A. Gary Anderson
Graduate School of Management

UCR Executive Fellows Celebrate a Year of Mentorship

The Executive Fellows Installation Dinner was an evening of heartfelt memories and plans for the future
By Laurie McLaughlin |

During the April 18 Executive Fellows Installation Dinner, student Victoria Alvarado ’24 shared her personal experience with an executive fellow mentor and how the fellows program is particularly valuable to students.

“In the Designing and Leading Teams course I took this year, Executive Fellow Bansree Parikh spoke about leadership, team dynamics, and corporate culture. During her presentation, I was moved by a woman in leadership who also focuses on community development,” said Alvarado.

“Ms. Parikh shared how she rose through the ranks and executed in her role as president of Bank of America Inland Empire. … With her extensive history and dedication to building a strong community, she embodies the essence of the woman and leader I hope to be one day.”

At the dinner, the new 2024-2025 executive fellows were installed: Hilda Kennedy, a parent of a UCR graduate and founder and president of the nonprofit lender AmPac Business Capital; Rod McDermott, CEO and co-founder of McDermott + Bull executive recruitment firm; and Jeff Paul, most recently vice president of sales west region for software developer Red Hat.

The evening also celebrated the mentorship and service to the School of Business by the outgoing 2023-2024 executive fellows: David Gutierrez ’24, a health care finance executive; Parikh; and retired executive Timothy Wiseman ’83.

Executive Fellows Installation Dinner
Executive Fellows Installation Dinner 2024 at Crestmore Manor, Jurupa Valley

“Reflecting on my experience meeting and listening to our executive fellows, I was filled with a sense of gratitude and inspiration. Their insights, shared during our interactions, have left an indelible mark on me,” said Daniel Lam ’24 MBA.

“Tim, thank you for teaching us to open our hearts to people through displaying humility on the path to authenticity.

“David, thank you for giving profound advice on remaining driven and motivated in the pursuit of building lifelong connections.

“Bansree, thank you for inspiring us with your journey of prioritizing bravery over perfection to learn to overcome obstacles to achieve success.

“Through your stories of humble beginnings and grand success, you welcomed me into your world and set me on a journey of self-discovery.”

School of Business and A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management Dean Yunzeng Wang underscored the caliber and commitment of the executive fellows. “All our fellows—past and present—are successful leaders and extraordinary professionals in their respective fields,” said Wang. “It reflects our commitment to professional excellence and our interdependent relationships with distinguished alumni, senior business leaders, and the business community.”

The evening’s master of ceremonies, Mickey McGuire ’97, ’99 MBA, chief information officer for HCN bank, also emphasized the value of mentorship and establishing networks while he was a student at UCR: “It was the combination of the education, the relationships with my fellow students, and the industry connections that were formed—like the ones within the Executive Fellows Program—that provided me with the foundation to become a successful entrepreneur,” said McGuire, who presented just a few of the many heartfelt remarks during the celebration. “Over the years, I have started, grown, and successfully exited two different ventures.”

With 104 guests—including alumni; Dean’s Advisory Board members; UC Riverside leadership, including UCR Chancellor Kim Wilcox; faculty; staff; and students—the installation was held at the Crestmore Manor Carriage House in Jurupa. With the luck of perfect weather, guests greeted old friends at an outdoor pre-dinner reception featuring live cello and piano music in the background.

In his remarks, Dean Wang reflected on the significance of school’s generous supporters: “The Executive Fellows program is an example of a collaboration that builds a world-class business school, and students choose a UC business school not only for the excellent education, but for the opportunities inside and outside the classroom to learn from exceptional professionals like yourselves.”

Alvarez, who is now ready to graduate with a degree in management and a minor in psychology and plans a career in HR management while continuing her work in real estate, illustrated the dean’s sentiment.

“The faculty and the executive fellows, like Bansree Parikh, exemplify UCR’s mission of embracing inclusivity and academic rigor through collaborative work, innovation, and personal development,” she said. “This transformative journey has enriched my personal growth and equipped me with the confidence and resilience to navigate complexities in today’s changing world.”

Lam—whose interests are in digital marketing and business analytics and is planning a career in technology or entertainment—looked forward to his next chapter. “There is a ‘young me’ who was seeking a sense of purpose, a sense of hope, and a sense of belonging that always seemed out of reach.

“There is the ‘present me’ who now strives to find the next milestone in my path to making a difference in my community and fulfilling my career aspirations.

“There is the ‘future me’ who hopes to inspire others and give back to my alma mater and encourage and motivate incoming students who will be the future of UC Riverside.

“Through Tim, David, and Bansree, I have embraced the past, stand in the present, and am prepared for the future.”



Header image (from left to right): Jeff Paul 92, Bansree Parikh, Timothy Wiseman 83, Dean Yunzeng Wang, Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox, Hilda Kennedy, David Gutierrez 04


Learn more about the Executive Fellows program:

Executive Fellows Program


View more photos of the event:

Flickr Album 2024