Alumni Connections - No. 109 - August 2013

Alumni Connections is a sampling of alumni news. Alumni on the Move, Alumni to Know, CEO Watch: Taking the Lead, and CEO Watch: Making Headlines share news gleaned from media online and in print, including news submitted to Chicago Booth Magazine. Submit information about yourself or fellow alumni to

Alumni on the Move

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ALASKA RAILROAD CORP.: Barbara Amy, '95, was promoted to CFO from director, corporate finance of Anchorage-based Alaska Railroad Corp.

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AZZAD ASSET MANAGEMENT PLC: Christian Greiner, '11, was promoted to portfolio manager for the Azzad Ethical Fund of Falls Church, Virginia–based Azzad Asset Management PLC. Greiner had been with the fund's sub-advisory firm Ziegler Lotsoff Capital Management since 2003.

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BLOOMBERG VIEW: Megan McArdle, '01, joined Bloomberg View as a columnist. She writes about the economy, business, politics, and national affairs.

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DIEBOLD INC.: Karthikeyan Ganapathi, '05, was named vice president and managing director of the South Asia region OF North Canton, Ohio–based Diebold Inc. He had been vice president, corporate strategic planning and development. Diebold makes automated teller machines and other equipment for financial, commercial, government, and retail markets worldwide.

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DRIVECAM INC.: Paul Pucino, '92, was appointed executive vice president and CFO of San Diego–based DriveCam Inc., a risk management company that offers programs to train and coach drivers and correct the causes of poor driving among commercial and government fleet clients.

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EDELMAN/CHICAGO: Una Pipic, '08, has joined public relations firm Edelman/Chicago as senior vice president of marketing and new business development. Previously, Pipic, former chief operating officer of the Chicago Entrepreneurial Center and its technology start-up incubator 1871, worked on strategic partnerships with local and national organizations, including Google, Startup America, and Chicago Booth.

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ESTEE LAUDER COMPANIES INC.: Michael O'Hare, '94, was appointed executive vice president, global human resources, at New York–based skin care and makeup giant Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

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EXPEDIA INC.: Vikram Malhi, '07, became general manager for Southeast Asia. He remains country head of India. The online travel company is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington.

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FINNING INTERNATIONAL INC.: Scott Thomson, '98, was named a member of the board of directors of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada–based Finning International Inc., where he is president and CEO.

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GAVIN/SOLMONESE LLC: Wayne Weitz, '89, was promoted to managing director from director at Wilmington, Delaware-based corporate restructuring and public affairs strategy firm Gavin/Solmonese LLC.

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GE HEALTHCARE: Shuchi Varandani, '09, was appointed managing director of business development at medical technology company GE Healthcare. She will lead mergers and acquisitions activities for the health-care information technology business based in Barrington, Illinois.

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ILLINOIS BANKERS ASSOCIATION: Charie Zanck, '87 (XP-56), vice chair and CEO of American Community Bank and Trust in Woodstock, Illinois, was elected chair of the Illinois Bankers Association. With offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, the trade association aims to promote a positive economic climate for all types of banks in the state. Zanuck also is president of the Challenger Learning Center for Science and Technology, also based in Woodstock.

Alumni Connections

NAPERVILLE COMMUNITY TELEVISION: Patrick Branham, '00, was appointed to the board of directors of cable programming channel Naperville Community Television, based in the Chicago suburb. Branham is CFO of Aurora, Illinois-based cleanup and restoration services company Aftermath Service LLC.

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QVZ INC.: Ted Jastrzebski, '85, was named CFO of West Chester, Pennsylvania–based video and e-commerce retailer QVC Inc.

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RANDOM HOUSE PUBLISHING GROUP: David Ebershoff, '96, was promoted to vice president and executive editor at Random House Publishing Group from editor-at-large. As the editor of two Pulitzer-winning books, Ebershoff said he looks for "that kind of voice that's its own; that kind of literary fiction that can make a splash; that kind of writer who you really can't anticipate what they're going to do next because their mind is so original."

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SUNERA LLC: Christopher Denver, '99, joined Tampa-based business and technology risk consulting services firm Sunera LLC as director of the firm's Chicago office.

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TRANSUNION LLC: Himanshu Varandani, '09, joined Chicago-based credit and information management giant TransUnion LLC as director of operational excellence, health care.

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UNITED DRUG: Lisa Ricciardi, '86, was named to the board of United Drug. The Dublin-based firm provides outsourced supply chain, sales, marketing, medical, packaging, and specialty services to international health care business clients. Ricciardi is a US-based pharmaceutical consultant.

Alumni to Know


Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC) honored Tom Ricketts, AB '87, MBA '93, with the 2013 Momentum Award of Entrepreneurial Champion and Scott Swanson, '96, with the 2013 Momentum Award of Corporate Champion. Ricketts, chair of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, also is cofounder and chair of Chicago-based investment services firm Incapital LLC. Swanson, regional president of PNC Bank in Illinois, has guided the bank to work with entrepreneurs and support education, the arts, and community development.


The Chicago Council on Global Affairs named four Booth alumni to its Emerging Leaders Class of 2015, which brings together "exceptional individuals who are in tune with global trends and who can spot and react smartly to the fast-paced events that will shape Chicago's future." They are: Benjamin Bader, '98, executive vice president of Chicago-based commercial real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle; Alison Ranney, '96, Midwest lead, nonprofit, and education practice for New York–based global executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates; Linhard Stepf, '05 (EXP-10), president of FrankfurtRhineMain Corp., which markets the region and is headquartered in Frankfurt Am Main, Germany; and Lisa Thomas, '06, director of investments, Asia, for Washington, DC–based Equator Capital Partners LLC.


In a Q&A about his company's investment strategy, Pavel Begun, '03, compares ice hockey and value investing. "In hockey you have 20 players on the team, but you have to give your first line a disproportionate amount of ice time in order to win. Similarly, in investing, you have to have a disproportionate amount of money invested in your top ideas if you want to have great long-term performance," Begun, cofounder of 3G Capital Management LLC, said in a June 8 interview in Business Outlook India. "If we had less concentration in our top ideas over the years, our track record would have been more pedestrian. Also, a good hockey player knows what he'll do with the puck well before he receives the pass—a good investment manager knows whether a certain business is a buy or not well before its stock price falls."


William Drew Boyd, '90 (XP-59), co-wrote Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results. The book description on Amazon concludes: "Inside the Box shows that more innovation—and better and quicker innovation—happens when you work inside your familiar world (yes, inside the box) using a set of templates that channel the creative process in a way that makes us more—not less—creative."


Michael Bushman, '97 (XP-66), wrote the novel Secession 2041, a sequel to his first novel, Melting Point 2040. The plot centers on what happens when the melting pot reaches the boiling point and civil war ensues.


Sean Everett's, '11, consumer technology company, Adam & Luna, unveiled StoryApp, which allows customers to record their voice over multiple photos and chat with friends using stories locked in their phones' photos. The company, which he cofounded, also offers creative work for select clients with "interesting stories to tell," Everett said. To develop the app, Everett brought in a story artist who had worked on Disney animated films—Ice Age, Horton Hears a Who, and Rio—and an engineer from the US Air Force's cyber security division. A story about the Disney Interactive app appeared in the May 31 issue of Variety.


Edith Hunt, '74, chief diversity officer and former head of talent management at Goldman, Sachs & Co. was featured in a June 19 Business Insider article. Hunt spoke about expanding roles for women. "I think we're looking for a point in time when senior management and boards of directors are coming to something that's approaching 40 percent [female]. I think when you get over 30 percent you reach a tipping point where it's really not the woman speaking; it's just a person speaking—she happens to be female…We've made huge strides in terms of numbers but not as much as we need to get to."


Petbrosia, a high-end pet food e-commerce start-up, opened a pet nutrition and education center in Cincinnati. The start-up, which also has an office in Dayton, Ohio, is seeking $800,000 in seed funding, said a June 18 Cincinnati Enquirer Leaders & Entrepreneurs article. Petbrosia founder Keith Johnson, '11, said he tries to "to plan out surprises. I'm pretty boring that way. I believe with proper planning things typically work." Still, he was surprised by the continuous need to raise capital. "I was assuming that I'd raise capital, then focus on going to market. It's not like that. Capital-raising is still at least 50 percent of my time," he said in the Q&A.


The US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory named Hussein Khalil, '96 (XP-65), as a Distinguished Fellow, the laboratory's highest scientific and engineering rank. The distinction recognizes "exceptional contributions" in the honoree's field, the laboratory said. Khalil directs Argonne's nuclear engineering division.


It's easier to start a company today than it was years ago, said Joe Mansueto, AB '78, MBA '80, founder and chairman of Chicago-based investment research firm Morningstar Inc. "You need less capital. You can do everything in the cloud. Books can be done at low to no cost," Mansueto said in a June 26 USA Today article. "But because it's easier, there's more competition. Entrepreneurship is cool and popular now. When I went to business school, there were one or two classes on entrepreneurship that were not well attended. Now there's a whole program on entrepreneurship. I should also add that with more competition, it's also global. You're competing with people from India and China. It's an exciting time."


Former investment banker Sam Subramaniam, '01, plans to open five new quick-service Indian restaurants in New York over the next year, according to a June 8 article in The Economic Times. The restaurants, called Soho Tiffin, will aim to make Indian food more marketable to Americans by putting it in the form of wraps, the article said.


Paul Tashima, '90, was named one of Barron's Top100 Financial Advisors for 2013. Tashima is managing director, investments, for the corporate cash management group at New York–based UBS Financial Services Inc. Tashima, who is based in the Chicago office, ranked 29th on the list. He has made the list for several years in a row.

CEO Watch: Taking the Lead


Arnold Donald, '80, was named CEO of cruise company Carnival Corporation & PLC, headquartered in Miami and London.


Robert van Zwieten, '96 (XP-65), was named president and CEO of Emerging Markets Private Equity Association. Serving some 320 member firms, the Washington DC-based independent association helps develop private equity and venture capital industries in emerging markets.

CEO Watch: Making Headlines


Chicago-based digital marketing firm Rise Interactive was chosen for the 2013 Inner City 100, a list of the fastest growing inner city companies in the United States, as compiled by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City and Fortune. The firm ranked 14th with a five-year annual growth rate of 65 percent, said a May 28 PRWeb article. Last year, Rise Interactive ranked 15th. "We're proud to be a two-time honoree for the Inner City 100 and to represent our home base of Chicago as a thriving place for businesses," said Jon Morris, '05, founder and CEO. "Rise's rapid growth is a testament to our great clients, our hard-working team, and our unique approach to digital marketing."

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