School of Business alumni honored as Prominent Patriots each year epitomize The Mason Graduate as engaged citizens and well-rounded scholars who are prepared to act. Peer-nominated and peer-selected, the Prominent Patriots represent School of Business alumni as the very best in demonstrating citizenship, scholarship, and leadership in their daily lives.
2018 Prominent Patriots
Wendy J. Deming, MBA '92
COO, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Wendy Deming began her tenure as chief operating officer of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in July 2018. She guides Selby Gardens’ strategic operations during a time of significant growth, overseeing human resources, finance, board governance, and daily operations. Deming has nearly 20 years of nonprofit management experience, most recently serving as corporate secretary and COO at Gulf Coast Community Foundation. Deming earned her MBA from George Mason University and her BA in Accounting from Furman University. She holds a certificate in Nonprofit Board Consulting from BoardSource, and in 2017, received the Women’s Resource Center’s “Wonder Woman” Award in recognition of her dedication to strengthening the governance of nonprofit organizations. Deming and her husband Michael live in Nokomis, FL. They have two children, Nolan and Emily.
Sarah A. Dreyer, MBA '10
Director of Research, Savills Studley
Sarah Dreyer is director of research at Savills Studley. She oversees all research and market analysis activities throughout Washington, D.C, Baltimore, and the Virginia and Maryland Suburbs. Additionally, she is the dedicated head of research for Savills Studley’s National Legal Tenant Practice Group. With more than 12 years of experience, She is widely recognized as a market expert and trusted advisor to colleagues, clients, and investors. Prior to her role at Savills Studley, Dreyer was head of research for Vornado/Charles E. Smith in Arlington, Virginia, and the Mid-Atlantic regional research director for Cushman & Wakefield based in Washington, D.C. Dreyer has been named one of Bisnow’s “35 under 35,” DCA Live’s “Top 40 Under 40 in Real Estate,” and The Washington Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” in the Washington, D.C., region. She earned an MBA from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from The George Washington University.
Joshua A. Etemadi, BS Management '08
Assistant Vice President, Construction Bonds, Inc.
Joshua Etemadi joined Construction Bonds, Inc. in September 2007. He helped grow the company’s revenue by more than 300%, leading to the company’s acquisition by Murray Securus in 2010. He was also an integral part of Construction Bonds, Inc., receiving the 2011 U.S. Small Business Administration’s first ever Surety Bond Producer of the Year Award. In 2017, Etemadi was promoted to assistant vice president where he oversees sales and sales support staff to exceed production goals. He is actively involved with the National Association of Surety Bond Producers, currently serving as regional director and chair of the Automation and Technology Committee. He is also chairman of the United Way Regional Council of Loudoun County, Virginia and serves on the United Way National Capital Area Board of Directors. Etemadi holds a BS in business management from George Mason University School of Business.
Ari Firoozabadi, BS Marketing '04
Ari Firoozabadi serves as president and CEO for Greysteel, a leading transactional commercial property advisor for private, middle-market, and institutional investors. He is responsible for defining and implementing Greysteel’s strategic vision as well as overseeing the company’s operations. Firoozabadi holds a BS in finance and marketing from George Mason University. He is a finance committee member at the National Multifamily Housing Council, a member of ICSC, is on the Board of Directors at the Virginia Apartment Association, and is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). His recent acknowledgements include NAIOP’s Developing Leaders Award, SmartCEO’s Future 50 Award, Real Estate Forum’s 50 Under 40, Washington Business Journal 40 under 40, and ALM’s Best Bosses. Firoozabadi is actively philanthropic, supporting numerous charities across the United States including Dreams for Kids DC, Feed My Starving Children, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Montgomery Housing Partnership, St. Jude’s Children’s Cancer Research, and SOME (So Others Might Eat).
Lovey L. Hammel, BS Marketing '88
President and co-founder, Employment Enterprises, Inc.
Lovey Hammel is approaching four decades as the president and co-founder of Employment Enterprises, Inc., a strategic workforce solutions company and the parent company to Temporary Solutions, Inc. and Checks and Balances, Inc. Her entrepreneurial spirit drove her to start the company with her mother in 1980, working during the day and attending George Mason University at night. EE, Inc. is 100% women-owned, WBENC certified, and achieves sustained growth through continual innovation around Workforce Solutions. EE, Inc. conducts business in all 50 states and helps companies to "Strengthen Your Workforce."
Jocelyn E. Hsu, MBA '93
VP Corporate Services, Paradyme Management
Jocelyn Hsu is vice president of corporate services at Paradyme Management. Upon graduation from the Mason School of Business MBA program in 1993, Hsu began working for SRA International in the accounting department where she performed financial analysis, cost proposal pricing, and business operations management. In 2009, she took a position at NCI Information System, Inc. as director of financial systems where she managed the implementation of an ERP system for the company. She was then promoted to VP of corporate initiatives and expanded her role to include project management training and oversight, strategic planning, M&A, quality and employee engagement. In 2011, Hsu co-founded the non-profit Real Food for Kids where she serves as chairman of the board. The organization works to redefine school food with education, outreach, and advocacy. She lives with her husband and two children in Vienna, VA.
Kristyn E. Jones, MBA '00
Managing Director, Federal Advisory Practice, KPMG
Kristyn Jones is a managing director in KPMG’s Federal Advisory practice. She is responsible for delivering financial management and technology solutions in the DoD. Prior to her current role, she served as the deputy assistant secretary of the Army for financial information management. Previously, Jones held a variety of positions in DoD and in industry, and began her career as a military intelligence ffficer in the U.S. Army. She has received numerous industry awards, including the Government Technology Research Alliance (GTRA) Women in Technology Award and was a recipient of a “Fed 100” award. She earned an MBA from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Sammy S. Kassim, BS Management '11
Managing Partner, ELXEL and President, Event Nation
Sammy Kassim serves as managing partner to ELXEL, a creative agency that specializes in branding, website development, and online marketing. He also serves as president of Event Nation, an events management and online ticketing platform based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he co-founded Globox Rentals, a world cinema and entertainment company, where he was the president and COO. Prior to Globox, Kassim managed the marketing division for a venture backed cyber security startup, Invincea, Inc. There, he developed the company’s brand, messaging, and positioning of products and services at the ground stage. Invincea was later on acquired by SOPHOS security. He earned a BS in Management from George Mason University, and was a founding member of Startup Mason at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He now resides in Miami, Florida, and splits his time between there and Washington, D.C.
Persephone P. Maglaya, BS Management '09
Associate Director of Business Development, WeddingWire and President, L&R Media
Rising from intern during her time at George Mason University to associate director of business development at WeddingWire, Persephone Maglaya oversees the national sales team, which works on digital and social partnerships in the registry, bridal fashion, and jewelry space and has remained the top revenue producer for nearly a decade. In 2016, she founded L&R Media, a social and digital media agency that works with businesses to strategize, create, and execute on brand's social media presence on all channels. Most recently, Maglaya launched TheEverydayVogue.com, a family blog that shares the life of her identical twin boys, her husband, and provides women with fitness, health, and wellness advice.
Jason R. McDonough, MS Real Estate Development '15
Senior Vice President and Director of Commercial Real Estate Lending, John Marshall Bank
Jason McDonough graduated with honors from the MS in Real Estate Development program in 2015. He represented Mason in the NAIOP Capital Challenge intercollegiate case study competition in 2014, and was coach of the champion 2015 team. After graduating, he co-founded the Real Estate Development Industry Group for the alumni of the real estate program, and most recently served as the alumni’s director in 2017-2018. Professionally, McDonough is senior vice president and director of commercial real estate lending at John Marshall Bank. He would like to recognize the tireless effort and sacrifice of his wife Jessy, for without her none of his accomplishments would be possible.
Cindy J. Miley, BS Accounting '95
Founder and CEO, CFO Solutions
Cindy Miley is founder and CEO of CFO Solutions. CFO Solutions focuses on helping small businesses thrive and navigate their financial business successfully. Prior to founding CFO Solutions, she was CFO at AFSC where she was instrumental in selling the company to Magellan Health. She has extensive experience providing financial expertise to international, public, and private companies across multiple industries. Miley is also passionate about giving back. She currently serves on the boards of George Mason University Women in Business, and Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN) Greater DC. She is active in her church, Vine & Branches, and serves on the finance committee. Each year, she participates in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Overnight walk in memory of her son. Miley earned an MBA from the College of William & Mary and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Christopher M. Preston, BS Management '96
Vice President, Corporate Relations, United Way Worldwide
Chris Preston, vice president, Corporate Relations, United Way Worldwide, has been part of the United Way network for 16 years. He oversees the Global Corporate Leadership Program, which consists of 91 corporate partners that raised a combined total of $1 billion for United Ways in communities around the globe and provides support to local United Ways in their overall fundraising efforts as part of the $4.8 billion United Way network. Preston spent the first 11 years of his United Way career at United Way Worldwide with roles as national sales manager of the United Way Store and corporate relations manager for the Global Corporate Leadership team. Prior to his return to United Way Worldwide, Chris served two local United Ways. First, as the senior vice president, Strategic and Regional Management at United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. He also served as vice president, Resource Development, at United Way of the National Capital Area in Washington, D.C., leading the development team in managing a $33 million annual fundraising effort.
William H. Seippel, BS Business Administration '78
Will Seippel founded WorthPoint in 2007 and has more than 25 years of financial and operational experience. He has been involved in successfully negotiating more than 20 acquisitions in his career, and played a leading role in structuring complex transactions that have raised $5 billion in capital, including two that received the prestigious Institutional Investor Deal of the Year Award. He has also served as a consultant to various boards of directors on mergers and acquisitions and strategic business and financial planning. Prior to founding WorthPoint, he served as CFO and also managed a number of technology business development and marketing roles at MIVA, AirGate PCS, Digital Commerce Corporation, Global Telesystems Groups, and Haliburton/Landmark Graphics Corporation. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from George Mason University, and an MBA from American University.
Shamlan W. Siddiqi, BS Decision Science '99
Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, NTT DATA
Shamlan Siddiqi is vice president and chief technology officer for public sector at NTT DATA, a leading global IT and business services firm. He drives the firm’s technology vision, strategy, and innovation. Previously, Siddiqi held executive roles including VP of applications and VP of digital, where he led the development of award winning commercial solutions. He has served on numerous industry working groups/ task forces on topics including blockchain, digital/ cloud, and cyber security, in addition to being a published writer/ contributor and speaker. Siddiqi is currently standing up an internal organization called Women Inspiring NTT DATA (WIN) DC Chapter to support the identification, retention, and development of women across NTT DATA. He has served on the Board of Directors and is currently a charter member of an entrepreneurship non-profit organization focusing on mentoring and guiding aspiring students and professionals on teamwork, career development, and leadership.
Eric W. Stalfort, BS Business Administration and Marketing '93
Growth Lead for North America, Accenture Applied Intelligence
Eric Stalfort is a growth lead for North America in the Accenture Applied Intelligence practice. His professional experience spans more than 25 years of management and technology consulting. He helped stand up the $300M+ Accenture Federal Services’ Analytics Practice. Stalfort is a passionate people developer, and has served as Accenture’s campus champion executive for George Mason University since 2015, working closely with the School of Business and Volgenau School of Engineering. He has also led multiple on campus initiatives including the Truly Human Approach to the Recruiting Journey, providing straight-talk to students to help demystify the professional world. Stalfrot is on the Board of Fairfax County Crime Solvers and is a travel soccer coach. He lives in Centreville with his wife and their three daughters.
Ivy L. Zelman, BS Accounting '90
CEO, Zelman & Associates
As CEO of Zelman & Associates, Ivy Zelman leads the preeminent boutique research and investment firm dedicated exclusively to the housing industry. Founded in October 2007, the firm is known as a thought leader across all facets of the housing spectrum. Zelman’s concept for Zelman & Associates remains strongly rooted in the ability to perform thematic research overlaid with proprietary surveys to produce unparalleled differentiated research. She is frequently quoted in The Wall Street Journal and appears occasionally as a guest on CNBC. For the past 22 years, Institutional Investor has recognized Zelman for her industry-leading analysis. Most notably, Institutional Investor’s All-America Research Team rankings placed Zelman and her team with 11 first place rankings. Zelman received a Bachelor of Science from George Mason University.