Marriott Alumni Magazine

Fall 2016

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Page 44 of 51

Alumni News 1979 Bennie Lilly, a 1979 BYU MPA grad, didn't let retirement in 2014 slow him down. He and his wife, Denise, sold their house and received a call to the New York South Mission, where they are currently serving. Before earning his MPA, Lilly graduated with a BA in Spanish from BYU in 1976. He later used his language skills to help develop the Spanish textbook for the Missionary Training Center (MTC). He worked at the MTC for a few years before taking a job with LDS Employment Resource Services, where he worked in management until 2004. For the last ten years of his career, Lilly was an area welfare manager for the LDS Church. He coordinated the church's emergency response to Hur- ricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike and to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Lilly has five states. One of his most memorable expe- riences was helping to develop the orga- nization and operating model for the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. From his first communications and behavioral science classes at BYU forty years ago, consulting organizations has been his passion. Last year, Howes shared what he has learned in his book, Organizational Performance: The Key to Success in the 21st Century. After graduating from BYU with a master's in organizational communications in 1978, Howes went on to earn a PhD in organiza- tion management from Rutgers. He spent eighteen years at ExxonMobil and eight years at Accenture, and he has been the president and owner of Organization Per- formance Strategies for the past eleven years. He has been a member of BYU's MBA advisory board since 1999. He and his wife, DeLana, live in Holladay, Utah. He has four children and four grandchil- dren. In his spare time, he enjoys tennis, golf, jeeping, skiing, and travel. children and six grandchildren, and he enjoys genealogy and fly-fishing. 1983 Brian Voigt is not one to stay put. Through- out his career, he has lived and worked in the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Hong Kong, changing financial firms almost as often as he's changed countries. He started his career with Deloitte after receiving his MAcc from BYU in 1983. He now lives in Grape- vine, Texas, where he cofounded Prism Partners International, a boutique management consulting firm. Voigt has served as a board member to several organizations, including the Marriott School of Management Investment Banking Advisory Council and the HR Forum Advisory Council. Voigt has enjoyed exploring various natural Each spring, world-language teacher Lori LeVar Pierce's work takes her out of the classroom and into the gladia- tor ring. ere, after months of studying Latin, her students take on a different side of ancient culture while compet- ing at the Junior Classical League Convention, par- ticipating in gladiator fights, footraces, javelin throws, and even a student-built chariot race. "It's a lot of fun to act like the ancient Romans and the ancient Greeks," Pierce says. Pierce's students are Latin champions on the National Latin Exam. is past year, they took more gold and silver medals than any group of Latin students at the school in its history. But when Pierce was first offered her position at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science back in 2010, Latin was all Greek to her. After Pierce graduated with her MBA from BYU in 1992, she worked for several years in market research, including as a director of marketing research for UPS, before taking time off to be at home with her children. But when she tried to find work near her new home in Mississippi several years later, there were no corporate headquarters nearby—so she decided to use her BYU undergraduate degree in French with a minor in German to land a teaching job. Learning a new language in her forties was a challenge. She spent eigh- teen months teaching herself Latin while teaching French and German in the classroom. Pierce started by reviewing vocabulary in college textbooks; she then took an independent study class, followed by a directed indepen- dent study course with a Latin professor at a local university, spending a couple hours a week with him until she felt ready to teach. "I'll be the first to say it isn't easy to learn a foreign language," Pierce says. "I struggled through them when I was in school, but I must have crossed over some threshold that has made it all start to click in my brain." For the past year, Pierce has served on the committee that revised world language teaching standards for the state of Mississippi. is February, Pierce was one of only twenty teachers selected for a three-week summer program in Leipzig, Germany, to develop science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum. She still uses her business training while sponsoring her school's Future Business Leaders of America chapter. She also serves as the president of the Mississippi chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German and as a board member for the Columbus Choral Society. She and her hus- band, Daniel, have three children. When asked whether she enjoys teaching or market research more, Pierce says, "It's the same kind of question as when people ask me which of my languages I prefer—I love them all the same." Speaking Their Language 43 fall 2016

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