UVA Darden Class of 2019 Executive MBAs Named Among Poets & Quants Best & Brightest

02 July 2019

By Jessica Nelson

Poets & Quants recently named University of Virginia Darden School of Business alumni Steve Neece (EMBA ’19) and Leigh-Ann Webb (GEMBA ’19) to their list of the 100 Best & Brightest Executive MBAs in the class of 2019.

Steve Neece, director of process management card AML programs at Capital One, said he knew he wanted to return to UVA, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in systems engineering and economics, for his Executive MBA. He told Poets & Quants that the biggest myth about going back to school is that you are giving up having a life:

In reality, you choose your priorities and balance when you will focus on work/family/school. The class that you become a part of also gave me some of the best life experiences and very enjoyable memories.

While pursuing his MBA, working a full-time job and raising his three daughters, Neece still found time for the activities he is passionate about: youth soccer coaching and startup consulting.

Professor Robert Harris commended Neece on the positive impact he has on others.

His individual work is invariably outstanding (among the best I’ve seen in over 40 years of teaching MBAs). Perhaps even more valuable to the program, he sparks learning in everyone around him in so many ways — taking the lead in a discussion, asking a great question, explaining a concept, helping folks outside of class. It is a pleasure to know and work with Steve.

Read Steve Neece’s full profile.

Leigh-Ann Webb is proud to be a triple-Hoo, adding her 2019 Global Executive MBA from the Darden School to her M.D. from the UVA School of Medicine and her bachelor’s in kinesiology from the UVA Curry School of Education.

In addition to her positions as assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the UVA School of Medicine and chief experience officer at The Get-Well Company, Webb is also director of the Charlottesville Annual Community Health Fair, co-director of the leadership curriculum for the UVA School of Medicine and a member of the Darden Student Admissions Committee. As a mother of two, Webb juggles work, family and education every day, but Webb said she is fortunate to never juggle alone.

Webb told Poets & Quants that her time at Darden has inspired her to focus on entrepreneurship.

In the last few weeks of business school, I’ve become more interested in using empathy and innovation to help improve the patient experience. I founded The Get-Well Company to do just that. Ultimately, I would love to grow the company. We want to be the first brand you think of when you need to mobilize a village around a sick loved one.

Professor Lili Powell admires Webb’s ability to excel at everything she touches.

Not only is she an emergency department doctor who specializes in in-flight care, but she also writes stories about her experiences as a physician, advocates passionately for diversity and inclusion in health care, is branching out as a budding entrepreneur, and is now becoming a Darden GEMBA.

Read Leigh-Ann Webb’s full profile.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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Sophie Zunz
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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia