Alumni Connections - No. 79 - February 2011

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

Altria Group, Inc.
Howard Willard, '89,
has been promoted to executive vice president and CFO from executive vice president, strategy and business development. Based in Richmond, Virginia, Altria is the parent company of Philip Morris USA, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, John Middleton, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, and Philip Morris Capital Group.

athenahealth, Inc.
David Robinson, '74,
has been named to the board of directors. Headquartered in Watertown, Massachusetts, the firm offers web-based physician billing, practice management, and electronic medical records. Robinson previously served as the firm's executive advisor.

CHI-California Healthcare Institute
Carl Hull, '82,
has been named chairman for 2011 to 2012. Based in La Jolla, California, the organization represents the biomedical industry, aiming to advance public policies that foster medical innovation and scientific discovery. Hull is president and CEO of Gen-Probe Inc.

Concord Medical Services Holdings Limited
Elaine Lingying Zong, '98,
has been re-designated as an independent nonexecutive director from director. Based in Beijing, China, the company runs a network of radiotherapy and diagnostic imaging centers in that country. Zong is a former managing director of C.V. Starr Investment Advisors.

Fairmount Partners
Bill Rottschaefer, '08,
has joined as associate. The investment banking group is headquartered in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

Vicki Morris, '92,
has joined as vice president of marketing. Based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the company offers cloud automation software for demos and training.

Lennox International Inc.
Gregory Swienton, '79,
has been appointed to the board of directors. The heating and cooling company is headquartered in Richardson, Texas. Swienton is chairman and CEO of Ryder System, Inc.

Lighting Science Group Corporation
Leon Wagner, '77,
has been named to the board of directors. Based in Satellite Beach, Florida, the company offers LED lighting technology. Wagner retired as founding partner and chairman of GoldenTree Asset Management.

Loughlin Meghji + Company
Karen Garza, '01,
has been named managing director. The management consulting firm is based in New York.

Elliott Goldstein, '10 (EXP-15),
has been named to the board of trustees. Based in London, England, the charitable organization helps adults and children with learning disabilities. Goldstein is managing director of Anouska Hempel Design.

Ambrose Clay Jr., '71,
has been named to the advisory board. PARTNER, an aviation research organization whose name stands for Partnership for AiR Transportation Noise and Emissions Reduction, is based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Clay is a councilman in College Park, Georgia, and a retired engineering manager.

Phil Burgess, '80,
has been appointed to the advisory board. Based in Brentwood, Tennessee, the firm manages medication therapies by connecting patients, doctors, and pharmacists. Burgess is president of Phil Burgess Consulting, LLC.

PineBridge Investments Ireland Limited
Harold Singleton III, '89,
has been named a director of the manager. The investment fund is based in Dublin, Ireland. Singleton is global head of retail and intermediary sales at PineBridge.

Regional Transportation Authority
Joseph Costello, '83,
has been promoted to executive director. Formerly the organization's CFO, Costello had been acting chief executive director since October. The Chicago-based transportation system runs the Chicago Transit Authority bus and rail system, Metra commuter rail, and Pace suburban bus service.

Thor Industries, Inc.
Andrew Graves, '83,
has been appointed independent director on the board. Headquartered in Jackson Center, Ohio, Thor makes recreation vehicles, commercial buses, and ambulances. Graves is president of Brunswick Boat Group.

U.S. Small Business Administration
Michele Chang, '07,
has been named senior advisor. The department in the Obama administration is based in Washington DC. Chang previously spent three years at McKinsey & Company's Chicago office.

Alumni to Know

Roger Altman, '69, founder and chairman of Evercore Partners and former deputy treasury secretary in the Clinton administration, was in the running to lead President Obama's National Economic Council, according to a November 17 article in the Wall Street Journal. While defending the administration's record with big business, Altman had acknowledged that regulatory overhaul of the health care and financial markets has increased tensions between the administration and corporate America and Wall Street, the article said.

Katherine Smith Dedrick, '03 (XP-72),has had a busy year, what with writing a book, putting on insurance conferences, and practicing law. Dedrick's book, The 10 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me, recounts the truths she learned as a businesswoman and mom. Risk Worldwide, a risk management and insurance consulting company she helped found, put on a conference in Santiago, Chile, in October to help companies and property owners affected by a devastating earthquake earlier in 2010, and plans to open an office there and in India this year. As an attorney, Dedrick focuses on obtaining insurance money for policyholders when insurance companies won't pay. "In November I had a two-week trial in Miami federal court on behalf of a high-rise condominium association against an insurance company called QBE for the damage caused by Hurricane Wilma, and we received a verdict in favor of our client in the amount of $4.5 million," Dedrick writes.

Women migrant workers in Singapore can learn how to support themselves financially through an organization called Aidha. "Through our programs, we teach them how to create a bank account, track their savings, then use their money productively," said Veronica Gamez, '08 (EXP-13), executive director of the nonprofit, in a profile that ran in the December issues of Her World magazine. "In other words, we empower them to have a sustainable business, so they can have a sustainable family." The women are primarily domestic workers from such countries as the Philippines, Indonesia, and Myanmar. Gamez, who is Mexican, said she hopes eventually to open a branch in Los Angeles to help Mexican immigrants.

Through the power of social networking, Eunice Kim, '05, and her husband Andrew raised $175,000 for the Rock 'n' Roll San Jose 1/2 Marathon to cure congenital muscular dystrophy. Their daughter Sophie has a rare form of the disease, called Ullrich CMD. Their story was featured on a December 27 broadcast on NBC Bay Area News. "My husband and I are especially excited about the two projects led by Dr. Igoucheva and Dr. Allamand that directly explore treatments for Ullrich CMD," Kim writes.

While high-end hotel business has suffered during the past two years, one CFO in the industry has successfully navigated the recession. "During the height of the crisis, we were very concerned about liquidity and, quite frankly, survival," said Diane Morefield, '87, executive vice president and CFO, Strategic Hotels & Resorts in an "Executive Briefing" published December 14 by Emotional Intelligence Unit. "One thing we did that proved critical was to become the first hospitality REIT to renegotiate our line of credit. We put in place a $400 million line in early 2009, secured by four of our hotels, and that gave us the liquidity we needed. Right now we have only about $40 million outstanding."

Washington DC, with its recent focus on deficit reduction, seems to finally be catching up on a topic that Pete Peterson, '51, Blackstone co-founder and former commerce secretary in the Nixon administration, has been warning about for two decades, said a November 26 article in the New York Times. Peterson created a nonpartisan foundation to address the deficit problem. The foundation is sponsoring a $6 million television ad campaign about a fictional presidential candidate, Hugh Jidette (a reference to "huge debt") with the aim of spreading the word about debt dangers. "I reasoned that we had to do something entertaining and eye-catching and ear-catching," Peterson told the Times. "I consider the long-term debt and deficit a transcendent threat to the future of this economy."

A proposed new hedge fund is attracting media attention. Morgan Chia-Wen Sze, '93, is preparing to create his own hedge fund, according to a December 16 article in NYT Blogs. Sze heads a proprietary trading desk that Goldman Sachs is shutting down, the article said. The Financial Times reported on December 15 that the hedge fund is to be called Azentus Capital and that it could start trading between $1 billion and $1.5 billion.

CEO Watch: Making Headlines

Michael Polsky, '87
President and CEO
Invenergy LLC

The firm will finish developing two new Illinois energy centers, having received Illinois Commerce Commission approval of three long-term power purchase agreements with ComEd and Ameren Illinois, said a December 17 article in Crain's Chicago Business. Polsky's company already runs 20 wind farms and five natural gas-fueled generating plants, the article said.

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