McDonough Alumni Ambassador Program Leadership
The Alumni Ambassador Program is an association of appointed alumni leaders that works directly with the Georgetown McDonough Office of Alumni and External Relations and school administrators to engage in community building and promote a strong alumni experience for all Georgetown McDonough graduates. This group of global alumni advises the school as it develops its alumni engagement strategy for specific geographical locations, companies, or communities. The primary focus of the Alumni Ambassadors is to empower alumni to take part in building out Georgetown University’s powerful alumni network.
To ensure that our alumni have the best community available, we believe our graduates must be involved from the admissions process through the student experience and onward both at the business school and among other powerful alumni networking groups at the university level. We currently have more than 25 global alumni ambassadors who have been active business leaders for McDonough and who have been connected with university-wide alumni networking groups.
To learn more about the program, selection criteria, or nomination process, please contact Justine Schaffner, assistant dean of alumni and external relations, at Justine.Schaffner@georgetown.edu. For a full list of Regional Ambassadors, please click here.
Scott Howard (MBA'11), Chair, Executive Board, New York Regional Lead
Scott Howard serves as chairman of the Georgetown McDonough Alumni Ambassadors, a role he has held since 2011. Howard is the founder of an independent consultancy, Current Consulting, which provides management consulting services focused on operations and finance. He works with high-growth businesses and the people who fund them. Howard also acts as the vice president of programming for Venturing Hoyas, a Georgetown alumni and student network active in entrepreneurship and venture capital. Howard graduated from the University of Virginia with a dual major in business studies and government. He graduated from the Georgetown McDonough MBA program in 2011.
Evan Piekara (MBA'13), Executive Board, Washington Regional Lead
Prior to coming to Georgetown, Evan Piekara spent four years as a member of Teach For America teaching sixth and seventh grades in the South Bronx. Piekara graduated from Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business in 2013 and helped launch BDO USA LLP’s management consulting practice in Washington, D.C. He currently lives in Chinatown/Mt. Vernon and enjoys cheering on the Hoyas, Yankees, and Patriots in his free time.
John Hanson (MBA'89), Boston Regional Lead
John Hanson is chief pricing strategist at Akamai Technologies in Cambridge, Mass. Prior to joining Akamai, John spent more than 25 years as a strategy consultant at Accenture and Oliver Wyman in the communications, high-tech, and media industries. His clients have included the nation’s largest cable, telecomm, high-tech equipment, and software firms. He has been quoted extensively in the business press and has published on a range of pricing and strategy topics. John also has been a vice president for a venture-backed enterprise software company.
He is a 1989 graduate of the Georgetown McDonough MBA program and a 1980 graduate of Harvard College.
Andy Rah (MBA'06), Dallas Regional Lead
Andy Rah is the Vice President of Global Marketing for Macadamia Beauty, leading the world-wide marketing efforts for all of the Macadamia Beauty brands, including Macadamia Professional, éprouvage, and Macadamia Natural Oil. His responsibilities include leading all aspects of product development, creative, sales support, public relations and digital/print & social media. Andy has over 10 years of marketing experience in the beauty industry, having worked for L’Oreal, TIGI and Advanced Beauty prior to joining the Macadamia team. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a BS in Commerce and MS in MIS, in addition to having his MBA from Georgetown University.
Steve Marzo (B’80), Hong Kong Regional Lead
Steve Marzo is the Principal at Baxter Coudert Capital Ltd. Previously, Mr. Marzo was the Chief Financial Officer for Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd and held various positions at Noble Resources Ltd., including Group Chief Financial Officer. He is also an active Board member of the Asian Mining Club and the Hong Kong Management Association. Mr. Marzo attended Georgetown University and the Oxford Centre for Management Studies.
Danielle Halley (MBA'15), Houston Regional Lead
Danielle Halley graduated from the McDonough School of Business in 2015 and received a B.A. from New York University. Prior to business school, Halley lived in New York City, where she worked at Strategic Value Partners, a global alternative investment firm focused on distressed and deep value opportunities, in business development and investor relations. Currently, Halley is in the Experienced Commercial Leadership Program at GE Oil & Gas based in Houston, Texas, where she is supporting the Commercial Excellence team in their organizational transformation. In her spare time, Halley enjoys exploring the world, cooking and trying out the latest fitness craze.
Federico Ochoa (MBA'12), London Regional Lead
Federico Ochoa started his career as a credit analyst for BB&T Bank. He became a commercial lender and commercial loan portfolio manager before graduating from Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business in 2012. After his earning an MBA, Ochoa worked in corporate and development finance for Marriott Hotels at the company’s headquarters in Bethesda, Md. He recently took on a new role in London where he focuses on Marriott’s European hotel portfolio and various continent strategic plans.
Jessica Hatrak (MBA'15), Los Angeles Regional Ambassador
Jessica Hatrak was born and raised in Southern California and received her undergraduate degree in political science from UCLA. After graduating, she worked at a large plaintiff law firm in the civil department, specializing in pharmaceutical and medical device recalls. Next Hatrak will join PricewaterhouseCoopers as a senior associate in their health industries vertical. She will work out of their Los Angeles office and looks forward to engaging local alumni to build a stronger presence in Southern California.
Bob Johnson (MBA'13), New Jersey Regional Ambassador
Bob Johnson is an investment management associate and certified financial planner at BlackRock covering South Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas Independent Advisors. Before his current role, he worked in Advisor Services as a sales associate and sales support representative. Previously, he was a financial advisor at Northwestern Mutual and JPMorgan Chase. Bob earned a B.A. from SUNY Albany and an MBA from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.
Stephen Tansey (MBA'01), Pennsylvania Regional Lead
Stephen Tansey is president and chief operating officer of York Container Company, a corrugated packaging manufacturer in south-central Pennsylvania. Tansey began his career with York Container in 2002 as director of plant operations, responsible for production, quality, and logistics. He was appointed COO in 2004 and became president in 2011, when he structured a leveraged buyout to consolidate ownership and acquired controlling interest of the 60-year-old company.
Prior to his work at York Container, Tansey worked as a senior consultant in the wireless services practice at BearingPoint Consulting in Fairfax, Va.; as a business development manager at Forrester Research in Cambridge, Mass.; and as a sales representative for Diebold Inc. in Denver and Salt Lake City.
In addition to his professional career, Tansey was elected and served eight years as a township supervisor in Jackson Township, Pa., and served two years as a commissioner for the Northern York County Regional Police Department. He is a member of the board of trustees for York College of Pennsylvania, is a member of the board of trustees for York Academy Regional Charter School, is a member and past chairman of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization, and is a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Tansey holds an MBA from Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business and a B.S. in finance from Santa Clara University. Tansey lives in York, Pa., with his wife and three sons.
Diego Castro (MBA'16), Peru Regional Lead
Diego Castro is the Securities Country Manager for Peru since mid-2012 and has 18 years of experience in the financial industry across several businesses and functions both in and outside of Citi. He is responsible for developing transactional products and services that facilitate investors’ access to the market, managing the relationship with market infrastructure providers and participating in initiatives aiming to develop the Peruvian Capital Markets. He was re-elected to the Board of Directors at CAVALI (Peru’s Central Securities Depository) in March 2016 and held such position from 2013 to 2015.
He started his career with Citi as Product Manager in 1997 leading the launch of Issuers business in Peru, incorporating the first securitization vehicle and transaction in Peru. Between 1999 and 2004 he assumed responsibilities as Relationship Manager in the Corporate Bank Group and as Credit Officer in the Risk Management team developing a strong knowledge of credit and corporate banking across a variety of industries including public sector, financial institutions, mining, branded consumer and telecom.
Before rejoining Securities Services group in 2007 as regional product manager for Investor Services and later on as COO for Securities Services LATAM, he worked as consultant at the World Bank and then at Baker & McKenzie Consulting advising top MNC in international finance and economic topics. As regional product manager with Citi, he played a key role in the design, development and launch of ETF capabilities in Colombia in 2011.
Diego holds an economics degree from Universidad de Lima in Peru and an MBA from Georgetown University. He has been a member of Georgetown University Club of Peru´s council since June 2015.
Gheorghe Peltecu (MBA'15), Romania Regional Lead
A native of Romania, Gheorghe Peltecu received a B.S. in finance from Northeastern University and worked as an analyst for John Hancock Financial in Boston before returning to Romania to join PwC's tax practice. In 2015 he obtained an MBA at Georgetown McDonough and currently works at PwC Romania as an assistant manager in the Advisory Practice. In his free time, he is an avid photographer and squash and tennis player.
Ingrid Velmonte (MBA'12), San Francisco Regional Lead
Ingrid Velmonte is a corporate finance and strategy professional working for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, where her responsibilities have included improving operational efficiency, analyzing major investments such as sustainability and location strategy initiatives, and serving on the Board of the Young Employee Network. Velmonte earned an MBA from the McDonough School of Business in 2012 and a B.S. from Fordham University. She is a native of the Philippines, was raised in New Jersey, and currently lives in San Francisco.
Alexander Paranicas (B'08), Seattle Regional Lead
Alexander Paranicas is a Senior Financial Analyst at Amazon, based in Seattle, Washington, in the firm’s Business Development group. Previously, he worked in Supply Chain Finance at Unilever and Corporate Strategy and Business Development at Lockheed Martin Corporation, focusing on intelligence, international and federal contracting. He is an undergraduate alumnus of Georgetown McDonough and has an MBA in finance from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. While pursuing his MBA, Alex was a fund manager of Cornell’s MBA-run Student Venture Capital Fund, overseeing a $1.6 million AUM seed and early stage portfolio of investments. He enjoys travel, skiing and studying foreign languages.
Andrey Kostyuk (GEMBA'15), Spain Regional Lead
Andrey Kostyuk is the Director and Chairman of the Investment Management Committee of Taurus Aurum Global Property Fund, Limited. He was born in Moscow and earned both a Master’s and Ph. D. in taxation from the Academy of Finance of the Government of the Russian Federation. He graduated from the Georgetown McDonough-ESADE joint Global Executive MBA program in 2015. He has been an entrepreneur and investor since the early 1990s, with over 15 years of experience in commercial banking and over 10 years in real estate. In addition to his position with Taurus, he sits on 6 corporate boards, including that of the Big Change Charity Foundation.
JP Pyo (MBA'10), Virginia Regional Ambassador
JP Pyo is a seasoned management and strategy consultant with more than 14 years of experience encompassing strategic planning and operational analysis to implementation, program management, and oversight for public and private sector clients. She has worked extensively with clients such as JP Morgan, TIAA-CREF, SEC, IsBank, Freddie Mac, IRS, DHS, and other government agencies solving complex organization and strategic issues. Pyo holds clearance, is a Certified Business Model and Notation (BPMN) practitioner, and is a PMP candidate.
Andrea Menezes (MBA'13), Boston Regional Ambassador
Andrea Menezes graduated from the McDonough School of Business in 2013 and received a B.A. from Boston University. Prior to business school, Menezes worked in corporate finance at Fidelity Investments. Currently, she is a senior pricing analyst at Staples Advantage in Massachusetts. In her spare time, Menezes enjoys reading, traveling, and trying different cuisines.
Michael Skvasik (MBA'15), Boston Regional Ambassador
Michael Skvasik is a client representative for IBM in Boston and is responsible for managing client relationships and the delivery of IBM products and services. Prior to IBM, he worked as both a mathematics teacher and operations manager at Midwood High School in Brooklyn, N.Y. During his teaching career, he taught more than 2,000 students, mentored rising educators, and wrote custom programs to streamline outdated technology systems. In 2015, he received an MBA from Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. While at Georgetown McDonough, he was the vice president for service programs for Net Impact and the co-president of the Social Venture Lab. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College with a double major in physics and philosophy and a minor in scientific computation.
Vanessa Dumonet (MBA'15), New York Regional Ambassador
Vanessa Dumonet graduated from the McDonough School of Business in 2015 and received a B.A. from Union College. Prior to business school, Dumonet spent five years working at the international law firm Ropes & Gray. She worked first in Boston focusing on private equity client development, then lived in Hong Kong for two years, where she developed and led the business development and marketing strategies for the firm’s Asia Pacific offices. Currently, Dumonet is a marketing presidential management associate at Estee Lauder in New York City. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants, and spending time with friends and family.
Patrick Hook (MBA'12), New York Regional Ambassador
Patrick Hook is a digital marketer working in acquisitions for Citi's consumer cards division. In three years in digital marketing at Citi, he has led initiatives across customer experience, lead generation, attribution, and affiliate marketing. Prior to Georgetown, Hook worked at Anheuser-Busch InBev in marketing and sales. Hook is a 2012 Georgetown MBA graduate and earned an undergraduate degree in marketing and international studies from the University of Missouri. Hook lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., with his wife, Jessica. In his free time, Hook enjoys hiking, reading, and traveling.
Steve Kennedy (MBA'15), New York Regional Ambassador
Steve Kennedy received an MBA from the McDonough School of Business in 2015 and received a B.S. from Providence College. Prior to business school, Kennedy worked at Moody's within their credit risk management consulting group where he helped institutional investors analyze specific corporate bonds within their portfolios. Kennedy now works for J.P. Morgan Asset Management on the firm's global investment team where he invests across equities, fixed income, and alternatives. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, golfing, and reading.
Robert Nachtsheim (MBA'14), New York Regional Ambassador
Robert Nachtsheim graduated from the McDonough School of Business in 2014 and received a B.A. from Carleton College. Prior to business school, Nachtsheim was a statistics analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, where he analyzed West Coast banks from a monetary policy and regulatory perspective. Currently, Nachtsheim is a senior associate in the Finance Associate Leadership Program at JPMorgan Chase, focusing on corporate finance across multiple lines of business. In his spare time, Nachtsheim enjoys running, international mountain trekking, and volunteering at food banks.
John Nespoli (MBA'14), New York Regional Ambassador, Head of Campus Outreach
John Nespoli graduated from the McDonough School of Business in 2014 and received a B.S. from Lehigh University. Prior to business school, Nespoli lived in New York City, where he served as a senior consultant in Ernst & Young’s Financial Advisory Practice and as an associate in Morgan Stanley's Fixed Income Group. Currently, Nespoli is an assistant vice president at Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he supports their Alternative Investments Group across the emerging market and environmental and sustainability sectors.
Julia Tzeng (MBA'14), New York Regional Ambassador, Head of Campus Outreach
Julia Tzeng graduated from Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business in 2014 and received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to business school, Tzeng worked in private wealth management straddling both the client management side and the practice development side to improve business practices and client relationships. Currently, she is a senior consultant at Ernst & Young in New York City focusing on strategy and operations projects for financial services clients. In her spare time, Tzeng enjoys trying different cuisines, traveling the world, playing piano, and volunteering with children.
Bhagirath Gaonkar (MBA'13), San Francisco Regional Ambassador
Bhagirath Gaonkar is originally from Bangalore, India. Prior to business school, he worked in the technology industry in roles ranging from software innovation and delivery to sales and account management. Gaonkar holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering and was valedictorian at CMR Institute of Technology in Bangalore. At McDonough, Gaonkar served as vice president on the Student Government Association and as a director in the Consulting Club. He also was actively involved in several initiatives including peer advising, admissions and others. He graduated from Georgetown's McDonough School of Business with an MBA in 2013. Since graduation, Gaonkar worked at Deloitte in their Technology Strategy division and currently works at Akamai in Service Enablement helping bring new products to market and ensuring launch readiness.
Bennett Barsk (MBA'89), Washington Regional Ambassador
Bennett Barsk (MBA'89) owns a private tutoring service in the Washington, D.C., area, for college and high school students who need help in math and statistics. He earned an undergraduate degree in physics from Reed College and remains active in his alma mater's alumni association, in addition to his role in Georgetown McDonough's Alumni Ambassador program. His avocations include party and event planning, and he is good at suggesting and arranging social and professional connections.
Bret Peterson (MBA'15), Washington Regional Ambassador
Bret Peterson is a senior strategy and operations consultant with Deloitte Federal Consulting. In May 2015 he earned an MBA from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business with a certificate in international business diplomacy from the Walsh School of Foreign Service's Landegger Program. Prior to graduate school, Bret spent four years in China focusing on international business, government relations, and trade.
Eric Yang (MBA'14), Washington Regional Ambassador, Head of Marketing and Communications
Eric Yang graduated from Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business in 2014 with an MBA and received a B.S. from Babson College. Currently, Yang works for Audi of America in corporate strategy developing the company’s long-term strategy. Previously, he worked in a strategy implementation role for a small automotive firm. In his free time, Yang can be found working with Homeward Trails Animal Rescue and providing emergency services to the community as a firefighter EMT with the McLean Volunteer Fire Department.
Julie Young (MBA'15), Washington Regional Ambassador
Julie Young graduated from the McDonough School of Business in 2015 and previously received a B.A. from Hamilton College and an M.A. from Pace University. Prior to business school, Young was a Teach for America corps member in Brooklyn, New York, and later worked in the nonprofit sector as senior manager of operations for Relay Graduate School of Education in Newark, New Jersey. Currently, Young is a consultant at Accenture as part of the Accenture Federal Services/Strategy group in Washington, D.C. In her free time, Julie enjoys yoga, traveling, and volunteering at schools in the D.C. area.