Alumni Connections - No. 30 - January 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

American Transmission Co.:
Mike Hofbauer, '06 (XP-75), has been named corporate controller of the Pewaukee, Wisconsin-based firm, which builds and runs energy transmission stations and lines. He joined the company in 2000 as director of accounting.

Apollo Group, Inc.:
Joseph D'Amico, '84 (XP-53), has been appointed CFO. The Phoenix-based firm provides higher education programs to working adults through its subsidiaries: The U College for Financial Planning Institutes Corporation, and Western International University, Inc.

Austin Ventures:
Phil Siegel, AB '86, MBA '88, has be en promoted to partner. Siegel joined the $3 billion venture capital firm in 1999 as a venture partner. He also has led the firm's CEO-in-residence program for the past three years. The company is based in Austin, Texas.

Best Buy Co., Inc.:
David Hemler, '97, has joined as vice president of sales and operations for its small business technology solutions arm, Best Buy for Business. The electronics retailer is headquartered in Minneapolis.

Carnegie Institution:
Remi Barbier, '89, has been elected to the board of directors. Headquartered in Washington DC, the nonprofit organization conducts scientific research. Barbier is founder, president, and CEO of Pain Therapeutics, Inc., a development-stage pharmaceutical company based in South San Francisco, California.

CDC Group plc:
Mark Kenderdine-Davies, '02 (AXP-1), has been appointed general counsel and chief compliance officer for the emerging market, private equity fund of funds backed by the United Kingdom government. The firm is focusing on businesses in Africa and South Asia.

Coca-Cola Company:
G. Scott Uzzell, '98, has been appointed vice president, global new business models. His strategy will include joint venture, mergers and acquisitions, and new category development, with the aim of accelerating revenue growth outside of existing go-to-market capability.

Dreman Value Management LLC:
Mark Roach, '02, joined as managing director and a portfolio manager of mid-cap and small-cap products.

Financial Accounting Foundation:
Dennis Chookaszian, '68, has been named chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council, which advises the Financial Accounting Standards Board on technical issues. Chookaszian retired as chairman and CEO of CNA Insurance Companies in 1999. The foundation is based in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Friedman, Billings, Ramsey and Co.:
David Robertson, '99, has joined its consumer group in investment banking. Robertson also is senior vice president. He joined the investment bank, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, in 2001.

Global Hyatt Corp.:
Mark Hoplamazian, '89, has been named president and CEO. The hotel company is headquartered in Chicago.

Kaplan, Inc.:
Hal Jones, '77, chief operating officer, has become president of the professional division. Kaplan, a global education company and subsidiary of the Washington Post Co., is based in London.

Lifestream Technologies, Inc.:
Frank Mack, '93, a managing director of Conway MacKenzie & Dunleavy, has been appointed chief restructuring officer and will report to the Lifestream board of directors. CMD is a turnaround specialist firm hired by Lifestream, which is headquartered in Post Falls, Idaho, and makes devices that monitor cholesterol.

MeadWestvaco Corporation:
James Kilts, '74, has been named to the board of directors. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, the company makes packaging, school supplies, and specialty chemicals. Kilts is a founding partner with Centerview Partners, New York.

Northern Trust:
Steven Bell, '86, has been named president of its northern California region. Bell was head of the Northern Trust Wealth Management Group, which dealt with ultra-high-net-worth clients. The multi-bank holding company is headquartered in San Francisco.

Pininfarina SpA:
Silvio Angori, '03 (EXP-8), has been appointed chief operating officer, effective January 1. The Italian car design and engineering company is headquartered in Turin.

Rahul Sood, '04 (XP-73), has been appointed a partner in its energy, utilities, and mining practice. Sood was a senior manager in the Chicago headquarters.

Queens University of Charlotte:
Mitch Braselton, '92, and his wife, Marcy, have been named cochairs of the president's advisory circle for the university, which is located in North Carolina. Mitch is cohead of structured sales for Morgan Stanley in New York City.

Regal Beloit:
Pete Rowley, '04, has been hired as vice president-corporate controller. Headquartered in Beloit, Wisconsin, the company makes electrical and mechanical motion control and power generation products.

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago:
Joanne Smith, '00, has been appointed president and CEO. Smith was interim president and CEO. She founded the institute's Women's Health Rehabilitation Program and had spent 17 years in rehabilitation medicine at the institute.

Telscape Communications:
Juan Carlos Davila, '97 (XP-66), has been appointed senior vice president of marketing and sales. Telscape, based in Greencastle, Indiana, provides telecommunications to Spanish-speaking households.

U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation:
Kevin Mahaney, '87, has been named a trustee. Mahaney is president and CEO of Olympic Equity. He is an avid snowboarder, an All-american in lacrosse, a 1992 Olympic silver medalist in sailing, and the founder and helmsman of the 1995 America's Cup syndicate, "Young America." The nonprofit U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation, based in Park City, Utah, raises funds for year-round training, development, competition, and educational needs of athletes pursuing a place on an Olympic team.

Mark Golenzer, '92, has been named CFO. Based in Houston, WhiteFence is an online center for comparison shopping for such services as electricity, gas, phone, cable and satellite television, high-speed Internet, newspapers, insurance, and banking.

Yankee Farm Credit, ACA:
George Putnam, '82, has been named president and CEO. The agricultural credit association, part of the national Farm Credit System, is based in Williston, Vermont. Putnam was chief operating officer.

Alumni to Know

Gloria Colgan, '91, senior vice president of marketing at Discover Financial Services was profiled in the Chicago Tribune. The interview highlights her career path from college to consulting to credit cards. Colgan discusses one experience turning a business around that changed how she handles current challenges. She also shares a tip that deals with making career decisions. Colgan's advises "don't look back. Give it everything you've got."


John Eggemeyer III, '71, collects community banks, turns them around, and sells them to larger institutions through his private equity firm, Castle Creek Capital. But he has not sold his flagship bank, First Community Bankcorp of Rancho Santa Fe, which he bought in the mid-1990s. "He cleaned up the loans, slashed overhead and shifted the bank's focus to low-interest deposits and lucrative business loans," said a December 5 article in the Union-Tribune. The paper said he bought stakes in 49 banks over the past 14 years. Today First Community has $5.3 billion in assets and 72 branches across Southern California. "If you take First Community as a whole, it's now a pretty interesting play," Eggemeyer said. "It is the tenth largest economy in the world and a pretty interesting place to be a large bank." AmericanBanker magazine named Eggemeyer one of its Community Bankers of the Year for 2006.


Scott Griffith, '90, has been named one of BusinessWeek's Best Leaders of 2006. Griffith started Zipcar, the largest car-sharing operation in the United States, six years ago. The service allows urbanites to borrow a car for an hour or two. "The business is both green and growing (revenue should double this year, as it has in the past three), so naturally it has attracted the money folk," said a December 18 article in the magazine. About 40 percent of Zipcar's 80,000 members have sold their cars or put off buying one because of Zipcar, the article said.


Carl Lingenfelter, '00, chief of staff for the Chicago Transit Authority board, has made deficit removal in its $1.2 billion pension fund a top priority. To do so, Ligenfelter introduced the CTA to hedge funds, said a July 20 article in Institutional Investor. Ligenfelter is former staff director of the Illinois governor's Office of Management and Budget and former Clinton policy adviser and speechwriter. As chairman of the pension fund's investment committee in 2005, Ligenfelter put $61 million in a hedge fund. "There's no way to invest ourselves out of this hole," he said in the article. Rather, "we increased the certainty of the fund lasting another six years."


Leonardo Lo Cascio, '73, left Citigroup Inc.'s credit card division to start Winebow, a wine import and distribution company in 1980. "The strategy of LoCascio and his backers at Freeman Spogli & Co. is to build something that does not exist in the United States: a nationwide distributor of fine wines that uses its connections with vineyards and knowledge of wine regions to beat wholesale behemoths that focus on Cuervo, Stoli, and other mass-market brands," said a November 20 article on Winebow bought two distributors this year and hired a new head of corporate development. "We are in a booming industry which, in our opinion, has not yet been addressed by the distribution community," LoCascio said in the article.


Jeff Mortimer, '92, learned about financial loss at 13 when he invested in a biotech initial public offering that went from $11 a share to zero. "That $1,100 was the most important money I ever lost," Mortimer said in a December 4 article in Barron's. He grew up to become chief investment officer of equities and head of equity portfolio management at Charles Schwab Investment Management in San Francisco. That biotech stock had been highly touted, the article said. Now rather than rely on opinions, Mortimer relies on the Schwab Equity Ratings system, which looks for hidden values by exploiting anomalies. "People think they know what they are doing but they don't," Mortimer said. "They pay too much for story, too much for myth, and too much for promise."


Dhiraj Rajaram, '03, founder and CEO of Mu Sigma, calls what his company does "information arbitrage." Rather than provide the entire scope of analytics for other companies, Mu Sigma will augment a company's existing analytics team with people in Bangalore who are adept at using the latest software tools to spot opportunities in marketing, risk analysis, and supply chain optimization, said a November 30 article in BusinessWeek online. "We don't do insight generation," Rajaram said. "We don't have the knowledge of their industries and their companies to do that. We're humble enough to know we won't go all the way." He said no client has cut its workforce because it outsourced work to his company. Rajaram is moving to Bangalore to further grow his company.


Devendra Saharia, '97, cofounder and president of Ajuba International, has seen his business go from 10 people in 2000 to more than 1,000 employees in 2006, according to a November 21 article in India Infoline. The company provides outsourcing services for the health care industry in the areas of billing and collection. "Ajuba pioneered the offshore delivery model representing a paradigm shift in the industry," Saharia said. "At once, this model provided clients with opportunities to address their critical business challenges in a very efficient and cost effective manner." The company is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and has operational centers in Michigan, Illinois, and Chennai, India.


Joanne Smith, '00, appointed president and CEO of the number 1 rehab facility in the United States. The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago has ranked first in U.S. News and World Report's listing since 1991. Smith has spent 17 years in rehabilitation medicine at the Institute where she now is in charge. She steps into the role after serving as president of national operations. With a rapidly aging population, Smith knows the incidence of disabilities will also increase. Each year it's estimated that nearly 90,000 new brain injury cases and 750,000 new or recurrent strokes occur.



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