Southwestern Advantage

Alumni

For generations, Southwestern Advantage has helped young people achieve their goals in life. Well over 100,000 college and university student students have gained valuable business and life skills that have helped them with their careers, relationships and day-to-day life. We are very proud of the legacy these men and women are building and leaving all over the world!

Distinguished Alumni

Chip Gaines

Chip Gaines | Star of HGTV TV’s Fixer Upper, Author

“I also sold books for a company called Southwestern… I’ll tell you – that job changed my perspective as a college student… If I had been a lifeguard or if I had waited tables over the summers, I would have wound up going out with my buddies and spending half my pay jacking around… I realized most people don’t want to do what it takes to do a lot of things. I made up my mind right then and there – I would do whatever it takes to be successful.”

Kevin Stitt

Kevin Stitt | Governor of Oklahoma

"As a former sales representative, I can tell you first-hand that this was a worthwhile experience and one I highly recommend. Today's job market is extremely competitive and programs such as these instill ‘real world’ work ethics in sales and marketing."

Jeff Dobyns

Jeff Dobyns | CFP®, CLU, ChFC. President, Southwestern Investment Group

“Wow, the lessons that I learned, the friends that I met, and the experiences that were shared made an enormous impact on my life. I could never replace the experiences over the four summers on the bookfield, and all of the training that I received throughout the school year…..thank you, thank you, thank you!”

Jon Yarborough

Jon Yarborough | Forbes 400 Member, Founder and CEO of Video Gaming Technologies

“Truly, this is the greatest personal achievement and leadership development program on the planet… I’ve been in business 30-something years… and I’ve always come back to what I learned at Southwestern.”

David Stuart

David Stuart | Founder, President of Southwestern Insurance Group

“Going into My first summer with Southwestern Advantage I would never have guessed the impact it would end up having on my life. Many of my closest friends and business partners today are people I sold with. By 22 I was able to condense ten years of real world experience into four summers of selling and recruiting. The sales, leadership, mental toughness and self-discipline I developed in the Southwestern Arena gave me the confidence to become an entrepreneur.”

Marsha Blackburn

Marsha Blackburn | U.S. Senator

“I became the first female to represent Tennessee in the U.S. Senate, and as I did that, I took a lot of lessons with me that I learned [at Southwestern]... You’re going to take away skills that you will use for the rest of your life, no matter where you go… I moved away from sales and into statesmanship, but everyday I encounter situations that take me back to the lessons I learned… If I persist I will succeed… By the end of the summer, you’ll be an expert at it.”

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Dave Causer | President of Global Educational Concepts

“I have been very blessed with the opportunity to stay with the same company for my entire career. Following the Southwestern principles, being surrounded with great mentors and having an attitude of moving forward has always been important. I cannot wait until tomorrow.”

Marty Fridson

Marty Fridson | American Financial Author

Fridson earned a B.A. cum laude in History from Harvard University in 1974, and as a result of gaining entrepreneurial work experience with Southwestern Advantage selling books door-to-door during college, was able to attend Harvard Business School the following semester, eventually graduating in 1976 with an MBA. He was also awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1982.

Emily Wood

Emily Wood | Chief Engineer/Co-Founder of Sanivation

“This intense ‘non-engineering’ experience made me such an intriguing graduate that I never applied for a single job but was approached and offered numerous engineering management jobs. All of my success I can truly trace back to working with Southwestern. There is nothing that has or could have prepared me better for chasing my dreams as an engineer. I use the skills, character and habits I learned with Southwestern every day of my life. Most of my engineering peers who got ‘engineering’ internships or co-ops ‘in their field’ spent most of their summer waiting for their boss to give them more spreadsheets to do while living at home and not really making that much money. I wish I could encourage every college student to step out of what is normal, and take on the responsibility, the pressure, the hard work of Southwestern Advantage because you will be forced to solve problems… a LOT of problems… and THAT is what will make you an engineer. "

Quayle Hodek

Quayle Hodek | Founder & CEO of Renewable Choice Energy

Quayle Hodek is the founder & CEO of Renewable Choice Energy, founding investor and director of business development at zoomculture, and helped create the Green-e Certification Program. He was featured in Red Herring’s Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 35; in the Denver Business Journal 2006 Power Book; and is Listed at 19 of EarthFirst Hottest (Green) Guy.

Greg Boucher

Greg Boucher | President of Thinking Ahead

“The SWA experience shaped me in more ways than can be easily told. More than anything though, seven summers selling, and six years recruiting, exponentiated my emotional intelligence as a leader. Being able to understand other people’s emotions, manage my own, and communicate effectively, have proven invaluable through my career arc. Thank you, SWA!”

Chinh Chu

Chinh Chu | Founder and Managing Director at CC Capital Partners, LLC

Chinh E. Chu is the Founder and Managing Director at CC Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment firm which he founded in 2015. Mr. Chu and CC Capital founded 2 SPACs: CF Corp. ($1.2 billion), the largest U.S. SPAC raised at such time in May 2016 and Collier Creek ($475 million), a consumer products SPAC raised in October 2018 with Roger Deromedi and Jason Giordano.

Mac Anderson

Mac Anderson | Founder of Successories Inc, Simple Truths, Inspire Kindness and McCord Travel

Mac Anderson was the founder of Succesories Inc, Simple Truths and Inspire Kindness, the leader in designing and marketing products for motivation and recognition. These companies, however, are not the first success stories for Mac. He was also the founder and CEO of McCord Travel, the largest travel company in the Midwest, and part owner/VP of sales and marketing for Orval Kent Food Company, the country’s largest manufacturer of prepared salads.

Dita Prikrylova

Dita Prikrylova | Czechitas, Forbes 30 Under 30

“Over my (Southwestern) years, I gained skills that helped me tremendously in university and when building my professional career: proactivity, self-discipline, goal setting and positive attitude.”