Alumni Connections - No. 33 - April 2007

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

ACA Capital Holdings, Inc.:
Sandra Brinkert, ’88,
has joined as managing director and head of public finance underwriting. Based in New York, the holding company has  subsidiaries in asset management and credit protection.

The Allen Group:
William Crandall, ’90,
has been named president of Allen Development of Kansas. He will be based in Kansas City. The Allen Group, headquartered in San Diego, develops industrial parks and office buildings.

Alkermes, Inc.:
David Broecker, ’89,
has been promoted to president and CEO. Previously, he was president and chief operating officer of the biotechnology firm, which is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Allstate Insurance Company:
Steve Sorenson, ’92,
has been promoted to senior vice president for Allstate Protection Distribution, the department that oversees the company’s 14,800 agency owners and financial specialists in the United States and Canada. Allstate is headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois.

American Capital Strategies Ltd.:
Robert Bogart, ’94,
has joined as vice president and corporate officer. The private equity firm is based in Bethesda, Maryland. Bogart formerly was director of the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. At American Capital, he works for Gordon O’Brien, ’95. John Capperella, ’88, also has joined American Capital as managing director. He leads the recently created Second Lien Group, which invests in junior capital.

Associated Banc-Corp:
Eileen Kamerick, JD ’84, MBA ’93,
has been named to the board of directors. The bank holding company is headquartered in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin. Kamerick is executive vice president, CFO, and chief administrative officer of Heidrick & Struggles International Inc., a Chicago-based executive search and leadership consulting firm.

Axel Springer Digital TV Guide:
Ned Wiley, AB ’72, MBA ’74,
has been named managing director. A subsidiary of Berlin-based newspaper company Axel Springer AG, the new company makes electronic program guides for navigating digital content.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and the Inland Empire:
Todd Wartchow, ’03,
has been appointed 2007 chairman of the board. The organization matches poor children with adult mentors. Wartchow works for Wells Fargo as CFO for regional banking, Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Katherine Schipper, MBA ’73, AM ’75, PhD ’77,
has joined the advisory board of its recently launched Accounting Policy and Practice series. Based in Washington DC, the firm publishes the Tax Management Portfolio. Schipper is Thomas F. Keller professor of business administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Boston Options Exchange:
Peter Layton, AB ’82, MBA ’87,
has been named chairman of the board. Layton formerly was managing director at Goldman Sachs.

Brook Furniture Rental:
Robert Crawford III, ’91,
has joined as executive vice president. The company is based in Lake Forest, Illinois.

David Wofford, ’96,
has joined as director of its health care practice. Based in Irvine, California, the management consultancy offers such services as financial planning, metrics management, business intelligence, collaboration, and workflow technologies.

CF Industries Holdings, Inc.:
Randall Selgrad, ’91,
has joined as treasurer and assistant secretary. Headquartered in Long Grove, Illinois, the firm is the holding company for the operations of CF Industries, Inc., which makes nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers.

Claddagh Irish Pubs:
T. J. Callahan, ’03,
has become CEO. The chain of 17 upscale Irish pubs is located throughout the Midwest.

ESI Environmental, Inc.:
Thomas Gawlik, ’82,
has been promoted to president and CEO. Gawlik previously was CFO. The industrial wastewater treatment and recycled fuel processor is headquartered in Indianapolis.

Gen-Probe Incorporated:
Carl Hull, ’82,
has joined as executive vice president and chief operating officer. The San Diego–based company makes diagnostic products to test for microorganisms.

Goldmarca Limited:
Fran Scola, MBA ’95, AM ’95,
has been appointed to the board of directors of the international mining company, which is based in Panama City, Florida. Scola is a partner, portfolio manager, and consultant for the Shipston Group, a venture capital firm.

National Auto Research Publications Inc.:
Tom Cross, ’00 (XP-69),
has been promoted to president of the firm, which publishes Black Book vehicle appraisal guides. Cross previously was senior vice president and general manager of Black Book. Headquartered in Gainsville, Georgia, the firm is owned by Hearst Business Media.

InforMedix Holdings, Inc.:
Richard Voss, ’76,
has been appointed senior vice president, business development. Based in Rockville, Maryland, the company makes medical monitoring systems to ensure patients adhere to medication schedules.

J.H. Chapman Group, L.L.C.:
Bruce Goldstein, ’91 (XP-60),
has joined as a principal. The investment banking firm is based in Rosemont, Illinois, and serves the food industry.

Leggat McCall Properties:
William Matthews, ’80,
has joined as senior project manager. Matthews is overseeing construction of One First, a 196-unit condominium project in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the Boston-based real estate development company.

Aldo Manzini, ’88,
has been named to the newly created position of executive vice president and chief administrative officer. The hotel and gaming company is based in Las Vegas.

NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc.:
Daniel Coleman, ’93,
has been named to the board of directors to its subsidiary, NASDAQ Stock Market LLC. Coleman is joint global head of equities at UBS Investment Bank.

National Research Fund for Tick-Borne Diseases, Inc.:
Sara Newman Clarke, ’87,
has joined the board of directors. The nonprofit organization is based in Wilton, Massachusetts. Clarke has directed a number of start-ups in the high-tech industry.

Newpark Resources, Inc.:
Joseph Gocke, ’86,
has been named treasurer. Based in Metairie, Louisiana, the company provides drilling fluids, waste treatment solutions, and temporary worksites and access roads for oilfields and other markets.

Nollenberger Capital Partners, Inc.:
Dennis Raney, ’70,
has joined the advisory board. The investment bank and advisory firm is headquartered in San Francisco.

Northern Trust:
Joyce St. Clair, ’91 (XP-60),
executive vice president, has been appointed head of corporate risk management. She will join the bank’s management committee and will return to Chicago from London.

Norvax Inc.:
Michael Ahern, ’90,
has been named CFO. Based in Chicago, the company develops online sales and marketing tools for health insurance companies.

OmniVision Technologies:
Anson Chan, ’97,
has been appointed vice president of finance. Chan joined the maker of semiconductor imaging devices in 2006. The international firm is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

Pacific Internet Limited:
Sajjad Akhtar, ’04,
has been appointed to the board of directors. The Singapore-based firm provides internet service throughout Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands. Akhtar is senior partner of Cap Partnership and managing director of Corporate Advisory Partners Pte. Ltd., which he cofounded in 2002.

PCG Asset Management, LLC:
Mark Nydam, MBA ’90, AM ’90,
has joined as managing director and a member of the firm’s investment committee. The private equity firm is based in La Jolla, California.

Rexam Pharma:
Christopher Wrobel, ’06 (XP-75),
joined as a key accounts/global accounts manager in May 2006. The firm makes medical packaging, drug delivery systems, and other components for drug companies. It has manufacturing sites in Germany, France, India, and the United States.

Gloria Wandyez, ’87,
has been appointed director of business development. Based in Van Buren Township, Michigan, the company does engineering and management consulting for the automotive and commercial vehicle industries. Wandyez previously led business development in the heavy duty and commercial vehicle sectors for Ricardo.

Sophie Kornowski-Bonnet, ’89,
has been named president of Roche SAS and Cenexi, in France. Roche is a multinational health care company headquartered in Basel, Switzerland.

Royal Bank of Scotland:
Mike Kirby, ’03 (EXP-3),
has been appointed chief operating officer for the Asia-Pacific region. He will be based in the bank’s Hong Kong office. Kirby previously was chief operating officer for Europe and had been based in London.

Shepherd University Board of Governors:
Gat Caperton, ’96,
has been named to a four-year term. Caperton is president and CEO of Caperton Furnitureworks.

Texas Land & Air:
Todd Bennett, ’00,
has been named CEO. Bennett had worked in all areas of the Austin, Texas–based freight company over the past year.

U.S. Navy:
Michael Browne, ’96,
has been nominated for appointment as rear admiral. Browne, a Navy captain, continues to serve in the reserves in Newport, Rhode Island, while he works full time at IBM.

WANTED Technologies Corporation:
Christopher Frey, ’80,
has been named to its advisory board of newspaper industry executives. The New York–based company collects data from online job boards and real estate, newspaper, and corporate Web sites. The data is used to boost sales and marketing in classified ad departments of major media. It also is used by staffing firms, advertising agencies, and human resource specialists.
WaterPartners International:
Ari Chaney, ’92,
has been named to the board of directors. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, the nonprofit organization provides safe drinking water and sanitation in developing countries. Chaney is president and founder of Leveraged Restructuring, LLC, in Jupiter, Florida.

Z Capital Partners, L.L.C.:
Stephen Lucado, ’06 (XP-75),
has joined as a director. The alternative asset management firm is based in Lake Forest, Illinois.

Zila, Inc.:
Lawrence Gyenes, ’83 (XP-50),
has been named CFO. The Phoenix-based firm makes products that help prevent, detect, and treat oral cancer.

Alumni to Know

When executives at the Tampa Bay Devil Rays professional baseball team decided to get everyone—players and staff—involved in the Florida community, Mike Carpenter, ’03, senior finance and business analyst agreed to pitch in. He participated in a seminar about community diversity through Leadership St. Pete, a program run by the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce to develop future leaders. “I’ve only been in the state six months, so this is really a crash course,” Carpenter said in a March 14 article in the St. Petersburg Times. “It gives me a different perspective, from teachers to lawyers to cops.” The article said Carpenter is eager to put his MBA to work on issues of community finance as well as that of the Rays.

Bob Costomiris, ’95, “manages money the way he crosses the streets in New York City: He likes to leave the crowds at the curb,” said a March 5 profile in Barron’s. Costomiris, portfolio manager with the Wells Fargo Advantage Mid Cap Discipline Fund, has ranked in the top half of Barron’s Top 100 Fund Managers in each of the past four years. As of February 28, the fund was up 15.64 percent over 12 months, compared to Standard & Poor’s 500, which was up 11.97 percent over the same period, Barron’s said. The article said Costomiris obsesses over risks, with the three biggest concerning balance sheet, price, and expectations. “We treat assets skeptically and want to make sure the accounting is proper,” he said. “On the liability side, we fixate on debt and treat it the way a bank would treat it. If it looks like banks won’t lend a company money if it needs it, we avoid it.” The article said Costomiris learned balance sheet evaluation from the “legendary” Robert Vishny, founder of LSV Asset Management and former faculty member at Chicago GSB.

Mark Emery, ’83, CEO of Northstar Aerospace Inc., said his helicopter transmission business has been soaring. “We’re at the tipping point,” Emery said in a February 13 article in the Chicago Sun-Times. “We see annual volume growth averaging 5 to 10 percent over the next five years. Toward this goal, we’re upping our capital spending and R and D investment. At our biggest plant, here in Chicago, we’ve just spent another $6 million on brand new manufacturing technology.” That investment was aimed at transmissions to power U.S. Army Chinook helicopters, which represent about 30 percent of Northstar’s business. Headquartered in Bedford Park, Illinois, the company also makes transmissions for Apache and Blackhawk helicopters. Northstar is partnering with Boeing to develop drive systems that use two gears instead of three, cutting weight and cost, and allowing the helicopters to fly at higher altitudes, the article said.

James Hohmann, ’92 (XP-61), became president and CEO of Allstate Financial, a division of Northbrook, Illinois–based Allstate Corp., on January 2. Allstate Financial sells life insurance and investment products. While profitable, it is the smallest contributor of earnings and revenue to Allstate, said a February 19 article in Crain’s Chicago Business. Hohmann plans to tweak company products and increase sales, he said in the article. “We have to make sure we get our fair share (of the market) and beyond,” Hohmann said.

Robert Mariano, ’87 (XP-56), chairman and CEO of Roundy’s Supermarkets Inc., followed his father into business at Dominick’s grocery stores. His father was a deli buyer for Dominick’s for 20 years. Mariano worked his way up from part-time deli clerk to CEO, president, and chief operating officer of Dominick’s, said a February 13 article in the Chicago Sun-Times. “I was fortunate enough to work for good people who continued to challenge me,” Mariano said in the article. He spent 27 years there, helping to build the chain to 115 stores and taking Dominick’s public in 1996. He left two years later when Safeway bought the chain, the article said. Roundy’s is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Ken Melrose, ’67, is the first Thomas and Patricia Holloran Endowed Chair in the Practice of Management and Ethical Leadership at the University of St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business. The university is located in St. Paul, Minnesota. Melrose, retired CEO and chairman of Toro Co., lectures in classes on such subjects as building corporate cultures, ethics, servant leadership, and spirituality in the workplace, he said in a February 25 article in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune. “I have a passion to encourage current and future leaders to learn about and practice servant leadership,” he said. When asked what people are surprised to learn about him, Melrose responded, “I have a design patent for a commercial playground apparatus.”

Patrick Odier, ’82, exalts the wonders of his hometown, Geneva, Switzerland, in a February 13 article in the Financial Times. Odier, a top banker with Lombard Odier & Cie, holds joint responsibility for the institutional services unit. Born and bred in Geneva, he still lives there. “What makes Geneva special for me is first of all the fact that it’s a very beautiful place, with well-preserved architecture without any of the exaggerations of cities that have grown too fast,” he told the Financial Times. He also enjoys the diversity of people there. His job requires substantial travel throughout Europe, North America, and Asia. “All our partners can be called practically anywhere they’re needed, depending on their clients,” he said. “When friends call me, their first question is usually: ‘Where are you?’ before they ask, ‘How are you doing?’” 

Philip Purcell, ’67, president of Continental Investors, and former chairman and chief executive of Morgan Stanley, predicts that private equity will continue to outperform public markets. He wrote in an opinion column in the March 8 Financial Times that this is good for the economy “because public markets are failing to allocate capital efficiently.” Purcell cited Thomson Financial statistics showing private equity net returns outperformed the S&P 500 19 percent to 9.7 percent for the 12 months leading up to September 2006, and 14 percent to 9.7 percent for the past 20 years. “The focus of private equity firms is on the internal rate of return, which forces capital to high return investments,” Purcell said. In contrast, public companies “must heed the demands of a wide range of stakeholders, employees, management, division managers, lenders, unions, and politicians—most of whom have a stake in the current allocation of capital.” Purcell wrote that halcyon days for private equity will eventually end when constraints on the public model ease.

A lifelong student of risk, Nobel laureate Myron Scholes, MBA ’64, PhD ’70, told the Wall Street Journal that humans need risk and, in fact, would be unhappy without it. Scholes, who runs the hedge fund Platinum Grove Asset Management, perhaps is best known for his hedge fund Long Term Capital Management, which blew up in the late 1990s. In a March 3 article in the Journal, Scholes compared himself to a woman in a local paper who will always be remembered for one thing no matter what she does: “Mrs. Jones, who was falsely accused of the ax murder of her husband in 1944, recently had a garden party for 10 of her friends.” Scholes also talks briefly about his days at GSB.A disagreement with his uncle put an end to Scholes’ plan of working for the family business, a small chain of department stores in Canada. As a Canadian on a student visa, Scholes could legally work only on campus. “Noticing a sign seeking a computer programmer at the campus computer center, he volunteered, though he knew nothing about computers,” the Journal  said. “But as helper of faculty research projects, he became acquainted with faculty legends such as Merton Miller and Gene Fama and discovered a fascination for securities markets, arbitrage, and the pricing of risk.”

Arthur Velasquez, ’67, has received a 2007 lifetime achievement award from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. Velasquez is chairman, president, and CEO at Azteca Foods Inc., which makes tortillas, tortilla chips, and salad shells. He cofounded the company in 1970 when the tortilla was foreign to supermarket executives. “They called them Mexican pancakes and tor-til-lahz,” Velasquez said in a Chicago Sun-Times article March 8. Velasquez is credited with creating a national market for tortillas, which today is a multibillion dollar industry. “We started with absolutely just an idea, to take a very humble commodity product, that was a staple product from the Aztec Indians in Mexico, something that my ancestors years ago were using to exist, and to introduce it to the general market, so that it became value-added and it became something that was different from whatever the general market had grown up with before,” he said.

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