Meet the 2014-2015 class of Fritzky Leadership Fellows

Each year, second-year MBA students are paired with first-year MBAs to provide peer coaching, leadership advice, and more. Get to know this year’s class of Fellows by reading their bios below. Learn more about the Leadership Fellows Program here.

Akiva Sutta-GomezAkiva Sutta-Gomez
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Originally from Israel, Akiva earned his BSBA from Hawaii Pacific University after completing his military service. Following graduation, he spent over four years in India where he created a joint venture with Bapu Nature Cure, with an emphasis on two healthcare facilities in New Delhi. In addition, he was the co-founder of The Avatar Group Consultants, a Delhi/Tel-Aviv based practice focusing on real estate in India. Prior to joining the Foster MBA Program, Akiva worked as The Texas General Manager for GP21, the second largest private sustainability company in North America. He focused on founding and operating the Austin and Dallas plants.While at Foster, Akiva is focused on building his skill set in the areas of finance and consulting. He completed his summer internship with the Strategy & Operations team at Deloitte Consulting where he worked on a strategy project at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.Away from business school, Akiva enjoys travel, exercise, and family.
Don Tulanon Don Tulanon
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Prior to Foster, Don Tulanon worked as a risk management consultant specializing in financial and professional liability insurance coverage. He has a BA in Economics from Brown University and a JD from Seattle University School of Law. This summer, he was a Platform Marketing & Strategy Intern at Concur Technologies. His project focused on competitive analysis and new product development.Don is excited to support first-year students as they navigate entry into the MBA program, as well as refining his own leadership skills through the Fellowship experience.Away from Foster, Don is working hard at the art of fatherhood. His two young daughters keep his negotiation and crisis management skills sharp. When time permits, Don treats himself to a Slurpee©.
Erin PoulterErin Poulter
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Erin Poulter is a second year Foster MBA student originally from New Jersey. Prior to her enrollment in the Foster MBA program, Erin graduated from Colgate University with her BA in psychology. She then became a member of the New Orleans 2009 Teach For America corps, where she taught special education in a K-8 charter school for two years and then spent two more years as the operations manager at the same school. This summer, Erin completed her internship at Starbucks, where she worked as a brand manager on the food team. Erin plans to continue to pursue a career in marketing after she graduates.Erin is excited and honored to be a Fritzky Leadership Fellow this year. She looks forward to giving back to the Foster community, being a positive resource for the incoming class as well as growing her own leadership skills.
Jared WilkinsJared Wilkins
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A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Jared worked as a logistics analyst for a commodity manufacturer in Dallas, Texas before beginning his MBA journey in Seattle. At Foster, he has been involved with a number of clubs and activities including Strategy Club, Sports Business Club, and the Net Impact Case Competition. His summer internship led him to Starbucks where he worked on the CPG Pricing and Promotion team.As a Fritzky Leadership Fellow, Jared is excited to challenge himself and grow his leadership skills while giving back to the Class of 2016 and the Foster program as a whole.
Jessi GreenJessi Green
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Originally from Japan and the UK, Jessi has lived and worked in Tokyo for the last 6 years as an equity trader at a financial institution, and as an account manager for an online travel company. At Foster, Jessi hopes to acquire a broader skill set and transition her career into marketing roles in the tech industry. This past summer, Jessi worked at Amazon developing and testing Amazon.ca’s emerging online traffic channels. Outside of school, she spends much of her free time staying active and exploring new parts of the city.Jessi is looking forward to participating in the Fritzky Leadership Fellow program to help refine her leadership skills, as well as to give back to the Foster community. She has benefited from the mentorship of the Leadership Fellows program her first year and now wants to contribute by being a mentor to the incoming class.
John CzerniakJohn Czerniak
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Originally from Minnesota, John went to undergrad at USC in Los Angeles. Before coming to Foster, he was a consultant for an economic consulting firm that focused in litigation. He was responsible for leading projects, building financial and econometric models, and communicating complex quantitative analyses to clients. In the summer after his first year at Foster, John was a Summer Associate with McKinsey & Company in Seattle.In his first year at Foster, John was an MBAA 1st-year representative, a Net Impact board member, and active member of several other clubs. In his second year, John is the President of the Foster Consulting Society along with a Leadership Fellow. As a Fritzky Fellow, he will offer advice to incoming students, help ease their transition, and ensure they get everything they want out of their MBA experience on academic, professional, and personal levels. He hopes to grow as a leader and pass on to the next class the inspiration that his Fellow gave to him.
Kate ThorsonKate Thorson
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Born and raised in Minnesota, then Belgium, Kate earned an undergraduate degree with honors from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her professional experience includes over nine years in the nonprofit and global health sectors, most recently spending four years traveling to rural Rwanda as the Program Manager for a global health organization. At Foster, Kate is the President of the Healthcare & Biotech Association, a Global Innovation Fellow with the START Program, and an active member of Net Impact. She is a Board Fellow, a mentor for Women in Business, and an MBA Ambassador. This past summer she interned at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she worked on strategy for one of the global health programs.Kate is honored to serve as a Leadership Fellow and a resource for the incoming class, and looks forward to further developing her own leadership toolkit. Away from school, Kate enjoys traveling to different cultures, running in Seattle with her sister, and cooking inventive pizzas.
Kelsey IngramKelsey Ingram
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Kelsey previously worked for Ernst & Young in San Francisco in the IT Advisory practice. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in IT Management and remains a loyal Irish fan through her involvement with the local alumni club. This summer, she interned with Point B at the Gates Foundation and looks forward to pursuing a post-MBA career in consulting. A Seattle native, she enjoys skiing, biking, and running and spending time with friends and family in the Pacific Northwest.Kelsey serves on the MBAA Executive Council and other club boards, and is excited and honored to be a Leadership Fellow. She looks forward to giving back to the Foster community and serving as a resource to incoming and current students through these roles.
Kira ThorienKira Thorien
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A native of Boise, Idaho, Kira moved to Seattle in 2013 for both work and school purposes. Now a second year full-time MBA candidate, she spent the summer of 2014 in Shepherdsville, Kentucky as an Amazon MBA operations intern. Prior to enrolling in graduate school, Kira worked in international development at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, and Results for Development Institute in Washington, DC. Her areas of expertise include supply chain management in low income countries, and financial modeling for immunization and HIV/AIDS programs. Kira received her bachelor of arts from Oberlin College in 2008, where she studied economics and math, and played varsity lacrosse.
Rachel AzaroffRachel Azaroff
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Rachel Azaroff is a second-year MBA student at the Foster School of Business, focusing on Marketing and Entrepreneurship. In addition to her role as a Leadership Fellow, she is a Foster Ambassador, sits on the Board of the Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital Club, and serves a Board Fellow for the Rainier Chamber of Commerce. She is also a Senior Associate for the Alliance of Angels. She has a BA from University of Maryland, College Park in Journalism. Prior to starting at Foster, she worked for seven years in strategic communications and outreach in Washington, D.C., most recently working at Deloitte for over four years.Rachel is excited to be a Fritzky Leadership Fellow to contribute to the Foster community and to continue to develop her own leadership abilities.
Ryan McCarthyRyan McCarthy
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Prior to joining Foster, Ryan served as an Army officer where he specialized in joint air missile defense operations, personnel strategy, and operations research analysis. After more than eight years in the military, Ryan decided to head back to his roots in the Pacific Northwest and start a new chapter in his professional career.Ryan is humbled by the opportunity to serve as a Leadership Fellow and hopes to both support the incoming MBA Class and further his leadership abilities. Foster has been a transformative experience for him and he looks to facilitate the same level of change for others in the incoming class. When he’s not at PACCAR, Ryan enjoys the outdoors, Crossfit, cooking, connecting with friends, and spending time with his family. He is also currently serving with the Oregon Army National Guard.
Sasha GourevitchSasha Gourevitch
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Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Sasha graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BA in Political Science. She then worked for a Bay Area vocational training nonprofit, JobTrain, for 4 years and served as their Youth Coordinator. She plans to continue working in the nonprofit sector post MBA. She started her MBA internship in January and worked as an associate intern at Waldron in both their Executive Search and Organization Development teams. Sasha is also co-president of Challenge for Charity.Sasha is thrilled to be selected as a Fritzky Leadership Fellow and is excited to help the first year students throughout the year. She is looking forward to working on her own leadership skills and connecting with the other Fellows.
Scott KnackstedtScott Knackstedt
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Scott is a northwest native, growing up in Olympia, Washington, and attending the University of Portland as a scholar athlete in track and cross country. After graduating with a BS and a BA, he attended the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna as a Fulbright Scholar where he received a graduate diploma in international relations. He later attained a masters degree from the University of Cambridge before returning to the US to work as a consultant in international governmental affairs. Scott arrived at Foster eager to develop not only his business acumen and skill set but also to meet and befriend the many interesting, fun, and kind classmates at the business school and to take advantage of the many incredible opportunities at the University of Washington.As a Fritzky Leadership Fellow, Scott is looking forward to helping and supporting first-year students as they forge their path through the full-time MBA program. He is also interested in furthering his own leadership development and working closely with this year’s cohort of Leadership Fellows. Outside of the classroom Scott continues to enjoy distance running, cycling, and playing musical instruments.
Tony LiuTony Liu
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Tony Liu is from Portland, Oregon but spent most of his life in Seattle, Washington where he attended the University of Washington majoring in Communication. Prior to starting the MBA program at Foster, he worked in software recruiting and managed his family’s Chinese restaurant for 5 ½ years. During the summer, Tony interned at Allrecipes.com at their headquarters in downtown Seattle where he helped the research team with usability testing and consumer research.Tony is honored and excited to be part of the Fritzky Leadership Fellows and wants to provide the same support that he received during his experience with his leadership fellow last year. He is also looking forward to developing his leadership skills and learning how to equip others to lead. Staying connected with his food industry roots he is excited to be a Foster Foodies board member and enjoys cycling, swimming, snowboarding, and cooking.