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.
2020 Prominent Patriots
Brit Campbell, BS Finance '05
Founder and CEO, Brit's Wine
Brit Campbell is the Founder and CEO of Brit’s Wine, a mobile-first consumer taste app and platform empowering wineries to engage, understand, and retain the next generation of wine consumers. After a 12-year career in tech, she quit her lucrative job in the software industry to focus on her true passion - helping the wine industry solve perhaps it’s #1 looming challenge.
Campbell is a sommelier certified through the Court of Master Sommeliers. Her favorite wines are German Riesling, Spätburgunder (German Pinot Noir) and big Italian reds. She’s a Virginia native, and currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, sailing and travel. She holds a B.S. in Finance & Econ.
Sean Cassidy, BS Marketing '91
Senior Director, Visa Inc.
Sean Cassidy is a Senior Director at Visa Inc. where he leads the North America and Latin America Business Solutions Client Services organization. His teams are responsible for implementing and providing strategic support of Visa’s suite of commercial card products and services for financial institutions. Previously, Sean led the Global Processor Support organization where he managed multiple teams responsible for supporting the operational needs of clients engaged in processing consumer, commercial, prepaid, ATM, airline and payment gateways. Prior to joining Visa, he led the Commercial and Consumer Bankcard groups at First Virginia Bank, a regional community bank in the mid-Atlantic region. Cassidy earned a B.S. in Marketing in ’91. He is a native of Northern Virginia where he lives with his wife and three children. During his free time, Sean can be found volunteering in multiple youth sports organizations.
Ryan Clark, MBA '14
Head of Product Management, PaymentVision
Ryan Clark has over 20 years leadership and operational experience in the financial services and government sectors. Currently, Ryan is the head of product management for PaymentVision and their parent company Autoscribe, responsible for strategy, execution, product development, communications and marketing. Ryan also serves as a Planning Officer in the United States Air Force Reserves.
Ryan earned his MBA from George Mason University in 2014. Ryan currently holds Certified Product Manager and Certified Product Marketing Manager designations. Ryan is passionate about delivering innovative solutions, better products and amazing experiences to consumers across the financial services industry.
Ryan is active in the community supporting the United Way and local youth sports program. Ryan appreciates the support of the George Mason community.
Ed Fortunato, BS Marketing '88
Vice President of Government Relations, Raytheon Corporation
Ed Fortunato is a leader in the Aerospace & Defense industry most recently serving as Vice President and head of Government Relations for the Raytheon Corporation, Senior Vice President of Washington Operations for Orbital ATK, and an executive at Honeywell.
Ed had a career as an Army Aviation officer serving in numerous command and staff positions. He was the Secretary of the Army’s representative to the U.S. Congress, a combat leader in Operation Desert Shield/Storm and awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
Ed received his Army ROTC commission and a BS in Business from George Mason University, where he serves on the Advisory Board for Government Contracting. He earned an MBA with honors from George Washington University. Ed and his wife Monique have two children, Isabella and Edward.
Dan Harris, EMBA '95
Former Senior Vice President and General Manager, SAIC's Information Technology Solutions Market Segment (Retired)
Dan Harris recently completed a 40+ year career with SAIC and Boeing. Prior to his retirement, he was the senior vice president and general manager for SAIC’s Information Technology Solutions Market Segment. He was the executive responsible for the company’s growth strategy focusing on software, end user services, cyber, cloud and digital infrastructure services and was responsible for workforce development for ITS’ 6,200+ technical personnel. The ITS organization was a fundamental element of the SAIC core strategy representing approximately ~$2B of SAIC’s 2018 annual revenue. In addition, early in 2018, he was named one of “The Top 25 Executives to watch in the GOCON market” by the Washington Exec industry organization. After retirement from SAIC, he is now providing senior management consulting services to both small and large businesses in the GOVCON market.
Harris is a member of American University’s Kogod IT and Analytics Executive Council. Previously, he was the chairman of the WashingtonExec General Managers’ Council and also served on boards for the 2015 World Police & Fire Games, NASA Minority Business Advisory Council, National Space Club – Huntsville, Fairfax County Public Schools Education Foundation, and the Century Club of George Mason University where he received his Master of Business Administration.
Rick Hubbard, BS Decision Science '85, MBA '90
Executive Vice President, Business Development, Parsons Corporation
Rick Hubbard serves as Executive Vice President, Business Development at Parsons Corporation. Rick joined Parsons in 2019 after a long and successful career at AT&T. He began his journey as a computer programmer right here in Fairfax, VA. He excelled at several diverse experiences in technology development, sales, finance, and product management. He retired from AT&T as the Senior Vice President of Business Networking Product Management. Rick was accountable for managing the P&L ($55B revenue) and strategy for a portfolio including Mobility, VPN, VoIP, Ethernet, SDWan, Internet and Collaboration services.
Rick holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Decision Sciences and a Masters of Business Administration from George Mason University. He currently serves on executive advisory boards for ReplyCloud, Correnet, and Teridion.
David L. Johnson, BS Finance '95
Partner, Signature Estate & Investment Advisors, LLC®
David is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ practitioner with more than 25 years’ experience in investment management and estate planning with a focus on advising corporate executives, business owners, multi-generational families and trustees.
David has spent his entire career with SEIA in its Tyson, VA office. He has been interviewed for his perspectives by CNBC, Investment News and RIA Channel. And, is committed to giving back to his community by teaching financial literacy courses for various nonprofit organizations in the Northern Virginia area such Second Story.
He resides in Vienna, Virginia with his wife, Sharon Johnson BA Sociology ‘94, and son, Grayson.
As a family they see life as an adventure and enjoy traveling the world to experience new cultures. (Notable exploits: camel trekking through the Saharan desert of Morocco and summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro with fellow Mason alumni)
Mike Knowles, MBA '03
President, Cubic Global Defense
Mike Knowles is President of Cubic Global Defense leading the strategic direction and management of the company’s efforts for operational and training solutions.
Mike has more than 30 years’ experience in aerospace, military and commercial training fields having served in technical, program and executive management roles.
Before Cubic, Mike was the Senior Director of Air Transport and Mission Solutions for Rockwell Collins. He is a retired Navy Commander having served as a Naval Flight Officer on the EC-130 and E-6 aircraft.
Mike earned his MBA from George Mason and holds a Bachelor and Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering. He serves on the Board of Directors for the San Diego Chapter of NDIA and is a member of NTSA.
Michael Ly, BS Accounting '12, MS Accounting '13
Assurance Senior Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Michael Ly is an Assurance Senior Manager at PwC. He has accounting experience in various industries, such as hospitality, technology, government contracting, manufacturing, and advertising. He has worked on financial statement audits and with clients going through the IPO process. He previously worked as an accounting clerk at Chesapeake Restaurant Group, a Big Six franchisee of Chili's Bar and Grill. While at Mason, he was both the VP at Beta Alpha Psi and the Financial Manager at Mason's Chapter for Habitat for Humanity. He is a CPA, and a member of both the AICPA and Ascend. He is currently the Treasurer at Ascend's Greater Washington Chapter and a Director-at-Large for the School of Business Alumni Chapter.
Pam Maines, MBA '09
Senor Vice President, Business Development and Head of Sales, Empower Energies
Pam Maines is the SVP, Business Development and Head of Sales at Empower Energies. Pam has over 25 years in the energy industry ranging in areas from utility power plant design, to retail and wholesale energy market trading and analytics, to renewable and cutting-edge energy technologies deployment.
As Head of Sales, Pam oversees the company’s sales strategy and revenue generation, which includes matching customers’ needs with available energy technologies with the optimal financial framework, business practices and long-term end-use benefits. With a passion for sustainability, Pam applies her skills with a bias towards ecological and environmental conservation considerations.
Prior to joining Empower Energies, Pam held several senior roles in the energy industry. As Executive Director of Federal Distributed Energy Sales, Pam and her teams were responsible for the deployment of new efficient, renewable and resilient technologies at DOD and civilian Federal agencies. Prior to this Pam was the Vice President of Sales for the retail gas and electric markets for Pepco Energy Services, where she structured retail contracts for hundreds of gas and electric commercial and industrial customers in deregulated markets.
Pam holds an MBA from George Mason and a BS in Engineering from Stony Brook University in NY. Pam is a certified Project Management Professional.
Josh Montgomery, BS Finance '04, BS Accounting '15
Vice President of Finance, Altamira
As Vice President of Finance for Altamira, a private equity backed data analytics and engineering provider to the national security community, Josh is responsible for providing corporate-wide financial leadership along with treasury management. He also assists with the company’s strategy, corporate development, and corporate governance. Josh has over 15 years of corporate finance experience working in both products and services environments within the government contracting industry.
Most recently, Josh served as the Vice President of Finance and Treasurer of Oceus Networks, a private equity backed spinoff of a public company that specializes in mission critical communications. While at Oceus Networks, Josh assisted with the spinoff from Ericsson and helped manage the post M&A integration into a stand-alone entity. Prior to Oceus Networks, Josh served as the Director of Finance for ACS Federal (now Xerox) and has served in senior finance roles at Harris IT Services (now Peraton) and Perot Systems Government Services (now a part of Dell). In these roles, Josh has gained valuable experience in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate strategy. Throughout his 15-year career in Finance, Josh has established a reputation for his involvement in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate strategy and for aligning operating and financial metrics to support business strategy and high-growth. He has led and managed multiple debt financings.
Josh holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting from George Mason University and a MBA with a concentration in finance from Marymount University. Josh is very active in multiple finance and government contracting industry groups, including Northern Virginia Technology Council and Association for Corporate Growth. Josh lives in Loudoun County with his wife and two young children.
Lacey Morison, BS Management '09
Chief of the Budget and Finance Division for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations at the Department of State
Lacey Morison is the Chief of the Budget and Finance Division for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations at the Department of State. She is responsible for budget formulation and managing the execution of all financial resources for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. She serves as the recognized expert and financial advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She is also responsible for developing the U.S. Mission’s requirements for the United Nations General Assembly held annually in New York. She received the Department of State’s Superior Honor Award in 2018 and 2019 for her work at the U.S. Mission. Prior to the Department of State, Ms. Morison was the Head of Budget Formulation for the Federal Trade Commission and was responsible for the agency’s budget formulation submissions to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget and Congress. She was a recipient of the Federal Trade Commission’s Janet D. Steiger award for her role in managing the resources for a $76M project for the agency. Ms. Morison began her federal career with the Navy Judge Advocate General Corps. She also worked for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. overseeing financial planning and analysis functions for the firm’s $1.6B budget in the Legal Division. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Management from George Mason University and an MBA from Central Michigan University.
Penny Nicholakos, BS ISOM '16
Booz Allen Hamilton
Penny Nicholakos works at Booz Allen Hamilton where she supports federal clients implement new IAM capabilities as part of Phase 2 of the DHS CDM Program. Prior to working at Booz Allen, Nicholakos was part of Accenture Federal's security practice, where she supported various federal clients with controls implementation, roadmapping, and cyber assessments. While at Accenture, Nicholakos was also on the recruiting team, where she received AFS leadership recognition for having coordinated the first successful mentor coffee chat for the GMU School of Engineering. Nicholakos is a certified information systems auditor (CISA) and a certified scrum master (CSM). She has a BS from Mason's School of Business, and MS from Mason's School of Engineering.
Edmund H. Novak, MBA '85
Managing Director and Partner, North America, Vistra
As managing director of Vistra’s North America region, Ed helps clients meet their international expansion and operations needs. He also specializes in serving private equity firms, supporting their portfolio companies to further their growth strategies, create efficiencies and increase valuations.
Ed has four decades of experience running sales and other teams, including over 20 years working at IBM. He has also held leadership roles at PwC Consulting, Amdocs and Connectiva Systems. Prior to joining Vistra, he served for five years as U.S. chief sales officer at Grant Thornton. During his tenure there he also oversaw national marketing operations.
Ed splits his time working in Vistra’s Boston office and in the Washington, D.C. area. In addition to his MBA from George Mason, he holds a bachelor's in finance from the University of Maryland. Ed lives in Potomac, Maryland with his wife Sheila. They have three children.
Michael Palmer, MBA '06
Bureaucracy Hacker, United States Digital Service at Department of Homeland Security
Michael Palmer is a bureaucracy hacker. He leads acquisition strategy activities for the United States Digital Service (USDS) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as USDS tackles digital transformation projects across the agency. Michael has designed and managed over $5 billion in government technology contracts at a variety of agencies and has received awards for acquisition innovation and leadership. Michael recently supported modernization activities in mission areas such as immigration services, emergency management, school safety, and import/export admissibility. He has a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University and a Masters in Business Administration from George Mason University.
Rayan Rahman, BS Management '17
Founder, Changing Bangladesh Foundation
Rayan Rahman is a Bangladeshi-US entrepreneur. He founded Changing Bangladesh Foundation (in 2011) and Airposted (in 2017).
Changing Bangladesh Foundation (a non-profit organization) had around 150 volunteers at its peak working on reducing poverty & spread education to the under privileged in rural areas of Bangladesh. Rayan founded Airposted (an international peer to peer shipping tech company) as a Junior at Mason and grew the company from a small dorm room startup, to 30+ employees (as of 2020). He secured both initial seed rounds and then Series A investments for Airposted.
Rayan is passionate about technology and the financial market. He served as the VP of Mason Investment Club from April 2015 - April 2017.
Jennifer M. Rhodes, EMBA '05
Executive Vice President, Tagence
Jennifer Rhodes is the Executive Vice President of Tagence, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business serving federal agencies and commercial clients with business efficiency strategies. Jennifer applies her expertise to Tagence’s business development, strategic initiatives, and as the Change Leadership / Change Management practice lead. She is currently the George Mason University’s School of Business Alumni Chapter Diversity & Inclusion Chair and on the Board of Directors for the Association of Change Management Professionals’ Global Organization.
Jennifer earned her Executive MBA from George Mason University and received a double Bachelor of Arts from DePauw University in Russian Studies and Political Science. She obtained a Change Management Advanced Practitioner certificate from Georgetown University. Jennifer enjoys time with her husband, Kevin, and son, Markham Savvas.
Aaron Rova, MBA '96
Global Director of Advertising Sales, Google
Aaron is the Global Director of Advertising Sales at Google. He has been at Google since 2005 focused on helping large retail advertisers efficiently and effectively grow their business with a specialization in e-commerce. He works with teams across more than 15 countries that support clients brand recognition and new customer/revenue acquisition by leveraging Google’s vast media platform that includes Google Search and YouTube. After earning his MBA at GMU in 1996, Aaron began his career at AOL in advertising partnerships. In 1998 he relocated to Seattle, WA to work for a fledgling startup called Amazon.com where he spent 7 years managing business development, marketing, and sales teams. Aaron is a passionate investor in real estate and venture funding and is active in both. Going forward Aaron hopes to give back through executive coaching with a focus on technology professionals and supporting our new graduates. Aaron resides in Seattle, WA with his wife, son (8), and daughter (6).
Tom Sipple, MBA '96
Vice President - Strategic Markets, Motimatic
Tom Sipple has had a wide ranging career of 20+ years in the Technology/Internet space. After graduating George Mason University in 1995, Sipple worked at USAToday in Northern Virginia before moving to San Francisco to join Yahoo. He spent 8 years at Yahoo including 3 years living and working in Singapore as Managing Director of Yahoo Southeast Asia. After moving back to the US Sipple worked for various Internet/Technology companies including AppLovin - where he was one of the first hires and grew the business from $5m to $255m in annual revenue and now AppLovin has annual revenues of $1.5B and a $4B valuation. Currently, Tom is the Vice President, Strategic Markets at Motimatic and is a Limited Partner at Stage 2 Capital. Stage 2 Capital is a venture capital firm that invests in early stage B2B software companies. He is also an advisor/investor for a handful of companies.
Sipple currently resides in Bronxville, NY with his wife Jeanne and their four children - Shay, Jack, Ryan & Casey.
Andrea Snader, BS Marketing '09
Vice President, Defense Programs, Concept Plus
As Vice President of Defense Programs at Concept Plus, Andrea Snader manages all aspects of the business development process from opportunity identification through award. During her career, Ms. Snader has secured more than $300M in contract awards within white space accounts to include the Defense Health Agency, Defense Contract Management Agency, and United States Air Force. Among the many industry-specific councils she supports are the AFCEA and Professional Services Council. Ms. Snader earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from George Mason University in 2009 and is a former member of the university’s Trap and Skeet Team. She resides in Falls Church with her husband, Shaun, and her Olde English Bulldogge, Laverne.
Bradley H. Stein, MBA '94
Vice President/General Manager, Optimal Solutions and Technologies (OST)
Brad Stein is a Technology Services Government Contracting Executive with an impeccable track record for growing business value and building customer partnerships through delivery excellence. He brings proven performance in all aspects of strategic planning, P&L and operations management, client relationship development, and capture leadership with federal information technology and consulting services organizations. He has managed some of the largest and most complex Federal transformational programs including modernizing the system FAA uses to plan and manage traffic across the National Airspace System. Stein currently leads the DoD portfolio for OST. In addition, he is active in his temple, volunteering, and mentoring our next generation of leaders. A former George Mason EMBA Alumni Association board member, Stein is a proud Mason alumnus.
CFO, True Influence
Michael is currently the CFO of True Influence, a global marketing intelligence company.
Michael has held CFO, COO, and other executive positions managing finance, IT, HR, sales, & marketing at: Blackbaud, NetMotion Wireless, IceWeb, Elastic Networks, Microdyne, Xircom and Novell.
He has performed a $410M IPO, 8 multimillion-dollar mergers, facilitated a $190M PE-backed company sale, raised $25M from VCs, & closed a $18M asset-based loan.
Michael has taught multiple MBA courses including Financial Management, Marketing Management, Computer Systems, and Ethics at two Universities.
Michael is a CPA and holds an MBA from George Mason University. He has managed several growth-oriented businesses, reorganizations, and integrated mergers. Six Sigma certified, Michael has industry experience in technology, manufacturing, and software.
Joe Whitebread, MS Real Estate Development '15
Land Acquisition Manager, PulteGroup
Joe is a licensed civil engineer with over ten years experience in real estate and land development. He is responsible for the purchase of approximately 5,000 residential home sites representing a total investment of $976M, and has worked on a variety of projects in the region including Potomac Yard in Alexandria, Wardman Tower in Washington, DC and Tower Oaks in Rockville. He represented George Mason on the winning NAIOP Capital Challenge Team, an intercollegiate real estate development case study competition. After graduating from the Masters of Real Estate Development program in 2015, Joe was instrumental in founding the Masters of Real Estate Development Industry Group (MOREDIG) 2016 and served as the Director of the group from 2019 to 2020.
Doug Zehner, BS Accounting and Business Legal Studies '92
Newark and Union Regional CFO Robert Wood Johnson/Barnabas Health
Doug Zehner and his wife, Katherine, moved to New Jersey in 2014 with their now 11 year-old twins, Andrew and Margaret. Doug has been in Hospital Finance and Administration for almost 25 years. He spent 17 years with HCA in Richmond and Denver as CFO. He was the CFO of Washington Hospital Center, a $1.1 billion dollar medical center in the heart of DC when they returned to the east coast. More recently, Doug has served in various leadership positions for RWJ/Barnabas Health for over 6 years. He began as the CFO of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, moved to COO in 2016, and currently is the Newark and Union Regional CFO Robert Wood Johnson/Barnabas Health in northern New Jersey.
Doug and Katherine are active in their community, participating in 3 trips to Haiti as part of their church’s out-reach program.