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Thursday, Jul 18, 2024

A Spotlight on Future OC Business Leaders

Editor’s Note: The CEO Leadership Alliance Orange County (CLAOC) created the OC Fellows early professionals program in 2020 to help retain top talent in OC. With the fifth cohort launching soon, more than 90% of 120 current and former OC Fellows are still employed in OC. A few of the OC fellows wrote a synopsis of their experiences for the Business Journal. For more information, go to www.ocfellows.org.

Kunal Kapur, Consultant, Deloitte

Kunal Kapur
Consultant, Deloitte
I’m originally from Dubai. Being an OC Fellow has enriched my career by offering exceptional networking opportunities with like-minded professionals and access to industry leaders in OC, fostering personal growth and professional development. At Deloitte, I consult with clients on ERP assessments and ensure successful implementations. My aim is to become a leading expert in technology consulting, helping organizations achieve digital transformation and sustainable growth.

Dennis Phang, Associate (AVP), Citi

Dennis Phang
Associate (AVP), Citi
At Citi, I provide corporate clients in the industrials, CPG and services industry with banking solutions and strategic advice to help them scale and succeed. As a graduate of California State University, Fullerton in finance, my career goals are to earn my MBA and eventually help lead the transformation of banking into fintech. Being in the OC Fellows has helped me expand my network, learn what other young professionals are doing after college and give back to my community.

Cheyenne Stewart, R&D Engineer II, Edwards Lifesciences

Cheyenne Stewart
R&D Engineer II, Edwards Lifesciences
I design and develop a next-generation delivery system for a transcatheter therapy to treat heart valve failure. I also serve as a board member for our African Heritage Forum employee resource group. Through OC Fellows, I’ve met wonderful people across diverse backgrounds and expertise and broadened my horizons. I aspire to become a technical leader who paves the way for more Black women in STEM to chase careers in which they’re historically underrepresented.

Liza Garber, Electrophysiology Clinical Account Specialist, Biosense Webster Inc.

Liza Garber
Electrophysiology Clinical Account Specialist, Biosense Webster Inc.
Being an OC Fellow has given me invaluable access to development programs that have enhanced my strategic thinking, adaptability and resilience. I’ve met inspirational local leaders who personify how dedication, hard work and perseverance play a critical part in achieving goals. In my role supporting physicians who perform cardiac ablation procedures, I strive to have a positive impact on patients. I also seek leadership opportunities to grow and improve in my field while teaching others.

Joshua Harasaki, Data Analyst, Pacific Life

Joshua Harasaki
Data Analyst, Pacific Life
In my job, I create tools and dashboards that offer insights to our product development team and stakeholders. My career goal is to establish a consultancy that provides automation and data solutions for nonprofit organizations, a sector often lacking such capabilities. As an OC Fellow, I gained valuable insights from entrepreneurs on their startup journeys, learning about their challenges, strategies and decision making.

Gemma Samoy, Senior Actuarial Analyst, Pacific Life

Gemma Samoy
Senior Actuarial Analyst, Pacific Life
I build and use tools to analyze data to provide people with a secure financial future. The OC Fellows are priceless to me—I am lucky to learn and grow with people who challenge the status quo and innovate in their workplaces and our community. I grew up in the Filipino community in San Diego, and I wouldn’t have gotten here without all the people who believed in me. I hope that I can uplift others.

Alicia MacDonald, Process Development Engineer, Medtronic

Alicia MacDonald
Process Development Engineer, Medtronic
I am new to the area, as I grew up in Canada. Being an OC Fellow has been a great experience with the opportunity to meet other young professionals in OC, some who have become my close friends. At Medtronic, I design and validate manufacturing processes for new medical devices before they come to market. I want to run my own biotechnology business one day to improve people’s lives in a comprehensive and proactive way.

Adriana Donkers, Software Developer, Pimco

Adriana Donkers
Software Developer, Pimco
Originally from the San Francisco Bay area, I work as a software developer at Pimco, where I create and implement solutions to monetize AI. I have a passion for coding and a curiosity for cutting-edge technology. My career goal is to drive technological innovation through AI to enhance quality of life and the well-being of future generations. As an OC Fellow, I have developed deeper interpersonal and professional confidence that strongly complements my programming skills.

Jada Boone, M.S., R&D Engineer, Medtronic

Jada Boone, M.S.
R&D Engineer, Medtronic
Being an OC Fellow has accelerated my learning of important skills necessary for being effective in my career and aided me in identifying and leveraging my strengths and network to propel my career. Currently, I provide R&D support for the maintenance and commercialization of the Medtronic Structural Heart TAVR products. My goal is to continue growing professionally in academia and industry, leveraging both skill sets to educate aspiring engineers.

Bianca Aleman, Quality Engineer II, Edwards Lifesciences

Bianca Aleman
Quality Engineer II, Edwards Lifesciences
I provide quality and manufacturing support for critical care products in our Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic plants. I hope to be a people leader and a project manager and to find ways to make an impact on my community through mentorship of first-generation students. Being an OC Fellow has allowed me to join numerous learning events to build my professional skills. I’ve also grown my network professionally and personally, making many meaningful friendships.

Devin Heng, SAP ABAP Developer, Ingram Micro

Devin Heng
SAP ABAP Developer, Ingram Micro
I want to understand the whole process of a business. In my role, I create customized reports tailored to business requirements and develop new features. I aspire to help drive technological advancements that positively impact lives globally. I’ve created valuable connections within my OC Fellows cohort. Plus, hearing the stories of successful individuals around me is helping me grow in my own career.

Alisa Ogranovich, Business Systems Analyst, Montage International

Alisa Ogranovich
Business Systems Analyst, Montage International
This program has helped me advance my career, identify my personal skills and expand my knowledge. In my current role, I identify strategic opportunities in areas like data privacy and business operations to create more seamless experiences for guests and associates. I hope to advance my skills and experience across diverse, large-scale projects. As a young professional who grew up here, I want to give back to my community like others did to help me grow into my career.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.

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