Alumni Connections

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Eric Hart, ’04, has been named CFO of the travel site Expedia, headquartered in Seattle. Hart has been with Expedia for 11 years and has served as acting CFO since December 2019.

AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has appointed Scott Myers, ’94, as president, CEO, and a member of its board. Myers most recently served as chairman and CEO of Rainier Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company based in San Leandro, California. AMAG is a pharmaceutical company based in Waltham, Massachusetts. 

No ImageLisa Ricciardi, ’86, has been named acting CEO of Cognition Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage neuroscience company headquartered in New York. Previously, Ricciardi served on Cognition’s board of directors, in addition to serving as an advisor at M.M. Dillon, a life-sciences investment bank based in Stamford, Connecticut.

Governor Kim Reynolds appointed Gregory Samorajski, ’79, as the next CEO of the Iowa Public Employee Retirement System (IPERS), a government agency based in Des Moines, Iowa. Samorajski is the former deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Revenue, a government agency based in Juneau, Alaska.

HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, welcomed Dianne Lob, ’77, as chair-elect of its umbrella organization, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. HIAS is headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland. Lob currently serves as the global head of business development for AllianceBernstein, a New York–based investment management and research firm.

Emilio J. Alvarez-Farré, MBA ’86, JD ’86, has been recognized in the 2020 edition of the Latin Lawyer 250, a guide to the leading business law firms of Latin America published by Latin Lawyer. Alvarez-Farré is an attorney at the Miami office of the New York–headquartered law firm Greenberg Traurig, where he practices banking and finance as well as corporate and M&A law.

Michael FertmanMichael Fertman, ’97, has been named vice president of marketing at Apifiny, a digital asset marketplace based in San Francisco. He joins the company from AlphaPoint, a financial technology startup based in New York.

Honeywell is temporarily shifting manufacturing operations at two chemical manufacturing facilities to produce and donate hand sanitizer to government agencies in response to shortages created by the COVID-19 pandemic. “As global citizens, we are honored to be able to answer the call for help in hopes of minimizing the spread of this pandemic,” said Rajeev Gautam, ’03, president and CEO of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies. “When called upon to help, our team rushed to transform production lines to produce hand sanitizer for areas where it is most urgently needed.” Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Honeywell invents and manufactures technologies to address tough challenges linked to global macrotrends.

Circle K, the global convenience store chain headquartered in Quebec, announced a pledge to donate 25 million meals to the hunger relief organization Feeding America ® in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. “During these unprecedented times, Circle K is committed to being part of the solution in the communities where we work and live,” said Brian Hannasch, ’94, president and CEO of Circle K. “Our mission as a company has always been to make our customers’ lives a little easier every day, and we know the best way to get through these difficult days is to band together and support each other.”

IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., a global provider of veterinary diagnostics and software headquartered in Westbrook, Maine, announced the availability of a COVID-19 test for pets. “We have continued to monitor the rapidly evolving public health crisis worldwide, paying special attention to the effects on pets,” said president and CEO Jay Mazelsky, ’88. “It became clear offering the test was the right thing to do when we saw clinical evidence that pets—especially cats and ferrets—can in rare cases be at risk for infection. And, we heard from our customers around the globe that veterinarians needed a testing option.”

No ImageAbiomed, a provider of medical devices based in Danvers, Massachusetts, has acquired Breethe, developer of a novel extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) system for patients with a severe and life-threatening illness that stops their lungs from working properly, including COVID-19. “This acquisition aligns with our principles of leading in technology and innovation, putting patients first and striving to continually improve outcomes,” said Michael R. Minogue, ’01 (XP-70), Abiomed’s chairman, president, and CEO.

Janus Henderson Group, a global active asset manager headquartered in London, announced the hiring of Matthew Peron, ’96, as director of centralized equity research and portfolio manager on all research strategies. He will be located in the firm’s Denver office. Peron was most recently chief investment officer of City National Rochdale, a New York–based investment management firm.

Hendrick & Struggles announced the launch of its newly formed Diversity and Inclusion Practice to help companies attract, develop, and retain diverse talent and create inclusive workplace cultures. “More so than at any other time, leaders today need to be agile, responsive and inclusive, seeking input from executives with different viewpoints, experiences, and backgrounds,” said Krishnan Rajagopalan, ’88, president and CEO. “During this COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot overstate how critical it is to have diverse voices and inclusive leadership across an organization.” Headquartered in Chicago, Hendrick & Struggles is a global management consulting firm providing integrated leadership solutions.

The Kirby Corporation subsidiary Stewart & Stevenson signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Rice University to produce an advanced version of the ApolloBVM ventilator, an emergency device intended to help patients breathe during first response situations or when traditional ventilators are not available. Joe Reniers, ’04, president of Kirby distribution and services, said, “It is our expectation that the ApolloBVM ventilator advancements that have been jointly developed will not only respond to the critical health care device needs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic but will also provide a sturdy and portable system that can be rapidly deployed to the frontlines during other emergency response situations.” Based in Houston, Kirby Corporation operates in marine transportation as well as in distribution and services.

The California Business Journal featured Russ Rosenzweig, ’00, in an article about the trajectory of his company Round Table Group, a Chicago-based consulting firm for law offices and attorneys in need of expert witnesses. Rosenzweig cofounded the firm in 1994 and sold it Thomson Reuters in 2010 after significant growth. Rosenzweig recently re-acquired the company with his original founding team. “It is such a rare privilege to have been able to start a company, pioneer a brand new industry, sell the company, and then re-acquire it,” Rosenzweig said.

Booz Allen Hamilton, a consulting firm based in McLean, Virginia, announced a pandemic resilience program of more than $100 million to support its 27,000 employees and the communities where they live and work. The program includes major benefit program enhancements to support employees dealing with health, childcare, and COVID-related issues; a pledge of job security at least through July 1; and a commitment to provide funding, assistance, and technology expertise to aid vulnerable populations, military families, veterans and frontline healthcare workers. “These moves will help protect the health and financial security of our people, their loved ones, and their communities during a very uncertain, difficult time,” said Horacio Rozanski, ’92, Booz Allen’s president and CEO. 

The Sinquefield Center for Research, Inc., a nonprofit charitable organization, announced that its latest cycle of research-related funding to Saint Louis University, totaling more than $765,000, will support several innovations in COVID-19-related research along with critical, specialized equipment. Jeanne Sinquefield, AM ’71, MBA ’79, who established the Sinquefield Center with her husband Rex Sinquefield, ’72, said, “The projects we are funding fit perfectly into SLU’s historic service-focused mission, challenging and providing opportunities for the university’s diverse community of students, faculty, and researchers to make the world a better place.”

Lightsource BP and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) signed a long-term power contract to build two solar farms in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, which will help advance energy and sustainability priorities in the area. Kevin Smith, ’86, CEO of Lightsouce BP in the Americas, said, “We’re thrilled to partner with SEPTA, an organization committed to its sustainability goals, while supporting development of new solar energy sources within the state to create jobs in local communities during these challenging times.” Headquartered in London, Lightsource BP is a global organization that funds and develops large-scale solar energy projects. SEPTA is a transit agency headquartered in Philadelphia.

Axon, a public safety technology company in Scottsdale, Arizona, has committed more than $1 million for personal protective equipment, including medical masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer, for first responders to reduce exposure to COVID-19. “Even throughout this global pandemic, first responders are still stepping forward and risking their lives to assist people in need,” said Rick Smith ’93, CEO and founder of Axon, a provider of public safety technology based in Scottsdale, Arizona. “Axon’s mission is to protect life and when technology isn’t the answer, we must look for another solution. In this case, helping people meet the most basic needs is the most important thing we can and will do.”

Stepan Company, a chemical manufacturer based in Northfield, Illinois, has donated 800 gallons of hand sanitizer and one thousand gallons of disinfecting spray solution to Chicagoland first responders on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis. “Stepan Company and its employees are proud to assist our first responders and donate products that help ensure they have the hand sanitizer and spray disinfectant needed to protect themselves from COVID-19 and to keep our communities safe,” said F. Quinn Stepan Jr., ’88, the company’s chairman, president, and CEO. “We are all in this fight together and we continue to encourage our teams across the globe to take creative and meaningful steps to support their communities.”

No ImageJennifer Strickland, AB ’91, MBA ’97, has joined the New York–based investment management firm Pretium as co-head of business development. She most recently served as executive vice president at PIMCO, a fixed income investment manager based in Newport Beach, California.

Shundrawn Thomas, ’99, has been named one of 2020’s Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America by Savoy, an African American business and lifestyle magazine. Thomas is president of the Chicago-based global investment manager Northern Trust Asset Management. He and his fellow honorees were selected for their exemplary record of accomplishments at some of the country’s highest-performing companies.

No ImageWynnchurch Capital has promoted Greg Gleason, ’12, to partner. Gleason, who joined the firm in 2008, is also set to become a member of the firm’s investment committee. Wynnchurch is a middle-market private equity firm based in Rosemont, Illinois.

No ImageThe on-demand delivery startup Rappi, based in Mexico City, is partnering with the New York–based fintech firm Arcus to deliver digital banking services to customers during the COVID-19 crisis. Rappi will leverage Arcus’ platform to launch the payment app RappiPay, allowing customers to automate and schedule payments, among other benefits. “We want to make life easier for our customers, particularly during this difficult time,” said Rappi general manager Alejandro Solis, ’11. “With RappiPay, people can manage all of their financial needs from the safety of their homes.”