Several business leaders shaped by their University of Mary Washington educational experiences returned to campus last week as College of Business (COB) honorees.
At an evening ceremony Friday, Oct. 14, in the Cedric Rucker University Center, the COB inducted one alumna into its hall of fame, named three distinguished alumni and recognized three up-and-coming young alumni.
Jennifer Clift ’00 enters the COB Hall of Fame as senior scientific technical manager and chief technology officer for the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) in King George County. An innovator and technology expert, she drives advancement of NSWCDD technical capabilities through investments, partnerships and education including academic partnering.
One of Clift’s favorite Mary Washington memories is her senior capstone project in a class taught by the late Gano Evans, in which she interviewed Southwest Airlines executives as part of an analysis of a successful business model. “It was a fun and rewarding experience, and provided many leadership lessons that I have carried with me throughout my career,” she recalled.
Clift holds a master’s degree in engineering systems from the Naval Postgraduate School and is pursuing a doctorate in engineering at George Washington University.
This year’s distinguished alumni honorees are Megan Shepherd ’94, W. Lee Murray ’04 and Krishna Sinha ’08.
Shepherd is chief operating officer for SimVentions, leading day-to-day operations for the employee-owned Stafford County-based software company. She was named one of the top women in leadership for 2021 by Virginia Business magazine.
Murray is financial advisor and managing director of Cary Street Partners Wealth Management. A member of the UMW Board of Visitors, Murray has received accolades for his work in the financial industry and service to the community.
Sinha is vice president of market development for CACI International, providing expertise and technology in support of national security missions and defense, intelligence and civilian customers. He joined CACI after a successful career on Wall Street in which he was named a “rising star” by Institutional Investor magazine.
The young alumni honored are Rachel Lomax ’15, a senior program analyst supporting NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research program; entrepreneur Gerber Ortiz ’17, owner of GO Masonry serving Northern Virginia; and Brittany McBride ’18, a certified financial planner with Cary Street Partners who also serves on the advisory board of UMW’s Women’s Leadership Colloquium.
Additionally, the College of Business will welcome alum Mark Logan ’04 to campus on Friday, Oct. 21, as this year’s Executive-in-Residence (EIR). The EIR program is a chance for students to interact with established leaders in the corporate world and enhance their knowledge of the free enterprise system.
Logan has spent his entire career in professional services, and for the last 12 years has worked in New York for RSM, provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market. Since joining RSM’s Transaction Advisory Services group, he has played a key role in the group’s growth from 40 employees to over 500.
He’s a licensed CPA in New York and Virginia and has been recognized as an emerging leader in his field.