Wall of Honor
- Don Steiner (BA 1988) - Don is the founder and CEO of Profit Recovery Partners (PRP), the largest administrate cost reduction consulting company in North America. Since the firm's inception in 1997, Don has managed the growth of PRP and expanded an impressive base of Fortune 1000 company clients, while producing over $2.3 billion in savings for them. He has built the firm on core values that serve the client first and created a culture of innovation, trust and bottom line results. Don is also the founder of Two Masters Wine Club and Steiner Innovations. Don truly lives the LMU mantra of "Men and Women for Others." Although he put himself through college, he now gives back by donating scholarship funds for students and serving on the LMU Board of Regents.
- John N. Yonai (BS 1980) & Rose Acosta Yonai (BS 1981) - John and Rose founded Tierra West Advisors, Inc., a full-service real estate and development advisory firm serving the public and private sectors. They originally formed the company in 1980 while students at LMU. Combined, John and Rose have over 65 years of experience in the real estate industry. They met 38 years ago in Boyle Heights and raised four wonderful daughters together. As first generation college graduates, John and Rose are strong advocates for education along with community engagement and worldwide sustainability. They are proud graduates of LMU and remain active and committed to the university through scholarships and board appointments - and are determined to help those from challenging environments become the next generation of leaders.
- Jerry Katz (MBA 1980) - Jerry Katz started his career as an accountant with a small local CPA firm. He became partner at 25, and doubled the size of the firm. He founded his own accounting firm in 1983 and used that firm as the foundation for creating a number of skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and many other firms. One of his firms sold for $100 million in 2011. He is still active in the management of his firms. He is also very active in the community and serves as a regent of Loyola Marymount University and is a member of the Business Advisory Council. He is also very active in other groups, such as being a national trustee of his fraternity. As is often true with successful serial entrepreneurs, Jerry strongly credits those around him for his achievements. The apple does not fall far from the tree; as one might expect, his son Jeff is also an entrepreneur!!!
- John Tomich (BBA 1996) - When he graduated from LMU, John Tomich took an entrepreneurial risk by joining an up-and-coming entrepreneurial venture called iXL, an Internet consulting agency providing e-commerce strategy and consulting solutions to Fortune 1000 companies. He rose to vice president of the firm during the heady days of the first dot com boom. He was also a partner at Shelter Capital Partners where he invested in technology companies. In 2004, John co-founded OneStop Inc., a leading provider of outsourced, e-commerce services to leading brands and services. The firm now has offices on three continents and is one of the fastest growing e-commerce firms in California. The firm provides services in the areas of design, customer service, technology, photography and marketing to firms such as Lululemon, Athletica, True Religion Brand Jeans, Paul Frank and 7 For All Mankind. He is a strong believer in giving back, and has been especially powerful in helping LMU's entrepreneurship students by guiding and mentoring them.
- Edward J. Carpenter (BBA 1967) - Edward Carpenter was an active LMU student and basketball player. He founded Carpenter & Company and currently leads it as chairman and CEO. It is an exceptionally successful investment bank, broker-dealer, financial advisor and private equity firm specializing in banks and distressed assets. They have served over 1,200 depository institutions and have completed initial and secondary equity offerings totaling more than $10 billion! His service to the business community and society has been exceptional on a local, national and international scale. He has served on the boards of many well-known firms in banking and other fields, including Ruby’s Restaurants, RB Furniture and Sealy Mattress. He has served on committees and boards for the comptroller of the currency and several California state organizations, including the state banking department. He is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization and the World Presidents' Organization. Mr. Carpenter also serves as a trustee for Loyola Marymount University.
- Greg Lontok (BBA 2001) - Greg Lontok started his career working for several high tech firms. He quickly followed the entrepreneurial calling and became partner at High Speed Media. They developed a strong profit stream and the firm was sold to ValueClick, a Fortune 500 “Fastest Growing Companies” firm. As often happens with today’s technology entrepreneurs, they move fast in the entrepreneurial game. He is currently involved as a partner and chief technology officer at GlobalWide Media. The firm is currently engaging a valuation approaching $100 million and is in negotiations to purchase another firm. A powerful achievement for a young man who has only been out of school for 10 years. He is destined to become a serial entrepreneur of the first order.
- Denise O'Brien (BA 1986) - Denise O’Brien was an English major with a minor in business and accounting. As a student, she did a great deal of work at a domestic violence shelter. Little did she know how large an impact this would have on her future life. She was active at LMU, including membership in the Ignatians, and as a soccer player and editor of The Loyolan student newspaper. Her career started as a TV producer at KNBC. She later started her entrepreneurial career with Mary Kay Cosmetics and became top salesperson. She won 13 pink automobiles for excellence, including seven pink Cadillacs. After her success in the business world, she has now dedicated her life to being a social entrepreneur. She founded and became the CEO of “Wings of Love International,” a nonprofit organization devoted to helping survivors of domestic abuse. The group is having a powerful impact locally, nationally and internationally. She certainly lives the LMU mantra of “Men and Women for Others.”
- William Scott Brown (BBA 1973) - Mr. Brown was active as a student at LMU, particularly as a member of the Crimson Circle Service Organization and the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity. After graduation, Brown went into the aviation insurance business, where he spent 13 years and eventually became the Western Sales Manager of his employer’s company. When it was time to strike out on his own, he formed W. Brown & Associates, a managing general agency specializing in aviation insurance and underwriting property and casualty lines. It is the only privately-held aviation managing general agency in the United States. It has also been ranked as one of the top ten firms of its type in the USA for more than 10 years. Brown continues to be involved with LMU.
- Mark S. Hoffman (BA 1979, JD 1982) - Mr. Hoffman was an outstanding student at LMU, both as an undergraduate student and as a graduate student at the law school. He is now a general civil and trial attorney specializing in commercial law. He has been a part-time municipal and superior court judge for over 20 years. He has turned down permanent judgeships because he loves the practice of the law and being in the mix of the intellectual give and take as a partner in his own firm. Hoffman is active on both sides of the law. For more than 20 years he has been a volunteer reserve police officer, volunteering his time to work the streets and help people. He has won many honors as an attorney, a judge and an active reserve police officer. In the legal field, he is truly a triple threat achiever!
- Christopher J. North (BBA 1985) & Julianne Barry North (BA 1988) - Christopher and Julianne met as students at LMU and left a powerful and lasting institution at the university – they founded the De Colores Organization, which is still going strong 25 years later with 30 students each month spending a weekend in Tijuana, Mexico building homes and schools. As an entrepreneur, Christopher founded a successful aircraft equipment firm in Mexico which still flourishes and employs 800 people. However, the North’s crowning achievement is their efforts as social entrepreneurs. They founded “Build a Miracle”, a non-profit organization that has built 135 homes for impoverished families in Mexico as well as a community center and adult school. The proud LMU mantra of building ‘men and women for others’ lives daily in the lives of this wonderful couple.
Watch the Video(requires iTunes / Download)of the 2010 ceremony honoring the following entrepreneurs:
- Matthew Graczyk (BBA 1989) - A relentless serial entrepreneur, Matthew Graczyk has started 14 companies since he was 14 years old. With six public company exits under his belt, Matthew has been living his dream of making his entrepreneurial career fun and fulfilling. In typical Graczyk form, he recently sold his business for $5 million, and before the deal was settled he was already deeply involved in his newest adventure in creating the future! A common theme in Matthew’s ventures is to try to visualize what’s next in the needs of the world, and to get there first. As an activist philanthropist, Matthew has dedicated his life and career to global philanthropy to help the world’s neediest and to serve as a catalyst to move other business leaders to do the same.
- Martha Diaz Aszkenazy (BBA 1981) - A powerful pioneering business woman who has made a tremendous mark on several industries. She is the president of Pueblo Construction Services and co-publisher of the San Fernando Valley Sun Newspapers and El Sol. Her volunteer involvements in helping her community are exceptional. She is the ideal LMU Graduate: A powerful, successful, ethical and socially responsible entrepreneur.
- Ken Meany (BA 1964) - While a student at LMU, Ken Meany was an athlete, fraternity member, student government member and active contributor to the Loyolan newspaper. He spent his early business years in the large corporate world and became a partner in a small show store in 1968, expanding the business to two stores. In 1980 he opened the first "Boot Barn" specialty store. The "Urban Cowboy" movie craze propelled the popularity of boots and the chain was built up to 36 stores before he and his son, Patrick, sold majority ownership of the chain in 2007. Today, there are over 80 Boot Barn stores and the chain is still showing strong growth. The golden rule, along with respect and fairness to employees, are his guiding concepts as an entrepreneurial leader.
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Watch the Video(requires iTunes / Download)of the 2009 ceremony honoring the following entrepreneurs:
- John Baudhuin (MBA 1990) - As a trained CPA with a passion for exercise, John worked out with a professional bicycle racer, and he fell in love with the concept of indoor exercise on a stationary bicycle. The two made their concept into a worldwide phenomenon with millions of exercise enthusiasts taking classes daily using the stationary bicycles. The spinning exercise program is a worldwide operation with 35,000 Spinning Clubs in 75 countries around the world! Very few Entrepreneurial Leaders have the creativity and courage to take their passion and create a new worldwide phenomenon as big as this!
- Mark Kuli (BA 1991) - The tragic loss of LMU's star Basketball player, Hank Gathers, on the court during a game, inspired and motivated Junior Mark Kuli to design a special custom memorial bandana, "Hank 44." Little did Mark know that this would lead to his career and his life's work! He began making and selling screen printed tee shirts while still a student, as a little side business, just to pay the bills he thought. This hobby business grew into a wonderful, thriving, multi-million dollar business that operates today internationally as "Kuli Image" and "Kustom Imprints" with several dozen employees. The true test of the LMU "Man for Others," however, what they do to impact the world and help others. Mark has been an incredible asset to LMU, helping where ever he can!
- Sam Renick (BA 1980) - Sam is a Social Entrepreneur to the core! He defines what it means to use entrepreneurial talent and drive to achieve good for mankind. He has devoted his entire life to creating his Economic Education company, "Its a Habit." This program has taught and inspired over 250,000 young children world-wide to learn to save and invest in the future. His concept was written on a napkin, and has turned into a myriad of children's books, music, skits and a key character, Sammy, the Saver. Sam and "Sammy" have inspired kids in personal appearances for years! He is an excellent example of an Entrepreneur who is succeeding in life with Ethics and Social Responsibility!
- Mike Smith (BA 1966) - Mike comes from a long line of car people. He is a third generation Automobile Dealer. His Grandfather, opened a Chevy Dealership in 1917, and his Father opened a Dodge Dealership in 1934. Mike and his brothers along with his Dad opened a Volkswagen,Porsche and Audi Dealership in 1963. He is currently involved in exceptionally successful Toyota, BMW and Mini Cooper dealerships, and now his sons are also involved in the business. From LMU's viewpoint, his greatest achievement is that he is an Ethical, Socially, Responsible Entrepreneur who is totally committed to helping others to succeed. The list of his volunteer involvements is Mind-boggling. He is a leader of LMU as a Regent of the University. Mike is the "Poster Child" for giving back to hs University and the community at large!
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Watch the Video(requires iTunes / Download)of the 2008 ceremony honoring the following entrepreneurs:
- Bill Sanders (BA 1988) - Bill Sanders, along with his partner, Adam Dishell, founded a unique, fascinating, and world-renowned business -- "The Shave of Beverly Hills." It is the luxury male grooming destination in our region, holding a worldwide reputation. They have won numerous awards nationally and have been featured in many national publications such as Trump, the Robb Report, and Vanity Fair. They were in the film distribution business together, and Bill is also a top executive for the largest pro basketball player agency in the U.S. He also teaches sports management classes at LMU.
- Adam Dishell (EMBA 2003) - Adam Dishell, along with his partner, Bill Sanders, founded a unique, fascinating, and world-renowned business -- "The Shave of Beverly Hills." It is the luxury male grooming destination in our region, holding a worldwide reputation. They have won numerous awards nationally and have been featured in many national publications such as Trump, the Robb Report, and Vanity Fair. They were in the film distribution business together, and Adam also teaches business classes at LMU.
- Don Camacho (JD/MBA 2000) - Don Camacho started his business career in the family restaurant business and was deeply involved in growing and developing the firm, Camacho's Inc. He has risen to the position of President of the firm and leads a team of over 500 employees. The firm manages restaurants in such diverse venues as Universal City Walk, LAX airport, Staples Center, Dodger Stadium, the Home Depot Center, and the Pepsi Center. The reputation of their food and their restaurants is outstanding.
- Tim Dean (BBA 1982) - Tim Dean is the founder and owner of Houdini Enterprises -- wine country gift baskets. He created an entirely new niche of marketing from scratch and has grown the firm to a volume of $250,000,000 a year, shipping up to 50,000 gift baskets each day during the holiday season. He is one of the largest UPS customers in the country, and he is among the top purchasers of wine in California. He is very active in supporting and encouraging student groups and activities at LMU.
- Mario Palladini (BBA 1978) - Mario Palladini is the founder and owner of Litho Pac, Inc. Under his leadership the firm has created and developed a multiple capability printed packaging manufacturing system. The firm specializes in printed packaging for major regional, national and international customers in the food industry, including grocery, health and natural food customers. Key customers include Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Costco Kirkland, Dole Foods and Clif Bar. Mario has been very active and dedicated to alumni activities at LMU.
- John Keenan (BBA 1952) - John Keenan, CLU, is the founder and Chairman of Keenan & Associates, one of the largest insurance brokerage firms in America and the largest in California, with $130,000,000 in revenues. He has over 700 employees in ten offices, specializing in insurance services for schools, municipalities, and hospitals. The firm is an ESOP, with 45% of the ownership held by his employees. He entered the insurance industry after serving in the Korean War. He is a leader in encouraging and enabling minorities to enter the insurance industry.
- Forescee Hogan-Rowles (BBA 1981) - Forescee Hogan-Rowles is a social entrepreneur in the highest sense of the term. She is President and CEO of the Community Financial Resource Center, a major public-private partnership nonprofit economic development corporation. They specialize in servicing the needs of distressed communities in Los Angeles County, providing management consulting, micro-loans, and economic development assistance, including first-time home ownership programs, technical assistance, and financial literacy programs. She is exceptionally active in supporting LMU and has earned our Alumni of the Year award.
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Watch the Video(requires iTunes / Download)of the 2007 ceremony honoring the following entrepreneurs:
- Zain Khan (MBA 2002) - Zain founded his firm, iConstituent,LLC, in 2002, just as he was graduating from LMU with his MBA degree. The firm has grown very rapidly to the extent that it is now the leading provider of e-communications technology to members of the U.S. House and Senate, and to State Legislatures around the country. Offices are located in Los Angeles, Washington,D.C. and Harrisburg, PA. The firm is expected to double in size in this year alone. Zain is also a trained Violist and Orchestral Conductor, and still performs publicly and is very active in supporting the American Youth Symphony's outreach program, which he founded in the early 1990's.
- Norma A. Provencio (BBA 1979) - Norma started her career with one of the "Big Eight" accounting firms, Arthur Anderson, LLP, and quickly was recognized as a star with the firm. She earned her CPA and rose in the ranks to high levels, responsible positions and was eventually Partner in Charge of a major and key market niche for the firm. In 2003 she founded Provencio Advisory Services, a consulting and accounting organization offering top level services to the health care industry. Her firm is a powerful success story that clearly reflects her strong ethical grounding.
- Denise Richards (BA 1968) - Denise Richards founded Quari Design Studio in 1998. It is a highly recognized and honored custom design and interior architectural services firm specializing in residential, commercial and government sites throughout the world. Her creative abilities have garnered wide international acclaim. She has been exceptionally active in leadership roles with the Marymount Alumna organizations and a number of LMU organizations, including service as a Regent of Loyola Marymount University.
- Ron Valenta (BBA 1980) - Ron Valenta started his business career with the "Big Eight" accounting firm of Arthur Anderson and was instantly recognized as a "Star". He left public accounting for the private sector and was instrumental in building the highly successful PS (Public Storage) firm. He began his Entrepreneurial career in the Portable Sanitation business, and quickly became the largest firm in the field. In recent years he has built his operations up to include a number of other businesses. He is extremely active as a supporter of Accounting Education at LMU.
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Watch the Video(requires iTunes / Download)of the 2006 ceremony honoring the following entrepreneurs:
- Donald J. Nores (BBA 1952) - Donald started his career as a salesman for a ticket printer. He soon mastered the business. In 1971 he followed the entrepreneur's urge to "do it better, and founded his own firm, Digital Printing Systems, which revolutionized the way the ticket industry operated. He remains with the firm today as the Chairman of the Board. As a Social Entrepreneur, and while still a very young man, he was the key player in proposing, founding and arranging the funding for the Los Angeles Master Chorale. He continues to serve as a Director. He is extremely active in community and church affairs. In 1995 he received the LMU Alumnus of the Year Award.
- Myles Dempsey (BA 1957) - Myles Dempsey began his career working for Union Carbide. In 1977 he founded his own firm, Dempsey Enterprises, "on a shoestring!" Since that time he has grown this original business into five separate firms in the industrial supply and business-to-business market sector. One of these firms, Tech Air, is a wholesale business-to-business supplier specializing in the compressed and liquefied gas niche market. His dedication to giving back to society provides a positive image and role model of what a real entrepreneur is all about. He is dedicated to helping the next generations of young students to be able to achieve success, and fulfill their destiny to have a positive impact on the world.
- Michael Ricci (BBA 1959) - Michael's career began with one of the major "Big 8" Accounting firms in the audit area. He then entered the corporate world and quickly rose to top executive positions with several firms. In 1977 he founded MARCO Manufacturing, Inc., a business which manufactured a wood burning fireplace line. He built the line into the largest selling fireplace product in the new construction industry in America. He has been exceptionally active in volunteering his time to LMU's College of Business Administration.
- Stephen Page (BBA 1962, JD 1968) - Stephen Page has built a long career as a CORPORATE ENTREPRENEUR. He was CFO, Vice-Chairman of the Board and Director of United Technologies, a major aerospace and building systems company. He also led Otis Elevator Company as President and CEO. He has been a major entrepreneurial force in a number of major firms as Director including Lowe's Companies, Inc, Liberty Mutual Holding Company, Olin Corporation, Loctite Corporation, Augat Inc., and Emhart Corporation. Mr. Page has been honored as a Distinguished Alumnus Award from LMU. He has served LMU as a Regent and currently is a Trustee of the University.
- Martha De La Torre (BS 1978) - Martha launched her career as a CPA with Ernst & Young. In 1988 She founded El Clasificado which has become the largest Spanish language free weekly magazine in the United States. She also founded Al Borde an entertainment guide for the Latino community. She is Publisher and President of both firms. She has received a multitude of honors for her entrepreneurial activities on a local and national scale. Her firm is listed as one of the 500 largest United States Hispanic-owned firms, and also ranked as one of the 100 fastest growing inner-city companies. Martha is extremely active in her community as a leader and a worker.
- Mason Shayan (BBA 1990) - Mason Shayan is an immigrant from Iran with strong family ties and a deep respect for education. He and his wife struggled to put Mason through LMU, including working unbelievable hours running a Pizza Restaurant. After graduation, Mason started a small car rental business, Los Angeles Rent-A-Car. He slowly built up the size of his fleet, five cars at a time. He expanded into owning and operating parking facilities at the airport as well as owning and managing office and apartment buildings. He proved his mettle as an entrepreneur by surviving and coming back from the devastation of the car rental industry after the 9-11 attacks in New York and Washington, D. C. He is a dedicated, active leader in the Westchester community.
- Joel Daly (MBA 1996) - Joel Daly graduated from the U. S. Air Force Academy and was fast moving Air Force officer who won the "Financial Analyst of the Year" award in 1992. He was touted as General Officer material. The entrepreneurial urge was strong and after earning his MBA he founded a firm called LINK VTC, a global provider of video conferencing services. He then founded InFlow Inc. a national IT services provider which grew to 14 centers throughout the USA. Although he is only 10 years out of school, Daly has sold both businesses and is starting on his third business, QTC, INC. a national health services provider where he is an owner and Chief Operating Officer.
- Bryan Freeman (JD/MBA 1996) - Bryan Freeman started his first business while a student in the LMU JD/MBA program. It was a specialty gourmet coffee kiosk that is still in operation on the LMU Mall. He grew this business to 16 stores, which made him the largest coffee kiosk operator in Southern California. He sold this business and entered the pretzel business. He built a firm called Snack Works which made upscale hand twisted pretzels. He was shipping 40 million pretzels a year when he sold this business. He is now launching his third business, MolliCoolz! Incredible Ice Cream Minis, LLC, which adds new technology and innovation to the mini ice cream beads business.