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Committed to holistic excellence

September 14, 2015

A 2001 graduate of NNU’s School of Business, Jill (Willey) Wright has maintained the same commitment to achievement that she demonstrated while at NNU. In 1998, Wright was a founding member of NNU’s Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE, now known as Enactus) team, which, since her time as leader, has earned seven regional championships and a second place honor in the 2005 national competition.

After graduating from NNU, Wright was recruited by the Campbell Soup Company, a SIFE sponsor, as a retail business manager responsible for 80 retail stores located in the Olympia, Washington area. In 2002 she was promoted to supply chain specialist, and then moved into the position of customer logistics manager in 2005. The promotions didn’t stop there—she took on the position of senior business manager in 2007. Wright spent 12 years with the Campbell Soup Company and earned three “merit awards”—the highest honor bestowed by Campbell’s recognizing extraordinary results—during her career with them. In 2013, Wright made the decision to join Pfizer Consumer Healthcare as a business development manager working with Costco Wholesale.

Dr. David Houghton, former NNU business professor, explained how Jill has stayed connected with SIFE throughout her career, saying, “Jill was a founding member of NNU’s SIFE team. She still works with SIFE teams as an advisor and cooperates with the global SIFE organization as well.” Amidst the dedication and hard work Wright pours into her career, she still manages to give back to the community. “During her time at Campbell’s, she co-developed a new competition around Stamp Out Hunger. The goal of the competition was for SIFE students to teach their communities the personal success skills and financial management skills to end the cycle of hunger in the U.S.,” added Houghton. In 2008, Wright was presented with the SIFE Alumni of the Year Award.

One NNU student Jill mentored, Ashley (Bruce) Somers (2005), eventually worked with Jill at Campbell’s. “Jill and I were paired through the NNU Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) program during my freshman year and her first year post-college … over the past 14 years I had the opportunity to connect with Jill not only as a mentor, but for six years as a colleague at Campbell Soup Company and as a friend through it all. We’ve both had the blessing of experiencing enriching careers, raising families and serving God together,” Ashley commented. To this day, Jill is one of the first people Ashley looks to when she needs advice, prayer or a shared laugh.

Jill also finds ways to be involved in bettering the community outside of the business industry. “While Jill lived in Olympia, she taught Sunday school at Calvary Chapel. There were about 50 kids in her class, ranging from first to third grade. They were the shining stars of her week!” Houghton shared.

Recently the Lord blessed Jill and her husband Colby with the dream of returning to her family’s ranch in McCall, Idaho where they will be able to raise their family, daughter Josie (5) and son Charlie (3). Jill leads the “Cubbies” group at Awanas in McCall. She feels honored and blessed to be able to return to the community that nurtured her upbringing and looks forward to continuing to give back through church activities, school athletics and 4-H.

Jill has stayed true to what it means to embody the mission of NNU—becoming God’s creative and redemptive agent in the world—exemplifying Christian character throughout her career. For her commitment to putting God first, the university is proud to honor Jill Wright with the Leon Doane Young Alumnus award.

@nwnazarene