Dina Coker MBA '93

MBA '93

Keller Society Leadership Circle member and former Alumni Council member
Founder and CEO of AKCEL Partners & Founder and CEO of Blink LLC

Tell us about your professional journey after graduating from Fuqua.
I always knew I wanted to start and run my own business, and I figured the best way to gain the right experience was to manage and grow an existing brand for a big company with a big budget. Fuqua allowed me to jump-start the process by preparing me for, and making introductions to, the world’s premier packaged goods companies. After managing brands like Woolite and French’s Mustard, I took the leap and have, for the past 25 years, started, ran, and grown a number of my own businesses. Fuqua is the platform I, and so many others, have used as a launching pad.

How are you involved with Fuqua now as a passionate alumna?
I am involved in committees, I help with development efforts, I have sat on the Alumni Council, etc., but the best part about staying involved is mentoring Fuqua students, particularly women entrepreneurs. The caliber of our students is impressive, and I’ve never been disappointed with the conversations, questions, or concerns they bring up. They are a passionate, bright, and, more importantly, intellectually curious group with which I am so proud to be associated.

What’s the “why” behind your philanthropic support of the Fuqua Annual Fund?
How is this for brutal honesty? I want Fuqua to be the #1 business school in the country, and that takes money. We have to attract the best faculty, build and maintain the best facilities, and admit the brightest, most innovative students. The Annual Fund is the best way for Fuqua to put our money where the need is greatest.

What would you say to other alumni about why they should give to Fuqua?
I tell other alumni what I tell my kids. Pick the five things that made the biggest difference in your life and support them financially for as long as you are able. It doesn’t need to be much, but it should be something, and it should be consistent. Fuqua was a difference-maker for me, and I’m sure it was for other alumni too. It’s important for many of us to remember that we didn’t get where we are today without the Fuqua launching pad.