The PLC alumni have always been very proud and dedicated to the current PLC program, its history, and its future.  Class members from all four decades engage with the program through selection interviews, class lectures, guest seminars, PLC special events, hosting an experiential weekend overnight, giving donations, networking with students, providing internship and job connections, and serving on the Board of Advocates.  Now, through the PLC Alumni Club, the alumni are more engaged than ever.

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Joseph Arora

Joey Arora - PLC 2008

Featured Alumnus

Joseph Arora

Director of Community Development for AFWERX

Written by Jenna Brethauer - Social Media Coordinator

Captain Joseph Arora (Joey) wants to understand how the world works through entrepreneurship and innovation. In fact, this class of 2008 PLC alum is says he is, “Hellbent on making our government innovative”. He has progressed through a demanding career that requires sharp skills in leadership and has grown to foster the innovation he values so highly.

In May 2012, Joey graduated from CU Boulder with a degree in Business Management and then entered the Air Force where served five years of active duty. As a Leeds School of Business student, Joey was deeply involved in his academics as well as Air Force ROTC, the Honors Program, Presidents Leadership Class, and the Diverse Scholars Program on campus. After graduating it was clear to him that he was meant to pursue his lifelong dream of a career in the Air Force. During his active duty in Afghanistan, Joey realized his true passion was innovation, especially for how it related to the military and government. After a phone interview, while stationed in Afghanistan, Joey was named the Director of Community Development for AFWERX, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, DC. His current title allows Joey to innovate and solve problems, big and small. He feels lucky to be involved with the implementation of solutions on day-to-day Air Force operations and large-scale mission-based operations. He describes his time in the Air force as having, “transitioned from defending our freedoms, to improving them through innovation.” Joey has also been involved with the DC Startup Weekend as a facilitator and speaker supporting entrepreneurship for the past two years. He is excited for the upcoming event this year as he will continue his tenure in the community. He is passionate about the idea that creating pathways to capital and jobs through entrepreneurship is critical to our success as a society.

Joey demonstrates strong leadership which he partially attributes to his time spent in PLC as an undergrad. He says that the program taught him lessons about taking care of people through leadership and how to view the “bigger picture” of the problems leaders face in the world. He firmly believes that, “PLCers get stuff done. They are executors who have the skill-set to jump into a situation and solve problems.” Joey embodies this belief in his career every day. He also continues to be involved with PLC by mentoring current students through the alumni mentor program.

His advice to current PLC students is to travel as much as possible. Traveling is one of his favorite things to do and it has enhanced his leadership skills and world view immensely. Joey has been to nineteen different countries, Spain being his favorite, and plans on seeing many more in the coming years. Beyond traveling Joey enjoys soccer, reading, making connections, and fostering a successful career for himself. He defines this success as, “some combination of finding happiness while doing meaningful, impactful work and also enjoying my day-to-day life by taking care of the people around me and having fun.”  Between balancing an impactful career, many meaningful relationships, and practicing leadership, Captain Joseph Arora is making big change in the world today.

Past Featured Alumni

Dr. Joe Pesce - PLC '84 Cris Jones - PLC '99 Alexandra Alonso - PLC '06
Nikki Ferraiolo - PLC '03 Lisa Powers - PLC '11 Doug Price - PLC '74
Tom Carroll, Esq. - PLC '01 Kyle Hybl - PLC '90 Lisa Dengerink - PLC '98
Devon Tivona - PLC '10 Clint Folsom - PLC '88 Michael Kercheval - PLC '74
Jill Bagley - PLC '79 Andy Klein - PLC '92 Abby Robertson - PLC '98