Alumni Connections

  • C-Suite Appointments
  • Board Appointments
  • Newsmakers
  • Young Alumni

Alumni Connections Lori Bennett, '87, has been promoted to executive vice president and chief instructional officer of Moorpark, California-based Moorpark College from dean, student learning.

Alumni Connections Stephen Byrd, '91, has been named co-chief operating officer of STATS LLC, a sports technology, data, and content company based in Northbrook, Illinois.

Alumni Connections John Davidson, '84, has been appointed chief compliance officer for New York–headquartered global bank Citigroup. Also named to the operating committee, he directs a team of 2,600 people in 95 countries who manage Citi's compliance risk.

Alumni Connections David Gallitano, '75, has been named interim CEO of WellCare Health Plans Inc. Gallitano will remain chair of the board. The Tampa, Florida-based company provides managed care services to government health-care programs Medicare and Medicaid. Gallitano is president of Littleton, Colorado-based private investment firm Tucker Advisors Inc.

Alumni Connections C. Richard Neely, '80, has been named CFO of San Jose, California-based Intermolecular Inc., a research and development firm in the semiconductor and clean energy industries.

Alumni Connections Janet Pucino, '94, has been named interim chief investment officer of City of Industry, California-headquartered Prolacta Bioscience Inc., a firm specializing in developing human milk-based nutritional products for premature infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Alumni Connections Atif Rafiq, '00, has been named to the newly created post of chief digital officer at McDonald's Corp. The fast food giant is headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Alumni Connections Ralph Shayne, '95, has been named CEO of Northbrook, Illinois-based Oasis Legal Finance LLC. Oasis provides legal funding to consumers involved in personal injury claims.

Alumni Connections Steve X. Sun, '97, has been appointed to the newly created position of chief operating officer at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-headquartered digital media and entertainment company FAB Universal Corp. Sun will be based in Beijing.

Alumni Connections Robert Weinstein, '89, has been named executive vice president and CFO of Plantation, Florida-based Neurotrope Inc. The company has developed an Alzheimer's drug and diagnostic test, both in the clinical testing stage.

Alumni Connections Michael Allman, '85, has been appointed to the board of directors of Henderson, Nevada-based renewable energy and energy efficiency company Blue Earth Inc. Allman is the former president, chair, and CEO of SoCalGas and former president and CEO of Sempra Generation, now known as Sempra Energy, a San Diego–based natural gas utilities holding company.

Alumni ConnectionsAlumni Connections Former Reckitt Benckiser CEO Bart Becht, ’82, has been named chair of Amsterdam-based coffee and tea products company D.E. Master Blenders. Byron Trott, AB ’81, MBA ’82, has been named nonexecutive director of the board. Trott is chair and CEO of Chicago-based private equity firm BDT Capital Partners LLC.

Alumni Connections Dennis Chookaszian, '68, former chairman and CEO of CNA Insurance Companies, has joined the board of managers of Patriot Investment Holdings LLC, the parent company of New York–based insurance and wealth management services firm National Financial Partners Corp. Chookaszian also is an adjunct professor of strategic management at Booth.

Alumni Connections Stuart Essig, MBA '87, PhD '92, has been appointed to the board of directors of Mechanicsville, Virginia-headquartered, health-care facilities supplier Owens & Minor Inc. Essig is former CEO and current board chairman of Plainsboro, New Jersey–based Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corp., which makes surgical implants and medical instruments for neuro- and general surgery, extremities reconstruction, and orthopedics.

Alumni Connections Todd Grayson, '89, has been named first vice chair of the Community Bankers Association of Illinois, based in Springfield, and has joined the Independent Community Bankers of America regulation review committee, based in Washington DC. Grayson is president of Troy, North Carolina–based bank holding company First Bancorp.

Alumni Connections Amy Bragg Higgins, '04, has been appointed to the board of directors of the First Tee of the Triangle, a Raleigh, North Carolina–based nonprofit that seeks to promote healthy choices among youth through golf-related programming. Higgins is system vice president of strategic planning and network development of Chapel Hill, North Carolina–based UNC Health Care.

Alumni Connections Brenda McCabe, '02 (EXP-7), has been named a nonexecutive board member and chair of the audit committee of Natraceutical S.A., headquartered in Sant Cugat Del Vallès, Spain. The multinational company develops natural active ingredients and nutritional supplements for the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics industries.

Alumni Connections Warren Wilder, '82, has been appointed to the board of directors of Sadara Chemical Co., a joint venture of Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical Co. Sadara is based in Jubail Industrial City II, in the Eastern province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Wilder is executive director of the chemicals business of Saudi Aramco, the Saudi Arabian Oil Co.

Alumni Connections Kevin Bain, ’78, has been named chair of Indiana’s Early Learning Advisory Committee. The committee researches quality and availability of early childhood programs in Indiana. Bain is executive director and CEO of the Welborn Baptist Foundation, which offers grants to community health nonprofits in southeastern Illinois, southwestern Indiana, and western Kentucky. He also founded Southwestern Indiana Business Leaders Roundtable on Early Education. He chairs the board of the Early Childhood Development Coalition.

Alumni Connections Jerry Blackwill, ’63, has been named president of the Lake Tahoe, California-based Sierra State Parks Foundation, which provides funding and support for six California state parks. He continues to serve as vice president, strategic planning of the Truckee-Donner Railroad Society. The organization aims to build a railroad museum in the area.

Alumni Connections Charlotte, North Carolina–based investment bank McColl Partners LLC was acquired by Deloitte LLP in June. Cofounder of McColl Partners Phil Colaco, ’98, will serve as a managing director and principal and will lead Deloitte Corporate Finance’s business services group.

Alumni Connections Howard Friedman, ’91, has joined San Francisco–based Bank of the West as health-care credit manager for the equipment finance division.

Alumni Connections Mike Gupta, '97, CFO of Twitter Inc., has been widely credited with successfully steering the social media giant's initial public offering in November. Shares of the San Francisco company soared 70 percent on the first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange in one of the biggest IPOs for an internet company.

Alumni Connections Hugh Johnston, ’87, has been inducted as an inaugural member in the Hall of Fame at the Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, NJ.

Alumni Connections Andrew Jones, ’86, who founded West Port, Connecticut-based hedge fund North Star Partners LP, was interviewed by Barron’s as one of the top value-oriented money managers of the past eight years. Jones’s interview appeared in the September Value Investor Insight newsletter. “My favorite ideas tend to be companies that generate free cash flow, not cheap cyclicals or stocks trading at big discounts to book,” Jones said in the interview.

Alumni Connections Martin Kindler, ’93, has joined Chicago-headquartered investment bank Northern Trust in its Stamford, Connecticut office as senior vice president and global head of client services, enterprise risk solutions.

Alumni Connections Thomas Lewis, ’02, has been awarded a $10,000 Minority Accounting Doctoral Scholarship from the KPMG Foundation to pursue his doctorate at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Alumni Connections Chicago-based digital marketing agency Rise Interactive has won the 2013 Gold Tower Award from Business Marketing Association’s Chicago chapter. "Winning a Gold BMA Tower Award is an honor for Rise Interactive,” said Jon Morris, ’05, founder and CEO. “We strive to innovate in every area of our business and receiving recognition from the BMA validates our hard work.”

Alumni Connections Steven Edward Pearce, ’89, has been appointed general manager of Alsip, Illinois-based Rolled Metal Products, a metal processor and distributor.

Alumni Connections Matthew Peron, ’96, has been named head of global equity at Chicago-based investment bank Northern Trust Corp.

Alumni Connections Douglas Richards, ’89, has written The Cure, a techno-thriller about a grad student researcher who is investigating psychopaths. The hardcover book came out September 17. Richards became a New York Times best-selling author with his first book, an e-book entitled WIRED. He had left a biotech career to become an author.

Alumni Connections After retiring from a 31-year career in loan workouts and corporate finance, most recently at Wells Fargo Bank, Eric Rumple, ’81, is doing volunteer public policy analysis for Alliance for a Better Utah, a political advocacy and education organization. In that capacity he has had a number of op-eds published in the Salt Lake Tribune, the Deseret News, and the Utah Political Capitol. He also wrote the novel Forgive Our Debts.

Alumni Connections Stephen Shapiro, ’91, has joined Wells Fargo Securities in Toronto as managing director, investment banking and capital markets, in charge of industrials and consumer products for Canada.

Alumni Connections At Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-headquartered PNC Bank, Michael Scully, ’83, has been appointed president of the St. Louis market.

Alumni Connections Gregory Mark Smith, ’89, has been appointed managing principal of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., to lead the market in the Minneapolis area. The investment advisor firm is headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Alumni Connections Laura Starks, ’83, CEO of Starks Energy Economics, has been signed by StoneThread Publishing, which will release her newest book, Strike Price. Starks also serves as investment chair of the Friends of the Dallas Public Library, a fundraising and advocacy group supporting 28 Dallas library branches.

Alumni Connections Greg Wellman, ’02, has been named senior program manager in the Los Angeles office of New York–headquartered commercial, industrial, and residential engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff. The company said Wellman will be project manager for the Los Angeles International Airport transportation infrastructure development program.

Alumni Connections John Robert Wood, ’81, has been appointed executive vice president for defense at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) International, a nonprofit organization of members in such fields as information technology, communications, and electronics for the defense, homeland security, and intelligence communities. Wood is a retired US Army Lieutenant General.

Alumni Connections Stephen Baker, ’06, has been appointed vice president of product management at Cleveland-based property management software applications firm MRI Software. Baker had been senior director of marketing and business development.

Alumni Connections Ford Motor Co. has acquired Livio, a company cofounded by Massimo Baldini, ’03. The Ferndale, Michigan-based technology start-up develops software connecting smartphones to car radios and dashboard systems. The deal with Ford gives Livio an edge in standardizing automobile connectivity technology, said a September 26 article in Bloomberg Businessweek.

Alumni Connections Michael Ceballos, ’07, has joined Columbus, Ohio-based Buckeye Community Health Plan as vice president of long-term care and product development, responsible for a Medicare-Medicaid integrated demonstration program and an individual health exchange insurance program. Buckeye is a wholly-owned subsidiary of St. Louis–based health-care plan provider Centene Corp. Ceballos also is an advisor to San Francisco–based health-care technology start-up Care at Hand.

Alumni Connections Barry Farrell, ’03, cofounder and manager of Wilmington, North Carolina–based Brush Dental, spoke about his business in an October 22 StarNews article. “The appeal was an opportunity to bring together a small network of dentists…that would allow them to work on multiple issues,” Farrell said.

Alumni Connections Veronica Gamez, ¹08 (EXP-13), is helping domestic workers, including nannies, maids, and caregivers, run their own businesses through her work as executive director of Singapore-based nonprofit organization, Aidha. "This journey of transformation allows them to stand up by themselves financially," Gamez told Reuters in an October 22 article. Aidha's small business course, available in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Myanmar, runs for nine months and focuses on computer use and communications and financial skills, the article said.

Alumni Connections Chicago-based start-up ProOnGo, led by CEO and founder Phillip Leslie, ’09, has been acquired by Philadelphia-based Neat Co., which makes digital filing systems for small businesses and consumer markets. ProOnGo is an expense-tracking app and was a finalist in the 2008 New Venture Challenge.

Alumni Connections Konstantin Magaletskyi, ’09, has been promoted from principal to partner at Horizon Capital Advisors LLC. Based in Kiev, Ukraine, the private equity fund manages $650 million in assets and invests in Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova.

Alumni Connections Mehul Nariyawala, ’05, cofounder of Flutter, has sold his gesture recognition start-up to Google Inc. Flutter allows user to control music or movies with hand gestures rather than a keyboard.

Alumni Connections Philip Nevels, ’10, has been named executive director of ChicagoNEXT, a program to drive business growth and opportunity in the fields of science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Nevels was chief operating officer of the online energy marketplace start-up Power2Switch, which he cofounded with Seyi Fabode, ’10.

Alumni Connections Ikechukwu Okafo, ’07, is a first-year student at Indiana University School of Medicine – Northwest, where he received a scholarship from anonymous donors. “The gift you have given me has enabled me to realize a dream while making an indelible impression on my young sons.” Okafo wrote in a letter to the donors, according to an October 21 article on the university’s website.

Alumni Connections At Stamford, Connecticut-based information technology research and advisory firm Gartner Inc., Jennifer Polk, ’08, has joined as research director, focusing on digital marketing and providing counsel to business and marketing leaders.

Alumni Connections Kwok Poon, ’11, has been appointed head of product strategy and management at Santa Clara, California-based SERUS Corp., a supply chain manager for high-tech companies.

Alumni Connections Dhiraj Rajaram, ’03, founder and CEO of Mu Sigma, has been named one of Fortune magazine’s 40 Under 40 for 2013. In its profiles of the young stars, Fortune said Rajaram “has rocked the world of big data with his eight-year-old firm, which provides data and analytics services to a quarter of the companies on the Fortune 500.”

Alumni Connections Ilya Velder, ’13 (EXP-18), has been promoted to managing director, international banking and financial institutions at AK BARS Bank in Kazan, Russian Federation.

Alumni Connections Trevor Whitson, ’08, has joined Scott’s Miracle Gro in Columbus, Ohio as general manager of biotech and director of lawns innovation.