Monthly Archive for September, 2017

Discovering Opportunity: Mai Yansomboon – DU Review Summer 2017 Feature Story

Porntida (Mai) Yansomboon ’14, brings a wealth of personal knowledge and experience to her job at the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington D.C. “I grew up in a business savvy family,” says Yansomboon, a Thai citizen who lived in Grand Rapids before attending Davenport. “My family imported tractors and equipment from Thailand. When I got the opportunity to work at the Royal Thai Embassy and help people discover business opportunities, just like my family, I jumped on it!”

Yansomboon moved to the United States as an exchange student when she was 18 years old. She decided to stay in Grand Rapids for college and chose Davenport because of its reputation and close proximity to her host family’s house.

After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business in 2014, Yansomboon worked at a material handling company in project management. She saw a position posted on the Royal Thai Embassy website in Washington D.C. and applied. She says, “Thanks to my unique experience, I got the job!”

Today, Yansomboon works as a project staff member at the Thai Business Information Center. She works with Thai businesses looking to invest and settle in the U.S. and provides them with the connections and information needed to be successful.

Conducting business outside of a company’s home country has many challenges, and Yansomboon is there to help. On a typical day, she might reach out to Thai business owners who have questions about regulations on doing business in the U.S., help hopeful business owners discover opportunities or act as a business coach and liaison to governmental departments.

Yansomboon acknowledges her success is due to many people. “I credit my success to my families – both my family in Thailand and my host family. They are both so encouraging.” Moving to the U.S. also gave her the opportunity to study and discover what she is capable of. Yansomboon looks forward to opening the doors for more Thai business owners and toward what her future holds. She hopes to return to school to earn a Master’s in Business Administration soon and continue to grow and expand her skills to serve others.

Alumni Success Story – Jeff Lumpp MBA ’13

Jeff Lumpp was on the fast track to landing his dream job when an opportunity he couldn’t turn down presented itself. Learn about how this opportunity led him to even bigger things below.

Tell us about yourself!
I grew up in Muskegon, Michigan and attended Mona Shores High School. After high school, I attended Muskegon Community College for two years and transferred to Michigan State University where I earned my finance degree. Corporate finance was my sweet spot. Professionally, I have worked in a variety of roles starting in commercial banking and moving up to the role of CFO and now President of the Hylant. I earned my MBA from Davenport. I am married to my lovely wife, Tanja, who is also a DU MBA graduate who works at Hylant and we have a 10 month old daughter.

How did you start in commercial banking?
During my senior year of college, I started working at Fifth Third Bank in commercial credit in underwriting. It was a good way to learn the ropes and gain a deeper understanding of the banking world. After the first year, the job was getting pretty easy for me and I was looking for advancement. I was promoted to a senior financial analyst in Grand Rapids where I did reporting. We could report on everything you could think of.  It was a fun role – I thought I knew Excel until I did that job.

You thought Excel was fun?!
Ha! Now I am an expert!

What was next?
My love for strategy started to develop. My supervisor at the time recognized my willingness to develop my skills. He promoted me to the CFO of the Grand Rapids Business Banking division. We developed three-year strategic plans for each market that paid off. We were able to sort through 2009-10 with 13-14% revenue growth. At this point, I was given the opportunity to manage all retail banking and business banking as the CFO in Grand Rapids. When I began that role, I also started my MBA at Davenport. After I earned my MBA, I was asked to move to Toledo to be the Northwest Market CFO to oversee the all lines of business, strategic planning and implemented many different revenue enhance projects. I was on the fast track to landing my dream job at the Fifth Third Bancorp corporate headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. I actually got the job I had been dreaming about; however, my wife and I realized family is more important and we decided that moving back to West Michigan was the right answer so I turned the job down in Cincinnati. Then a chain of events led to the opportunity of a lifetime with Hylant and I was asked to move to Grand Rapids to lead business development for a Hylant, one of the nations largest family owned insurance and risk brokerage firm.

In a nutshell, what do you do now?
I am the President of Hylant Group Grand Rapids. My job is to develop strategic and visionary plans, build brand and community development and manage the operations. I get to educate businesses about reducing risk while interacting and building relationships with the community. It truly is a dream job.

How was your experience at DU?
I loved the way the MBA program was set up, as an accelerated program. Tanja and I attended classes together. I feel like I learned and experienced so much at a young age and I was able to have an amazing dialogue with professors who had real-life experiences. I am still connected with some of the professors, including Lori Kerlin who we just had lunch with recently.

How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as a genuine, nice and transparent leader. I like to have fun, but I like to work hard too.

Do you have any advice for students or alumni like you?
Own your career because no one else will. My mentor told me that many years ago and I have followed that advice ever since.

What do you do when you are not working?
I love spending time with my wife and daughter. I enjoy golfing, being outside and traveling.