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Alumni Spotlight

Hometown: Rogers, AR

Degree(s) Obtained / Years Graduated from SAGU: BS in Accounting and Business Management; 2005 – 2008

Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in an Assemblies of God church and was active in the youth group and Royal Rangers program. I am an avid outdoorsman and adventure seeker, dad of twins plus one, husband to my high school sweetheart Adrienne. We are actively involved in our church and our community in Northwest Arkansas (Bentonville/Rogers), where we both grew up.

Q. How did your time at SAGU influence/ prepare you for what you are doing now? 

SAGU gave me the opportunity to experience being involved in several different activities and organizations simultaneously that demanded of my time and mental capacity and required me to work with and through others to accomplish goals. This included student congress through Phi Beta Lambda, student athletics (soccer), working as part of SAGU Media and, later, in the accounting department, participation in the annual Ethics Competition, and taking a heavy course load each semester from professors that expected a high level of performance. These experiences further developed my work ethic and professionalism and prepared me to succeed in a competitive and fast-paced work environment. 

Q: How did you know you wanted to be in your current field? 

I really stumbled into Accounting and Finance. I was unsure what I wanted to do when I started my college journey and went through several different major paths before finding an interest in business and an aptitude for Accounting. Once in the field though, it was clear that I had made a good choice; I enjoy the balance between the logic of numbers and the creativity of managing a business like retail in the evolving marketplace.

Q: Tell us a little about your respective role in your current career.

I currently lead the Finance team for Walmart Business, a startup Business-to-Business venture within Walmart, focused on saving businesses, nonprofits and government entities time, money and hassle so they can focus on their missions. My team supports all Finance aspects of the business, including long-range and annual planning, strategic support, forecasting, financial analytics and decision support, customer analytics, financial modeling and business case development, payments acceptance, and financial reporting.

Walmart Business is a startup initiative within a large enterprise, which comes with its own set of benefits and challenges. My team has a very broad scope, more so than most other Finance teams in Walmart, which is an exciting opportunity to work on a variety of topics and projects, exercising all of the Finance muscles at once. There are also constraints though, most notably that we work within the overall framework of Walmart and must work through rigorous processes and procedures that have been developed to ensure the larger enterprise effectively manages risk, prioritization, and business stability. Finding the balance between the speed and innovation of a startup and the stability and rigor of the large enterprise is always top of mind for me in this role.

I also stay active in the Accounting and Finance Development Program (through which I started my career at Walmart), helping to recruit, lead, train and mentor new accounting and finance professionals as they begin their career at Walmart. I have always enjoyed experiencing the energy and excitement of these young and high potential associates, and it’s rewarding to watch them grow through their careers, knowing I was able to contribute in small ways to their success.

Q: Tell us about a memorable/funny moment in your career.

There have been so many it’s difficult to narrow down! One of the coolest experiences I’ve had was a short-term assignment in our Hong Kong office, giving me the opportunity to not only work in a different culture, but also to explore the island in my personal time over the 6 weeks that I was there. Another memorable project was a Euro bond issuance that I supported during my time in Capital Markets. I had the responsibility of managing the currency and interest rate swaps that converted the current and future cash flows to USD denominations. That day started with a go/no-go call at 1AM and didn’t finish until we had all the paperwork buttoned up late that evening!

Q: How has SAGU left an impact on your life? 

One of the biggest impacts SAGU had on me personally was in forcing me to apply for an internship. I was resistant to taking a summer to do an internship (I was making more money over the summers working construction), but I had to have that internship in order to complete my degree requirements. That push led me to apply to an internship at Walmart, which ultimately led to the opportunity and career path that has brought me to today. I did not realize how big of an opportunity that created for me at the time, but without that internship, I would not be where I am today.

SAGU also taught me a lot about balance; balancing a rigorous course load with social time; balancing the demands and career focus of a business degree with the biblical and spiritual focus of a Bible college; balancing the need to succeed in the here-and-now tasks with planning for the future and preparing myself for life beyond school. I learned a lot about integrating and practicing my faith in all aspects of my life, whether directly through things like the ministries I choose to be involved with at my church, or indirectly through the way I handle myself in the workplace and the example I set for my team and those I work with. 

Q. What would you tell a current SAGU student today? 

  1. Get the most out of your college experience. Take advantage of every opportunity to get involved as you can. Don’t rush it; graduating a semester or two early likely won’t have a meaningful effect on your career or your personal life long-term.
  2. Complete internships. Preferably more than one. These go a long way towards setting you up for your career, not just in the experiences that you will gain but also (maybe more importantly) in the connections that you will create.
  3. Don’t miss out on the value of the spiritual development and instruction that you will receive during your time at SAGU. This is the perfect opportunity to make your faith your own, guided by the wisdom of Godly faculty and staff and developed through critical thinking and rigorous study. Ensure that you leave SAGU with a solid spiritual foundation, as there are many forces in the “real world” that will attack and seek to make you question that foundation.

About the University:

Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) is a private Christian university, established in 1927 by P.C. Nelson. SAGU is currently in the process of becoming Nelson University. The University is located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas, and offers more than 70 associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees on campus or online. For more information, visit or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.

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