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Class of 2004


Like the high tech world she has dedicated her talents to for over 20 years, Kirk Arnold has been described as highly energetic, highly enthusiastic, and highly motivational. A pioneer in the information technology industry, she began her career at IBM working her way up a ladder that would lead her eventually to be selected as the Chief Executive Officer of NerveWire, Inc., a management consulting and system integration firm. Under her direction, that company grew from $1 million to $40 million in three years. Respected by many in her field, her dynamic managerial leadership was profiled in a case study by the Harvard Business Review. Currently the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Fidelity Investments, she possesses an uncanny ability for problem solving, and her greatest strengths include her courage to innovate and take risks, learning from every experience so that she may be a teacher and motivator for those around her. Named one of the top leaders by Consulting Magazine in 2000, she personifies a leadership style that embraces humor, intelligence and flexibility. 


Senior Vice President, MassMutual Financial Group
Passionate and dedicated, Beverly Holmes, Senior Vice President at MassMutual Financial Group has been a mentor and inspiration for many. Her dream to establish, build, and lead a prosperous business was realized when she was given the opportunity to create a new venture for MassMutual. She successfully launched the Retirement Services TPA (Third Party Administrators) Alliance Business, and now oversees an operation of 72 employees with over $3.6 billion in assets under management. Beverly Holmes’ success has embraced and touched the world. She has broadened her entrepreneurial spirit to include a deep interest in economic development opportunities for women in developing countries. For her efforts in this area, she has spoken at the United Nations 4th World Conference on Women, and was included in the Women’s Conference Circle at the White House sponsored by former First Lady Hillary Clinton. Believing strongly in giving back to others, she is the founder and president of The Collaborative Group, Inc., a non-profit economic development organization. Throughout her life and in all her endeavors, she has adhered to one guiding principal: “For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required,” (Luke 12:8).


Sherron Watkins reminds us that courage plays a crucial role in our corporate landscape. A certified public accountant and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, her education provided her with the knowledge to build a successful career and a blueprint for action. With tremendous personal risk, she was compelled to point out accounting irregularities that severely compromised Enron. By taking a stand, she has shown us that ethics is not just a word, but is the springboard for character and citizenship. The most unlikely of heroes, she bears a striking resemblance to many of us…she is wife, mother, and friend. Raised in the small town of Tomball, Texas, surrounded by family and friends, she developed a strong spiritual faith that has helped guide and support her. In her decision to “do the right thing”, she showed a different face of courage that we can all aspire to, and that we can all applaud.