Cammie Whisnant Dunaway, B84, gets paid to eat Doritos and listen to rap music. As vice president for the kids and teens marketing division of Frito-Lay, she also supervises more than 60 people, conceives product ideas and figures out how to present them. A big part of her job, though, is to get into the heads of young people.
What do they like? Who do they listen to? How do you get their attention?
Twisted Cheetos is one way. Go Snacks is another. Sales of the miniature chips packaged in a canister-style container have taken off since their introduction last year. Dunaways team came up with Twisted Cheetos as well as Go Snacks, which has proven to be one of Frito-Lays most successful new product launches.
Now, shes working on a new line of snacks that are low in fat, low in sodium and low in sugar. But they still appeal to kids and they taste good. How does she know? She does a lot of sampling (SlimFast lunches help offset her carbohydrate overload, Dunaway says). She also has a built-in test-marketer at home her 4-year-old son, Davis.
Actually, Davis is part of the reason Dunaway holds her current position at Frito-Lay headquarters in Dallas. After several different jobs in various parts of the country during her 13-year career with Frito-Lay, including vice president of the corporations national sales force, Dunaway and her husband, Lendy, were ready to settle down.
She travels far less now. Her team does everything from product development and working on advertising campaigns to developing packaging and setting prices.
Its a lot of fun, Dunaway said. And its challenging to constantly come up with new ideas that will grow our business and grow it profitably.
Challenge has been a constant in Dunaways life. One of the things I learned from the University of Richmond is that if you set high goals for yourself and you work hard to achieve them, pretty much anything is possible.
After working for several advertising agencies, Dunaway went back to school and earned an MBA from Harvard. Upon graduation, she began her career with Frito-Lay, which has taken her not only to Dallas but also to Princeton, N.J., and to Portland, Ore., and has had her handling products from popcorn to pretzels.
We have amazing brands, said Dunaway, who stocks her own cupboard exclusively with Frito-Lay snacks. You wont find any Pringles in my shopping cart, she added, noting that her favorite snack during her college days was peanut M&Ms.
Upon visiting the Richmond campus during high school, Dunaway said she was lured from her home in Winston-Salem, N.C., by one thing: pink azaleas.
What she got, though, was much more than aesthetics. I feel strongly that UR played a significant role in my personal development, primarily in teaching me to have confidence in pursuing my dream.
© 2003, Richmond Alumni Magazine
For someone who was floundering around during college, William Hogarth, R63, is on an even keel now. As the federal governments top marine fisheries official, he is responsible for managing not only flounder, but sea bass, dolphins, turtles and every other creature in the oceans surrounding the United States.
I never imagined I would be at this level, said Hogarth, 64, who was appointed two years ago to his position as assistant administrator for fisheries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Jarrett, Va., native manages an $828 million budget and oversees 2,800 employees.
If not for an influential faculty member at Richmond, Hogarth might still be floundering. One of his biology professors, the late William Woolcott hooked Hogarth on a career in fisheries. After earning his masters degree at Richmond, working closely with Dr. Woolcott, Hogarth went on to N.C. State University, where he received his Ph.D. in fisheries and marine biology.
Before moving to the national level, Hogarth served as director of the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries.
He and his wife, Mary, have a home in Silver Spring, Md., but Hogarth rarely sleeps there. He said he is on the road three weeks out of every four.
As chief regulator, he attends public hearings, meets with environmental groups, fishermen and fisheries organizations and keeps in contact with scientists in the field. Im a firm believer in getting out to talk to people, said Hogarth, who enjoys recreational fishing when he has the time.
He said he wishes he could get back to campus more often. I spent some of the best days of my life there. He said he especially appreciated the hands-on approach and personal attention he received from professors.
Hogarth is convinced that then and now, any science major coming out of Richmond has an excellent basic understanding of science. You are prepared to go in whatever direction you want to go in.
© 2003, Richmond Alumni Magazine
If someone were to produce a documentary about the life of Jennifer Learn Hyde, W92, the climactic moment would occur during her junior year of college. Thats when she attended a symposium at the University of Richmond about women in television. It was a pivotal point, Hyde said, because she never had thought about that line of work. I got really jazzed, she said, and I met some really important people.
Through those contacts, Hyde embarked upon a career that has taken her where she is today: director of development for CNN Productions. She conceives, writes, pitches and produces documentaries that air on CNN.
One of the most memorable has been Beneath the Veil, which uncovered the life of women under Taliban rule in Afghanistan. Hyde long had harbored the idea for such a documentary. I knew Afghanistan was a messy, difficult place that not many people knew about, she said. CNN aired Beneath the Veil in August 2001, two weeks before Sept. 11. Soon, everybody knew about Afghanistan.
The show was rebroadcast many times on both CNN and CNN International. One billion viewers worldwide had the opportunity to see this film that Hyde helped bring to fruition. Hyde won a Peabody Award and two Emmy Awards for her efforts as supervising producer on both Beneath the Veil, and its sequel, Unholy War.
Lately, Hyde has worked on Seeds of Terror, a show about terrorism in Southeast Asia; and 80 Days that Changed the World, a documentary produced in collaboration with Time magazine that traces the news magazines 80-year history through 80 significant historical events.
Hyde not only initiates programming ideas, she also screens films that she has solicited and meets with filmmakers to hear about their upcoming projects. My job is to sift through the thousands of ideas and individuals that are pitching to us in a year, she said. What I am looking for is the one project we cant live without.
As visual as her job now is, Hyde says she envisioned herself as a writer. She wrote for The Collegian and took journalism, speech communication and creative writing classes. As a University Scholar, Hyde was able to take classes in any discipline without worrying about prerequisites or declaring a major. Art history classes were among the most intriguing to her.
She said she is exceptionally happy in her job, which still allows her to write. What I am is what I always wanted to be in my life a storyteller.
The best thing you can do is be fearless and curious, she said. I think you need to try everything you can. I had no aspirations to be in TV, but I find myself all these years later selecting programming that goes out to over 200 countries worldwide.
The latest production for Hyde, 32, and her husband Ricky Hyde, 93, is their first child. The couple lives in Atlanta.
© 2003, Richmond Alumni Magazine
As an Air Force captain and U.S. Foreign Service officer, Morriss Allen Saunders, R64, was often on the front lines of history. Sometimes, he yearns to be back.
As another historic chapter unfolds in Iraq, Saunders, now a 60-year-old retiree living in Williamsburg, is keeping a close eye on the situation there. I would like very much to be back over there to lend a hand, Saunders said. I would also like to take part in rebuilding the region. The Middle East is an area that saw three of the worlds major religions arise within miles of one another. There is a power and dynamism to the area that can work for good or for ill.
He should know. Saunders, who speaks six languages, has lived in seven countries from the arid deserts of Saudi Arabia to the stark, frigid landscape of Iceland. He has helped deliver aid in Southeast Asia and to negotiate disarmament of the former Soviet Union.
And what was the prime preparation for all these ventures? Immersion in the classics as an undergraduate at Richmond, said Saunders, who always envisioned himself ensconced within the halls of academia, not enmeshed in the unfolding of world events.
An education in the classics helped give me a mature perspective on what was happening around me, he added. It gave me a sense of historical continuity and humility.
As his classmates at Richmond were receiving their diplomas, Saunders was en route to Europe, where he did graduate work as an archaeologist in Germany and England. He then earned a masters degree at Tulane University, where he also taught Latin. A Fulbright grant took him to the University of Bonn in Germany, where he studied folklore and mythology.
Saunders horizons broadened. After seeing some of the world, somehow going into academics no longer seemed as interesting.
He joined the Air Force and spent time in Southeast Asia and Japan. After the Vietnam war, Saunders joined the Foreign Service. His first commission was to Iran during the period leading up to the Iranian revolution and the overthrow of the Shah.
Next, he was assigned to the American embassy in Bonn, where he worked in political and military affairs. After that, it was on to Iceland and Sweden and Saudi Arabia. He regards the latter among the most fascinating postings of his career. He accompanied the U.S. ambassador to meetings with the Saudi king and other ministers of state, and he was there when the Gulf War broke out.
I saw the country change overnight from an extremely conservative Bedouin state to a country where you saw American GIs on the street in great numbers, Saunders said. You got to feel that this really was on the cusp of history.
Saunders last assignment before retiring was a six-month tour in Bosnia to support the restoration of civil government to the Balkan area. Since Sept. 11, 2001, he has been called upon to support U.S. diplomatic efforts in Afghanistan and in Europe.
One of the greatest challenges of his career, Saunders said, was to learn about different cultures and how to live in them. You have to make an entirely new circle of contacts every time you go to a new place.
For Saunders, a classical education was excellent preparation. Someone who has majored in the classics is someone who is well-educated, he added. At no point have I ever regretted having that background.
© 2003, Richmond Alumni Magazine