The David Eccles School of Business held its annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Thursday, June 6, 2019. This year’s award goes to David Neeleman of Azul and JetBlue airlines. He was joined by Clearlink CEO Phil Hansen, who received the Distinguished Entrepreneur Award, Lianna Kinard of Buckner Company who was named this year’s Rising Star, and Paul Beck, formerly of Procter & Gamble and Kalypso, who was honored with the Alumni Service award.
The Eccles School Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have so distinguished themselves in their careers that their achievements are models for alumni, present students, and future students alike.
Neeleman, this year’s Hall of Fame inductee, has created and launched four successful, independent airlines including JetBlue, Morris Air, WestJet, and Azul. He has disrupted the airline industry with concepts such as the first electronic ticketing system and LiveTV in-flight programming, as well as pioneering the idea of reservations staff who work from home. After enjoying a unique career in aviation, he is excited to invest his lifetime’s experience into expanding Azul into the best airline Brazil has ever seen.
“It’s not what happens to you in life — it’s how you deal with it,” Neeleman said. “There’s always a new door that opens.”
Hansen received the Distinguished Entrepreneur award for his work as CEO of Clearlink, and international technology and analytics company. Hansen believes in creating unique experiences and opportunities for learning and growth for his 2,000+ employees through an attitude of deep caring and mentorship. This award adds to a long list of honors, including being named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist (2013), one of Utah’s 40 Business Leaders under 40 (2008), the Stevie Award’s recipient for People Focused CEO of the Year (2018), and Utah Business Magazine’s CEO of the Year (2019).
“What I’m most proud of are by far the people that have surrounded me and the memories that we’ve made, inside the office and outside, and the impact we’ve had on our thousands of employees,” Hansen said.
The Rising Star Award honors an Eccles School alumna who has made outstanding contributions to their community or field of business and is under the age of 40. This description is incredibly apt for Lianna Kinard, Vice President of Marketing at Buckner Company. She was instrumental in the Buckner rebrand, helping them jump 23 spots on the national insurance broker listing within two years of joining the agency. Her other awards include the National Association of Insurance Professionals Rookie of the Year (2010), Utah Association of Independent Insurance Agents Company Person of the Year (2013), Insurance Business America Elite Women in Insurance (2018), and most recently Utah Business Magazine’s Sales & Marketer of the Year (2019). She currently serves on four advisory boards and has previously held committee positions with six organizations.
“I hope one day you can come to a school like this and be in a place where you can have people who can lift you up,” Kinard said, speaking to her young daughter Khloe, who was in attendance.
Paul Beck led the Eccles Advisory Board from 2013 -2018, during a period of great growth and change. His contributions included leading student recruiting efforts for the Business Scholars program and energizing the alumni base around the globe. He was part of a team responsible for the transformation of the Eccles School undergraduate program, giving it a national and international footprint. His passion for learning is evidenced by his consistent scholarship donations for more than 25 years. All of this, coupled with his vast career experience, make Beck the perfect recipient of this year’s Alumni Service Award.
“I found an environment that scratched the itch I had to learn,” Beck recalled of his first year at the Eccles School, one he noted as “the most exhilarating of my life.”
Read more about all of the Hall of Fame inductees at Eccles.link/Hall-of-Fame.