Executives and Entrepreneurs from Point Park's School of Business Lead the Way for Students and New Graduates
Point Park alumni can be found in every business sector across the nation and around the world. From CEOs to international marketing project managers to senior operating system engineers, business graduates greatly credit their education from Point Park University. They chose Point Park for its flexible class schedule, personalized attention, convenient location and expert faculty. And while they were here, they sharpened their analytical reasoning, learned to articulate complex concepts, improved their teamwork skills and ultimately, advanced their careers.
Ann Rairigh (M.A. in organizational leadership, 2009) is the director of veteran services at the University of Pittsburgh. Rairigh was looking for a master’s degree program that focused on organizational development while allowing her to cultivate her passion for helping veterans pursue higher education. Her graduate school project titled "Creating a Veteran-Friendly University" helped her land a master's degree-level position and enhance her skills in working with professionals at all levels within an organization.
(M.A. in organizational leadership, 2007) is the vice president of development at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh. Burke's master's degree from Point Park has helped her achieve career advancement while enhancing her leadership skills and ability to inspire others to work together. She also learned skills in the organizational leadership program that have helped her to restructure and reanalyze situations as a leader and work effectively with volunteers and staff.
Cindy Komarinski (MBA, 2000), associate professor of culinary arts/hospitality programs at Westmoreland County Community College (WCCC), received the college’s 2010-11 Outstanding Teaching Award. Komarinski has taught culinary arts and hospitality management courses at WCCC for 13 years. During her tenure, she has developed curriculum for new courses, implemented an herb garden in cooperation with the college’s horticulture program, established a guest lecturer seminar series for students and coordinates the internship experience for all culinary arts/hospitality students. She is president of the American Culinary Federation, Laurel Highlands Chapter.
Tracey Truax Evans, (business management, 1987) has led economic development efforts in her hometown of Wilkinsburg. Residents of Wilkinsburg and the region are benefiting from her creativity and ability to juggle multiple projects. In 2010, Evans became the first executive director of the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation, an organization she helped to found in 2007. Today she works with a board of directors to implement strategies that improve the quality of life throughout the community.
Gary M. DeJidas, (business, 1972; MBA, 2010) is president and CEO of GAI Consultants, Inc., a leading engineering and environmental consulting firm whose projects include PNC Park, Summerset at Frick Park and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Inc. DeJidas recently completed his M.B.A. through Point Park's on-site corporate MBA program.
(MBA, 2007) plays a key role in helping the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust achieve its goals, serving as vice president of development. Gigante shares a first-hand account of his experience as a Point Park student and graduate including why he chose the University’s M.B.A. program and his ongoing support for current students.
Barbara VanKirk (computer science, 1983) was honored with a 2010 Distinguished Alumni Professional Achievement award from Point Park University. For more than 15 years, VanKirk has served as the president and owner of IQ, Inc., a company that provides expert consulting, staffing, project management and software development services to clients with information technology and software needs. From its humble beginning in a home office, the company has grown to employ 45 people and generate $6 million in gross annual revenue. VanKirk continues to lead IQ, Inc. and acts as an advocate for women looking to re-enter the workplace, serving as a mentor to them. In addition to her leadership at IQ, Inc., she serves on the executive committee of the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce, the Murrysville Professional Board and the Forbes Hospital Health Foundation.
Roy E. Cox, D.Ed., EMT-P, (public administration, 1991) was honored with a Distinguished Alumni Service award at Point Park University in 2010. Roy E. Cox serves as the district chief of the City of Pittsburgh’s Bureau of EMS, part of the Department of Public Safety. Cox also serves as the leader of the Pittsburgh CISM Team, which helps mitigate the stressful effects of tragic events within the community. In addition to his work with the CIMS Team, Cox is writing a public safety textbook to be published in 2011. He has received numerous awards from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Emergency Medical Services Institute for his dedication to public safety and emergency management. Cox is a member of the Federal Response Unit - Pennsylvania 1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team, which responds to crises, such as hurricanes, and H1N1 preparation in Delaware.
James K. Shearer (public administration, 1999) was honored with the 2010 GOLD Award (Graduate Of the Last Decade) from Point Park University. James K. Shearer is a special agent for the FBI, assigned to the Detroit Field Division's Grand Rapids Resident Agency. Shearer is responsible for investigating domestic terrorism matters. His training and expertise led to the capture of the leader of the Earth Liberation Front organization responsible for an arson at Michigan State University in 1999. Before joining the FBI, Shearer served as a police officer in Wilmington, N.C., spending his time on night patrol and working with the department’s narcotics team. While on the Wilmington force, Shearer earned a master’s degree from Florida State University in 2003. He was also responsible for obtaining a $130,000 grant to establish the Wilmington Street Walker Project, a rehabilitation program for prostitutes addicted to drugs.
Douglas M. Anderson (business management, 1970) is in the unique position to be able to utilize his diverse career experiences and expertise to help our nation's citizens with some very timely issues: disaster preparedness and health care affordability.