The Merage School LEADS (Leadership Experience And Development for Success) Program, founded in spring 2018, offers a select group of Merage School undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in professional development, mentoring workshops and networking events with Merage School alumni and community leaders. Through the program, students develop highly valued soft skills that will serve them throughout their education and career. The soft skills include networking, relationship building, responsibility, collaboration, communication, interpersonal skills, problem-solving, time management, personal branding, and leadership.
"While your technical skills may get your foot in the door, your people skills are what open most of the doors to come." -Mind Tools
"Literature suggests that hard skills contribute to only 15% of one's success while remaining 85% is made by soft skills." -The International Journal of Learning: Annual Review
Past Business Reception Sponsors
Committee Chair and Mentor
Steve Cooke is a partner in the Securities and Capital Markets practice group of Paul Hastings LLP where he has been advising clients in a wide variety of complex matters for more than 30 years. Steve has represented private and emerging growth companies, public companies and investment banks in numerous capital markets transactions and has substantial experience in mergers, acquisitions, various owner exit strategies, business combinations, joint ventures and other commercial transactions.
Steve also teaches graduate level courses on board governance and business law at the UCI Paul Merage School of Business and business principles for lawyers at UCI School of Law. He is a frequent speaker on governance and securities law topics, has co-authored a chapter in a practice guide for investor relations officers and written articles on the disclosure requirements impacting public companies.
Steve earned his Master of Business and Juris Doctorate degrees from UCLA.
Kimberly Roush is the founder of All-Star Executive Coaching. She holds people BIG! She is dedicated to inspiring and empowering people to tap into their most valuable talents and gifts that allow their unique magnificence to emerge. She is an executive coach, published author, keynote speaker and leadership facilitator. Through her work with senior executives and their teams, Kimberly has helped thousands discover their individual values-based authentic leadership thus paving the way for more meaningful work and greater success, both professionally and personally. As a former national partner with a ‘Big 4’ public accounting firm, Kimberly brings over 30 years of business experience to her coaching with executives.
Kimberly earned her BS in Commerce, majoring in accounting, from Rider University. She is a Professional Certified Coach, a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a CPA (inactive) and is currently enrolled in a post-graduate program in Positive Psychology and Well-Being with the College of Executive Coaching. Kimberly is also the co-author of ‘Who Are You … When You Are BIG?’
Ken Tudhope is the executive director Advantex in Irvine. He leverages his extensive network of contacts and his unique set of talents and industry experiences to deliver customized service in executive search for finance and accounting. Prior to joining Advantex, Ken founded Project Pro Search in order to provide excellent long-term service to clients in Southern California.
He is also the author of The Key: A Networking Guide to Meeting, Connecting and Succeeding, and Tudhope’s Networking Notes, a collection of short articles about networking and relationship building.
Ken has his MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Business, a BA in economics from the University of Washington and is an actively licensed CPA and CMA in California.
Karen Seeley is an executive coach at All-Star Executive Coaching. She has been providing support in client service and program management for over a year, and after being exposed to the work of All-Star Executive Coaching, Karen realized Executive Coaching would be a perfect opportunity to fulfill her life-long passion.
In October 2017, she began a post-graduate Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP) and has received a Positive Psychology and Well-Being Coach Certification from the College of Executive Coaching. Since embarking on the professional coach certification path, Karen has worked with individual clients and co-facilitated group coaching, training and retreats with All-Star Executive Coaching. She has a heart for coaching mid-level executives with their career endeavors, life goals and health and well-being aspirations.
Prior to joining All-Star Executive Coaching, Karen spent 15 years at the University of California, Irvine where she was responsible for facilities management, major event and project coordination and was known for her helping/giving spirit. She delights in empowering the success of others.
Sandy Nga Lee is the young alumni engagement manager at The Paul Merage School of Business. She received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from UCI and has about 20 years of experience working in non¬profits and higher education, 14 of which have been in the UCI Office of Donor Relations and more than one at Merage School Alumni Relations. In Donor Relations, she managed the University Advancement event requests process; collaborated with technical staff to develop databases to streamline processes; developed and advanced scholarship and fellowship thank-you initiatives; produced over 1,OOOs of annual reports for major and principal donors; and managed the Anteater Ambassadors Network program and advised 20-30 active members annually. At the Merage School, she oversees the LEADS Program; coordinates the Merage Dinners with Anteaters; identify alumni for Discover & Connect Series, Day in the Life Series and various alumni panel events; assist other alumni events; co-lead The Anteater Network Merage group mentoring platform; and building strong relationships and increase engagement between students and alumni. Sandy continues to propose and initiate collaboration and partnership efforts to make an impact in the UCI community. Her passion is to help students, to make connections and to build a positive and strong community. Additionally, she serves on/off campus committees and non-profit board of directors as well as help coach her daughter’s basketball team.
“The connections established in LEADS has proven to be one of the best things UCI has to offer. Since the first day, the [executive mentors] have gone out of their way to help in many different ways from making introductions, to giving advice, or even going to a lunch. This has helped me exponentially in advancing on both my career and personal goals. I would encourage anyone and everyone to take advantage of the network offered by LEADS.”
"It was truly a great experience. I didn't really know what I was getting myself into when I applied but I was eager to get involved at Paul Merage. The LEADS Program became the perfect opportunity for me to get out of my comfort zone and motivated me to take on new and maybe "scary" experiences that will help me towards my future career."
Your support will enhance the student experience and provide more opportunities for them to develop valuable leadership skills. Here are ways you can make an impact: