Alumni News Roundup 2022: A year of impact

Alumni news roundup 2022
Friday, January 6, 2023
These Business Niner alumni led the way in 2022

In 2022, Belk College of Business alumni made a positive impact in their communities, industries and careers. Alumni also gave back to UNC Charlotte by speaking at special events and volunteering.  

Let's revisit the alumni highlights of 2022!

Alumni Accomplishments

Kimberly Moore-Wright ‘95, chief teammate officer and head of enterprise diversity at Truist, was highlighted in American Banker’s Most Powerful Women to Watch

Sen. Dave Craven '12, Fred Klein, Joe Price '83 and Belk College of Business Dean Jennifer TroyerFour alumni and friends were honored at the 2022 Belk College Alumni Awards, held Oct. 20, 2022 at UNC Charlotte Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. Yvonne Hinson '86, '90 MBA, CEO of the American Accounting Association, received the Belk College’s highest honor, the Distinguished Alumna Award; Joe Price '83, partner at Falfurrias Capital, received the Distinguished Alumni Service Award; Sen. Dave Craven '12 received the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award; and Fred Klein, founding partner at Childress Klein, received the Honorary Alumnus Award. 

Several alumni Business Niners were included in Business North Carolina’s 2022 Power list:

  • Dontá L. Wilson ’97, head of retail banking and marketing, Truist and member of the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees 
  • Chris Peek ’93, CEO of CaroMont Health
  • Malcomb Coley (honorary alumnus), U.S. central growth market leader and Charlotte managing partner, EY
  • Fred Klein (honorary alumnus), senior managing partner, Childress Klein
  • Rebecca Whitmarsh ’01 MBA, area director of operations, Northwood Hospitality
  • John Cato ’73, chair, president and CEO, The Cato Corp.

Scott Case ‘00, senior executive vice president and chief information officer at Truist, received the CharlotteCIO Large Enterprise ORBIE award. Case was one of seven chief information officers to be recognized in the 2022 Carolina CIO of the Year ORBIE Awards.

UNC Charlotte Young Alumni Chapter at the 10 under Ten Awards

During Niner Nation Week, seven Belk College alumni were recognized by the UNC Charlotte Young Alumni Chapter at the 10 under Ten Awards. Recipients included: 

  • Brandt Bronico '17
  • Rose Brown '17
  • Courtney Hunt '18 
  • Samantha Pagnatta '18 
  • Nick Sulak '17 
  • Haley Sutton '19 
  • Ghada Ternanni '16 

Austin Duke ‘16, Chrystal Giles ‘06, and Kimberly Moore-Wright ‘95 were among the 2022 recipients of the Black Alumni Chapter Excellence in Leadership awards. The ceremony was held during Niner Nation Week.

UNC Charlotte 49er Alumni Campus Employees (ACE) honored Scott Plunkett ‘05, director of alumni operations and special projects in the Office of Alumni Engagement, as a 2022 recipient of the 49er ACE Milestone Award. The award honors alumni campus employees who have been with the university for 10 or more years and have made being a 49er a way of life. The award recognizes the dedication and loyalty recipients have brought to our campus.

Honorary alumnus Fred Klein received the Charlotte Business Journal’s 2022 Pillar Award, part of the Journal’s Heavy Hitters commercial real estate awards program.

The Charlotte Business Journal honored Jane Wu ‘07 MS Mathematical Finance and Amy Sullivan ‘91 at the 2022 Most Admired CEO Awards in June 2022. Honorary alumnus Malcomb Coley, as well as David Ravin ‘94, a UNC Charlotte alumnus and member of the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate Advisory Board, were also among the other Charlotte executives honored at the ceremony. 

Joe Price ‘83 received an honorary doctorate in public service during UNC Charlotte’s Spring Commencement ceremonies.Joe Price ‘83 received an honorary doctorate in public service during UNC Charlotte’s Spring Commencement ceremonies. Price, who earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Belk College, is a partner with Falfurrias Capital Partners, former University trustee, and emeritus member of the Belk College Board of Advisors.

Veronica Calderon ‘12 MBA, chief inclusion, belonging and equity officer at DeVry University, was honored in the Charlotte Business Journal’s 2022 Women in Business Achievement Awards.

Chemere Davis ’14, senior business operations manager for Microsoft, and Sen. DeAndrea Salvador ‘13 were named to the Charlotte Business Journal’s 40 Under 40.

Louis Monetti ‘22, who participated in UNC Charlotte’s club bass fishing team, won the Bassmaster College Classic Bracket. Monetti also helped UNC Charlotte achieve the Team of the Year honor for the 2022 Strike King Bassmaster College Series.

UNC Charlotte employees Allie Bartosch ‘05, ‘06, assistant controller of compliance, and Michael Lang ‘12, associate director of conferences, reservations and event services, were featured in the University’s Meet a Niner series.  

Seven Belk College alumni-owned businesses were featured in UNC Charlotte’s 2022 Niner-Owned Gift Guide:

  • The Wine Vault: Tim Wallace ’99
  • 704 Shop, Christopher Moxley ’03 and Jerri Shephard ‘14
  • Paper Skyscraper, Bill Godwin Jr. ’11
  • Box Babe Gift Co., Haley Sutton ’19
  • Your Modern Designs, Maggie Snider ‘18
  • Commonwealth Customz, Johnathan Hill '13

Charlotte Chess Center founder Peter Gainnatos ‘14, Alyson Craig ‘13 MS Real Estate, interim planning director for the city of Charlotte, and Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert ‘94 were featured in the fall 2022 edition of the UNC Charlotte Magazine

Brandt Bronico ‘17, midfielder for Charlotte FCBrandt Bronico ‘17, midfielder for Charlotte FC who studied accounting in the Belk College, was featured in a UNC Charlotte story about his Charlotte roots and how the University shaped him. 

UNC Charlotte awarded more than 1,600 degrees to Business Niners in 2022. In May 2022, 933 graduates joined the Belk College alumni network. Additionally, 240 new alumni joined the network in August 2022, and another 483 graduates received their degrees in December 2022

Several Belk College alumni-owned businesses were included in UNC Charlotte’s “9 Niner-Owned Places to Eat, Drink and Be Merry” list, including: 

  • The Open Kitchen: Stephanos Skiouris ‘13 and Christina Skiouris ‘76  
  • Red Rocks Cafe, Bar and Bakery: John Love ‘84 MBA
  • El Puro Cuban Restaurant and Havana Carolina Restaurant and Bar: Manny Perez ‘21 and Ana Acela ‘22 
  • The Office Craft Bar and Kitchen and Blue Bar and Smokehouse: James Rivenbark ‘05, ‘20 MBA
  • Royal Bliss Brewing: Larry Griffin Jr. ‘84 
  • Vaulted Oak Brewing: Keil Arrington ‘08 and Chuck Kistler ‘06
  • Pharr Mill Brewing: Alston Richardson ‘07

Alumni Driving Business

Kristin Cagney ‘19 MBA, owner of Summit Seltzer in Wesley Heights, hosted the Belk College + Charlotte Business Group mixer in November 2022.

U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Joe Mulla ‘22 DBA leveraged his degree to transition into a leadership role at Truist.  Research and data from his dissertation is helping Truist reach and connect with millennial customers. 

Jabbar Jamison ‘08 MBA, a member of the Belk College Alumni Council, was featured in Business Matters, a series of virtual discussions focused on supporting Black business in Charlotte. The series was created in partnership between QCity Metro and the Master of Business Administration program. 

Four alumni participated in the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance’s Emerging Business Leaders, a seven-month leadership training program. The participants were selected through the ongoing partnership between the Belk College of Business Graduate Programs, the UNC Charlotte Alumni Association and the CLT Alliance. Alumni participants included: 

  • Adonis Abdullah ‘21, ‘22
  • Danielle Avery ‘19, MS Mathematical Finance
  • Amanda Gadsden ‘18 MBA
  • Robert Schaff ‘14 MBA
    Robert and Melanie Niblock ‘84 visited UNC Charlotte to meet the first cohort of Niblock Scholars.

Alumni Giving Back

Robert and Melanie Niblock ‘84 visited UNC Charlotte to meet the first cohort of Niblock Scholars. The program, established by the Niblock’s $2.5 million gift, is designed to help incoming freshmen or transfer students grow into academically high achievers who are involved and committed to their professional development. 

Elliot Bryant ‘85, senior vice president and general manager of the Classic Client Solution business unit at Allscripts Health, served as the keynote speaker for the Belk College’s first-ever CONNECT event. CONNECT, which is part of a larger DEI initiative in the college, is a networking event helping to connect the college’s Black and Latinx community.

fifth annual Belk College of Business Risk Management and Insurance Golf Tournament.Honorary alumnus Ross Fowler directed the fifth annual Belk College of Business Risk Management and Insurance Golf Tournament. Held at Rocky River Golf Club of Concord, the tournament raises funds for scholarships, which are awarded to students in the risk management and insurance concentration.

Eighteen alumni joined the Belk College Alumni Council in 2022, which advises the College on alumni engagement programs, hosts events to bolster alumni connections and represents the College in the community and in their place of work. 

Belk College Alumni Council member David McKenzie ‘88 coordinated the third annual scouting food drive, which benefits the Jamil Niner Student Pantry. 

Members of the Belk College Alumni Council — Paul Claiborne '88, Mike Dong '13, Nick Sulak '17, and Tameka Beavers '04 — volunteered at the Jamil Niner Student Pantry in December 2022 as part of a service project to help fight food insecurity. 

Belk College Day of Service at the Jamil Niner Student PamtryBelk College students and members of the Alumni Council joined forces for three service projects for the Belk College Day of Service in the spring. In total, 67 volunteers contributed 142 hours of service to support the Jamil Niner Student Pantry, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and Classroom Central. 

Have news to share with fellow Belk College alumni?  Submit your Class Note.