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Alumni Connections - No. 31 - February 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 editor@chicagobooth.edu.

Alumni on the Move

Banc of America Securities:
Christopher Wofford, '94, has joined the global industries group as a managing director and global head of transportation and logistics. The bank is a subsidiary of New York–based Bank of America.

Berliner Communications, Inc.:
Thom Waye, '96, has been elected to the board of directors. Based in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, the firm helps wireless carriers buy real estate, engineer networks, and build and install equipment. Waye is a managing director at Sigma Opportunity Fund, LLC, a private equity fund.

Carl Marks Advisory Group LLC:
Richard Heller, ’80, has been named partner. Previously a managing director, he joined the company in 2003. The corporate revitalization and investment banking firm is based in New York.

Caterpillar Inc.:
Daniel Dickinson, MBA '87, JD '87, has been elected to the board of directors. Based in Peoria, Illinois, Caterpillar is the world’s largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment. Dickinson is a managing partner of Thayer Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in Washington DC.

EDS:
Joe Eazor, ’90, has been named senior vice president and general manager of the newly expanded Asia-Pacific region. The IT outsourcing firm is headquartered in Plano, Texas. Eazor, who previously led the company’s China operations, business processing unit, and corporate strategy function, has relocated to Singapore.

Environmental Resources Management (ERM):
Dave Einolf, '89, has been appointed partner, responsible for managing its western U.S. regional compliance assurance business. Based in Portland, Oregon, ERM is the world’s largest environmental, health, and safety consultancy.

Hewitt Associates:
Matthew Levin, ’98, has been named senior vice president, corporate development and strategy. Based in Lincolnshire, Illinois, the consulting firm administers such plans as human resources, health care, payroll, and retirement programs for other companies.

IDEXX Laboratories, Inc.:
Irene Kerr, AM ’74, MBA ’76, has been appointed corporate vice president for worldwide operations. The laboratory makes diagnostic products for veterinarians. It is headquartered in Westbrook, Maine.

InnerWorkings, Inc.:
Eric Belcher, ’95, has been promoted to chief operating officer. Belcher was executive vice president, operations, at the Chicago-based firm, which helps corporate clients to procure print products.

Nanophase Technologies:
Kevin Wenta, ’91, has joined as executive vice president, sales and marketing. The nanotechnology firm is based in Romeoville, Illinois.

NovaCardia:
John Crawford, ’79, has been appointed CFO of the San Diego–based pharmaceutical company.

Parke Bank:
Robert Kuehl, ’76, has been named senior vice president and CFO. The bank is based in Sewell, New Jersey.

PharmAthene, Inc.:
Christopher Camut, ’92,has been appointed vice president and CFO. Headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, the biotechnology company makes countermeasures for chemical and biological terrorism.

Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc.:
Nicole Williams, ’70, has been appointed to the board of directors and will serve on the firm’s audit committee. The biopharmaceutical company is based in Tarrytown, New York. Williams was executive vice president and CFO of Abraxis Bioscience, Inc.

Raser Technologies, Inc.:
Martin Petersen, ’88, has been named CFO. Based in Provo, Utah, the firm makes and licenses electric motors and controllers, and establishes geothermal electricity generating plants.

Redrock Capital Management:
Gregory Kennedy, ’05, has joined as chief operating officer and vice president of research. The private investment management firm is based in Denver.

Sprint Nextel:
Jack Dziak, ’88, has been named senior vice president, strategy, of the wireless communication company, headquartered in Reston, Virginia.

TIAA-CREF:
Sheila Hooda, ’88, has joined as senior managing director and head of strategy. Based in New York, the firm specializes in retirement services for professionals in such fields as academics, medicine, and research.

TouchTunes Music Corporation:
Art Matin, ’80, has joined as president and CEO and was named to the board of directors. The company, which makes Internet jukeboxes, has principal offices in Montreal and in Lake Zurich, Illinois.

U.S. Bank:
Elliot Jaffee, ’90, has been named market president for Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. Jaffee previously was senior vice president and Midwest region manager in the national corporate banking division. U.S. Bank is a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, which is headquartered in Minneapolis.

Utilities, Inc.:
John Stover, ’00 (XP-69), has been appointed general counsel. Based in Northbrook, Illinois, the firm runs utility systems in 17 states.


Alumni to Know

Steve Barnhart, AB ’84, MBA ’88, new president of Orbitz Worldwide, said his company will innovate while using just the right amount of technology to keep customers happy. “The challenge is not to make it too complicated,” Barnhart said in a December 18 article in the Chicago Sun-Times. “We always ask, ‘What is the right level of technology to solve the problem without making it too difficult?’” Based in Chicago, the firm provides online travel services and is part of Travelport Ltd. Barnhart has to integrate the management of the ten brands of Orbitz Worldwide, which include CheapTickets.com, Away.com, and a number of niche and foreign properties, the article said. “There will be cost savings in the back office and development platform,” Barnhart said. “We have a long history of innovation that drives the consumer experience online.”


Gloria Colgan, ’91, senior vice president of marketing at Discover Financial Services LLC, likes the credit card industry because “it has both business-to-business and business-to-consumer aspects to it. That most fascinates me.” The Chicago Tribune focused on Colgan’s career path in a December 17 article. Colgan helps facilitate transactions between merchants and card issuers. “I work heavily with merchants accepting the cards to make sure transactions pass through to the cardholders efficiently and correctly.” Discover is headquartered in Riverwoods, Illinois.


Jean Emmons, ’48, was part of an all-black team of marketers called upon to sell Pepsi to the African-American market in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Now he is part of a book about the team called The Real Pepsi Challenge. Team members had college degrees and were more qualified than their white counterparts but were paid less, said a January 9 article in The Wall Street Journal. Pepsi sales increased everywhere the team hit with a marketing blitz. The job turned Emmons into a Pepsi fanatic. “All of my friends had to buy Pepsi. I kept stockpiles of Pepsi in my house. All the places I went had to have Pepsi. If I was out with someone and they ordered Coke, I might have thrown a glass of water in their face….My wife would say, ‘I think you’re going crazy–Pepsi, Pepsi, Pepsi!” Emmons eventually earned a PhD and became a school superintendent, the Journal said.


Thomas Henwood, ’69, president and general partner of OMT Capital Management Small/Mid Cap Equity Growth, has a $54 million investment strategy, which was ranked third by On Wall Street.com and its data partner, Morningstar. Henwood’s strategy generated a 13.5 percent average annual return over the past five years. In the December 2006 issue of On Wall Street Magazine, Henwood said efficient market theory doesn’t apply in the case of small-cap investing because investors frequently are slow to take into account certain facts. “One can gain superior knowledge—and with superior information, one can generate alpha,” he said.


John Lieberman, ’83, has opened a Bark Busters dog training franchise after years as a corporate executive with such companies as Chrysler Corp. and Chiquita Brands International. When his department at Textron Inc. was eliminated in 2002, Lieberman traveled with his 8-year-old daughter and considered his options, according to a December 18 article in The Detroit News. “We drove cross-country, and I realized that whatever I did in the future, I didn’t want it to interfere with my ability to do that kind of thing, because that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “I decided that I didn’t miss the corporate world at all. It’s hard to have much emotional investment in what you’re doing when you feel it’s ludicrous.” After the failure of his first franchising attempt, a mobile pet grooming operation, Lieberman started Bark Busters in 2004. He is booked solid, the News said.


Maggie Linvill, '91, president of real estate development firm serving the Twin Cities was named "Business Person of the Year." The Burnsville (MN) Chamber of Commerce honored Linvill for her community and business leadership. She is active on the boards of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce; the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP); and Minnesota Commercial Real Estate Women (MNCREW). Previously, Linvill was named as one of the Twin Cities "Woman to Watch" (2003) and was selected as one of 2004's "40 Under Forty" by the Business Journal.


Tim Mathison, ’99, has cofounded Kips Bay Partners in Minneapolis and plans to start investing in bioscience start-ups in the Midwest by this summer. Mathison and his partners chose to focus first on the Midwest because of the “premier research institutions here” and its entrepreneurial community, he said in an interview published in WisBusiness.com on November 22, 2006. He said he has found that “fewer and fewer firms are inclined to take that early stage and startup risk. Part of that is because they don’t have the operational or clinical expertise to really dig in and collaborate with the entrepreneur and shorten the development timeline.”


Jeff Soukup, MBA ’91, JD ’91, is president and chief operating officer of media conglomerate Planet Out, Inc., and CEO of RSVP Vacations, Inc., a gay cruise company. In a January 10 article in Windy City Times, Soukup said his companies have an inclusive approach to business. “Of all of the [cruise] operators, RSVP is the one that has the most diverse mix of guests and clients,” he said. “It has the most balanced proportion of men and women on trips. It doesn’t just target men or women. And that’s just part of Planet Out’s whole approach: being very inclusive.” He said the gay and lesbian travel business rings up about $65 million a year. “So we think there’s a great opportunity for all boats to ride together, for all businesses to grow. And there’s definitely huge growth opportunity for RSVP,” which pioneered the idea of all-gay and lesbian vacations in 1985.


Mark Yusko, ’87, a former endowment manager, founded the hedge fund Morgan Creek Capital Management LLC in July 2004, the fund has since attracted $2.2 billion to its funds-of-funds strategies and $1.3 billion in advisory accounts, said an article December 25, 2006, in Pensions and Investments. “I get a great deal of psychic income from knowing that the investment model we have imported from the endowment arena is working to diversify the portfolios and improve the returns of investors,” Yusko said. “The returns we’re generating are permitting institutions to do incredible things. We also put 10 percent of our profits into the Morgan Creek Foundation and each employee gets to designate where their portion of profits goes. It’s only small now, but we’re really excited about the possibilities this foundation creates for issues like education and cancer research.” The fund is based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


Submit information about yourself or fellow alumni to editor@chicagobooth.edu.