Kim grew up in Miami, Florida and San Diego, California. Her career started at the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, where she represented American businesses operating in China. She went on to work in emerging markets asset management at HSBC, then moved to General Electric, where she led GE Capital’s global public affairs function.
- Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Vanderbilt University
- Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs
- MBA from the University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business
What brought you to Alaska?
While completing my MBA, I went on a spring break cross-country skiing trip in Alaska’s White Mountains. I fell in love with the area and all the great things you can do outdoors. I also fell in love with a very special Alaskan guy, Sam Alexander, who runs his own adventure travel company when not teaching. Sam didn’t have to do much convincing to get me to move.
What do you enjoy about Alaska?
Two things strike me most about Alaska – first, this state offers boundless opportunities for someone with an entrepreneurial mindset. Second, the sky is amazing! The Lower 48 doesn’t get brilliant sunrises and Northern Lights like we get here.
You have a good amount of professional experience in finance, leadership and marketing.
How does that translate into the classroom?
I relate examples from my own work experience. One of the first lectures I gave was on mergers and acquisitions. Having gone through a number of acquisitions and divestures at GE, I can share a practioner’s perspective to complement the academic view. I’m connecting with my former colleagues and professional contacts to come to Fairbanks so students can hear their perspectives, as well.
Which previous research / project are you most proud of?
While at GE, I launched a marketing campaign that was so successful in the U.S., I got to oversee its implementation in six additional countries. The success was nice, of course, but it was also a great opportunity to work with colleagues across the globe.
What advice do you have for current students?
Stay curious and approach your career – and your life – with an open mind. As a corollary to that – if you get the opportunity to travel, do it.
What would you like to tell us about your family?
Sam and I live in a dry cabin. I’m hoping to add a puppy to our family soon. And maybe running water some day!
UPDATE: The puppy has arrived! Still waiting on that running water….
- Next TV binge watch in queue? Archer and House of Cards are my two guilty pleasures.
- Book you are currently reading? I am re-reading “The Great Game” by Peter Hopkirk. It is a non-fiction account of the 19th century British-Russian rivalry in the Central Asia. It is just as exciting and full of intrigue as any work of fiction.
- Your last music download? The latest addition to my Spotify playlist was “Hotline Bling” by Drake.
- If I granted you one wish to change the world what would it be? I’d wish for every single person to live in a culture other than his or her own for a while. I think it would go a long way toward breaking down the barriers between us.
Chris is the owner of Allstate Insurance, Chris Marok Agency. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2010 and an MBA in 2012.
Why did you choose to attend UAF?
There were many factors, but one of the biggest was the ability to stay in my hometown, close to family and friends. I was also able to continue enjoying the outdoor activities unique to Alaska while working on my degree. Both my parents were teachers and emphasized the importance of a good education. I knew UAF was a great school and provided the perfect setting for both my personal and educational interests.
Share with us an outstanding teacher or class.
It’s hard to pick just one, but Business Law with John Burns stands out. The course was extremely challenging and very stimulating; it really pushed me to want to better myself. I have found that much of what I learned in that course is relevant to the insurance industry and has made me a better agent.
What is a favorite SOM memory?
While in the MBA program, I was a teaching assistant and worked directly for Dr. Ping Lan on many projects, the biggest of which was the Arctic Innovation Competition. However, another project Dr. Lan assigned to me directly was to help create a video series for a new leadership course he was developing. During the 2011 spring semester, he tasked me with scheduling interviews with nine leaders in nine different major industries here in Alaska. I met with each of them one on one, asked them all the same questions, and then edited the recorded interviews into a video series. It was an awesome experience sitting down with the various CEOs, presidents, directors, and other heads of organizations throughout Alaska, and listening to the advice and stories from these men and women. The one bit of advice every single one of them mentioned was how important clear communication is to the health of their organizations – which is advice I still use every day.
How did SOM prepare you for your professional career?
The best preparation I got from SOM was my time working as the President of the 2011 Arctic Innovation Competition. It was the culmination of everything learned in the classroom and putting that information to use in the real world. I led a team, met deadlines, maintained a budget, and accomplished all the goals necessary to put on a successful national event. That experience helped me grow as a leader and translates to all the things I do on a daily basis in my own business.
What does being an alumnus mean to you?
For me, being a UAF alumnus means I am a part of something huge – a gigantic family with ties all over the world. It brings me closer to the City of Fairbanks and the great people here in the Golden Heart of Alaska. I love telling people from the Lower 48 that I am a Nanook, and watching the look of confusion take hold.
What keeps you enthusiastic about your career?
The constant ability to learn and grow. With the changing needs of my clients, corporate policies, and industry regulations, I am constantly driven to learn new things; otherwise I’ll get left behind. I get asked something new almost every day, which helps keep things interesting. I would go crazy in a monotonous career with no change or variety to the everyday routine. I feel blessed to have a career that keeps me stimulated and pushes me to continuously better myself and those around me.
What’s the number one skill or practice that has contributed to your success?
Being able to visualize a completed goal, no matter how big or small, and formulate the necessary steps to get there. When it comes to the goals, setting expectations to stay the course – no matter the obstacles that may arise, and hopefully the carrot at the end of the stick – will be worth it in the end.
What advice would you give to current students?
Ask questions. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for clarification or further information. Knowledge is power and questions keep the lines of communication open to gain more knowledge. I tell everyone in my office the old cliché, “there is no such thing as a dumb question” all the time. As long as they are asking me questions, it means they are learning and growing. They all know they can ask me any question at any time.
- Favorite breakfast food? Toss-up between French Toast or a Philly Cheesesteak omelet.
- Dream Vacation Destination? Australia and New Zealand
- What book are you reading? Re-reading “Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything,” by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.
- Go to music streaming channel? The Black Keys Radio on Pandora.
After making a career in local government, Judi Slajer, at the age of 39, enrolled at UAF to finish her degree. Her eldest daughter, Veronica, had graduated from high school, and her youngest daughter, Francie, was entering middle school. Judi and her daughters packed their bags and headed to Fairbanks. Judi and Veronica both attended UAF and even lived on the same floor in Bartlett Hall at one point. Veronica returned to UAF in 2013 for her M.A. in rural development.
The big move and the pursuit of a degree came after 18 years of residency in Ketchikan and employment with the Ketchikan Gateway Borough. Judi moved to Ketchikan in 1962 and became the borough’s first employee, working as municipal clerk and then as borough manager. Judi was the first woman to hold a borough manager position in Alaska. She says it was the best job she ever had.
Just before graduating, Judi left two months early to accept a job at the Municipality of Anchorage as a budget director, and worked for Mayor Tony Knowles for the next four years. She finally received her diploma that summer of 1982.
Judi met her husband, Tom Rosadiuk, at a Gold Kings hockey game in Fairbanks. Tom (UAF ‘59, College of Engineering) founded a Fairbanks engineering/surveying firm, which he grew to become PDC Inc. Engineers, with offices in Fairbanks and Anchorage. Judi moved back to Fairbanks to join Tom and develop and teach governance courses in rural Alaska for the UAA’s extension program. After a spring and summer of teaching, she accepted the chief financial officer position at Fairbanks North Star Borough.
Judi and Tom both retired in 1997 and took off on a road trip that fall. When Judi’s replacement at the borough did not work out, Mayor Sampson called and asked her to come back to work. After another nine months on the job, Judi’s successor was hired.
While Judi and Tom thought that they could relax in retirement and enjoy their travels, more challenges lay ahead. Returning from a trip to New Zealand and Australia in 2000, Judi found a registered letter waiting for her from her doctor. The letter said that her mammogram results were alarming and that she needed to consult with a surgeon. Within three days, she was diagnosed with cancer and made arrangements for surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Judi continued her treatment in Fairbanks and Palm Springs, California.
With only one grown child now living in Alaska, Judi and Tom decided in 2002 to make parallel moves, one by purchasing a winter home in La Conner, Washington and the other to make a rural lot on an island 25 miles southwest of Ketchikan their permanent residence. Developing the remote lot as a residence has been a major project. Judi and Tom purchased a historic float house—built sometime between 1928 and 1938—for the property. Tom has spent years improving the house and adding outbuildings, including a greenhouse, as well as water, sewer, and electrical generating systems, a ramp, and a 40-foot dock.
Always grateful for her second chance at higher education, Judi has contributed to UAF for years through donations to the School of Management and through her membership in the American Association of University Women. She and Tom also invest money into 529 College Savings Plans for all of her and Tom’s eight grandchildren. Maintaining her connection with UAF, Judi said that education plays a large role in determining how she and Tom approach life and all of its challenges.
For the immediate future, Judi and Tom will maintain their Alaska residency, travel to their south Kona fruit and macadamia nut farm in Hawaii, and monitor their health. Judi also looks forward to spending more time with her children, grandchildren, and friends, enjoying them as much as possible. She stays busy volunteering for several community committees, after spending nine years on the board of directors. She tries not to worry about the future, and just enjoys the adventures that life brings!
In 1984, Bob Hajdukovich was one of 12 employees at Frontier Flying, the company owned by his father, John Hajdukovich. Today, he is CEO of Ravn Air Group, Inc., the parent company for Frontier Flying Service, Corvus Airlines (previously known as Era Aviation), and Hageland Aviation Services. As a business leader, Bob demonstrates a commitment to his employees and the success of his company, but above all else a deep commitment to service for the people of the great state of Alaska.
Bob has vast experience in numerous aviation jobs working his way up from ramp agent, operations agent, computer programmer, office manager, general manager, first officer, pilot in command, director of operations, vice president, and finally to the current CEO of Ravn Alaska. Ravn has been flying for about as long as Alaska has been a state. Bob took the family commuter and freight airline business from a small affair to a regional airline with nearly 1,000 employees serving 100 communities across Alaska.
Bob is active in several aviation-based community organizations. He serves on the Governor’s Aviation Advisory Committee and is also active in progressive safety programs and innovative risk management. He served as president of Alaska Air Carriers Association (AACA), as a board member of the Medallion Foundation, and as chair of the AACA Joint Safety Committee. However, not all of Bob’s accolades are aviation-based. In 2011, the Fairbanks Hockey Hall of Fame recognized the Hajdukovich family as having the Best Backyard Rink.
Bob received his BA in business administration from the University of San Diego. Although Bob did not graduate from the UAF, two of his sons, Alec and Connor, are current students and will graduate from UAF. His eldest son, Nick, graduated from University of Alaska Southeast.
As a part of a well-respected aviation family, Bob is keenly aware of the importance of giving back to the community that means so much to him. Whether it is donating $100,000 to the UAF Aircraft Maintenance School Program, giving to the Fairbanks Community Food Bank, or helping to deliver emergency food and supplies to neighboring villages, Bob’s philanthropic contributions are an example to all who know him. In 2013, the first University of Alaska themed commercial airplane in the world was welcomed to the fleet, affirming the strong partnership between Ravn and the UAF and UAA campuses.
Somehow, Bob juggled raising a family of three boys while running an airline that was continually growing and made it all look easy. He has the ability to conquer anything set before him. He’s mastered parenting, basketball, skiing, ping-pong, and was even the first one at Monroe High School to solve the Rubik’s Cube.
While we all know Bob is a tremendous businessman, he is also an outstanding father and husband. Bob and his beautiful wife, Leslie, enjoy spending time in the great outdoors together. Bob is truly someone who has balanced work and family well, and has gone to great lengths to spend as much time as possible with those he loves even more than aviation.
Bob Hajdukovich, a pilot, a leader, a family man, and a man of great wit, compassion, and modesty, couldn’t be a better example to SOM students and the Fairbanks community to receive the 2016 UAF Business Leader of the Year Award.
What sets SOM apart from other schools are the extensive opportunities available for hands-on experiences outside the classroom. Each year, students help run major statewide events such as the Arctic Innovation Competition and the Business Leader of the Year. Students are encouraged to join at least one of ten SOM student organizations with focuses ranging from entrepreneurship to leadership to accounting. These groups provide more opportunities to give back to the greater Fairbanks area and gain the type of experience employers desire. This semester, students were invited to several events to present on the effectiveness of their out-of-classroom experiences.
Fairbanks Downtown Rotary Club
In October, students presented at a meeting of the Fairbanks Downtown Rotary Club.
Heidi Bryan, a senior business administration student majoring in marketing, shared her experiences working on the Arctic Innovation Competition. Heidi was able to gain substantial leadership skills, saying, “Before I got to UAF, I thought leadership meant that the boss was in charge and you did not ask questions. I now see leadership as setting the direction for the team, motivating others, and inspiring vision.”
Alec Hajdukovich, a senior business administration student majoring in finance, shared his experiences with the Student Investment Fund (SIF) course. Alec came to UAF with hockey as his primary interest. When he enrolled in the SIF course in his junior year he initially felt completely out of his depth. However, he quickly found himself learning more than he ever thought possible, decided to major in finance, and his mother calls it the “turnaround story of the century.”
James Gilchrest, a junior majoring in emergency management, touched on his experiences with the Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) program. James applied to UAF after seeing a Facebook ad for the HSEM program while stationed in Guantanamo Bay. Once he arrived on campus, he felt immediately supported by SOM. James believes the greatest contribution made by SOM instructors is to mentor future leaders, and said, “The School of Management inspires me to be fearless.”
Associated General Contractors of Alaska (AGC)
Jamie Boyle, a senior business administration major moving on the MBA program, presented to AGC about her experiences as a first-semester student in SIF. A generous donation is provided by AGC in support of a SIF scholarship. Jamie shared how the SIF course helped her learn how to value a stock, think differently about a company beyond the numbers, and be comfortable and confident in presentations. She said, “I look optimistically toward the future equipped with a quality degree and ample real-life experiences.”
UA Board of Regents
In December, students accompanied Dean Herrmann for a presentation to the UA Board of Regents, where Heidi, James, and Jamie shared stories similar to those they brought to the Rotary and AGC events.
James Gilchrest, Amy Isaacson, Jamie Boyle, and Heidi Bryan ready to present to the UA Board of Regents.
Amy Isaacson, an MBA student who also holds an accounting degree, shared how glad she was to earn prestigious degrees from a university in her own hometown, and how critical her non-classroom experiences were to her education and growth. In particular, the Great Alaskan Accounting People helped connect her to the accounting field and secure employment, and participating in the Business Leader of the Year advanced her skills in teamwork, professionalism, and leadership.
Amy, Heidi, Jamie, James, and Dean Herrmann presenting to the UA Board of Regents.
The School of Management hosted its 2nd annual In My Element Shopping Spree for SOM students on Friday and Saturday, December 4th and 5th.
In My Element once again donated thousands of dollars of professional attire for our female students. This generous donation meant that students were able to select up to five items of clothing, including one pair of shoes, and enjoy them free of charge!
About 35 students took advantage of the opportunity, and were thrilled at the chance to “shop” for new clothing items.
Thank you again to In My Element for making these items available for SOM students. We appreciate your generosity and ongoing support for our students!
SOM Principles of Marketing students Pat Lassell, Chelsea Roehl, Lyz Allen, and Jake Mooty at Roast and Boast 2015. Photo by Sarah Sackett.
Local coffee roasters and cafés showcased their specialty items at the 2015 Roast and Boast in November. For the fourth year, the School of Management partnered with Northrim Bank to host this community event. Over 150 people came out to enjoy the music, food, door prizes, and abundance of hot beverages and homemade baked goods.
Students in the UAF Principles of Marketing class helped organize and market the event, gaining organizational management, budgeting, team building, and event-planning experience.
“Usually you don’t get to put on an event of this caliber unless you are working for a company. When an employer looks at your resume and sees you’ve done something like this, it shows involvement beyond the classroom,” said business administration student Pat Lassell. “All in all, stress and homework aside, I had a blast and a great experience.”
This year’s event featured specialties from Great Harvest Bread Co., McCafferty’s Coffee House, North Pole Roasting Co, Take 5 Bakery and Café, and The Fudge Pot.
View photos from the event:
Charlie with his wife Meghan and their dog Percy
Charlie Hill graduated May 2013 with a bachelor of business administration with a concentration in management and organizations and a minor in accounting. He currently works as the Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance for the UAF Athletics Department.
Choosing a Business Administration degree
When I decided to pursue a Business Administration degree during my freshman year, I did so with the ultimate goal of being employed in an operations department in the National Basketball Association (NBA). After performing research, I realized that goal was unrealistic, so I changed my goal to work in an intercollegiate athletics department.
Choosing to intern for the UAF Athletics Department
My internship in UAF Athletics was in the Compliance Office. I wanted to intern for UAF Athletics because it was the only internship opportunity in Fairbanks where I could earn experience in my desired career field. Intercollegiate athletics positions are very competitive, so I needed to do everything I could during college to increase my chances of obtaining a full-time position in my desired field after graduation.
My internship consisted of me learning how to be a compliance officer. I learned how to effectively communicate to coaches, department heads, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) office, booster clubs, and many other individuals or offices. My internship was the foundation to the start of my career as a compliance officer at an NCAA institution.
Advice for students
I would advise all students to pursue internship opportunities. Internships not only provide bullet points for the resume, but also provide the necessary experience and knowledge to succeed after college. Organizations want to see that you have the experience and skills to perform the job coming out of college, and an internship provides those things. There is really no excuse for someone to say there aren’t any internships available, because Wendy Tisland, faculty advisory for the internship program, will do everything she can to help find you those opportunities.
Best thing about interning at the UAF Athletics Department
The best thing about my internship was the experience and knowledge I gained. I learned how to effectively communicate to various audiences about rules that concern athletics. I learned a lot about the expectations and the day-to-day environment of a compliance officer. I am extremely thankful for my internship because without it, I may not be in the position that I am in today as Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance at UAF Athletics.
Investing in Excellence
“Having been involved in the SOM accounting program since 1974 and now as a UAF Professor Emeritus, Raye Ann and I are proud to leave a legacy through scholarships.”
Professor E. Thomas “Tom” Robinson was born and raised on a small dairy farm in Green Lake, Wisconsin. Money was tight in the Robinson household, so Tom helped out by getting his first paying job during grade school as a dishwasher at a golf course.
Tom received a scholarship that allowed him to earn a degree from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. Throughout his college career, he attributes his success to working during college and the scholarship that allowed him to pursue higher education.
Tom is a first-generation college graduate who participated in numerous extracurricular clubs related to his accounting degree, even though club dues were paid out of pocket and were a bit of a struggle for him. After graduation, Tom had intended to join the U. S. Navy officer school with the finance program but was turned down due to medical issues. Consequently, he accepted a position at Touche, Ross, Bailey & Smart (currently Deloitte), one of the “Big Four” accounting companies in the nation. When Tom decided to take his education to new heights and pursue a graduate degree, he took sabbatical leave from the firm. While studying at the University of Wisconsin, he accepted a full-time faculty position. It was during this period that he gained a true appreciation and passion for higher education and mentoring students.
During his tenure on the accounting faculty, Tom met the love of his life, Raye Ann, and they were wed in the spring of 1974. As an extended honeymoon, Tom and Raye Ann ventured to Alaska, where Tom accepted a position with UAF. They both fell in love with Alaska and decided to make it their permanent home.
In addition to teaching, Tom’s accomplishments at UAF include starting the Associated Students of Business and its Business Leader of the Year program, funding research through the Sea Grant program, establishing salmon hatcheries, and serving as a goal judge at UAF hockey games. Additionally, Tom served on many faculty appointments at UAF, ranging from advising to scholarship committees.
“As part of the committee responsible for selecting scholarship recipients, I discovered a pride, awareness, and desire to recognize and reward deserving students.”
Throughout his career in accounting, Tom felt fortunate to work with a number of professionals who were truly leaders in their fields. He feels a program is only as good as the individuals who make up the team. Having been involved in the SOM accounting program since 1974 and now as a UAF Professor Emeritus, he and Raye Ann are proud to leave a legacy through scholarships. Through the Robinson Family Athletic Scholarship and the E. Thomas and Raye Ann Robinson Scholarship for accounting students, they stand behind their belief in UAF and its mission to serve students with the best education available.
The UAF School of Management awarded more than $25,000 in cash prizes Saturday, October 17, after the final round of presentations in the 2015 Arctic Innovation Competition. The competition, now in its seventh year, invites innovators to propose new, feasible, and potentially profitable ideas for solving real-life problems and challenges.
Cameron Gackstetter took home the $10,000 first prize for this year’s Arctic Innovation Competition. His award-winning idea is The ThawHead, a portable, 40-pound apparatus which uses a two-stage process to first thaw ice and then remove the melt water and debris quickly and efficiently, exposing the interior of the container or area needing repair work.
The Arctic Innovation Competition is an idea contest created by School of Management faculty member Ping Lan. After students, engineers, and the AIC Committee reviewed over 100 ideas and ranked them based on qualities of value, feasibility, utility, and novelty, 20 finalists were chosen for the Main division. For each of the JR (13-17 years old) and Cub (12 years old or younger) divisions, the top three ideas were selected and three additional ideas were chosen to receive honorable mention awards.
Finalists in all divisions presented their ideas to a panel of judges on Saturday, October 17 and the top winners were revealed at the BP Award Ceremony:
- 1st Place – $10,000: Cameron Gackstetter, The ThawHead
- 2nd Place – $5,000: Simon Evans, Active Hydronic Ground Cooling Conversion System for Existing Passive Cooling Infrastructure
- 3rd Place – $2,000: Mark Gunkel, Nate Ayers, Eric Ulery & Jake Minnillo, Tidal Pumped Hydro Storage
- 4th Place – $1,000: Duncan Meyers, Arctic Stone Products
- Arctic Kicker Prize (for the best arctic-related idea) – $2,000: Simon Evans, Active Hydronic Ground Cooling Conversion System for Existing Passive Cooling Infrastructure
- Alaska Student Kicker Prize (for the best idea from an Alaska college student) – $2,000: Eric Bookless, Isaac Lammers, Daniel Sandstrom and Neil Gotschall, Paraplegic Sit Ski
The other 15 finalists in the Main division each won a $100 Honorable Mention award (one finalist was unable to attend).
In the AIC JR division, the winners were:
- 1st Place – $500: William DeWilde, Temperature Regulated Oven
- 2nd Place – $300: Samuel Gabe Greenberg & Kyle Hackett, Street Snow Searer
- 3rd Place – $200: Kaylynn Balcom, Notice Me
In the AIC Cub division, the winners were:
- 1st Place – $500: Gage Tilly, Smoke Choke – Pollution Reduction for Wood Stoves
- 2nd Place – $300: Corbin Becker, Plastic Digester for Recycling
- 3rd Place – $200: Isaac Fisher, Fraction App
New this year was the addition of the “Fan Favorite” award. Members of the audience voted for their favorite idea in each division and the winners of the $100 prize and special Lego trophy in each division are:
- Main Division – Parker Merrifield, Commercial & General Aviation Holo-HUD System
- JR Division – Samuel Gabe Greenberg & Kyle Hackett, Street Snow Searer
- Cub Division – Corbin Becker, Plastic Digester for Recycling
Other activities at the event included a comedian, a robotics presentation, balloon art, and guest Wylie Rogers, the 2014 AIC Alaska Student Kicker prizewinner for building a better goal post for ice hockey. More photos from the event are available on SOM’s Flickr page.
The School of Management would like to thank our partners who helped make this competition possible: BP; Alaska Airlines; Kinross Fort Knox; Northrim Bank; Robinson & Ward, PC; Birchwood Homes; Design Alaska; Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation; Fairbanks North Star Borough; PDC Inc. Engineers; Allstate Insurance, Chris Marok; Anchorage Economic Development Corporation; Doyon, Limited; Fairbanks Memorial Hospital; Great Northwest Inc.; and Juneau Economic Development Council. Thank you to these businesses and organizations for supporting the University and helping to spark innovation and create new opportunities for our community!