Alumni Profile: Naseem Momtazi '09
President of International and National Sales, Maysara Winery
Owner, Robert Roe
Major at Linfield: Business
What are you doing now?
Currently, I am working full time at Maysara Winery in McMinnville, Oregon, as president of international and national sales. In the beginning, my travels took me to the states that Maysara was represented in. I have been able to build a team to narrow my personal accounts to 23 states and seven countries that I visit on a regular basis. In 2011, I felt the desire to start my own business and opened my first store, Robert Roe, a retail boutique that focuses on women's designer clothing on Aug. 30, 2012, in downtown McMinnville.
Tell us about yourself.
I have always enjoyed making people smile, laugh, and teaching/guiding them. I love to travel, design, create and most of all meet new people and expand my network of friends.
I have a bit of a different experience or outlook than most people due to the way I grew up in a strict (Persian) home as well as having parents that were pretty well known during my late teens and early 20's throughout the community and in the industry. We were taught early that "respect" (in so many different ways) is an important attribute to have in yourself and in representation of our family. My family is the most important piece of who I am because they will always be there no matter what ups or downs we have, so I try to not disappoint them. In our home, I am known to be the comedian and outspoken one of the clan most of the time. I am extremely motivated and dedicated to what I want to do and since I was a kid knew my strength and interests were around business and money. My dad always built my confidence since I was in elementary school that I was talented and gifted when it came to business. I am extremely happy with who I have become today and to see how I will continue to make a positive change for myself and others.
How did Linfield help prepare you for your career?
Linfield was a great experience.
The two main reasons that I look back at Linfield as having helped my career are:
1) I was able to have GREAT relationships with the faculty and professors at Linfield. Not only were the professors readily available when needed, but after graduation I knew that if I ever needed help or answers to a question I could pick up the phone and call (which I have done on multiple occasions).
2) During my junior year I looked for a course that seemed it would not be as difficult as others.
But it was the class in which I really learned to write and was challenged by the teacher to take my ability to speak with confidence and translate that into "the basics of writing." I worked harder than I ever had in school and to this day can't thank him for pushing me that hard the whole semester because it paid off. The moment he pulled me aside at the end of the term and told me that he had never seen such a vast improvement in a student was the best feeling ever.
I was behind on a lot of credits and was told that I would graduate 6-12 months later than I had anticipated. After taking that class, my confidence to be successful in school was the fuel I needed to prove that I can do what I set my mind to accomplish. I ended up petitioning to take 18 or 19 credits the next semester and took 4 to 5 credits online to have a total of 23 credits in one semester which became one of my best GPA semesters in college.
I gained a new sense of personal dedication to my education. It inspired me to not just be a student getting by to get a degree. It took my professor pointing out at that first meeting that my issue was the lack of focus and dedication to the end goal. He once said to me, "just by making motions (flares his hands in the air) doesn't get you anywhere." I have never forgotten those words and remind myself that as long as I am trying -- even if I fall flat on the ground, I will continue to keep moving forward.