Graduate Alumni Reunion 2021 Award Recipients

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On October 1, nine alumni of Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business received awards for exemplary service to the school as part of the 2021 Graduate Alumni Reunion.

Dewey Awad (MBA’96) and Karim El Solh (MBA’91) were honored with the Dean’s Award, which honors alumni renowned in their field and who exemplify the characteristics of principled leadership and service to society.

Awad joined Bain Capital in 2000 and is a managing director. He previously was vice president of internet infrastructure research at Soundview Technology. Earlier in his career, Awad was director of applications and middleware consulting at Gartner Group, and he spent several years at Electronic Data Systems in the United States and Asia. He also serves on the Georgetown McDonough Board of Advisors. Awad supports students and alumni through his service on the McDonough Board of Advisors, as well as his Dewey Awad Fund for Faculty Excellence, which assists faculty members and enables them to sustain excellence in research and teaching.

El Solh is the co-founder and CEO of Gulf Capital, one of the leading alternative asset management firms focused on growth markets, investing across several asset classes including private equity, growth capital, private debt, and real estate. He also is on the McDonough Board of Advisors. El Solh is a highly engaged member of the Georgetown McDonough Board of Advisors and has supported students, faculty, and alumni through mentorship, career development, curricula advising, and his Business Innovation and Technology fund, which helps move McDonough into the future.

The MBA Alumni Advisory Council (MAAC) Award was given to Alison Davis (MBA’00) and Tania Galarza (MBA’05).

Davis, a member of the MAAC,  is the chief financial officer and chief operation officer at Alchemy Life Enterprises, Inc. Davis graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service with a BSFS before returning to Georgetown for an MBA from McDonough. Davis has served as Chair of the MAAC for the past two years, advising on the strategy of the MBA program and curricula.

Galarza, also a member of the MAAC, is the senior director, of marketing strategy & performance for Marriott International. Galarza has led the MAAC’s MBA Mentorship subcommittee, launching the pilot mentorship program with just 40 mentors and students, and overseeing the program’s growth to this year, with 187 alumni mentors matched with students.

The MSF Award is presented to a Master of Science in Finance graduate excelling in their field and demonstrating commitment to the university. It was presented to Christopher Avella (MSF’15) and Casey Minnick (MSF’16).

Avella is chief financial officer at Hermitage Offshore Services. As a member the very first graduating class, Avella quickly became a reliable and sought-after resource for students and other alumni. He also serves on the MSF Council of Advisors and has supported students by sharing his experiences in financial leadership positions as a guest speaker, presenter, summer clinics project sponsor, and career advisor.

Minnick is the chief operating officer for foreign exchange rates and credit at UBS Investment Bank. Like Avella she serves on the MSF Council of Advisors and is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran with five years of active duty experience. Minnick has impacted MSF students as a regular guest speaker, a mentor, and by sharing career advice. She leveraged her previous military experience, consulting experience, and her MSF to build a career at UBS. She’s been a champion for MSF students who seek to break into Wall Street.

The CIRCLE Award is given to a Committee for Impactful Relationships for C-Level Executives
member who has demonstrated dedication to the school’s executive degree program and its students.

The award was presented to Gary Gadson (EMBA’05) and Tatiana Koleva (EMBA’01).

Gadson is the vice president of operations at American Virtual Cloud Technologies. On CIRCLE, he served as the chair of the Mentoring Committee, and is involved in mentoring students and alumni. Gadson also has guest lectured in EMBA classes and is dedicated to supporting the Executive Degree student and alumni community.

Koleva is the president of Exela Enterprise Solutions at Exela Technologies. She has been on the CIRCLE since the beginning as the chair of the Recruitment Committee. She also has served as a panel judge at the opening residencies for EMBA students and has given much of her time over the past several years supporting students and alumni with mentorship and career advice

Alumni Engagement award was presented to the most highly engaged alumnus over the course of the past year. This year’s recipient was Elizabeth Ross-Ronchi (MBA’99). As a member of the MAAC, she works closely with Prashant Malaviya, senior associate dean for MBA programs, and the school to advise upon and help improve the MBA students’ experience. Ross-Ronchi is the vice president and general manager of supply chain solutions and international business financing at American Express,

Walter David (MBA’05) and Rusmir Musić (MBA’11) received the inaugural Magis Award. The Magis Award is presented to a graduate who has gone above and beyond for McDonough students and the community.

David is the director of business development at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center. For the past several years, David and fellow alumnus Martin Doyle have been collaborating with the MBA Career Center to bring together alumni and current MBA students who are interested in the healthcare industry. During the pandemic David and Doyle, along with the student healthcare club, hosted a series of virtual networking and learning sessions to bring this community together. David also helped to set up a mentorship program between alumni and first-year MBA students during their internship experience and has served as a mentor himself during the 2020 and 2021 summers.

Musić has spent the decade since graduating from the MBA program at the World Bank and IFC, working on climate and green building programs around the world. Over these years, Musić has remained an ardent supporter of students and McDonough. He has facilitated hundreds of students to work on dozens of projects at the bank, helping them gain the special brand of Georgetown’s global business education that serves both business and society.