Each year, the School of Business Alumni Chapter recognizes two students whom demonstrate the desire and aptitude to become an outstanding business leader and a distinguished representative of the school. An undergraduate and graduate student are named Emerging Business Leaders and receive a scholarship award. The 2019 graduate student recipient, Danny Guenther, and undergraduate student, Haellie Gordon, will be honored at the Annual Business Celebration on October 17 for their accomplishments.
Danny Guenther, MBA student
Danny Guenther is the vice president of financial planning and analysis at Blackboard in Washington, D.C. He leads the team responsible for the budget cycle, quarterly forecasts, business case modeling, trend analysis, reporting and long-term strategic modeling.
“I wanted to get my MBA from a highly rated, well respected institution which was local to the Washington, D.C., metro area. This is where I live and work, and I wanted professors who also live and work locally so I could relate to them better. Attending a local institution also opens up additional networking opportunities,” he says. “Lastly, I was looking for an institution and program that would provide a flexible format given my current work commitments. The online George Mason [University] MBA program was the clear standout when I reviewed my options.”
Guenther is honored to be recognized as an EBLA awardee. “I feel like the award is validation of hard work I’ve put into my career goals and my commitment to this program. It is in part through the generosity of scholarship donors that I will be able to continue this personal and professional growth. I would like to give a sincere thank you to them,” he says.
Guenther expects to graduate from the MBA program in spring 2021. “I plan to use what I’ve learned in this program to further my employer’s long-term strategic goals and mentor other business professionals, while also gaining valuable experiences myself,” he says. Guenther aspires to a chief financial officer role.
Haellie Gordon, marketing student
Haellie Gordon is a School of Business marketing major, Honors College student, and pitcher for the George Mason University women’s softball team. Gordon says she chose to attend Mason because of the abundance of opportunities, both on and off campus.
“The ability to receive an amazing education, as well as play the sport that I love, helped me call Mason home,” she says. “I changed my major to marketing after a long discussion with a mentor of mine. After explaining my passion for the business courses I took my first semester, it was the obvious choice for my skill set and future goals.”
Gordon has been encouraged and supported by Rob Pierce, assistant professor of business foundations, after taking two courses with him.
“His excitement and expertise on the material was infectious, as well as his genuine care towards the development of his students,” she says. “He actively encouraged and shared my excitement for my efforts in the classroom, on the softball field, and on my career path towards a law degree.”
She says the EBLA award is an incredible honor that wouldn’t have been possible without countless hours of hard work. “I look forward to continuing to push forward in the pursuit of my degree, with the same rigor and dedication as I have displayed thus far. I could never thank the award donors nor the School of Business enough for their belief in me and my future, but I hope my continued hard work displays my overwhelming gratitude.”