Incoming TEMBA Class Celebrates Orientation with Disney Magic

img_2035 You kind of expect that there will be Big Al sightings and shouts of Roll Tide! and Go Bama! when the new EMBAs hit orientation on the campus of The University of Alabama, but this year the students were also greeted by the Disney Institute and some famous Disney characters.  The 33rd Tuscaloosa Executive MBA Class joined their fellow classmates, the Huntsville EMBA 2018 class, on the second day of orientation for Disney’s Approach to Leadership Excellence.

“Disney is one of the premier companies in the world for leadership and customer service,” said Dr. Brian Gray, Associate Dean of Manderson Graduate School, “and this is a great opportunity for our students to get an inside look on what makes them so successful and how they can apply what they do at their companies.”

TEMBA students enjoy opening night dinner in T-Town.

Students were exposed to firsthand principles that are at the core of Disney’s organizational strength: effective communication, successful organizational structures, sustaining momentum to achieve goals, day-to-day behaviors that make long-lasting impact on others and developing action steps to influence and develop individual leadership behaviors. Also, during the November 18 Disney Workshop everyone celebrated the birthday of Mickey Mouse, who turned 88 years old.

The day before the Disney Workshop, the TEMBA class enjoyed the traditional orientation activities. Twenty-six students began their 17-month journey to obtain their M.B.A. degree.  In addition to preparing the new students on how to navigate University logistics, orientation focuses on getting the students to know their classmates and teammates through various team building exercises including the EMBA Scavenger Hunt which has become a tradition. Another tradition is the welcome from the EMBA Alumni Network President Russell Shamburger (TEMBA 2004) at the orientation dinner.

Showing off their Heisman Pose during the TEMBA Orientation Scavenger Hunt.

Showing off their Heisman Pose during the TEMBA Orientation Scavenger Hunt.

This year’s Tuscaloosa class has an average age of 37, with 14 years of work experience and 8 years of management. Industries represented in this year’s cohort include automotive, finance, consulting, energy, manufacturing, construction, distribution,  retail, service, government, healthcare, food & beverage and technology.  Sixteen percent represent VP/C-level and professional positions and 23% has military experience (current active duty or retired service members).


The 2018 T-EMBA class members are:

  • Carolyn Berry, GE/Roper Corporation
  • Molly Louise Bray, AmerisourceBergen
  • Maren Cross, Daimler Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.
  • Joseph Culbert, GE Appliances
  • Chris Derksen, Vulcan Materials Company
  • Christina Gordon, Druid City Hospital Health System
  • Matt Groves
  • Ben Johnson, Cahaba Government Benefit Administrators LLC
  • Dejarvas Kelly, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.
  • Mitchell Loper, Raymond James
  • Jake Mankin, The University of Alabama
  • Jason McConnell, RSM US LLP
  • Felicia McKinney, The University of Alabama Supply Store
  • Chris Overstreet, Doster Construction Company, Inc.
  • Christian Patel, Alabama Power Company
  • Frank Pete, Horne LLP
  • Derrica Poole, FIS Global
  • Kevin Porter, TIAA
  • Bethany Roberts, Books-A-Million
  • Drew Rollins, Star Asset Security
  • Jenna Roney, Mississippi Power Company
  • Jason Sellars, The University of Alabama Office of Veteran Affairs
  • Jeff Stewart, Barings Capital Management
  • Justin Walker, Georgia-Pacific
  • Jermaine West, Dean Foods
  • Nora Woods, New Life Interfaith Ministries, Inc.

Congratulations and Roll Tide! to the Tuscaloosa EMBA Class of 2018.

UA Tuscaloosa EMBA Class of 2018

Check out more photos from the TEMBA orientation at the UAEMBA Facebook page.

For more information and to apply to the EMBA Program go to or contact Cheryl Altemara at or call 205-348-4501.

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