Senior VP of Sustainability at Walmart
Andrea B. Thomas, 2012 Alumni Achievement Award winner, Marriott School of Management
Marriott School (MBA '93)
Why business: "I was working for a PR agency, and I always wanted to know more about the things I wrote press releases about. . . . I knew I needed to not be the one that writes about it but the one that does it."
Worst BYU grade: "Somehow I thought I needed to take an investment theory class. And so derivatives, all that kind of stuff, was completely over my head—and it turns out, if you just hire a good financial planner, you're fine; you don't need to understand any of it."
Hobby: As a mother of three competitive athletes, Thomas says, "Being a cheerleader for my kids right now is my biggest hobby."
Secret skill: "I bake a mean pie."
Professional rewards: As former vice president of global chocolate for Hershey, "I got to travel the world and eat chocolate. . . . The best chocolate in the world is the cocoa-dusted truffles at La Maison du Chocolat in Paris—for the record. These are like $75 a pound, so they are not cheap, but they are delicious."
Speaker notes: "Being inspired is different than receiving inspiration."