2013 Distinguished Alumni
Andrea Brantzeg Thomas
A Utah native, Thomas received a B.A. degree in Mass Communication from the University of Utah ('88), and later earned an MBA from Brigham Young University. She is currently Senior Vice President Of Sustainability for Walmart Stores. Thomas is charged with working to embed sustainability into all aspects of the company's business. Since joining Walmart in 2007, Thomas has been committed to sustainability within the Walmart private label business, with responsibilities for global brand, product development and sourcing for the company's proprietary brands. She is also director of The Sustainability Consortium, an independent, global organization developing science and tools to support product sustainability across the consumer goods industry. Thomas has been involved in brand management and innovation for over 18 years, including work with The Hershey Company, Pepsico and Frito-Lay. By her own account, growing up in Utah and spending a lot of time in the outdoors cultivated her passion for social and environmental responsibility.
Pax Natura Foundation
The Pax Natura Foundation will receive the Honorary Distinguished Alumnus Award. As their name reflects, they have made a universal declaration of peace with nature. Pax Natura Foundation (PNF) is a nonprofit, charitable and educational foundation that has acquired and protected more than 500 acres of primary forest in Costa Rica with an additional 60,000 acres as a link in the critical Meso-American Biodiversity Corridor. In March 2007 they partnered with the University of Utah College of Humanities and Salt Lake City to preserve the Costa Rican rain forest and at the same time reduce greenhouse gases through a unique carbon offset program. PNF has received the Gold Standard for CCB Certification from the Rainforest Alliance because of their work in Costa Rica. PNF president and founder Randall Tolpinrud (B.S. Philosophy '74, M.S. Geography '93) will receive the award on behalf of the Foundation