Schadrey Bonds – Family Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) – P3 Medical Group

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A Las Vegas native, Schadrey Bonds has spent her career working to make her community a safer, healthier place to live. She started in the medical field as a receptionist and moved through the ranks, becoming a medical assistant, lab technician, office manager, registered nurse, and now serves as a family nurse practitioner for P3 Health Partners. Her work, she explains, is largely with the aging and elderly population, and though she finds it incredibly rewarding, she couldn’t resist the opportunity to get back into school.

Schadrey considers herself a lifelong learner, having racked up a list of academic accolades that includes two associates degrees from the College of Southern Nevada, a bachelor’s in nursing from Western Governors University, and a master’s in nursing from Walden University. Now, she wants to expand her business acumen – specifically her understanding of finance and entrepreneurship -- with her EMBA. “I believe the degree will assist me professionally by better positioning me to understand the financial and administrative sides of running an operation or business,” Schadrey explains. “Personally, I hope to build lasting bonds with the members of the college as I believe we all can benefit from more connections in today’s world. “Networking or leaning on others is not something that comes naturally to me, so I hope to accomplish more of this.” Further, Schadrey hopes that her success will have a positive impact on her family and her hometown. “I hope to inspire all people around me to avoid becoming stagnant or comfortable with the status quo,” she says. “I hope to encourage my three children to follow their hearts and become contributing members of our community.”

Isabel Burgos-Dumani – Director of National Processing – InCorp Services, Inc.

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Like all members of the EMBA cohort, Isabel Burgos-Dumani entered the program for reasons that are both professional and personal. In her case, the latter reasons are deeply meaningful. “My [MBA] interest began in high school when I decided to study my bachelor’s degree in economics,” she recalls. “One of my biggest supporters was my dad, and we always had conversations about my future. “Being able to complete it will provide me great satisfaction, and I am sure my dad -- in heaven -- will be so proud of me.” She also hopes to be an inspiration to her daughter to never give up on her dreams and goals.

A native of Ecuador, Isabel has always been a high achiever. A few years after earning her degree from Universidad Catolica Santiago de Guayaquil, she joined InCorp Services, a premier registered agent and business filing organization that has provided Isabel with a diverse background in business formation, licensing, and compliance in various industries.

In her 18 years with InCorp, Isabel has helped the company expand its services to all 50 states, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. As Director of National Processing, Isabel oversees the processing department, the largest department in the company. It’s a position that she achieved after rising through the ranks, and a department that she built from the ground up, creating its policies and procedures, and turning it into a significant source of revenue for her company. She has also served on InCorp’s board of directors and as interim Chief Operations Officer, and she hopes that her experience in the EMBA program will expand her understanding of management, marketing, and finance, so she can continue to ascend in her company.

“I personally enjoy being a manager, as I know I can be a reference for future generations, especially young professionals that are foreign, to keep the spirit and motivation that if you work hard and with your heart all the dreams come true,” Isabel says. “One of my favorite’s phrases is, ‘the language is not a barrier to use your intelligence to do good things.’”

Le’Antwuan C. Cooke – Supervisor – Cox Communications

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Knowledge is wealth, as Le’Antwuan Cooke explains, and the EMBA program is the key to enriching his professional future. A lifelong high-achiever, Le’Antwuan joins Cohort 21 with a singular goal of climbing the ladder at Cox Communications, where he started as a call representative in 2016 and is now a supervisor in the Digital Specialty Contact Center. “I have a dream of one day becoming a director at Cox,” he explains. “I want to grow my business education, further my career opportunities, and be surrounded by like-minded individuals. “I hope to learn from their life experiences and how to stay afloat in this ever-changing economy.”

Le’Antwuan earned his degree in business management from the University of California, Merced before moving to Las Vegas and joining Cox Communications. With the “best university” so close to his home, enrolling in the EMBA program was a no brainer. “UNLV feels like family!” he says, “I love the Rebel mindset.” As he begins his journey, Le’Antwuan is most excited to explore the topics of negotiation and conflict resolution – two areas that will be critical to his success as he grows in a leadership role. “I love being able to examine a problem and then provide a solution or resolution to the problem,” he says. Along the way, he hopes to inspire his peers, specifically his younger cousins and friends, to stay in school, dream big, and “achieve anything they put their minds to.”

Chris Funches – Enterprise VIP Operations Specialist – Caesars Entertainment

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Often, the greatest obstacle standing in the way of busy professionals and their master’s degree is accessibility. The desire is there, and it is great, but for students like Chris Funches, it can feel as if there’s no way to balance the competing priorities of work, family, and school.

“There was a time where I felt that pursuing a master’s degree was unrealistic and seemed so far out of reach that I was going to let it go and permanently give up on my dream,” Chris says.

Fortunately, the UNLV Executive MBA Program’s hybrid model and 18-month schedule proved to be the perfect fit, and Chris didn’t need to look far to find it. Chris had already completed his undergraduate studies in psychology at UNLV and served as president of the school’s chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. By the time he decided to return to school, he knew where he wanted to earn his MBA.

“In the pursuit of reaching my fullest potential, [the EMBA] combines everything I enjoy about business, diversity, teamwork, positivity, and socialized learning all in one place,” he says. “In addition to the program elevating my personal endeavors, I will bring a well-rounded perspective as an entrepreneur and an emerging young leader in a large company.”

Like his fellow students in EMBA Cohort 21, Chris joins the program having already established himself as a leader and innovator in the Las Vegas community. Following a successful tenure as a behavioral therapist early in his career, Chris embraced his creative side and branched out into entrepreneurship, becoming a fixture in the city’s events industry as the owner of C Fun Productions, a company he founded in 2012. The role brought Chris new success as he operated multiple events servicing hundreds of Las Vegas visitors at major resorts and casinos on the Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. His creative projects ranged from concerts starring Grammy-winning artists to nationally broadcast features on documentaries covering the Las Vegas Summer League Tournament.

The experience helped Chris learn more about the functions of the city’s largest industry, and he later joined Caesars Entertainment Corporation as a Regional Special Events Coordinator in 2016. After 3 promotions within the Casino Marketing department, he currently serves in the capacity of Enterprise VIP Operations Specialist where he helps facilitate the essential tools for Casino Marketing leaders and their teams across the country to perform at a high level. In his role he assists with trainings, team sales strategies, property visits, and many other impactful areas of the business that are critical to the company’s overall success in gaming. In addition to his position in Casino Marketing, he also serves as the chair of Business Development and Supplier Diversity as a representative through the Business Impact Group Chorus.

“Eventually, I would like to elevate into a significant leadership role to oversee the daily operations of a hotel and casino,” he says. “The EMBA will provide me with the credentials and skills needed to join a rotational leadership program and take on larger essential projects.”

Now that he’s found a program that fits his schedule, Chris hopes to find success at every step of the journey; beginning with the curriculum – “I am excited for [EMBA 717] Negotiations and Conflict Resolution,” he says – and also as he gets to know and work alongside the business leaders and entrepreneurs that comprise Cohort 21. He hopes that they will learn from his life experience, just as he will learn from theirs.

“There is no limit to what you can achieve with hard work and supreme confidence,” he says.

Amanda Glomske – Assistant Distribution Center Manager – PACCAR Parts

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Amanda Glomske has never been shy about trying new things, listening and learning from others, and putting herself in new situations. “With experience comes perspective,” she says as she prepares to enter UNLV’s Executive MBA program. “I’m an adventurous individual." Amanda’s openness to new experiences has given her a life that’s vastly different from other members of her cohort. She grew up in rural Minnesota and earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics before moving to Seattle to work as a project manager for retailer American Eagle. After five years, she began working as an inventory analyst for PACCAR, a heavy and medium duty truck manufacturing company. As a member of the parts division, Amanda was a participant of a rotational Leadership Development program “focused on project management to develop technical expertise and competence in all functional areas while building relationships, rapport, and communication with all levels of the organization." The experience led to new opportunities as a quality manager for PACCAR’s North American distribution network, and in October 2021 she moved to Southern Nevada, where she currently serves as the assistant distribution center manager of a 250,000-square-foot facility in North Las Vegas.

Though many professionals would be content with such extraordinary progress and achievements, Amanda still desires to put herself in a position to develop personally and professionally. That’s what led her to UNLV, and she sees the EMBA as the perfect opportunity to, “surround myself with individuals who have similar goals as myself, make friends, establish a network and myself with the Las Vegas community.” Further, the program will help Amanda strengthen her skills in negotiation and conflict resolution – two areas of her “professional toolbox” that she wants to improve. A lover of travel, Amanda is also looking forward to the program’s international seminar. Beyond her professional and academic aspirations, Amanda is hoping to become an inspiration to women. “I’d like to mentor others that are interested in progressing their careers or continuing their education,” she explains. “The time and encouragement my mentors have invested in me has been invaluable to my growth and confidence. “I hope to learn from my cohort’s experiences, wins and failures, and ways of thinking. I also hope they challenge my way of thinking! I thrive off other’s energy and off collaboration.”

Emily Hamill – Vice President of Marketing – Las Vegas Athletic Clubs

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Emily Hamill has spent the last 13 years of her career chasing incredible opportunities, relocating for jobs that were more challenging, interesting, bigger, and bolder – from Gainesville to Tampa, Omaha, Atlanta, Chicago, and finally Las Vegas, where she is the Vice President of Marketing for the city’s popular Las Vegas Athletic Clubs. Along the way she’s had the opportunity to provide marketing council to globally recognized brands such as BP, General Motors, JP Morgan Chase, Hilton, Wendy’s, and Cleveland Clinics. With each new opportunity, Emily grew from a public relations specialist to a broad digital marketing and analytics expert, always evolving with technology, the market, and consumer behavior.

Now, she says the “next logical destination” on her career path is UNLV’s Executive MBA, an achievement to complement the master’s in international communications and bachelor’s in public relations that she already holds from the University of Florida. “I feel it’s time in my career to plant myself firmly in one city and grow roots – professionally, in the community, and relationally with others who share the same drive and mindset,” she says.

Emily aspires to become a C-suite executive, and says the financial, accounting, and statistical knowledge embedded in the EMBA curriculum will be essential when she makes her next move up the ladder.

At the same time, she’s hoping that her success will inspire her two daughters, and show other women that it’s important for them to use their voice and offer a diverse perspective in the workplace.

Marian Hristov – Chief Technology Officer – Vegas Technologies

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Marian Hristov has consistently identified education as vital to his professional development. In the early stage of his academic journey, he made a decision to leave UNLV to embrace a career opportunity, even before completing his bachelor's degree. After establishing himself as a businessman, he returned to his studies, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, complemented by a minor in Mathematics.

As a key executive at Vegas Technologies, Marian spearheaded the company's expansion in IT telecommunications, national cyber, and surveillance security while concurrently providing round-the-clock MSP services. Driven by his commitment to propel the company's growth, he returned to his alma mater to pursue an Executive MBA.

Reflecting on his professional journey, Marian notes, “My business acumen was primarily acquired through practical experience, often punctuated by trial and error. The EMBA program offers a comprehensive analysis of one's leadership style and provides an unbiased assessment of one's strengths and areas for improvement. This introspection is a significant step towards enhancing my personal and professional skills.”

With a profound interest in areas such as organizational behavior, marketing strategy, leadership, and management, Hristov intends to apply the knowledge and skills he acquired to tap into the burgeoning opportunities within the surveillance sector of the tech industry. Furthermore, he anticipates garnering invaluable insights from his peers. He states, “Engaging with a diverse group of executives will facilitate a broader understanding of their experiences. I aim to reciprocate by sharing insights from my personal and professional journey.”

Olay Jabbi – Program Manager Leader – Program, Product, Content Management- D2AS- Digital Device Alexa - Amazon

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Though the Executive MBA experience has long helped cohort members achieve professional goals, Olay Jabbi is most looking forward to the personal benefits. A seasoned tech worker with an extensive background in IT project management, Olay is one of the millions of U.S. workers that are now fully remote – she started as a Program Manager Leader at Amazon in early 2022, overseeing content developers and program managers.  She's been in search of opportunities to expand her network while living and working full-time in Las Vegas.

The EMBA program seemed to be the ideal solution for Olay, as it will offer her the opportunity to work alongside a cohort of, in her words, “divergent views from different professionals and life experiences.” Historically, that’s been touted as one of the greatest benefits of the EMBA. Olay’s resume looks far different from those of her fellow cohort members, and that’s the point. After graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington with a degree in computer science engineering, Olay relocated to Las Vegas to work as a test engineer for Gaming Laboratory Inc. As she grew in her career, she went from stints as a software quality engineer at MGM Grand and to larger IT project manager roles with Allegiant Air and Caesars Entertainment Corporation. Then, in 2015, she made her biggest move to date when she joined Barclaycard, a division of global financial services company Barclays, as a Senior Project Manager. Over the course of more than seven years, Olay grew into larger roles, including Vice President of Collection Operations Strategy and Head of PMO.

Throughout her tenure, she gained a reputation for building and leading high performance teams, and after moving into her current role at Amazon, she started looking for an academic program that would strengthen her strategic leadership skills. In examining the curriculum, Olay points to “strategic formulation” as the one area of study that she’s most excited to explore, as “it will provide me additional tools to use as I develop support strategy for the devices I support at work.” Those devices include some of Amazon’s hugely popular Alexa virtual assistant. In addition to enhancing her leadership capabilities and building lifelong bonds with her fellow cohort members, Olay wants to turn her EMBA experience into a life lesson for her children, and show them that “learning is a lifelong thing and we should continue to seek knowledge and grow no matter which stage of our career we are in.”

Alvin Kenon – Clinical Program Manager – Choices Group LLC

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Alvin Kenon has long believed in the importance of service. For two years, he served in the United States Army, where he was stationed at Fort Irwin in California’s San Bernadino County. After leaving the military, he moved to Las Vegas, and spent nearly two decades with the Department of Public Safety before beginning a second career as a licensed clinical social worker. Today, he works as a clinical program manager and owns a private practice outpatient health organization.

Alvin’s commitment to protecting and bettering the lives of others is only matched by his desire to keep learning, and as a small business owner, he enrolled in UNLV’s Executive MBA program in order to enhance his business knowledge and, ultimately, grow his private practice. “I want to know how organizations think and make decisions,” Alvin says. “ I also look forward to challenging myself with courses such as finance and accounting.” The decision to choose UNLV was an easy one, as Alvin has already earned his bachelor’s in criminal justice and a master’s degree in social work from the University. Now, he’s looking forward to offering his perspective and support to fellow cohort members, just as he has his entire life.

Freddy Lopez – Financial Planner – WestPac Wealth Partners

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Since graduating from UNLV with his finance degree in 2011, Freddy Lopez has been climbing the ladder professionally, and his success has led him to a career as a financial planner for WestPac Wealth Partners.

For many, this might be enough. Freddy, however, has never been one to turn his back on personal and academic growth. “I feel that it is important to remind myself and others that there is always time for education, and that it is possible to continue furthering your academic achievements while working toward success in industry,” Freddy says.

His desire to continue his lifelong learning journey has led him back to his alma mater, and as he joins Executive MBA Cohort 21, he’s looking forward to building upon his foundation of financial management knowledge while absorbing all he can about business from his fellow cohort members. At the same time, Freddy wants to inspire his family. He is one of eight siblings, and has six nieces and nephews. All of them, he says, could benefit from the same academic experience that he’s had. “I believe UNLV offers a quality education through its curriculum and services offered,” he says. “I am a proud UNLV Rebel and Nevada native.”

Verna Mandez – DirectorAdvanced Energy United

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Verna Mandez comes to Cohort 21 with a lengthy list of accomplishments and a career spent working for organizations and institutions that aim to positively improve the lives of Nevadans. Currently, she is the Director of Advanced Energy United, an industry association that educates and engages with decision makers at every level of government as well as regulators of energy markets to advocate for repowering the economy with 100% clean energy. She previously worked for the Nevada Conservation League as Deputy Director, and prior to that she was in the office of U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, witnessing firsthand the economic hardship that Nevada’s small businesses suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “This motivated me to gain a better understanding of businesses, and since I have aimed to bridge the gap between advocates and business owners and have successfully joined in partnerships that allow me to see different perspectives as these two relate,” Verna says.

Recognizing the obstacles facing Southern Nevada, she chose to return to her alma mater – Verna holds a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from UNLV – for her EMBA, “in order to learn how to be an effective leader, how to manage diverse teams, how to manage large organizational budgets, and how to proactively be a part of the solutions needed to address the challenges we face.” Though her professional experience has largely been in government and nonprofit leadership, Verna’s long-term goal is to be at the forefront of Nevada’s transition to renewable energy technology. The Executive MBA curriculum, she explains, will further develop her decision-making responsibilities and her ability to understand innovation, adapt to it, and manage it while leading teams. “The comprehensive business knowledge and strategic perspectives I will learn in this program will enhance my knowledge of policy and develop a new skill set, which will allow me to lead my work from a different vantage point,” Verna says.

Heather Nepa – Executive AssistantUNLV Graduate College

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“There was no question in my mind that when I was ready to go back to school it would be at UNLV,” explains Cohort 21’s Heather Nepa. A lifelong Rebel, Heather earned her bachelor’s degree in history from the University in 2004 and currently works as an executive assistant in the Graduate College. Being so close to Lee Business School, she had long admired the purpose of the EMBA program and the cohort experience. After taking time to raise her four children with her husband, she decided to go back to the classroom for a business education that would enhance her understanding of leadership, negotiation, finance, and other topics. “To be invested with other people who are focused and experienced just as I am makes this experience a unique and worthwhile opportunity,” Heather says.

By completing her EMBA, she wants to show others that they don’t have to fit the profile of a “business person” in order to succeed. “There are many qualified people I know who would get so much out of a program just like this but who are afraid to apply because they don’t have a business BA or they don’t have a specific title,” Heather says. “Just do it!!”

Olumide Olagunju M.D. – Hospitalist

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With the U.S. health care industry exploding and projected to add as many as 2.6 million new jobs through the end of the decade, Dr. Olumide Olagunju wants to be prepared for the inevitable changes and challenges that will come with the industry’s growth. The Executive MBA, he says, will give him the tools needed to further his career in health care administration. A native of Nigeria, Olumide completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Nevada School of Medicine and works as a hospitalist in Las Vegas. Recognizing the value of learning alongside a diverse cohort of professionals, he enrolled in the EMBA for the opportunity to enhance his business acumen and management technique with the goal of transitioning into larger leadership roles within his industry.

At the same time, he wants to prove the value of higher education to those that will follow in his footsteps. “I hope to inspire my kids that they can do whatever they put their mind to,” he says. “It’s never too late to pursue your goals.”

Jeffrey Wagner, M.D. – Vice President of Clinical Affairs, NV Market – P3 Health Partners

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Dr. Jeffrey Wagner is proud to call himself a local. The Cimarron-Memorial High School graduate earned his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at UNLV before completing his medical degree at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. After completing his residency at University Medical Center in Las Vegas and working as a staff physician, he transitioned health management company P3 Health Partners, where he now serves as Vice President of Clinical Affairs.

Now, Jeffrey is looking to explore the business side of the medical profession, specifically finance and leadership, and he’s returning to his alma mater for his Executive MBA. “The relationships, educational framework, and understanding of the business side of medicine will be necessary to become the leader I want to be,” he explains. “I am always looking for areas of self-improvement and I believe this will be invaluable in helping me continue to grow.” Like many members of Cohort 21, Jeffrey is also hoping that his pursuit of the EMBA will inspire those close to him and demonstrate the importance of lifelong learning. “My daughters are 8 and 12 [years old] and I want them to learn that no matter what level of education you attain in any field there is always more to learn,” he says.