The Eller Times.
Eller College of Management, The University of Arizona (logo). The Eller Times. The University of Arizona.

May 2007

Welcome to The Eller Times, sharing highlights of news, events, people, and partners of the Eller College of Management.

Join the Eller College Alumni Community now: online directory, permanent UA email, class notes, and more!  


In the News.

Eller Graduates Embark on Outstanding Careers

This month, Eller College undergraduate, graduate, and Ph.D. students faced the exciting and bittersweet moment of leaving the UA behind to begin careers in business and public service. The Eller Times checked in with some of them to preview the next phase of their lives:

Blake Owens.Blake Owens – MBA ’07
Blake is relocating to San Francisco for a position as a senior associate in the PricewaterhouseCoopers Finance and Operations Performance Improvement Advisory division. “I was offered the full-time position at the completion of my internship,” he says. For Owens, the position ties together the different elements of his MBA experience — including the Business Intelligence Quotient and field project. “These experiences focused on analyzing complex business problems and making recommendations on how to best and most efficiently solve those problems,” he says. Owens says he is looking forward to the challenges ahead. “My experience at Eller was very worthwhile and one of the best decisions I have ever made,” he adds.
Joshua Wright.Joshua Wright – Master of Public Administration ’07
Joshua is now assistant to the town manager of Marana, Ariz. “Like a lot of MPA grads from the Eller College, I secured my job via my internship,” he says. Wright applied for several public sector internships, but hadn’t heard back. “A mentor recommended I call Gilbert Davidson, the deputy town manager of Marana, and MPA ’04. I had never met him before, but I called his office and asked if he needed an intern, which led to an interview and a full-time position seven months later.” Wright credits the professors, alumni, and students of the School of Public Administration and Policy for his success. “Without their efforts, I would never have been able to become a part of the great, rapidly growing community I now live and work in — the Town of Marana,” he says.
Carmen Carrion-Flores.Carmen Carrion-Flores – Ph.D. Economics ’07
Carmen interviewed last July for a position teaching in Agricultural Economics at the University of Florida. “They were interested in me because of my background in econometrics and my research on migration,” she explains. She will be an assistant professor at the University of Florida beginning this fall.
Jason Badal.Jason Badal – BSBA Accounting ’07
Jason will start at the Tampa office of Deloitte & Touche as an auditor. “I am really excited to start my career with Deloitte and am looking forward to moving to Tampa,” he says. “At the same time, I am also sad to leave Eller. I met many good people through my involvement in Delta Sigma Pi — the professional business fraternity.”
Ngoc Can.Ngoc Can – BSBA Finance ’07
Ngoc will begin her career as a corporate finance analyst with Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin (HLHZ), an investment banking firm in Los Angeles. Can was interested in investment banking, and read a profile of Mark Stinner, BSBA Finance ’06, on the Finance Department website. She contacted him, and he helped her secure a position with HLHZ. “He personally brought my resume to the associate in charge of recruiting,” she says. “Then I got a surprise phone interview with an associate from HLHZ at 5 p.m. on a Wednesday when I was tutoring a student at Starbucks.” Stinner also helped Can prepare for the second round interview. “As I leave Eller, I have mixed feelings. It has been a home to me for the last four years,” she says. “At the same time, I am very excited to launch my career trajectory. I realize that each graduating senior from Eller will serve as a mirror that conveys to the world the message about our community. I will try my best to leave a positive footprint to represent Eller well in my life-long journey.”
Joseph Peccolo.Joseph Peccolo – BSBA Finance ’07
Joseph interned with Edward Jones in Tempe, Ariz., last summer. “It was the most rewarding internship experience I have ever had,” he says. “Every day when I left work I felt like I made a difference by participating in the capital markets. When I returned to school, they told me that I should expect a call to be invited to participate in the recruitment process. Not three weeks into my senior year they called me and offered me a full-time position after graduation. I immediately accepted!” Peccolo will participate in a 12-month rotational program. “I feel extremely prepared to face what it is ahead of me,” he adds. “I figure that if I can get through the Integrated Cohort Project and Accounting 400C, I should be able to take whatever comes my way. I attribute the success of Eller to the professors and faculty. They show us that what we do can make a difference, and that success comes from hard work and determination.”

McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship Celebrates Banner Year

McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship. From idea to reality.

Concluding a year in which Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review ranked it #1 overall in undergraduate entrepreneurship programs, the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship celebrated innovation at its annual business plans competition and year-end event.

Business Plans Competition Winners Develop Commercialization Plans for UA Technologies   

Two business plans based on technologies developed by UA BIO5 Institute scientists emerged as the undergraduate and graduate winners of the CB Richard Ellis / McGuire Entrepreneurship Business Plans Competition.

The RediRipe team.

Undergaduate team winners RediRipe: Adam Baskin, Justin Guerra, Sean Conway, and Adam Little.

Undergraduate winners RediRipe developed a commercialization plan for a fruit ripeness indication system using a patented color-changing sticker invented by associate professor Mark Riley of agriculture and biosystems engineering. “The competition was in a sense a final for us,” says Sean Conway, general manager of RediRipe and BSBA Marketing ’07. “Entrepreneurs are competitive in nature, so we knew everyone was going to bring their best presentations to the competition. It was very gratifying winning number one.”

The Innovis team.

Graduate team winners Innovis Technologies LLC: Rachana Gollapudi, Alicia Reeves, and Olin Feuerbacher.


Graduate team winners Innovis Technologies LLC created a business plan for a patented technology used to identify microbial contamination such as E. coli in food and water in a fraction of the usual time. “Our product manager, Olin Feurbacher, was working on an application of the same technology in connection with bio-terrorism over summer 2006,” explains Rachana Gollapudi, MS Management Information Systems ‘07, the team’s marketing manager. “As a microbiologist, it occurred to him that one could extend the technology to detect the presence of microbes. We formed a team in September 2006.” The team is working with technology inventor Indraneel Ghosh and the UA Office of Technology Transfer in hopes of eventually launching Innovis.

The winning teams recently appeared on Inside Arizona Business. Click to view the program.

Middle School and High School Challenges Build Entrepreneurial Capacity in Youth  

This year, the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship also introduced a pair of programs designed to encourage middle school and high school students to think like entrepreneurs.

In the Pistor Middle School GATE Entrepreneurship Challenge, students identified a problem, the population affected by the problem, a proposed business solution, steps for validating the solution, and a list of needed resources to make it happen.

“The project was not about starting a business,” says McGuire Center director Sherry Hoskinson. “It was really about empowering these students to solve problems — whether personal or professional — and to also get them excited about attending college one day.”

The students identified a range of problems — one team of girls zeroed in on the hideous smell of nail polish, proposing a fruit-scented version that they would produce in fun-shaped bottles to further differentiate their product in a crowded market.

Winner of the 2007 Arizona Youth Entrepreneurship Award.

Sonja Wieduwilt is presented a check by 1st National Bank of Arizona's Ken Zehm for winning the Arizona Youth Entrepreneurship Award.

Hoskinson says she would like to expand the concept into an Idea Fair for middle schools across the region.

In the first Arizona Youth Entrepreneurship Award, sponsored by the Eller College and 1st National Bank of Arizona, high schoolers statewide were invited to submit original business plans.

Sonja Wieduwilt, a senior at Canyon Del Oro High School in Tucson, earned top honors for her concept ― Application Advantage ― which combines online applications for colleges and universities nationwide to provide students with a more efficient college application process. Wieduwilt will use her $2,000 award for college expenses.

Southern Arizona Business Leaders Honored for Contributions to Entrepreneurial Growth  

The McGuire Center event also annually recognizes business and academic leaders who contribute significantly to Arizona’s economy and entrepreneurial potential.

This year’s winners are:

  • 2007 Entrepreneurial Fellowships: Lawrence M. Hecker (Hecker & Muehlebach) and Lea Márquez-Peterson (Greater Tucson Leadership, and BSBA Marketing and Entrepreneurship ’92)
  • 2007 Technology Transfer Fellowship: Patrick L. Jones (UA Office of Technology Transfer)
  • Inaugural Entrepreneurial Promise Award—Rural Entrepreneurship: Michael Proctor (UA Academic Outreach and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)

    Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame
    • Entrepreneurial Leadership Award: Sarah Brown Smallhouse (Thomas R. Brown Family Foundation and Eller MBA ’88)
    • Supporter of Entrepreneurship Award: Donald V. Budinger (Rodel Foundation)

MBA Field Projects Complement Student Career Goals

MBA Field Project.

MBA students present the results of their field project to representatives of Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Business Intelligence Quotient (BIQ)
Eller MBAs build business intelligence in their first semester of the program by “becoming” the organization they want to work for, learning everything about its history, how it operates, and the challenges it faces today — the business intelligence quotient.

Members of the MBA class of 2008 are at the mid-point of their Eller College careers — having immersed themselves in a chosen industry through the Business Intelligence Quotient (BIQ) project, they’ve applied those lessons in team-based field projects and are now beginning summer internships.

“For our field project for W.L. Gore, we worked on a market opportunity assessment for three medical device products,” says Sophia Jensen, who partnered with Nischal Kallapalli on the project. “My BIQ choice was Eli Lilly, and moving from that into this field project was perfect. It covered similar topics such as insurance reimbursement, FDA involvement, and barriers regarding direct sales and payment.”

Jensen says that her field project and her BIQ were in direct alignment with her career goals. “I would ultimately like to work in the pharmaceutical industry in a marketing position,” she says, “and both projects have been focused in the medical field and in marketing.”

Jensen will complete an internship assessing new market opportunities for optical science technologies in Mexico this summer. “Finishing the field project with great success has given me confidence that I will complete my internship with the same result,” she says.

Nelly Zapata and Brandon Quijada collaborated on a field project for Texas Instruments (TI). “The project was a profitability and revenue performance analysis study,” explains Zapata. “As I am in the process of learning about several industries — including manufacturing — working for TI was an excellent opportunity.”

Zapata will spend the summer in Manila completing an internship with Astec Power. “While the field project was not a deciding factor in my selection of the internship, the lessons I learned in the project will certainly be useful this summer,” she says.

“During the project, I had the opportunity to apply theoretical concepts learned in class to real-world practical situations,” she continues. “Practical application of concepts such as statistical regression analysis and price elasticity analysis has solidified the course content of several of my first-year classes.”

In addition, she says, it provided a valuable exercise in team-building. “Each of us made an effort to learn about each other and to improve the team's dynamics for the better of the group,” she says. “The result was a very productive and efficient team.”

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Eller Presents.

Exceptional Undergraduates and Alumni Honored at A Night with the Stars

A Night with the Stars.Eller Undergraduate Programs closed another academic year with the annual A Night with the Stars event recognizing students, faculty, staff and alumni.

The following were named outstanding seniors:

  • Roman Eskue, accounting
  • Charles M. Post, business economics
  • Jenny L. Huynh, business management
  • Ngoc Can, finance
  • Christina Andrews, marketing
  • Laura M. Reid, management information systems
  • Misty Harvey, criminal justice / public administration
Nita and Sushila Umashankar.


Nita Umashankar, winner of The Leo B. Hart Humanitarian Award, with her mother, marketing professor Sushila Umashankar.

Top honors for graduating seniors went to:

  • Accounting major Corissa F. Quijada — recognized with the Laura Henderson Outstanding Multicultural Student Service Award
  • Marketing major Vidya Chellappan — recognized with the Marvin Fortman Award for Leadership
  • Marketing major Melissa Howell — recognized with the William B. Barrett Award (for academic accomplishment and service to the College and its students)

Two students from each of the freshman, sophomore, and junior classes were also recognized with the Philip Morris: Values in Action Award based on their exceptional motivation and leadership:

  • Douglas Gould, freshman pre-business major
  • Rae Lynn Muvillo, freshman pre-business major
  • Jessica Candelaria, sophomore marketing major
  • Yerbolat Zhumakhmetov, sophomore finance major
  • Maxwell Burke, junior finance major
  • Matthew Gipple, junior finance major

Academic student advisor Nancy Rochman and career initiatives coordinator Sarah Thompson were honored as Undergraduate Programs Team Members of the Year. Finance adjunct lecturer Don Seeley was recognized as the Don Wells Outstanding Faculty Mentor, finance senior lecturer Sharon Garrison was honored as the Tom Moses Outstanding Student Organization Advisor, and Senior finance lecturer Charles Ruscher was awarded the Gary Scrivner Excellence in Teaching Award.

Alumni award winners.

Student and alumni relations assistant director Julie Trujillo (second from left) with alumni award winners Chad Schneider, Alison Shvets, and George Jensen.


Nita Umashankar (BSBA Marketing and Entrepreneurship ’04) was presented with The Leo B. Hart Humanitarian Award for her outstanding contribution to social justice and welfare. Umashankar is the founder of ASSET, a nonprofit organization that works to educate underprivileged children in India in information technology.

Chad Schneider (BSBA Marketing and Business Management ’03) was recognized with the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award, and Alison Shvets (BSBA Management Information Systems ’01) was honored with the Excellence in Service Award. George Jensen (BSBA Management Information Systems ’87) was presented the Eller College Associate of the Year Award.

Congratulations to all of the outstanding students, faculty, and staff of Undergraduate Programs! View a complete list of award winners.

Save the Date

Mid-Year Economic Update Breakfast
Presented by the Economic Business and Research Center with the support of Chase, this annual event offers a mid-year look at Arizona’s economy. Reservations required.

Wednesday, June 6
7:00 a.m.
Doubletree Hotel Reid Park

RSVP and get more information at

Eller College K-12 Summer Enrichment Programs
Each summer, the Eller College welcomes K-12 students for enrichment programs including TechDivas, DigiDudes, and AzTechCats, which encourage learning about technology; and the Accounting Careers Awareness Program (ACAP), an opportunity for high school juniors to explore the field of accounting.

June 11 - July 27, 2007
McClelland Hall

Register and get more information at

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Ensuring the Future.

Philip Morris USA Connects with Future Employees at Eller College Events

Winner of the 2007 Arizona Youth Entrepreneurship Award.

Philip Morris USA district manager Michael Wood, second from the left, at A Night with the Stars. Also pictured, left to right, are Philip Morris USA section sales director David Katz, Jenny Huynh (BSBA Business Management '07), Philip Morris USA region human resources director Michelle Cutter, Meredith Wright (degree),Jessica Candelaria (BSBA Marketing '08), Philip Morris USA Region 5 sales vice president Kent Zerangue, and Undergraduate Programs director and associate dean Pam Perry.

The Eller College prepares tomorrow's top executives for careers in business and public service — and corporations can connect with these future employees through sponsoring and underwriting activities.

Philip Morris USA has built student awareness of its career opportunities through support of the College's annual Career Showcase. But the company also underwrites the year-end celebration A Night with the Stars (see above), which recognizes outstanding students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

District manager Michael Wood, who manages the company's relationship with UA, says that he's worked hard to develop a collaborative relationship with the Eller College. Four years ago Philip Morris USA was recruiting at nearly 100 campuses across the country. "We needed to narrow the scope," he explains, so the company identified 25 universities in five geographic regions and assigned campus leaders, of which Wood is one.

"Building an effective campus recruiting program was full of new experiences for me," he says. Currently, he serves on the Undergraduate Board of Advisors, which he credits with giving him perspective on how Philip Morris USA can add value for Eller students. "It all made sense to me," he says. "Colleges need to generate funding, build the endowment, attract the best faculty and students, then get those students the best jobs. At Philip Morris USA, we try to find ways to make an impact on campus not only with the university, but with the students."

A Night with the Stars is one solution for advancing the company's presence among students. "Students see our name at the event and know we are invested in their success and achievement," Wood says.

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Eller's Finest.

UA Advertising Federation a Top Finisher in Regional Competition

Studio 320.

Studio 320, the UA Advertising Federation student organization team, with faculty advisor Ed Ackerley (center).


In April, Studio 320 — the UA Advertising Federation student organization team — traveled to Colorado Springs to compete against seven schools in the 12th district finals of the American Advertising Federation National Student Advertising Competition.

The team placed third overall. “This is the best the UA team has done in recent years,” says faculty advisor Ed Ackerley. “The group was fantastic.”

Co-presidents Gabrielle Pavelko (BSBA Marketing ’07) and Hartley Kurtz (BA Media Arts ’07) led the team, which prepared a comprehensive advertising campaign for Coke Classic aimed at multicultural youth.

“We received positive feedback from the representative from Coke,” says Pavelko. “He liked our ideas and thought we had good execution, but we took a lot of risks, and Coke takes a pretty traditional approach to its campaigns.”

The Studio 320 team came up with a hand sign for Coke that mirrors the lines on the logo — “So when you make the sign, it means throw me a Coke,” Pavelko explains — as well as limited-edition colored cans that tie to personality traits. “For example, if you’re a pink, you’re fun and flirty, and if you’re a green, you’re laid back,” she says.

The team wore black suits for the presentation, but accessorized with the color that matched his or her individual personality (Pavelko wore orange for spontaneity and risk-taking). They also conceptualized a Coke machine/photo booth.

“I’ve participated in this competition for three years now,” says Pavelko, who graduated this month and has a summer internship with Nordstrom. “I don’t think our content and presentation could have been any stronger.”

Ph.D. Student Recognized for Outstanding Graduate / Professional Student Leadership

Todd Sorenson.

Todd Sorenson, Ph.D. Economics '07.

In April, the Graduate Student Council recognized Todd Sorenson (Ph.D. Economics ’07) for Outstanding Graduate/Professional Student Leadership. Price Fishback, Frank and Clara Kramer Professor of Economics, nominated Sorenson for the award.

“As an economist, I am well aware of the benefits of specialization,” says Fishback. “Every once in a while, however, someone comes along who can do it all. Todd Sorensen is one of those people.”

Fishback says Sorenson is one of the top two students he has worked with in his 17 years at the UA. “Not only is he a superb teacher and research assistant, he is a quiet student leader who finds ways to lead and help all of his fellow students,” Fishback explains.

Sorenson started a user’s group for a new STATA statistical package, organizing brown bag seminars and posting the notes online for other users. In addition, says Fishback, “For the past several years Todd has served as the unofficial social chairman of our department. He has organized a whole series of outings that bring together students from different cohorts in the program.” Sorenson also set up sessions at leading conferences to highlight the work of his fellow graduate students.

Fishback says that Ph.D. students in economics typically don’t have publication credits before they finish, since they are working on dissertations independent from their advisors’ work. “Todd has already published one paper in a leading industrial organization journal that he co-authored with another graduate student,” says Fishback. “By the time he leaves The University of Arizona for his first job next fall, he will have written the equivalent of 2.5 dissertations.”

Sorenson has accepted a faculty position at the University of California, Riverside.

MBA Awards Honor Leading Students and Faculty

Russell Cropanzano.
Russell Cropanzano.
Price Fishback.
Price Fishback.
Daniel Bens.
Daniel Bens.

Earlier this month, MBA students and faculty gathered for an awards reception honoring exceptional contributions to the Eller MBA community.

The 2007 Graduate and Professional Education Teaching and Mentoring Award was presented to management and organizations professor Russell Cropanzano by the Graduate College in April. The award recognizes his teaching in the MBA and executive education programs, administrative contributions to curriculum development, and placement of doctoral students. “This award is a real honor for me because my students — and my colleagues — nominated me,” he says. “Sometimes when you’re up in front of a classroom you think you’re doing your best, but it’s wonderful to receive feedback to confirm that.”

The Eller MBA Faculty Leadership Award was presented to Price Fishback, Frank and Clara Kramer Professor of Economics. “There are a lot of people here who are doing great work,” says Fishback. “I am honored to be considered a valuable contributor to the program.”

The MBA Distinguished Faculty Award was given to accounting associate professor Daniel Bens. “This is the first teaching award that I have received in my eight years as a professor,” says Bens. “I am honored.”

The Ray H. Johnson Award in Leadership was presented to Ben Sample, MBA ’07 and MBA Student Association president. Johnson and colleagues at PricewaterhouseCoopers established the prize to recognize individuals whose personal and professional leadership qualities have made a substantial difference at the College.

Ben Sample.

Ben Sample,
MBA '07.

“As a leader, Ben is always looking for ways to collaborate and improve his community — whether he takes on the role of a strategic planner, or as an exercise in lateral leadership through the assistance and support he offers students, faculty, and staff,” says MBA director Brent Chrite.

“The selection committee must have had a difficult time selecting the recipient of this award,” says Sample. “For the past couple of years, I have been surrounded by amazing leaders, people who have taught me more about leadership than I could have ever expected. I am honored to have been recognized as one of the leaders of the class of 2007. This award, coupled with graduation, signifies the end of an amazing chapter in my life, one that will continue to affect me forever.” Sample accepted a position with Emerson Electric as a project manager.

Jennie Melrod.

Jennie Melrod, MBA '07.


The Rogers Award in Community Service was presented to Jennie Melrod, MBA ’07. Rogers established the award to pay tribute to MBA students who exemplify volunteerism.

“Jennie has fulfilled her role as the director of community services for the MBA Student Association with distinction,” says Chrite. “She assisted with the AIDS Walk, participated in and helped coordinate Relay for Life, and helped coordinate the annual blood drive. She also coordinated the Faculty Auction 2007, which raised over $3,500 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Tucson Ronald McDonald House.”

“After my late arrival to the UA from Tulane in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, I really wanted to give back to the Eller MBA program,” Melrod says. “Community service offered me a familiar outlet to do this. I'm grateful to have been accepted with open arms into a program where the students and faculty share my desire to make a difference.”

Economics Professor Ronald Oaxaca Awarded the Kalt Prize

Ronald Oaxaca.

Economics professor Ronald Oaxaca is the 2007 recipient of the Kalt Prize.


Economics professor Ronald Oaxaca is the 2007 recipient of the Kalt Prize, a mentorship award established by former Eller College dean Mark Zupan in honor of his own mentor, Joseph P. Kalt. Kalt, an economist with Harvard University, joined the Eller College this spring as a visiting teaching professor.

During his time at the Eller College, Oaxaca has chaired the dissertation committees of 17 Ph.D. students and served on many others. The Kalt Prize was presented to him in recognition of his mentorship of Carmen Carrion-Flores (Ph.D. Economics ’07), who will begin teaching at the University of Florida in the fall.

“She was a joy to work with,” says Oaxaca, “so hard-working, dedicated, and smart.”

“He has been a great mentor, both on a personal and professional level,” says Carrion-Flores. “The first year of my studies was very difficult, and he really made a difference encouraging me and telling me I could do it.”

“It’s part of my job,” says Oaxaca. “And I always have mixed feelings at this time of year. On one hand, it’s great that the students are moving on to other universities, where their good work will help raise the profile of the Eller College. But I’m always sorry to see them leave.”

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Alumni Spotlight.

Success for the Greater Good
John M. Bernal, MBA '82
Deputy County Administrator for Public Works, Pima County

John M. Bernal.
John M. Bernal, MBA '82  

In a career marked by public service, John Bernal has tackled challenges from the local to the international in scale, applying his UA engineering and business education every step of the way.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of Arizona in civil engineering. “Right out of college, I went to work for the Federal Highway Administration,” he says. “Being a local kid, it was a great experience for me, because I got to travel all over the country as part of its 30-month training program.”

Once he completed the rotation, the Highway Administration placed him in Pueblo, Colo., as a project engineer. But Bernal says he was homesick for Tucson, and in 1973, he took his first position with Pima County — an entry level project engineer with the Department of Transportation.

At that point, he decided he was ready to earn an advanced degree. “I considered the Master of Public Administration [MPA] and the MBA program,” he says. “But I decided on the MBA because I wanted to explore what the private sector had to offer.”

“It took me six and a half years to earn my MBA taking one or two classes each semester while working for the county,” he continues. In 1984, he left Pima County to spend six years in the private sector as a land developer.

In 1990, he returned to the public sector as department director of the Pima County Department of Transportation, but after just four years in that position, a new opportunity presented itself.

“I got a call from the Clinton administration,” he explains. “They asked me to take a position as the U.S. Commissioner of the International Boundary and Water Commission in El Paso.” In that role, Bernal was responsible for applying the provisions of the 1889 and 1944 U.S. – Mexico treaties governing shared use of the water resources of the Rio Grande and Colorado Rivers.

“It was one of the most phenomenal periods in my life,” he says. On his first day as commissioner, he introduced Al Gore at a groundbreaking ceremony for a waste water treatment plant in San Diego — which would be one of the largest international projects Bernal finished during his seven-year tenure.

“When I came in the door in 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement had just passed,” he says. The agreement created two organizations to fund key border infrastructure projects. Bernal was one of five U.S. representatives on the ten-member board of one of those organizations, the Border Environment Cooperation Commission.

When the Clinton administration ended, Bernal returned to Tucson as deputy county administrator of public works for Pima County, in which capacity he continues to serve today.

Earlier this year, the American Public Works Association named him a 2007 Top Ten Public Works Leader of the Year for his exceptional career service achievements.

Building a Better Workplace
Nancy Meech, BSBA Accounting '80
Partner, Heinfeld, Meech & Co.

Nancy Meech.


Nancy Meech, BSBA Accounting '80.

An accounting major and a political science minor, Nancy Meech always wanted to find a way to combine her two interests.

“I planned to go into accounting, but I was also fascinated with government,” she says. After she graduated from the Eller College, she found her chance to bring those elements together.

“I got a job with the [Arizona] State Auditor General’s office,” she explains. “I was there for six years, and then in 1986, some major federal legislation was enacted that required many government entities to use independent auditors from CPA firms.”

That legislative change would tip fate in a new direction for Meech. “I never expected to open up my own accounting firm,” she says, “but things happen for a reason.”

Her boss at the time, Gary Heinfeld, came to her with a business proposal. “So we left and opened up our own accounting firm to serve government agencies,” Meech says. “It was a great opportunity in this new market. Now we’re in our 21st year and are recognized as accounting and audit experts for government entities.”

Although she didn’t originally plan on running her own company, Meech has risen to the task. “The biggest challenge is setting up an atmosphere where people want to come to work every day,” she says. “We want to make our firm one of the best places to work in America.” Heinfeld, Meech & Co. was recently notified that it is a finalist on the Best Places to Work Institute’s Best Companies to Work for in America list. “This confirms that we’re on the right track.”

Meech attributes part of the firm’s success to the development of core values. “We spent a lot of time developing them,” she says, “and when you have core values to guide you, decision making becomes very easy.”

Heinfeld Meech & Co. Core Values

Integrity and ethical behavior is the foundation of the company’s decisions and actions.

The firm takes pride in doing its best.

The company team approaches each day with an eager and positive attitude.

Respect for others and diversity fosters individual development and firm growth.

Collaboration, participation, and communication make the firm efficient and strong.


In the News.
Eller Presents.
Ensuring the Future.
  Eller's Finest.  
  Alumni Spotlight.  





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