College of Business Administration 2011 Gold Nuggets
September 21, 2011
The College of Business Administration and the UTEP Alumni Association are proud to present the 2011 Gold Nugget Recipients. These two outstanding alumni have distinguished themselves in their profession and life, given back to their communities and alma mater, and serve as inspiration for future generations of Miners.
Major General Juan Ayala, BBA, Management, ‘79
A self-described “poor student” at Coronado High School in El Paso, Juan Ayala possessed a fierce ambition that could not be measured by test scores. As the first member of his family to attend college, he would demonstrate that drive at UTEP. Fueled by his dream of becoming a Marine, Ayala made the most of his opportunity. He earned his degree in management and a commission as a 2nd lieutenant in the Marines, both in 1979. Through 30 years in the Marines, Ayala has climbed through the ranks to his current position as Major General and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Southern Command in Miami.
Jim Hunt, BBA, Business, ‘72
When Jim Hunt took a monetary policy course during his UTEP years, the lectures had a dramatic impact on him. He earned his B.A. in business from UTEP’s College of Business Administration in 1972. His iron resolve and impressive fiduciary savvy landed him positions as president of SunAmerica Corporate Finance and executive vice president of SunAmerica Investments, where he managed an $8 billion asset portfolio. In 2001, he co-founded private equity firm Bison Capital. Hunt is now Chairmain, CEO and CIO of Boston-based THL Credit and THL Credit Advisors, middle-market capital specialists affiliated with Thomas H. Lee Partners, one of the oldest and most successful buyout firms in the country. Under Hunt’s leadership, THL Credit went public in 2010.