Doctor of Business Administration
Class of 2023
Brian D. Adams
Southern University and A&M College
As chief audit executive for the Southern University System, Brian D. Adams is responsible for financial, operational and compliance audits for five campuses which comprise the system, headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Throughout his career, he has worked in internal audit, finance and accounting, regulatory affairs and business development for companies in the electric utilities, computer and newspaper industries.
He describes himself as a life-long learner who is always looking to bridge gaps between theory and practical application. Through the DBA, Adams hopes to transition to teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He is eager to apply his learnings and research in the doctoral experience at USF to his current place of employment.
Adams earned an MBA with a concentration in management from the University of St.
Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Southern
University and A&M College.
University of Virginia
Paige Bridges is the director of communications and marketing for the University of Virginia’s School of Education and Human Development. She is responsible for leading strategic planning to promote over 80 online and on-grounds degree programs, research centers and the work of over 140 faculty through owned, earned and paid media strategies.
Before joining UVA, she was the director of brand marketing for the education technology company 2U and was responsible for developing data-driven marketing strategies for online master and doctoral programs with USC and Pepperdine University. Prior to working in higher education, she spent more than 20 years of leadership experience working in the corporate and nonprofit sectors for brands including L’Oreal, American Express, World Wildlife Fund and the National Geographic Society. Bridges and her husband recently moved to a 55-acre farm in southwest Virginia.
She earned a master’s degree in digital communication from Johns Hopkins University,
an MBA in marketing from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in biology
from Columbia University.
Leon County Schools
As director of transportation for the Leon County School District, James Cole does more than make sure the buses are on time. He is a versatile professional with proven success to drive results and implement cost-efficient programs. He is an innovative leader with the ability to analyze and manage operational problems and apply sound recommendations for long-term solutions.
As director, Cole administers, manages, and coordinates the districtwide operation of the transportation department. He monitors expenditures and conducts tasks related to the preparation of the annual budget as well as develops multi-year strategic and operational plans. He is involved in labor relations and is responsible for the daily operations of the entire department. Prior to his current position, Cole served as project manager and business process re-engineering analyst with Urban Partnership Bank in Chicago.
Cole earned an MBA and a Master of Public Health degree from Florida A&M University
and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from DeVry University.
California State University, Fresno
As the executive assistant to the vice president of university advancement at Fresno State University, Kimberly Cubre provide seamless, strategic support across six departments with more than 80 team members. She serves as the department’s chief liaison and manages the scheduling, meeting logistics and facilitation, strategic planning, budget support and some HR functions. Additionally, she facilitates campus-wide projects such as honorary doctorates, president’s medals and building naming processes.
She has been an executive assistant for more than a decade in banking, health care and higher education. Her favorite position prior to Fresno State was working at McKesson Corporation as an account manager overseeing accounts receivables for physician-owned medical practices. In that role, she worked heavily in data analytics and client dashboards. She is passionate about her career as an executive assistant because it offers her a chance to serve others.
Cubre earned a master’s degree in education, administration and leadership and a bachelor’s
degree in business administration, both from California State University, Fresno.
Richard “Dick” Davis
Richard Davis, business solutions architect with Cisco Systems, is a dynamic leader with more than 15 years of proven excellence driving business growth through technology. He designs business vision and strategy by collaborating with executive leadership and multifunctional teams, formulating long-term strategic priorities and plans related to organic and inorganic growth.
He has established a reputation as a transformational leader, who is driven by challenge, undeterred by obstacles and committed to furthering standards of excellence. His expertise encompasses all aspects of network security products, revenue-building initiatives and business development strategies. Among his strengths: an ability to build consensus among executive teams and stakeholders to promote transparency and influence positive change.
Davis earned an Executive MBA from the University of Nebraska and a bachelor’s degree
in mass communication from Southern University A&M. He was named Innovator of the
Year (2010) through AIM Institute and was on the 40 Under 40 list of the Midland’s
Business Journal in 2010.
Omnis Bookkeeping & Business Solutions
Hayley Dunford got a broker’s license at 22 and started her first business at 23. Over the course of her career, she has owned or co-owned five companies that focused on finance, auto transport, realty and woodworking. She founded Omnis Bookkeeping & Business Solutions in 2017. She manages a team of three employees, oversees the work of contractors and assists more than 75 companies across the nation with their accounting needs.
Dunford also is owner of Auto Transport on Demand, an auto-transport brokerage company founded in 2016 and is the broker/owner of Realty Center International, a real estate brokerage based in Sarasota. Prior to these roles, she was a real estate analyst for Bealls. At 28, she feels her breadth of experience in the corporate world has prepared her for the demands of a doctoral experience and its networking opportunities. The key to achieving long-term success, she says, lies in developing strong relationships.
She earned a master’s degree in accountancy from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor’s
degree in business administration from the University of Florida.
Though a cost account manager with Northrop Grumman, Kelly Fay is also a technical writer and editor, and an employee-resource-group chapter lead. During her time in the U.S. Navy where she served as acquisition and production manager. In her current role, she employs Lean Six Sigma and property management methodologies to monitor and manage costs, schedule and scope of projects across all phases of development and collaborates with senior management and off-site program managers in the delivery of project strategy, goals, priorities and planning.
In her most recent role in the Navy, Fay led a fast-paced operation of six recruiters canvassing 10 different schools to meet or exceed recruitment standards, while coordinating training. She analyzed information from interviews, educational and medical records, consultation with other professionals, and diagnostic evaluations to assess applicants’ abilities, needs and eligibility for the service.
Fay earned a master’s degree in administrative leadership from the University of Oklahoma
and a bachelor’s degree in communication disorders from the University of Rhode Island.
Bridgemont Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors
As vice president of investments for the Bridgemont Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, Daniel Gilham conducts complex financial analysis, using his experience in mergers and acquisitions, portfolio management, tax, estate and risk management theories for the best possible outcomes. He is responsible for succession planning strategies for business owners and entrepreneurs. He is heavily involved in the planning and analysis of concentrated, illiquid positions to help individuals achieve their goals.
He spent nine years with AOL leading the company into new markets. He was responsible for managing teams and product rollout around the globe and throughout the United States. He was part of a group that summited Mt. Rainier while raising $57,000 for Tiny Hope Children’s Home in Jamaica.
Gilham received a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies concentrating on
business and computational science from Liberty University. He serves as president
of the Economic Roundtable of Jacksonville and is on the Association of Corporate
Growth Board of Directors.
By Night Studios
Matthew Grace is a partner at By Night Studios, a developer and publisher of role-playing games, including one of the most recognizable products in the industry, The World of Darkness, Mind’s Eye Theatre, a live-action, role-playing game, now more than 27 years-old. He also serves as the director of marketing research and innovation, identifying insights that shape future strategies. He also is an analyst at Gordon Food Service, the 22nd largest privately held company in the United States.
He focuses on the creation of strategy through data analysis and his innovative approach has stimulated competitive advantages in the role-playing game industry. Among his accomplishments at By Night Studios: The creation of a multi-channel survey program that reaches tens of thousands of customers, to drive smarter publication and merchandising decisions. His design of an influencer support and promotion program collaborates with key social media influencers unique to the gaming industry to promote sales of By Night Studios’ merchandise and book publications.
Grace received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of South Florida.
Ajax Paving Industries of Florida
Vince Hafeli is president of Ajax Paving Industries of Florida, located in Sarasota County, where he oversees all operations for the organization that employs more than 450 workers. He is responsible for safety, trucking, production, manufacturing, quality and fleet maintenance. He is heavily involved with the annual budgeting process and sets the direction of the company.
His plan is not to use his doctorate to advance his career, but rather to enhance his knowledge and skills in organizational leadership and management so that he can strengthen an already outstanding organization and industry. One of the benefits of the program, he says, is to create opportunities aimed at enhancing mid-level management, where key decisions are made in most organizations. Upper management often overlooks these employees even though most of the decisions at that level steer the company.
Hafeli earned an MBA from Webster University and a bachelor’s degree in management
from Phoenix University.
Lisa M. Hammond
Lisa M. Hammond is co-founder of Shyft Partners, a consulting company focused on transformation, strategic execution, and post-acquisition integration. For more than 20 years, she has honed her craft of adaptive agile project management. Her experience spans decades of corporate and start-up companies where she managed acquisitions, process reengineering, and customer service delivery. Her passion for connecting disparate pieces of information has allowed the creation of a new financial framework to expedite decision-making and deliver customer results.
She has worked in numerous leadership roles, including president and CEO of BHER Group, Zeba Capital, and First Trust California, as well as COO of CENAPS Corp. and vice president-Enterprise Program Management of Sonic Restaurant Industries. She is also adjunct faculty of SNHU and previously taught at the Tampa campus of Springfield College.
Lisa earned an MBA from St. Leo University and a bachelor’s degree in management and
finance from Roger Williams University.
Sonia Hollies, senior vice president, global tax, risk management and treasurer with Perrigo Company, is a businessperson by nature, who initially began her career in accounting and finance. While working three part-time jobs, which included an internship at a small manufacturing business and at IBM, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting. She has not looked back.
In her current role, the results-driven, Hollies heads the company's global tax and treasury functions, communicating with and educating executives on tax implications of various matters, financial matters, and risk mitigation strategies. She works at Perrigo Company, a $5 billion manufacturer of private label over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Perrigo has more than 10,000 employees in 40 countries.
Hollies earned a master’s degree in accounting and financial management from Keller
Graduate School of Business, a master’s degree in taxation from Bentley University,
an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Pace University.
Kesia C. Kimmel
The Stiletto Boss Institute
Kesia Kimmel is on a mission to foster equal career growth opportunities for young women, high school students, recent college graduates, first responders and former military personnel. As founder and CEO of The Stiletto Boss Institute, Kimmel provides access to free and affordable résumé writing and professional development tools needed to excel in today’s competitive job market. Her goal is to continue researching the benefits of designing and implementing mandatory résumé writing, LinkedIn profile design/professional networking and public speaking workshops to prepare students for careers.
She also serves as vice president of public relations for the local Toastmasters International. In the past, Kimmel was a corporate trainer and instructional designer for Cognizant. She also has a background in health care as a business performance analyst for Shriners Hospital for Children International Headquarters and as a data research manager at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute.
Kimmel earned an MBA with a concentration in health care management from Saint Leo
University and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of South Florida.
All-Pro Realty of Tampa Bay
Jason Maniecki is the president and “head coach” for All Pro Realty, a subsidiary of Keller Williams Realty. He is a highly driven, results-oriented business leader and real estate consultant with more than 20 years’ experience in the real estate industry. All Pro Realty provided residential sales and property management services in the Tampa Bay area and in 2018, the company expanded to add full-service residential property rental and management.
As founder of the company, Maniecki envisions and manages its direction, creates budget projections and oversees all media and web design. He provides guidance and assists sellers in marketing and selling properties for the right price and best terms as well as providing guidance for buyers in purchasing properties. He oversees the day-to-day operations and team leaders. He is a former defense tackle of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996-98.
Maniecki received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin. He has been
a licensed real estate agent since 1999 and a licensed real estate broker since 2002.
Belize Natural Energy Limited
Marlowe Neal serves as the president and chief executive office of Belize Natural Energy Limited, directing the company and ensuring it keeps with the stated vision by working closely with executive leadership to develop implement and monitor strategy. He is also co-founder of a consultancy specializing in financial management, corporate governance, leadership development, strategy formulation and execution.
He has executive-level experience in public administration, international bank management, enterprise risk management and business development. He is a full time professional and part-time academic who has adjunct-lectured at Belize's public and private universities. Idealistic by intent, he works toward a “new” Belize and sees his country as a global leader, a beacon and a model for unity, economic and social development.
Neal earned a master's degree in finance, with a specialization in investments, and
a bachelor's degree with a concentration in finance from Florida International University.
Tammie Nelson is a strategic leader with an instinctive curiosity for making sense of complex and ambiguous subject matters. From military systems to corporate America’s various technologies, she has developed a deep understanding of the intersection of business and IT. She has 20 years’ experience in designing and integrating systems and for the past eight years has coached Agile, both as practices for teams and as leadership behaviors for executives. She is the co-founder of Shyft Partners LLC, a consultancy focused on transformations, innovation, turnaround efforts and post-acquisition integrations. As an agilist, she enjoys working on the edge of chaos where opportunities are limitless, and experimentation is a source of innovation.
Previously, she served as director of Cybersecurity and Enterprise Systems Programs with Sonic and director of the Enterprise Program Office for Inspire Brands. She is a U.S Navy veteran.
Nelson earned a master’s degree in management information systems and accountancy
and a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from the University of Oklahoma.
Duke Energy Florida
Trenton Newton serves as real estate representative and contract management representative for Duke Energy Florida. In this role, he is responsible for easement and fee acquisition for utility assets. He also is responsible for engaging with internal and external stakeholders, managing vendors assigned to act in the capacity of Duke Energy on transmission and distribution projects. Newton is a former collegiate athlete with a strong work ethic.
He has overcome extreme adversity after his college career, which prompted him to pursue an education at the highest level. He is highly motivated and focused on accomplishing goals and ensuring high-quality work. He has been with Duke Energy for one year, but has worked for five years in the right-of-way industry, ranging from electrical utilities to oil and gas pipelines, leading multiple projects ranging in cost from $100,000 to $25 million. He also worked as a project manager on multiple transmission and distribution projects.
Newton earned an MBA with a concentration in finance and a bachelor’s degree in finance
from Ashford University.
Chris Price is the North American Smart Analytics Practice lead at Google, focusing on a "go to market" strategy that includes driving new opportunities for Data Lake and Streaming workloads on Google Cloud. Having spent more than 20 years in information technology, he has a solid technical background in a diverse range of technologies across many industries. He is self-motivated and accomplishment driven and has a proven ability to work productively either individually or with a team environment.
He is responsible for supporting customer engineers and account sales teams in identifying and driving top funnel opportunities. He can solve complex problems, through planning, scheduling and prioritizing to complete assignments and/or projects in a timely manner. He is highly effective in communicating at all business levels. His previous employer was Microsoft. In the seven years he spent there, Price focused on open-source and cloud-scale analytics as a technical principal on the Global Black Belt team. In this role, he helped customers design and implement best of class, cloud-based analytics systems.
Price earned an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in management information systems from
University of Texas, Arlington
After retiring from military service as a logistics officer, Corry Retzloff spent his second career in the aerospace industry and teaching. For four years, he was an assistant professor at Henderson State University and now is a visiting lecturer at the University of Texas, Arlington, teaching in UT’s College of Business and the Goolsby Leadership Academy, where he imparts organizational leadership and project management skills to students.
He is a life-long learner who started his career in the U.S. Navy and received an undergraduate degree in the back of the C-130 aircraft. He went on to receive a commission from the U.S. Army as a logistics officer and later obtained an MBA. Upon retirement, Retzloff entered the aerospace industry as a certified project manager aiding in the creation of the IMO, which oversees the $3.2 billion merger of Wesco Air and Pattonair.
Retzloff earned an MBA with a concentration in management from Henderson State University
and a bachelor’s degree in management from Touro College.
During Evelina Romero’s professional career in the public sector, she came to appreciate the art of procurement of services and products ranging from IT services to playground sets. That skill as the proposal support coordinator with GuidePoint Security now drives her success. In his role, Romero is responsible for creating and/or revising statements of work, change orders and other documents for multiple practices within the organization.
Prior to joining GuidePoint Security, she spent 12 years in the public sector working in various positions within the procurement/contracts field with city of St. Petersburg and Hillsborough County as a procurement coordinator. She switched from the public to private sector in 2019. Working with vendors from the community and internal departments has motivated her to further her education to utilize her experience and knowledge from both the public and private sectors.
Romero earned an MBA from St. Leo University and a bachelor’s degree in business management
from Eckerd College.
The Dynamic Communicator
As president of The Dynamic Communicator, Jill Schiefelbein delivers communications strategies through keynote speaking, training, virtual events and consulting, all designed to increase sales, improve leadership and navigate decision-making for clients. She is a “recovering academic,” serving on the business communications faculty at Arizona State University for more than a decade. She has co-written a textbook titled “Business and Professional Communication in the Global Workplace.”
She is the former director of online programs, building up the first formal office of online education at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State. She is an Ironman competitor, an avid crochet artist and bourbon cocktail enthusiast. She has the endurance to see the long game, the ability to decipher patterns and turn them into tangible results and the appetite for finding ways to improve situations and savor the success.
Schiefelbein earned a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in communications and
a baccalaureate certificate in multimedia writing and technical communication, all
from Arizona State University.
Foster Group, Foster & Associates, Resolute Financial
Howard Schwartz’s specialty is guiding clients with complex financial lives through the confusion and risk that complexity creates. To aid in this task, he brings a lifetime of global business experience in finance, trading, manufacturing and insurance where he has seen how planning and leadership can successfully guide people and companies through a wide range of business cycles. Prior to becoming a wealth adviser, Schwartz spent years restructuring private companies and working with startups.
Schwartz’s dedication and discipline are obvious to everyone around him, which, coupled with a desire to exceed expectations, has helped him make the most of his opportunities. He is an accomplished wealth adviser and serves on the boards of directors for Foster and Resolute Financial. Through this involvement, Schwartz sees an approaching technical revolution in the financial services world that will last for years to come.
Schwartz earned an MBA from Queens University, is a Certified Professional Accountant
and a Certified Management Accountant.
Since 2013, Paul Tripp has led and managed a team of attorneys, paralegals and support staff within the Legal Department of Lincare, a national health care organization whose lines of business include providing respiratory therapy and durable medical equipment to patients in their homes and alternative site care facilities. Tripp, as general counsel of the company, is responsible for the company’s legal affairs, including transactional, regulatory and litigation matters.
Prior to serving as general counsel, he was Lincare’s acquisitions attorney, overseeing its legal merger and acquisition activities. After serving as an active-duty linguist in the U.S. Army, qualified in Arabic, German and Spanish, Tripp studied law and business and for the past 20 years has served as in-house counsel with two publicly traded companies, concentrating on health care, merger and acquisitions and telecommunications. In 2019, he was selected as a Tampa Bay Business Journal Top Corporate Counsel honoree for private companies.
Tripp earned a Master of Laws from Loyola University Chicago, a Juris Doctor from the University of Florida, an MBA from UF and a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Central Florida.