Alumni Connections - No. 19 - February 2006

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

Bank of Cyprus Public Company Ltd.:
Matheos Mavrommatis, '82, has been appointed to its board of directors. He served as chairman of the Nicosia Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the last six years, and was recently elected chairman of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Cadmus Communications Corporation:
John Miller, '95, has joined the company as senior vice president, sales and marketing for the publisher services group. The company, based in Richmond, Virginia, provides graphic communications for publishers, corporations, and non-profit agencies.

Collins & Aikman Corporation:
Pete Speers, '86, has been appointed vice president, financial planning and analysis. The Troy, Michigan-based company makes automotive body parts, such as cockpit modules, floors, and acoustic systems, and supplies instrument panels, convertible tops, fabric, and trim.

Computer Sciences Corporation:
James Sheaffer, '75, has been named president of the El Segundo, California-based company's federal sector business unit. The international firm provides information technology services.

DOV Pharmaceutical, Inc.:
Scott Myers, '94, has been appointed senior vice president of strategic marketing and commercialization. The Hackensack, New Jersey-based company focuses on finding, acquiring, developing, and commercializing drugs for central nervous system and other disorders.

Gregory Burnett, '91, has joined the company, which runs steel mills and pipe mills in the United States and Canada, as corporate treasurer. The company is headquartered in Lisle, Illinois.

Navarre Corporation:
J. Reid Porter, '75, has been named CFO and executive vice president of the Minneapolis-based company, which publishes and distributes home entertainment products, such as personal computer software, CDs, DVDs, video games, and accessories.

PlanetOut Inc.:
Jeff Soukup, JD '90, MBA '91, the San Francisco company's executive vice president and former CFO, has been appointed to the newly created post of chief operating officer. The media and entertainment company serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

Edward Moffly, '97 (XP-66), CFO, has been elected to the board of directors of the company formed when Bench Group, Inc. merged with its recently acquired subsidiary, Qualmax, Inc., and took its name. Based in Eugene, Oregon, the company develops and markets voice-over Internet protocol products and services.

Todd Tillemans, MBA ’92, has been named vice president and general manager for Unilever’s U.S. skin business, according to a January 19 announcement. The company’s skin brands include Vaseline. Earlier in his career Tillemans worked for General Mills, the announcement said.

VirtualScopics, Inc.:
Charles Phelps, CLA '66, PhD '73, University of Rochester provost and noted economist in the health care industry, has been named to the board of the Rochester, New York-based company, which develops tools that aid in the analysis of medical images, such as those taken by MRIs.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.:
Marc Rosen, '94, has been named senior vice president for international, merchandising, and supply chain systems for the company, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas. Before joining the retail giant in February 2000, Rosen served as a senior manager for Ernst & Young.

Alumni to Know

Libby Andrews, '94, created a handbag business in Chicago, Libby's Luxuries, that through handbag parties, a Web site, and specialty stores, has grown in less than two years to do $250,000 in sales in 2005, according to a Kansas City Star article December 12. Andrews, a Kansas City native, started with bags and added jewelry a few months later. "Women like the fact they can choose the color, lining, and the pockets. They're getting custom-made styles," she told the newspaper. Andrews charges about $250 to $700 for such skins as crocodile and ostrich. Andrews will have several trunk shows for her jewelry line, "the LiLuxe Collection" at Bloomingdale's on Michigan Avenue over the next three months. Check her website for information.

Robert Choy, '05 (AXP-4), enthuses over the GSB's Executive MBA Program, and specifically, the Singapore campus, in an article December 10 in The Star, a Malaysian newspaper. "I loved the Singapore campus, a 120-year-old historical landmark. You experience a languid old-world ambience amidst hurried intellectual activity: a rare and pleasant anachronism!" The entrepreneur also praised his fellow students: "Never before have I met so many talented people, in so short a time, and in so intelligent an interaction. I still cannot help but look back in amazement at the enormous amount that I have learned, just from my classmates!"

Arnold Donald, '80, is serving as the new president and CEO of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, headquartered in New York City. Donald previously was CEO of Merisant, a global foods company that he founded. "I am thrilled to be joining an organization with the research reputation, global reach, record of innovation, and importance of mission of JDRF," Donald said in a PRNewswire report December 21.

Sid Good, '82, president of Good Marketing Inc., in Cleveland, Ohio, offers a bit of advice for other inventors in The Plain Dealer December 30: "Product and service innovations have to provide needed benefits." Good's inventions with his brother Bruce include toys and games, such as Royal Potty, licensed to Fisher Price, Shark Grab 'n Bag Powered Scooper, licensed to Euro-Pro, and Duck Duck Goose, licensed to Hasbro Games.

Kavi Gupta, '96, and Jim Molidor, '98, are mixing real estate and art in Chicago's thriving West Loop, according to an article in the Daily Herald December 23. "The close friends built their business as they worked their way through the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business," the article said. Molidor, a CPA, runs the real estate business, Molidor Venture Capital LLC, out of the Kavi Gupta gallery. The two men and their business partners own several buildings and rent space to other gallery owners at a discount, with the intention of making the area attractive to retailers and boosting property values.

Robert Ibbotson, PhD '74, a former University of Chicago finance professor, and the man credited with starting the maxim that in the long run, stock market returns will grow about 10 percent a year, is facing some challengers to his theories in a Fortune's Investor's Guide 2006 article, which came out December 26. Ibbotson started Ibbotson Associates in 1977, three years after he and Rex Sinquefield, '72, "at a University of Chicago conference made a brash prediction: The Dow Jones industrial average, floundering in the 800s at the time, would hit 9,218 at the end of 1998 and get to 10,000 by November 1999," Fortune said. Their surprisingly accurate forecast turned out to be true within 37 points at the end of 1998. And the Dow reached 10,000 seven months earlier than they had even predicted. Ibbotson has since lowered his long-run forecast for stock returns to 9.27 percent a year. One critique came from Ibbotson's dissertation advisor Eugene Fama, MBA '63, PhD'64, Robert R. McCormick Distinguished Service Professor of Finance. Fama said he thinks risk premium, an important part of Ibbotson's forecast formulations, has decreased over time "basically because we've convinced people that it's there." Fortune notes: "Ibbotson's stock market forecasting model is thus a victim of its own success." Sinquefield, too, found success, starting a mutual fund company that manages more than $80 billion today.

Michael Litt, '85, portfolio strategist at FrontPoint Partners in Greenwich, Connecticut, discusses risk, efficiency, and his research report in the Financial Times, December 13. Litt's report, entitled, "Reminiscences of an Alpha Transporter," offers a solution to a current problem that institutional investors are grappling with: the fact that globalization has changed practically all the old ways of doing things. Litt asserts that the traditional asset allocation model is broken and a system called "portable alpha" is the fix. Portable alpha is defined as investing in a manager who can generate "alpha," the incremental return above the market that a manager generates, while using derivatives like index futures or swaps to hedge the "beta" or market exposure. "This is a seismic shift and the early institutional adapters will be the ones who succeed," Litt told the Times.

Joe Mansueto, AB '78, MBA '80, founder of Morningstar Inc., an independent investment research firm, took his firm public this year. And Mansueto himself ventured into the publishing business, the Chicago Tribune reported December 25. Mansueto used a Dutch auction for the IPO in which 24 percent of Morningstar's outstanding shares were sold. "We are big believers in the auction format for an IPO. It is consistent with who we are as a company. With an auction, the little guy is treated exactly the same as the big guy. There are no preferential stock allocations. It's an open, transparent process," Mansueto told the Tribune. In a move unrelated to Morningstar, Mansueto formed a joint venture to publish Time Out Chicago, a weekly guide to city events. Next he bought two New York City business periodicals, Fast Company and Inc., for $32.5 million, the Tribune reported.

David Slump, '96, chief marketing executive of GE Energy, was quoted in the December 12, 2005 issue of BusinessWeek regarding a question he posed fellow power company executives from around the country. Slump asked the execs who were meeting with GE CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt and his team in GE's auditorium in Crotonville, New York: how many think that, after President George W. Bush leaves office, the imposition of mandatory curbs on greenhouse gases linked to global warming and carbon dioxin emissions is inevitable? About 80 percent of the 30 or so executives agreed, the article said.

Rishad Tobaccowala, '82, chief innovation officer at ad agency Publicis Groupe Media, has been chosen by BusinessWeek as one of the Best Leaders of 2005 as an innovation champ. Tobaccowala has been instrumental in the growth of accounts being handled by the firm's main media unit: to $14 billion, up from $9 billion two years ago, according to BusinessWeek. The article credits Tobaccowala's advice to clients that the Web trains consumers to want media, goods, and services in a new way: on demand. "Now the major networks, seeing his vision come true, are scrambling over programming over iTunes, Comcast On Demand, and DirecTV Highlights-on-Demand," the December 19 article said. Renato "Ron" Turano, '91 (XP-60), is running for a seat in Italy's legislature to represent the Italian diaspora in North America, according to a profile in the Chicago Tribune January 3. The president of Turano Baking Co., a large family-owned business headquartered in west suburban Berwyn, Illinois, has dual citizenship. If no Italian political parties sponsor him, Turano said he would run as an independent. The baking company has expanded to three factories in Chicago's west suburbs, and Turano's grandchildren are getting involved in the business. "We pretty much lived the American dream," Turano said.

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