Meet the Milestone Team | Milestone Leadership
Milestone Leadership

Our Team



Alex Cornett, Executive in Residence, Soderquist Center

Alex Cornett | Chief Executive Officer (Interim) | Email

Alex serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Milestone Leadership. He has over 30 years of leadership experience in the food industry, working in leadership roles at Steak and Ale Corporation, The Pillsbury Company, and General Mills, as well as working voluntarily for a variety of non-profit organizations. Prior to joining Milestone Leadership, Alex built Pillsbury’s cross-functional business team in Northwest Arkansas, leading the team through and after the General Mills acquisition of Pillsbury. He later led sales and marketing efforts across the Supercenter and Division 1 formats and was also responsible for leading the General Mills partnership with Walmart’s rapidly growing Small Format division. In addition, Alex worked with the General Mills International Team to build and scale the international partnership between Walmart and General Mills and served as the supplier lead for Walmart’s Sustainable Food and Agricultural network. Alex’s areas of expertise are Strategic Planning, Executive Coaching, Starting and Leading Multifunctional Customer Teams, Sales, Innovation and Marketing. Alex is on the Board of Directors for JOYN LLC, has been active on the Development Council for The Jones Center and the Walton Arts Center, and was a Board member for the Center for Retailing Excellence at the University of Arkansas. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas-Arlington.

Sandy Tush, Manager/Facilitator

Sandy Tush | Director | Email | Reading List

Sandy serves as a Director. She is involved with the creation and facilitation of both customized and open enrollment programs. This work includes the utilization of a variety of assessment instruments to help leaders identify their strengths and development needs. Sandy brings over 30 years of experience in adult education and leadership development. She served as the Executive Development Center program manager at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., before joining our team. Prior to that, she held the position of Content Developer / Facilitator for Home Office People Development. She also taught Computer Science courses at community colleges. Sandy is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and also holds multiple certifications, including Professional in Human Resources (PHR), EQ-i, The Birkman Method, and many more. She is passionate about healthy living and is a Mayo Clinic-trained Wellness Coach.

Lori Brown | Executive in Residence | Email

Lori is a seasoned executive with a history of successfully leading consumer goods organizations to achieve significant growth and market presence. She has been effective in developing long-term strategies with customer partners that achieved breakthrough results. Lori is known for building high-performance teams and has a heart for community service and leadership development. Lori enjoyed a 26-year career with large CPG companies and spent over 20 years leading business development initiatives with large customers, including Walmart and Sam’s Club. Her career has featured progressive growth in responsibility and challenge at both Sara Lee and Kimberly-Clark. Lori is currently an Executive in Residence with Milestone Leadership where she facilitates a cohort-based Leadership Circle for Suppliers. In this program, she leads key industry talent in developing the skills necessary to deliver business results and helps build leaders worth following. Additionally, Lori serves as an executive coach to participants in the program. Lori is married to Mike Brown and is the mother of two sons, Mason and Marcus.

Chuck Hyde | Associate | Email

Chuck Hyde is a trusted advisor to CEOs, key executives and emerging leaders. He has a track record of building teams, acquiring and maximizing talent, and delivering results. In addition to his Associate role with Milestone Leadership, Chuck currently chairs peer advisory boards for executives through Vistage International and is an adjunct instructor for JBU Graduate Business program. Prior to this, Chuck spent 12 years at Milestone Leadership, his last 8 as CEO. He also spent 12 years with Kimberly-Clark Corporation in various product supply roles in both manufacturing facilities and assignments at the corporate office including operations, operations support functions and leading strategic projects. Chuck earned his MBA from John Brown University in 2008 and his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arkansas in 1992. Chuck and his wife, Brian, have two sons, Charley and Jonathan.

Tom Verdery | Associate | Email

Tom Verdery serves as an associate facilitator and executive coach for Milestone Leadership and also teaches in the Graduate Business division at JBU. Tom has over 34 years of experience working with Procter & Gamble, of which the last 14 years spent at the senior leadership level working exclusively outside the US with Wal-Mart, Inc. Tom came to Northwest Arkansas in 1989 when P&G asked him to be part of the first supplier team with Wal-Mart. Tom’s areas of expertise include: Strategic Planning & Execution, Executive Coaching, Leadership & Ethics, and Starting and Leading Multifunctional Customer Teams. Tom holds an MBA in Management from The University of Dallas and a BBA in Marketing from Texas Tech University.

Kelly Hale Syer | Associate | Email

Kelly has enjoyed a diverse career in dynamic leadership roles spanning the corporate, nonprofit and higher education sectors. She spent nearly a decade at her alma mater, University of Arkansas, working in career services, admissions, public relations and alumni affairs. Moving then to the corporate world, Kelly focused in the areas of marketing, public relations and public affairs at Tyson Foods and Cox Communications, where she discovered and actively pursued a passion for community engagement and corporate philanthropy. Returning to the nonprofit sector, Kelly served as director of development for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, then as executive director of the Downtown Springdale Alliance to lead efforts in community revitalization. In addition to working as an associate for Milestone, she also owns and operates a digital marketing business, Socialliance. Kelly is married to Scott Syer and has one adult daughter, Haley Zega.

Meaghan Ranz | Special Projects Coordinator | Email

Meaghan serves as Special Projects Coordinator at Milestone Leadership. Her work includes overseeing the fellowship program and managing operations for the organization. Meaghan completed the Soderquist Fellowship program, receiving her MBA with an emphasis in Organizational Behavior, in May 2018. She is passionate about merging her love of organizational development and social services in order to help others make the most of their talents and resources. Meaghan also enjoys removing operational roadblocks for her team so they are set up to serve our customers even more effectively! With a love for travel and new experiences, Meaghan has spent time in Africa, Europe, Canada, and around the US. In her free time, Meaghan enjoys running, playing board games, and listening to podcasts. She especially loves spending quality time with friends and visiting her family around the country.

Carter Henson | Project Coordinator | Email

Carter is a Project Coordinator at Milestone Leadership, assisting in the delivery of programs to many different organizations. He graduated from John Brown University in May 2017 with a B.S. in Communication and a minor in Marketing. He is working towards an MBA with a concentration in Marketing Research and Consumer Insights. While an undergraduate student at JBU, he was involved in various outlets on campus. He served in Residence Life as a Resident Assistant in Hutcheson Hall for two years, and was also a member of Golden Eagle Productions for four years, serving on the JBU Basketball broadcast team and working as one of the play-by-play voices of Golden Eagle basketball. In addition, he has also worked for 90.9 KLRC for three years, serving as a weekend DJ, along with working in the office and helping with station outreach events in the summer. Carter is a native of Northwest Arkansas and is passionate about baseball and other sports, live music, coffee, and spending time with friends and family. 

Marisa Judson | Project Coordinator | Email

Marisa is a Project Coordinator at Milestone Leadership and works on the delivery and marketing team. In May of 2017, Marisa graduated from Appalachian State University in North Carolina with her BSBA in Marketing and a minor in Supply Chain Management. As a part of the Soderquist Fellowship program, she is pursuing her MBA with an emphasis in Market Research and Consumer Insights. In her undergraduate years at Appalachian State University, Marisa actively participated as a leader in Relay for Life and in a program for special needs students called Scholars with Diverse Abilities. Marisa possesses a passion for learning and is eager to be a part of the team at Milestone. Growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Marisa enjoys spending her free time outside running, biking, and hiking.

Shayna Gallacher | Project Coordinator | Email

Shayna is a Project Coordinator at Milestone Leadership, working on the delivery team. In May of 2018, Shayna graduated from New Mexico State University with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business with minors in Business Administration, Marketing, Finance, and Economics. She is currently working towards an MBA with a concentration in International Business. During her undergraduate time at New Mexico State University, Shayna served in numerous leadership roles in the Associated Students of New Mexico State University (student government), FFA, and Chi Omega Women’s Fraternity. Growing up on her family’s cattle ranch in central New Mexico, Shayna has a deep passion for production agriculture. She enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, and being outdoors.

Will Frecker | Project Coordinator | Email

Will serves as a Project Coordinator at Milestone Leadership, working in the delivery of programs full time. In April 2018, Will graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with his BA in Management and Marketing. As a part of the Soderquist Fellowship program, he is pursuing his MBA. In his undergraduate years at Indiana Wesleyan University, Will spent two years working at the Recreation and Wellness Center as a personal trainer and as head student manager of the facility. Will has a passion for learning and training and is excited about the opportunity to be a part of the team at Milestone Leadership. Will enjoys spending his free time mountain biking, hiking, working out, and playing cards with family and friends. Coming from Indiana, Will is looking for three other people who know how to play euchre.

Myriah Yam | Project Coordinator | Email

Myriah is as a Project Coordinator at Milestone Leadership and is responsible for aiding in program delivery. She also serves as the co-advisor for Enactus at John Brown University; a project-based club focused on social entrepreneurship. Enactus played a key role in Myriah’s undergraduate education and professional development, where she held officer and project leader positions. In May 2018, she graduated from John Brown University with degrees in Marketing and Graphic Design. She is now pursuing an MBA with an emphasis in Design Thinking and Innovation. Originally from northern California, Myriah enjoys exploring the outdoors, participating in athletics, experimenting in the kitchen, and creating art.