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This prestigious annual competition named for the extraordinary financial contributions of Wayne Jackson (’85) and Don Rainey (’82) sees their generous endowment of award contributions fast approaching the one-half million-dollar mark. Since 2014, Wayne and Don have been joined in their philanthropy by Katherine Ferguson (’04), who created and funds the competition’s ‘Ferguson Top Female Leader Award.’ Through the years, the three have consistently dedicated their time and business acumen, serving as preliminary and final-round judges alongside numerous other enthusiastic JMU College of Business alums who find the opportunity to give back to their beloved alma mater and engage with the exceptional student finalists a rewarding one.

*Also served as preliminary round judge

2021 Judges
Katherine Ferguson - Marketing EAC
Katherine Ferguson*

Senior VP, Business Development, Cooley, LLP

Katherine Ferguson is Senior VP of Business Development at Cooley LLP, the leading full service law firm representing innovative, high growth companies around the world. In addition to leading BD and strategy, Katherine serves as a trusted advisor and provides strategic guidance to emerging tech companies and venture capital funds. She leverages her network and the Cooley platform to help companies navigate a variety of complex challenges throughout lifecycles, to include raising capital, introductions to targeted investors and potential acquirers and positioning for successful liquidity event. She previously served as the Chief Marketing Officer of a cloud tech company, Callis Communications. Katherine (’04) graduated from James Madison University with a B.B.A. in marketing.

Braun Jones - Entrepreneur, Investor, Investment Banker
Wm. Braun Jones, III

Entrepreneur, Investor, Investment Banker

Braun Jones is the managing member of Stonehaven Capital, a private company and real estate investment holding company, and the CEO of AsiAmerica, LLC, an international market development and software distribution company.

Jones is a veteran entrepreneur who has founded companies and exited successfully through M&A and IPO transactions, and was a founder and owner of three technology focused investment banks, all of which he successfully exited. He has invested in more than 25 private companies with over 10 successful exits, as well as real estate development projects and rental properties. Jones has served on multiple boards of technology companies and nonprofits.

Jones earned his B.S. in finance from Virginia Tech (’87) and an MBA from JMU (’88), and is a FINRA Registered Representative (Series 7, 24, 63, 79). Jones resides in Virginia with his wife and four children.

Nick Langridge - VP for University Advancement, JMU
Nick Langridge, Ph.D., '00, '07, '14

VP for University Advancement, James Madison University

Since 2012, Nick Langridge has served as Vice President for University Advancement at James Madison University and leads Unleashed, the university’s second comprehensive campaign. His responsibilities include communications and marketing, development and principal relationships, constituent engagement, information systems and advancement planning and operations.

Previously he served five years as the assistant to former JMU President Linwood H. Rose. In addition, Langridge had responsibility for university planning and the office of Institutional Research within the division of Student Affairs. His prior experience was in Intercollegiate Athletics at JMU serving as the director of the Duke Club and then as the assistant athletic director for development for Major Gifts.

Langridge earned all three of his degrees from JMU: a bachelor’s degree in speech communication, an MBA, and most recently his Ph.D. degree in Strategic Leadership with a concentration in higher education. He currently teaches SCOM413, Fundraising and Donor Motivation within the communications studies program.

Justin Quaglia - Senior VP, High Yield Bond Trading,Oaktree Capital Management
Justin Quaglia*

Senior VP, High Yield Bond Trading, Oaktree Capital Management

Justin Quaglia is a Senior Vice President and bond trader at Oaktree Capital Management in Los Angeles, CA where he specializes in high yield, stressed, and distressed credit trading. Prior to joining Oaktree, Justin worked in leveraged finance sales and trading for Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York City.

Justin is a Value Investor in Residence with UCLA’s Benjamin Graham Value Investing Program where he teaches investment principles, theories, and applications to undergraduate students. 

Justin graduated from JMU with a B.B.A. in finance and economics (’11) and remains actively involved with the University. He serves as the Alumni Coordinator for the College of Business Career Trek Program and is a member of the Department of Finance and Business Law Advisory Board.

Don Rainey, General Partner, Grotech Ventures
Don Rainey*

Chief Judge General Partner, Grotech Ventures

Don Rainey has been a venture capitalist for over 20 years and currently serves on the Boards of Grotech portfolio companies Ceterus, Zenoss, Intellinote, Payzer, Contactually and Passport Parking. Rainey was a member of the JMU Board of Visitors from 2011 to 2015. Rainey has been named “Financier of the Year” and recognized for lifetime achievement by the Northern Virginia Technology Council. He earned a B.B.A. from James Madison University and an M.S. in Bioscience from George Mason University.

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