Group IT infrastructure manager for the new corporation that now is the largest global manufacturer of mattress fabrics. Along the way, Walters took a part-time job as an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina Upstate and currently teaches courses in informatics.
He received a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and a master's degree in information technology from the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida.