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Alumni Profiles

A-D:

Nii Adote Abrahams (MS'93), Anthony Albano (BS'99), Daniel Arthurton (MS'89), Scott Barrett (BS'79), Steven Bolduc (BS’93), Alida (Lecter) Botero (BS'93), Nicholas Brackett (BS'04), Dwayne S. Breger (Ph.D. '94), Colleen Bright (BS'01), William A. Cady (BS'74), Juan-Camilo Cárdenas (Ph.D. '00, M.S. '94) Michael Chisholm (BS '03), Vaughn Collins (BS'82), Betsy Colucci (BS'00), Paula (Zisson) Connor (BS'79), Michael Donohue (MS'80)

E-M:

T. Robert Fetter (BS'99, MS'02),Sean J. Finnerty (BS '91), Bob Grow (BS,’70), Jennifer (Lewis) Gruber (BS'95, MS'97), Steve Guth (BS '97), Brian Heninger (BS'90), Denise Johnson (BS'77 Health, MS'86, PhD'93 Econ), Edward J. Kern (BS '08), Arthur G. Kilbourn (BS'62 Animal Science, MS'68), Roger King (MS’72), Michael LeVert (MS '07), Peter K. Lewenberg (BS’69), Jeff Lockhart (BS '97), Maureen J. Maguire (BS'82, MS'86), Joseph Martens (BS'78, )Gilbert Metcalf (MS'84), Richard McAniff (BS ’71, MS ’76), Tessa G. Misiaszek (BS '97)

N-Z:

John O'Connor (BS'90), Don O'Loughlin (BS'90), Matthew T. Palmer (BS'00, MS'02) Korrin (Nygren) Petersen (BS'99) Njundu Sanneh (MS'95), Carol Sarnat (MS'85), Nyssa Schloyer (BS'02), Kelly Shore (BS'02), Charles Snyder (BS'02), Chris Stanley (BS '97), Peter Stanley (MS'72), Greg Swinand (BS'90 Econ, MS'94), Jessica Teilborg (BS '01), Jon L Vencil (MS '89), Ryan Wardwell (BS'01), Justin Zucker (BS'02)

Nii Adote Abrahams (MS'93)
Nii is currently on the faculty of the School of Business Administration, Missouri Southern State University. After leaving UMass he went on to earn a PhD in Agricultural Economics from The Pennsylvania State University. Before taking up his current position, he worked as an Economist in the Department of Planning and Budget, Economic and Regulatory Analysis Section for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and as a Post Doctoral Associate at the Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Georgia. He would be happy to hear from current students. Contact: abrahams-n@mssu.edu

 

Anthony Albano (BS'99)
Tony writes: "After exploring several sales and consulting positions, with a stroke of good fortune, I was offered a job with an oil brokerage firm and I am now an oil broker.   We help refiners and marketers buy and sell gasoline and oil distillates. Most trades are executed as an exchange of physical barrels for futures contacts on the NYMEX. I spend my day between trades analyzing markets in different geographic locations, timing, and products. I have been with the company from before our opening day and have enjoyed the experiences of helping build a company from the ground up. I actually designed our logo, business cards, and letterhead. I find that I am able to use much of my education on a daily basis, and I am looking forward to settling into a long position here.

On a personal note, I am living in southern Connecticut and have been happily married for almost two years." Contact: aalbano1@optonline.net

 

Photo of Dan ArthurtonDaniel Arthurton | Deputy Director
Financial and Enterprises Development Department
Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
MS, Resource Economics, 1989

Dan writes "I am from the Federation of St. Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis in the West Indies. My Resource Economics Degree has allowed me to work in a wide range of disciplines. After six years in marketing management, I have done marketing research, project writing, monitoring and evaluation for three years with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), two years as a project manager for Small Medium Enterprises Development Project for USAID. In my present job as Deputy Director of the Financial and Enterprises Development Department of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank I am responsible for the development of several entrepreneurship and resource management initiatives including a $50 million Eastern Caribbean Investment Fund which should be launched in 2010. Farming is still my hobby on my six acres mixed orchard and hydroponics operation which sell herbs and lettuce to the local hotels and supermarkets. Contact daarthurton@gmail.com (Posted October 2009)
>>2011 Spotlight on Dan Arthurton

 

Photo of Scott BarrettScott Barrett (BS'79)
Scott gave a seminar to the Department on October 18, 2002 "Environment and Statecraft: The Strategy of Environmental Treaty-Making," which is also the title of his forthcoming book. He discussed successful and unsuccessful international environmental treaties - on acid rain, fur sealing, ozone depletion and global warming - and how they differ.

Scott went on to earn a Master's degree from the University of British Columbia and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. He then spent 11 years at the London Business School before returning to the United States. He has worked on strategies for negotiating international environmental agreements, for which he won the Erik Kempe Prize. He has advised several international organizations-including the European Commission, IUCN Commission on Environmental Law, the OECD, various agencies of the U.N., and the World Bank-on negotiating environmental treaties. He also served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. For the past three years, Scott has been Professor of Environmental Economics and International Political Economy and Director of the Energy, Environment, Science and Technology program at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.

Scott revealed that he was an indifferent undergraduate student and credits former Professor of Resource Economics, David Storey, with setting him on his highly successful career path. He said "Dave was my advisor, and I went in his office one day. He sat me down and pulled out his calculator and told me the grades I would need on my remaining courses to graduate cum laude. Then he calculated what I would need to graduate magna cum laude. Then he calculated what I would need to do to graduate summa cum laude. The fact that someone would take the time to go through this exercise had a profound impression on me at the time." Contact: resec@isenberg.umass.edu

 

Steven Bolduc (BS’93)
I received my BS from the Resource Economics department in 1993. From there I settled into graduate school at the University of Nebraska, completing the Ph.D. in 2001. I went to Nebraska to study with F. Gregory Hayden who had studied with some of the original institutional economists at the U of Texas.

While in grad school, I took a leave of absence to work as policy advisor to the Governor of Nebraska. After grad school, I moved here to Fargo to take a position [as Assistant Professor in the Economics Department] at Minnesota State University Moorhead just across the Red River. My teaching includes the standard undergraduate core as well as courses in Government & Business and Poverty, Discrimination & Inequality. My research has focused on corporate/government contracting and policy analysis methods, to date concentrating on US low-level radioactive waste policy.

I am grateful to the Department for the excellent foundations in economics specifically but also in learning more generally. My professors instilled the value of the land grant university mission and that ethos continues to inform my own work--in and out of the classroom. Contact: bolduc@mnstate.edu

 

Alida (Lecter) Botero (BS'93)
Alida writes "I would love to share my story:
In 1996 I started a market research company with my brother focused on the US Hispanic market (the fastest growing minority) and Latin America. The company name is New World Hispanic Research and we conduct quantitative and qualitative studies for major US corporations who want to effectively market their products and services to this segment. Our interest in the Hispanic market is in part due to the fact that we are from Colombia.

It's been a difficult but rewarding road. Throughout the years we have worked with clients such as Chevrolet, JCPenney, Dr Pepper/7Up, Procter & Gamble, Nextel and American Red Cross. I love my job, which allows me to work with companies from a wide range of product and service categories. Every day we have new projects and I learn new things about a specific category.   Additionally, I constantly have to travel to the top US Hispanic markets (Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Houston, San Antonio and sunny Miami - where I live).

One of the high points of my career came in 2000 when Working Woman Magazine honored me as one of the 'top 20 businesswomen in the US under 30 years of age'. Having my own company allows me to have flexible hours in order to spend time with my husband and 2 young children (Julian - 4 and Natalia - 2). I thank UMASS, Resource Economics and the Food Marketing department for a wonderful experience. I hope to visit soon with the entire family."
Contact: alida@nwhr.net.   For additional information about our company visit http://www.nwhr.net

 

Photo of Nick BrackettNicholas Brackett (BS'04)
Founder & CEO of www.higherprecision.com, LLC

Upon graduating from UMass in 2004, my adventurous spirit led me to travel. I spent the first six months after graduation on a cross-country adventure that took me all over the west coast and throughout the United States. Once my travels were finished, I returned back to Boston in search of an entry-level position.

During my search, I interviewed and was subsequently offered an Accounts Receivable position for the Fred V. Fowler Company in Newton, MA. After a year of accounting, I was promoted to Technical Assistant and remained in that role for a short period of time before accepting my final position at Fowler as the Applications Manager. For five and a half years as the Applications Manager, I worked closely with engineers, machine shops and manufacturing facilities all over the United States. When I was in the office, I helped design custom measurement equipment and provided technical support for the entire Fowler product line. The traveling aspect of my job led me all around the United States training engineers about the high-end measuring equipment and even around the world working at trade shows as Fowler’s representative.

In November 2011, I decided to go off on my own and start my own business, Higher Precision, LLC. I created www.higherprecision.com guided by the idea that the precision measurement industry will become much more web-based over the next few years. My goal was to create an online store that is user-friendly, while also being an information leader for the metrology (study of measurement) industry. To help me bring my idea to fruition, I partnered with my best friend Seth, who is the founder of the web development company Champ Internet Solutions [www.champinternet.com]. The process of starting my own business and creating a new e-commerce solution for the metrology industry has been a great journey. I can truly say that I love what I do and enjoy going to work every day.

Sometimes I find myself doing work and think about how well the Resource Economics Department prepared me for the real world. Professors such as Dr. Julie Caswell and Dr. Dan Lass go above and beyond what is expected from a college professor for their students. As one of the smaller departments at UMass, I loved how the Resource Economics Department was close-knit and everyone knew one another on a first name basis. I am confident saying that I would not be where I am today without the education I received at UMass and want to thank the entire Resource Economics department for all of your help.

If anyone has any questions about RESEC or my work experience, feel free to email me at nick@higherprecision.com. (Posted May 2012)

 

Dwayne S. Breger (Ph.D. '94)
Since June 2002 Dwayne has been Team Leader of Alternative Technologies at the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources in Boston. He lives in Amherst. He is primarily working on the implementation of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard. He writes "from DOER, I continue to network and seek opportunities for renewable energy development in the Pioneer Valley, and have particularly enjoyed the work with Rick Taupier (BA'75 UWW, MS'85, PhD'98LARP) at The Environmental Institute at UMass to establish a Pioneer Valley Renewable Initiative."

Dwayne would be happy to speak with any students interested in the renewable energy field, as well as the role of state government in supporting renewable energy development. Contact: Dwayne.Breger@state.ma.us

 

Photo of Colleen BrightColleen Bright (BS'01)
Colleen writes: "Shortly after I graduated from UMASS, I moved to Maryland.   After trying to find a job in hard economic times, I worked for a year doing legal work for an attorney whose specialty was in the tax lien investment industry.   Not finding that terribly fulfilling, I decided to pursue other options.   Currently, I am teaching third grade at an inner-city public school in Baltimore.   It has its challenges, but is also very rewarding.   I am pursuing my Masters degree in Reading Education at John Hopkins and hope to someday teach on the college level.   Although I am not in a career field that directly relates to Res Ec, the education that I got through the department laid the foundation I needed to be accepted into the teaching program that I am currently enrolled in.

Personally, I recently got engaged and am planning a wedding for July 2005.   I bought a house about 6 months ago with my fiancée, Lee, and we are spending all our free time fixing it up (tearing down wallpaper, painting, etc.) or playing with our 2 Labs, Sydney and Sierra.(see picture)

I'd love to hear from old classmates and see where the world took you after you left UMASS."   Contact: cbright@comcast.net

 

William A. Cady (BS'74)
Bill is a Director, Vice President, and Corporate Secretary of The Blue Planet Run Foundation. He contacted us recently with this information:

Bill is a natural resource economist, management consultant, project manager and expert itness, specializing in operational economics of environmentally sensitive industries, environmental economics, land restoration and utility regulations. He has over twenty-eight years international experience in the areas of water, wastewater, energy conservation, land conservancy and sustainable agriculture. He has experience as overall program director, environmental economist and was one of the leaders in the development of Nash's "Generalized Equilibrium Theory" as it relates to environmental economics. Bill utilized this theory before the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and United States Regulatory Agencies for project financial feasibility, as well as investment banking decisions versus societal cost analysis. Bill has developed societal environmental computer models, which are currently installed in universities, utilities, consulting firms and industrial clients.

Bill has project management experience with multi-billion dollar international projects working to assess financial, economic and societal costs of water, irrigation, energy, and generation site certifications. His work has included Brownfield industrial development and land restoration projects, environmental impact studies and regulations, energy conservation, energy efficiency, public water supply, waste and wastewater management, irrigation methods, IPM and sustainable agriculture programs.

Bill has worked globally in these project areas throughout Asia, Africa, Central America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.   Bill has lectured and published extensively in the areas of Energy Economics and Environmental Sustainability. He has co-authored several published books on energy regulations and economic theory.   Bill is a member of the Hollowbones Order of Zen Buddhism founded by Junpo Denis Kelly the 83rd Patriarch of the Rinzai Zen tradition. Contact through: http://www.blueplanetrun.org/

 

Photo of Dr. Juan-Camilo Cárdenas  Dr. Juan-Camilo Cárdenas | Professor
Department of Economics, Universidad de Los Andes

Ph.D. 2000, M.S. 1994

Juan-Camilo’s Work: After I completed my PhD at Umass Amherst, I took a post-doctoral position at Indiana University-Bloomington to work with Elinor Ostrom on common-pool resources and their institutional problems. After that I moved back to my home country of Colombia and joined the school of environmental and rural studies at Javeriana University. There I continued my research on issues of cooperation with a particular focus on resources and environmental problems at the local level. In 2004, I moved to the economics department at the Universidad de Los Andes, also in Bogota, and have been there since. My teaching focuses on experimental and behavioral economics at the graduate level. At the undergraduate level I teach Introductory Microeconomics and a course on Cooperation & Competition.

I continue to combine field work, and laboratory experiments with theoretical and statistical analysis to explore why humans are able or not to cooperate to solve the challenges of collective action and sustainability at the local level. My work has been published in several journals and edited volumes, and I am about to publish a book in Spanish titled "Dilemas de Lo Colectivo" collecting some of the previous work from my dissertation and more recent research on the same questions. I also have been developing methodologies to provide NGOs and field practitioners with simple tools from experimental economics that they can use in the field to create dialogues with the communities with which they work. Out of that work, I published a field handbook now available online titled "Manual de Juegos Economicos para el Analisis del Uso Colectivo de los Recursos Naturales".

In fall 2008, I was a Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor of Latin American Studies at Harvard University. (Posted October 2008) >>Spotlight on Dr. Juan-Camilo Cárdenas

 

Photo of Mike ChisholmMichael Chisholm | Customer Business Manager
Merck Consumer Care
BS, 2003

Mike’s Work: I earned my BS in Resource Economics in 2003 and my MBA from Boston College in 2009. Currently I am the Customer Business Manager for Merck Consumer Care where I manage a portfolio of over-the-counter brands merchandised in the Footcare and Stomach categories at CVS/Pharmacy. As a Customer Business Manager, I am responsible for all facets of Merck’s Consumer Care business including promotions, distribution, and marketing at the customer level (CVS/pharmacy). Prior to becoming a Customer Business Manager I worked as a Customer Category Manager for five years where I used category management best practices to help shape retail behavior by leveraging fact-based selling and analytical techniques. More specifically, I used syndicated data, customer purchasing/spending behavior, consumer demographics, and other resources to develop both short-term and long-term growth strategies.

How Mike Uses His Resource Economics Degree in His Work: My Resource Economics concentration was in Managerial Economics, as well as a focus on Food Marketing. Resource Economics, but most importantly the faculty, helped prepare me for a successful career in my industry. Both colleagues and customers are always impressed by how well the Resource Economics prepared me for work in my industry. The skills that I value the most from Resource Economics include the quantitative skills from Managerial Economics and Econometrics, analytical and research skills from Industrial Organization, and presentation skills from Food Merchandising. Ultimately, Resource Economics gave me the edge needed to advance my career in Consumer Packaged Goods. Thank you ResEc!
Contact: michael.chisholm@spcorp.com (Posted April 2010)
>>Spotlight on Mike Chisholm

 

Vaughn Collins (BS'82)
Vaughn wrote "Hi Old Friends, I just got the Alumni Newsletter and enjoying catching up with things. Here is my brief update since graduating:

Worked 7 years in the nonprofit housing field, got a Master's Degree in Applied Economics at UVM, then ran the Vermont Council on Rural Development in Montpelier for 4 years. Moved to Washington DC to be Deputy Director of a program at USDA and now am Chief of the Federal Duck Stamp Program at FWS in the Dept. of Interior." Contact: Vaughn_Collins@fws.gov

 

Betsy Colucci (BS'00)
Betsy worked for Morgan Stanley in their loan-underwriting department until April 2002 when she took a job doing asset securitization for Scotia Capital, the US Investment Bank of the Canadian Bank of Nova Scotia. [As I understand Betsy's explanation, this involves bundling accounts receivable and similar assets from various firms and obtaining preferential interest rates for loans to the firms.] She writes about her old job "You'll be happy to know, that in my whole department (management included) I have the best understanding of microeconomic concepts and am the most able to identify the characteristics of a business that will cause it to succeed or fail within its industry!! And amongst my peers, all of whom went to top tier, private universities (Princeton, Carnegie Mellon, BC), I have underwritten the most deals and generated the most revenue for my business unit!! So much for private education.

After 9/11, my job relocated me three times. I guess I took a liking to the constant change because at the end of January, I made a decision to leave Morgan Stanley. Actually, my decision was motivated by job frustration and the almighty dollar. As it turns out, commercial banking isn't for me. Despite having my own portfolio of loans I had underwritten, I was getting bored."

Betsy was a member of the women's gymnastics team and goes on "I was in
Amherst this past Saturday [March 2002], attending what was perhaps the last U Mass Women's Gymnastics home meet ever. I am completely heartbroken. I have written letters and made telephone calls to anyone and everyone I can think of. I don't know what effect they will have, however, that won't stop me from trying." Betsy would be happy to talk to students and alumni about working in the financial sector. Contact: betsy_colucci@scotiacapital.com

 

Paula (Zisson) Connor (BS'79)
Paula writes "I really enjoyed the newsletter and was thrilled to see the department's website. It is so gratifying to see that your undergraduates are sought after by recruiters. During the 1970's recruiting was somewhat slow because of the economy and the field of Resource Economics was not well understood by the business community. In the mid 1980's I applied to business school to study for an MBA. The school would not accept my credits in economics, and they insisted that I take GMAT "achievement tests" in order to be exempt from those courses,despite my argument that you have to be grounded in economics before you can become a resource economist. Despite the fact that I had been out of school for more than 5 years and did NOT study for the tests,   I scored quite high! Some of my professors were Jon Conrad, Bob Christenson and Dave Storey. Two years later I received my MBA.

I spent the first 14 years of my career in the electric utility industry, primarily developing load forecasting models. I credit Cleve Willis for sparking my interest in econometrics.

I then retired for several years to raise my daughter (now a teenager). When I wanted to get back into the labor force, my econometrics background gave me the edge over more than 100 applicants (all currently working) vying for an analyst position in a mid-size insurance company. Among other duties, I developed risk-based models in the actuarial department and was an early pioneer with credit-scoring models. (Please don't throw any tomatoes at me!)

Two years ago I moved to a larger, publicly held insurer, the White Mountains Insurance Group. I'm now in corporate finance, primarily doing financial analysis and corporate planning for one of the larger White Mountains subsidiaries, One Beacon Insurance in Boston. I haven't stopped learning, and expect to receive the CPCU designation within a few weeks, after 5 years of study. Maybe I'll go to UMass Tax School next! (I hadn't heard of it until I saw the website. What a great idea!)

My daughter's competitive swimming and other activities keep us pretty busy. When I have time, I like to row on my Concept II machine (my husband was on the UMass crew team in the 70's) and garden.

Please continue to report on the retirees when you hear from them. Don Marion was another favorite of mine. "

 

Michael Donohue, (MS'80)
Mike was with Arbor Acres Farm, Inc. a leading poultry genetics firm for 17 years, rising to the position of Vice President of Marketing. He writes "For the last five years I have been Vice President of Agri Stats, Inc., which offers benchmarking and statistical comparison information to broiler, turkey and egg producers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central America and Asia. I spent several days with Yen-Shong Chiao (MS '81) in New Zealand last year. I believe that he and his family moved to Singapore where he was to be in charge of the deregulation of the electricity supply there (He'd directed that in New Zealand several years ago as well.)"

Mike also notes "I'm on the road about 50% of the time. In November I will be in Bangkok where I will be meeting with Pludh Bhotirungsiyakorn (MS'84)." Contact: Mdonohuework@aol.com

 

T. Robert Fetter (BS'99, MS'02)
Rob writes: "I work with a large consulting firm, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) [in Colorado], as an environmental economist. SAIC is the nation's largest employee-owned research and engineering company, providing information technology, systems integration and eSolutions to commercial and government customers. SAIC engineers and scientists work to solve complex technical problems in national and homeland security, energy, the environment, telecommunications, health care and transportation. SAIC and its subsidiaries have more than 40,000 employees at offices in more than 150 cities worldwide. I mainly work on surface water, ground water, and drinking water economics for the EPA. The job makes use of everything I learned at UMass and more."

You can find out more information about SAIC on the Internet at http://www.saic.com/. You can also contact me for information at: fettert@saic.com

 

Sean FinnertySean J. Finnerty | Sr.Vice President
Competitive Power Ventures, Inc.
BS, Resource Economics, 1991

Sean’s Work: Since 2003 I have been leading the wind power development efforts of Competitive Power Ventures, a mid-sized energy development company. Recently I worked to sell a major wind project portfolio to an international utility and have lead the creation of a new renewable energy division. I have been at CPV since its inception in 2000 and have been fortunate to have held a variety of management positions. Being on the front line in building a new part of a company, after having already helped to build the company, has been an exciting and enlightening effort. I invite all Resource Economics students and alumni to visit us at www.cpv.com.

How Sean Uses His Resource Economics Degree in His Work: Developing power projects is a constant battle to balance project economics with environmental and social interests. I use many of the decision making and analysis skills taught in the Resource Economics program to make sure a proper balance is struck between these various competing interests to ensure a successful project. (Posted March 2008)

 

Photo of Bob GrowBob Grow (BS,’70, UMass Amherst, MURP ’73)

Since receiving a masters in Urban and regional Planning my first job was with the Southeastern Virginia Planning District Commission in Norfolk, Virginia writing economic reports, comprehensive plans, coastal zone management and water quality reports. Moving to Washington, DC in 1980 with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) I conducted economic impact and demographic analysis for the Washington region.

Employed by the Washington/Baltimore Regional Association in 1985 to research and promote Washington/Baltimore as a combined region for statistical visibility and CMSA designation. On to the Greater Washington Board of Trade in 1992 where I am presently heading up transportation advocacy and green as a competitive advantage.

In regard to transportation, I appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart in June, 1999 (Google “Daily Show Bethesda Triangle”). For our green efforts, in 2007 I was fortunate to receive an ACCE Ford Foundation Fellowship in Regionalism and Sustainable Development writing a white paper on “Energy Efficient Streetlights -- Potentials for Reducing Greater Washington’s Carbon Footprint” (March 2008) which received international media coverage. (Google “Bob Grow energy efficient streetlights”). Participated in a mission to Beijing and Shanghai with the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) related to the Ford Fellowship in 2010. And I still think about my great experience at UMass particularly in the Department of Agricultural and Food Economics, now the Resource Economics Department.

Bob is happy to have students contact him via email at bobgrow350@gmail.com. (Posted January 2011)

 

Photo of Jen (Lewis) GruberJennifer (Lewis) Gruber (BS'95, MS'97)
For 3½ years Jennifer has been a Category Analyst at Advantage Sales & Marketing/Pezrow in Foxboro, MA, where she handles such businesses as Del Monte, Smuckers, Barilla, Beech-Nut, Hefty, Newman's Own, and Land O' Lakes. She works extensively with all retailers across New England, including Stop & Shop, Shaw's, and Big Y, and has also been part of several projects with Ahold, the parent company of Stop & Shop. Her undergraduate concentration was in Public Policy Affecting Food & Natural Resources and she went on to study Food Marketing in our Graduate Program.

Both Jen and Jess Teilborg (see below) wanted to convey more about what they do. First, a sales and marketing agency, formerly known as a broker, serves as a conduit between manufacturers (Del Monte, Barilla) and retailers (Stop & Shop, Big Y). It provides many services, including account sales, retail execution, customer service, and category management. Category management is a relatively new food industry business practice, built on the principle that by understanding consumers and giving them what they want, manufacturers and retailers can mutually grow their business. While it sounds simple enough, the practice is not without issues, as slotting and ad fees still maintain a role in decision making and manufacturers are still concerned about individual items rather than looking at what's best for the consumer. The practice of category management, which began as a several-month analysis of a category of products, has evolved to become part of everyday business decision making and has changed the role of salesperson and buyer.

So here's what Jen and Jess do: "As analysts, we take all sorts of information -- point of sale (scanner) information, consumer demographics, purchasing behavior, and whatever else gets thrown our way - and weave together a 'story' around a certain group of products (items, brands, categories). Typically our stories start with a question - either very broad or narrowly defined. How is the Pasta Category performing? What's wrong with my Tomato business? How did my Buy One, Get Two Free promotion perform? These projects can take anywhere from hours to months to complete and in the end we hope to have the answers."

Jen would be happy to talk to anyone about jobs in the food industry. In care of: resec@isenberg.umass.edu

 

Photo fo Steve GuthSteve Guth | Global Compensation, Benefits & HRIS Leader
GE Capital Americas

BS 1997

Steve is currently the Compensation, Benefits & HRIS Leader for GE Capital Americas, where he leads Centers of Excellence dedicated to the design and planning of Compensation & Benefits, Sales Incentive Compensation, and Human Resource Information Systems. Steve joined GE in July of 2006 in GE’s Corporate Financial Services business as Director of Global Compensation, Benefits & HRIS. Prior to joining GE, Steve worked for Merrill Lynch as a Vice President of Global Compensation Policy and Planning, in addition to previously serving roles as a Senior HR Relationship Manager, Compensation Manager, and Executive Compensation Manager. Additionally, Steve had also served in a variety of compensation and consulting roles for Deutsche Bank and Buck Consultants.

Steve holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Resource Economics from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA.

Steve lives in Fairfield, CT with his wife and their three young children. (Posted May 2011)

 

Brian Heninger (BS'90)
Brian went on to get an MS and PhD from the University of Connecticut in Agricultural and Resource Economics. During this time he reminds us "I also spent two semesters (Fall 1995 and 1996) back here at UMass teaching 'Land Economics' after John Foster retired. Since leaving UConn in 1997 have worked as an Economist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the National Center for Environmental Economics. [Its homepage is http://yosemite1.epa.gov/ee/epa/eed.nsf/pages/homepage ] We hire PhD and MS level Resource Economists and multiple summer interns at all levels of education/experience (both graduate and undergraduate). I also know when Economist positions are announced by other offices in the EPA. I have interviewed several dozen job candidates over the last seven years and can suggest what students should do to prepare for a position at the EPA or similar position, and give them a better sense of what the job will be like."

In other words, Brian is willing to serve as a point of contact for an Economist or Regulatory Impact Analyst position with the EPA or discuss general career guidance in Resource Economics. Contact heninger.brian@epa.gov or (202) 566-2270

 

Denise Johnson (BS'77 Health, MS'86, PhD'93 Econ)
Denise writes "I am an Industry Economist with NOAA Fisheries (National Marine Fisheries Service)   in its Southeast Regional Office in St Petersburg, Florida. My responsibilities include conducting, reviewing, and presenting economic research and analysis; developing research methodologies; and preparing reports and recommendations regarding the management of fisheries resources. Prior to transferring to NOAA Fisheries, I was with the Department of Transportation's hazardous materials transportation group (RSPA) and the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy (Advocacy), both in Washington, DC. At RSPA, among my duties I conducted and reviewed economic research and analyses concerning the regulation of the transportation of hazardous materials, and at Advocacy, I assisted in the development and implementation of a government-wide training course in Regulatory Flexibility Act analyses, and reviewed economic analyses for compliance with that act. I recently completed my M.A. in sociology at the University of Manchester (UK) with the thesis, Power and Politics in the Management of U.S. Fisheries: Fisheries Bio-Economics and Fisheries Science Discourses as Social Technologies and Technologies of Power." Contact:  denise.johnson@noaa.gov

 

Edward KernEdward J. Kern
BS, Resource Economics, 2008

"For many years, I had contemplated the idea of going back to school and finally completing the necessary courses to acquire my diploma. My degree pursuit began in September of 1981 and culminated this year on February 1st, 2008. As my daughter Brittany was entering college in September of 2006, it seemed likely that she would be a college graduate before me. This reality truly and literally hit home and after some soul searching, I reached out to several administrators at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I asked for their assistance in devising a clear and direct route for me to follow toward graduation. After a bit of bureaucratic red tape and a Winter Intersession Course, I’m honored to stand before you as a “UMass Grad”. Regardless of the fact that I have been on the 27 year plan, I am elated to share this accomplishment with you. Many thanks should go to Dr. Julie Caswell and Dr. Martha Baker, for without their encouragement, support and direction I would not be a graduate today.
All the best to you with your endeavors,"
Edward J. Kern, Class of 1985-2008
RE/MAX Executive Realty
edkern 'at' remaxexec.com
(Posted March 2008)

 

Arthur G. Kilbourn (BS'62 Animal Science, MS'68)
Arthur wrote some time ago "I just received the Alumni Newsletter for 11/02.   Certainly, I am happy to have recognized the names of Dave Storey, John Foster and Deane Lee. Since I graduated I have lived in Iowa, New York, Ohio, and now California.   My major advisor in Ag. Econ. was Brad Crossmon.   He was also influential in getting me into the Agricultural finance, starting with Farm Credit, in 1972.   Much of my time in ag. finance was spent in the area of credit quality improvement, involving loan workouts, restructures, foreclosures and liquidations.  

Our moving to CA was because my wife, Martha, '67, accepted a position with the Judicial Council of California.   We have settled in San Rafael, about 15 miles north of San Francisco.   We thoroughly enjoy California.

For three years, I worked in the Loan Adjustment Department of Westamerica Bank.   However, as credit quality improved that department was reduced substantially.   I am presently semi-retired, having worked myself out of the problem loan business. When the economy picked up, there wasn't a big need for my type of specialty.   Now, I am working part time at a Chevron gas station.   It keeps me busy and supplements SSI income.   This year, we are planning a trip to England, a country we have always wanted to visit, and the place of my family heritage. Two years ago, we went to Italy from which Martha's parents emigrated.

Glad to hear things are going well at UMass, despite the budget problems."

 

Photo of Roger KingRoger King (MS’72) was on campus in March 24, 2004, to attend the North American premiere of the documentary “Still the Children Are Here”. Filmed entirely in a remote village in northeast India, the place where rice cultivation started 6,000 years ago, it looks at life through the eyes and voices of several of the villagers. As executive producer, Roger conceived the idea for the film, brought together the funding and filmakers and oversaw its content, production and editing. He introduced the film by noting: “There’s a conundrum: the place is extremely valuable to the rest of the world, but the rest of the world is destroying it.”

After leaving UMass, Roger taught at Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria before returning to his native England, where he earned a PhD in agricultural economics. He spent many years as a consultant and advisor for international development and relief agencies throughout the 70s and 80s. He has also published four novels. The first, Horizontal Hotel, which was nominated for a Booker Prize, appeared in 1983. His short stories have been published in Granta and Parnassus, and his other novels include Written on a Stranger's Map, which was also nominated for a Booker, Sea Level and A Girl From Zanzibar, which won the BABRA critics award for best novel of 2002. He currently lives in Leverett, Massachusetts.

 

Photo of Mike Levert and RobinMichael LeVert | State Economist
State of Maine

MS, Resource Economics, 2007

Michael's Work: A few years after completing my Master's Degree at UMass, I was appointed Maine's State Economist, where I advise the Governor and his staff, the legislature, and other state agencies on economic and public policy issues. As part of my job, I sit on the State's Revenue Forecasting Committee and staff the Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission, which together provide the official forecast for the Maine economy and state revenues. I also manage the Economics and Demographics team at the State Planning Office which is responsible for, among other things,coordinating the State Data Center and interfacing with the United States Census Bureau. The team also produces special reports on issues such as poverty, taxes, energy, natural resources, and demographic trends.

Resource Economics in Michael's Work: Many of the issues I'm asked to explore were addressed in the classes I took in the Graduate Program. For example, I was recently involved in a study to determine if large landowners in Northern Maine were exerting market power in the logging industry. Another example is the ongoing initiative to leverage Maine's "Quality of Place" as an economic development strategy - a big part of this work is about quantifying both the market and non-market values of things like Maine's livable communities, open space, accessible natural resources, and historic downtowns. I'm also involved with the Maine Forest Service's efforts to include forestry-based carbon-offsets within the RGGI framework. The quantitative skills and economic theory I learned at the Resec program have made all the difference in how I approach these issues. (Posted October 2009)
>>Spotlight on Michael LeVert

 

photo of Peter LewenbergOn Thursday, Nov 13th, 2003, Peter K. Lewenberg (BS’69) joined with Commissioner Kathy Abbott from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (herself a Stockbridge School alumna) and Superintendent George Price, National Park Service, to give a talk Entitled: “A New Model For Public Parks”. They described their experiences in working together to manage the recently created Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area legislated into existence in 1996.

Since 1999, Peter Lewenberg has been with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) as a Special Assistant to the Secretary, first with Secretary Bob Durand and currently with Secretary Ellen Roy Herzfelder. In this role he represents the Commonwealth and the Secretary in working with the 13-Member Boston Harbor Islands Partnership comprised of four state agencies (including the Department of Conservation and Recreation), the City of Boston, The US Coast Guard, the National Park Service, three non-profit groups (Island Alliance, Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center and the Trustees of Reservation), a twenty-eight member Advisory Council and an extensive list of Friends groups and partnership organizations. The Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area is unique in the way public and private organizations are collaborating in owning and managing the 34 islands right on Boston’s doorstep. After the talk, Peter described his feelings about the job. He said “Every morning, I wake up excited to go to work. This project gives me a sense that at the end of the day, we are making a contribution to the public’s ability to enjoy and preserve a valuable natural resource. I couldn’t always say that when I was in the private sector.”

For the previous 29 years he worked in sales and marketing of consumer products for MAI Alper, Inc., a local food broker. He has been actively involved with the University of Massachusetts for many years. From 1991 until 2002 he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the University, occupying various roles including that of Vice-Chair of the Board, Chair of the Athletic Committee and Chair of the Building Authority. In addition, he has had and continues to have a leadership role in various trade and philanthropic organizations. Peter lives in Waban Massachusetts with his wife Gail and has two daughters (Alison BA ’95 and Jill) and two grandchildren (UMass ’22?).

 

Photo of Jeff LockhartJeff Lockhart | Midwest Regional Sales Manager
MEDITECH, Inc
,
BS 1997

Jeff is currently a Regional Sales Manager for Medical Information Technology, Inc (MEDITECH), located in Westwood, MA.  With a market share majority and annual revenues approaching $500 million, MEDITECH is an industry leader in the development and implementation of Electronic Medical Records systems.  In his role, Jeff oversees a sales team responsible for driving new client sales opportunities and managing existing client relations over a 5-state territory that generates $15+ million in annual revenue.  Jeff joined MEDITECH in 1997 as part of the Financial Systems Implementation Team, where he served in varying technical and managerial capacities prior to the transition into his current role.

Jeff graduated from The University of Massachusetts – Amherst in 1997 and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Resource Economics with a focus in Environmental Economics.

Jeff currently lives in Newton, MA with his wife Erin and in his spare time enjoys skiing, mountain biking, and travel. (Posted May 2011)

 

Maureen J. Maguire (BS'82, MS'86)
After some years in San Francisco as economist at a major investment bank, Maureen came back east and founded a management consulting company. She writes "I am doing well, although I am seriously thinking about getting more involved in land preservation here in Westchester County [New York]. Funny how I've come back to my passion, environmental economics and was considered such a valuable asset in town that I am both on the open space advisory committee (3 years) and newly appointed to the town planning board - real power!

I could definitely give a guest lecture or chat on a career in commercial banking/investment banking, consulting, what every economist these days should know and how to sell yourself as an economist. Contact: maureenm@thinkresearch.net

 

Photo of Joseph MartensJoseph Martens (BS 1978), Commissioner
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

>>more (Posted January 2011)

Joseph Martens Leads Sustainability in New York State

"As an advocate for sustainable business practices, I owe a great deal to my training as a resource economist," observes Joe Martens '78, who is completing his first year as Commissioner of New York State's Department of the Environment and Conservation. In that role, Martens has authority over many of the state's initiatives involving the environment, conservation, and natural resources, as well influence at the policy table on incentives for business sustainability. >>more (Posted January 2012)

 

Photo of Gilbert MetcalfGilbert Metcalf (MS'84) has been on campus a couple of times recently. On March 11, 2004 he presented a seminar in the Center for Public Policy/Resource Economics series titled "Pollution Taxes in a Second-Best World" in which he laid out some of the distortions caused by imposing taxes on pollution (actually on material like coal that cause pollution) and on giving away or selling pollution permits. In early February he met with other members of the newly formed Dean's Advisory Council, intended to strengthen connections between the College, alumnae and friends.

Since leaving Amherst, Gib has had an illustrious career. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard in 1988. He has taught or done research at Princeton, Harvard, MIT, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and is now Chair of the Department of Economics at Tufts University. He has served as a consultant to various organizations including the Chinese Ministry of Finance, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and Argonne National Laboratory. Gib's primary research area is applied Public Finance with particular interests in taxation and investment, tax incidence, energy and environmental economics.

 

Photo of Richard McAniffRichard McAniff (BS ’71, MS ’76), vice president of the Access and Excel business unit of Microsoft Corporation, visited campus on October 4 in his new role as the Executive Alumnus for the UMass/Microsoft partnership. Over the past three years Microsoft has provided substantial support to the campus, and Richard will be responsible for future collaboration.

At UMass Amherst, Richard completed a Master’s thesis under the guidance of Cleve Willis, now dean of the college, whom he credits with having a major impact on his career. Richard’s thesis had to do with the optimal spacing of monitoring wells around a landfill, which, despite the images it might conjure up, is a statistical quality control problem. His journey to Microsoft took him via the University of Arizona, where he worked on more quality control problems. His work called on him to write computer programs (this was a good deal more primitive in 1977 than it is today) and, as he now reflects, “I found something I really loved to do and, for whatever reason, I was good at it.” He took additional courses in computer programming, got another Master’s degree, this time in systems engineering, then moved to Sandia National Laboratories, the federal Department of Energy facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (“I really liked that part of the country, so why move? It was perfect.”) At Sandia, he performed probability analyses for alternative fuels.

He started work at Microsoft in 1987, when the company employed about 1,200 people (now it has 60,000). He served as a program manager for the company’s first big networking product, and helped design and serve as a senior program manager for the Access 1.0 database. As he moved up Microsoft’s chain of command he helped guide the development of Office 97, Office 2000 and the Windows® XP operating system.

Today he oversees a team of more than 200 software professionals responsible for several major software tools, including Excel and Access. “It’s just like a campus,” he said of where he works. He noted that hiring the right person for the right job was one of the keys to his success. “Hiring is one of the most important parts of my job. I want to hire people brighter than me and turn them loose.”

In his new role, Richard will be visiting campus one or two times a year. He says, “Next time I'm back at UMass, I would be happy to talk to students about my experiences . . . I think it would be fun.” Speaking of fun, he does know how to enjoy himself. He is an avid snowboarder, windsurfer and rock climber. His list of outdoor achievements includes scaling the 2,600-foot El Capitan in the Yosemite National Park. We look forward to taking him up on his offer soon.

 

Photo fo Tessa MisiaszekTessa G. Misiaszek, MPH
President, Nous Foundation, Inc.
PhD Student, Simmons College
BS 1997

Tessa Misiaszek graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Resource Economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and began her career at General Mills, Inc. as a business development associate. She then moved into the healthcare marketplace working for organizations such as Johnson and Johnson, Massachusetts General Hospital, and UMass Memorial Medical Center. Her experience in healthcare led her to pursue her Master in Public Health degree at the UMass Amherst and upon completing her degree, she joined a start-up organization called the Manhattan Cross Cultural Group (MCCG) – which is a training and research organization dedicated to addressing healthcare disparities through cultural competency training.
As Chief Operating Officer at MCCG, Tessa oversaw every facet of the business for six years, being primarily responsible for revenue generation, as well as having oversight of operations, financial systems, and product development. She grew the business to achieve over $1 million in sales annually. While working at MCCG, she joined the Entrepreneur’s Organization(EO) where she sat on the board and participated in a number of EO Forums. This experience led her to pursue her passion for entrepreneurship in healthcare – examining how to educate healthcare professionals in entrepreneurial practices.
Today, Tessa is pursuing her PhD at Simmons College in Health Professions Education, with a research focus on entrepreneurship, leadership, and innovation training in healthcare. Tessa also launched with two physician-partners, and is currently president of a non-profit organization called the Nous Foundation, which is dedicated to educating patients about advance care planning.
Tessa is married to her husband, Glen, and they have two sons, Braden and Max, and live in Marshfield, MA.  Tessa is a runner, devoted yogi, and enjoys traveling with her family to fun places. (Posted May 2011)

 

Photo of John O'ConnorJohn O'Connor (BS'90)
Upon graduation he went to work for Ralston Purina, rising to Senior District Sales Representative, then moved to the Italian Foods Division of Borden Foods where he is a Key Account Manager, responsible for the distribution, display, shelving, and pricing of Borden Foods products in Boston-area Stop & Shop and Star supermarkets. He reports that his favorite classes at UMass were Econometrics, Statistics, and Managerial Economics, perhaps not everybody's choice, but he liked the disciplined classes because they were challenging yet achievable. His advice to those about to embark on a career is "Honesty and integrity in business make the backbone by which you should live."

 

Don O'Loughlin (BS'90)
Don writes "I work in the Information Technology (IT) Department at Nokia as SAP Americas configuration owner for the PP (production planning), and QM (quality management) modules. [SAP is Nokia's operating system.] The IT department at Nokia works with all of the company divisions. Nokia's most visible products are our mobile phones. I am living in Plano Texas with my wife, Lisa, and my daughters Jill, and Rosie.

I'd be glad to speak with current students and alumni who may be interested in working for a global company in the telecom industry. It is a great way to travel and see other countries! My email address is: donald.oloughlin@nokia.com"

 

Matthew T. Palmer (BS'00, MS'02)
Matt writes "After receiving my Master's I went on to work at Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) as a Research Associate with the North American Natural Gas Team. My role evolved over time as my understanding of the natural gas industry grew. On a monthly basis I coordinated with the North American Power team the analysis that became the foundation for our near- and medium-term market outlooks, everything from supply and demand to prices of natural gas for both the United States and Canada. I also co-authored the North American Gas Watch and Monthly Gas Briefing and contributed to the Global Energy Watch. These publications provide ongoing analyses and forecasts of near- and medium-term markets, strategies, supply/demand/price fundamentals, and critical issues to clients. Also, while at CERA I wrote a paper entitled, 'Facing the Music: US Industrial Gas Demand in an Era of High Gas Prices' which assessed the impact of high and volatile gas prices, foreign competition, and a struggling economy.

In April of 2004 I left CERA for a position as a Senior Analyst with Analysis Group (AG) an economic, financial, and strategy consulting firm. At AG I work on several cases at one time and the type of analysis I do can vary greatly. Typically at AG we do litigation support by assisting law firms with all aspects of litigation, including pretrial discovery, development of economic and financial models, preparation of testimony, and critique of opposing experts. My first task has been helping with litigation support on a price fixing case involving vitamin manufacturers.

Well that's what I have been up to recently. I would be happy to speak with anyone about life after ResEc." Contact: mpalmer@analysisgroup.com

 

Photos of Korrin (Nygren) PetersonKorrin (Nygren) Petersen (BS'99)
Korrin writes: "After I graduated from UMASS I went to Vermont Law School (ranked #1 in Environmental Law in the nation) where I received my Juris Doctor (JD) and my Masters of Studies in Environmental Law (MSEL) cum laude in 2002. While at Law School I worked for the Vermont Attorney General's office in their environmental unit. I assisted in the litigation and enforcement of land use cases and air quality issues. I also volunteered my time as a child advocate for a free legal clinic. I remained very involved with student government for the law school, being elected as a student trustee to the Vermont Law School Board of Trustees. I had equal voting rights and participated in committee meetings as well as annual meetings.

After Law School I returned to the beloved commonwealth to pursue a career in environmental law. I took and passed the MA bar in the summer of 2002 and began the job search. The job market in 2002 was challenging to say the least so I capitalized on any opportunity I could. This resulted in an associate position in a small law firm in Malden, MA practicing employment discrimination. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed that. However, I desperately wanted to return to environmental issues. In March of 2003 I was hired to be the legislative director of the Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Agriculture for the state. And here I am. The committee hears proposed legislation on all environmental issues effecting the commonwealth except energy matters. This means I hear testimony on issues ranging from the trapping of coyotes, maritime pilot regulations, pesticide use, mercury contamination, brown fields, and any other issue legislation is written on regarding the environment. I'm kept very busy.

On May 1, I married Brian Petersen - I met him at UMASS, he was a consumer economics major. We now live in Randolph, MA - he is a network administrator at Dean College in Franklin."

As you can see from the picture, Korrin has other interests. She gets to assist the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife folks in collaring black bears in the state. While at UMASS she was also a serious Morgan Horse Show competitor. Contact: Korrin.Nygren@state.ma.us

 

Njundu Sanneh (MS'95)
Njundu works as a financial analyst for Moody's Investors Service in New York. His office was across the street from the World Trade Center and he witnessed the tragedy unfold. He writes "The events of September 11 will definitely be with me for the rest of my life. I am still trying to put it perspective and have been a part of several email discussions. I think those discussions and hearing from people like you has helped a lot. I am now trying to get back slowly to normal life."

Njundu would be glad to talk to students and alumni about Moody's and about his experiences. Contact: bsanml@yahoo.com

 

Carol Sarnat (MS'85)
Carol writes "Since receiving my masters in resource economics, I have worked as a consultant in the environmental field assessing environmental liabilities, estimating the cost and economic impacts of environmental regulations and evaluating environmental pollution claims.

As a consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, I evaluated the cost of compliance and economic impacts of regulations in support of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) programs. In addition, I conducted RCRA Facility Assessments at industrial facilities to evaluate the potential for release of hazardous constituents from solid waste management units. For the past ten years, I worked as a consultant to insurers and their legal counsel in evaluation of environmental pollution claims. In this context, I evaluated the occurrence of environmental damage, estimated past and future remediation costs, and conducted cost allocation among responsible parties. Additionally, I testified as an expert witness in insurance coverage litigation.

I recently left the corporate world and am embarking on a new path as an independent consultant. Consulting has been a very rewarding career. I am constantly learning and drawing upon the knowledge and skills I gained in graduate school. I am very willing to speak with current and former students and share my experiences." Contact: clsarnat@aol.com

 

Nyssa Schloyer (BS'02)
When Nyssa left she said she wanted to get some work experience before going on to graduate school. She writes: "Following graduation in May 2002, I was hired by The 'X' Main Street Corporation which is a non-profit community development organization dedicated to the grassroots revitalization of the Forest Park Neighborhood, the largest of 17 neighborhoods in Springfield, MA. In my position as Urban Food Systems Program Director, I am responsible for managing all aspects of a USDA Community Food Projects Grant aimed at preserving, protecting, and expanding the food security network of Forest Park.

Food security is typically defined as all persons having access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food at all times from non-emergency sources and is a main priority of a community food system.   Among other responsibilities, I help manage and evaluate a farmers' market, coordinate a community and school garden, and maintain a dynamic partnership with the local supermarket.   Currently, I am also developing a summer youth gardening program based on the premise of 'leadership through agriculture.'

This fall ('04), I will be returning to academia to continue my studies in the Master of Science program in Agriculture, Food and Environment at Tufts University.   My specific areas of interest within community food systems are nutrition and food policy, urban agriculture, and the role of community food systems in the greater context of community and economic development.

I'd be more than happy to speak to current students about my experiences in Resource Economics, or about community food systems, food security issues, and working in the nonprofit sector. " Contact: nyssadele@hotmail.com

 

Kelly Shore (BS'02)
Kelly writes "Since graduating from UMass in May 2002, I have been working at Frito Lay (a division of PepsiCo) as an Operations Manager. At Frito Lay I lead a team of 80-100 technicians in the day-to-day operations of producing and packaging salty snack foods. At the Killingly, CT facility where I work, we produce 137 million pounds of potato chips, Doritos, Fritos, and Tostitos a year. Not only am I responsible for the day-to-day operations, but I am also accountable for people and team development, quality performance, cost, service and safety. Being an operations manager at Frito-Lay has been an amazing career experience for me thus far. The challenging, fast paced, high performance culture suits me very well and complements the studies I pursued with my food marketing economics degree in Resource Economics. I have truly been able to leverage the learning I had as a Resource Economics major, particularly in the realm of trend analysis, food safety, industrial organizations, food merchandising, and public policy.

I am very satisfied with my education at UMass and I am particularly fond of my experiences as a Resource Economics Major. The professors and students all have a passion and genuine pride in their work and for others and that is what makes Resource Economics a unique and rewarding overall experience.

I welcome any questions from students regarding career opportunities that exist for ResEc grads, career development strategies, and advice on how to succeed in life after graduation." Contact: Kelly.Shore@fritolay.com

 

Charles Snyder (BS'02)
Chuck writes: "I've been working at Fidelity Investments assisting with retirement and general financial planning. I've found a lot of satisfaction with my role and my company. The skills that I developed in my undergraduate studies have profoundly helped me in this role. Additionally, I've had the opportunity to work with a lot of other Umass grads, especially from the School of Management and these experiences have reaffirmed my confidence in the path I chose. Fidelity is a huge employer in this area and I'd be happy to answer any questions or submit any resumes to upcoming or recent resec grads. Feel free to contact me at charles.snyder@fmr.com"

 

photo of Peter StanleyPeter Stanley (MS'72)
After being senior buyer for the W.T. Grant Company, President of the Ball Seed Company and consultant to companies developing horticultural programs he became President of Allan Stanley Greenhouses, a California-based company that mass merchandises fresh cut flowers, with emphasis on quality and affordability. His company grows, buys, and processes designer bouquets marketed through Costco and Home Depot. In 1980, the world of bedding plants was changed by his development of the singulated seedling plug, which is now used for 90% of all bedding plants. His career-guidance advice is "to go the extra mile in whatever you do...find what you love and go at it with passion." His sons Stephen (BS'95 Plant & Soil Science) and Christopher Stanley (BS'97) both graduated from here. Contact: resec@isenberg.umass.edu
Update: Peter Stanley MS '72 and son Chris Stanley BS '97 team-up to provide fresh cut flowers to The Home Depot stores (Posted September 2006)

 

Greg Swinand (BS'90 Econ, MS'94)
Greg currently lives and works in Dublin, Ireland. He writes "After my MS at Draper, I received a PhD in Economics from Boston College in '98. I have been an economics consultant with London Economics ever since.   I do work in energy, regulation, and environment. We do expert reports for governments, regulators, companies and legal proceedings. Recent work I have done has been published and working versions are at http://www.londecon.co.uk and http://www.indecon.ie . If anyone is passing by please drop me a line." Greg's contact details can be obtained from information at http://www.londecon.co.uk.

 

Photo of Jessica TeilborgJessica Teilborg (BS '01)
Jessica's focus as an undergraduate was in Managerial Economics and she came to Advantage Sales & Marketing/Pezrow as a Category Analyst in November 2001. She began learning the "tools of the trade" across many businesses. In January 2002, Jess became part of an experimental team with Unilever, focusing on analytics for their HBC business. Over the course of the year she has worked extensively with Penn Traffic and Price Chopper, helping them better understand how their consumers "fit" into various categories, driving growth in their business as well as improving Unilever's position within the categories they compete in.

Both Jen Lewis Gruber (see above) and Jess wanted to convey more about what they do. First, a sales and marketing agency, formerly known as a broker, serves as a conduit between manufacturers (Del Monte, Barilla) and retailers (Stop & Shop, Big Y). It provides many services, including account sales, retail execution, customer service, and category management. Category management is a relatively new food industry business practice, built on the principle that by understanding consumers and giving them what they want, manufacturers and retailers can mutually grow their business. While it sounds simple enough, the practice is not without issues, as slotting and ad fees still maintain a role in decision making and manufacturers are still concerned about individual items rather than looking at what's best for the consumer. The practice of category management, which began as a several-month analysis of a category of products, has evolved to become part of everyday business decision making and has changed the role of salesperson and buyer.

So here's what Jen and Jess do: "As analysts, we take all sorts of information -- point of sale (scanner) information, consumer demographics, purchasing behavior, and whatever else gets thrown our way - and weave together a 'story' around a certain group of products (items, brands, categories). Typically our stories start with a question - either very broad or narrowly defined. How is the Pasta Category performing? What's wrong with my Tomato business? How did my Buy One, Get Two Free promotion perform? These projects can take anywhere from hours to months to complete and in the end we hope to have the answers." In care of: resec@isenberg.umass.edu

 

Photo of Jon VencilJon L Vencil | President
Market Logics

MS, Resource Economics, 1989

Jon’s Work: After eight years in the utility industry I became an independent consultant in 2000 and have been involved in a variety of projects. Examples include: pricing studies for energy efficiency equipment adoption (including spillover and free riders), benefit-cost analysis for smart meters, blending biological tree models with economic benefit-cost models to help secure funding for a non-profit group, evaluations for targeted state of CA education programs, statistical modeling of back office operations in financial services, participation and advertising forecasts for media companies. Essentially anything that doesn’t fit into a standard financial or economic analysis ends up on my desk.

How Jon Uses His Resource Economics Degree in His Work: The coursework provided a much broader foundation for evaluating information for decision making than general economics or business degrees provide. The concepts and tools to value non-market resources for benefit and cost calculations have helped my career tremendously and allowed me to work in fields such as energy, financial services, technology, entertainment, education and mental health with equal success. (Posted March 2009)
>>Spotlight on Jon L. Vencil

 

Ryan Wardwell (BS'01)
Ryan writes "The Resource Economics Department and professors prepared me quite well for environmental consulting at Abt Associates [Cambridge, MA]. The skills and knowledge I acquired through my course work with the Department have proved very relevant for conducting cost-benefit analyses of environmental regulations and for advising the development of environmental policy, in general. Good quantitative, writing, and oral communication skills are essential for this line of work, and I cannot stress enough the value of learning to use common computer applications (e.g. Microsoft Excel, Access, SAS, etc.). These skills apply for many fields of course, but perhaps the most essential bit for environmental policy is a dedication to your work and environmental issues, in general. Graduate level education is essential for those who wish to pursue a career in this field, but I highly recommend a couple years of experience, as this should provide good experience and qualification for graduate programs."

Ryan invites anyone who wants to chat about the type of environmental consulting done by Abt Associates to contact him.
Ryan_Wardwell@abtassoc.com

 

Justin Zucker (BS'02)
Justin and Michael Hauke (class of '04) started a business in the Amherst area, Dirty Business Laundry Delivery Service. He writes "It pleases me to be able to undertake an entrepreneurial venture with two of my best friends, who are also RESEC majors, where everything thrives or fails because of the decisions we make. What makes me feel so strongly attached to the RESEC Department is that our business applies a countless number of skills and knowledge learned directly through the Department. Let it also be known that my partners and I would not be where we are today with our business if it wasn't for the way in which the RESEC Department and Entreclub facilitated our growth. [Entreclub runs an annual campus-wide business plan competition, won in 2002 by Justin and his partner.] Had I had a different major, my path today would be extremely different."

Justin would be happy to discuss the joys and trials of entrepreneurship.
Contact: justin@dirtydelivery.com