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Anthony Rizk with his son Kobe, wife Michelle, and son Drew at the 2017 West Valley High School Graduation

Anthony is the President and CEO of Spirit of Alaska FCU. He earned an MBA from UAF in 1997 and currently serves on SOM’s Business Advisory Council.

Why did you choose to attend UAF?  
I knew I wanted to earn my MBA, and I knew the learning experience and eventual degree would help separate me in a tight job market. Because this is my hometown, and the fact SOM is a great school, it made it so easy to attend and was very affordable.

Share with us an outstanding teacher or class. 
The teacher who made the biggest impression on me was Professor Jim Collins. He always made me think about things from a different perspective. When I asked for advice or help on a project, he only gave enough information to encourage me to think harder and from all angles.  Nothing was ever straight forward in his teaching style.

What is a favorite SOM memory?  
Watching the Student Investment Fund (SIF) have incredible growth over a one year period. If Intel or Coke are still part of the fund, those were two investment picks my class chose for the fund! What a really unique class and structure for hands-on learning!

How did SOM prepare you for your professional career?  
It allowed me to see the big picture, not just a moment in time. Working as a team was highly stressed in the MBA program on many projects, and it certainly translated to the real world and work life. You can’t do it alone.

What does being a UAF alumnus mean to you? 
It means I’m a proud member of a select group, not only in Alaska, but throughout the world.

What’s the number one skill or practice that has contributed to your success?  
Communication skills – period. Lots of people can read books, do calculus problems, calculate rates of return, etc., but if you can’t communicate/articulate an idea or response, then you’re at a true disadvantage. Learn to communicate first and foremost – and ensure you’re in listening mode most of the time.

What advice do you have for current students?
Discover who YOU are, think BIG, be open minded, listen, develop great study habits very early on, and most importantly, enjoy the moment.

Anthony and his wife Michelle at Yale University Freshman Orientation with their son Kobe

  • What is your favorite breakfast food  Breakfast burrito
  • Dream vacation destination?   Fiji
  • What three words would you use to describe your role?   Exciting, Challenging, Satisfying
  • Given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?   Either one of my sons – being young like them for a day would truly be a dream!

 

Anthony and his wife Michelle at the State Soccer Tournament with their son Drew