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News & Press: TIAA's Weekly Subscriber Email

Hello from TIAA's New Director

Thursday, November 2, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jake Strickler
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Dear Fellow T-birds,

I'd like to take a moment to introduce myself and to share a bit of my personal history in an effort for you to get to know me better.  I started at Thunderbird in August of 1983 and graduated in May of 1985.  I worked my way through school as the PUB manager from January 1984 - May 1985.  Being PUB manager was one of the unique highlights of my Thunderbird career and it allowed me to get to know many of my classmates from 1984 - 1985, as well as develop a deep sense of involvement and commitment to the school.  

I joined Ford Motor Company in June 1985 in an entry level sales and marketing position.  Over the next 30 years, I moved 13 times around the USA, twice to Japan, and to South Korea.  I retired from Ford on January 1, 2016, but remained in Korea, becoming President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea and holding that position until June 30, 2017.  My family and I returned to the USA during the summer and I applied and was accepted for this position and started on October 16, 2017.  

As I moved around the USA and the world during my career with Ford, I also served as President of the New England and Atlanta alumni chapters and as an adviser in the Tokyo and Seoul chapters.  I was the lead recruiter for Ford Motor Company for sales and marketing and have over the years interviewed many T-birds, and even hired a few!  I met my wife, Robbie '86, at an alumni meeting in New York in 1989 and we were married in 1991. We have 2 daughters; Julie, 22, and Allison, 15.  

As you might be able to tell from this short note, Thunderbird has played a central role in my professional and personal life. I am humbled and honored to be appointed as Executive Director for TIAA and thrilled to be able to "give back" to the alumni and school, both of whom have given me so much over the last 32 years.  

I invite you to contact me at with any questions or comments, and I look forward to our conversations. Thank you for being a member of TIAA and what you do in your own way to support TIAA and Thunderbird every day. It is greatly appreciated. 

Best regards,



John Schuldt '85
Executive Director 
Thunderbird Independent Alumni Association