Josh Thiel, who graduated from Westside in 1996, graduated from West Point in 2000 with a major in economics and a minor in systems engineering. Upon graduation, he entered active duty service in the U.S. Army. He graduated from Ranger, Sapper, Pathfinder and the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2005 and has attended several other military courses. In his first 17 years in the military, he earned advanced degrees from American Military University and the Naval Postgraduate School. He has conducted operational deployments to Papua New Guinea, Iraq, Thailand, Malaysia, Afghanistan, the Philippines and Korea. As a lieutenant colonel, Thiel is the Battalion Commander for 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington. In 2018, he redeployed to Afghanistan where he commanded all Special Forces units.
Douglas Britt, who graduated from Westside in 1964, was an Executive of Dynamac International, Inc. and its subsidiary, the Dynamac Corporation for 28 years. He served as its President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) for 16 years, including its merger with Consolidated Safety Services (CSS) in 2010. Britt was responsible for day-to-day operations and strategic planning for the combined CSS-Dynamac enterprise until retiring in 2015. CSS-Dynamac and Dynamac International provided advanced scientific support services, including laboratory testing, environmental monitoring, bioastronautics and space exploration, and emergency response and disaster recovery. CSS-Dynamac helped design and implement some of the nation’s most critical environmental programs for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Defense (DoD), and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Britt twice received NASA’s Public Service Medal, the highest honor NASA can bestow on a non-civil servant – once for helping design and manage the Space Life Science Laboratory in Exploration Park, FL, and once for his management of the John F. Kennedy Space Center’s Life Science Services Contract.
Stephen Oesterle, who graduated from Westside in 1969, is currently a Venture Partner at New Enterprise Associates in Palo Alto, CA and as of 2018 served as a consultant to private equity firms in Stockholm and Singapore. Previously, Oesterle was Medtronic’s Senior Vice-President for Medicine and Technology and a member of the Medtronic Executive Committee for 14 years. Steve graduated summa cum laude from Harvard and received his medical degree from Yale, completing his internship and residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at Stanford and then served on the faculty at Stanford and Harvard Medical Schools while directing the Invasive Cardiology Services at Stanford Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Vicki Veenker, who graduated from Westside in 1980, is an intellectual property attorney and mediator who was the founding partner of the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Group at Shearman & Sterling LLP, later founding Veenker Law Offices in 2013. Vicki has represented Stanford University, biotech companies, a Nobel laureate, and other innovators. She is a Board Member and former President of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley. Vicki serves on mediation panels for the International Trade Commission and the Federal Court in Northern California. In 2002, Vicki was named one of California’s top 20 lawyers under 40 by California Law Business and has been named a leading IP practitioner numerous times by industry publications. She was also Co-Founder and General Counsel for Women’s Professional Soccer. Vicki served as an adjunct professor of law at UC Hastings and Santa Clara University. She earned a law degree from Georgetown University, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Law & Technology, and a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.A. in Political Science, both from Indiana University, where she received the Elvis J. Stahr Distinguished Senior Award. Currently, Vicki is the Director of the California Health Reform Roundtable for the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution in Washington, DC.
Stephen A. McGaw
Stephen McGaw, who graduated from Westside in 1979, is the senior vice-president for corporate strategy and development, responsible for driving AT&T’s overall long-term planning activities and strategic initiatives globally. Stephen graduated from Purdue University with his B.S. in Industrial Engineering before receiving his M.S. in Computer Science from Northwestern University and his MBA from the University of Texas-Austin. Previously, he led the business marketing organization, where he oversaw all product management and marketing of services to millions of business customers. McGaw is a member of the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business Advisory Committee and on the Board of Trustees for LaunchAbility, a non-profit company serving Dallas-area families.
Mary Alice Arthur
Mary Alice Arthur, who graduated from Westside in 1976, is a Story Activist. She focuses on the power of stories – how they work, influence, change. She engages in the practice of using story for positive systemic shift and for focusing collective intelligence on the critical issues of our times. She says, “We live in a story – and that means we can change it.” Her art is creating and hosting spaces for wise action, where people can step in, step up, and step out powerfully together. Here’s what she says to you reading this, “No matter where life seems to be going, remember: Always hold on to your curiosity. It will take you places you never expected, keep you adaptable, build bridges to others. You will never be bored! Find joy in learning. If you keep your love of learning, you’ll gain from every moment and see even pain has gold inside it. You are in charge of your own story. Don’t let anyone else define it, decide for yourself. Your story will not look like anyone else’s. Like Rumi said: ‘Be yourself, everyone else is taken.’ Have courage to find your own way and tell your own story. The world needs you.”