Alumni Connections - No. 36 - July 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

Bayhill Therapeutics Inc.:
Fred Kurland, MBA ’76, JD ’76,
has joined as CFO, a newly created position. Based in Palo Alto, California, the biotechnology firm focuses on treatments for autoimmune diseases.

Bensussen Deutsch & Associates:
Drew Kanellopoulos, ’97 (XP-66),
has been appointed CFO. Based in Woodinville, Washington, the firm offers branded merchandise sales, e-commerce marketing, and sports and entertainment industry promotions. It also helps corporate clients take their brands to stadiums, theaters, television, and movie studios.

Claraview, Inc.:
Larry Seidel, AB ’71, MBA ’72,
has joined as managing partner. Based in Reston, Virginia, the consulting firm advises companies and government agencies on strategy based on business intelligence.

Damien Duhamel, ’05 (AXP-4),
has joined as managing partner of the consulting firm. He will oversee offices in Boston, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Shanghai, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The firm is headquartered in Singapore.

Doral Financial Corporation:
Christopher Poulton, ’04 (XP-73),
has been appointed executive vice president and chief business development officer. The financial services company is based in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Dresner Partners:
Keith Koeneman, ’94,
has joined as vice president of the middle-market investment bank, which is based in Chicago.

Expedia, Inc.:
Robert Greyber, ’97,
senior vice president of Expedia Partner Services Group, has been appointed to the newly created role of senior vice president for Expedia Corporate Travel of North America. Headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, Expedia is the world's leading online travel company.

Evercore Partners:
Mark Vander Ploeg, ’77,
has joined as a senior marketing director in the New York-based investment firm's advisory business.

Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco:
Richard Knowles, MS ’74, MBA ’75,
has been promoted to vice president, application services. Knowles has managed a variety of information technology projects for the bank since joining in 1989, including development of the bank's online transaction capabilities.

GoldenTree Asset Management, LP:
Robert Bolt, ’86,
has joined as senior business development officer in the Chicago office. The investment advisory firm is headquartered in New York.

Houlihan Lokey:
Scott Baxter, ’89,,
has joined as a managing director in corporate finance. The New York-based investment bank recently acquired Baxter Energy Partners, LLC, which Baxter founded and managed.

Howard University:
Oliver McGee III, ’04 (XP-73),
has been named vice president for research and compliance at the university, which is located in Washington DC. He will shape academic and fiscal research policies, manage grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements, and represent the university's research interests. McGee is a former assistant secretary of transportation for technology policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Illinois Sports Facilities Authority:
Peter Thompson, ’00,
has been appointed to a seat by his uncle, Richard Daley, mayor of Chicago. The authority, which built and improved U.S. Cellular Field baseball stadium, also could become involved in Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympics.

Joseph Freed and Associates LLC:
Diane Morefield, ’87,
has joined as executive vice president and CFO. Based in Chicago, the real estate company develops, acquires, and runs retail and mixed-use properties.

Korn/Ferry International:
Clare Metcalf, ’94,
has been promoted to senior client partner. The executive search firm is headquartered in Los Angeles.

Management Capital LLC:
Richard Paolino, ’73,
has been named partner of the private equity firm, which is based in Providence, Rhode Island. He had served as a member of Management Capital's CEO Advisory board since 2004. Paolino continues to serve as chairman and CEO of White Systems, a management capital portfolio company based in Kenilworth, New Jersey.

Northwestern College:
Dawn Huibregtse, ’03,
has been named to the board of trustees. The private Christian college is located in St. Paul, Minnesota. Huibregtse is segment manager, finance, for Harris Bank in Chicago.

Norvax, Inc.:
Fred Karutz, ’95,
has been named senior vice president of business development. Based in Chicago, the company develops online sales and marketing tools for health insurance companies.

Reliv International, Inc.:
Patrick Doherty, ’91,
has been elected to the board of directors for the firm, which develops and makes nutritional supplements. Doherty is president of Mariner Equity Management, a private equity fund in Chesterfield, Missouri, where Reliv is based.

ShoreBank Corporation:
David Korslund, ’77,,
has been named to the board of directors. Based in Chicago, ShoreBank is the country's first and leading community development and environmental bank holding company. Korslund is executive vice president of ABN AMRO, Business Unit Europe.

Sun Cal Energy Inc.:
Chris Metcalf, ’99,
has been named to the newly created board of advisors, which will counsel executive management on strategic, financial, and technical issues. The energy exploration company is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Metcalf is an investment banker with venture capital experience in advanced oil and gas discovery technologies.

Verax Biomedical, Inc.:
Nancy Hornbaker, ’78,
has been appointed vice president of regulatory affairs for the biotechnology company. Based in Worcester, Massachusetts, the firm develops rapid tests for detecting contaminents in blood cells and tissue.

W.P. Carey & Co.:
Marshall Blume, MBA ’65, PhD ’68,
has been named independent director of three real estate investment trusts managed by the New York-based global real estate investment firm. Blume is Howard Butcher III Professor of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

Alumni to Know

The strong suit of Hill Hammock, ’70, is “managing operations for large organizations,“ according to a profile of him that appeared May 7 in Crain's Chicago Business. After many years in banking, Hammock was recently named chief administrative officer for Chicago Public Schools. The article said Hammock plans to “work more closely with teachers and principals to improve the ’educational environment’ for Chicago Public School students.“ He also will “encourage administrative department heads to spend more time in schools to gain firsthand knowledge of school operations.“ He succeeds David Vitale, '76.

Jeffrey Johnson, ’90, former publisher of the Los Angeles Times, has been snapped up by supermarket mogul Ronald Burkle to work at his firm, Yucaipa, as a principal focusing on media acquisitions, according to a May 30 article in Editor & Publisher. Johnson had drawn widespread media attention when he railed against Tribune Company plans for cutbacks at his newspaper. Johnson is quoted as having said in the Los Angeles Times, “Newspapers can't cut their way into the future. We have to carefully balance economic realities with serving our readers.“ Yucaipa has expressed interest in acquiring the Los Angeles Times. Since Johnson joined, Yucaipa has bought Primedia, a publisher of specialty magazines. “I'm very excited to be at Yucaipa,“ Johnson told E&P. “They have a good track record working with companies that have great brands and great positions but are struggling. I think there is a lot of media space that fits that category-and I hope to be part of some exciting investments.“

Alexis Khazzam, ’00 (EXP-5), is playing big in Peoria, said a May 27 article in the Peoria Journal Star. Since moving to his wife's Illinois hometown two years ago, Khazzam has drawn a spotlight as a guy on the go. His consulting group, Junction Ventures LLC, plans to spend as much as $40 million to renovate the shopping center, Junction City. And Khazzam was one of the chosen few to meet with President Bush when he came to town. “Ambitious plans and a larger-than-life personality are difficult to hide in a city Peoria's size,“ the article said. “Instead his goal is to do high-profile business while maintaining some secrecy.“ His latest idea is an office park “where we will be building three to four 16 to 20-floor skyscrapers,“ Khazzam told the Journal. “We already have commitments from some companies to move there. It's 80 acres of land in Peoria, but I can't say where. I'll tell you it's very well-located.“ Khazzam also is known for his philanthropy, from zoo expansion to Project Springboard at Bradley University, designed to keep the brightest young minds in Peoria.

Denise Ramos, ’79, will join the limited ranks of female CFOs at Fortune 500 companies when she becomes CFO of ITT Corp. in July, said a May 30 article in Business in the Burbs, a Lower Hudson Valley Journal News blog. Ramos is CFO and senior vice president at Furniture Brands International in St. Louis, Missouri. The article quoted a survey by the magazine CFO, which showed 38 female finance chiefs at top companies, up from 24 six years ago. “I've worked at companies where I never felt there was an issue between men and women,“ Ramos said. “To me, it's not male or female. I want the most competent person in the job.“ ITT Corp. is based in White Plains, New York.

John Studzinski, ’80, noted philanthropist and global head of corporate advisory services at Blackstone, has never been the same since a near-death experience on the Autobahn in 1987. “His life changed-he became more religious and his philanthropy took off in earnest,“ said a May 23 article in the London Evening Standard. Studzinski today gives away about half his income yearly, the article said. He was on his way to a dinner in Germany with the finance director of Hertz when the pile-up occurred, killing six people, including Studzinski's driver. “I felt myself looking down on the scene of the crash below me,“ Studzinski said in the article. “The next moment I was down in the back of the car, bruised and broken and in pain. Someone had decided that I wasn't about to die.“ He lost a lung. Catholic and Buddhist both, his philanthropy is based on the Buddhist belief in self-awareness. “Everything I get involved in tends to revolve around that,“ Studzinski said. "Homelessness, human rights, giving young artists a chance-they're all about raising self-esteem and giving people their dignity.”

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