Alumni Connections

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After serving as executive vice president for three years, Erik Birkerts, ’96, was named CEO of Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust, an impact investor that helps early stage clean energy businesses in the Midwest through direct investment, venture development, and advocacy.


Bernard Bot, ’92, was appointed executive vice president and CFO of Langley, United Kingdom–based travel commerce platform Travelport. He was previously CFO of Aer Lingus Plc, Ireland's national airline.

Kara Lawrence, ’97, was named CFO of Elevance Renewable Sciences Inc., a specialty chemical company based in Chicago.

Thomas Obendrauf, ’04 (EXP-9), was chosen as the new CFO of Austria-based Lenzing AG, a maker of manmade cellulose fibers, pending approval of the company’s supervisory board. Obendrauf is currently the CFO of Vienna-based car dealership Wiesenthal Autohandels AG.

Jon Winkelried, AB ’81, MBA ’82, was named co-CEO of the global private investment firm TPG Capital. Winkelried previously served as the president and co-chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs. He was a University of Chicago trustee from 2006 to 2012.

Frank A. Bozich, SB ’82, MBA ’87, was appointed to the board of directors of Oklahoma City–based OGE Energy Corp., the parent company of Oklahoma Gas & Electric Company. He was also named to the company’s audit committee. He is president and CEO of the SI Group Inc., a chemical company based in Schenectady, New York.

Allan Cohen, ’83, was elected to the board of trustees of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, Illinois. Rosalind Franklin University is made up of five schools and colleges dedicated to the health sciences: the Chicago Medical School, the College of Health Professions, the College of Pharmacy, the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Marc M. Gibeley, ’95, was appointed to the board of directors of Elyria, Ohio-based Invacare Corp., which manufactures and distributes innovative home and long-term care medical products. Gibeley is the head of diabetes care in North America for Swiss healthcare company Roche Holding AG.

David W. MacLennan, ’88, was named to the board of directors of Saint Paul, Minnesota-based Ecolab Inc., which provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services. He is chairman and CEO of Cargill, Inc., a Minneapolis-based producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial, and industrial products.

Donna L. Snider, ’02, was appointed to the board of directors of Southfield, Michigan-based Presbyterian Villages of Michigan Foundation, a nonprofit that supports seniors. Snider is a managing director at the Kresge Foundation, a Troy, Michigan-based philanthropic organization.

Steve Swinson, ’88, was named chairman of the board of directors at Vexim, a medical device company specializing in the minimally invasive treatment of vertebral fractures. It is based in Balma, France. Swinson was previously responsible for leading the spine & biologics business for Western Europe and Canada at medical device company Medtronic, which has operational headquarters in Minneapolis.

Bill A. Cohen, ’90, was named president of Washington, DC-based KiwiTech, a mobile tech company and investor in technology start-ups. He was formerly vice chairman of investment banking at London-based Barclays.

Macro Risk Advisors raised $332,000 during the firm’s fourth annual charitable trading day on Oct. 29. Net commissions earned from option, stock, and ETF trades will be donated to four diverse charities. Dean C. Curnutt, ’96, is CEO of the New York–based independent derivatives strategy and execution firm.

Bruce William Duncan, ’75, chairman of Stamford, Connecticut-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, inked a $12.2 billion takeover of Starwood by Marriott International, creating the biggest hotel company in the world, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

Jeff DeFazio, ’95, joined executive search and advisory firm Heads! International as managing partner, based out of its West Coast offices. He was also elected an equity partner.

Lawrence D. Gilbert, ’01, was named vice president and financial advisor in the Chicago office of William Blair & Co., a global investment banking and asset management firm. He was most recently a director in Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group’s private bank.

Hitoshi Goto, ’86, a professional novel and mystery writer, has published four books since 2002. He recently published the English version of his first book, The Labyrinth of the Scriptorium. It is available as an e-book on Kindle, iBook, and other e-book applications.

Karen Graham, ’93, was hired as a director in the marketing and distribution strategy business unit of Novantas Inc., a banking analytics and advisory firm based in New York.

Santiago, Chile-based GYD S.A., led by founder and CEO Gerardo Hargous Guzman, ’84, was granted exclusive distribution rights in Chile, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, for AsepticSure, a hospital disinfection system developed by Sausalito, California-based Medizone International Inc.

Michael A. Hajost, ’92, joined Accuride Corp. as senior vice president and CFO. The Evansville, Indiana-based supplies components to the commercial vehicle industry.

Donald W. Hamer, ’58, was featured in an article on the website about the Hamer Foundation, which holds more than $50 million in assets, and gave away about $2.6 million in 2014, according to the article.

Karan S. Madan, ’95, was hired by Nomura Holdings Inc. as managing director in emerging markets and will lead the Japanese bank’s Latin America team, according to BloombergBusiness.

“It’s about building things the right way for the long haul,” said Scott S. Murray, ’81, CTO of Chicago-based asset manager Northern Trust, in a profile in the magazine WatersTechnology, about the importance of setting the firm up for success.

Vicki Morris, ’92, authored Happy Habits: Energize Your Career and Life in 4 Minutes a Day. She is founder of, which helps professionals raise their energy with happy habits.

Mary McKenna Peterson, ’85, joined Ruckus Wireless as senior director of corporate marketing. The Sunnyvale, California-based company is a global supplier of advanced wireless systems for the mobile internet infrastructure market. She reports that a chance meeting with former classmate Niraj Swarup, ’85, senior vice president of digital marketing agency Position2, at a Booth conference yielded a high-profile digital campaign for Ruckus with “outstanding results.”

Chicago-based energy company Invenergy announced it signed a 125 MW wind power purchase agreement with Toledo, Ohio-based Owens Corning to provide the insulation, roofing, and fiberglass manufacturer with renewable energy supporting their new corporate sustainability goals. The facility will be located in Texas. Michael Polsky, ’87, is president and CEO of Invenergy.

Roy H. Reynolds, ’97, joined Cincinnati, Ohio-based Great American Insurance Group as a divisional senior vice president, US practice leader, in connection with the launch of a new Mergers & Acquisitions Liability Division.

Guillaume Sainteny, ’02 (EXP-7), who teaches sustainable development at AgroParisTech, published The Forest Behind the Climate: Why Climate Hides Other Environmental Problems.

Christopher Wrobel, ’06 (XP-75), was promoted to senior vice president of global strategy and commercial excellence at Chicago-based Coveris, a $3 billion global packaging company with 70 plants in 22 countries. When not traveling the world, Wrobel enjoys spending time with his 6-year-old daughter AnaSophia and wife Pauline Maki, a professor at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Joshua Bruce, ’13, was one of only 16 competitors to earn a berth in the final rounds of Modeloff, the 2015 financial modeling world championships held in London, England. He is a quantitative analyst, fixed income investments, at The Travelers Companies Inc. in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

“What’s changing is the movement from HR as a traditional personnel and admin role, to a more strategic partner in business planning and implementation,” wrote Ruchira Chaudhary, ’13 (AXP-11), in an online essay “HR must match the changing face of business” for CIPD Asia, a professional organization for HR development. She is senior partner at the Oxford-based iOpener Institute for People and Performance and the executive coach for Booth’s ADP Asia program.

David Collette, ’08, published The VentureForge Way - Funding Your Startup, a practical handbook on how innovators can find funding for a startup.

Dayanand Shinde, ’13 (EXP-18), joined Atlanta-based recruiting agency PeopleNet Inc. as vice president of strategic initiatives.

Miray Zaki, ’08, was chosen by Dow Jones Financial News to be one of top 100 Most Influential Women in Finance for 2015. She is senior investment manager, hedge funds, alternative investments department, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.