Alumni on the Move
Darin Facer, ’06, has been promoted to managing director from director in the enterprise improvement unit. The restructuring, consulting, and financial advisory firm is headquartered in Southfield, Michigan.
BPL Global, Ltd.:
William Downey, ’78, has been appointed to the board of directors. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the company offers automation software and services to electric utility companies. Downey was president and chief operating officer of Great Plains Energy and president and chief operating officer of Kansas City Power & Light Company.
Murli Buluswar, ’01, has been named chief science officer, a newly created position. The insurance broker is based in New York.
David Broecker, ’89, has joined as president, research models and services. The company provides research for such industries as pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, agrochemical, and chemical, as well as universities, government, and other research organizations. It is based in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Jennifer O’Connell, ’96, has joined as director, account development. The integrated branding, marketing, and public relations agency has offices in Newton, Massachusetts, and San Antonio, Texas.
Grant Gufstafson, ’86, has been appointed to the board of directors. Based in South Jordan, Utah, the company makes light building and heavy construction materials. Gufstafson is a private equity senior advisor in the industrial products market.
Scott George, ’80, has been named senior vice president, corporate development. Based in Batesville, Indiana, the company makes and sells business-to-business products and services for a variety of industries.
Illinois Hospital Association Quality Care Institute:
Derek Robinson, ’07, has been appointed executive director. Headquartered in Naperville, Illinois, the association represents and advocates for 200 Illinois hospitals and health systems and their patients.
Lubin School of Business at Pace University:
John James, ’57 (XP-13), has been named inaugural executive director of the school’s new Center for Global Governance, Reporting and Regulation. James is a professor at Lubin, which is located in New York.
Mediterranean Oil & Gas Plc:
Jake Ulrich, ’83, has been named nonexecutive director of the board. The oil and gas producer, explorer, and developer is based in Rome, Italy, and registered in London. Ulrich was senior energy advisor to Och Ziff Management Europe Ltd.
MLV & Co.:
Michael Peterson, ’02 (EXP-7), has joined as managing director and senior energy research analyst. The boutique investment bank is based in New York.
Nuveen Multi-Strategy Income and Growth Fund:
Douglas Baker, ’02, has been named to the portfolio management team. Baker also serves as portfolio manager for the Nuveen Preferred Securities Fund and related preferred security strategies. Nuveen Investments is based in Chicago.
Richard Smith, ’78, has joined as senior supervising estimator in the San Francisco, California, office. Smith is serving as lead estimator for the state’s high-speed train project. Headquartered in New York, the infrastructure company offers strategic consulting, planning, engineering, and construction management organization.
People’s Merchant Plc:
Ramanan Govindasamy, ’09 (AXP-8), has been appointed to the board as a nonexecutive director. The financial institution is involved in leasing, real estate, and corporate and trade finance. It is based in Sri Lanka. Govindasamy is managing director and CEO of Capital TRUST Financial Management and Capital TRUST Wealth Management.
Piedmont Henry Hospital:
Charles Scott, ’75, has been named to the board of directors. The hospital is located in Stockbridge, Georgia. Scott is president and CEO of the hospital, which changed its name from Henry Medical Center on January 1.
Christina Liu, MBA ’80, PhD ’86,has been appointed finance minister by the nation’s premier. Liu previously served as head of the country’s Council for Economic Development.
John Snyder, ’00,, has joined as vice president of product management. The company provides customer service for governments, businesses, and colleges and universities. It is based in Woodridge, Illinois.
Alumni to Know
Wahl & Case, a recruitment firm, has won the top prize at the Japan Headhunter Awards. At the awards ceremony, Michael Case, AB ’99, MBA ’10 (AXP-9), was named MVP in the internet industry on behalf of his firm’s Internet and eCommerce practice, according to a December 22 PRLog press release. Case is managing director at the Tokyo-based firm. Case writes that his firm was one of the sponsors of the Economist’sJapan Summit, which drew economists, academics, and 200 of the region’s top CEOs.
Gul Chotrani, ’08 (AXP-7), was interviewed about photos he took of the Omo people in Ethiopia for a January 23 blog post on the Leica website. His journey there was also discussed in the January issue of Conde Nast Traveler. In the blog, Chotrani explained why an investment banker such as he would want to photograph indigenous people in a traditional culture. “Like most curious people I have innate interests or passions of a deeply personal nature,” Chotrani said. “Perhaps mine revolved around design and aesthetics, but I never was able to pursue them in the early part of my life for various reasons.
Michael Holmes, ’08, made a satisfying career leap from private equity giant Carlyle Group to working as vice president for his father-in-law’s chain of tire and auto stores. His business success is discussed in a January 8 profile in the Washington Post. “I thought it would be an interesting opportunity to build a business,” Holmes said of the career switch he made five years ago. Holmes put all the stores under a single brand, Virginia Tire and Auto, and spent $1 million to automate them under one computer network. He also bought the land that housed three of the stores as a real estate investment. The chain boasts 403 employees and $67 million inrevenue, the article said. Holmes’s father-in-law Myron "built this up, and now we want to take it to the next level," Holmes said in the newspaper article.
What has happened to the Chicago Booth class of 2001, who survived two financial crashes and lived to tell about it? At her 10-year class reunion, Megan McArdle, ’01, got the scoop on classmates’ ups and downs and wrote about it for the January/February issue of The Atlantic. “The good news is that most of my classmates seem to have landed somewhere safe, warm, and in the workforce, which should reassure recent graduates wondering if their life is over,” McArdle writes. “Less happily, that somewhere isn’t really where many expected to end up; reality has taken us down a peg or nine.” In the article, Julie Morton, associate dean of Career Services and Corporate Relations at Booth, confirms that McArdle’s class and the one following it were hit harder than others before or after, because of massive layoffs in the financial sector during their careers’ first years. McArdle also cites figures from Steven Kaplan, Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance, who reported that between 2007 and 2009 the share of adjusted gross income that went to the top 1 percent dropped from 23.5 percent to 17.6 percent—the largest two-year drop since 1928-30. On January 12, McArdle and Kaplan both appeared on an NPR program, a panel discussion on the role of private equity firms in the US economy, in light of the political debate surrounding presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s background at Bain Capital.
Power2Switch, a website that lets consumers choose where they want to buy electricity, is playing in Peoria. “We believe that folks should have full flexibility in choosing their power source,” Phil Nevels, ’10, chief operating officer and cofounder of Power2Switch, said in a January 30 article in the Peoria (IL) Journal Star. “One of the problems with municipal deals is that they take time, sometimes up to a year. You can start saving today by selecting your own supplier.”
The Australian Financial Review discusses the career of Stephen Penman, ’78, and reviews his book, Accounting for Value. The January 24 article says, “Investors looking for a fresh perspective on how to make money in the stock market during these troubled times ought to read the latest book by Stephen Penman, the Australian accounting expert from Queensland who is now an Ivy League professor.” The book “not only restores your faith in the importance of accounting and balance sheets, it puts the knife into some dangerously misleading accounting practices widely used by banks and insurance companies.”
Young entrepreneurs are constantly working and when they’re not, they tend to be thinking of new business ideas, said a January 23 article in Crain’s Chicago Business. Entrepreneurs “can't help it,” said C. J. Przybl, ’11, CFO of BodyShopBids Inc, a website that allows car owners to seek competitive bids from local body shops by uploading photos of the car damage. “You're always thinking of something,” said Przybl.
StrongMail continues to attract clients, most recently adding CheapAir.com to its list of users of its cloud-based email marketing services, according to a January 17 article on Yahoo! Finance. A team of Booth students, finalists in the 2003 New Venture Challenge, have been credited in the past with developing the business plan that enabled StrongMail to attract financing. One of them, Rita Ravinda, ’04, is the former director of finance at StrongMail Systems. StrongMail was recently selected by Forrester Research, Inc. as one of six email marketing providers “best-suited for enterprise marketers,” according to a January 24 PRWeb article.
Honeywell vice president for renewable energy and chemicals Jim Rekoske, ’10 (XP-79), talked about the biofuel business in the November 7 issue of Fast Company. “We’ve been in the industry for 97 years, and we’re very good at knowing how to make the right fuels for the right specifications,” he said. “We transform natural oils to look exactly like the petroleum-based fuels of today. Our fuel can come from camelina, which is grown in dry-land wheat rotation. Nature provides the energy to create the feedstock—we just have to nudge it in the right direction. With a single feedstock, we can make fuel for the military, commercial aviation, trucks, and cars. It’s challenging to get the whole value chain—agriculture, chemistry, logistics—to work together. We’re not going to change over from petroleum anytime soon, but there will be other solutions too.”
China’s housing market bubble is about to burst, which would lower the country’s growth rate, said Shawn Tully, ’73, in a January 23 article he wrote for CNN Money. Tully is senior editor-at-large. “The housing frenzy has driven prices so high, so fast, that a crash on the scale of the real estate collapse in Japan in the 1990s is a virtual certainty,” Tully wrote. “And China’s already exaggerated official growth rate could take a pounding, all the way to the zone of the unthinkable, into the low single digits.”