Four St. Louis Alumni to be Honored with ‘Southeast Salutes’ Awards

Southeast Salutes 2015The Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association and the Association’s St. Louis Chapter will recognize four graduates from the St. Louis area at the 16th annual “Southeast Salutes” reception.

The event is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, at Ces and Judy’s, 10405 Clayton Road in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Southeast Salutes program was created in 2001 to honor outstanding alumni and others from the St. Louis area who have brought distinction to themselves and to Southeast through professional achievements, community involvement and support of the University. To date, fewer than 80 people have received the annual recognition.

Southeast Salutes 2015-2Alumni, spouses and friends are invited to join Southeast President Dr. Carlos Vargas at the event honoring the recipients’ career and community achievements. R.S.V.P.s for the reception are now being accepted, but space is limited. The cost is $20 per person, and reservations can be made through the Southeast alumni website, www.iAMsoutheast.com. Hors d’oeuvres will be served, and a cash bar will be available. For more information, contact the University’s Alumni Relations office at (573) 651-2259 or email alumni@semo.edu. The reservation deadline is Sept. 14.

The 2016 Southeast Salutes honorees are: Alan Byrd, ’99 and ’04, dean of enrollment at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL); William R. Diepenbrock Jr., ’62, vice president of Miran Investment Co.; Christy Kaufman, ’93, chief financial officer of Aircraft Modernization and Sustainment, a business segment of Boeing Defense, Space & Security; and Kelly Moss Zigaitis, ’01, chief compliance officer at Scottrade, Inc.

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Alan Byrd

Alan Byrd graduated from Southeast in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in communications and a minor in business administration.  He also received a Master of Arts in higher education administration from Southeast in 2004 and is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational policy and leadership at UMSL. As a Southeast undergraduate, Byrd was the editor of the Capaha Arrow student newspaper (forerunner to The Arrow) and a two-year letterman on the football team. He was also an active member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and Association of Black Collegians (ABC).  Byrd began his career in college admissions/enrollment management at Southeast in 2000 and played a major role in increasing student enrollment and expanding the diversity of the study body from 2000-2008.  He served in a number of roles on campus, including admissions counselor, assistant director for minority recruitment, and associate director of enrollment management.  He was recognized by the Missouri Association of College Admission Counselors (MOACAC) with the Rising Star award in 2002 and again with the Peggy Clinton Memorial Service Award in 2013 for his outstanding service and commitment to the students of Missouri. In his role as dean of enrollment, Byrd is responsible for leading, planning and coordinating all recruitment and retention initiatives at UMSL.  He is the chair of the Enrollment Management Committee that led UMSL to record enrollment in 2014 as well as record retention and graduation rates for the last two years.  Byrd is also the co-chair of St. Louis Graduates, a collaborative network of college access providers, educators, business leaders and philanthropists who are working together to increase college degree attainment in the St. Louis region.  Byrd has been married to his wife Kimela for six years and is the proud father of his son, Alexander.

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William R. Diepenbrock, Jr.

William R. Diepenbrock Jr. graduated from Southeast in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a minor in accounting. After attending Southeast, he earned a master’s degree in business administration from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Diepenbrock worked for Guaranty Trust Company of Missouri for 33 years. He served as vice president and chief operating officer supervising operations, administration, investments and human resources. In his capacity at Guaranty Trust Company, he also served on the board of directors and the Executive Committee. In 1997, he left Guaranty Trust Company (now Central Trust Investment Co.) to start his own business of administering trust accounts, tax preparation, investment advisory service and real estate management. He also serves as vice president of Miran Investment Co. and is a member of its board of directors. In addition, he is a board member of Hydraflow Equipment Co. He also serves on several charitable boards, namely, The Little Sisters of the Poor, The Heritage Account, Southeast Missouri University Foundation and the Southeast Missouri University Foundation Planned Giving Advisory Council. He also serves as chairman of the Audit and Finance Committee of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation Board of Directors and on the Tau Kappa Epsilon Education Foundation Board. He lives in South St. Louis County with his wife, Marcy, and has four children and seven grandchildren. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf, fishing and spending time with his family at their vacation home on Table Rock Lake.

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Christy Kaufman

Christy Kaufman graduated cum laude from Southeast in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in accounting.  While at Southeast, she was active in the Accounting and Finance Club, serving as vice president and president.  She also served as the student representative on the College of Business Dean Search Committee.  Upon graduation, she went to work for McDonnell Douglas which eventually merged with The Boeing Company.  She later earned her Master of Business Administration from Washington University.  While at Boeing she has served in a range of finance positions, recently as the chief financial officer for information technology and currently as the chief financial officer for Aircraft Modernization and Sustainment, a business segment of Boeing Defense, Space & Security.  In this role, she is responsible for overall financial leadership of an organization that provides sustainment and modernization solutions for large aircraft platforms for defense customers worldwide.  Outside of work, Kaufman is a 2003 graduate of the Coro Women in Leadership class and later served as a board member on the St. Louis Coro organization.  Christy and her husband, Allen, also a Southeast graduate, organized a charity golf tournament for six years to benefit the American Cancer Society in honor of Allen’s nephew.  She currently serves as a leadership member of the Open Arms Ministry of Calvary Church, an adoption, foster and orphan care ministry.  In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading and attending her sons’ sporting events. Kaufman and her husband, Allen, are the parents of two sons, Harley, 14, and Kaleob, 12.

Kelly Zigaitis

Kelly Moss Zigaitis

Kelly Moss Zigaitis graduated summa cum laude from Southeast in 2001, earning a Bachelor of Science with a double major in communication disorders and psychology.  As an undergraduate at Southeast, Zigaitis was an active member of Alpha Chi Omega, serving in leadership roles in both her chapter and the Panhellenic Council.  Zigaitis was elected Greek Woman of the Year in her senior year and also received the Homecoming Woman of the Year first runner-up honor.  After graduating from Southeast, Zigaitis attended Washington University School of Law in St. Louis where she served as managing editor of the Washington University Law Review and published a note entitled “Past, Present and Future of the Working Woman: Substantive Inequality in the Modern Workplace,” 84 Wash U. L.Q. 1147 (2003).  Zigaitis practiced law in St. Louis for several years before joining Scottrade, Inc. Currently,  Zigaitis is the chief compliance officer at Scottrade, Inc., where she leads the firm’s broker-dealer and investment advisory compliance efforts.  In recent years, Zigaitis has returned to campus several times to speak with students about life after graduation and what employers are looking for in new graduates.  She actively partners with the University to identify opportunities for collaboration with the financial services industry in St. Louis.  Zigaitis recently joined the Southeast Missouri State University Corporate Advisory Board.  Zigaitis and her husband, Nick have been married for 13 years and live in Ballwin with their daughters, Lily, 10, and Allison, 7.  Zigaitis enjoys serving as the troop leader for her daughters’ Girl Scout troops, leading Junior Achievement classes throughout the St. Louis area, running and reading.