Alumni Connections - No. 18 - January 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

Brunswick Boat Group:
Andrew Graves, '83, has joined the company as president of the freshwater boat group. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, it is the largest manufacturer of pleasure boats in the world.

Denahi Global Investments, LLC:
Eswar Menon, '95, has been named principal and CIO of the new San Francisco-based Asian equity investment management company that was launched by M. D. Sass, a New York-based investment management firm.

DiamondCluster International, Inc.:
Michael Kim, '96, has been promoted from consultant to partner in the Chicago-based firm's insurance industry practice. The company is an international management consulting firm.

Dresner Investment Services, Inc.:
Ejaz Elahi, '92, has been named vice president for health care investment banking. Dresner is an investment bank based in Chicago.

Egon Zehnder International:
Brian Reinken, '94, has been named a co-managing partner of the executive search firm's expanded U.S. practice. He previously was founder and managing partner of the firm's Dallas office.

Fannie Mae:
Rob Levin, '79, has been appointed the company's first chief business officer, responsible for overseeing and integrating the single-family, portfolio, and housing and community development businesses. Levin has been with Fannie Mae since 1981. Fannie Mae is the country's largest source of home loan funding.

Goldsmith Agio Helms:
Craig Korte, '01, has joined the investment bank as vice president and is based in the firm's Chicago office.

Halcyon Asset Management LLC:
Joseph Hill, '77, has joined the firm as a managing principal and director of client relations. Based in New York, Halcyon is a $3.5 billion hedge fund manager.

Harris Nesbitt:
Eric Schubert, '86, has joined the firm as managing director and head of structured finance based in the firm's Chicago office. Harris Nesbitt is the U.S. investment and corporate banking arm of BMO Financial Group.

InfiniRoute Networks Inc.:
Larry Frank, '81, has joined the company as vice president and chief marketing officer. Based in Princeton, New Jersey, the firm provides managed voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services for both wireline and wireless carriers.

McDermott International, Inc.:
Robert Goldman, '65, has been appointed to the board of directors and the audit committee. Based in Houston, the company builds deep water and undersea oil and gas production facilities. Goldman retired as senior vice president of finance and CFO from Conoco Inc. in 2002.

Moody's Corporation:
Carlton Charles, '86, has joined the firm as vice president and treasurer. Based in New York, it is the parent company of Moody's Investors Services, which provides credit ratings, research, and analysis of debt instruments and securities.

Quaker BioVentures:
Richard Kollender, '98, was promoted to partner. Kollender joined the company, a Philadelphia-based venture capital firm investing in life science companies, in 2003.

RLI Corp.:
Seth Davis, '02, has been promoted to vice president for internal audits. Headquartered in Peoria, Illinois, the firm is a specialty insurance company that operates in all 50 states from 23 locations.

Ryerson Tull, Inc.:
Dennis Keller, '68, has been appointed to the board of directors. Based in Chicago, the firm processes and distributes metals. Keller is chairman of the board of DeVry Inc., and DeVry University. Together, they operate technical schools, the Keller Graduate School of Management, and Ross University, which runs a medical school and veterinary school in the Caribbean.

Stepan Company:
F. Quinn Stepan Jr., '88, was promoted from president to CEO, succeeding his father. Headquartered in Northfield, Illinois, the firm produces specialty chemicals used in household, industrial, personal care, agricultural, food, and insulation-related products.

Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc.:
Michael Storey, '68, was named to the board of directors for the Miami-based firm, an energy and technology holding company. Storey was president and CEO from 2000 to 2004 of Inmarsat, a global communications company.

Tribune Broadcasting:
John Vitanovec, '89, was promoted to executive vice president of the firm, a division of Tribune Company. He had been a group vice president since 2004 and has worked for the Chicago-based company for 20 years.

Carlos Cabrera, '89 (XP-58), was appointed president and CEO. The firm, which supplies and licenses process technology to the petroleum refining, petrochemical, and gas processing industries, was recently acquired by Honeywell. Cabrera, who previously was senior vice president for process technology and equipment, has held numerous positions at UOP for the past 32 years.

Alumni to Know

LaSalle Bank president and CEO Norman Bobins, '67, received the Richard J. Daley Medal December 5 for "the bank's leadership in private equity funding," according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Bobins also is an executive with ABN Amro, parent company of LaSalle Bank. A spokesman for fhe Illinois Venture Capital Association, which made the award, told the Sun-Times, "This is intended for somebody who has really enhanced our local economy, largely as a result of private equity growth." The award is named for the late mayor of Chicago. Read a profile written about Bobins when he won Chicago GSB's 2003 Distinguished Corporate Alumni Award.

Jennifer Ceran, '89, vice president and treasurer of eBay Inc., was listed in the November 2005 special report on 25 rising women in finance for Treasury & Risk Management. Before joining the online auction firm, the magazine said, "Ceran trained at two outstanding treasuries—Cisco Systems Inc. and Sara Lee Corp.—so her fast rise to treasurer comes as no surprise. At eBay since 2003, she is developing what will become best-practice work in enterprise risk management and overseeing the company's global cash infrastructure."

Erroll Davis Jr., '67, was appointed chancellor of the University System of Georgia December 5. "I see this as a tremendous opportunity," he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I look forward to a labor of love." Davis, retired CEO of Alliant Energy Corporation in Madison, Wisconsin, was the first person in his family to graduate from college, the paper said; now he is the first the first person outside academia—and the first African American—to hold this job. Davis served on the Wisconsin Board of Regents for seven years; he is a member of the Board of Trustees at the University of Chicago.

Michael Frankel, AB '90, AM '90, MBA '95, JD '95, was included among "movers and shakers" in a story on on December 5 for joining Information Resources Inc., a Chicago-based firm that collects customer and product information through product scanning. "Frankel learned some of the ropes of in-house dealmaking early on as a 23-year-old on the strategy team of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Frankel, 36, left his most recent post on the corporate development team of GE Capital to take a job as senior vice president of corporate development for privately held Information Resources," TheDeal reported. "The best thing you can hear, as a corporate dealmaker, is that a company is changing," Frankel said. "Change is my friend."

Scott Griffith, '90, CEO of the car sharing firm, ZipCar, was included in a November 30 New York Times article about the profitability of firms that rent cars by the hour. ZipCar's "decision to halt expansion plans and to focus exclusively on building a critical mass in Boston, Washington, and New York kept the company alive and attracted investors," the Times said. Griffith told the paper, "We were the first to prove that you could get these markets profitable, stay profitable, and grow the margins."

Karen Katten, ’74, Vice Chairman and President of Human Health at Pfizer, is a woman to watch. Three publications, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Pink magazine, have included her on lists they’ve prepared of noteworthy businesswomen. The Wall Street Journal profiled Katten as one of its “50 Women to Know.” One of the reasons she made the list was her promotion last February which put her in a three-way race for the chairman and CEO. According to the Journal, Katten is the leading contender. Fortune named Katten on its’ “50 Most Powerful Women” list. Pink magazine ran a list of the next 20 women they think will be running the top 1,000 revenue-generating, publicly traded companies. The Pink list was compiled in association with the Forte Foundation, a non-profit of top business schools and companies seeking to advance women as business leaders.

The turnaround at Merge Technologies Inc. began when Richard Linden, '87, took over as president and CEO in September 2000, according to a November 26 story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal. Based in West Allis, Wisconsin, the company develops software for diagnostic imagine centers and small and mid-sized hospitals. The Journal Sentinal credited Linden with stabilizing the company, then beginning a series of small acquisitions, largely with stock. "Starting with eFilm Medical in June 2002, he repositioned Merge and broadened its product line," the paper said. "Sales have steadily grown since, reaching $37 million last year." An analyst with William Blair said Linden "pushed the company to be a step ahead of competitors."

The Business Times Singapore reported November 10 that Douglas Ooi, '04 (AXP-3), is establishing a "Chicago-based life sciences fund called Sigvion Capital" in the first quarter of 2006. He previously served as managing director of Vickers Financial Group, a venture capital firm in Singapore.

Craig Root, '03, was credited with contributing to Chicago-based medical diagnostic equipment manufacturer Dade Behring's "stunning bounce back in 2003" by Treasury & Risk Management in November. The article detailed how the firm emerged from Chapter 11 protection after two years because of top staff, including "Dade's manager of treasury operations, Craig Root, [who has] expertise in sophisticated financial instruments," the article said. Root came to Dade from medical products manufacturer Hollister Inc.

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