30 Years of Poole Alumni: Leading and Giving Back
Hear the stories of eight alumni as they share how Poole has impacted their journey.
By Lea Hart
Over the past 30 years, the Poole College of Management has produced class after class of bright-minded alumni who went on to make an impact in their profession in so many unique and meaningful ways.
There are many stories to tell and here, we look at just a few of those alumni, where they’ve gone since and how Poole impacted their journey.
Amir Mehr ’92
Portfolio Strategy, Credit and Analytics Director, Kensington Mortgages
Amir Mehr graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting in 1992, and spent much of the last 30 years working in the financial services industry in investment banks across New York and London, specializing in fixed income capital markets.
Though he knew he wanted to study business when he arrived at NC State, it was his instructors in his accounting courses that helped Amir settle on a major.
“I had a series of great teachers in accounting that made it really interesting for me,” he said.
The impact of those teachers is part of what led Amir and his wife, Anne, to create the Mehr Family Faculty Enrichment Endowment in support of Poole College faculty. It’s just one way he’s given back to NC State and Poole College over the years – part of what led to him being recognized with Poole College of Management’s 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award.
Michael Shipton ’95
Chief Commercial Officer, Science 37
When Michael Shipton (’95) arrived at North Carolina State University in the early 1990s, it was what he calls “an eye-opening experience,” but also one he credits with his career accomplishments today.
Both he and his wife Geelea, also an NC State graduate, were first-generation college students who turned opportunity into success. Shipton, a Poole College of Management graduate, is now Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at Science 37.
In the time since graduating, the two have had the opportunity to meet, mentor and hire students from NC State, who they call disciplined, creative, and insightful. They’ve also watched the rising cost of tuition impact students, and it’s why they established the Shipton Family First Generation Opportunity Scholarship, supporting first-generation students within Poole College of Management.
This scholarship is one way for us to provide a deserving young person who has similar life experiences as ours with the same opportunity we had to access college.
“This scholarship is one way for us to provide a deserving young person who has similar life experiences as ours with the same opportunity we had to access college,” Michael Shipton said.
Bernel Hall Jr ’98
CEO, New Jersey Community Capital
Poole College of Management alumnus Bernel Hall Jr. (’98) has a story that begins in the small military town of Jacksonville, N.C., and travels to the very heart of Wall Street.
Hall, a student-athlete on the NC State track team, entered into the College of Management two years after it became a stand-alone college.
“While getting my undergraduate degree in business administration, I had a lot of professors…who cared about me beyond the classroom,” he said.
Hall went on to Harvard Business School and, now a former investment banker, public housing executive and real estate finance professor, he is widely considered one of the top economic development professionals in the country.
He fused his professional drive with a desire to give back and build communities. He is CEO of New Jersey Community Capital, which helps create community wealth by supporting small, women and minority-owned businesses by offering innovative financial products, technical assistance and business development.
Matt King ’01
Economics and Engineering
CEO, FanDuel Group
Matt King graduated in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and economics.
When asked about his desire to double major in both economics and engineering, King said, “Engineering was a rigorous approach to problem-solving; Economics allowed me to see the bigger picture.”
King, who was both a Park Scholar and also a Caldwell Fellow during his time at NC State, described internship opportunities, networking while studying abroad, and leadership roles as the defining moments of his career at NC State.
Today, he is CEO of FanDuel Group, where he spearheads the company’s portfolio of leading gaming, sports betting, daily fantasy sports, advanced-deposit wagering, and television brands.
Ted Mosler ’02
Jenkins MBA Program
Gilero CEO Ted Mosler (’02) grew up with a mind for engineering and a passion for entrepreneurship. He found the business skills to bridge the gap between the two through the Poole College of Management’s Jenkins MBA Program.
Mosler received an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toledo. He began the Jenkins MBA Program in 2000 – attending classes in the evening while working full-time for Alaris Medical Systems (now Becton, Dickinson and Company) in Research Triangle Park.
As an engineer, Mosler found the courses to be new and eye-opening.
“I truly learned something in every class,” Mosler said.
When he graduated in 2002 he started Gilero, which is now a one-stop shop for the design, development and contract manufacturing of everything from consumable medical devices to complex electromechanical drug delivery systems.
He’s hired more than 100 engineers, the largest group of which come from NC State, and comes back to Poole to share his experience in technology and entrepreneurship classes.
Jared Plummer ’05 ’07
Accounting, Business Administration and Master of Accounting
Founder, Two Roosters Ice Cream
Jared Plummer received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Business Administration from Poole College in 2005 and a Master of Accounting in 2007.
He worked for eight years as a certified public accountant (CPA) before life took a pretty sweet turn.
Plummer discovered a passion for ice cream and founded Two Roosters Ice Cream, which now has four locations in Raleigh.
He applied to one college for his undergraduate degree – NC State – and thought he’d be an engineer but as he puts it, “the academic work said otherwise.” Instead, he discovered a love for business and accounting. After eight years as a CPA he jokes he still “counts beans, but it’s vanilla beans instead.”
To be able to take that base knowledge into a business, whether it is ice cream or what have you, it provides an incredible foundation to work with.
“In studying accounting I had this base of language of how to read a profit and loss statement and knowing what depreciation meant,” Plummer said. “To be able to take that base knowledge into a business, whether it is ice cream or what have you, it provides an incredible foundation to work with.”
Raven Solomon ’08
President and Founder, Center for Next Generation Leadership & Professional Development
Raven Solomon is a successful speaker and author with a focus on multigenerational leadership, informed from her own experiences as a young leader.
She was a Caldwell Fellow at NC State, which defined servant leadership for her. She said Poole College of Management prepared her for the realities of the professional world as an African American woman.
Solomon graduated valedictorian at NC State and quickly climbed the ranks at Pepsi Co., achieving executive status by age 28. After losing both her parents and being diagnosed with epilepsy, however, Solomon rethought her path and chose a better work-life balance.
She’s fulfilled her dream as a speaker, book author and president and founder of the Center for Next Generation Leadership & Professional Development. She finds ways to give back to NC State and Poole College as well.
For me, the times when I felt the most value were when folks that had been at State would come back and explain what the real world is like, what we can anticipate, and also things they wish they had known.
“For me, the times when I felt the most value were when folks that had been at State would come back and explain what the real world is like, what we can anticipate, and also things they wish they had known,” she said.
Lindsay Wrege ’21
Founder, 321 Coffee
Lindsay Wrege (’21) pulled double-duty while at NC State as both student and entrepreneur.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a concentration in entrepreneurship from the Poole College of Management. Wrege was also a Park Scholar.
She grew up with friends who had disabilities. As she graduated high school, Wrege saw that career opportunities and support for those individuals after high school dropped off. She and fellow Park Scholar, Michael Evans (’21), set out to change that when they founded 321 Coffee with a mission to provide meaningful employment for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to model inclusion for other businesses to follow.
The concept began during their freshman year and she admits, they “thought big and dreamed big,” but lacked a lot of experience because they were young.
Thanks to the education Wrege received from NC State and Poole College the two have scaled their business model from serving coffee at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh to a brick-and-mortar business and roasting their own beans.