May is a crazy month: while we admit the final members of the Class of 2018–all optimism and new possibilities–at the same time we prepare to graduate the 2015s–and deal with the nostalgia, and amazement, of how fast time has flown. Today I spotlight, thank and acknowledge an amazing 2015, Kari Schumaker, our outgoing FEMBA Council President. I personally want to share a quick reflection of Kari’s leadership, and also pay forward some appreciations from classmates, alumni and Dean Shih. From Dylan:
Kari, thanks for your “smiling leadership” this year. Long before you became FEMBA Council President and I got to see your leadership in action, what always struck me was your consistent smile; you always light up the room.
This year, I watched you step into the large, “Marine-sized shoes” of your predecessor Doug Longo ’14, (see his tribute below) and you made it look easy.
You led with grace and ease and you never missed a beat. Your FEMBA Council meetings ran smoothly every month. You surrounded yourself with leaders, as all great leaders do–Vibhore, Amber, Deepak, Gary, Katie and David–and you all maintained a steady, consistent pace of new ideas all year-long. FEMBA is better for having had you and your team!
From Senior Associate Dean Margaret Shih:
Thank you Kari for your leadership in FEMBA. You embody all the qualities that a strong leader should have – commitment, compassion, and competence. We will miss you. Congratulations and please come back often.
From Tracey Le ’15:
The first things that come to mind when I think of Kari are her generous spirit and contagious laughter. I first met Kari at an OC FEMBA happy hour before we had started Leadership Foundation. We bonded right away from that first meeting and have shared so many great memories of FEMBA during these past 3 years with FEMBA Council, FEMBApalooza, Anderson Halloween party, UCLA football games, and many more.
I remember during the summer before we started the FEMBA program there was a UCLA Anderson Alumni event at the Angels stadium that I really wanted to go to. However, I had just had foot surgery and couldn’t drive myself to the event. I called Kari and asked if she was going and if she could give me a lift to the event. She agreed right away even though we had just met a few times before.
That’s just the kind of person Kari is. She is always willing to help anyone in need. She works tirelessly to give back to her community and to the FEMBA program. Her desire to be of service to others was what motivated her to run for Internal Rep for our first year and eventually President of FEMBA Council this past year. Kari is a great example of an authentic leader who exhibits empathy. Thank you Kari for all that you’ve done for the FEMBA program!
From Katie Kroeger-Davis ’16, (Katie is Kari’s successor as FEMBA Council President):
What I appreciate most about Kari’s leadership style is that she is always genuine. Kari’s authenticity makes it easy to work with her and trust her. Kari is always willing to be herself and this is a trait that I wish all leaders had.
From Gary Lai ’15:
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Kari since the first year of the FEMBA program as we are both in Section 1. What I appreciate about Kari’s leadership is how she coaches, mentors, and takes care of her team. I’ve followed her footsteps on FEMBA Council as an Internal Rep and then the VP of Internal Affairs and she’s always willing to share her experiences and best practices with me. When she was leading the Internal Rep team last year, she made sure to meet with the Internal Reps for each of the FEMBA classes to make sure all our concerns were addressed and listened to the ideas we wanted to pursue. I wish her all the best after graduating from Anderson.
Wow, has it been three years already? I remember, as if it were yesterday, meeting Kari during her leadership foundations week. It is almost scary how I knew from the moment that I met her how she’d be one of the extra special students that Anderson needs every year to continue to make it such a great place. Kari is one of those unique people who can be both fun to be around and a great leader at the same time. That really is such an amazing quality about her.
I had such a great time with Kari on FEMBA Council that it really makes me sad to think about. Everyone knows how much pride I took in being a member of the council, and there really are no words that can explain how much comfort it brought me in knowing that Kari was going to be the one leading it after I graduated. I can’t thank her enough for that.
From Dylan again:
That’s it Kari. Hope you feel the love. 🙂 We will miss you. Every year at FEMBApalooza, we will look forward to seeing your sunny smile back on-campus! Thank you for giving everything you gave to FEMBA this year, to make this the best MBA we can offer.