Thursday, April 16, 2015

3:03 AM

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David Uhazie ’93S (MBA)
Independent Financial Executive


After more than 30 years in finance,
David Uhazie still remembers his Simon
professors and says what he learned
at business school set the stage for a
long and successful career.
David Uhazie began working at Eastman Kodak Company in 1982. Little did he foresee then that Kodak would be his career home for the next 30 years—time that would give him exceptional opportunities to grow in the field of finance and serve in the international arena.

“The analytical skills I learned at Simon were the foundation I needed to become a global business executive and an operational problem-solver,” says Uhazie. Looking back, he sees three areas of exposure early in his career that launched him forward.

“In my first three years at Kodak, I was able to gain a broad understanding of the business, hear the voice of the consumer, and act in a supervisory role, all of which enabled me to advance in my career,” he notes. In his time at Kodak, he served as vice president, finance, for four diverse groups, and acted as CFO and operations GM for the Asia-Pacific region in Hong Kong and Singapore.

“I’m still rooting for Kodak, even after the bankruptcy,” Uhazie says. “It’s easy to forget that this company has been around for more than 130 years. They had the best technology and a world-class brand, but in recent years, their strategy was flawed, making it tough to win in an ultra-competitive marketplace.”

While at Simon, Uhazie valued his classes with Gregg Jarrell, Ron Schmidt, and Avi Seidmann. “Professor Jarrell offered an exciting team-oriented approach to learning,” he says. “We all know Ron Schmidt as a legendary professor. I had the opportunity to witness firsthand his legendary competitiveness on the golf course. All three really cared about their students.”

Uhazie believes in giving back, particularly to the educational institutions that gave so much to him. He has served on the boards of the Hong Kong International School, Penfield (NY) Sports Boosters, and as a Penn State alumni admissions volunteer. He’s become increasingly involved with Simon alumni, students, and staff in his work with the George Eastman Circle and the Simon Advisory Council.

In his spare time, Uhazie enjoys golfing and traveling with his family. “We’ve made it to every continent except Antarctica, but it’s on the list,” he says. He also likes weekend reunions with friends and family at Penn State, where he and his entire family earned their undergraduate degrees.

—Joy Underhill

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