The fall magazine will feature a spotlight on 18 graduate brothers 48-years-old or younger. You can nominate a graduate brother, who is 48 years or younger, for their outstanding achievements. Nominations submitted by September 30 will be considered for the “18 Under 48” listing in the fall 2024 issue of The Phi Gamma Delta Magazine.

Check out the Spotlight Class of 2023 below.

18 Under 48 Nomination Form

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Spotlight Class of 2023

Wesley Bolsen

(Rose-Hulman 2000)

Wes Bolsen has a B.S. in electrical engineering and a minor in economics from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. He currently serves as the Chief Business Officer for Noon Energy. Previously, he has served as the Chief Business Officer and CCO of his previous two companies while keeping his executive office on the south side of Denver, Colorado, and travelling around the world. He has also helped build the world’s leading wildfire prevention technology, which he sold to Perimeter Solutions, and became the Global Business Director for Wildfire Prevention & Protection as they went public on the New York Stock Exchange. Wes also built four different renewable fuel, ag technology and animal nutrition companies, including Codexis, where he served as an officer. From 2000-06 he worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Co. Additionally, in 2011, Wes was named the top Chief Marketing Officer in the United States.

Kevin Booth

(Bowling Green 2003)

Kevin Booth knew early on he wanted to be a computer scientist. Throughout high school, in his hometown of Orrville, Ohio, he learned everything he could about computer programming in between sports and working as a fryer cook. Kevin graduated with a degree in computer science in fall 2004 and continued to attend graduate school to pursue a M.S. in computer science, which he achieved in 2006. After graduate school, Kevin moved to Columbus, Ohio, where he started his first job as a computer scientist. Kevin’s career has allowed him to create software and cloud-based solutions for almost 100 companies over the last 20 years, most of which are Fortune 500. He has also written software for companies like Safelite Autoglass, Humana, Nationwide and Progressive, as well as government agencies and schools. Currently, Kevin serves as the Principal Architect for Insight Enterprises, a global technology company that focuses on business-to-business and information technology capabilities for enterprises.

Nick DePorter

(Arizona State 1999)

Nick DePorter has professional experience in government affairs, higher education leadership and workforce development. Currently, Nick is the Senior Lead Manager of U.S. Public Policy & Economic Graph at LinkedIn. He is responsible for partnering with policy makers and community stakeholders to create economic opportunity for every member of the workforce. Nick served as an elected council member for Fountain Hills, Arizona, from 2014-18. He served on the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) Board of Directors, Maricopa County Workforce Development Board, the Chicanos Por La Causa – Integrated Health & Human Services Board and the Arizona State University Career & Professional Development Services Advisory Board. He also serves as a board member for the City of Phoenix Business & Workforce Development Board and the Arizona State University School of Politics & Global Studies. He and his wife, Adrienne, have three children, Jack, Abbie and Lola.

William Gilbert

(Idaho 1996)

Bill Gilbert graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Idaho in 1996 with a B.S. in finance. He is currently the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Caprock, a multi-family office investment firm that advises on a significant amount of client assets. Caprock has offices in seven cities across the U.S. and is headquartered in Boise, Idaho. In 2021, Bill was appointed to the Idaho State Board of Education and is currently Vice President of the Board. He has also served as a director of multiple private companies such as VisitPay and Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC. And he serves on the Board of Directors of Idaho Business for Education. Previously, he served the University of Idaho Foundation as Chairman and Emeritus Director of the Board, and he was the Chairman of the St. Luke’s Health Foundation. In 2019, Idaho Governor Brad Little invited Bill to serve as the Co-Chairman of the “Our Kids, Idaho’s Future” K-12 Education Task Force. Bill and his wife, Melissa, reside in Boise and have four children.

Gabriel Hesse

(Montana 2002)

Gabe Hesse is an innovative and accomplished product and technology leader. He currently serves as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Net Health, where he oversees the development and delivery of their products. In senior leadership roles, Gabe has helped create multiple product categories and scaled technology businesses, which has led to several successful company exits, including an initial public offering. Gabe’s previous positions include CTO at Arrive Health, CTO at Havenly, Senior VP of Engineering & Architecture at Welltok and Chief Architect at Bankrate. He also serves on the board of the Credit Union of Colorado as a member of their supervisory committee. Gabe graduated from the University of Montana in 2002 with a B.S. in computer science.

Ronald Ho

(British Columbia 1999)

Ron Ho is a CPA and Chartered Financial Analyst with more than 20 years of experience in the finance and mining industry. His experience includes working as a Chief Financial Officer for a development silver company in the Silver Valley District of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Ron was one of the first employees at Sandstorm Gold Royalties, leading a start-up mining company to become a globally recognized precious metals royalty company. Sandstorm provides funding for mining companies worldwide, providing growth capital to construct mines, expand operations and acquire assets. Since the company’s inception, Ron has been on the executive team as one of the leaders of the corporate development and finance functions, focusing on structuring transactions for Sandstorm’s new and existing partners. Outside of the office, Ron also has his hands full with his daughter and twin boys, all under the age of three.

Ryan Irvine

(Georgia 2004)

Ryan Irvine is the Senior Vice President for Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis, one of the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firms. Ryan leads a three-person team representing corporate occupiers in all facets of the commercial real estate business both in Atlanta and across North America. In the last six years, Ryan has been in the top 20% of sales professionals at the company twice. He started his career at C&W in 2004, and he left in 2008 to start his own team at Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis. Ryan and his wife, Ashley, have three daughters (aged six, nine and 12). In his free time, Ryan has coached his daughters’ sports teams since they were old enough to participate, and his family also enjoy their community at Mt. Bethel Christian Academy and Johnson Ferry Baptist Church.

Ryan Klein

(Fresno State 1999)

Ryan Klein is a distinguished technology executive with a 27-year career marked by cross-disciplinary leadership in technology and business innovation. As Chief Information Officer & Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo, he currently leads the modernization of corporate risk technologies and the transformation to cloud. His visionary leadership restructured the development organization into an agile entity, preparing for a seamless cloud migration and the adoption of agile methodologies. Before joining Wells Fargo, Ryan served as VP of Enterprise IS Program Operations & Collaboration at Providence Health, where he successfully oversaw the migration and modernization of all user-facing and bio-medical technologies at over 50 data centers, streamlined countless endpoints, and implemented enterprise platforms to ensure uninterrupted patient care during the pandemic. Earlier in his career, Ryan held pivotal roles at QLogic, Brocade and Unisys Corporation. Ryan earned his B.S. from California State University Fresno in 1999 and completed executive programs at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Wade Lairsen

(Oklahoma 2004)

As CEO at The Birthday Party Project (TBPP), Wade Lairsen leads a passionate team of staff and volunteers who bring joy and hope to children experiencing homelessness through the magic of birthdays. The kids celebrated at TBPP have overwhelmed Wade by how transformative a simple act of kindness can be to a kid going through hard times. Before joining TBPP, Wade held leadership roles at Goldman Sachs, the White House and USAID, where he developed and executed strategic partnerships, community development, and civic engagement initiatives. Wade is also a 2022 Presidential Leadership Scholar, a fellowship program fostering collaboration and leadership skills among diverse and accomplished professionals across all sectors. Whether helping small business owners across the U.S. create jobs, leading the President and First Lady’s visit to Rwanda to highlight AIDS relief, or working on economic development in Ukraine, each of these roles taught Wade that everyone wants the same thing: a roof over their head, food, and to love and be loved.

Darren Magarro

(Lehigh 2000)

Darren Magarro is the Founder and President of the DSM Group, a full-service media and communications agency that provides a one-stop destination for clients’ advertising, marketing and public relations needs. For over 18 years, he has led a team of talented professionals in delivering innovative and effective media solutions that maximize ROI and drive growth. Darren has successfully managed and executed campaigns for clients in various industries, such as Toyota, Boston Beer, Jim Beam and Puma. His passion is to create long-lasting partnerships with clients and become their “in-house” marketing firm by utilizing his great knowledge and skill in media strategy, media negotiation and purchasing, and leveraging client assets across media platforms. He has been named one of the “Forty Under 40” by NJBIZ and a Small Business Award winner by SmartCEO for his industry impact and business excellence.

James McDermott

(LaSalle 2001)

James McDermott has been an executive in technology and business consulting firms for over 20 years. He is the Founding Partner of Nimbl Consulting, LLC and is an accomplished and passionate executive with a proven track record of success in leading rapid organic growth for multiple companies expanding in tough competitive markets. Throughout his career, James has worked in talent acquisition, human resources and operational efficiency in the staffing, technology consulting, management consulting and digital transformation industries. James’ growth methodology for rapid organic growth in the staffing and technology consulting industry was successfully implemented and adopted by multiple top 100 consulting firms and is currently driving the successful and explosive growth at Nimbl. James and his wife, Elizabeth, have two children, James and Maura. Outside of work, he has coached youth sports for his children. He also volunteers with The Travis Manion Foundation, which delivers character development and leadership seminars to our next generation of leaders.

Brett Merritt

(Indiana 1998)

Brett Merritt received a B.A. in biology & liberal arts management from Indiana University in 1998 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2003. Since 2018, Brett has served as Vice President for Cummins Inc., a global power technology leader. As Vice President, he leads the global On-Highway Engine Business and key strategic customers for all Cummins business. Since joining Cummins’ staff in 2009, he has held several positions. He was general manager of the On-Highway Engine Business from 2014-18, general manager of Medium Duty Truck from 2011-14 and general manager of North America On-Highway Emissions Solutions from 2009-11. Brett and his wife, Becky, have a son, John (Indiana 2027), and two daughters, Rachel and Grace.

Dr. David Rapp

(Virginia 1996)

David Rapp is the Executive Director and Founder of Global Surgical Expedition (GSE), a nonprofit organization delivering surgical care and infrastructure to under served populations around the world. GSE has treated over 1,500 patients and performed over 500 life-changing surgeries in Central America and Africa. David has a long-standing commitment to global surgery care and helping the five billion people worldwide lacking access to basic surgeries. He is a professor of urology and professor of obstetrics & gynecology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. And he is the director of the UVA urology global health leadership track, a two-year certificate program for residents focused on global health leadership. David is also an active researcher and has published more than 125 scientific articles and chapters, with significant focus on global surgery and the relationship between surgical disease and poverty. Additionally, he is a member of the G4 Alliance Permanent Council, a global group of more than 60 organizations across 160 countries, united in its efforts to advocate for access to surgical, obstetric, trauma and anesthesia care.

Ramin Taheri

(Maryland 1997)

Ramin Taheri is the CEO of Magnet Schools of America (MSA), a nonprofit association representing magnet and theme-based K-12 schools. Previously, Ramin served in the Biden-Harris Administration as chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, where he coordinated activities related to media and communications, congressional affairs, strategic policy development and organizational management for one of the largest civil rights offices in the federal government. Ramin also served as the Executive Director of the Washington, DC, chapter of Democrats for Education Reform, as general counsel & director of advocacy at Chiefs for Change, and as a special assistant to the Deputy Mayor for Education in Washington, DC, to name a few. His experience covers a range of complex legal and policy issues in education and civil rights. Ramin earned a B.A. from the University of Maryland, a M.A. from Columbia University’s Teachers College and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and two children.

Andrew Townend

(Texas Tech 2000)

Andrew Townend is an experienced CFO with global finance, strategy and corporate development expertise. Andrew graduated summa cum laude from Texas Tech University in 2000 with a finance major and German minor. He earned his MBA in economics and finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2005. He started his career at J.P. Morgan Chase, working as a senior analyst from 2000-03. From 2005-10 he held several positions at Boston Consulting Group; from 2011-18 he served in several prominent roles at PepsiCo, including CFO of PepsiCo Australia & New Zealand, and from 2018-20 he was Group CFO of Real Pet Food Company. Currently, Andrew is CFO of Custom Ink, the eCommerce and omnichannel leader in custom gear for groups, companies and communities.

James Walker

(California State Northridge 2001)

James Walker graduated with a B.A. in business law. After a short career in financial services, he transitioned into the world of entertainment. With a career spanning award-winning documentaries, breakout indie films and groundbreaking podcasts, James has carved a niche for himself as a prolific producer. He is the founder of Velocity Studios, a collective of industry-leading creatives and producers based in Burbank, California. James’ commitment to his craft is further underscored by his active membership in the Producers Guild of America and The Podcast Academy. His work includes being an integral producer on the National Geographic feature “Living in the Age of Airplanes,” narrated by Harrison Ford. James also co-wrote and produced “Why We Ride,” a feature documentary exploring the passion for life told through the lives of motorcycle enthusiasts. This film achieved resounding critical acclaim and garnered James numerous accolades, including the 2014 Motorcyclist of the Year Award and the Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award – both from the American Motorcycle Association. The California State Assembly also recognized James with a special commendation for the profound positive impact of the film. In the wake of his success with “Why We Ride,” he co-founded MOTOvational, Inc., a federally registered 501(c)3 charity that has raised over $100,000 for pediatric brain tumor research and support through yearly motorcycle rides.

Shadd Walker

(Southern California 1998)

Shadd Walker currently serves Colliers International as Senior Executive Vice President in the Greater Los Angeles region. He has more than 20 years of experience in the sale and lease of office and R&D properties throughout Los Angeles County. Shadd began his career with Colliers in 1998 and now brings the company an acute understanding of the office market, particularly an expertise in repositioning for creative office, entertainment production studios, biotech and life-science markets. Shadd’s strategic approach allows him to partner closely with clients, resulting in well-executed transactions and exceptional advisory services. As a client-focused expert, he is skilled in problem-solving and delivers top-notch solutions for complex structures. He is adept in advising small and large clients on how to optimize office assets in targeted markets.

Dr. Bryan Zugelder

(Central Florida 1999)

Bryan Zugelder is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Partnerships at James Madison University and a tenured associate professor in the department of learning, technology & leadership education. He has more than 60 scholarly contributions in the field of education. This includes funded grants, peer-reviewed journal and book publications, national and international presentations, and creative activities, all focused on the educator continuum. He led the development of a comprehensive logic model for research in collaboration with the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning & Equity and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University. He was the lead author for an instructional coaching framework used across 10 universities in the University of North Carolina system and more than 200 schools to provide intentional coaching support to beginning teachers. He has also served as Executive Director of Undergraduate Affairs & Partnerships, Director of Clinical Experiences, and Director of the Toni Jennings Exceptional Education Institute at the University of Central Florida. And he provided state-level instructional coaching for principals and literacy coaches in Reading First schools and served as an assessment project manager for the Florida Department of Education. Early in his career, he was an elementary school teacher for Florida’s Leon County and Seminole County public schools.