Spring 2011: Get to know Elon's Top 10 Under 10
Want to know more about these ten outstanding Elon young alumni? Keep reading this post for short bios of each of the Top 10 Under 10 Award recipients and listen to a few share additional insights about their experiences.
Please the links to the right to view the videos.
Ian Thomas Baltutis ’08
Ian Baltutis’ drive to “improve the world around him – through volunteering, creating new products, or by just being friendly – is intoxicating,” wrote a nominator. “Ian is always innovating.” That drive prompted Ian to turn a patented material developed by his parents – Sorbothane – into vibration-dampening coasters for the feet of washing machines.
Along with two fellow Elon students, including R.J. Yozwiak ’08, also a Top 10 Under 10 Award recipient, Ian formed The Vibration Solution, LLC, to market the product, “Silent Feet.” The product won the 2008 Evansville New Venture Creation Competition grand prize and the 2009 Reed Business Design News Golden Mousetrap Award. As co-owner of The Vibration Solution over the past three years, Ian has helped guide the company to 300 percent growth.
Ian’s innovative spirit and sharp business acumen – he has Six Sigma Black Belt certification from both NC State University and Alamance Community College – have been put to use at Honda Power Equipment Manufacturing in Swepsonville, N.C. As an ERP Ordering Improvement Project Leader, Ian has successfully implemented new manufacturing technologies that have resulted in multimillion-dollar savings for the plant.
Yet Ian’s biggest impact may come through his service to his community. An Eagle Scout, Ian works closely with the Alamance District of the Boy Scouts of America. As the district’s Camporee chair, he facilitates fun and educational experiences for the county’s youth. He also advises Elon’s chapter of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, of which he was a member, and tutors students weekly at Alexander Wilson Elementary School in Graham, N.C.
Alexander Webb Bond ’08
Alexander “Webb” Bond, a nominator wrote, “would be the first to tell you that he is living his dream by building his professional career to support his family and give back to his community.”
Professional success came early and naturally for Webb, who began work at Brown and Brown Insurance in Tampa, Fla., just nine days after graduating from Elon in 2008. He thrived as a commercial account executive, receiving Brown and Brown’s Rookie of the Year Award in 2009, and has quickly become one of its top producers.
But Webb wasn’t satisfied to succeed on his own; he wanted to share his expertise with others to help them succeed, too, and now leads Brown and Brown’s New Producer Training Program.
Webb brings the same selfless vigor to his myriad service pursuits in the greater Tampa- St. Petersburg area. He co-chairs the St. Petersburg Rotary Club’s Rotary-in-Action committee, helping to determine where the club’s time and financial resources are spent. A faithful parishioner at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in St. Petersburg, he teaches pre-kindergarteners through first-graders in Sunday School.
He remains active in his collegiate fraternity, Kappa Alpha Order, as a chapter adviser, alumni chapter treasurer and deputy province commander. He also is a member of the Freemasons. The St. Petersburg Times recognized Webb’s outstanding professional and service accomplishments in 2010, when the newspaper featured him as one of the area’s “Rising Stars.”
Bruce Barclay Cameron IV ’05
Bruce Cameron is at the heart of business and economic development in his hometown of Wilmington, N.C., one of the state’s up-andcoming business centers. As a partner of Shelter Creek Capital and vice president of Shelter Creek Lime and Stone, Bruce is rapidly becoming one of the region’s most influential leaders in attracting businesses.
Bruce played a key role in developing the North Carolina Logistics Park, a 50-acre tract designed to draw new businesses to the Wilmington region. He was instrumental in attracting Novant Health to renovate and expand Brunswick Community Hospital with a new 74-bed medical center, expanding much-needed health care services to a growing population. Before joining Shelter Creek Capital, Bruce was a principal with Cameron Management and held several responsibilities at Brunswick Forest, one of the premier residential and mixed use developments in the North Carolina coastal region.
While at Brunswick Forest, Bruce worked closely with the developer, Lord Baltimore Properties, assisting in the planning and administration of the property’s infrastructure development. During his tenure there, he oversaw the completion of several neighborhood developments as well as the Cape Fear National Golf Course. Prior to working with Brunswick Forest, Bruce spent several years at Funston Company, a heavy construction company focusing on site work, grading and paving.
April Lynn Durr ’01
As the executive director of Healthy Alamance, a nonprofit affiliate of Alamance Regional Medical Center and the Alamance County Health Department, April Durr carries a weighty responsibility. She’s tasked with coordinating the Alamance County Health Assessment, which is used by nonprofit and government agencies to plan policies and programs that affect Alamance’s more than 150,000 residents.
It’s been a natural progression for April, who as an Elon human services major “became aware of the needs of this community and made a decision to dedicate her career to Alamance County and particularly to the neighborhoods that received fewer resources than others,” a nominator wrote.
Upon her graduation from Elon, April remained in Burlington, N.C., serving as a community outreach coordinator for CrossRoads Sexual Assault Response and Resource Center. She later worked as a youth director for Mosaic Rural Wellness Center, Inc., in Saxapahaw, N.C., before moving on to lead Healthy Alamance.
April’s dedication to making a difference in her community isn’t limited to her working hours. She maintains close ties to Elon, mentoring students in the human service and public health studies programs and sitting on the advisory board for the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement. April continues to volunteer for Crossroads, as well as Play on Productions, an organization supporting women’s athletics, and the Guilford Green Foundation, which promotes diversity and inclusiveness for lesbian, gay, transgender and transsexual citizens in the greater Piedmont Triad region. Recently, April played a key role in North Park in Motion, a revitalization effort in one of Burlington’s struggling neighborhoods.
Kali Jane Geskus ’07
Kali Geskus’ involvement with Family Abuse Services of Alamance County, Inc., dates to her Elon days. While studying human services at Elon, Kali interned and volunteered with the agency, which supports victims of domestic violence. Family Abuse Services hired Kali immediately after her graduation in May 2007. Within a year, she was promoted to Court Advocacy Program coordinator where, a nominator wrote, she “was instrumental in turning the program from a grassroots effort into a highly professional and quality service to help clients get their lives under control after serious abuse.”
Kali developed the Family Justice Center Collaborative, which brings together Alamance County’s judicial, social service, law enforcement and related nonprofit agencies to better coordinate services for individuals and families. She attended domestic violence court weekly to support her clients, led crisis counseling intervention and managed the agency’s relationships with county officials and offices. In recognition of Kali’s achievements, Family Abuse Services promoted her to director of client services, where she continues to oversee the Court Advocacy Program and manages the agency’s supervised visitation program.
Constantly seeking to improve services for her clients, Kali has completed training in a variety of areas, including address confidentiality, court advocacy, danger assessment and domestic violence. In 2010, she applied and was accepted to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s highly competitive master’s program in social work.
Darris Roshawn Means ’05
When he returned to Elon’s campus in 2007 after completing his master’s degree in education at Clemson University, Darris Means couldn’t have imagined the impact he’d have on the dozens of Alamance County high school students who would one day enroll in the Elon Academy. But four years later, Darris, the academy’s assistant director, “makes dreams come true,” wrote a nominator. “For many of these students, he is the first to believe in them and the first to ever tell them that they can attend college.”
Darris oversees many of the Elon Academy’s day-to-day operations, such as hiring staff and recruiting participants. With the first class of Elon Academy students in their first years of college, Darris has spent significant time traveling to visit the academy’s 21 alumni at 13 campuses across the country, providing academic, social and emotional support.
He has shared his experiences and research with colleagues in more than 20 presentations at the local, regional and national levels, two peer-reviewed journal articles and his membership in professional organizations such as the American College Personnel Association, National Partnership for Educational Access and North Carolina College Personnel Association. Darris has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2010 North Carolina College Personnel Association’s Committee Member of the Year Award, the 2010 Phi Kappa Phi Love of Learning Award and mention in the 2008 “40 Leaders Under Forty” feature in The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area.
In 2010, Darris began work toward his doctorate in educational research and policy analysis at NC State University and expects to graduate in 2014.
George Kerr Memory ’06
During his four-year career as an investment advisor in Winston-Salem, N.C., George Memory successfully led his clients through the recession, he earned a sterling reputation among his colleagues and his loyal client base. “In his financial planning team,” wrote a nominator, “he distinguishes himself with independence and self-confidence.” Recently, his partnership, The Sullivan Memory McCulloch Group of Winston-Salem, joined a boutique investment firm, Stephens Private Client Group.
Equally devoted to his community, George has been a longtime volunteer for Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County. He has served on the organization’s board of directors since 2008 and, in 2009, he co-founded Habitat’s Young Professionals, which has raised more than $100,000 to build homes in Winston-Salem. In 2010, he served as chairman of the committee.
George also holds juvenile diabetes charities close to his heart. Since his diagnosis of Type I Diabetes in 1993, he has taken leadership roles in the American Diabetes Association through his involvement with Camp Carolina Trails, a diabetic-only overnight camp at Camp Hanes in King, N.C. He also leads an overnight camping trip at Hanging Rock State Park with high school-age diabetics.
An alumnus of Elon’s men’s tennis team, George stays active in the sport, competing in statewide tennis competitions. He takes advantage of occasional opportunities to teach tennis to young people, having received his United States Tennis Professional Association Certification in 2006.
Gabrielle Lauren Raymond ’06
In the fewer than five years since she graduated from Elon, Gabrielle Raymond has distinguished herself as a premier event planner and manager in New York City. Currently working in the cause marketing division of the Major League Baseball Commissioner’s Office, she manages initiatives for all 30 MLB teams involving the league’s major nonprofit partners, including the Jackie Robinson Foundation and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. She has worked on several high-profile events surrounding the annual MLB All Star Game, including the All Star Charity Concert, which has featured Jon Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow and Elvis Costello.
“Gabrielle looks at society’s ills and looks for ways to involve the corporate world in solving them,” wrote a nominator. To that end, in 2009, she lent her talents to the Stephen Siller Children’s Foundation, which she served as the inaugural gala chairwoman. The 2009 event, which honored former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, ex-NFL star George Martin and actor John Turturro, raised more than $140,000 for the pediatric unit of the NYC Firefighters Burn Hospital. She has since worked with the foundation’s annual Tunnels to Towers run and concert.
Seeking to engage fellow young professionals in New York City, Gabrielle founded NY Fresh Connections in May 2009. The nonprofit organization seeks to involve young adults in meaningful service through leadership, professional development and charitable events, such as frequent Habitat for Humanity service days throughout the city and a program cosponsored by designer Catherine Malandrino that raised more than $3,000 for the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program.
MacKenzie Marie Stroh ’07
In December 2010, the Greenville (Miss.) Arts Council promoted MacKenzie Stroh from director of operations to executive director, making her the youngest individual ever to hold the position. Yet the council had no reservations in placing such responsibility in MacKenzie’s hands, as she was no stranger to the council or the area.
MacKenzie first came to Mississippi after graduating from Elon as part of Teach for America. She taught visual arts at Madison Shannon Palmer High School in Marks, Miss., for two years, developing the curriculum for the school’s Art I and Art II courses. For her efforts, she was named Palmer High’s teacher of the month for May 2008. While teaching, she interned with the Greenville Arts Council as an arts education assistant. After working for a year at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pa., MacKenzie returned to the Mississippi Delta in 2010 to become the director of operations at the Greenville Arts Council. In her roles with the council, she has worked tirelessly to bring art to the local community, especially underserved populations, by coordinating gallery shows, organizing student art outreach programs in area schools and developing summer art programs for children.
When her term as executive director concludes, MacKenzie plans to pursue a master’s degree in arts administration with an eye toward continuing her career in educational policy. Outside of work, MacKenzie remains active in Teach for America as a recruiter and mentor for the Mississippi Delta region and participates in shows with the Delta Center Stage Community Theater.
Raymond Josef “R.J.” Yozwiak ’08
As an Elon senior, R.J. Yozwiak partnered with fellow Elon student and Top 10 Under 10 Award recipient Ian Baltutis ’08 to create The Vibration Solution, LLC, which designs, produces and sells vibration dampening coasters to reduce the structural noise of washing machines. The coasters, dubbed “Silent Feet,” won the grand prize award at the 2008 Evansville New Venture Creation Competition and the 2009 Reed Business Design News Golden Mousetrap Best Product Award. Over the past three years, R.J. has helped guide the company to 300 percent growth.
R.J. brings his entrepreneurial spirit and business development skills to bear as a channel sales executive with Tripp Lite Power Protection in Chicago. He manages more than 70 accounts that attributed for more than $3 million in annual revenue and is tasked with creating marketing initiatives to promote and sell Tripp Lite products. Before joining Tripp Lite in 2009, R.J. worked for The Ocean Agency, a boutique online marketing company based in Chicago. He helped grow the agency’s business and attract clients ranging from start-up entrepreneurs to multimillion-dollar corporations.
A proud Elon alumnus, R.J. has been an active member of the university’s Chicago Alumni Chapter, serving a term as its treasurer. He also volunteers with animal care at PAWS, Chicago’s largest no-kill shelter and humane adoption organization.