Eller MBA Program Announces Formation of Industry Advisory Board

December 18, 2013
Members facilitate connections between students and industry.

TUCSON, Ariz. – December 18, 2013 – Eller MBA Programs at the University of Arizona announced today the formation of a twelve-member industry advisory board. The board’s purpose is to share its collective experience with current students, connecting them to industry through internships, full-time employment, and consulting projects, as well as mentorship and speaking engagements.
The advisory board formalizes many existing relationships, drawing on alumni and recruiters who have been strong advocates for Eller MBA students within their corporations. Intel, for example, funds an annual case competition and scholarship and has hired 14 Eller MBAs for full-time employment and internships over the past five years. Board member Alex Rios (Eller MBA ’06) has been key to that effort.

“Seven of our 12 board members represent Fortune 500 companies and six are based in Arizona,” said Jennifer Bublitz, assistant dean of Eller MBA Programs. “They come from a variety of industries, but they share a passion for the UA and are committed to our students.”  
“I’m a firm believer that businesses and universities need to partner together to ensure the future workforce is prepared to live, work, and succeed in tomorrow's world,” said Derinda Ehrlich of Avnet. “The industry advisory board at the Eller MBA Program is a great opportunity for businesses, such as Avnet, to build networks with students and provide insight on aligning program curriculum with the skills in demand by employers. I’m also looking forward to working closely with the other board members, especially since they represent such a talented team from a broad and impressive cross section of industries.”

“I am excited for opportunity to help the Eller MBA leadership team help define the future of post-graduate business education,” said David Spinelli of Microsoft. “The Eller MBA program is uniquely positioned to mold the next generation of high-tech business leaders in conjunction with the related world-class entrepreneurship, MIS, and health care concentrations. My hope is that sharing my 27 years of experience in information technology and management consulting will benefit the educational experiences of the students.”

“For students, the advisory board represents an incredible wealth of knowledge and access to many admired companies,” said Tionna Cunningham, a first-year Eller MBA student. “At the heart of it, the board members are people who want to make a difference, to chat and share the story of their career trajectory and where they are in life. You normally don’t get that kind of face time with such high achievers, and these people already believe in the Eller brand and in us as Eller representatives.”

The Eller MBA advisory board includes:

  • Marc Chesley, Chief Technology Officer, Infusionsoft
  • Derinda Ehrlich, VP Global Operational Excellence, Avnet
  • Jay Geldmacher, CEO of a new joint venture between Platinum Equity and Emerson
  • John Hambacher, Senior Manager, Kindle Content Quality, Amazon
  • Kevin Kraus, Sr. Director of Global Marketing, Roche Diagnostics Corporation
  • Ed Long, Partner, Gillespie, Robinson and Grimm, Inc.
  • Linda Medler, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force
  • Vicki Panhuise, President, Airborne Systems
  • Alex Rios, SHIPz FP&A Manager, Intel
  • Mike Schneider, Vice President, Operations Support, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Gas Co.
  • David Spinelli, Senior Enterprise Architect, Microsoft Services
  • Lynn Ventimiglia-Lobit, Principal and Founder, diamonddog Strategic Marketing

About the Eller College

The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program No. 11 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program No. 56 in the U.S. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers the No. 33-ranked Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the No. 29-ranked Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,800 undergraduate and 800 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, and on its satellite campus in downtown Phoenix.

Press Contact:
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management
520.626.9547, news@eller.arizona.edu