These Olin Business School emerging leaders will be honored at a luncheon on April 13. They’re innovators, dedicated entrepreneurs, and benefactors.
Jessica Fischer, CPA, BSBA ’06, MSBA ’06
Group Vice President/Deputy Treasurer/Charter Communications/St. Louis
Jessica Fischer’s four-year path to both a BSBA and an MSBA at Olin Business School set the stage for her steady rise during her 11-year tenure at EY and to her current role heading up treasury, tax, and risk management at Charter Communications.
Olin’s managerial economics program provided Fischer with the strategic thinking and negotiation skills that set her apart at EY. On a rotation with EY’s National Tax Group, Fischer developed a partnership taxation specialty and became the lead tax M&A adviser to large manufacturing, telecommunications, and media and entertainment clients on their partnership transactions. She was promoted to partner in 2016.
With this accomplishment to her credit, Fischer was ready for a new challenge. In May 2017, she joined Charter Communications as deputy treasurer.
Fischer, who is grateful for the generous support of scholarship donors that made it possible for her to attend Olin, is committed to paying that forward as a member of the Eliot Benefactor Committee. Her community activities include serving on the Missouri Botanical Garden Corporate Council in 2015 and 2016.
Jeff Platt, BSBA ’06
CEO/Sky Zone Franchise Group/Los Angeles
Jeff Platt took the lessons taught in his entrepreneurship class at Olin Business School to heart. After sounding out a group of St. Louis investors as part of the coursework, in 2006 he opened a second location for Sky Zone—an indoor trampoline park that his dad had launched in Las Vegas two years earlier. The Chesterfield, Missouri, park grossed $400,000 in its first seven weeks, leading Platt to open a third park in Sacramento in 2008 and to begin franchising the business the following year.
As Sky Zone’s president and CEO since 2011, Platt has spearheaded the effort to expand the franchise into a global brand. When Platt did a stint on Undercover Boss in 2013, he was the youngest CEO to ever appear on the reality TV show.
In 2014, Sky Zone was ranked No. 152 on the Inc. magazine 5000 List; in 2015, Forbes magazine ranked the company No. 55 on its list of America’s Most Promising Companies. Today, revenues at the more than 180 Sky Zone locations across nine countries exceed $300 million.
Mark C. Pydynowski, BSBA ’04
Senior Director/New Product Development/Experian/Austin
When Mark Pydynowski, BSBA ’04, fresh out of Olin Business School, was among the 10 applicants chosen for Gallup Consulting’s Emerging Leaders Program—from a field of 300—it was clear he was someone to watch. But Pydynowski scored an even bigger “wow” the following year when he leveraged his $50,000 award for the Olin Cup Business Plan Competition into $5 million to support SOMARK Innovations, the life science tools firm he founded in 2005 that was acquired six years later.
After five years at Capital One as senior manager and then director of new product development, in 2017 Pydynowski joined Experian, where he leads the team developing identity-management, credit-management, and fraud-detection products.
These professional achievements have not prevented Pydynowski from giving back to his alma mater. His blog, MondayKarma.com, helps current students at Washington University learn how to land their first job. Last year, he hosted the annual dinner for WashU alumni and parents in the San Francisco area. And in 2014, he gave the keynote address at Olin Business School’s commencement. He also was a speaker at the 2014 Olin Cup Awards Ceremony and moderated the Washington University Club of San Francisco’s IdeaBounce Competition in 2012-14.
Amanda Signorelli, BSBA ’13
Amanda Signorelli has been on a meteoric trajectory since graduating from Olin Business School with a bachelor’s degree in international business and marketing in 2013. On graduation, she joined McKinsey & Company as a business analyst, completing a two-year rotation. Then, in April 2015, she left McKinsey to join a young business, Techweek, as director of business development.
An international tech festival and media platform in nine markets, Techweek partners with tech leaders, corporations, and the community to build a unique experience for investors, entrepreneurs, and “hero companies”―high-growth businesses that achieve a substantial and sustainable impact and incubate talent, ideas, and, most importantly, spinoffs.
Signorelli’s responsibilities at Techweek quickly expanded to include the operations for the company’s National Startup Competition. Then, she was promoted in quick succession to head of content and operations and to CEO in 2016. Under Signorelli’s leadership, Techweek has expanded to three more cities, extending its North American reach to more than 40,000 people.
In addition to her responsibilities at Techweek, Signorelli owns and operates a 60-year-old family business in Las Vegas, her hometown.