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USC Marshall Alumna Uplifts the Next Generation

USC Marshall Alumna Uplifts the Next Generation

Teena Hostovich ’86 highlights how the Marshall alumni network has influenced her career and the power of paying it forward.

Teena Hostovich gives a speech at a podium

Teena Hostovich hopes to give back to students at her alma mater.

[USC Photo]

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Alumna Teena Hostovich ’86 forged her own path to success in corporate America — and as a philanthropist, mentor, and bestselling author, she is helping the next generation of leaders discover theirs.

A creatively gifted undergraduate, Hostovich initially wanted to be a filmmaker and a musician, even recording an album with a band. Having experienced financial hardship firsthand, she decided that business was a more viable option. USC Marshall provided her the space to innovate and the tools to harness her creativity and launch her career.

After working as a broker’s office receptionist, Hostovich rose through the insurance industry ranks. She specialized in property and casualty securities and became Vice Chair of Legacy Pacific for the Lockton Companies. A civically minded leader, she has advised three United States presidents, and in California, she campaigned successfully for guaranteed arts and music funding in all public schools.

Hostovich’s enthusiasm about paying it forward has touched the Marshall community in numerous ways. She serves on the USC Marshall Board of Leaders and the PETER ARKLEY INSTITUTE FOR RISK MANAGEMENT’S Advisory Council, and in 2023, Hostovich received a USC Alumni Association Alumni Service Award.

Most recently, she is working to establish a Chair in Teaching Excellence. This visionary endowment will strengthen Dean Garrett’s FLAGSHIP TEACHING CHAIR PROGRAM, ensuring the school attracts and retains the most innovative, inspiring educators for Marshall and Leventhal students.

“The teachers are the gateway for the students to learn about the subject, themselves, historical context, and planning for the future. The teacher touches more lives in a year than most of us in many years. It is a gift to teach and an even greater gift to learn,” Hostovich said.

Her leadership exemplifies Marshall alumnae’s power to positively impact the school, its community, and the broader business world. Hostovich proudly supports the Torch Initiative — Marshall’s new women’s philanthropy campaign — as a Torch Initiative Steering Committee member.

“I do think that women are at last having a moment, despite real struggles that still exist. We should all use our collective force for good and to mentor more women and also mentor a new generation of young men because when we do that, two plus two equals five. The saying that we are stronger together is absolutely true,” Hostovich said.

It is a gift to teach and an even greater gift to learn.

— Teena Hostovich

International Finance and Economics ’86

Hostovich practices what she preaches as a volunteer mentor in the USC Marshall Career Advantage Program (CAP). Through CAP, she connects with undergraduate business students one-on-one and helps them develop the professional, interpersonal, and networking skills crucial to their success. In addition, her talks on campus offer insights from her trailblazing corporate career to students and alumni.

Most recently, Hostovich scaled her positive impact by publishing a book that shares her passion, knowledge, and experience with a global audience. Welcome to the Jungle — part memoir, part roadmap to navigating a thriving corporate career — was an instant Amazon #1 bestseller in six categories. It is also a testament to the power and creativity of the USC Marshall alumni network. Hostovich boldly started writing it after she read Big Idea to Bestseller by four-time bestselling author and coach Jake Kelfer ’15.

“Jake’s book inspired me to reach out to him, and the rest is history — he gave me the courage. And because he was a Trojan, he felt like family from day one,” Hostovich said. “The reach and support of the Trojan community are second to none in so many areas of our lives. It has influenced me in every stage of my career, and there are countless examples of its profound impact on my life.”