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BYU Marriott MBA Students Receive Williams Innovative Leadership Award

Five students within the MBA program at the BYU Marriott School of Business received the 2023 Williams Innovative Leadership Award. This award goes to distinguished students who have been nominated by their peers for their demonstration of extraordinary leadership that embodies the values of BYU Marriott. The award winners receive a cash award of $10,000 in recognition of their efforts.

This year’s Williams Innovative Leadership Award recipients are second-year MBA students Christina Muhlestein Bates, Sara Jane Isom, Eden Peterson, Tyler Willardson, and Matthew Young.

Award winners stand in a line for a photo.
Pictured left to right: Matthew Young, Eden Peterson, Gary Williams, Tyler Willardson, Christina Bates.
Photo courtesy of BYU Marriott.

“The Williams award recognizes students who have been leaders in the MBA program and are committed to making a difference,” explains BYU Marriott MBA director Daniel Snow. “This year’s award winners are students who saw challenges or opportunities in the program, took up the mantle of leadership, and helped to create a culture for everyone to develop and grow.”

The award was established by Gary Williams, a BYU Marriott business management alumnus, faculty member in the MBA program, and founder and faculty advisor for Cougar Capital. He served as president and CEO of Sterling Wentworth Corporation/SunGard Data Systems and is an active angel investor.

About the 2023 Williams Innovative Leaders

Christina Muhlestein Bates completed her BS in chemical engineering from Brigham Young University in 2017. Bates then worked as an analyst intern at Solamere Capital before going to Technology Crossover Ventures, where she worked as an analyst. Bates then took a position as a test engineer at Jacobs Technology. During her time in the MBA program, Bates was involved in Cougar Capital and the Investment Banking Club. Most recently she worked as an associate at Mountain West Brands.

Sara Isom attended Troy University and earned her BS in communications in 2012. She then worked in South Korea at Camp Humphreys Theatre, as a producer and project director. Over Isom’s career in theatre, she was part of more than 50 productions. Isom also worked as a director of operations for Social Paragon in Lehi, Utah, and completed a military internship with Zion’s Bank. She worked as a diversity, equity, and inclusion intern for both the management department and BYU athletics. During her time in the MBA program, Isom served as cochief officer of diversity and inclusion and director of client relations for Cougar Talent Solutions.

Eden Peterson earned her BA in Italian from BYU in 2016. She then worked as a manager for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint Missionary Department, overseeing the training for senior couples and mission presidents. During the MBA program, Peterson was a member of Cougar Capital; part of the MBA’s internal consulting group, Kaizen; and member of a BYU folk dance team. She is passionate about advocating for mothers who want meaningful part-time work in business.

Tyler Willardson earned his BS in applied statistics in 2018 from BYU. After graduating, Willardson worked at Mercer Government Human Services Consulting as a consulting analyst and later a senior consulting analyst. During his time in the MBA program, Willardson served as the president of the MBA Student Association.

Matthew Young earned his BA in political science from BYU in 2016. Upon graduation Young worked for Cumming Investment Company as a real estate analyst from 2016 to 2019. From 2019 to 2021 he was the corporate development manager over strategy as well as mergers and acquisitions for Clearlink Technologies. In 2020 he joined Clearlink’s inaugural inclusion and diversity council, where he began his journey as an advocate for diversity as well as faith and belief in the workplace.

About BYU Marriott
The BYU Marriott School of Business aspires to transform the world through Christlike leadership by developing leaders of faith, intellect, and character. Named for benefactors J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott, the school is located at Brigham Young University. BYU Marriott has four graduate and nine undergraduate programs with an enrollment of approximately 3,300 students.