Alumni Connections - No. 62 - September 2009

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 Red Cross
Peggy Dyer, ’80,
has been appointed chief marketing officer. The nonprofit emergency assistance organization is headquartered in Washington DC.

American Transmission Co.
Michael Hofbauer, ’06 (XP-75),
has been elected vice president, CFO, and treasurer. Based in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, the company owns, runs, builds, and maintains a high-voltage electric transmission system serving portions of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and Illinois.

California Healthcare Institute
Carl Hull, ’82,
has joined the board of directors. The organization promotes public policies that foster medical innovation and promote scientific discovery. Headquartered in La Jolla, California, it represents more than 250 biotechnology, medical device, diagnostics, and pharmaceutical companies and private academic biomedical research organizations.  Hull is president and CEO of Gen-Probe Incorporated.

Discover Financial Services
Mark Zaeske, ’94,
has been named senior vice president, finance, and chief accounting officer. The credit card company is headquartered in Riverwoods, Illinois.

Dana Holding Corporation
David Trucano, ’99,
has been named to the board of directors. Based in Toledo, Ohio, the company is a supplier of axles, drive shafts, and other automotive parts. Trucano is managing director of Centerbridge Partners, L.P.

Delta Delta Delta Foundation
Linda O’Bryant, ’79,
has been elected treasurer. Based in Arlington, Texas, the nonprofit foundation funds sorority programming, scholarships, and emergency assistance to alumni.

Federal Communications Commission
Nick Sinai, ’04,
has joined to lead energy and environment initiatives. He will head a team that will examine how broadband/communications infrastructure and policies can support national energy and environmental goals, with an emphasis on the Smart Grid.

Mike Owens, ’00,
has been appointed senior vice president. The Chicago-based firm offers online options for health insurance.

Christine Schuster, ’89,
has been named chairperson. Based in Boston, the Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority is a quasi-public organization that offers low-cost, tax-exempt financing to nonprofit institutions for capital projects.

Hotchkis and Wiley Capital Management
Mark Hudoff, ’92,
has joined as co-manager of high-yield bond strategy. The investment firm is based in Los Angeles.

Infotech Enterprises Ltd
Jerry Rao, ’81,
has been named a member of the board of directors. The global technology firm is based in Hyderabad, India. Rao is founder of the software company Mphasis Corporation.

Kansas Development Finance Authority
Suchitra Padmanabhan, ’95,
has been appointed a member. Based in Topeka, the authority offers financial structuring for capital projects and programs through the issuance of taxable and tax-exempt bonds or other debt instruments. She is a chartered financial analyst.

Kansas Film Commission
Suresh Ramamurthi, ’04,
has been appointed to the Topeka-based commission, which serves as a liaison with private individuals and local, state, and federal agencies for film projects in the state.

Noah Education Holdings Ltd.
Jerry He, MS ’97, MBA ’04,
has been appointed executive vice president. Based in Shenzhen, China, the company offers supplementary education products and services.

Noble Environmental Power
John Carson, ’01,
has joined as senior vice president of project finance. The renewable energy company is based in Essex, Connecticut.

Ore Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Benjamin Palleiko, MBA ’96, AM ’96,
has been appointed senior vice president and CFO. Based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the company acquires and develops clinical-stage drugs.

Origin Asset Management
John Birkhold, ’92,
has joined as portfolio manager. The London-based firm focuses on global equity investing.

James Nicholson, ’67,
has joined the board of directors. Based in Chicago, the company, through subsidiaries, offers business and personal financial services to middle-market commercial and commercial real estate companies, business owners, executives, entrepreneurs, and wealthy families in the United States. Nicholson is president and CEO of PVS Chemicals Inc.

Securities Enforcement Reporter
Charles Seavey, ’96,
has been named editor of the recently launched weekly legal journal, which is based in San Francisco.

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Helen Kim, ’88,
has been appointed to the board of directors. Headquartered in South San Francisco, the biopharmaceutical company develops oncology therapies. Kim is director and CEO of TRF Pharma, Inc.

Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America
Lisa Hess, ’78,
has been elected to the board of trustees for a one-year term. TIAA-CREF is a national financial services organization, which provides retirement services in such fields as academics, research, medicine, and culture. Hess is chief investment officer of Loews Corporation.

Textron Inc.
Frank Connor, ’86,
has been named executive vice president and CFO. Based in Providence, Rhode Island, the company runs businesses in such fields as aircraft, defense, industrial, and finance.

Randy Gier, ’85,
has joined as advisor to the office of the CEO. The advertising, graphic design, and marketing firm is headquartered in Dallas.

Daniel Greenberg, ’92,
has joined as chief marketing officer. Based in Mountain View, California, the company offers e-commerce payment and promotions platforms.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Edward Chadwick, ’86,
has been named executive vice president for finance and CFO. Located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the academic health care system is made up of North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Brenner Children’s Hospital, Wake Forest University Physicians, and Wake Forest University Health Sciences.

Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP
John Alsina, ’75,
has joined as counsel. The law firm is based in Saranac Lake, New York

World Gold Council
Juan Carlos Artigas, SM ’01, MBA ’05,
has joined as investment research manager. The New York–based marketing organization is funded by the world’s leading gold mining companies to promote the demand for gold.

Alumni to Know

A formula created by Roger Ibbotson, PhD ’74, has been illustrating how bonds have of late been beating stocks, according to a July 29 article in the ChicagoTribune. “Not only have the average annual stock returns been poor over the last 10 years, but relative to bonds, stock returns look mediocre over the last 20, 30, or even 40 years,” Ibbotson wrote in a new report, the article said. Still, over the last 83 years, “stocks easily beat bonds,” he said.

Philip Leslie, ’09, has attracted press with his start-up ProOnGo. Receipt Reader, the company’s
new software application for smart phones, allows executives to snap a photo of a receipt that
instantly can be transformed into an expense report. “I helped develop the technology of putting
cameras into smart phones for recreational purposes [at Microsoft], and I felt there was a missing opportunity for using that feature for business purposes,” Leslie said in a July 30 article on

Michael Larson, ’81, who runs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, was profiled in the July 17 Financial Times. The article said Gates’s first foundation letter earlier this year praised Larson for having “always done a great job,” despite a shrinking portfolio in 2008 during the markets crisis.

“The University of Chicago was a breathtaking roller coaster ride of intellectual stimulation, challenging thought, and relentless analysis that shaped me, my business and public service career, and my approach to life more than anything before or since,” said Peter Peterson, ’51, writing a first-person article on America’s best colleges August 2 in Peterson called his choice of Chicago Booth “the luckiest decision I ever made.” He related how he had happened upon a sign for the school a few doors down from his office when he was working for a market research company in Chicago and figured, “Why not?”

“I was exposed to the brightest professors I’ve ever met, including future Nobel Prize winners Milton Friedman and George Stigler,” Peterson wrote. “From Friedman I took away a respect for open and unfettered markets. Stigler taught me to focus on the situation at hand and not obsess about alternatives that don’t exist. Basic principles like these shaped me in ways my earlier and allegedly more ‘practical’ courses in retail inventory control or sales promotion never could.” Peterson went on to found The Blackstone Group and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Recession may be blurring the focus on women’s advancement to a top spot in finance, according to a July 15 article in CFO Magazine. “It seems like the whole concept of having a diversity task force has sort of gone out the window,” Amy Hamilton, ’98,  North American controller at Marsh, told the magazine. “At a lot of companies it’s really about survival mode right now.”

CEO Watch: Making Headlines

Ron Huberman, MBA ’00, AM ’00
Chicago Public Schools
Huberman, who has been named to various top spots in city government, is running the nearly $5 billion school bureaucracy by measuring progress and analyzing numbers, according to an August article in Chicago magazine. The article, entitled “Numbers Man,” profiles Huberman and his rise from Chicago police officer. “He is comfortable drowning in data—by his lights, the CPS team just needs to figure out which numbers to start collecting and analyzing,” the article said. Before school starts this fall, Huberman pledges to unveil a plan to save hundreds of millions of dollars and improve education in every neighborhood, the article said. “Anyone who’s in my job has to believe it’s all solvable,” Huberman told Chicago. “Because if you don’t, then you shouldn’t be there.”

Ivar Yuste, ’00 (EXP-5)
Based in Madrid, the firm is the first online marketplace for hotel development. An article about’s going live on July 6 appeared on on July 8. The company brings efficiencies to the hospitality industry by eliminating geographical barriers, the article said.

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