UMSL alumni honored during annual Salute to Business Achievement ceremony

by | May 7, 2019

Business alumni Michael Mohr, Opal Jones, Jessica Portis and Mark Deadwyler were recognized for their professional achievements May 1.
2019 Salute to Business Achievement

The 2019 Salute to Business Achievement honorees (from left) Michael Mohr, Opal Jones, Jessica Portis and Mark Deadwyler receive their plaques at the annual awards ceremony May 1.  (Photo courtesy of Phil Shoulberg)

Nearly one-third of graduates from the University of Missouri–St. Louis share one thing in common: a renowned education from the College of Business Administration.

More than 30,000 business professionals hold a UMSL degree, making up the largest alumni network in the St. Louis region. Many of these graduates have become c-level executives, successful entrepreneurs and leaders in companies of all sizes.

The UMSL Alumni Association and UMSL Business Alumni Chapter recognized a sampling of these standout alumni May 1 during the annual Salute to Business Achievement awards ceremony in Anheuser-Busch Hall.

The honorees were Mark Deadwyler, Opal Jones, Michael Mohr and Jessica Portis.

Deadwyler, MBA 1993, is the senior vice president and chief financial officer of Teva Global Operations, where he is responsible for stewarding the largest manufacturing and supply chain network in the pharmaceutical industry. Teva provides medicines to 200 million people around the world each day. Prior to joining Teva, Mark led a host of global finance functions over his 26 years at Monsanto, including global supply chain and global research and development. He also served as CFO of the Asia Pacific region.

Jones, BSBA 2000, MBA 2017, serves as president and CEO of DOORWAYS, an interfaith nonprofit organization in St. Louis that provides housing and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS. DOORWAYS assists more than 3,100 individuals annually in 132 counties across Missouri and Illinois. The $9 million organization has four housing programs and a 24-hour residential care facility. Jones also serves as president of the National AIDS Housing Coalition, which allows her to meet with other national leaders, legislators and government officials about HIV/AIDS policies. Jones additionally serves on several advisory committees, including Eagle Bank, the Missouri Housing Trust Fund and St. Louis Regional Health Commission.

Mohr, BSBA 1992, BS in economics 1992, founded Mohr Advantage in 2018 to assist employers in the areas of sales operations, sales enablement and sales effectiveness. The firm helps employers define, architect and create high-performance sales infrastructures to accelerate profitable revenue growth. Prior to starting the company, Mohr spent 28 years with private, public and S&P 500 companies. He has been involved in 16 corporate acquisitions that delivered revenue growth ranging from $42 million to $760 million. His past leadership roles include executive positions, sales, sales operations, client relations, product innovation, practice leadership and merger and acquisition consulting. He is a member of the UMSL Finance and Legal Studies Advisory Board and has fostered animals for St. Charles County Pet Adoption Center since 2008.

Portis, BS in accounting 2002, is a partner for Mercer Investment Consulting. She is the firm’s U.S. nonprofit consulting services leader and is responsible for the development and delivery of investment-related services for domestic nonprofit clients. Prior to this role, Portis was responsible for advising nonprofit clients on asset allocation design, investment manager selection and strategy implementation. She is a chartered financial analyst and a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of St. Louis. She serves on the board of directors of the Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls and the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis. Portis previously served as chair of the Investment and Audit Committee for the St. Louis Area Foodbank and was on the organization’s board of directors for six years.

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Sara Bell

Sara Bell

Eye on UMSL: Tending the gardens
Eye on UMSL: Tending the gardens

Biology student James Ott and Sustainable Energy & Environmental Coordinator Katy Mike Smaistrla pull weeds last week in the native gardens north of the Recreation Wellness Center.

Eye on UMSL: Tending the gardens

Biology student James Ott and Sustainable Energy & Environmental Coordinator Katy Mike Smaistrla pull weeds last week in the native gardens north of the Recreation Wellness Center.

Eye on UMSL: Tending the gardens

Biology student James Ott and Sustainable Energy & Environmental Coordinator Katy Mike Smaistrla pull weeds last week in the native gardens north of the Recreation Wellness Center.