2000 - 2009

2000 - 2009

Apr -- rrb0135

Lindsey Ater
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2000

Lindsey has almost 10 years of experience in technology and solution sales and is currently a Territory Sales Representative with GoEngineer in the DFW area. She excels at prospecting to find new opportunities and earn new business, all while nurturing and maintaining existing accounts. With excellent communication skills and a keen attention to detail, Lindsey is well equipped and excited for all challenges that come her way!

Siraj Bose
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2000

After completing his degree, Siraj moved back to India to be a part of the emerging outsourcing (BPO) industry and has now completed 15+ years in the contact center industry. In 2010 he made the move back to the Dallas area and is currently the Assistant Vice President at Tata Consultancy Services where he manages a 750+ Customer Service and Collections relationship with one of the largest non-bank mortgage servicers in the US.

Julie Hicks
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2000

During her time in the hospitality program, Julie was an involved student and was a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. After graduating, she took a position with Hilton Worldwide as a National Sales Manager working for several years before becoming the Assistant Director of Sales for the Hilton DFW Lakes for four years. She currently is a Global Account Executive with Continuity Housing where she uses more than a decade of industry experience in the hospitality industry to plan and management events.

Brad Shinn
B.S. in Hospitality management, 2000

Brad Shinn is an Internal Audit Manager for ClubCorp, based in Dallas. He gained experience while attending UNT and after graduation accepted a hotel management position with La Quinta Inns and Suites. Within less than a year, the company recruited him as an Internal Auditor at La Quinta’s corporate office in Irving. Brad found that the Internal Audit position was just what he was looking for, as it offered the ability to travel to different hotels, evaluating the effectiveness of the locations’ internal controls. Brad further solidified his footing in the Internal Audit profession by obtaining his Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) professional designation in 2007. He has remained in the hospitality industry, which has always been his true passion.

He has held various Internal Audit positions with La Quinta Inns and Suites, Ashford Hospitality Trust, and ClubCorp. He also is a volunteer in the Employee Partner Care Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded to help ClubCorp employee partners in times of catastrophic need.

Charae (Wheatley) Swanson
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising Minor: Business Administration, 2000

I am a 2000 graduate with a Bachelors of Science degree in Fashion Merchandising with a minor in Business Administration. I have been working in corporate America for the last 16 years as an Inventory Analyst. I am currently an Inventory Analyst at Success Partners in Plano, Tx.

I reside in Carrollton with my husband of 11 years and our 6 year old twins Raegan and Robert. When I am not busy working and raising a family I enjoy spending quality time with family and friends.

Julie Lyn Anderson
B.S. Merchandising, 2000

She works for Peterbilt Motors in Denton. She is part of the Cost Savings group that works with engineering, purchasing and our suppliers to identify projects/parts that have savings potential towards total cost to build each truck.  

Tracy Hopkins
B.S. in Merchandising, 2000

First, she is a grandmother to a beautiful and perfect granddaughter - she is 6 months old!  She has a 7-year-old pug named Molly - another light of her life!!  She just celebrated her "10" year anniversary yesterday with Coach, Inc. and her co-workers had a celebration for her that was very special!  She loves Coach- “It is a wonderful company and I have learned so much there!  And, I started it all with you guys and the professional atmosphere you all showed us.”

Blythe Beck
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2001

While working on a degree in Hotel Restaurant Management at the University of North Texas, Blythe became passionate about culinary arts and fine dining. In this pursuit, she completed an internship at the acclaimed Mansion on Turtle Creek. Upon graduation, she accepted the coveted position of Apprentice to Master Chef Dean Fearing. During her four-year tenure at the Mansion, she moved quickly through the ranks, honing her skills and her determination to make her mark on the industry. In October, 2004, restaurateur Hector Garcia tapped Blythe to become sous chef at his new restaurant, Hector’s on Henderson. In January, 2006, she was promoted to executive chef. From there – in 2009 – Blythe accepted the position of executive chef at Central 214 in The Hotel Palomar, which at the time was Kimpton’s premier property in Dallas. While working at Central 214, The Naughty Kitchen with Chef Blythe Beck television project was filmed. It showcased Blythe’s belief in embracing who you are and living with a confident, positive focus. It was a non-scripted look behind the scenes at what it takes to make this happen. The show was purchased by the Oxygen Network as part of their “Living Out Loud” banner. The completed season garnered enthusiastic reviews and international appeal. In 2013, Blythe accepted a one-year consulting position for MovieLounge, an upscale, multi-use entertainment complex, designed for smaller markets. She was voted one of Arkansas’s Ten Most Fascinating People, and invited to participate in the prestigious American Heart Association’s Annual Wine Sale Charity Event in Washington, DC. Beck recently returned to one of her passions - cooking for a live audience – completing several episodes for the Paula Deen Network. She was also be featured on an episode of “Beat Bobby Flay – Season 3” on The Food Network, which aired during the 2014 holiday season. In May of 2015, Beck completed her second 4-month term as executive chef of one of Dallas’ most unique restaurant concepts, Kitchen LTO, in Trinity Groves. She is now chef/owner of Dallas’ new southern darling, Pink Magnolia, in Oak Cliff.

Daton Lee
M.S. in Merchandising, 2002; B.S. in Fashion Merchandising, 1999

Daton attended UNT in 1997 after finishing his junior and sophomore years in a community college. After completing his B.S. in Fashion Merchandising, Daton became the first graduate student in our new joint MS/MBA Program. After completing his study, Daton moved to New York City before returning to Asia in 2003.

In the past 12 years, Daton’s career took him to different cities of China, such as Dongguan and Shanghai, before he returning to Hong Kong in 2010. Currently, he is the General Manager of Pepe Jeans (HK) Limited, responsible for the P&L of the company. The company is a buying office with a focus in the sourcing and production of apparel items under the Pepe Jeans Brand.

Daton is always grateful that he got an opportunity to get back to school. And, his UNT education helped paved the path for his success. He is certainly looking forward to visiting the campus and faculty members in the near future.

Marissa Zorola
B.S. & M.S. in Merchandising, 2002

Marissa Zorola is a Senior Lecturer in merchandising at UNT. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in merchandising and proudly considers herself “a product of CMHT”. As a graduate student, Marissa discovered that teaching could join two of her great interests: students and the apparel industry. She served as faculty advisor to Merchandising Inc. for over nine years. Under her guidance, Merchandising Inc. raised over $25,000 to endow the Jaime Regen Merchandising Inc. Scholarship. She managed the New York Study Tour for five years, and is now faculty leader for the Hong Kong – Beijing Study Tour. As the faculty leader, Marissa has enjoyed learning alongside her students and watching their classes come alive while visiting factories, ports, and more. When she’s not working with students, Marissa enjoys spending time with her family and participating in long-distance running events.

Molly Parker
B.S. in Merchandising , 2003

Molly really enjoyed her time at UNT, where the education she received helped her in her career and the professors did a wonderful job connecting the students with the industry. After completing her internship, she started her career as an Assistant Buyer at Dillard’s. She worked for Dillard’s for six years before being recruited to Sports Authority in Denver, CO where she took on the role of Director of eCommerce Merchandising. Working for Sports Authority expanded her knowledge of merchandising, because she was over completely new categories. Her background was purely fashion while she was at Dillard’s, but at Sports Authority, she managed the hardlines division, which included all hardgoods. After nearly two years, she was recruited to be Women’s Apparel Buyer at Overstock.com in Salt Lake City, UT. She was excited to get back into fashion and for the opportunity to work for a billion dollar pure-play eCommerce site. Molly has been with Overstock.com for over 2 ½ years. Although she began in merchandising, she moved to the marketing department managing online creative across the website and external marketing platforms (email, display ads, commercials, etc). Her merchandising background is a huge asset, and she is very thankful she chose the merchandising program at UNT.

Reagan Fendrick Rybolt
B.S. Hospitality Management , 2003

After successfully attaining her degree, Reagan joined the ClubCorp team as a Private Events Assistant at the Stonebriar Country Club in Frisco, TX. After years spent in management roles at both the Stonebriar and Oakmont Country Clubs, Reagan is now the Regional Director of Private Event Sales with ClubCorp in the DFW area.

Chantel Terrell
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising , 2003

Chantel Terrell is the Director of Production for the Kate Hudson brand Fabletics. 10 years ago Chantel moved to Los Angeles, California from Dallas, TX to develop a premium denim line from conception. Since then, she has worked for a variety of high-fashion apparel and denim companies such as William Rast, Jean Mart Inc., Lucky Brand, Diesel and Genetic Denim. While at William Rast she served as the coordinator for domestic and China production. At Jean Mart, a domestic denim factory in LA employing up to 500 people, she served as the in-house production manager handling the Lucky Brand, Diesel and Genetic Denim accounts. This allowed Chantel to gain a vast experience in pre-production, wash development, factory floor management and quality control. Working on both the corporate and factory level has exposed her to different sides of the industry and provided a wealth of knowledge. For the past three years, Chantel has been working with Kate Hudson’s new activewear brand, Fabletics. As one of the founding members of the team, Chantel has worked her way from a Production Coordinator to her current role of Director. At Fabletics, she manages her team in the production of 10+ million a year in global inventory for this fast-paced e-commerce apparel company. Administering production of nearly 700K units each month, Chantel has been given the opportunity to travel to China, Taiwan, El Salvador Mexico, Guatemala, Mauritius and Lesotho to visit factories and oversee the production process.

Hye-Young Kim
M.S. in Merchandising, 2003

Associate Professor and Program Director, Retail Merchandising Program, College of Design, University of Minnesota

Sunny Punjani
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2003

Since graduating, he still resides in San Antonio and is a franchisee of Little Caesars Pizza.  He has had tremendous growth since his start in 2005 as a franchisee.  He is now at 13 Locations soon to be 15 before the years ends.  2015 was an amazing year as he had his first kids, yes kids, blessed with identical twin girls!  He also won the Presidents Award from Little Caesar’s pizza which is the highest honor as a franchisee that you could receive.

Ashly Westbrook
B.S. in Home Furnishings Merchandising, 2003

Upon graduation, she immediately jumped into the Real Estate industry.  She’s currently approaching 10 years in residential real estate and working at the largest Keller Williams office in DFW.  As Malcolm Gladwell states, it takes 10,000 times or the equivalent of 10 years to become an expert.

In October of 2014, The Westbrook Realty Group became a reality.  Locally, they service Dallas, Denton, Collin, Tarrant and Rockwall counties, but Keller Williams is located throughout the state of Texas and has expanded into various markets across the United States.  In October of 2015, she was named “Rock Star” of the month in our office of 540+ agents.  This recognition by her peers was unexpected, but was both an honor and a surprise!

John Reno
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2003

John has been with Whataburger Restaurants since 1998 (worked in the restaurants during his time at UNT 1999-2003) and worked in operations up to 2005, then moved into the corporate office. Since then, he has worked in many departments, learning all the facets of the business, from IT to M&A. Currently, John is the Chief of Staff for Restaurants. His responsibilities include: Strategy development, performance management, field maintenance services company, training and the internal university, internal call center, customer care, incident and crisis management, equipment research and development, and project execution. He also works with the franchise community on a regular basis.

Lizzie Moody
B.S. in Home Furnishings Merchandising, 2003

Lizzie (Appleton) Moody graduated in December of 2003 with a BS in Home Furnishings Merchandising. She worked at Tuesday Morning Headquarters and most recently Peacock Alley Corporate in Dallas. She is the new Senior Buyer at Erwin Distributing Co. They operate 27 party stores in Texas (1 Oklahoma) known as Wally’s Party Factory.

Mandi Hitchcock
B.S. in Merchandising , 2004

Mandi had been working for the Zale Corporation as an Assistant Buyer in Irving, TX for 2 years before becoming an Assistant Buyer with the Home Shopping Network. She worked with their offices in Saint Petersburg, FL until 2013 when she moved back to Houston, which is where she currently is, to become the Buyer for rings and earrings at Charming Charlie.

Andria Jackson
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising , 2004

Andria started her merchandising career with Zale Corporation as an Assistant Buyer in the jewelry industry. Her next career move was to Associate Buyer at Bag’n Baggage buying travel accessories and custom designs. Later she worked as a Jr. Account Manager for Hannah Rose, a jewelry company on the vendor side. She worked directly with factories overseas to produce products. She later moved to Michaels Arts and Crafts in the Product Development Department, and began travelling in Asia. She currently is leading the Product Development department at Value Vinyls as the Senior Product Development Manager.

Lindsey Overby
B.S. in Merchandising and Digital Retailing , 2004

During her time in the Merchandising program, Lindsey was an active member of Merchandising Inc., played Intermural sports through the recreation center, and was a Marketing Assistant for the master-planned golf course community of Lantana, TX. After graduating, she became Merchandiser/Event Coordinator of the Firewheel Golf Club in Garland, TX. She bought apparel for their two professional golf shops and was responsible for successfully planning and coordinating multiple golf tournaments and social events. Lindsey then became Account Executive with Elie Tahari in New York City, where she managed 30 specialty store and department store accounts. She later returned to Texas as an eCommerce Merchandiser for jcp.com and focused on managing the Men’s Division online. Currently, Lindsey is a Global Merchandise Manager for Fossil.com for watches and jewelry.

Natalie Roberts
M.S in Merchandising, 2004

She is a 2004 Merchandising graduate. After graduation, she worked at Terry Costa as their Assistant Accessories Buyer. She later opened a Financial Planning business specializing in real estate alongside her husband. They were able to help thousands across America gain financing and earn a living in the real estate business. In 2013, they sold that business and opened their own award winning brewery, 903 Brewers. Their product can be found in restaurants and retailers everywhere between Austin, Tyler, and DFW. They are currently working on an expansion that will enable them to nearly triple our production. She may not be in the direct retail business, but the planning, buying, and design skills she learned have been invaluable.

Rosa Malave
B.S./M.S. in Hospitality Management , 2005/2007

Rosa is at Senior Lecturer in the Hospitality & Tourism at UNT. She has held management and sales positions with La Madeleine French Bakery and Restaurant, as well as Coco Lopez. As an educator for over six years, she utilizes her passion for hospitality in her full-time teaching position at the University of North Texas. For four years, she also served as Career Coordinator for the HTM Department. Known for her enthusiasm and commitment to student success, Malave enjoys teaching and creating opportunities for her students.

A native of Puerto Rico, Rosa moved to Arlington, Texas in August 1999 and is the youngest of five children. Today, Mrs. Malave encourages people to follow their dreams, no matter the challenges. “A winner is a dreamer, who never gives up.” – Nelson Mandela

Jacqueline Philbin
M.S. in Merchandising , 2005

Jacqueline was an Assistant Buyer in the NYC area for Decorative Accessories and Lighting and was a Sr. Assistant Buyer for Bloomingdale’s. After successfully attaining her M.S. in Merchandising degree, she was recruited as a Buyer for Bed Bath and Beyond. She worked there for three years and was responsible for more than $100million annually across multiple departments such as men’s and ladies gift and office organization. Her next adventure led her to work with Polo Ralph Lauren as their Director of Sales for Ralph Lauren Home where she managed the RL bedding and bath businesses for Macy’s, Macys.com, and The Bon Ton. She was promoted to Senior Director of Sales for the Ralph Lauren Home division. Jacqueline is also a member of the National Association of Professional Women and enjoys staying connected with others in her field.

Emily Slaughter
B.S. in Home Furnishings Merchandising , 2005

At UNT, Emily completed an internship with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia working on the product development team for the Kmart line. After her internship, she became the Editorial Assistant for the Home, Decorating and Collecting departments supporting the Editorial Directors with photo shoots, interior design projects, events, etc. After graduating from UNT in 2005, she moved to New York City to launch her career within the home industry. After two years with Martha Stewart Living, she went to Conde Nast Publications. She spent a year with domino magazine within the Decoration and Renovation departments. Her next career opportunity was as Visual Merchandising Designer for Kravet showrooms and then on to Gilt Groupe in 2009 with merchant responsibilities launching multiple sites and managing multiple categories. At the time when she joined Gilt, there was not a Home site, and the company was still very much in its startup infancy. As a key member of the team, she helped launch the home site in 2009, then gourmet food and wine in 2011. After 4 years with the company and 8 years in New York City, Texas was calling her home, and she moved back to Dallas in 2013. When she returned, she was recruited by former Gilt colleagues to be the Buyer for a new wedding registry site, Zola.com, which they launched in October 2013. In 2014, she joined the Zale Corporation as a Merchant for Ecommerce managing multiple categories. At UNT, Emily was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.

April Zuniga
B.S. in Hospitality Management , 2005

In addition to her Hospitality Management, April minored in Business Foundations and was active in Eta Sigma Delta honors society. After graduation, she accepted a position with the Omni Hotels & and has worked at the Barton Springs, Downtown, and Southpark locations in the Austin area. She currently is the Director of Rooms Division for the Omni Houston Hotel and is enjoying learning how she can grow that aspect of the company.

Lindsey Johnson
B.S in Merchandising, 2005

Lindsey Johnson is currently a Store Team Leader at Target. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she completed an Executive Internship at Target and gained some valuable leadership experience. Upon graduation she joined the Target team as an Executive Team Leader over Guest Experience in Euless, TX. After her first assignment, she moved to Dallas, TX and became the Softlines Executive where she quickly found her passion for people, development, and of course merchandising.  Lindsey currently runs the West Fort Worth Target where she continues to develop a highly successful and engaged team. During her time at UNT she participated in Merchandising Inc. and went on the Hong Kong Study Abroad program.  She was also honored as the Outstanding Senior in Merchandising and Outstanding Student Leader.

Demetrio Zepeda
B.S in Merchandising, 2005

After graduating from UNT in 2005 with a BS in Merchandising, I had been working at Disney World doing product research for their category planning department. I left that job to teach English in Japan. I wanted to pursue my desire for world travel, so while in Japan, I would consolidate my days off and travel around Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

After a year and half of teaching and traveling as a tourist would, I decided I wanted to continue traveling and left to Europe, on the way stopping to visit India and Egypt.

Arriving in Italy, I took a temp job teaching English and hit a pivotal moment in my life, when that job was over; I had no job and nowhere to be. It was both fearful and perhaps the most liberating experience I have had. I decided to backpack north to Scandinavia and west Europe. I continued to travel as a backpacker for a year and a half taking a variety of jobs from managing a hostel in Ireland to spinning fire on the streets of Denmark, to waiting tables in Malta.

Eventually I came back to the US to take care of family matters. After that and a little more travel around the continental US, I found myself working for a sweater designer in New York. I found New York life to be unsatisfactory and left for Boston to concentrate on my meditation studies I had taken up after returning to the US.

After that, I decided to continue to travel and this time head south toward Antarctica via South America thus touching ground on all 7 continents. This took 2 years. The return trip from Antarctica was yet another pivotal moment when I decided that a person could spend their whole life traveling and still not see everything there is to witness in this curious world. Traveling began to lose its novelty and I decided to engage in something more meaningful.

Having returned to the states, I looked to deepen my meditation studies and practice further and now live and work as the Guest Services Manager at the Shambhala Mountain Center in the Rocky Mountains.

I have taken vows to dedicate my life to the benefit of others and find that the pursuit of working tirelessly to bring about a better world is how I choose to spend my time amongst the infinite choices life has to offer.

Nick Argentiero
B.S. in Hospitality Management , 2006

After graduating from the Hospitality Management program, Nick focused on managing an Olive Garden Restaurant in the DFW area for several years before moving to the Costa Mesa, CA area. There he joined the Season’s 52 team as an Assistant Managing Partner. Currently, Nick is still with the Season’s 52 company and holds the position of Managing Partner at the City Centre area of Houston, TX.

Sharisse Colon
B.S. in Hospitality Management , 2006

At UNT, Sharisse was a dedicated student and, active member of Eta Sigma Delta, and a Student Ambassador for UNT. After graduating, she was recruited by the Omni Hotels and Resorts for the Leader in Development Management Training Program in the Austin, TX area. After spending numerous years with the Omni, Sharisse currently works as an Associate Consultant at Ryan in Austin, TX.

Amanda Lingle
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising , 2006

Amanda work in retail to further develop her communication skills, product knowledge, and client development. She was involved in Merchandising Inc. and was a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority. After graduating, she accepted a position with Staff Care, a medical staffing company and started a career in business development as a Medical Staffing Consultant. After 5 years in business development, she moved to The Delta Companies where she could pursue a hybrid role of business development as well as account management. In her first 3 months at Delta she was nominated for Rookie of the Quarter, and within 30 months qualified for Platinum Club; which was the fastest ramp up for a marketing representative in company history. She will be promoted into a Principal Marketing Consultant role this year and has aspirations for continued growth within The Delta Companies as well as developing new hires within the marketing roles.

Berkeley K Stone-Simmons 
B.S. in Merchandising, 2007

Upon completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Merchandising at the University of North Texas Berkeley entered the fashion arena as an Assistant Buyer at Dillard’s Forth Worth Divisional Buying Office. She would be promoted to the Junior Collections Buyer. As the Junior Collections buyer, sales in the Junior Collections Department had its first increase in three years.

Berkeley married her college sweetheart, Captain Stephen B. Simmons (USMC), in December 2008. With his occupation as an Active Duty Marine his career called for a move late Fall 2010 and the two packed up and moved down south to New Orleans, LA. Berkeley transferred to a store and became the Visual Merchandising Manager of Dillard’s Lakeside, which is a top volume and profitability stores in all of Dillard’s.  Her greatest accomplishment during this period was having the opportunity to be involved in New Orleans very first Fashion Week. Berkeley not only styled the Dillard’s portion of Fashion Week NOLA but had a chance to participate in the first ever Fashion Week NOLA Spring 2012 Student Fashion Symposium and Career Day as a guest speaker in which she gave a presentation to college students from all across Louisiana who were interested in pursuing a career in fashion.

In the fall of 2012, Berkeley waved goodbye to the south and moved to the state of Michigan. Berkeley accepted a Sales Account Manager position with Nygard International – who is a private label for Dillard’s.  In the Fall of 2014, she and her husband welcomed their firstborn son, William “Liam” Alexander Stone Simmons, into this world. The family has since relocated back to Fort Worth and resides in the area.

Ryan Ethridge
B.S. in Hospitality Management , 2007

Ryan started his career with the Gaylord Entertainment Company and currently works as the Assistant General Manager of Food & Beverage at the Gaylord Hotel. With over 15 years as a hospitality professional and over 10 years with a leading upscale lodging brand, it is his utmost desire to continue to grow as a respected leader within the hospitality industry based on his diverse experience, relevant education, and unique ability to work with others to achieve the foremost levels of guest and associate satisfaction.

Kasey Luithle
B.S. in Hospitality Management , 2007

Kasey was an active member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, SMHM Ambassadors and the Club Managers Association of America while she pursued her degree in hospitality management. She landed an internship at the Dallas Country Club at the beginning of the Fall 2007 semester and continued working there for a year before taking a new position as the Catering Sales Manager at the Sheraton DFW Airport hotel. With her new position she successfully established a client base of individuals, organizations and corporate businesses through both outside and inside sales efforts. Currently, Kasey is now the Social Catering Sales Manager at the Sheraton Arlington Hotel.

Rebekah Markeson
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising , 2007

Rebekah worked as an Assistant Manager at the Gap where she refined her management and visual merchandising skills while going to school at UNT. After graduating she spent four years with Target as an Executive Team Leader where she learned a lot about the company and retail management. In 2012 she accepted a position as the Director of Recruitment with Bayside Search Group, which is where she currently works. Her specialties are in staffing and recruiting for the retail industry, specifically buying, merchandising, and product development.

Meghan Smith
B.S. in Hospitality Management , 2007

Before graduating she worked her way up to manager of The Greenhouse Restaurant where she experienced all aspects of the hospitality management including cooking, catering, and menu selection. After graduating, Meghan worked for Event Builders for several years as a Project Coordinator where she worked closely with high-profile clients to organize and plan non-profit events locally and nationally. She also spent time as a Production Assistant and Onsite Manager for NBC’s America’s Got Talent and Bravo’s Top Chef. She got her start at her current position in George P. Johnson Experience Marketing as an Event Logistics Manager. She is their Project Manager in Austin, TX where she oversees the planning, implementation, and tracking of large format projects and events.


Mary Lou Villa
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising/Business , 2007

Mary Lou currently manages over a $1,000,000 Woman’s Runway collection Prorsum, Burberry London, and Brit in Dallas, where her responsibilities vary from styling a customer head to toe to developing reports. She found the E-Passport course and the consumer-focused courses especially beneficial in her position. One of the best aspects of the program was professors that were committed to student learning. They were available and approachable. Mary Lou stated, “Our curriculum was stimulating and provided diverse subjects in financial, visual arts, and business/retail theory”.

Jessica “Williams” Pace
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising, 2007

While attending UNT, she participated in the Hong Kong/ China study abroad trip in 2005 and it became the most memorable experience of her college career. She began her career as Tech Prep coordinator for Panola College and Kilgore College in East Texas, where she promoted numerous technical programs through marketing promotions and developed and maintained relationships with the surrounding areas 38 school districts. 

In 2011, she became the Store Manager for Panola College Store where she managed all aspects of the store, including textbooks, apparel, supplies, and electronics. During that time, she also implemented Panola College Boutique, a POS system, and created an online store front. Under her management, Panola College Store was published three times in national publications in the college store industry for innovative and profitable endeavors. 

In 2014, she accepted the position of Director of Institutional Advancement at Panola College. She manages all development areas for the College including the Panola College Foundation, the Alumni Association, marketing and public relations.

Additionally, she has been an adjunct instructor for Panola College for the past six years instructing office professional and kinesiology yoga courses.

Cynthia Goudeau
M.S. in Merchandising, 2007

Cynthia Goudeau graduated from UNT with a Master of Science degree in Merchandising in 2007. In 2014, she earned her doctorate in Human Sciences with a Merchandising concentration from Oklahoma State University. Her research interests include consumer behavior, sustainability, and student development. Over the last decade, she has assumed several roles inside and outside of the higher education classroom. Her experience includes teaching, advising, recruiting, and mentoring diverse student populations. In her current position, she overseas assessment efforts for the Division of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Kansas.

Erich Gosch
B.S. in Merchandising , 2008

During his time at UNT, Erich was an active member of the National Honor Society. Currently, he’s pursuing an MBA at UT-Dallas in Finance and is working as a Senior Manager in Risk Management for Elevate.

Sherene Kutach
B.S. in Home Furnishings Merchandising , 2008

In 2007, Sherene fulfilled her internship requirements as a manager at Francesca’s®. After four years of operating at the field level, she was able to parlay her management and organizational experience into a corporate position and relocated to Houston as the Direct to Consumer and Customer Service Manager. With her level of field expertise and in conjunction with her educational background, Sherene was recruited to develop the Remodel Program overseeing the existing store portfolio. UNT was instrumental in the foundation for Sherene’s career path. Sherene is currently working as the Construction Manager of Remodels for francesca’s®, and has personally worked on 100 store remodels to date. She is excited that francesca’s® is going into the Golden Triangle Mall in Denton, Texas, as it will give her a chance to visit the UNT campus.

Caitlan Lochridge
B.S. in Merchandising , 2008

While attending UNT, Caitlan participated in the Hong Kong/China study abroad trip, received the award for Outstanding Merchandising Senior and graduated Summa Cum Laude. After graduating, she worked as wardrobe stylist and visual merchandiser before packing her bags and moving to NYC. With two pieces of luggage and a one-way ticket, she left Texas and headed for the bright lights and high energy of the city. It was a good experience, but she headed back to Dallas and a job with Neiman Marcus. Next, she joined the management team at Madewell Northpark and discovered a passion for retail operations. In 2014, she accepted a position as Store Director of Madewell Santana Row in San Jose, California.

Mary Mahan
B.S. in Home Furnishings Merchandising , 2008

While earning her degree, Mary gained retail experience and was also a member of Merchandising Inc. After graduating, she began her career with Fossil as part of their Customer Care Support Team and later was promoted to Assistant Planner for Women’s Leather. She brings with her six years of customer service experience and a diverse background that includes retail planning, inventory management, and merchandising techniques.

Eric Norman
B.S. Hospitality Management; M.S. in International Sustainable Tourism , 2008/2012

Eric Norman’s time at UNT started in 2004 when he enrolled in the Hospitality Management program with the intent to one day own his own restaurant. He served as a college ambassador, leading tours and introducing potential students to the degrees offered in the college. During the summer of his sophomore year Eric went on a study abroad program to New Zealand and became interested in the relationship between tourism and conservation. After interning at the San Francisco Airport Marriott and taking a job at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. When the M.S. in International Sustainable Tourism (MIST) was launched, he knew it was a perfect fit for his goals. After completing the last year of the degree in Costa Rica, he accepted a position with the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), married Joanna, a fellow UNT-graduate, and they made their home in the town of Turrialba. Their time surrounded by such beautiful landscapes, and a slower pace of life, gave the couple lots of time to think about the life they wanted to live, and they decided to pursue a plan Eric had long considered something he would do only after retirement - making shoes. Currently, Eric is continuing his education as a shoemaker’s apprentice at a small shop in Flint, Michigan. Eric feels fortunate to have attended UNT, not only because it is where he met his wife, but also because it is here he was exposed to perspectives different from his own, and developed many of the characteristics that drive him forward.

Kyndil Ryan
B.S. in Hospitality Management , 2008

During Kyndil’s time at UNT she was an active member of the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority, Order of Omega, Rho Lambda, and Eta Sigma Delta., the honors society for Hospitality Management. After completing a design internship with Cosmopolitan Events and receiving her degree, she was the Guest Relations Coordinator at the Four Seasons Hotel where she built positive relationships with incoming guests and functioned as the liaison between all the departments. She currently is working for the Robert Half Office Team at their Dallas location as their Division Director.

Ashley Longbotham Ramos
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2008

Completed her internship with Norwegian Crusielines America, after working in Hawaii on the Pride of America for 7 months, she went to work with IHG at a resort in Phoenix in guest services for a year.  Relocated to Savannah, Georgia to work with Hyatt for 5 years, beginning in guest services and moving into accounting for the last three years.  In 2014, she relocated to Alexandria, Virginia to work with Kimpton. She is the Assistant Director of Finance for two Kimpton Hotels, Hotel Monaco Alexandria & Morrison House in Alexandria, Virginia, and she is working on her MBA with a focus in accounting through Columbia College with an expected graduation date of April 2017.  She’s hoping to move with Kimpton to more beautiful locations!

Adam Zachary
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2008

Adam Zachary owns the awarding winning restaurant, Lakeside Craft Kitchen in Denton, Texas. He graduated from UNT's College of Merchandising, Hospitality, and Tourism in 2008. His first business venture, The Milestone, was a pathbreaking wedding venue where superlative customer service constituted the baseline standard for operation. The Milestone was so successful that he opened a second location in Aubrey in 2015. In 2017, Adam sold this business to open Lakeside Craft Kitchen where he is now evolving as a chef, event planner, and service manager. One of the most important lessons he learned at UNT is that if you want to be truly successful, you need to balance disciplined book learning with real time experience that pushes your creative limits.

Megan Burnett
B.S. in Merchandising , 2009

Megan’s career began at Dillard’s Direct as an Assistant Buyer. She worked closely with a Ready-to-Wear Apparel Buyer for just over a year before being promoted to the Contemporary and Bridge Women's Apparel Buyer position. The next three years she travelled to New York and LA to meet with vendors to develop and manage assortments for the e-commerce site. In 2013, moved tot Pier 1 to an analytical position with their merchandising team. As a Merchandise Planner, Megan works closely with a Buyer and Allocator for the Throw and Curtains departments managing the open-to-buy and forecasting product to make the best strategic decisions for the business. She’ll always be grateful to Ms. Dee Wilson, her internship instructor at UNT, for guiding her and helping her find the perfect career path.

Sara Button
B.S. in Merchandising , 2009

After graduation, Sara found work as a Visual Manager at Dillard's before joining Bath and Body Works as store manager. In 2013, she was recruited JCPenney for the buying teams in the home division. At the same time, she volunteered as the Content Director for the music festival 35 Denton. Reigniting her passion for writing and blogging, she soon found a perfect fit at EZLynx, a software company in Lewisville, where she currently works as a Content Manager.

Ashley Featherston
B.S. in Merchandising , 2009

Ashley travelled America the summer after graduation, visiting the scenic landscapes of Santa Fe, the calming Ozark Mountains, and soulful New Orleans. Free to explore without schedules or commitments, Ashley found her own inner strength; and, just as importantly, discovered her love of feathers. Ashley returned home and began wearing feathers in her hair, and making feather earrings which later led to starting her own business. Using business expertise she garnered from her visual merchandising, and marketing studies at UNT, TheFeatherJunkie.com was born. Ashley personally handles every aspect of the business: from design, to daily operations and marketing, to web design and social media. TheFeatherJunkie.com was featured in magazines such as La Mode Dallas, and Cassidy and Disfunkshion; and blogs including NBC DFW, Pirates and Ponies, The Numinous, Horses and Heels, The Cult of Style, and Nonsense and Sensibility.

Bridget Goodenbour
B.S. in Merchandising , 2009

Bridget Goodenbour is a proud alumnus of the University of North Texas. While enrolled between 2005- 2009 Bridget worked tirelessly both in and out of school to gain the experience she needed to apply to her career upon graduation. Sometimes this meant working 2-3 positions at a time in addition to advancing her degree, however, Bridget embraced the workload. Some of her roles included a position as the marketing and events manager for a large beverage corporation, a Cosmetics Counter Manager within Macy’s, and the position that gave her her start: Shop Manager for BCBGMAXAZRIA’s wholesale division based out of Dallas Galleria. In her two years with BCBGMAXAZRIA, Bridget executed two fashion shows in partnership with the Westin Galleria Dallas with over 1000 attendees, achieved exposure for the brand in Envy Magazine and on the local news station, received an award for Best Shop Manager in the company, and was offered a multi-unit role with the company in Houston. Bridget declined, instead choosing to join the number one eyewear company in the world, Luxottica Retail, as a Regional Trainer for Sunglass Hut. At Sunglass Hut, Bridget oversaw the training of 28 full line, kiosk, and outlet stores in the Dallas area and East and West Texas. She was responsible for the sourcing, hiring, and development of new and existing store staff relating to product knowledge, visuals, sales, and customer service. During her time at Sunglass Hut, her region was ranked #1 in the company. After two years with Sunglass Hut, Bridget received her dream position with Michael Kors as the Recruiter for the Midwest and South Central Regions where she has overseen the full life cycle recruitment process for the Retail Development division for the last three years.

Gilpatrick Hornsby, Ph.D.
B.S. in Hospitality Management , 2009

During his time at UNT, Gilpatrick was very involved in the hospitality program and was part of the MEECS Society, NSMH, and was President of the SMHM Ambassadors. He is grateful for being selected as student assistant for Chef Duryea, Chef Baldwin, and Mrs. Kniatt, conducting research with Dr. Kennon, and enjoyed planning career fairs with Mrs. Wilson. His work experience includes hospitality, event planning, catering and university dining industries. After earning his B.S. degree at UNT, he earned both a M.S. in Hospitality Administration and his Ph.D. in Human Sciences at Oklahoma State University. Currently, Dr. Hornsby is an Assistant Professor at James Madison University.

Brittany Roberson
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2009

Brittany completed an internship with the Great Wolf Lodge where she refined her hospitality and customer service skills. After graduating, Brittany joined the Wyndham Hotel Group as a Quality Assurance and Conversions Consultant with responsibility for unannounced inspections, de-identification properties and photo presentations for brand reviews. After working for the Wyndham Group and Hilton Worldwide, she joined World Ventures. Along with starting a new job, Brittany focused on becoming a Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) through the CTA Program. Brittany prides herself on being a customer service focused professional who is driven to assist properties in reaching their full potential while ensuring that overall guest satisfaction is achieved at each hotel. The guest experience is always her number one priority.

Emily Sturrock
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2009

During her time at UNT, Emily was a member of Eta Sigma Delta, the hospitality honor society, the North Texas Wakeboard Team, and a Teaching Assistant with the opportunity to teach Food Preparation. Emily started her career in management positions with companies like Consolidated Restaurant Operations and the Horseshoe Bay Resort where she has managed restaurants, yacht clubs, and banquet facilities. Her current position as Account Executive with GoVision in the DFW area is client based. She researches new businesses and works closely with them to provide the best quality Mobile LED Screens/Event Video equipment while providing exceptional customer service.

Whitney Sulak
B.S. in Merchandising, 2009

During her time at UNT, Whitney was a member of Merchandising Inc., a student organization. She started her career as an Assistant Buyer at Dillard’s and was quickly promoted to a Women’s Shoe Buyer for the Ecommerce area. After several years at Dillard’s, Whitney is now at Pier 1 Imports as a Merchandise Planner.

Tamara (Roberson) Jennings
M.S. in Merchandising, 2009

Tamara (Roberson) Jennings graduated in 2009 with a Master of Science Degree in Merchandising. 

From 2009-2016 Tamara worked for Zale Corporation where she held positions in both Merchandising and the Sourcing Departments. Her most recent role was in the Sourcing Department, where she was the Sourcing Manager for Solitaire Jewelry, 3-Stone Rings, Gents Rings, and Wedding Bands. Tamara enjoys spending time with her husband Bryon and 3 year old son Cameron.  She and her husband are expecting their 2nd son in July of 2016.