This year, the MSU Denver Alumni Association honored the top 10 Alumni of the past 10 years, and an Alumni Philanthropist of the Year. Read about the awardees below and see photos from the event on our Flickr Page.
10 Under 10 Awardees
Nominee: Anne O'Neill
Graduation Year: 2007
Major: Hospitality, Meetings, & Travel Administration
Employer: OES Management, LLC
Position: Owner, Chief Strategist
Anne has created a non-profit management company that has grown in the last 4 years to a full service company with 4 employees. She holds certifications of CMP, CAE and DES (digital event strategist). She served as Rocky Mountain PCMA President and on National PCMA Committees. Additionally, Anne has chaired the Convention Industry Council Committee on Event Technology.
Anne's career is focused on nonprofit management, fundraising and growth for organizations making the world a better place. She obtained the training and credentials to provide respite care to developmentally and physically challenged adults. She champions charitable causes, inner city schools, the arts, girl empowerment. She works with the Gilpin School Theatre Department supporting the Arts in inner city schools and supports Canine Partners of the Rockies.
Anne continues to serve MSU Denver by being a guest speaker every semester since her graduation. She also served on several panels for students (PCMA) and 2 years as an advisor to the Student Chapter of PCMA. She hires interns from MSU, volunteers at various events and served on the Alumni Association Board. Anne also continues to be an Affiliate Faculty member at MSU where she has developed and teaches a class on Event Technology.
Nominee: Dillon Barkman
Grad Year: 2014
Major: Sports Industry Operations
Employer: Gold Crown Foundation
Position: Facilities Assistant Director
Dillon is a valuable asset to the Gold Crown Foundation as an emerging professional and successfully coordinates over half a million guests to the facility each year. He serves as a liaison between the Gold Crown Foundation and many community organizations such as Jeffco Adaptive Athletics, Easter Seals, All West Native American Tournament, Denver Rolling Nuggets, GCFH Clubhouse, NSCD, and Special Olympics. He has returned to the HPS department to speak and to open up opportunities to students for internships; he has employed 7 interns through MSU Denver.
Nominee: Dylan Harlan
Grad Year: 2015
Major: Aviation Management
Position: Member Relations Manager
Dylan was named to the 2016 Airport business top 40 under 40 list. In the 1 ½ years he has worked for Xiet, he has been promoted from intern to sales associate to member relations manager.
An active member of the community, he has coordinated multiple successful fundraising events for American Heart Association, Challenge Aid, and the Boys and Girls Club. He is also a part of the Donor Dash and worked with Wings over the Rockies to bring aviation into the classroom for teachers.
Read the Airport Business 40 Under 40 article about Dylan!
Nominee: Marc Herschberger
Grad Year: 2013
Major: Business Management & Business Marketing
Employer: Revenue River
Position: Director of Marketing
Following his graduation from MSU Denver, Marc was offered, and accepted a position with Revenue River as an Inbound Coordinator. Each successive year has brought a new title and promotion; Inbound Coordinator to Inbound Strategist to Director of Marketing - the youngest in the company's history. Since he has joined the company, Marc has helped lead Revenue River to double digit revenue growth annually. Marc has also become a published author and preferred contributor to HubSpot, a company specializing in inbound marketing.
Marc has volunteered his time and talent to the non-profit, Inside the Orchestra. An organization dedicated to introducing underserved youth in Denver's community to the magic of orchestral music. He has worked closely with the organization to develop a marketing plan to raise the organizations profile in the community and increase donations.
Marc has participated in the MSU Denver Business Department's mock interview program for the past three years. He provides the students with a "real world" interview experience, providing students with advice, encouragement and direction. He also participates in the annual MSU Denver Men's Soccer Alumni game.
Nominee: Matthias Schlieman
Grad Year: 2007
Major: Business Management
Employer: Antero Resources
Occupation: Marketing and Transport
While completing his degree in Business Management in 2007, Matthias was introduced to the Oil and Gas industry first as an intern and then on a full time basis upon the completion of his degree. Over the course of the last 10 years Matthias has demonstrated leadership along with forward thinking in the commodities trading sector, specifically relating to logistics and natural gas marketing. Currently Matthias is employed Antero Resources, an Oil and Gas producer, where he over seas the shipping and transport of Antero’s natural gas and crude oil production for Antero's marketing and transport team. Antero Resources is one of the leaders in the natural gas industry and has a home office located at Union Station.
Matthias has been an active servant to the Denver community, along with communities abroad. Most recently he spent time in Honduras with the Humanity and Hope United Foundation working in the remote villages on projects such as fresh water wells and supporting the continued education of the youth. Moreover, Matthias has supported local organizations such as Delta eta Boule, The Alzheimer’s Association, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, The Outdoor Lab foundation, Boy Hope Girls Hope, and the Colorado Aids Project. Matthias continues to support the Road Runners baseball and basketball programs, along with mentoring business students looking to get into the energy sector.
Nominee: Michael Ronnebaum
Grad Year: 2015
Major: Speech Communication
In the short time since Michael graduated, he has been awarded the “Best Community Oriented Newscast” - Colorado Broadcasters Award 2015 and was Runner Up in the field of “Best Daily Newscast” and “Best News Coverage of a Single Event”.
He is the co-founder of Love in Glove, a nonprofit organization specializing in giving Denver’s homeless population gloves.
During his time as a student at MSU Denver he was a reporter and news anchor for the Met Report; won the 2015 Spectacular Vernacular in the category of “Extemporaneous Speech” – Hosted by the Department of Speech and Communication; was a member of Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society; and was a member of the Emmy Award Winning Met Report Newscast in 2014.
Nominee: Phillip Haberman
Grad Year: 2013
Major: Aviation Technology and Meteorology, 2005 and Licensure in Special Education and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education, 2013
Employer: Denver Public Schools
Position: Middle School/High School Special Education/Science Teacher
Phillip excels as an educator working with high risk populations at both the Gilliam School and Compassion Road Academy (CRA). Starting as an Earth Science teacher, he pursued a licensure in Special Education because he is passionate about providing all students with an equitable education.
During his time at CRA he attended the United Nations Climate Negotiations in Paris, France as an education ambassador for Climate Generation and shared his experience with his students through a blog and online conferencing. He also formed partnerships with a variety of community organizations to provide meaningful educational and recreation opportunities for his students. He partnered with MSU Denver to allow students from CRA to attend the annual MLK Peace breakfast as well as the Alternative Spring Break Service Learning Program. He also partnered with Young Eagles which provided CRA students the opportunity to go flying with professional pilots in single engine aircraft as well as helicopters, and SOS Outreach provided CRA students the opportunity go snowboarding for 5 days on an annual basis.
His successes as a middle school/high school special education and science teacher are rooted in his involvement at MSU Denver and on the Auraria Campus. He has been able to connect his students with the variety of meaningful opportunities that are available to them through MSU Denver. He consistently brings his students to the campus to ensure that they feel connected to this community and that they are aware of all of the resources that are available to assist them in achieving their dreams.
Phil is a community activist that is continually seeking further training and education to help strengthen his community as well as preserve and protect the environment for future generations. He is a climate activist that has lobbied in Washington, D.C. with Citizens Climate Lobby, served as an Education Ambassador during the U.N. Climate Negotiations, and presented at the Clinton Global Initiative as an undergraduate student working to ensure accessibility to composting services across the Auraria Campus. Additionally, he has served as an at large delegate for the Capital Hill United Neighbors organization since 2014, which has allowed him to inform local decisions on a variety of issues that affect residents in the Capital Hill neighborhood.
During his time on campus he served as the founding president of the Student Service Club, where between 2010-2013 he organized the Alternative Spring Break program where over 30 students volunteered teaching and working with refugees. He also served as the Vice Chair of the Sustainable Campus Program, where he worked to ensure that the students voices were heard on a wide range of environmental issues. Additionally, he was heavily involved in the Center for Urban Education as well as the Center for Urban Connections and as a result completed over 1,500 of community service hours teaching within urban schools through the AmeriCorps UCAN Serve program. While on campus he also served the community in a work study position as a tutor for the TRIO program serving first generation college students. Finally, he served as an after-school tutor and was promoted to a site leader who was responsible for mentoring students from MSU Denver for the Center for Urban Education’s 21st Century College Readiness Program at Cheltenham Elementary school.
Nominee: Tamika Perry
Grad Year: 2007
Major: Social Work and Minor in Native American Studies
Employer: The Jeffco Action Center
Position: Manager of Pathways Program
Since graduating from MSU Denver, Tamika has served in the Peace Corps and also became an international trainer of Social Workers. She currently serves as the manager of the Pathways Program at the Jeffco Action Center which provides basic human needs and pathways to self-sufficiency to citizens of Jefferson County.
Tamika organizes community discussions and education around and about Healthy Relationships. She also teaches young girls who are in diversion programs about healthy relationships serving as a beacon of hope and inspiration to young girls of color in the Denver metro area.
She continues to be involved with the Social Work program at MSU Denver and attends their alumni events.
Nominee: Travis Luther
Grad Year: 2008
Major: Behavioral Science
Employer: Luther Media, LLC
Position: Owner & President
Travis Luther is the owner of Luther Media, LLC, which owns and operates Law Father Legal Media, Queen Anne Pillow Company, and ValetAds Valet Ticket Advertising. Luther founded ValetAds in 2006, while an undergraduate student at MSUD, and won an award from the American Marketing Association (AMA) for ValetAds the following year. Luther believes in continuous growth and learning. He values both success and failure as equally important parts of an entrepreneur’s journey, and he shares his own failures with other business owners to encourage them to maximize profits and increase personal freedom while avoiding the mistakes he has made in his previous two decades in entrepreneurship. Travis is also a member of the internationally recognized Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO), and previously served as the EO Accelerator Membership Chair for the State of Colorado, where he recruited new members for EO’s incubator program.
Travis has served on a number of non-profit boards, but most recently he serves on the board of Scholars Unlimited (formally Summer Scholars), a non-profit dedicated to improving child literacy among low-income and at-risk youth. Not only does he sit on the board, but he co-founded an extension of Scholars Unlimited called Code Spire (http://www.CodeSpire.org). The mission of CodeSpire is to teach children computer-programming languages, just as you would teach them any other foreign language, to prepare them for the high paying tech jobs of the future. Through his company Queen Anne Pillow, Travis donates thousands of dollars worth of pillows to women's and homeless shelters in the Denver Metro area. Travis returned to MSU Denver to teach entrepreneurship as an Adjunct Professor in the Center of Innovation. He held this position for three years, beginning in 2013 and concluding in 2016 and contributed to the development and growth of the regionally and nationally accredited entrepreneurial program. He has also hosted a number of student interns from MSU Denver and is a member of MSU Denver’s President’s Society.
Nominee: Amy Nelson
Graduation Year: 2014
Major: Business Management
Employer: DaVita Kidney Care
Position: Senior Analyst, Finance Innovation
As a senior analyst with DaVita, Amy has served as a key player in creating new processes across the company; she has implemented an Enterprise Management System across 4 regional offices, changed operational reporting through innovative reports, developed a formalized onboarding process and currently mentors 5 employees, she is also currently responsible for managing monthly dashboard of key performance indicators across all of DaVita Kidney Care (65,000 employees). Amy also recently received the DaVita Core Value Award for demonstrating exceptional teamwork.
Amy gives back to the community through the DaVita Dynamic Volunteering Project with the Denver Scholarship Foundation and coordinating service projects with the Colorado Children’s Hospital.
A former women’s basketball player at MSU Denver, she continues to be involved with the athletic department volunteering at career development events for current student-athletes and she is also a member of the Roadrunner Club. She currently serves on the MSU Denver School of Business Advisory Board and was recently invited to be on the MSU Denver Athletics Strategy & Fundraising Committee.