Alumni Connections

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  • Newsmakers
  • Young Alumni

No ImageAlison R. Brown, ’82, was named the 16th president and CEO of the Science Museum of Minnesota in Saint Paul. She is the museum’s first female president and CEO. She was most recently chief of staff at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.


No ImageJay A. Epstein, ’99, was appointed interim CEO of CSC ServiceWorks in Plainview, New York. He was formerly CFO and senior vice president of the laundry, tire inflation, and vacuum vending services company.


No ImageMitchell J. Lederer, ’88, was named CEO of AgencyMSI, only the second in the Chicago-based marketing communications firm’s 55-year history. He was previously the agency’s COO.


No ImageRyan Michel, ’07, was appointed president and CEO of Allstate Insurance Company of Canada and subsidiary companies. He originally joined Allstate Corp. in 1996 as an actuarial analyst and has since assumed positions of progressive responsibility.


No ImageFrancisco Pérez Ojeda, ’11, was named CEO of Consorcio Corredores de Bolsa SA, the brokerage unit of Chilean bank Banco Consorcio, which in turn is part of the Consorcio Financiero SA group.


No ImageThomas Obendrauf, ’04 (EXP-9), was named CFO of Austria-based Lenzing AG, the world’s leading fiber manufacturer. He was most recently CFO of Vienna-based car dealership Wiesenthal Autohandels AG.

No ImageDavid E. Rostov, MBA ’92, AM ’92, was named CFO of Donuts Inc., a Bellevue, Washington-based operator of new domain name extensions. Most recently, Rostov was CFO of Seattle-based Avalara, a cloud-based software platform for automated tax compliance.


No ImageDaniel P. Costello, ’01, was elected chairman of the board of the Illinois Restaurant Association. Costello previously served as first vice chairman and is president of the Woodridge, Illinois-based Home Run Inn Restaurant Group.

No ImageKaren L. Katen, AB ’70, MBA ’74, was reappointed to a four-year term on the board of directors of Paris-based Air Liquide Group, which supplies industrial gases and services to various industries.

No ImageJudy Finger Krandel, ’91, was appointed as an independent director to the board of directors of New York–based Snap Interactive Inc., which develops, owns, and operates dating applications for social networking websites and mobile platforms. Krandel currently serves as a portfolio manager at New York–based Juniper Investment Company LLC.

No ImageThomas F. X. O’Mara, ’86, was appointed to the advisory board of New York–based electronic trading network AX Trading Group Inc. O’Mara joined Cowen and Co. LLC, the broker dealer segment of New York–based financial services firm Cowen Group Inc., in 2010 and is currently a senior advisor to the firm.

No ImageWilliam H. Osborne, ’01 (XP-70), was appointed to the board of directors of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based Quaker Chemical Corp., a provider of process fluids, chemical specialties, and technical expertise to a wide range of industries. He is currently the senior vice president of global manufacturing and quality at Lisle, Illinois-based Navistar International Corp., a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce commercial and military trucks, diesel engines, and school and commercial buses.

No ImageDavid B. Wells, MBA ’98, MPP ’98, joined the board of directors of Ventura, California-based The Trade Desk Inc., a demand-side platform in global advertising. Wells has been CFO of Los Gatos, California-based Netflix Inc. since 2010.

No ImageRip Tilden, ’82, was named to the board of directors of Allentown, Pennsylvania-based Andesa Services Inc., which administers corporate and bank-owned life insurance policies. Tilden is a partner with business consulting firm Makarios Consulting LLC in Malvern, Pennsylvania, and serves as leader of their strategy and execution practice.

No ImageAndrew M. Appel, ’91, president and CEO of Chicago-based market research company IRI, said a collaboration with computing giant Oracle Corp. will allow his firm “to provide the most complete picture of not only consumer preferences and perspectives and how they are changing, but also how these changes affect and impact retail.”

No ImageOutgoing chief executive of German lender Commerzbank AG, Martin Blessing, ’88, said that 2015 showed “that our strategy is right and the implementation has been successful,” after shares soared and net profits grew slightly, according to the Wall Street Journal.

No ImageSteven J. Brandfield, ’88, joined Fiduciary Trust Co. International, a wealth management firm and wholly owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources Inc., as managing director and business development officer.

No ImageBarbara T. Ducat, ’04, was named to the newly created position of senior vice president of acquisition integrations at Brooklyn Park, Minnesota-based vehicle repair chain ABRA Auto Body & Glass.

No ImageNeil Faust, AM ’86, MBA ’91, has been honored with the 2016 University of Chicago Alumni Service award. For more than a decade, Faust has shown an unwavering commitment to sharing his time and talent with the Alumni Club of Japan and the Booth Alumni Club. His in-depth understanding of Tokyo’s culture has helped to reengage local UChicago alumni and bolster the connection between the University and Japan. Faust is director, strategic investment group, corporate finance and strategic investment department at Eisai Co. Ltd.

No ImagePaul D. Grangaard, ’83, CEO of Wisconsin-based men’s shoe and accessories manufacturer Allen Edmonds Shoe Corp., delivered a lecture about the philosophy of “servant leadership” in March at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota.

No ImageBlake R. Johnson, ’96, joined commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group Inc. as executive vice president of CBRE Capital Markets.

No ImageIntegriChain, a Philadelphia-based cloud-based software company for life science suppliers founded by Kevin Leininger, ’91, was sold to technology-focused investment firm Accel-KKR.  

No Image“The dramatic rise in large cities over the past 50 years has created some of society's most difficult problems and most promising opportunities,” said Joe D. Mansueto, AB ’78, MBA ’80, in announcing a new University of Chicago think tank devoted to researching urban issues. Mansueto, founder, chairman, and CEO of Chicago-based investment research firm Morningstar, and his wife, Rika, donated $35 million to establish the Mansueto Institute for Urban Education.

No ImageSudhir Mehta, ’92, chairman and managing director of Pinnacle Industries Ltd., was elected chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry, Western Region, a nonprofit association of Indian businesses, for 2016-17. Pinnacle Industries Ltd. is India’s largest commercial vehicle seating and interiors company.

No ImageNikolas Novograd, ’93, was named principal, energy and renewables, at Toronto-based alternative investment management firm Forum Equity Partners. He will be based in San Francisco.

No Image“I thought, ‘If not now, when?’ So I just decided to take the plunge,” said Julianne H. Rose, ’81, in an interview with the Bowdoin Orient about her decision to open a women’s accessories store, J. Rose, in Wells, Maine. Rose’s husband, Clayton Rose, AB ’80, MBA ’81, took office as president of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in July.

No ImageJennifer Scanlon, ’92, was promoted to executive vice president of Chicago-based building materials and technologies company USG Corp. She also serves as president of USG’s international business and president of its subsidiary, L&W Supply Corp.

No ImageJim Soss, ’98, was hired as executive vice president, general manager of North America, at Redwood City, California-based video advertising company YuMe, Inc. Most recently, he was group vice president for Responsys Inc., cloud-based marketing software acquired by Oracle.


No ImageThe operations and running of the National Healthcare Group’s Ang Mo Kio Family Medicine Clinic in Singapore was handed over to Singapore-based private healthcare company Parkway Pantai Ltd. See Leng Tan, ’04 (AXP-3) is group CEO and managing director.



No ImagePhui-Nah Chong, ’14 (AXP-13), executive director, Ang Mo Kio Family Medicine Clinic and CEO, National Healthcare Group Polyclinics, said a “strong patient-doctor relationship” is at the heart of a partnership between the family medicine clinic and a private healthcare operator, Parkway Shenton, which recently took over operations of the Singapore clinic.

No ImageRudy Halim, ’15 (AXP-14), president director and CEO of Indonesia-based consumer automotive company PT Mitra Pinasthika Mustika Tbk, was featured in an article about China’s economic slowdown in PM Network, a professional magazine published for the members of the Project Management Institute.

No ImageSean Hearden, ’15, was appointed vice president and head of financial services at Bermuda-based insurer Hiscox. He will be based in the company’s Chicago office.

No Image“Physicians want to invest in other physician-led startups,” said Jay K. Joshi, ’11, in an interview with Crain’s Chicago Business about his angel group of “doctorpreneurs,” MD Angels. Joshi, a physician, formed the group after raising money from several other physicians for his own start-up, Output Medical, a device to monitor and record a patient’s urine output, according to the article.

No ImageKatherine Priore, ’14, was promoted from manager, business analysis, to assistant vice president, IT strategy and analytics, at Elk Grove Village, Illinois-based insurance broker Avalon Risk Management.

No Image“My passion for food started before I started college,” said David Rabie, ’15, to the Chicago Tribune after his smart oven company Tovala out-performed its Kickstarter goal. The all-in-one smart oven, which won the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge last year, has grown to seven employees and was accepted into the Silicon Valley-based incubator Y Combinator.

No ImageJay Zukanovic, ’14, financial analytics officer at KIG Analytics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago-based commercial brokerage KIG, was featured in an article on the website about his work analyzing data from local government websites to help clients make better, more informed real estate decisions.