Alumni Connections - No. 15 - October 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

Allied Waste Industries, Inc.:
James Quella, '81
, was named to the board of directors. Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, the firm is the second-largest non-hazardous solid waste management company in the country. Quella is senior managing director and senior operating partner at The Blackstone Group.

ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, Inc.
Randy Conte, '05 (XP-74), was named chief operations officer. Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the firm is one of the country's largest loan originators. Prior to his position, he was executive vice president and controller for the parent company, LaSalle Bank Corporation.

Capital One Financial Corporation
Pierre Leroy, '72, has been appointed to the board of directors of the McLean, Virginia-based bank holding company. Leroy spent 29 years with Deere & Company, most recently as president of the worldwide construction and forestry division and worldwide parts division. Early this year, he was named one of the 75 "most powerful blacks in corporate America" by Black Enterprise magazine.

Central European Media Enterprises Ltd.
Romana Tomasova, '03 (EXP-8), was appointed director of corporate communications, responsible for investor, government, and public relations at the firm's London headquarters. Known as CME, the firm is a television broadcasting company with stations in six central and eastern European countries that reach about 90 million people.

Cutter Associates Europe Ltd.
Thomas Phelps, '74, has been named head of the firm's consulting practice in the UK and Europe. He joined Cutter as a managing director in 2003 after 15 years with the investment management consulting practice at PwC Consulting.

DB Investment Managers, Inc. Steven Bossi, '89, has been named global head of funds-of-funds for the firm, which is a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank AG. He is responsible for managing the fund-of-funds team and developing multi-manager hedge fund products. Previously, Bossi was deputy of the team. Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd.
Mark Silverstein, '90, has joined the firm as chief investment officer. The firm is a global provider of property and casualty insurance and reinsurance and is headquartered in Pembroke, Bermuda.

First Midwest Bancorp
Ellen Rudnick, '73, has been appointed to the board of directors and the nominating and corporate governance committee of the firm, one of the Chicago metropolitan area's largest independent bank holding companies. Rudnick is clinical professor of entrepreneurship at Chicago GSB and the executive director of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship at the GSB.

GE Infrastructure
Bradley Mottier, '89, was named vice president of engine services for the company's aircraft engines division, responsible for the strategic direction of services within General Electric's aircraft engines business.

G&K Services, Inc.
J. Patrick Doyle, '88, has joined the company's board of directors. Doyle is executive vice president of Team USA for Domino's Pizza. G&K Services, headquartered in Minneapolis, is the country's third-largest uniform rental agency with more than 160,000 customers.

Medley Global Advisors
Pankaj Uppal, '83, has joined the firm to lead its emerging markets business. Based in New York, the firm was founded by Richard Medley, former chief political strategist to George Soros, to help investors navigate U.S. equity markets, oil and energy markets, geopolitics, and emerging markets, as well as G3 macro markets.

Monolithic Power Systems, Inc.
Rick Neely, '80, was appointed chief financial officer of the Los Gatos, California-based firm, which designs and sells proprietary, advanced analog, and mixed-signal semiconductors.

Omnicare, Inc.
Glen Laschober, '77, was appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer. Based in Covington, Kentucky, the firm is a leading provider of pharmaceutical care for the elderly. Laschober is responsible for the operations of the $6 billion institutional pharmacy business and related areas.

Pappas Telecasting Companies
Brock Kruzic, '93, was appointed director of national sales for Los Angeles. The firm is the largest privately-held commercial television broadcast group in the United States. The company owns 25 Fox, WB, ABC, CBS, UPN, and Azteca America affiliates.

Pinnacle Foods Corporation
Hank Lambert, '75, has been appointed vice president and general manager of food service. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, the company manufactures such leading brands as Aunt Jemima frozen breakfast products, Van de Kamp's frozen seafood, and Duncan Hines baking mixes.

SR Telecom Inc.
Kirk Flatow, '85, was named to the board of directors. The firm, based in Montreal, makes wireless network infrastructure equipment that telecom carriers use to provide voice and data connections to subscribers. Flatow is senior vice president, advanced semiconductor packaging group, of Tessera, Inc.

RD Legal Funding, LLC
Edwin Baldwin, '78, has been appointed executive vice president of business development, a newly created position. Headquartered in Englewood, New Jersey, the company accelerates cash flow to law firms involved in securities class actions, mass torts, personal injury suits, medical malpractice, employment discrimination, and other types of litigation.

Ryan Beck & Co., Inc.
Hamilton Chang, '93, has joined the firm as managing director and co-head of the municipal finance group. Ryan Beck provides financial advice to individual investors and institutional clients, and is headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey.

SLM Corporation (Sallie Mae)
Maja Teeples, '89, was promoted to vice president, debt management operations finance, in the company's Reston, Virginia, office. She joined the firm in 2002. Sallie Mae is the nation's leading provider of education funding.

Thomas Weisel Partners
David Stubbs, '98, has joined the firm as a principal in the New York office. Based in New York, the company is an investment bank focused on the growth sectors of the economy.

Trusted Computing Group
Roger Kay, '77, has joined the advisory council of the group, a body formed to develop and promote industry standards to make computing environments more secure, guarding computer users from such problems as spam and viruses. Kay is president of Endpoint Technologies Associates, a market intelligence firm.

U.S.-Japan Business Council
Karen Katen, AB '70, MBA '74, has been appointed chairman. The council of influential business leaders works to strengthen U.S.-Japan ties by supporting structural and regulatory reform in Japan and by working to influence government policies in both countries. Katen is vice chairman of Pfizer Inc. and president of Pfizer Human Health.

Woodward Governor Company
Robert Weber Jr., '92 (XP-61), was elected CFO and treasurer. Headquartered in Rockford, Illinois, the firm is the world's largest independent designer, manufacturer, and service provider of energy control solutions for aircraft engines, industrial engines and turbines, and power generation and mobile industry equipment.

Alumni to Know

Manish Aurora, '94, was profiled in the New York Sun on August 12 in a story that offered details about how his hedge fund, Vidya Capital Management, has become successful: removing human bias from the process. While the firm is headquartered in New York, much of the stock valuation work is performed in India, the paper said. "The company also relies on 'scrubbed' data-meaning that the analysts in Mumbai make sure that public financial data is consistent, and not skewed by accounting changes and the like," the Sun said. "The most important part of the process is determining a risk-adjusted discount rate, which relates to the yield curve and to various company-specific factors such as R&D requirements or capital spending needs." The data can be used to make comparisons between companies in any industry, the paper added.


Mike Blake, '94, described his leap from accounting to information technology in InfoWorld on August 22. The magazine called him "a new kind of employee: one who balances deep technical know-how with an equally solid understanding of the bottom line." In 1995, he was reassigned from United Airlines' corporate planning department to its information technology department. "I soon began to realize the whole world of United could be understood by how its systems were utilized," he told InfoWorld. He spent more than three years as IT controller at the airline, briefly worked at a business-to-business startup, then switched to Sears before heading back to school to get a master's degree in computer science. "I understood the IT projects, and a lot of business people at Sears didn't. I was able to start bridging the gap between technology and finance and tell them what those numbers really meant," he told the magazine.


Gilbert de Cardenas Jr., '04 (XP-73), was profiled in the New York Times on August 18 in an article detailing his rise with MKT Inc. After selling Mexican-style cheese for Cacique Inc., the company founded by his parents, he realized there was a market for "distinctly Hispanic meat," the paper said. Based in Pasadena, California, the company has begun "shipping Don Gilberto brand cold cuts and frankfurters to small supermarket chains catering to Hispanic neighborhoods in California and Texas," the Times said. While Hispanic consumers buy lunch meat from major producers, de Cardenas is unafraid of the competition because demographics are on his side, according to the story. He also has "serious financial backing" in the form of approximately $4 million in private equity offering from the Los Angeles brokerage and investment firm Stern Fisher Edwards, the paper said.

Gerald Irons, '76, was sought out for his approach to football in an August 30 story in the Oakland Tribune. A former linebacker for the Oakland Raiders professional football team from 1970 to 1975, he is proud to see his son, Grant Irons, join the team as a defensive end. "I always had nothing but great feelings for the Raider organization," he told the Tribune. Now a Houston resident who works in commercial real estate, he also serves on a school board in Woodlands, Texas. "To get a chance to see Grant wear the silver and black … I'm just thrilled," he told the Tribune.


John Mutch, '97 (EXP-2), was sought out by the New York Times August 20 for his approach to cleaning up Peregrine Systems, the marketer of infrastructure software that faced severe setbacks. Before he joined the board in March 2003 and was named president and CEO in August 2003, the company faced indictments of top executives and a Chapter 11 filing. He told the Times, "I think our highest priority was really to create a culture of accountability," including transparency and accuracy in operations and communications as well as detailing the firm's lack of internal controls thoroughly and accurately. Still, Mutch told the paper, outsiders have demanded problems be fixed more quickly. "To be honest, no one really understands the magnitude of what the internal issues were here, just the people working on them," he said. Mutch, hopeful about the turnaround, told the Times he would like to see Peregrine Systems re-list on the Nasdaq "in the next 12 months."

Craig Nakagawa, '97, was included in a BusinessWeek online story August 17 about MBAs helping the poor. Nakagawa is chief operating officer at VillageReach, which runs a for-profit propane business to support a charitable vaccine distribution program in Mozambique. "I used my business school skills more here than I did on Wall Street," he told BusinessWeek. "You feel like a pioneer in the new industry of social entrepreneurship." Nakagawa joined the firm in 2001.


Guy Nohra, '89, was the subject of a story in the San Francisco Examiner August 30, which profiled his success as a venture capitalist with Alta Partners, which he founded in 1996. The firm invests in biotechnology, biopharmaceutical and medical technology through two current funds-the early-stage $185 million Alta California Partners IV, and the later-stage $275 million Alta BioPharma III fund, the story said. Nohra told the Examiner that 1997 and 1998 were downtimes in the life sciences industry, but the genomics market took off in 2000, bringing "handsome" rewards for investors. "If we take credit for anything, it is not exiting the market between 1995 and 2000 when everybody else did," Nohra told the paper. "We hung tough with the industry."

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