Success and Growth: TIAA 2015 Year in Review

By TIAA and Das Tor Staff

At the beginning of 2015, none of us knew what would happen with the ASU merger, but we were certain TIAA would be here for the long run.  Throughout the year, we had folks ask if we were disbanding now that the school had a new home.  Would TIAA even be necessary? Others asked to become Board Members. And even more chose to join TIAA as members.

From where we sit, 2015 was a stellar growth year and we are indeed here for the long-run. We are excited to now be working with Thunderbird’s administration on numerous objectives.

What was accomplished in 2015?  Take a look for yourself in our first ever Annual Wrap-Up.

Organizational Growth

  • Over 350 new members joined up in 2015 alone bringing TIAA’s total membership to almost 1,500 alumni and students throughout the world by year end.
  • Launch of Student Membership which now has over 50 current students who have joined and are participating in the growth of TIAA and connecting with alumni. You can join TIAA here.
  • A milestone was reached as we added Felipe Martinez ’03 to the Board of Directors through the first ever vote in alumni history to approve a new Board Member to an alumni association.
TIAA 3
Last Fall’s batch of TIAA Scholars, with Merle Hinrich ’65 at center and from left to right: Tash Kovacs (MGM, USA ’17), Dan Zlaket (MGM, USA ’17), Kevin Roos (MGM, USA ’17), Jake Strickler (MAGAM, USA, ’17), Cedric Yumba (MGM, DRC ’17). A photograph featuring the newest arrivals is forthcoming. Courtesy TIAA.

TIAA Scholar’s Program

  • The TIAA Scholar’s Program TIAA awards member-recommended students enrolling in the Full-Time MGM program with a $10,000.00 gift upon graduation. We know that T-birds have a unique ability to find other T-birds and the Board of Directors created this program to support our members who know of interested students.
    • In Fall of 2015 we had five students – Cedric Yumba, Jake Strickler, Dan Zlacket, Kevin Roos, and Tash Kovacs – participating.
    • In Spring of 2016 we added three more students to the program – Dawson Law, Brett Panitz, and Ayse Ulgen.
TIAA 2
TIAA conference in Mexico City in October of 2015. Courtesy TIAA.

Events Around the World

  • We hosted some major events around the world, and saw a great outpouring of support from the alumni. These events included:
    • Houston – Global Disruption of Energy Markets – We kicked the year off right with over 75 alumni attending an evening discussion put together by TIAA Member Kristin Wiekel and the Houston Chapter leadership.
    • Hong Kong – Finance Winterim – In support of the Finance Winterim traveling around Asia, TIAA put together a great panel discussion with alumni working in the industry in Hong Kong.
    • Budapest – Doing Business in Europe– Put together by long time TIAA member Dennis Diokno and through the support of the local Budapest Chapter we saw alumni from all over Europe, the US, Asia and even as far away as Central America!
    • Mexico City – Leadership in Tumultuous Times –Our biggest event so far, with 50 alumni attending from all over the world and sponsored by TIAA’s newest Board member Felipe Martinez ’03. A precursor to the New York City event planned for June 10 & 11.
    • SFO – St. Francis Yacht Club– Over 60 alumni joined TIAA at the Club, sponsored by Board member Robert Theleen ’70, to learn about growth in China as Robert presented on what he has learned as the Chairman of the Board of AMCHAM Shanghai.
    • Paradise Valley Country Club– Hosted by Board Member Merle Hinrich ’65 to welcome the first group of TIAA Scholars to Thunderbird and allow for networking with local alumni.
    • CONNECT Events – These lunches are held by members of the Board of Directors and core volunteers. They provide a deeper understanding and appreciation to our membership as well as an opportunity to network in a secure, and personal environment. This year we hosted lunches in: Hong Kong, Phoenix, San Francisco, New York City, San Antonio, Manila, Kuala Lumpur

TIAA Sponsorships in 2015

  • Matching Spring 2015 class gift donation to TEM Lab – TIAA matched the Spring 2015 graduating class gift, raising over $20,000 to support the TEM Lab programs at Thunderbird.
  • TEDxYouth@Glendale – #WorldInMind raised $2,500 to support the student effort!
  • Rugby Shirts for the second year in a row at the RAW weekend! This exciting time of the Old Boys playing the current students gives a unique connection of support with Thunderbird’s oldest continuous club – Rugby!

Monthly Community Calls

At the beginning of each month, TIAA hosts a webinar to add value to our members and the alumni. This year we had special guests including Dr. Allen Morrison, Dr. Graeme Rankine, Senior Director of Admission Keaton Allen ’09, TIAA Board Members, Dr. Karen Walch and many others! Join us in 2016 for more continuing education on business related items that may impact you.

A Thank You to All of our Volunteers

The support, engagement, and commitment of TIAA’s core volunteers is what helps set TIAA apart. Their continued donation of time and resources is without question a huge part of TIAA’s continued success:

–        Lenora Peppers Greene ’02 – Premier ThunderCouple Member

–        Lia Colabello ’02 – Premier Member

–        Dennis Diokno ’91 – Lifetime Member

–        Kent Deitemeyer ’76 – Lifetime Member

–        Sara Leggett ’15 – Recent Grad Member

–        Jake Warburton ’09 – Annual Member

–        Tania Paredes ’03 – Annual Member

–        Casey Sutton ’15 – Recent Grad Member

–        Kirk Stokes ’15 – Lifetime Member

–       Susan Caolo ’08 – Premier Member

–        Susan Boedy Stella ’02 -Lifetime Member

–        Margaret Amein ’93 – Lifetime Member

–        Jodi Schneider ’15 – Recent Grad Member

–        Kristin Weikel ’99 – Premier Member

–        Ricardo Escalente ’09 – Annual Member

–        Jean-Christophe Deverines ’01 – Annual Member

And to all those who supported our regional events on the ground for Mexico City, Budapest, San Francisco and more. And a Special thank you to Jenn Demoney! Our core in the Scottsdale office of TIAA, Jenn’s everyday support, knowledge and engagement is a key part of our success!