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J.P. Balfour
(MBA 2013)

Vice President of Marketing
Synchrony Financial
jbalfour@tepper.cmu.edu
Charlotte, North Carolina

 

 

 

 

The instrument I imagine myself playing on stage:

Bass guitar, jamming with Metallica.

Favorite room in my home:

Any room that has the Dallas Cowboys playing on the TV.

The view that inspires me:

My kids (Maximus and Ayla) playing together. Anytime. Anywhere.

B-school memory that makes me smile:

Wine club nights and the board after parties!

Dining gem:

Avenue B ... try the Wagyu meatloaf.

My art collection would include:

As many artifacts from the Titanic as I could get my hands on.

The architectural wonder that I love to study:

The Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium ... as close to the Roman Colosseum as you can get without going to Rome.

Wardrobe standout:

Mickey Mouse shirt ... my wife, Kristy, has given me the Disney bug ... just don’t tell her that I admit to it!

The most recent advice I received:

When you feel like you are underwater, take a page out of Finding Nemo: “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming ...”

The most recent advice I gave:

You don’t give up at halftime.

My business icon:

Jerry Jones ... the best marketer on the planet.

Must-have app:

Seeking Alpha.

The business trip that never gets old:

To my client, Dick’s Sporting Goods, in Pittsburgh.

The last book that impressed me:

Unbroken.

Leadership defined as:

The ability to influence those around to you to look to you for guidance and direction without asking or forcing them to.

What’s in your briefcase:

Just the essentials ... laptop, various dongles, flashlight pen, protein bar.


Wes Brooks
(MBA 2014)

Director
Park Corporation
westleybrooks@gmail.com
Sewickley, Pennsylvania

The instrument I imagine myself playing on stage:

Guitar — who doesn’t want to be a rock star?!

Favorite room in my home:

My office — temporary refuge from the normal activities of three boys under the age of 8!

The view that inspires me:

My favorite views tend to be of landscapes out west. There’s something about an unobstructed horizon that strikes me as remarkable.

B-school memory that makes me smile:

Weekends spent with my group mates and friends in the various Tepper School study rooms working on projects — we would always take a break every hour or so to throw on a funny YouTube video to break the monotony.

Dining gem:

Le Bernardin in NYC.

My art collection would include:

An original M.C. Escher.

The architectural wonder that I love to study:

Capital Gate (Abu Dhabi).

Wardrobe standout:

My new Stan Smiths ... it will be challenging to keep them white!

The most recent advice I received:

No deal is done until the ink is dry.

The most recent advice I gave:

Try to put things in perspective before worrying yourself too much over something that seems insurmountable. Consider how lucky you are to be where you are today and have what you do and remember that you have many years ahead of you to sort things out.

What are your hobbies?

I currently spend most of my free time mountain biking and road biking. For myself, aerobic exercise keeps me sane! I also enjoy flying airplanes (single engine), but I don’t have as much time to do this as I did in the past.

My business icon:

Tony Hsieh.

Must-have app:

Spotify — I love listening to music and Spotify has the best platform to stream whatever it is you want to listen to.

The business trip that never gets old:

Any destination in Italy or France — I’m a foodie, so to pair business with great cuisine is a big bonus in my book.

The last deal I closed:

Negotiating through the various approval boards in my borough to get a complicated deck project approved for our house.

The next conference I’m attending:

TEDxPittsburgh.

The last book that impressed me:

The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt) — the prose is remarkable and the story is fascinating. I rarely read fiction, but this book was a nice change of pace.

Leadership defined as:

Giving others the opportunity to shine, and avoiding micromanagement.

WHAT’s in your briefcase? 

My HP-12C, auxiliary battery, Bose headphones and chewing gum.


Rich Campbell
(MBA 2015)

Associate Brand Manager
ConAgra Brands
rcampbell1161986@gmail.com
Chicago, Illinois

The instrument I imagine myself playing on stage:

Harmonica.

Favorite room in my home:

Living room because of the view, and the bar.

The view that inspires me:

My window looking out into downtown Chicago.

B-school memory that makes me smile:

Going out with fellow FlexTimers to drink after classes.

Dining gem:

Alla Famiglia in Pittsburgh’s Allentown neighborhood.

My art collection would include:

Goya — Saturn.

The architectural wonder that I love to study:

Anything Roman — they were so advanced technologically.

WARDROBE STANDOUT:

Cardigans — practical old man style.

The most recent advice I received:

Focus on telling the story.

The most recent advice I gave:

If a negotiation makes you uncomfortable, you’re doing it right.

Must-have app:

Instagram — it’s so interactive.

The business trip that never gets old:

Anywhere that I can get a good meal.

The last book that impressed me:

A Proper Drink — a great story about the history and resurgence of the craft cocktail movement.

Leadership defined as:

Knowing how to motivate and inspire.

What's in your briefcase?

My computer.


Adrienne Chan
(MBA 2017)

Global Business Manager
Wipro
atc1@tepper.cmu.edu
New Brunswick, New Jersey

The instrument I imagine myself playing on stage:

Piano/keyboard.

Favorite room in my home:

My kitchen — I just renovated my house and put in a pasta filler faucet: It’s life-changing.

The view that inspires me:

Victoria Peak in Hong Kong.

B-school memory that makes me smile:

All my classmates’ faces walking out of our first Stat final ... we all thought we were doomed.

Dining gem:

Basta Pasta in NYC ... the sea urchin pasta is my favorite.

The most recent advice I received:

Don’t forget the people who helped you get to where you are now.

My business icon is:

Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx ... I love her story.

Must-have app:

Podcasts.

The business trip that never gets old:

New York City ... always a new restaurant to try!

The last book that impressed me:

In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney.


Micah Paul Keith
(MBA 2010)

Brand Management
Innovation Manager
Nestlé USA
mkeith@tepper.cmu.edu
Cleveland, Ohio

THE instrument I imagine myself playing on stage:

Busting out some sweet beats and rhymes with my vocal chords.

Favorite room in my home:

Dining room — connecting with family and friends while doing one of my favorite pastimes: eating.

THE VIEW THAT INSPIRES ME:

Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Southern Utah — this hike is a must before you die.

B-school memory that makes me smile:

Justin Parisi [MBA/E ’10] perfectly imitating John Mather [teaching professor of marketing] — Disssss-RUPTIVE!

Dining gem:

Sushi Kinoya, Long Beach, California — I literally stumbled into this place on a business trip, and it’s perhaps the best sushi place I’ve ever come across.

My art collection would include:

Vintage and modern comic book art (because I’m really just a kid at heart).

THE architectural wonder that I love to study:

I could pretend to be ultra-sophisticated and detail the numerous architectural wonders I’ve studied over my life, but nature holds my interest more.

Wardrobe standout:

Basketball shorts: my clothing kryptonite. Comfortable. Casual. Ready for Action. If I ever start a company, these may be deemed completely appropriate for the office.

THE most recent advice I received:

Don’t let your kids put Bunchems in their hair. My oldest daughter did this recently and it was horrific. Google it and gasp.

THE MOST RECENT ADVICE I gave:

Don’t let anyone put Bunchems in their hair. I posted my daughter’s experience directly after that. She was a trooper, but I don’t recommend this even to my worst enemy.

My biggest, hairiest, most audacious goal:

To leave every single person I meet better than when I found them.

My business icon:

Mitt Romney — I admire the way he achieved success while balancing his professional, familial and religious responsibilities.

Must-have app:

Gospel Library — it helps me maintain a good perspective and keeps me grounded on what really matters most to me.

THE business trip that never gets old:

Walking through my door and being tackled by my kids when I get back — I’ll miss it when they are older.

The last deal I closed:

Convincing leadership to move forward with a particular package design and structure — it’s going to be awesome!

THE next conference I’m attending:

VidCon (YouTube conference).

THE last book that impressed me:

The 10 Greatest Gifts I Give My Children: Parenting from the Heart by Steve Vannoy.

Leadership defined as:

Unlocking everyone’s best.

What’s in your briefcase?

A change of clothes and shoes, personal and work computer, clipboard with notes, wallet, keys, two oranges and a protein bar (not a briefcase, but a garment bag that hangs on the back of the ol’ steel steed I ride to work).