Alumni Connections - No. 3 - October 2004

Alumni Connections is a sampling of alumni news. Alumni on the Move, Alumni to Know, CEO Watch: Taking the Lead, and CEO Watch: Making Headlines share news gleaned from media online and in print, including news submitted to Chicago Booth Magazine. Submit information about yourself or fellow alumni to

Alumni on the Move

AtCor Medical, Inc.:
Douglas Kurschinski, ’90
, has been appointed vice president–market development for the Australian company’s U.S. subsidiary. AtCor Medical, Inc., a subsidiary of AtCor Medical Pty. Ltd. of Sydney, Australia, markets an innovative biomedical development technology for cardiovascular research and clinical practice.

Beganto, Inc.:
Sunil Grover, ’99
, has been appointed CEO. Beganto is a privately held company that has developed patent-pending, single-clock-cycle search technology. Based in Fremont, California, Beganto does custom computer programming for the electronic component industry.

China Optimization Group:
Brent Schnell, ’90,
has been named vice president of business development with the consulting services startup. The China Optimization Group (COG) was formed to help small and mid-sized companies evaluate business opportunities in sourcing, go-to-market, and distribution offered in China. Schnell is based in the company’s central U.S. office in Geneva, Illinois.

Cynthia Jamison, ’85
, has joined the firm’s Chicago-based management team as CFO. The premium convenience restaurant chain has more than 80 locations in 11 states.

HealthSouth Corp.:
John Workman, ’85
, has been named CFO. Based in Birmingham, Alabama, the company is the largest provider of rehabilitative health care and outpatient surgery services in the country and has 1,700 facilities in the U.S., Australia, Puerto Rico, and the U.K.

Brent Willis, ’91 (XP-60)
, has been named chief commercial officer at the brewery’s branch in Belgium. Previously, he was chief marketing and sales officer.

The Interpublic Group:
Jerome J. Leshne, ’96 (XP-65)
, has been named vice president, financial planning and analysis and investor relations. Interpublic, based in New York, is a leading organization of advertising agencies and marketing service companies.

The Lewin Group:
Robert Book, MBA ’02, PhD, ’02
, recently joined the firm as a senior associate in its health care finance practice. Based in Falls Church, Virginia, the group is a premier national health care and human services consulting firm.

Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.:
Christopher Sztam, ’94
, has been named a senior vice president in sales and trading in the firm’s New York office. Merriman Curhan Ford is a securities broker-dealer and investment bank focused on emerging growth companies and growth-oriented institutional investors.

Newmont Mining Corporation: Donald C. Roth, ’71, has been named to the board of directors for the company. The firm is among the world’s top gold producers.

Output Exploration, LLC:
Gerald F. Clark, AB ’74, MBA ’76
, has joined the company as CFO, overseeing the company’s strategic planning and financial activities. The Stafford, Texas–based firm engages primarily in exploration for and production of natural gas liquids and crude oil in California, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas.

Savient Pharmaceuticals, Inc.:
Lawrence A. Gyenes, ’83 (XP-50)
, has been appointed senior vice president, CFO, and treasurer, overseeing the worldwide financial management and accounting activities of the firm and its subsidiaries. Based in East Brunswick, New Jersey, Savient Pharmaceuticals develops, manufactures, and markets products designed to address unmet needs in both niche and wider markets.

Tap Pharmaceutical Products Inc.:
Alan Douglas MacKenzie, ’99 (XP-68)
, has been named president, succeeding
H. Thomas Watkins, ’79. Tap is a joint venture between Abbott Laboratories and Japanese drug maker Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. that sells the heartburn drug Prevacid and prostate cancer treatment Lupron Depot in the United States.

Washington Mutual: Larry Breitbarth, ’88, has been named senior vice president and controller of the commercial group for the Seattle-based company.

Alumni to Know

Paul Farmer, ’82, is CFO at IPIX Corp., a company based in California and Tennessee, that was named by Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge as one of the businesses that could help make the country more secure. Interviewed in September by Bay Area paper Contra Costa Times, Farmer explained that IPIX’s imaging technology, long used on the Internet to let viewers see items on eBay or go on a 360-degree virtual tour of a home, has been transformed for digital cameras. Among the new products is the CommandView360, an outdoor product. The two cameras face back to back, allowing the device to capture the entire sphere, Farmer told the paper. IPIX’s technology won approval from the Secret Service for use at the G8 Summit at Sea Island, Georgia, last summer. “Our systems were used to monitor (the international dignitaries) when they arrived at the airport, when they went in and out of buildings for logistical purposes, and then also moving them around the island,” he told the Times.

Rob Karwath, ’02, (XP-71), is associate managing editor for the business section of the Chicago Tribune. He oversees a department of 63 journalists who produce the paper’s daily section as well as five weekly sections on real estate, the automotive industry, and personal finance. Karwath has served in a number of roles at the Tribune, including stints on the business side as general manager of suburban operations and as business development director. He came to the paper in 1985 after graduating from the University of Kansas. Karwath has been a reporter, political editor, and Sunday metro editor.

John Keeley, ’65, manager of the $155 million Keeley Small Cap Value Fund, was featured in a story on for “generating above-average returns by buying shares of U.S. companies that are emerging from bankruptcy or being restructured.” Although the fund was started to allow Keeley’s family and friends to invest even if they couldn’t afford the $1 million minimum for separate accounts, it now has over $1.1 billion in assets. His fund is up 8.5 percent this year, ranking it second among 146 small-cap funds that Bloomberg tracked, bested only by FBR Small Cap Value Fund.

Tim Michels, ’97 (XP-66), won the Wisconsin Republican U.S. Senate primary on Sept. 14. Michels, who co-owns Michels Corp., a construction company, defeated three challengers and will face incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold in November. Michels served for 12 years in the Army Rangers—experience that appealed to voters, according to Gail Chimenti, Republican Party chairman of Brown County, Wisconsin.

Dumas Siméus, ’72, was appointed by Florida governor Jeb Bush to the newly formed Haiti Advisory Group, established to identify critical short-term and long-term solutions to the key issues of Haiti’s reconstruction, including economic development, education, technology, and the environment. Siméus, chairman and CEO of Siméus Foods International in Texas, created the Siméus Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides health care, food, clothing, clean water, and educational opportunites to the people of Pont-Sondé, Haiti, where he was born. More than 230,000 Haitians live in Florida, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, making the state home to the largest Haitian population in the country.

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