The Goal? More Women-Run Businesses

Linda Hothem HROD ’04 started a logistics business, went back to school to learn more about how to run it, and today is CEO of Pacific American Group, a Bay Area property company. Education was a key component to her success, she says.

It wasn’t easy for Hothem to earn her master’s degree in human resources and organizational development. She was running a business with her husband and her sons were in grade school. She went to school at night.

When her husband died unexpectedly, she put school on hold but vowed to return and finish before she turned 40. It took longer than that, but she finished. And she’s glad she did.

“Getting my master’s degree helped me a lot in my business,” she says. “It helped me to manage people, manage communications, manage my company. It worked for me, and I think it could work for others.”

I have dreams that a recipient of my scholarship will go on to do great things and become a future scholarship donor — pay it forward.

That’s why Hothem donated $425,000 to USF to fund scholarships for women.

“I do believe that more women in leadership might be a solution to some of the problems we’re having in business and organizations,” says Hothem. “But without education, that’s not going to happen. So I’m very compelled to continue down the road of making education accessible for women.”

Her scholarship fund supports 11 female graduate students at USF, with scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 each. All students who have demonstrated financial need, a GPA of 3.5 or greater, and are enrolled in the Organizational Development, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, or MBA programs are automatically considered for the scholarship.

"I have dreams that a recipient of my scholarship will go on to do great things and become a future scholarship donor — pay it forward."