Facetime March 2014 - 1990s

There are great discussions happening on the NAU Alumni Association LinkedIn Page. Be sure to check it out and share an update with the network.

Stephen Fireng, ’90 BSBA, is chief executive officer of PlattForm, a global marketing solutions provider for higher education. Stephen was formerly president and CEO of Pearson Embanet, which provides resources for academic institutions to finance, launch, market and support successful online programs. He possesses more than 25 years of experience in postsecondary education.

The city of Sedona, Ariz., has hired Tabatha Miller, ’91 BSACC, as director of financial services. She will direct, manage and oversee the activities and operations of the Finance Department including accounting, revenue administration, treasury management, financial planning and budgeting. Tabatha is happy to return to sunny Arizona – she previously served as director of finance for the Alderwood Water and Wastewater District of Edmonds, Wash.

Derek Mason, ’92 BS crop

Vanderbilt University welcomes Derek Mason, ’92 BS (above image), as head football coach. Derek, who played for NAU from 1987-91, has spent the past four seasons at Stanford, and previously worked as a defensive back coach for the Minnesota Vikings and served in coaching roles for more than six other universities, including: Ohio, New Mexico State, Saint Mary's, Utah, Weber State, Idaho State, Bucknell and San Diego Mesa College.

Christina (Castillo) Benson, ’93 BS, has been promoted to director of group sales at L'Auberge Del Mar, a Destination Hotels and Resorts property in Del Mar, Cali. Prior to joining the team at L'Auberge Del Mar, Benson served as a senior sales manager at the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel, OR.

Mara Connolly, ’93 BSJOU

Leadership coach, facilitator and consultant Mara Connolly, ’93 BSJOU (pictured above), founded ripp leadership, llc in 2013 to help individuals and companies with leadership consulting and life coaching. Visit Mara’s website to learn more about her coaching, leadership and training services.

James Hippel, ’93 BSACC, joins Techne Corporation of Minneapolis, Minn., as chief financial officer. He is a finance executive with experience in several globally diverse technology businesses, including extensive experience with mergers, acquisitions and operations integration. James previously served as senior vice president and CFO for Mirion Technologies, Inc.

Marliese (McWherter) Ward, ’93 BS, is creative services manager for the marketing team of Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo. She most recently worked as creative director for Frieda’s Specialty Produce, based in Los Alamitos, Cali.

Cedar Milazzo, ’96 BSCSE, is vice president of engineering for Devicescape, a firm which specializes in mobile data connectivity solutions. He will lead engineering strategy, architecture and technical development for the company. Cedar comes from NETGEAR, Inc., where he held the position of vice president of engineering of software.

Mike Jankoski, ’98 BS crop v2
Alumnus Mike Jankoski celebrates from Sochi, Russia.

U.S. Olympic slopestyle and halfpipe head coach Mike Jankowski, ’98 BS, celebrated from Sochi when his team member Sage Kotsenburg won the first American gold medal of the games in slopestyle snowboarding. The U.S. Snowboarding team took home three gold and two bronze medals throughout the course of the games. Mike hasn’t forgotten his roots in Flagstaff, where he learned to snowboard at Arizona Snowbowl. “Thx 4 the love from AZ. I wouldn’t be here in Sochi if I didn’t start there,” he tweeted shortly after the announcement. Follow him on Twitter: @CoachJanks

The city of Glendale announced the appointment of Jennifer Campbell, ’99 MED, as assistant city manager. She was previously the community services director for the city of Maricopa and has management experience for the cities of Peoria and Goodyear. Jennifer has also served as adjunct faculty at Glendale Community College since 2009.

Investment bank Lincoln International promoted Christopher Stradling, ’99 BSACC, to managing director. He leads the firm’s efforts in soft-goods and auto-aftermarket while also bringing extensive experience in other consumer segments such as home furnishings, direct-to-consumer, sporting goods and packaged foods.

Ginger (Willis) Bantilborg, ’99 BSED

Ginger (Willis) Bantilborg, ’99 BSED (above photo), joins Hillcrest Care and Rehab of Arkadelphia, Ark., as administrator. Previously, she was assistant administrator at Twin Rivers Health & Rehab in Arkadelphia.

Stewart Vaghti, ’99 BSE v2

Project manager Stewart Vaghti, ’99 BSE, was named in the “Top 20 Under 40” by ENR Southwest. The “Top 20 Under 40” competition highlights 20 southwestern U.S.-based individuals under the age of 40 who represent the best of the best in their construction and design careers. Employed by Gannett Fleming, Stewart is making significant contributions to several high-profile dam projects. He is serving as a project manager for Miner Flat Dam design services in Whiteriver, Ariz., civil design engineer for the Tempe Town Lake Downstream Dam Replacement in Tempe, Ariz., and as civil engineer for technical services for Hawaii’s Dam Safety Program. Stewart is also southwest regional director for the firm’s corporate sustainability team, helping to enhance sustainability throughout the firm’s projects and operations.