Q&A: UAAA Governing Board Chair Brad East

By:
Sarah Beaudry, UA Alumni Association
Brad East with alumni volunteers
Brad East, center, with alumni leaders and volunteers Kellie Terhune Neely, right, and Devin Sreecharana

Brad East ’92 is a senior vice president of investments at Moors & Cabot in Phoenix. He is president of Arizona Traditions and chair of the 2017-18 Alumni Association Governing Board.

East moved to Tucson in 1988 to attend the University of Arizona where he played on the university’s nationally-ranked golf team. He graduated from the university with a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics. He lives in Phoenix with his wife, Melinda, and daughters Hannah and Emmegale. Hannah is a senior at UA.

A die-hard Wildcat fan, East still enjoys playing golf in his spare time. He is a season ticketholder for football and men’s basketball and rarely misses a game. He shares more about his plans as governing board chair and his passion for paying it forward.  

Q: What do you look forward to as the incoming governing board chair?

A: I am very excited to be coming into this role congruently with the arrival of UA President Robert C. Robbins. His energy and vision for the entire alumni population provides the opportunity to build on the recent successes of UAAA President Melinda Burke and her team. 

Q: What are a few things you hope to accomplish as chair?

A: We hope to continue to build on progress of the Alumni Career and Professional Development Lab by connecting Wildcats throughout their careers. Our engagement strategy will be to connect with students from the minute they walk on campus during pre-college visits and orientation through campus life, graduation, and in their professional careers ― “Wildcats Hiring Wildcats!” 

Q: How about progress in the area of campus collaborations?

A: Campus partnerships are more important than ever. We will work collaboratively with the colleges to engage Wildcats, past and present, and connect them with their colleges, the university and the Wildcat community worldwide. We will continue to position the UAAA as the primary alumni engagement gateway.

Q: What do you enjoy most about volunteering for the governing board?

A: The governing board is a dynamic group of very successful people from very diverse backgrounds. It is an open forum that offers numerous viewpoints on how we achieve a common goal.  We are advancing the University of Arizona by connecting and engaging Wildcats for Life. In the process, we have all made some great friendships that will last a lifetime.

Q: Why do you give back to the UA? 

A: I come from a family of Wildcats. My sister is also an alum, and now my oldest daughter attends the UA. We all have had the opportunity to learn and grow at a terrific learning institution. My UA experience shaped my life and I hope to pay that forward for years to come.

Q: Why are you so passionate about “Wildcats Hiring Wildcats!”

A: My career in the investment business was launched 25 years ago by Wendell Garrett ’65. He owned a small boutique investment brokerage in Phoenix and took a chance on a 22-year-old fellow Wildcat. This University of Arizona connection gave me the career opportunity that shaped my professional life. 

Q: What are some of your favorite things to do when you visit campus?

A: Without question, my favorite thing to do when visiting campus the last three years has been to see my daughter while I’m here. We’ve attended many sporting events, alumni events and enjoyed our incredible campus. Now that she is 21, we even get to visit Dirtbags!

Q: What is one of your fondest memories as a UA student?

A: Receiving a bid and joining the fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji).  It created an immediate “family” and student mentors for a kid that moved down from Seattle without knowing a single person.