The real Jerry Maguire and the $5,000 1st Place Prize: Meet the winners of the Game Day Sports Case Competition

Last weekend, three FEMBAs won the 4th annual Game Day Sports Case Competition at Villanova University. Congratulations to Thomas Crutchley ’19, Keenan Long ’19 and Doug Paulus 19.  And special thanks to Thomas for this interview.

Dylan: So first, Thomas, thanks for bringing me the good news. And second, tell me all about the Game Day Sports Case Competition.

Thomas: My pleasure Dylan. Well we all flew to Pennsylvania last weekend. A cool thing was that MEMES paid for our plane tickets to go compete. We won from a field of nine teams including Penn, U Connecticut, another UCLA team, USC and Villanova.

Dylan: Congratulations! Tell me more.

Thomas: Well, this was the 4th annual for this case competition. It goes back and forth between UCLA Anderson and Villanova. UCLA hosted 1 and 3, and Villanova hosted 2 and 4. It comes back to UCLA next year I believe.

Dylan: That’s great. So our new FEMBA 2020 students reading this, pay attention, maybe you can participate next year. And you won’t have to fly to Pennsylvania.

Thomas: Yeah, they’ll save a flight, but they’ll miss out on the Philly cheesesteaks!

Dylan: Life is full of difficult choices for sure. How did you hear about the competition?

Thomas: Keenan got an email from the SBA [the Sports Business Association] and we looked into it. The hardest part honestly was that this competition requires both MBA and Law School students be on every team.

Dylan: Cool. So how’d you get a law student on your team?

Thomas: All internal networking. We reached out to Dean Freixes. We just started asking around. We ultimately connected with Ilan Issacs, a 3L here at UCLA Law. He crushed the legal part. He’s going into entertainment law after graduation.

Dylan: And how about Doug and Keenan, your fellow FEMBAs? How all do you know each other.

Thomas: Well first we’re all in Section 3. Go section 3! And second, we’re all just a bunch of sports lovers.

Dylan: And was this your first case competition?

Thomas: For sure. First case competition for all of us. Turns out all four of us have a sports connection. Ilan walked on to the soccer team at Brown. Keenan played semi-professional Major League baseball. I played college baseball at UCSD. And Doug self-describes as the “ultimate intermural athlete.”

20170408 Game Day Sports Case Competition L-R Ilan Isaacs 3L Law School Prof Jeffrey Moorad host Keenan Long 19 Doug Paulus 10 and Thomas Crutchley 19 best

Above: 2017 Game Day Sports Case Competition (L-R) Ilan Isaacs 3L UCLA Law School, host and professor Jeffrey Moorad, Keenan Long 19, Doug Paulus 19 and Thomas Crutchley 19.

Dylan: Nice. And how about Jeffrey Moorad, professor and founder of the Game Day Sports Case Competition?  [Shown in the photo above.]

Thomas: That’s one of the coolest parts. So he’s amazing. He’s a former sports agent, as well as the former CEO and former minority owner of both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball (MLB).

And, he’s part of the inspiration of the Jerry Maguire character in the movie.

Dylan: No way. That’s awesome. I didn’t know that?

Thomas: When he teaches sports business at UCLA, he brings in all kinds of big names, A-Rod, like that. He represented Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Warren Moon, Manny Ramirez. That’s where they got all the perspective that became the Jerry Maguire character.

Dylan: Oh yeah. That’s right. In my Drive Time podcast interview with our FEMBA Olympic Gold medal winner Ed Moses last year, Ed mentioned being in that class.

Thomas: Professor Moorad is amazing. He created this case competition. He put up the prize money.

Dylan: I’m looking him up online right now. Looks like he’s an alum of both UCLA and also Villanova, and that in 2012 he donated $5 million to the Villanova Law School for the creation of a new Center for the Study of Sports Law.

Thomas: Exactly. And when we met him at first we didn’t recognize him. We were all mingling around and one of asked, “So what’s your role here?” Later, when he went up on stage and we realized the whole thing revolves around him. You know. It was a moment.

Dylan: Love it. Well what were your other take-aways? Was it worth your time and effort?

Thomas: For sure. I think for all of us, what was really exceptional was the interaction with the judges. I mean, these were some real big names in sports management, like Joe Banner, former president of the Phildelphia Eagles. He was a judge. People like that.

And we were hanging out with them, listening to them talk about their careers.

It was eye-opening. It’s not just an old boys network. The way they described their career paths, you can see it. You can see that you can take an MBA, or a law degree, and you can really make a career in sports management.

Dylan: How great is that? We all know sports is a huge business and it’s only going to grow.

Thomas: Yes. And these guys were telling us how to get started. I mean, they all gave us their business cards. It was great.

Dylan: Oh very good. Hold on to those. And follow up. Send ’em a ping now and again to keep them posted on how your MBA is going.

Thomas: We will for sure.

Dylan: Well thanks for this. You made my week with your story. Congratulations again Thomas (and Doug, Ilan and Keenan!).

20170408 Game Day Sports Case Competition Thomas Crutchley 19

Thomas Crutchley, FEMBA 2019, with the winning check. Congrats!

Group Podcast: Making the World a Better Place – Care | Mind

FEMBA PODCASTS - Dylan's Blog (1)

Making the World a Better Place: Care | Mind

This week’s Drive Time Podcast is the first of its kind, starring a trio of three alumni stories from Oscar Rodriguez (FEMBA ’14), Hanson Chang (FEMBA ’14) and Sarah McMains (Full Time MBA ’12). You will hear how Oscar and Hanson met in their first year of the FEMBA program and continued working together, along with Sarah, through the creation of their start-up healthcare business, “Care | Mind” (an iOS application). The group discusses several themes that have stuck with them throughout their time at UCLA Anderson and beyond, including:

  • Building a partnership through their time in the FEMBA program
  • Discovering opportunities, broadening their perspectives, and finding their higher purpose
  • Bringing medicine back in the hands of individuals and empowering people with information
  • Increasing the utilization of wearable technology with the senior population
  • Leveraging the UCLA Anderson Alumni Network to find a perfect match for their marketing needs
  • Practical tips for getting the most out of the UCLA Anderson experience

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Podcast Paraag Lal ’04: FEMBA (and Life) as your Playground

Drive Time - Dylan's Blog - Episode 14 - Paraag Lal - 8.4.16

We are expanding our Drive Time podcasts to include alumni stories. Paraag Lal ’04 is both an inspiring alum and a personal friend. We traveled through India after a FEMBA Global Immersion course. Paraag was a keynote speaker at Leadership Foundations in 2014.

Meet Paraag Lal ’04, President at Carmen Road Entertainment, as he reflects on

  • Leaving a mark as a FEMBA Council leader (launching the FEMBA Halloween Party, the Vegas trip, Anderson Affiliates, and SuperSaturday interviews)
  • Making As in every course at UCLA Anderson (except former Dean Hayn’s!)
  • Enjoying two Fortune 500 chapters at Intel and then Cisco
  • Supporting his dad through Parkinson’s
  • Launching Carmen Road Entertainment
  • Relating to UCLA (and Life) as a Playground and living a life he loves!

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P.S. Victor Gebhardt ’18 Mongol Rally Update: Crossed Azerbaijan.

20160804 Victor Gebhardt Mongol Rally Progress

Follow Victor Gebhardt ’18 currently driving from London to Mongolia for charity. They arrived at Batumi after three days on a boat and crossed into Azerbaijan. Follow Victor’s team


“I got everything I wanted from my MBA” meet Isadora Dantas ’16

Drive Time - Dylan%27s Blog - Episode 8 - Isadora Dantas - 6.23.16

“I got everything I wanted from my MBA”  Meet Isadora Dantas, UCLA Anderson FEMBA Class of 2016. Hers is a fantastic global journey from Brazil to New York City to Los Angeles, a powerful personal transformation, and incredible career results. Isadora shares generously about the impact of FEMBA:

  • Discovering a passion for public speaking during Professor Firstenberg’s course
  • Becoming a TEDx campfire speaker at UCLA
  • Aligning her prior Master’s degree research on happiness
  • Co-founding a start-up, Petsnap, with FEMBA classmates
  • Switching careers, from graphic design to product management, leveraging the coaching of Susan Cowell and our FEMBA Career Services team
  • Switching companies, from Disney to Sony to finally landing at UCLA-founded, Cornerstone OnDemand, all utilizing her UCLA network
  • Taking a Global Immersion to Israel with Professor Gabriel to see the vibrant tech scene
  • Meeting her “FEMBesties” during school
  • (Short on time?? Start at 38:00 to hear Isadora’s summary of her FEMBA journey, and what’s next.)


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Pet-Loving FEMBAs Create PetSnap

Five Pet-Loving FEMBAs Bring Pet Health and Wellness Management to Your Smartphone

Love your pet?

Want to be the best pet-parent you can be?

In 2012, Matt Rose and his wife Kate learned that their dog, best friend and ski buddy Barlow had cancer. Barlow fought the disease for almost two years. It was an emotional time, and Matt and Kate felt overwhelmed and confused tracking all of Barlow’s medical records, appointments and medications. They were concerned that they or one of Barlow’s many vets might miss (or misplace) something critical in all of those paper records.


Matt and Kate Rose posed with Barlow for their engagement photo in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado

Matt formed a team of FEMBA classmates at UCLA Anderson to build an app that could combine all of Barlow’s paper records in one safe place, and allow Matt and Kate to keep that information with them in case of emergency, and easily share it with vets, dog sitters or friends.

The team talked to a lot of pet owners who needed anytime access to their pet’s health information, and PetSnap was born.

Their team of five FEMBAs is changing the way you take care of your furry friends with their free mobile website and app, PetSnap. PetSnap is a pet health management platform that allows pet owners and veterinarians to collectively manage animal health from a computer or mobile device. It helps pet owners organize, digitize, and share their pets’ health records, and also set reminders for appointments, medications, and/or treatments.

When Barlow got sick with cancer, Matt was introduced to the problem of not having all Barlow’s medical history succinctly in one place.

PetSnap empowers pet owners to manage their pets’ health as well as they manage their own. As lifelong pet parents, the team at PetSnap truly believes that their platform can help make a difference in the health and well-being of animal family members. And the community seems to agree – PetSnap had a great response at last summer’s FEMBApalooza, signing up over 300 attendees.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, during a mentoring session with PetSnap on campus, agreed that “This lowers the stress of being a pet parent. It makes them feel good and that they are taking better care of their pet.”

You can support PetSnap. Like all start-ups, PetSnap needs to gain momentum. Two actions that will support PetSnap:

  1. Download their iOS app
  2. Refer PetSnap to your pet-owning friends

For more information about PetSnap, you can download their iOS app, visit their website at, view their 1-minute demo, or engage with them on Instagram or Facebook. The team would love to talk to you more about their product and how it can be improved to help you and your pets. Email

Stop them in the hallway if you see them!

Front Row, L-R: Rich Headley FEMBA ‘16,  Isadora Dantas FEMBA ‘16,  Frankie Judy FEMBA ‘16

Back Row, L-R: Matt BaileyMatthew Rose FEMBA ‘16,  Rex Hatch FEMBA ‘16

In the middle, held by Matt is Eddie. About half a year after Barlow passed, Matt’s wife Kate found Eddie wandering alone and unidentified in Koreatown and rescued him.


I want to thank Rich and Matt for generating this update on PetSnap. We’ll keep more updates coming as they proceed.

Additional story-lines include (Aren’t they busy!)

  • PetSnap utilizing the new UCLA Anderson Venture Accelerator space for their development efforts
  • Matt Rose winning the 2015 Wolfen Award
  • PetSnap currently at the semi-final level in Baylor University’s New Venture Competition. Waiting to hear if they make the finals.
  • PetSnap being semi-finalists in the UCLA Knapp Venture Competition
  • PetSnap earning second-place at the IE (Spain) Venture Competition
  • PetSnap currently prepping to enter Oregon’s competition
  • PetSnap entering the UCLA Law School Lowell Milken Institute Sandler Prize for New Entrepreneurs
  • PetSnap entering the ITA Venture Competition this Spring
    (They’re seeking an engineer to joing the team for this one, if you’re interested!)



Kari Schumaker: Thank You for your Smiling Leadership

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Kari Schumaker ’15, our outgoing FEMBA Council President

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!

20150529 Kari Schumaker FC execs 2014-2015

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.

20150529 Kari Schumaker and Tracey Le and friends at FEMBApalooza2013

Kari, in the middle with the guitar glasses, and friends at FEMBApalooza 2, 2013.

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.

20150529 Kari Schumaker and Tracey Le IMG_1955

Kari and Tracey Le at a UCLA tailgate.

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.

20150529 Kari Schumaker and Tracey Le and friends at UCLA footballfall2012 IMG_1955

UCLA tailgating!

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.

From Doug Longo ’14 (last year’s FEMBA Council President):

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.

20120830_Class of 2015

When it all began! The Class of 2015 during Leadership Foundations, August of 2012.

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.

20141117 2014 Wooden Awards holding Gonzalo

Starting up and Standing up: Brian Sterz launches Accessible Capital Partners

How big do you want your life to be? How much risk are you willing to take? How many partnerships and alliances can you build? Will you be true to yourself along the way?

20141024 Brian Sterz 14 Linkedin photo

Brian Sterz ’14, CEO and Founder of Accessible Capital Partners

I’ve been working on this profile of Brian Sterz ’14, CEO and Founder of Accessible Capital Partners for a month now–with great anticipation–because Brian is leveraging his FEMBA degree to build a bold new chapter of his career and life.

Brian just graduated FEMBA and he’s launched his own company, Accessible Capital Partners. He was an extremely involved student leader during FEMBA, serving on the Executive Board of FEMBA Council and actively participating in ASAM (Anderson Student Asset Management).

20141024 2014-2014 FEMBA Council Executive Board

The 2013-2014 FEMBA Council Executive Board, Brian is second from left.

Dylan: Brian, let’s start with your professional journey, then we’ll hear about the personal transformation you’re undergoing.

Brian: For sure Dylan.

I entered Anderson armed with my professional experience and my Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation ready to learn how to start and run an effective asset management company.  During FEMBA, I further honed my financial skill set, augmented with a summer internship in investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Los Angeles.

I challenged myself, I really got out of my wheelhouse, with marketing, operations, and negotiations courses, and others, such as Data Analytics with R with Professor Rossi and Strategy with Professor Rummelt, that rounded out my capabilities.  These courses, along with daily interactions with my entrepreneurial FEMBA classmates, are what emboldened me to venture out to launch on my own firm.  Investing has always been my passion and I needed the education and experience that I gained at UCLA Anderson to make this entrepreneurial leap.

I learned to better manage an organization with my two years on FEMBA Council.

20141024 Brian Sterz 14 Gonzalo Mike Walden 14 BS_FEMBAPALOOZA

FEMBApalooza, hanging out. Brian Sterz ’14, Gonzalo Freixes (Faculty), and Mike Walden ’14.

Dylan: Love it! Now tells them what happened after FEMBA.

Brian: After completing my UCLA Anderson FEMBA education, and having effectively completed a career transition, I decided to take the entrepreneurial leap in starting Accessible Capital Partners, a bridge lending fund based in Los Angeles.  Having seen the investment management industry from several perspectives during my career prior to Anderson, including experience on the derivatives trading floor in San Francisco, at Callan Associates where I was part of a team that advised public pension funds on their fixed income investments, and later as a member of the investment committee at a local Registered Investment Advisor called EP Wealth Advisors, I knew that I wanted to open my own fund after business school.

20141024 Brian Sterz 14 GAP  Freddie Wolfe 14   BS_GAP (2)

Stephen Shar 14, Brian Sterz, Brandon Flora 14, Jennifer Chiang 14, and Freddy Wolfe 14, Brian’s  Global Access Program teammates, Team ‘Drink Cup,” December 2013.

Dylan: What components of FEMBA supported you to take the leap?

Brian: My experience with the Ziman Center for Real Estate, and particularly the passionate instruction of Eric Sussman and Paul Habibi, led me to combine my prior experience in fixed income with real estate to create Accessible Capital Partners.

My interest in real estate began during the heart of the global financial crisis in 2008, when real estate prices experienced their nearly unprecedented decline.  During that year, I began the process of getting my real estate broker’s license in an attempt to take advantage of these prices that would undoubtedly prove to be bargains in future years.  As Southern California has recovered from the crisis, though lessons-learned remain squarely in mind, conservatively-underwritten bridge financing appears to be an attractive route to pursue.

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Looks pretty calm after taking the leap to create his own company. Brian Sterz ’14.

Dylan: Great Brian. Now, let’s shift a little bit to the personal. One of the things that’s impressed me about you is the friendships you’ve cultivated here, and your student involvement. (For my readers, it was Brian who collected all the testimonials that comprised the Doug Longo ’14 tribute blog post back in March.)

Brian: For sure. I was friends with Doug Longo through classes, ASAM and FEMBA Council. Also in ASAM with us was Ryan Hughes, who has also created his own company since FEMBA.

Ryan and I, during school and before we each created our own companies, we actually sent a lot of business each others’ way. Another example of FEMBA helping your career immediately, during school.

20141024 Brian Sterz 14 at the Hollywood Improv

Brian on-stage at the Hollywood Improv on September 21, 2014. “I wanted to put myself out there,” says Brian Sterz. His third show will be November 5, 2014.

Dylan: And what’s this about Improv? Tell them about that.

Brian: Well this is a big deal for me, taking the leap and starting my own company. I knew that it was going to take a lot of persistence and boldness on my part.

I wanted to put myself out there. I love public speaking, but wanted to get better at it. I signed up for an improv class because I knew it would force me to grow. We met four times and at the end we each got a 5 minute slot in front of a real audience at the Hollywood Improv.

I did that set at the Improv. There’s this whole comedy community in LA, and a guy in the crowd came up to me afterwards and he then got me booked The Comedy Store. I’ve already done the second show, and my next performance is November 5th! I’m doing it again! I post invitations on my Facebook page.

Dylan: Which was scarier, Improv or your GAP Final Presentation?

Brian:  Ha! No comment!

Tell you what. Really what’s scariest is starting my own company. I’ve gone from having safe, comfortable, high-paying jobs to starting from scratch. While I’m getting started, I’m doing things like driving for LYFT and renting my apartment on airbnb to bride the gap. This isn’t all roses. I’m pretty sure it’s a very small percentage of b-school grads who are driving for LYFT. But I’m OK with that. The point is I’m doing what it takes to get my business profitable and successful.

Dylan: I love it. Thanks for the reality check. Anything else?

Brian: Well I’m a start-up, so I just have to put in one more pitch for my firm.

Accessible Capital Partners seeks to provide debt capital to real estate entrepreneurs and developers who require timely and flexible capital which traditional banks simply cannot provide in today’s environment.  The fund seeks to conservatively underwrite loans and partner with borrowers to create mutually beneficial long-term relationships.  In this way, the fund can provide sustainable, risk-adjusted returns for its investors.  As technology changes the face of real estate investing, the fund will seek to leverage crowd sourcing platforms to both raise and deploy capital efficiently and effectively.  Currently, we’re seeking investment partners.

The Anderson Alumni community has already been so supportive of this effort and I look forward to partnering with our esteemed colleagues for many years to come! Interested persons, please reach out to me via LinkedIn.