Alumni Connections

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

Alumni Connections Barclay E. Berdan, ’78, was selected as the CEO of Texas Health Resources, a system of 25 hospitals in north Texas, effective Sept. 1. He is senior executive vice president and chief operating officer of the health system.

Alumni Connections Ameeta Narula Soni, ’84, was hired as chief marketing officer of Houston-based Chief Outsiders LLC, a strategic marketing firm focused on mid-sized companies. She will be based in Boston.

Alumni Connections Girish Juneja, ’01, was named chief technology officer of Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A., a Luxembourg-based mortgage portfolio management company. Before joining Altisource, Juneja was general manager of big data products and chief technology officer of data center software at Intel Corporation.

Alumni Connections Dirk Andrew Montgomery, ’90, was appointed as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Health Insurance Innovations Inc., a Tampa, Florida-based developer and administrator of web-based health insurance plans. Most recently, he was the chief financial officer and an executive vice president of Mahwah, New Jersey-based Ascena Retail Group Inc.a $4.8 billion women's apparel retail portfolio including the Justice, Lane Bryant, Cacique, Maurices, Dressbarn and Catherines brands.

Alumni Connections Gary C. Bhojwani,  ’95, was named to the board of directors of Hormel Foods Corp., an Austin, Minnesota-based food and meat company. He is chairman of Golden Valley, Minnesota-based Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America.

Alumni Connections Andrew Robert Jones, ’86, was appointed to the board of directors of Greenville, South Carolinabased lender, CertusBank. He is  founder of North Star Partners, an investment company focused on the small-cap sector of the U.S. equity markets. North Star is an investor in CertusHoldings Inc., the holding company of CertusBank.

Alumni Connections Meredith Wise Mendes,  ’91, was appointed as an independent director to the board of directors for Inland Real Estate Corporation, an Oak Brook, Illinois-based real estate investment trust. She is executive director and chief operating officer of Jenner & Block LLP, a Chicago-based law firm.

Alumni Connections Wayne P. Weitz, ’89, was elected to the board of directors of The People’s Emergency Center (PEC), a West Philadelphia agency dedicated to nurturing families, strengthening neighborhoods and driving change in West Philadelphia. Weitz, managing director at the turnaround firm Gavin/Solmonese, was one of four new directors added to the board. He will serve a three year term.

Alumni Connections Financial news magazine Barron’s featured Clifford Scott Asness, MBA ’91, PhD ’94, co-founder of the Greenwich, Connecticut-based money manager AQR Capital Management LLC,  in an online video discussion on the efficiency of markets.

Alumni Connections Renata Merino Bregstone, ’02, recently launched a professional networking group, Blazin’ Babes, to serve Chicago’s North Shore. The group, which is based on ideas in the book, The Stiletto Network: Inside the Women Power Circles That Are Changing the Face of Business, by Pamela Ryckman, focuses on networking in a social environment.

Alumni Connections Clifford King Chiu, ’82, was appointed senior adviser at investment manager Neuberger Berman Asia. The New York-based firm’s regional offices are in Hong Kong. He was former partner member at investment firm KKR & Co., where he oversaw the firm’s client business in Asia.

Alumni Connections Insureon, which provides insurance coverage for small businesses, was among Inc. magazine’s list of 5,000 fastest growing companies, hitting No. 107 on the list. Ted Taylor Devine, ‘93, is CEO of the Chicago-based company.

Alumni Connections Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Arnold Wayne Donald, ’80, told a publication of Carleton College -- where he got his undergraduate degree in 1976 -- that he agreed to captain the company in 2013 because he was loyal to the brand and confident about a comeback.  

Alumni Connections Crain’s Chicago Business profiled Satori Investment Partners LLC, a new Chicago-based hedge fund firm started by Richard Orre Excel,  ’01, and four partners. The firm aims to raise $250 million from investors, according to the article.

Alumni Connections 2013 Nobel Laureate and Chicago Booth Robert R. McCormick Distinguished Service Professor of Finance Eugene F. Fama, PhD ’64, was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the fifth annual ETF conference held by Chicago-based investment research firm Morningstar Inc. in September.   

Alumni Connections David Blake Fisher, ’89, managing director of investments at St. Louis
based brokerage house Benjamin F. Edwards & Co., was featured in an onwallstreet article. He told the publication that early in his career, he worked at a nuclear power station. “I enjoyed the work immensely,” he said, but the long hours weren’t conducive to family life.

Alumni Connections Hugh H. Gallagher, ’96, joined Annapolis, Maryland-based First Annapolis Consulting Inc. as a principal,  focusing on mobile/alternative payments, innovation, and payments strategy. First Annapolis advises credit and debit card issuers, transaction processors, payment networks, retailers, and other payment-focused stakeholders.

Alumni Connections Vince Kolber, ’77, announced he’s running for U.S. Congress in the fifth congressional district, which covers parts of Cook and DuPage counties in Illinois. He is challenging the Democratic incumbent, Michael Quigley. Kolber is founder and principal of Chicago-based RESIDCO, a transportation capital equipment asset manager.

Alumni Connections Mary Josephs, ’89, founder and CEO of Chicago-based Verit Advisors, a specialized middle market investment banking firm, was selected to join The Chicago Network, an organization of more than 400 influential female professionals in the Chicago area. 

Alumni Connections Craig A. Korte,  ’01, joined investment banking firm D.A. Davidson & Co. in its Chicago office as managing director. He was most recently director of the middle market industrials group at the financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard Ltd.

Alumni Connections Google Capital, Google’s growth capital unit, led a $100 million funding of Thumbtack, a San Franciscobased  startup that helps consumers find local service professionals, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal. David S. Lawee, ’95, is a partner at Google Capital.

Alumni Connections Evelyn Lazare, ’70, wrote and published her first novel, The Ladies Who Don’t Lunch. Available as an e-book and in paperback on, it tells the story of six women who meet over dinners in Chicago.

Alumni Connections GrubHub, the online food delivery business co-founded by Matthew Mayer Maloney,  MS  ’00, MBA ’10,  generated revenue of $60 million for the June quarter, up 48 percent from the same period a year earlier and coming in ahead of Wall Street estimates, according to Mashable.  Maloney, GrubHub’s CEO,  talked to the online news site after the company’s April IPO.

Alumni Connections Since Satya Nadella, ’97, took over as Microsoft’s CEO in February, the technology giant’s share price has climbed by 23 percent, to nearly $45—the highest since April 2000, according to an article in The Economist.

Alumni Connections Dhiraj Chidambaram Rajaram, ’03, started his Chicago-based data crunching business, Mu Sigma, at age 28 with personal savings of $200,000. A decade later, his company is valued at $1.5 billion, according to a profile in The Economic Times.

Alumni Connections Wells Fargo & Co. senior executive vice president and chief information officer Kevin Alan Rhein,  ’78, was named one of the “Tech 50” by the financial magazine, Institutional Investor.

Alumni Connections Kevin Rockmael, ’98,  is the chief marketing officer of Monitor 360, a strategic consulting firm based in San Francisco. Rockmael oversees all marketing and branding efforts, with the goal of bringing awareness to the growing need and interest in using narratives for strategic advantage.

Alumni Connections Peter Rosenberg, ’83 (XP-50), traded his career as a Chicago software developer for life as a Peace Corps volunteer in Gambia, a small country along Africa’s west coast. After seven years there, he reports that he still does programming when he gets his electricity ration, maintains a website, studies the Wolof language, and helps Gambians. “The cost of living is low, it has beautiful beaches, the pristine River Gambia with Hippos, Crocs and Manatees, friendly citizens and adventures every day,” he wrote in an email.

Alumni Connections The initial public offering of Boston e-commerce firm Wayfair could be one of the largest tech IPOs in Boston history, according to an article posted to BetaBoston, a Boston Globe site. James Edward Savarese, ’93, is chief operating officer.

Alumni Connections Qiagen N.V., a Germany and Netherlands-based maker of medical diagnostic tools, announced a collaboration with AstraZeneca Plc to develop a liquid biopsy-based companion diagnostic to be paired with IRESSA, AstraZeneca’s targeted therapy for non-small cell lung cancer. “We are changing the treatment landscape," said Peer M. Schatz, ’91, CEO of Qiagen, in a news release.  

Alumni Connections Otonomy, Inc., a RiverVest Fund II portfolio company that develops drug therapies for the inner and middle ear, announced a $100 million initial public offering. Jay William Schmelter,  ’92, is a managing director and co-founder of RiverVest, a St. Louisbased venture capital firm focused on early stage life science companies.

Alumni Connections Kishr, a tea founded by Rowida Assalimy, ’12, made its way into 2014 Emmy swag bags, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. She launched the Chicago-based drink company, based on a traditional family recipe from Yemen, while a Booth student.

Alumni Connections Michele Chang, ’07, was named vice president of strategic partnerships at Radius Intelligence, a San Francisco-based start-up focused on small business data. Chang was most recently the acting chief of staff at the U.S. Small Business Administration. She will continue to be based in Washington, D.C.

Alumni Connections Desmond Goh, ’13, relocated from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Singapore to take a job as director of programs for the government systems business in Asia Pacific.

Alumni Connections David Gomel, ’12, and Aziz Lalljee, ‘12, founded the Chicago-based startup Finom, a first-of-its-kind online platform that allows  investors to find, meet, and hire the best investment adviser for their specific financial circumstances, investment goals, and preferences.

Alumni Connections Niki Koubourlis, ’09, launched, a Denver-based e-commerce site where women can rent the latest apparel and gear for adventure travel and outdoor activities.

Alumni Connections James Corey Lewis, ’06 (XP-75), was named global account lead for Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated, a professional services and investment management firm specializing in real estate.

Alumni Connections Krzysztof Michalak, ’09, was quoted in the Polish daily, Rzeczpospolita, saying that Chicago Booth’s executive MBA program helped him advance his professional career. He was recently appointed chief operating officer in the German search engine optimization agency BARKETING GmbH and moved with his family from Warsaw to Berlin. 

Alumni Connections Jason Starr, ’07, was promoted to principal and partner at Winona Capital Management, a private equity firm based in Chicago. Starr has been at the firm since 2007.  

Alumni Connections Eric Mboma Tamutunu, ’08, was named one of the 50 rising stars in Africa by The Africa Report. He was hired by Africa’s largest financial institution, Standard Bank, to run their operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Alumni Connections Derek Robinson, ’07, executive director of the Illinois Hospital Administration Institute for Innovations in Care & Quality, was named one of the National Medical Association’s (NMA) Top Healthcare Professionals Under 40 for his work to change the face, practice, and future of medicine. Robinson was also recently selected as one of Chicago’s 40 Game Changers for 2014 by the Urban Business Roundtable. The award recognizes the accomplishments of a new generation of business and civic leadership in Chicago.

Alumni Connections Leslie Stephan Vincze, ’06 (XP-75), was hired as partner of Polaris, an advisory and technology company for life sciences industry compliance. He will be based in Boston.