2023 Alumni Award Recipients
Published October 2, 2023 by Elsie Gallegos in
Jack McFadden – Community Service
Jack McFadden has been recognized for the Community Service award based on the impact of his contributions to Wilton, CT and its surrounding communities for more than 40 years. It started with a very personal experience. In 1980, Jack’s daughter Melissa was born with Downs Syndrome; two days after her birth Jack joined STAR, Lighting the way. STAR’s mission is to provide opportunities for individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Jack’s leadership with STAR started with Melissa but his hands-on advocacy for people with disabilities is evident to this day. He has served as President of STAR twice and STAR Residential once. As President of STAR Residential he was the driving force behind the merger of the two entities to magnify their impact and benefit from the resources, scale, and leadership. The result was one of the most prominent and most highly praised organizations serving the handicapped in Connecticut, including 700 families just in the Wilton area and a $9MM budget. For STAR’s 50th anniversary he brainstormed the “Galaxy of Stars” – 50 street art stars for local towns. The annual “Galaxy of Stars” gala has generated more than $3.5MM.
The list goes on. His work with the Wilton Interfaith Action Committee has included the largest single-day volunteer event in New England. Typically, 750 volunteers package 150,000-160,000 meals. In 2001 Jack established the Melissa McFadden Memorial Scholarship for Wilton High School seniors who demonstrate compassion and support for people with special needs. While many individuals contribute financially to local organizations, Jack gives his most valuable resources – his time, his creativity, and his talents. For all these reasons we recognize Jack McFadden.
Greg Allgood – John E. Pepper Humanitarian
There are few things more basic to life than water and in a world where so many people are deprived of this basic necessity, Greg Allgood brings new meaning to humanitarian.
Dr. Greg Allgood is vice president of water for World Vision. In this role, Allgood leads the establishment of alliances with corporations, foundations, and individuals to enable World Vision to bring access to clean water to millions more people around the world. Prior to joining World Vision in 2013, Allgood was the founder and director of the Procter & Gamble Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program and a Senior Fellow in Sustainability. Dr. Allgood was with P&G for 26 years and led its efforts to provide safe drinking water in the developing world, oversaw P&G’s global emergency response efforts, and helped manage P&G’s partnerships with the Clinton Global Initiative, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, WHO, USAID, and other nonprofit organizations. He has a doctoral degree in toxicology from North Carolina State University and a Master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, where he did research in water quality.
During the last 20 years, more than two billion people have been reached with clean water. World Vision has been a part of this effort as the number one non-governmental provider of clean water, reaching one person with clean water every 10 seconds. Yet the search for clean water is robbing women and girls of their futures. Women and children in the developing world walk a combined 200 million miles a day to find clean water. Delivering clean water can transform entire communities. For his work in bringing this life-saving essential to the people of the world, the Alumni Network recognizes Dr. Greg Allgood.
Ilhiana Rojas – Diversity & Inclusion
Ilhiana has been a trailblazer in empowering and supporting the advancement of Hispanic women in leadership to reduce the gender and wage gap. She is a certified expert in DEI best practices and has coached and trained hundreds of women, especially women of color, to help them grow their career and elevate their voices. She published the book “Extraordinary Latinas” to build the visibility of 10 Latinas, helping them open many doors. And she recently co-launched a new organization called United Latinas to amplify and connect Latinas and allies. Additionally, her philanthropic efforts include creating a yearly spotlight campaign during Women’s month and Hispanic Heritage month to highlight the accomplishments of rising Latinas. She is an Executive Board member for the Association of Latino Professionals for America where she is responsible for defining and overseeing the program curriculum for the professional development of the organization’s members across all levels (from entry-level to C-Suite) throughout the year. She also supports partner organizations to create more inclusive cultures through different learning and networking opportunities. Signature programs she has developed and overseen to drive equal opportunity for Latinos in the workplace include a Coaching & Mentoring program, a Leadership program, and the much sought out Latina Summit. Further, she is a past Board member and current Board Advisor to the Rhode Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to support the growth of Latino small businesses.
Ilhiana’s passion and commitment to elevate unheard voices and build inclusive leaders and cultures is palpable. Her work has helped numerous Hispanic leaders build their self-confidence and visibility to create more inclusive and psychologically safe cultures.
Navin Gupta – Early Achievement
Navin Gupta is currently Vice President of Marketing at Henry Schein, heading up the US Commercial team. Navin has over 15 years of marketing and general management experience and has held senior positions at Procter & Gamble, Guthy|Renker, and Danaher. Navin has founded and sold multiple companies since leaving P&G. In 2021 Navin sold his bootstrapped Amazon brand called Turmaquik to Suma Brands. In 2022 Navin sold his VC backed digital health company called PeerWell to Bardavon Health. Navin is an active startup mentor and has helped more than 20 entrepreneurs. Additionally, he is on the board of the non-profit Team Smile, the University of Illinois dental school and is the corporate sponsor for an employee resource group focused on Asian employees. Navin’s work includes launching the Head & Shoulders partnership with the NFL featuring Troy Polamalu – rated by ACNielsen as the best branded integration in league history.
Today, Navin has a visible senior role at a Fortune 250 company, runs an ecommerce CPG business in his spare time, and is active with his family and community.
Paul Trokhan – Innovation
Paul has been the leading technologist and inventor behind the unique technology that has created the consumer superiority advantage for three major P&G brands –Bounty, Charmin, and Puffs. Paul conceptualized proprietary designs to produce unique paper characteristics. The breakthrough technology was entirely new to the world and required overcoming major obstacles and delivering major inventions. Market testing of the new technology began in the mid-1980’s. There were major setbacks in the start-up, and challenges were so severe that the project was almost terminated –TWICE – but Paul and his team eventually handled every obstacle. As a result of his team’s work, Bounty doubled its share to 40% and gained market leadership during the 1990 decade. Since then, the disposable towel market has grown 10 times more than the population growth. Paul’s work supported P&G receiving the US Medal of Technology in 1995 – an award usually going to an individual researcher. This was the first ever recognition of any company, let alone a consumer goods company.
Paul has been recognized as a charter member of the P&G Victor Mills Society in 1992 – a first ever recognition of individual achievement within P&G and P&G Research & Development. He has received the gold medal from P&G CEO Ed Artzt. Although many of the early basic patents expired in 2005, competition has yet to close the gap in performance due to the tremendous technical difficulty, and ongoing technical improvements and patents that Paul and his team achieved. This is an innovation achievement which clearly deserves the recognition of the P&G Alumni Innovation Award.
Esi Eggleston Bracey – John G. Smale General Management
Esi Eggleston Bracey is a transformational business executive with over 28 years of experience in general management, brand building, and marketing leadership. She has a track record of success in creating, accelerating, and turning around business results across branded product categories, sectors, and geographies through marketing and operational excellence.
Each day Esi Eggleston Bracey pushes for her organizations to be better than the day before – to dig deeper and think differently versus established principles. During her tenure at P&G she led Global Cosmetics to the highest rate in growth in the prior 10 years. After the acquisition of Global Cosmetics to Coty, her people appreciated Esi’s candor in highlighting the challenges that female leaders face as an “only” at the top, navigating the double bind – motherhood and life as a black woman. It was clear that whatever company was going to have the honor of her time would need to understand she would only be able to lead if the organization was ready for her to do it her way. And as she’s navigated her journey to Unilever, it is clear she’s done just that, leading incredible growth in equity and sales for their NA Beauty and Personal Care Business. Most recently Esi received the She Runs it 2020 Woman of the Year award, acknowledged for her contributions to women’s advancement in leadership showcasing achievement in what personal and professional realignment looks like, and reinventing what General Management looks like for men and women alike.
Jim Stengel – McElroy
Jim is the former Global Marketing Officer of $76B Procter & Gamble, where he oversaw an $8B advertising budget and had organizational responsibility for nearly 7,000 people. Highly regarded, his leadership was recognized in 2008 when P&G was honored as the 2008 Cannes International Advertising Festival Advertiser of the Year for the first time in company history.
Jim is best known for reinvigorating P&G’s marketing culture. In his seven years as Global Marketing Officer, he personally led the transformation that has firmly established P&G as one of the most admired brand-building companies in the world by serving the consumer. P&G sales doubled during Jim’s tenure.
Prior to his promotion to P&G’s top advertising and marketing position in 2001, Jim had P&L responsibility for the company’s European baby care business. Previously, Jim held positions of increasing responsibility in P&G’s developing markets, Cosmetic, and Food businesses. Before joining P&G in 1983, he spent four years at Time Incorporated in the Time-Life Books division.
One of Jim’s focus areas is to “give back” by inspiring younger people who will be the next generation of business professionals. In 2009, he was appointed Adjunct Professor of Marketing at the UCLA Anderson School of Management where he taught for four years. In 2017, Jim was appointed Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor within the Northwestern Kellogg Markets & Customers Initiative. Since 2011, Jim has served as Dean of the Young Marketers Academy at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. In 2013, he pioneered the CMO Accelerator program at the Cannes Lions Festival and continues to serve as Dean.