|Alumni make news|
|Monday, January 12, 2015|
What do the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a founder of a thriving social media company and a former NFL football player have in common? They're all Pattonville High School graduates. Read on to find out more about about graduates who have been in the news lately.
Joe Gorder, Class of 1975 - In May, Gorder was named president and chief executive officer of Valero Energy Corporation, a Top 20 company on the Fortune 500 list. Valero is also the 10th largest company by revenue in the U.S. and is a San Antonio-based international manufacturer and marketer of transportation fuels, other petrochemical products and power. Gorder previously served as president and chief operating officer at Valero, as well as chief commercial officer and president of Valero-Europe. Gorder was featured in the most recent issue of the alumni magazine for the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL), where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with emphasis in marketing in 1979. He is married, has two children and two grandchildren. Thanks to Bob Samples, Pattonville Class of 1976, for sharing Gorder’s photo and story. Samples is associate vice chancellor-communications at UMSL and editor-in-chief of UMSL’s alumni magazine.
Gabe Lozano, Class of 2001 - Lozano was featured in a story in the St. Louis Business Journal. According to the article, Lozano’s company, LockerDome, closed on a $10 million Series B funding round. Lozano is co-founder and CEO of LockerDome, a St. Louis-based social media company that promotes users sharing content based on interests. The Journal reported that the $10 million raised will enable LockerDome to expand its local engineering team and its New York City-based media sales team.
Martin Nance, Class of 2001 - Nance was featured recently in a story on the University of Michigan Ross School of Business website. Nance spent time as an NFL wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills, the Minnesota Vikings and the Pittsburg Steelers (when the team won Super Bowl XLIII in 2009). After his time in the NFL, he attended Ross and earned his master’s degree in business administration. He is now employed as marketing innovation manager for Gatorade, a $4.8 billion beverage company.
Brittany Harris Brown, Class of 2004 - Brown was named as a Rising Star in the St. Louis area in the family law category of the publication Super Lawyers. Those selected for recognition are nominated by their firms and chosen from multiple applicants. She works as an associate attorney for Cordell and Cordell. Brown graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy/religion from Truman State University and received her Juris Doctor from Saint Louis University School of Law.
Jessica Winslow, Class of 2008 - Winslow placed among the top contestants in the Miss Missouri USA Pageant at Lindenwood University in November. She placed in the Top 15 out of 51 young women from throughout the state after representing Springfield in the competition. Winslow is currently pursuing a degree in human resources management from Missouri State University. Each contestant competed in three phases of preliminary competition: swimsuit, evening gown and interview. Those with the highest composite scores from these phases were named semifinalists.
Samantha Zoltanski, Class of 2010 - Zoltanski has been working as part of a three-month journalism experience in Australia. She graduated from Missouri Southern State University with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications in May and a week later flew to Melbourne. Bob Yeates, managing director of East Gippsland Newspapers, arranged for her to work at multiple small country newspapers in southern Australia. She took on several responsibilities, including story and photo assignments, editorial department, website media department and design layout. Her success led to Yeates and his management team asking Zoltanski to stay and substitute for an editor who is out on vacation until the end of 2014.
Cindy Hwang, Class of 2011 - Hwang cites her participation in the Pattonville College Academy for first-generation, college-bound high school students as one of the reasons she succeeded in her college dreams. Hwang is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in information systems from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She was recently selected for an internship with the social media team at Panera Bread.
Anjali Fernandes, Class of 2013 - Fernandes returned to her alma mater on Nov. 20 to talk to Pattonville High School students about applying to Ivy League colleges. Students in Grades 9 through 12 were invited to attend. Fernandes is a sophomore at Harvard University pursuing a degree in computer science and political science. She is an associate staff member of the Harvard International Review, a publication which features “under-appreciated topics in the international affairs discourse and novel perspectives on more widely discussed topics.” She recruits international political figures to write for the paper. Fernandes is also a member of the Harvard Mock Trial Association (Harvard’s team is currently ranked first) and in her spare time, helps organize Model UN conferences at Harvard. She also works for the U.S. Department of Defense in information technology, assists with Harvard’s free online computer classes (where some Pattonville students are enrolled) and plays violin for two ensembles.
Justin Robinson, Class of 2013 - Robinson will be featured on the Dec. 12 episode of the Steve Harvey Show on KDNL Ch. 30. He recently attended a taping of the show in Chicago to surprise and thank Cedric “The Entertainer” Kyles for a scholarship he earned through Cedric’s charitable foundation. Robinson is a sophomore at Southeast Missouri State University, where he is majoring in sports management. He plans to attend law school and become a sports agent. At Southeast, he is vice present of finance of the Southeast Student Alumni Association, treasurer of the Sports Management Society and a member of the Presidential Search Committee and All-University Judicial Board. He also works at Southeast’s Academic Support Center.
Multiple Years - Alumni from Pattonville’s boys and girls varsity soccer teams gathered to help a fellow graduate and teammate. Coach Tom Iffrig worked with alumni to organize the 2014 Alumni Soccer Game, with the proceeds going to Andy Simpkins, Class of 2011, and his family. Simpkins, who has been pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Central Methodist University, is undergoing treatment for Ewing’s sarcoma, a bone cancer. The alumni raised and donated $2,064 for Simpkins and his family to assist with medical costs.