Entrepreneurs of the Year

TeleSign founders Stacy Stubblefield, Ryan Disraeli and Darren Berkovitz are the Greif Center's 2018 Alumni Entrepreneurs of the Year.


Celebrating achievement: The Greif Center spotlights excellence with two annual awards: Entrepreneur of the Year and Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year. The recipients are celebrated for their entrepreneurial mindset, their entrepreneurial spirit, and their transformative contributions to business and society. 

A select list of past honorees:

Alumni Entrepreneurs of the Year

  • Nolan Gallagher, Gravitas Ventures
  • Brett Henry, Trojan Storage
  • Stacy Stubblefield, Ryan Disraeli and Darren Berkovitz, TeleSign
  • Jonathan Hirshberg, ENI-JR286
  • Brandon Beck, Mark Merrill, Riot Games
  • Marc Benioff, Salesforce
  • Christopher Cabrera, Xactly
  • Kim Camarella-Khanbeigi, Kiyonna
  • Chris DeWolfe, MySpace, Jam City
  • Shannon Gans, New Deal Studios
  • Anthony Geisler, LA Boxing, Club Pilates
  • Marco Giannini, Dogswell
  • James Hart, Star Software, Senn Delaney
  • Girish Jhunjhnuwala, Hind Group
  • Thomas Knapp, Club Sportswear
  • Aaron Levie, Box
  • Paul Orfalea, Kinko's
  • Craig Pollard, Cancer for College
  • Michael Singer, Cherokee Uniforms
  • Fred and Michael Uytengsu, Alaska Milk, Brookstone Holdings

Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Sara Blakely, Spanx
  • Janice Bryant-Howroyd, Act 1
  • Scott Cook, Intuit
  • Mark Cuban, Broadcast.com, Dallas Mavericks
  • Sky Dayton, Earthlink
  • Robert Greenberg, Skechers USA
  • Lloyd Greif, Greif & Co.
  • Wayne Huizenga, Waste Management, Blockbuster, AutoNation
  • Marcia Israel, Judy's 
  • Steve Jobs, Apple, Pixar
  • Ray Kroc, McDonald's
  • Pamela Lopker, QAD
  • George Rathmann, Amgen
  • Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields, Rodan + Fields, Proactiv
  • Fred Rosen, Ticketmaster
  • Howard Schultz, Starbucks
  • Eric Yuan, Zoom




Shannon Gans, CEO & Co-Founder, New Deal Studios - Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year 2000

Shannon Gans ('95) wrote the business plan for New Deal Studios while a senior at USC and launched it after graduation with her partners. New Deal has become a leader in special effects and virtual reality, involved in such high-profile films as Inception, The Departed, The Dark Knight Rises, and Interstellar, which won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects.


Best advice for entrepreneurs? Never doubt yourself. Your gut is stronger and more reliable than you think. Trust it. What moves you? Helping, empowering, and inspiring others and, in the process, doing the same for myself. Critical skill? Being adaptive, willing to change. When our industry made a seismic shift, we adjusted and huge opportunities came our way. What lesson did you take from USC? Think big and go after your dreams. Have the courage to be bold.