Tuesday, May 2, 2023

The Tippie College of Business is happy to announce Nicole Johnston (BBA94) as the 2023 Alum of the Year and Cheryl Davenport (BBA05) as 2023 Young Alum of the Year. These awards are designed to recognize and honor alumni who are actively engaged in the life of the college.

Johnston has had a distinguished career working with Fortune 500 companies including Procter & Gamble, Hershey’s, Kimberly Clark, and Boehringer Ingelheim. She is currently chief sales officer in the food division of Newell Brands in Atlanta, Ga. Despite her many work responsibilities and demanding travel schedule, Johnston has found time to help students and faculty at the University of Iowa.

She is a member of the Marketing Institute Advisory Board and has exhibited her commitment by being a guest speaker in Tippie classes, serving as a coach for student-client projects for the past seven years, and mentoring students. In addition, she has provided valuable insights to the marketing department for the curriculum of the undergraduate marketing major regarding skills that are in demand by today’s employers.

Johnston has been a generous donor to the university and the Marketing Institute, providing financial resources that have allowed the institute to send students to conferences and purchase books and supplies for more than 100 students over the past several years.

She is also a supporter of the student organization Women in Business and is deeply committed to helping mentor young female professionals.

“To say Ms. Johnston has a made a difference to students is an understatement,” said Peggy Stover, director of the Marketing Institute. “She goes above and beyond the call of duty with grace, grit, and selflessness.”

Davenport, recipient of the 2023 Young Alum of the Year award is vice president of consumer creation strategy at Nike in Portland, Ore.

Davenport was a member of the Tippie Young Alumni Board from 2005-2010 and a member of the Marketing Institute Advisory Board from 2010-2014. She has been a consistent donor supporting the Tippie Excellence Fund, the undergraduate program, and the Hawkinson Institute. In addition to serving on several advisory boards and providing financial support to the college, she has become a valued speaker in the college’s classes and programming.

In 2021 alone, she participated in an alumni panel for economics undergraduates, was a speaker at Delta Sigma Pi’s meeting, Tom Walsh’s marketing capstone course, and the local AMA conference.

Mark Winkler, faculty advisor to the University of Iowa AMA chapter said Davenport made last minute adjustments to her schedule to speak to the student organization. “This is but a small insight into the type of person Cheryl is,” said Winkler. “She is generous with her time and talent.”

“Cheryl has stepped up more than once to let our undergraduates benefit from her experience,” echoed David Cooper, executive officer of the economics department. “She is very deserving of this award.”

Tippie’s Alum of the Year and Young Alum of the Year awards were established in 2014. View a list of previous award recipients here.