Alumni Connections - No. 46 - May 2008

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

Advertising Research Foundation
Joel Rubinson, ’73,
has joined as chief research officer. Based in New York, the association has about 300 members, including advertisers, advertising agencies, research firms, and media companies.

The Andersons, Inc.
Ross Manire, ’76,
has been nominated to the board of directors and is expected to be appointed in May. Headquartered in Maumee, Ohio, the company buys, conditions, and resells corn, soybeans, and wheat, and runs home improvement stores in Ohio. The firm’s rail group sells, leases, and repairs rail cars and locomotives. Manire is chairman and CEO of ExteNet Systems, Inc.

Doug Schmidt, ’91,
has been named senior vice president, financial advisor, at the financial service firm’s offices in Chicago and Winnetka, Illinois.

BioReliance Corporation
Darryl Goss, ’01 (XP-70),
has been appointed vice president, toxicology/laboratory animal diagnostic services, an executive position created to lead a new business unit. Based in Rockville, Maryland, the outsourcing firm helps drug developers contract for testing and manufacturing services. 

The Boeing Company
David Dohnalek, ’88,
has been named corporate treasurer. The Chicago-headquartered company makes commercial airplanes and other products for the aerospace and defense industries.

Carus Corporation
William Shropshire,’60,
has joined the board of directors. Headquartered in Peru, Illinois, the company makes water treatment chemicals. Shropshire is the former president and CEO of American Chemet Corporation.

Cole Taylor Bank
Lawrence Ryan, ’86,
has joined as executive vice president of commercial banking. Based in Rosemont, Illinois, the commercial bank is a subsidiary of Taylor Capital Group, Inc.

ConforMIS, Inc.
Philip Licari, ’86,
has been appointed chief operating officer. The firm develops medical devices for treatment of osteoarthritis and joint damage. It is based in Burlington, Massachusetts.

Evergreen Investment Management Company LLC
Michael Borkan, ’82,
has been named managing director of distribution for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, the investment management firm is a subsidiary of Wachovia Corporation.

Formfactor, Inc.
Jean Bernard Vernet, ’95,
has been appointed senior vice president and CFO. Based in Livermore, California, the company makes wafer probe cards used by semiconductor manufacturers to test integrated circuits.

Furniture Brands International
Daniel Stone, ’90,
has been promoted to vice president of strategy and business dvelopment. Headquartered in St. Louis, the company designs and makes home furnishings.

Holcim Ltd
Robert Spoerry, ’83,
will be elected to the senior supervisory body on May 7. Based in Zurich, Switzerland, the company produces cement, crushed stone, and gravel. Spoerry is chairman of the board and former CEO at Mettler Toledo.

Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans
Joseph Neubauer, ’65,
has been named chairman of the board. He was president and CEO of the association. Based in Washington DC, the association honors achievements of outstanding individuals who have succeeded in spite of adversity. Neubauer is chairman and CEO of Aramark.

IHOP Restaurants
Michael Mendelsohn, ’91,
has been appointed vice president, finance. The restaurant chain is based in Glendale, California.

InfoCommerce Group
Janice McCallum, ’85,
will head a new division catering to the medical, life science, and health care sectors. Based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, the consulting company works with commercial database companies.

Internap Network Services Corporation
George Kilguss, ’90,
has been named CFO. The Atlanta-based firm connects companies to the Internet, manages content, and provides other Internet services. 

Eric Parker, ’88,
has been appointed CFO of cable operations. Based in Delray Beach, Florida, the firm acquires and consolidates video, voice, and data companies in the cable, broadband, and telephone markets.

Kai BioEnergy Corp.
Frank Infelise, ’88,
and Mario Larach, ’88, have cofounded the alternative biofuel firm, which is based in San Diego. The company makes biodiesel crude oil from micro-algae biomass.

Christian Tregillis, ’93,
has joined the damages and intellectual property practice in the firm’s Century City, California, office. Head quartered in Emeryville, California, the company provides expert testimony, studies, and advisory services to corporations, law firms, and government agencies.

David Kvederis, ’76,
has been appointed to the board of directors. The San Diego–based company processes mobile phone payments. Kvederis is president and CEO of Bankserv.

Maersk Logistics
Jakob Bergholdt, ’08 (EXP-13),
has been appointed regional CFO for the Asia Pacific region. He will relocate to Singapore from Beijing, where he was director of corporate finance of Maersk in the greater China area. Maersk Logistics is a division of the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, a Denmark-based shipping, logistics, and energy company.

Maryland State Retirement and Pension System
Mansco Perry III, ’76,
has been named chief investment officer. The system administers death, disability, and retirement benefits on behalf of more than 350,000 active and former state employees, teachers, police, judges, correctional officers, and legislators. It is based in Baltimore.

Jason Paru, ’05,
has joined as a consultant in the financial service firm’s Chicago headquarters.

Motorcar Parts of America, Inc.
Scott Adelson, ’87,
has been appointed to the board of directors. Based in Los Angeles, the company makes automobile and light truck alternators and starters. Adelson is a senior managing director and global cohead of corporate finance for Houlihan Lokey, an investment banking firm.

The North Highland Company
Charles Beaverson, ’89,
has joined the firm’s Philadelphia office as vice president. The consulting firm is based in Atlanta.

Piper Jaffray & Co.
Mark Leavitt, ’83,
has been named managing director and head of media, entertainment, and telecommunications investment banking. The middle-market investment bank and international securities firm is based in New York.

Pomona College
Karen Sisson, ’86,
has been appointed vice president and treasurer. The liberal arts institution is based in Claremont, California. Sisson was chief administrative officer for the city of Los Angeles.

Quantitative Services Group LLC
Dan Bukowski, AB ’84, MBA ’86,
has joined as director of research. The consulting firm is headquartered in Naperville, Illinois.

RMI Corp.
Richard Wallman, ’74,
has been named to the board of directors and chairman of the audit committee. With U.S. headquarters in Cupertino, California, the firm provides software for companies that rent, sell, and service equipment. Wallman is retired senior vice president and CFO of Honeywell International, Inc.

E.W. Scripps Co.
Timothy Stautberg, ’89,
will become CFO in July when the Chicago-based media company splits off its newspaper, broadcast TV, and syndication businesses in July. Stautberg currently is vice president of communications and investor relations.

Kevin Smith, ’86,
has joined as chief operating officer and head of development. Based in Los Angeles, the company builds concentrated solar power plants. The firm is a collaboration between United Technologies Corporation and US Renewables Group, a private equity firm.

 Stereotaxis, Inc.
Kevin Shifrin, ’91,
has been appointed senior vice president of global marketing and business development. He was vice president of global marketing for the firm’s C.R. Bard peripheral vascular division. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, the company makes instrument control equipment for cardiology surgical suites.

Robert Sevim, ’06,
has been promoted to senior managing director in the real estate firm’s Chicago office.

Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP
Malindi Davies, ’04,
has rejoined the research department. She will be based in New York. Based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, the financial firm serves institutional clients and corporations and is an affiliate of the Susquehanna International Group of Companies.

University of Delaware
William Poole, MBA ’63, PhD ’66,
has been appointed distinguished scholar in residence in the department of economics at the Lerner College of Business and Economics. The university is located in Newark, Delaware. Poole is president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Vaughan Company Business Opportunities
Priscilla Dakin, ’97 (XP-66),
has been named business broker at a new Santa Fe office, which will serve northern New Mexico. The business brokerage firm is headquartered in Albuquerque.

Vermillion, Inc.
John Hamilton, ’68,
has been appointed to the board of directors. Based in Fremont, California, the firm develops and makes diagnostic tests. Hamilton is former vice president and chief financial officer of Depomed, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company.

W2 Group
Rich Blewitt, ’81,
has joined as senior advisor. The social media marketing company is based in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Women Win
Cindy Coltman, MBA ’92, AM ’92,
has joined as program director. Based in Amsterdam, the nonprofit organization supports projects worldwide that empower women and girls through sports and physical activity.

Alumni to Know

Carol Levenson, AB ’74, MBA ’81, may be to the “Simon Cowell of financial research” according to a March 20 article in BusinessWeek. “Straight talk, often in short supply on Wall Street, comes naturally to Levenson and her team of curmudgeonly analysts,” the magazine said. Levenson, cofounder and research chief at Gimme Credit, has been sizing up managements since 1994. Recently she summed up Sears’s reorganization: “We just can’t avoid the cliché, ‘rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,’” BusinessWeek said. Her firm sets itself apart from Wall Street researchers in that it does no underwriting or trading, and doesn’t depend on fees from companies it is evaluating, the article said. “We’re completely unfettered,” Levenson told BusinessWeek.

Fundability, a website that connects companies with investors, was featured in a February 25 article in Sacramento Business Journal. Lynn Liss, ’01, is cofounder and chief operating officer of the website, Through a secure web portal, investors can scan executive summaries of companies and snapshots of due diligence of the company’s financial condition, the article said.

Investment advisor and Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate Jim Neal, ’83was featured in a March 30 profile in the Greensboro (North Carolina) News-Record about his political quest to unseat Republican incumbent Elizabeth Dole this fall. Neal has embraced a road warrior mentality, the article said. “People joke, ‘Oh, that Jim Neal, he’ll drive and go talk to any group of three people.’ You’re damned right I will,’” Neal told the paper, which said Neal plans appearances in at least 70 counties before the May 6 primary. In his speeches, Neal “plays up” his business experience, having worked as an investment banker at Salomon Brothers, Bear Stearns, and E.F. Hutton, the News-Record said. But he also talks about hard times, where he’s “stood in an unemployment line and had to look up and say, ‘How am I going to get out of this hole?’”

Craig Robinson, ’91, is set to become the next head coach at Oregon State. The school hopes he can turn around their basketball program, which has enjoyed just one winning season, and played in just one postseason game, since winning the Pacific-10 Conference championship in 1990. In only his second year at Brown, Robinson led the Bears to a school-record 19 victories this season. He was the Ivy League coach of the Year in 2006-07 and took Brown to only its fourth postseason berth this season. Eight years ago, Robinson was working his way up the ladder in the financial world. After serving as a vice president at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, he had become a partner in an investment firm. A two-time Ivy League player of the year at Princeton, Robinson maintained his connection to basketball finding recruits for Princeton and coaching at the Lab School. When Bill Carmody, a former assistant coach at Princeton, took the coaching job at Northwestern, he called Robinson. He joined Carmody and Robinson began a second career with his first love.

In an April 15 profile in the Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) Journal, Bruce Rigal, ’89, chief operating officer of global banking for Deutsche Bank, said he believes the Canadian government needs to adopt a more global approach when it comes to managing its oil-fueled riches. He said Alberta should follow a path similar to that taken in places like Abu Dhabi, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Russia, which are trying to diversify their economies away from oil and gas, the article said. Rigal points out that the world’s sovereign wealth funds of nearly $3 trillion in assets is double that of hedge funds worldwide and can be expected to grow to about $10 trillion by 2012, or two-thirds the size of the entire U.S. economy. Yet Alberta’s sovereign fund, called the Heritage Fund, has remained flat, the article said. “It seems to me the opportunity to grow the Heritage Fund has been missed to date,” Rigal said in the Journal. “But with oil prices at $100 or more, the opportunity to grow the fund in the future is still very great.”

Robert Steel, ’84, undersecretary of the U.S. Treasury for domestic finance, has converted to favoring regulation, according to an April 15 New York Times article. “When you are driving fast down a slippery road, sometimes a regulator needs to tap lightly on the brakes to get you to slow down,” Steel told the Times. Such a statement runs counter to Steel’s past actions. The former vice chairman at Goldman Sachs within the last two years cochaired a commission that said oppressive regulation hurt financial innovation and another that contended hedge funds could regulate themselves, the article said. The Times said Steel’s “apparent conversion to the merits of regulation illustrates how the laissez-faire bones of the Bush administration have been rattled by the government-brokered rescue of Bear Stearns and the trauma of the credit crisis.” In a March 19 article on, Steel talked about the Fed-backed cash infusion to help JPMorgan Chase buy Bear Stearns at the same time the Bush administration refused to back a taxpayer bailout of mortgages. “The real proof will be in the pudding longer term with markets being stable and orderly, but it’s good to have an initial constructive reception,” Steel told Bloomberg. Both articles mentioned that Steel had briefed President Bush in a limousine ride on the day the Bear Stearns deal was announced.

Jeffrey Sexton, ’07 (XP-76), said going abroad was the best experience of the GSB Executive MBA Program, in a first-person profile published March 24 in Crain’s Chicago Business. Sexton said “studying with people from other countries opened my eyes. Before this, the only international business experiences I’d had were in the United States, when, for example, a contingent of Japanese businessmen from Toyota came to my firm to discuss a deal, or when I’d gone out to dinner with British clients. All the foreign people I had dealt with in America had their business faces on. But overseas, I saw different sides of people, good and bad.” Sexton runs a hedge fund for Roxbury Capital Management. A couple of his clients and contacts are “students I met on those international junkets,” he told Crain’s.

CEO Watch: Taking the Lead

Helen Kim, ’88
CEO, Kosan Biosciences Incorporated

Kim joined the firm in January as senior vice president and chief business officer and was appointed president in February. The biotechnology company is headquartered in Hayward, California.

Alan MacKenzie, ’99 (XP-68)
CEO, Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.

Based in Deerfield, Illinois, the firm is a subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan. MacKenzie also was named executive vice president of Takeda America Holdings. When Takeda’s joint venture with TAP Pharmaceutical Products closes, Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America and Takeda Global Research & Development Center, Inc. will report to Takeda America Holdings, Inc.

CEO Watch: Making Headlines

David Freese, ’97
CEO, Generation5

Freese plans to take the firm’s prediction technology into adjacent markets, according to an April 4 article in the Exchange Morning Post. Based in Toronto, the company has “perfected a unique, automatic approach to customer predictions that is dramatically faster and more accurate than traditional predictive analytics,” the article said. “With this new strategy, the company will fully commercialize the intrinsic value of its intellectual property.” At Siebel Global Services’s financial services business unit, Freese increased revenue more than 100 percent in two years, the article said. “At Siebel, we saw leading marketers spending tens of millions of dollars on predictive analytics with limited success,” Freese told the Post. “Generation5’s prediction technology will change the game” when it comes to tackling risk management or behavioral targeting.

Bassam Yammine, ’94
Managing Director and Co-CEO of the Middle East, Credit Suisse

Yammine was featured in an April 2 New York Times article about how business is done in frontier markets. Yammine took a colleague from the firm’s London office to see a client in Saudi Arabia, he “noticed his guest’s discomfort when, 40 minutes into the meeting, Mr. Yammine, a 40-year-old banker, and the client were still chatting about politics and the weather. His colleague shot him a panicked look when everyone got up to leave, still not having mentioned business deals,” the article said. “Halfway out the door, Mr. Yammine turned around, quickly discussed the deal, and he and his colleague left the meeting with a check.” Yammine told the Times: “In this part of the world, that’s how you do business.” 

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