Westmont Magazine On the Leading Edge
Phil Dunkelberger ’80 has spent his career at the forefront of high-tech trends. Hired by Xerox in 1981, he sold some of the first personal computers, work stations and networking systems ever made. During 20 years in the computer industry, he has held leadership positions with pioneering software and Internet-based businesses.
After six years with Xerox, Phil went to Apple where he spent three years as federal government channel manager. At his next stop, Symantec Corp., he served as vice president of U.S. sales and channel marketing and increased sales from $23 million in 1990 to $355 million in 1995. During this time, he developed a multi-tier sales channel and marketing organization.
His responsibilities grew as president and CEO of PGP Inc., which developed mail encryption technology. Network Associates acquired the company during his tenure.
Phil’s next challenge was Vantive Corp., which produced enterprise e-customer relationship software. As president and COO, he launched focused e-customer marketing programs and led the Web-based business-to-business strategies. He was then recruited to serve as board adviser to SoftPlus Inc. in its $400 million acquisition by US Interactive Inc.
This impressive background prepared him for the position he now holds, president and CEO of Embark.com. The 5-year-old Internet site provides services for colleges and universities, resources for prospective students, and opportunities to market related products. It encourages interactions among consumers, institutions and businesses.
Phil credits his Westmont education with giving him the skills and knowledge he needed to succeed. “Westmont was an unbelievably good learning experience for me,” he says. “One day in chapel, President Winter told us that a rigorous liberal arts education builds leadership, not specialization. My college classes challenged me on a lot of different levels. I believe Westmont qualified me to do almost any job.
“In working with people on a lot of different levels, I’ve learned that you need to use metaphors to explain technical things,” he adds. “It’s important to put a human face on technology, and my liberal arts education at Westmont helped me do that.”
Five core principles guide Embark.com: people, process, passion, product, and planning. “People matter the most,” he notes.
Experience managing companies through tough times has enabled Phil to deal with the realities of dot.coms in 2001. “We have tripled revenues while cutting costs in half,” he notes. “We expect to become profitable this year.”
Embark.com receives revenue from about 1,000 colleges and universities listed on the site as well as from corporate partners such as U.S. News & World Report, Capital One, and Visa.
Phil enjoys lecturing on leadership at a local Bible college. “It’s important for Christians to be prepared to live in the world,” he says.
Because he wants Westmont to thrive and to continue teaching students how to become leaders, he has included a significant gift for the college in his living trust. One day, this trust will establish an endowed faculty chair in political science, which was his major.
Phil started giving to the college in 1981 through Xerox’s matching gift program. “I’m a big believer in what Westmont does,” he explains. “It’s a magical place.”
For sample bequest language to include a gift to Westmont in your will or living trust, or for other information, contact Iva Hillegas Schatz, director of planned giving, by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone at 805-565-6034 or 800-998-5652 ext. 1.