UA EMBA Celebrates the Class of 2016


HEMBA Graduates (L-R) Jeremy Phelps, Heather Martin and Jim Boyd.

The roar of “Roll Tide” was loud as 40 graduates and over 200 family members, staff and students gathered at The Zone in Bryant-Denny Stadium on May 6 to celebrate the Culverhouse College of Commerce Executive MBA Class of 2016 graduation.  During their EMBA Program at The University of Alabama, the graduates completed academic coursework in finance, accounting, marketing, spreadsheet analysis, strategy, operations and project management, negotiations, statistics, communication and leadership.  They also traveled to Morocco and Spain as part of their global business course. Team work, case discussions, projects and presentations rounded out the M.B.A. degree curriculum.  Along the way they forged friendships and made special memories.

Recognition of EMBA Class leaders (L-R): Interim Dean Brian Gray, Richard Spears, Jim Boyd, Pritha Powell, EMBA Director Donna Blackburn and Tom Thayer.

The afternoon festivities began with a tour of the Alabama football locker room and the Crimson Tide tunnel to the Bryant-Denny field. Everyone then convened in The Zone for the EMBA reception and awards ceremony.  This year’s honorees included recognition of HEMBA President Richard Spears and Vice President Jim Boyd, and TEMBA President Tom Thayer and Vice President Pritha Powell. The class MVP awards went to Zeph Isom (HEMBA) and Tom Thayer and Ben Caro (TEMBA) for exemplifying high ideals, integrity and leadership ability, as well as being supportive of class and teammates.

Class leaders presented the Faculty Excellence awards to Dr. William Walsh, Clinical Professor of Economics (HEMBA), and Dr. Ron Dulek, John R. Miller Professor of Management (TEMBA). The award honors the professor who has shown outstanding commitment to the EMBA Program through their exceptional instruction generating a positive learning environment and creating a significant impact on student understanding. 


U.S. Army Contracting Officer Rodney Bilbrew receives Completion of EMBA Program plaque at May 5 EMBA Award Ceremony.

Interim Dean, James I. Harrison Family Teaching Excellence Faculty Fellow, and Professor of Statistics Dr. Brian Gray was awarded the Dr. James F. Cashman Faculty Award by both the TEMBA and HEMBA classes.  The James F. Cashman Faculty Award is given to the faculty member that reflects the spirit and positive influence on EMBA students as exemplified by Dr. Cashman, a man of integrity who’s generous counsel impacted students’ lives. 

During the EMBA ceremony all of the graduates received plaques and University of Alabama pins. Nine graduates received 4.0 GPAs: Stephen Burton, Aaron Craddock, Zeph Isom, Ryan McDaniel, Neil Morton, Pritha Powell, Richard Spears, Edward Stringfellow and Nic Ward. Eleven Veterans were also honored with cords recognizing their service to our country.


TEMBA 2016 graduates getting ready to line up for UA Commencement.

At UA we are proud of saying we are a family and once you become a student, you and your family becomes part of the Alabama family. It was only fitting that at the end of the EMBA graduation event everyone joined in for a class family portrait.  “I’m so proud to be affiliated with the University of Alabama. This has been a life changing experience for me,” said Mike Starnes (HEMBA).

Thank you to the family, friends, co-workers and companies that supported our graduates throughout the program.  Check out more photos from graduation on our Facebook page.  Once again, congratulations to our Executive MBA Class of 2016:

  • Rodney Bilbrew, U.S. Army Contracting Command
  • Jim Boyd, Army Aviation Flight Test Directorate
  • Patrick Briles, Wells Fargo
  • Justin Brown, ColeMarie Austin
  • Stephen Burton, Buckman Laboratories, Inc.
  • Ben Caro, USAF Sr. Noncommissioned Officer Academy
  • Joe Caubo, Mississippi Power Company
  • Aaron Craddock, Randall Reilly
  • Stefan Eitzinger, Drummond Company, Inc.
  • Paulo Gonzalez, Drummand Company, Inc.
  • Erika Hailes, Conversant Biologics
  • Nate Hall, Hubbard Properties, Inc.
  • Don Hersh, Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc.
  • Cody Higgins, Social Security Administration
  • Zeph Isom, Universal Lighting Technologies
  • Jason Kennedy, Southeastern Plateworks, LLC
  • Josh King, WTI Transport
  • Shannon Lewis, Conversant Biologics
  • Heather Martin, Mercy Regional Medical Center
  • John Mathison, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Ryan McDaniel, Nissan of Smyrna, TN
  • Neil Morton, Moultrie Products/Pradco
  • Jeremy Phelps, Nissan North America
  • Pritha Powell, Regions Financial Corporation
  • Bradford Price, All-South Subcontractors, Inc.
  • David Reiniger, The Boeing Company
  • Jordan Reynolds, Missile Defense Agency
  • Kimberly Rose, BBVA Compass
  • Eric Satterfield, Neptune Technology Group, Inc.
  • Beth Smith, Progress Rail Services
  • Joey Snowden, McLeod Software
  • Richard Spears, DRS Technologies
  • Erik Spencer, Walter Energy
  • Michael Stanley, U.S. Navy
  • Mike Starnes, Heidelberg USA
  • Edward Stringfellow, Stringfellow Technology Group, Inc.
  • Tom Thayer, Frank Management Group, Inc.
  • Tommy Walker, Speedy Tire and Service, Inc.
  • Nic Ward, Hexcel
  • Dorthea Yarbrough, U.S. Army – AMRDEC
This entry was posted in EMBA Alumni Network, UA EMBA Latest News/Events and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s