- BS, University of California, Davis (Major: Economics; Minor: Communication)
- MBA, Arizona State
Kendra Wong began her professional career with PricewaterCoopers, LLP in their audit practice. Her experience at PwC exposed her to numerous industries, including venture capital and life science. Since leaving PwC, Kendra has worked in the ski resort, medical device, and power industries. Kendra maintains an active CPA license in California.
Although her educational foundation is in economics, Kendra’s professional concentration since 2001 has been in accounting and finance. She has extensive experience in general ledger accounting, SEC reporting, and SOX audits.
Kendra joined the Sierra Nevada College faculty as an adjunct in fall 2007, but has since expanded her role. She teaches accounting, finance, and general management courses and serves as a student academic advisor. Kendra was promoted to Business Department Chair in Fall 2013. Kendra has mentored business plan teams in the Jâlé and Warren Trepp Business Plan Competition at SNC and the statewide Governor’s Cup for the past three years. In 2013, Kendra was recognized as the Faculty Advisor of the Year by Nevada’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology.
Outside of the classroom, Kendra enjoys the outdoors just as much as her students do. Kendra is an avid skier during the winter and enjoys running, hiking, and biking during the summer. Kendra and her husband, Ethan, own the Wild Alaskan Restaurant and Bar in Incline Village.
- BSBA in Finance, University of Denver
- MBA, Northwestern University
A former Major League Baseball pitcher, Steve began his business career in 1990 with the Baseball Commissioner’s office as Vice-President of Market Development for MLB International, a position her served for 7 years. He played a major role as the company went from infancy to a multi-million dollar enterprise. He left MLBI in 1997 to lead the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. During his eight and a half year stint as President and CEO, the NAIA established the Champions of Character program which emphasizes positive personal development for all involved in athletics. In 2006, Steve left the sport industry joining Principal Financial as a registered representative and development director mentoring new and experienced agents. He retuned to intercollegiate athletics in 2010 as Commissioner of the Mid-South Conference, an NAIA conference with schools in 9 southern states.
Mr. Baker has served on the board of directors of the United States Olympic Committee and currently is in his 30th year as a board member of Guard Publishing Company based in Eugene, Oregon, a newspaper publisher and real estate company. He teaches economics, marketing, and entrepreneurship at Sierra Nevada College, as well as mentoring students in the Entrepreneurs Assembly.
- B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin
- PhD, University of California, Berkeley
- Executive Education, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management
Grace has over 20 years of experience in industry working for multinational companies in various functions including R&D, business development, marketing, and strategic planning. Part of her career was spent at SRI International where she played a significant role in launching venture-backed startup companies and managing cross-border alliances. She has also worked closely with the Silicon Valley venture capital community in placing management teams for early-stage ventures. As part of her volunteer work, she has mentored entrepreneurs in developing business models, market entry strategies, and product concepts. She has traveled extensively throughout the world for both business and adventure including climbing Kilimanjaro, one of the seven summits. She now teaches courses in Business Strategy, Management, and Marketing.
- BA, California State University, Long Beach
The 2012/13 winter season will mark Tim”s 34th year in mountain resort management. After 17 years as President & General Manager of Lake Tahoe”s Kirkwood, he purchased Sierra Summit outside of Fresno in 2010, bringing back the original name, China Peak, which first opened in 1958. Tim has been teaching ski business courses at Sierra Nevada College for the past decade, and is a guest lecturer in both business and recreation tourism at California State University, Fresno and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He has sat on over two dozen boards relating to the ski and mountain resort industry over the past three decades, and currently is a member of the California Ski Industry Association Board of Directors.
- BS Business Administration, San Diego State University
- MBA, University of Southern California
- Juris Doctorate, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.
Gire has worked for a wide array of entertainment enterprises, from independent start-ups to large multinational media companies, in both production and distribution capacities during his twenty-eight years in the entertainment business. Gire, a JD/MBA and active member of the California Bar, has held senior executive positions with Columbia Pictures Television, PolyGram Television, MGM/UA, Pearson International (now Fremantle Media, producer of American Idol), Fox Family Worldwide and, most recently, Sweden’s Modern Times Group (owner of the Survivor format). In 2006, Gire designed the curricula for and taught graduate-level Business Affairs and Intellectual Property for Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Mellon’s Masters in Entertainment Industry Management program. Gire teaches Business Law, Intellectual Property, Entrepreneurship and Corporate Finance for SNC, and runs a boutique law practice and small independent publishing company in Truckee, CA.
- BA, Arizona State
- MBA, Capella University
Shannon started off her career in television, working at the Phoenix ABC news affiliate, KNXV, where she conducted interviews with local celebrities, such as Senator John McCain, NBA-star Shawn Marion, and Attorney General Terry Goddard, as well as hosted an Emmy award-winning “Weather on Wheels” educational tool. Then, she became a publicist, working in luxury resorts, namely, The Phoenician and The St. Regis Aspen. During her time in public relations, she has secured media placements in top publications, such as Spa magazine, Food + Wine, Men’s Health, US magazine, and The Arizona Republic, among others. Shannon was previously the program manager of SNC’s Young Entrepreneurs Program, a mentorship-focused initiative for South African entrepreneurs to develop and launch their own companies. Shannon is now a fulltime assistant professor within the Business Department.
- BS, Business Administration, Arizona State University
- MS, National Security Strategy, National War College
- MBA, Arizona State University
- Certified Public Accountant.
Professor Lewellen is a retired senior Foreign Service Officer, having served with the Agency for International Development for over 25 years, and has worked extensively overseas in Africa and Asia, including long-term assignments in Indonesia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Ethiopia. She has had short-term assignments in South Africa, Namibia, and Cambodia as well, and has also taught courses in project management and administration in Kenya, Zambia, Afghanistan, Senegal, and Washington. Ms. Lewellen currently teaches classes in international studies and business.
Business & Entrepreneurship
BA, Political Science, University of California, Davis
MS, Advanced Business Management, Pace University
Doctor of Humane Letters, Sierra Nevada College.
Richard S. Normington (Rick) spent 30 years with Pacific Bell, AT&T, and Bell Laboratories in a wide variety of assignments in engineering, operations, sales and marketing, product development, corporate strategy, European business development, legal, and public-policy outreach. He is also a Certified Management Consultant, focusing principally on organizational effectiveness and process improvement. Rick joined the faculty of SNC as an adjunct in fall 2005 and accepted a full-time position in fall 2006. He has received several awards for teaching and academic service at multiple institutions, the Lael Berkstresser Award for Exceptional Executive Leadership in the private sector, was the NCET’s Faculty Advisor of the Year in 2011, and serves on the boards of several entrepreneurial and academic organizations.
- BA, Economics, Washington State University
- MBA, Portland State University
Stacy joins the Sierra Nevada College Business faculty after 25 years as a Sales Executive in the banking industry, including time with Bank of America and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. She has served as a consultant to the international banking community, including Van Fed and Bank of Ireland. During her banking career, she specialized in entrepreneurial ventures, including serving as the VP of Sales for a start-up bank. In the past she has been a licensed securities dealer and broker. She now teaches Economics, Money and Banking, and International Finance. Stacy is an avid world-wide traveler and serves as a consultant to many local non-profit groups.
- BA, University of Pennsylvania
- MBA, Columbia University
A lifelong entrepreneur, Rick Winfield began his career in the early days of the “dot-com boom,” gaining experience working for small entrepreneurial ventures, large companies (including Microsoft and AT&T), and venture funded startups.
Rick escaped to Mexico as the dot-com bubble burst and came back inspired to start his own venture. In 2001, he founded ComputerTrainingSchools.com, a pioneer in the .edu lead generation space. He bootstrapped the company and grew it until successful acquisition. Rick also co-founded Veskritec, Inc., an early venture accelerator.
Inspired by working with young entrepreneurs and a long-time advocate of what has become known as the “lean startup” methodology, Rick returned to school in 2012 to earn his MBA (studying with the grandfather of lean startup, Steve Blank).
Rick began teaching as an Adjunct Professor at Sierra Nevada College and the University of Nevada-Reno in 2014. He joined SNC full-time in the Fall of 2015. While Rick’s primary focus is entrepreneurship, he also teaches classes in marketing and finance.
In addition to teaching, Rick is an active angel investor and startup mentor who has lived in the Reno/Tahoe area for over ten years. An accomplished adventure skier, he has skied deep powder, steep couloirs, and big volcanoes on all seven of the world’s continents.