Alumni Connections - No. 16 - November 2005

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

Avanex Corporation:
Tony Riley, '97 , was named interim chief financial officer in September. He joined the firm in May as a consultant and has served as corporate controller since August. Avanex designs, manufactures, and markets photonic processors, which improve the speed and capacity of fiber optic transmission networks.

Patrick Prevost, '91 , has been named president of the global chemical company's performance chemicals operating division, based in Germany. He had been executive vice president of BASF Corporation and president of the chemicals, plastics, and performance products regional division in North America.

Bielinski Homes:
Peter Collins, '98 , has been promoted from controller to chief financial officer of the Wisconsin-based homebuilder. In 2004 the Institute of Management Accountants and Robert Half International selected Collins as financial executive of the year for the mid-America region.

Biosite Inc.:
Winton Gibbons, '88 , has joined the San Diego-based biomedical company as senior vice president, strategic and global product marketing. Biosite develops rapid diagnostics products and antibody development technologies.

Crane Company:
Richard Koch, '77 , has been hired as director of investor relations at the Stamford, Connecticut-based engineered industrial products manufacturer. Koch, a registered professional engineer, most recently worked as vice president, investor relations and public affairs, at Olin Corporation.

Deutsche Asset Management:
Daniel Smaller, '82 , has been named head of Middle East, northern Africa, and Pakistan operations for the global asset management arm of Deutsche Bank AG. He will be based in Dubai. Smaller joined the bank in 1998 and most recently headed its global equity sales in Asia.

fastmobile Inc.:
Joe Woods, '83 , has been hired as executive vice president of sales and marketing. He had been a vice president for Motorola's personal communications sector in North America. Fastmobile develops, hosts, and delivers value-added instant communication services.

Florida State Courts:
Governor Jeb Bush has appointed George Jirotka, '80 , to a new judgeship for Florida's Sixth Circuit, serving Pinellas and Pasco counties. He has been with the Tampa law firm Fowler White Boggs Banker since 1986 and is a former mayor of Belleair Shore, Florida.

Green Manning & Bunch Ltd. (GMB):
Warren Henson Jr., '87 , has been named co-president of the Denver-based investment bank. He has been with GMB since 1991 and was a principal of the firm prior to its acquisition by CoBiz in 2001.

Harvest Natural Resources Inc. (HNR):
Byron Dunn, '86 , has been elected senior vice president, corporate development, for the Houston-based oil and gas exploitation and development company. He most recently worked as vice president, business development, for National-Oilwell Inc. and has served on HNR's board of directors.

Hercules Technology Growth Capital Inc.:
John Hershey, '90 , has joined the Silicon Valley-based firm as managing director for its late-stage technology group. Hershey previously worked as managing director of Infinity Capital and of the technology group at Banc of America Securities.

Invensys PLC:
Chan Galbato, '92 , has been hired as president of the company's largest business group, which provides appliance and climate control components and systems. Galbato, who previously served as president, services, for Home Depot, is charged with turning around the performance of the controls group.

LifeCell Corporation:
Michael Minogue, '01 (XP-70) , has been named to the board of directors of the Branchburg, New Jersey-based firm, which develops and markets products made from human tissue for use in surgical procedures. Minogue is president, CEO, and chairman of the board of Abiomed Inc.

Navistar International Corporation:
Bill Caton, '93 (XP-62) , has joined the parent company of International Truck and Engine Corporation as executive vice president of finance and CFO-elect. Caton had worked at industrial manufacturer Dover Corporation since 1989 in numerous executive positions.

OfficeMax Inc.:
Don Civgin, '85 , has joined the office products and services provider as executive vice president of finance and CFO-elect. Civgin comes to OfficeMax from General Binding Corporation, where he served most recently as senior vice president and chief financial officer.

Performance Sciences LLC:
Fred Krumberger, '75 , has launched a strategic management consulting company to help early-stage and medium-sized businesses develop a strategic focus and then accurately measure it. The firm is based in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin.

PRI Audit and Control:
David Alexander, '81 , has joined the firm's South Bend, Indiana, office as a staff information systems auditor. He has more than 20 years of IS experience in the development of financial, manufacturing, insurance, and health care applications.

Provide Commerce Inc.:
Eric Carlborg, '89 , has been hired as chief financial officer of the San Diego-based e-commerce marketplace of Web sites for perishable goods. He most recently worked at Merrill Lynch in Palo Alto, California, where he was managing director of investment banking.

Qualtech Systems Inc.:
Chakrapani Vallurupalli, '05 , has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer. Wethersfield, Connecticut-based Qualtech provides equipment health management and integrated diagnostics software solutions for commercial and military markets.

Rite Aid Corporation:
Robert Mariano, '87 (XP-56) , has been elected to the board of directors of the drugstore chain. He is chairman and chief executive officer of Roundy's Supermarkets Inc., with stores in the upper Midwest. Previously, he spent 25 years at the Dominick's grocery chain, which he headed from 1995 until he sold it to Safeway in 1998.

U.S. Department of State:
Emil Skodon, AB '75, MBA '76 , a minister-counselor in the senior foreign service, has been appointed ambassador to the southeast Asian sultanate of Brunei. Skodon has a long record of diplomatic service at the U.S. embassies in Italy, Kuwait, Iraq, and Singapore, among others.

Wendy's International Inc.:
Robert Whittington, '85 , has joined the firm as senior vice president and chief information officer. He comes to Wendy's from Sun Microsystems, where he was retail vertical technology officer. In addition to Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers, the company's brands include Tim Hortons and Baja Fresh Mexican Grill.

Wood Creek Capital Management LLC:
Avtar Vasu, '00 , has been hired as chief investment officer of the New Haven, Connecticut-based firm, which focuses on nonfinancial security based strategies. Vasu previously served as a vice president in the alternative investments group at Putnam Lovell NBF.

Alumni to Know

Since joining Boston boutique bank Adams Harkness as co-head of mergers and acquisitions in 2002, Kevin Dunn, '78 , has been promoted to chief executive officer, led the firm to restored financial health, and helped execute its sale to Canadian investment company Canaccord Capital Corporation in a $20 million deal. The new firm will supplement Adams Harkness's concentration in "growth" sectors such as technology to include natural resources, a strength of Canaccord's, and will offer its small- and midcap clients not just NASDAQ, but a range of stock exchanges to list on. Dunn told that the sale "changes who we are and our platform and our value proposition. We've become a company with more tools and resources to win business." The new firm is known as Canaccord Adams.

In a lengthy feature in the October 17 issue of BusinessWeek, media strategist Rishad Tobaccowala, '82 , was hailed as "one of the new oracles of Madison Avenue." The chief innovation officer of Starcom MediaVest Group, the media arm of Leo Burnett, is leveraging his 15-year "sterling track record" with Burnett and Starcom to get even the most resistant clients to adapt traditional advertising strategies to the world of on-demand content. And although the growth of the Internet, digital video recorders, video cell phones, and portable music and video players has made consumer behavior harder to track, Tobaccowala sees plenty of opportunity for advertisers who adapt to the changes rather than stick with the status quo. "[He] does whatever he has to make sure clients don't miss out," according to BusinessWeek. "It usually works. SMG has enjoyed the best run of account wins in the business in the past two years, jumping from handling about $9 billion in media budgets to about $14 billion."

David Crane, '85 , was president of Excelsior Printing in North Adams, Massachusetts, when his family tapped him in 1993 to become chief financial officer of paper maker Crane & Company, Excelsior's parent. After more than a decade working in three successive executive positions, David Crane is going back to Excelsior-as owner. Crane has bought the general commercial printer and intends to revitalize the operation. "I know the folks there, the customers, and the business," he said in a Berkshire Eagle interview. "They have a great management team, and I have faith in the people there and in that working together we'll be able to take advantage of our skills to grow the business."

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