Each year, the Office of Graduate Alumni Relations recognizes
two individuals for their dedication to the Mendoza College of Business through
direct service to the College or through living the mission of the College in
their daily lives.
Alumni Award recognizes
a graduate business alumnus/alumna who has demonstrated achievement in business
and a commitment to the Mendoza College of Business through leadership and
service to the graduate business community or through living the Mendoza
mission of "Ask More of Business" in his or her local
community. This year’s winner is Federico Barquero Tefel (MBA ’02).
The Alumni Service
a graduate business alumnus/alumna who graduated within the past seven years
and has demonstrated commitment to the Mendoza College of Business or to the
Mendoza mission of "Ask More of Business" through service to the community.
This year’s winner is William Towns (EMBA ’09)
Examples of service to the graduate business community include, but
are not limited to, recruitment of prospective students, speaking on campus,
financial support of the graduate business program, participation in
alumni activities and career recruitment.
About the 2014 winners
Thirteen years have passed since Federico Barquero Tefel (MBA
’02) came to Notre Dame as a student. Yet as time goes by, the University
and the Mendoza College of Business become more and more significant to him.
“The Notre Dame MBA has been a blessing in my life,” he
says. “Academically, it taught me that business should be carried out
responsibly, not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it
is a long term, competitive advantage.
“Personally, I met some of my best friends while I was at the
MBA program, and continue to make Notre Dame friends and acquaintances
everywhere I go. As the Notre Dame Alumni Association board’s regional director
for Latin America, I see the immeasurable value of the ND network in every
country. I am always amazed,” he explains.
As the Latin America regional alumni director, Barquero, who
lives in Guatemala City, is in charge of keeping Domers in 18 countries
connected to each other and Notre Dame through the various Notre Dame Clubs. Barquero
is very active in the Notre Dame Club of Guatemala, playing an instrumental
role in organizing its events.
Rodolfo Bollat (MBA ’04), who nominated Barquero for the award,
used Barquero’s own words to help define him: “To use Federico’s own words,
‘The best way for an alum to contribute back to the University is to become a
full-time delegate of Notre Dame’s worldwide mission by embodying what the
school is all about.’ I believe Federico excels at accomplishing this challenge
every day through strong ethical leadership in his daily job, a dedicated
commitment to give back to the community he lives in and a hands-on example of
character and charisma to his friends and family,” Bollat wrote.
Barquero is vice president of commercialization for Fogel de
Centroamerica S.A., a commercial refrigeration business based in Guatemala City
that is owned and run by three generations of the Tefel family. He has been a
key figure in expanding sales worldwide.
This international aspect of his family’s company is especially
fulfilling for Barquero. “It is very satisfying to see one of our Guatemalan or
Colombian made coolers in countries such as South Africa and Poland,” he says.
“My cell phone has tons of images of coolers that I have found during my
travels. It is fun to verify if a cooler is working properly by auditing the
temperature of the beer stored inside!”
Additionally, Barquero is a board member of CentraRSE, a
not-for-profit Guatemalan organization that promotes corporate social
responsibility in the private sector. It represents more than 100 companies,
including some of the largest corporations in the region.
This commitment reflects the values of his Notre Dame MBA and
experiences that not only changed his life, but also influenced generations of
his family. “My grandfather, Jacobo Tefel ’54, did a good job brainwashing me
about Notre Dame since I was a little boy,” Barquero says. “Notre Dame is one
of the best things that ever happened in my life. Following in my grandfather’s
footsteps, I am now brainwashing my two children and hope that many years from
now they may have the same opportunity.”
William Towns (EMBA
William Towns was just
a boy when he became intrigued by neighborhoods and communities. His
fascination began when his family moved from a far south side neighborhood of
Chicago to a more prosperous neighborhood on the north side.
Towns enjoyed living
in both places, but noticed differences. “There were things that took place on
the south side that weren't acceptable on the north side,” he says. “The amount
of trash on the street and people hanging out was not tolerated in my new
Lincoln Park neighborhood. I found it intriguing how these seemingly similar
neighborhoods in the same city could have such different outlooks on behavior.
I wanted to understand why that difference existed.”
Today, Towns not only
remains intrigued by such questions, but he’s also finding answers. As
assistant vice president in the Office of Civic Engagement at The University of
Chicago, Towns is charged with developing policies and strategies that
revitalize communities by influencing economic growth, improving health care
opportunities and increasing safety across the neighborhoods throughout the
mid-south side of Chicago.
“You can’t have a
truly strong Chicago without a strong south side,” he says. “We have to make
sure that there are opportunities in all parts of the city. Our neighborhoods
aren’t any different than neighborhoods across the country, and we believe
through working with the city and our community partners, we can develop proven
models that can be replicated and used throughout the country.”
His outstanding commitment to neighborhoods and to Notre Dame
inspired Nika Levando, assistant director of neighborhood initiatives for The
University of Chicago, to nominate him for the Recent Notre Dame Graduate
Alumni Service Award. “In all that he does William brings a compassion and
belief that your zip code or financial status should not be an indicator of your
chance of reaching your full potential.”
Towns received an
executive MBA from Notre Dame in 2009 after a friend insisted he take a look at
the program. “She said, ‘I just met [former Mendoza dean] Carolyn Woo and she’s
fantastic. You have to look at Notre Dame.’ So I decided to look into it.”
Towns and his wife,
Marisol, liked what they saw. “It was the teaching of core business skills
along with the understanding that businesses are more than just a profit-driven
entity,” Towns says. “Businesses have an obligation to help support the
communities from which they derive their profits. The tagline ‘Ask More of
Business’ just works.”
Now, Towns makes time
to help recruit students to the EMBA program. “I’ve been back (to the Chicago
campus) many times since graduating to talk with potential students and to
explain to them why the Notre Dame MBA is so special. My wife, two daughters
and I are proud to say we are part of the Notre Dame family. Go Irish!”