Choosing Distinguished Alumni Is Its Own Honor

Paul Purcell, '71

Image by Matthew Gilson

Chicago Booth alumni who choose the winners of the Distinguished Alumni Awards face a difficult task: from dozens of highly accomplished people nominated each year, they must choose only four. But participating gives them an experience that is unique to Booth. “One of the reasons these awards are so coveted is that nomination and selection are truly peer-driven processes,” said Tracey Pavlishin, ’06, senior director, alumni affairs and events. “They are not done by deans or by the development office.”

The peer group particularly struck 2008 Distinguished Public Service/Public Sector Award winner Joanne Smith, MD, MBA ’00, president and CEO of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, who chaired the committee in 2009. “I was very honored to get the award,” she said, “but the following fall, when I walked into the selection committee meeting and saw the caliber of the members who determined the award winners, I was really moved and then understood the huge significance of it.”

 For the 2010 awards, committee members met last spring in Chicago, Washington DC, San Francisco, London, and Mumbai via videoconference, poring over the accomplishments of more than 40 nominees and voting on the winners.

 “We always have a group in Chicago, but we also meet on the East and West coasts, in Europe, and in Asia, and next year, we’ll meet in South America as well,” Pavlishin said. Cities set for the 2011 selection committee meeting include Chicago, Boston, London, São Paulo, and Singapore.

“It’s particularly gratifying to be part of a process and a discussion that’s truly global, since our alumni have been successful all around the world,” said Tom Ricketts, AB ’87, MBA ’93, chairman, CEO, and cofounder of Incapital and winner of the 2005 Distinguished Young Alumni Award, who has served on previous selection committees.

The chance to connect with other alumni for this unusual event has strong appeal. “What really makes this process work is that there’s a lot of dialogue among a diverse group,” said 2009 Distinguished Corporate Alumni Award winner Paul Purcell, ’71, president and CEO of Robert W. Baird & Company, who chaired this year’s meeting. “We get the perspective of alumni who represent a wide range of industries and insights from both younger graduates and others who are more senior in their fields,” he said.” It makes for some great debate. The passion, energy, and commitment of the graduates are impressive and compelling.”—P.H.


2010 DAA Selection Committee Members


Alumni who serve on the Selection Committee include previous Distinguished Alumni Award winners as well as alumni who have contributed their time or support to the school.


Selection Committee Chair

Paul Purcell, ’71, President and CEO, Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated


Chicago Committee Members

Jay Anderson, ’02, Vice President of Quality and Operations, Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Dennis Aust, AB ’79, MBA ’80, Senior Partner, Managing Director, CharterMast Partners LLC

Catharine Carroll, ’97, President and Chief Operating Officer, Pro Equine Group

Steven Dresner, ’82, President, Dresner Partners

Cheryl Francis, ’78, Co-Chairman, Corporate Leadership Center

Mary Louise Gorno, ’76, Managing Director, Hudson Global

Greg Hansen, ’81, Senior Vice President, Attucks Asset Management

James Hill, ’67, Managing Partner, Mitchell & Titus

Jeffrey Kautz, ’96, Chief Investment Officer, Perkins Investment Management

Rattan Khosa, ’79, President, AMSYSCO Inc.

Samuel Kunz, ’07 (XP-76), Chief Investment Officer, Chicago PABF

Robert Nagel, ’63, Partner and Chairman, CEO Partners

Richard Patterson, ’72, Retired Senior Vice President, Investments, Lehman Brothers Inc.

Annette Shoemaker, ’89, Regional Vice President, The Presbyterian Foundation

Thomas Sidlik, ’73, Retired Executive Vice President, Global Procurement and Supply, DaimlerChrysler Corporation


San Francisco Committee Members

Sandeep Ganesh, ’07, Manager, Pacific Gas & Electric Corporation

Rajesh Krishnan, ’01, Vice President, Xeolux

James Lugannani, ’83, Financial Advisor, UBS Financial Services Inc.

Julie Norris, ’94, Executive Advisor, JNBAS

Steven Xi, ’04, Managing Director, Riverwood Capital LLC


Washington DC Committee Members

Maureen Clancy, ’99, Vice President for Heart and Vascular Services, The Washington Hospital Center

Greg Diephouse, MPP ’04, MBA ’07, Executive Secretariat, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Genevieve Hanson, ’00, Development Manager, Government of the District of Columbia

Ron Packard, ’89, Chairman and Founder, K12 Inc.

Thomas Ruder, ’98, Chief Financial Officer, Penzance

James Sheaffer, ’75, President, Computer Sciences Corporation

Richard Spillenkothen, ’75, Director, Deloitte & Touche LLP

Frank von Richter, ’62, Senior Consultant and President, Menlo Biomedical Associates Inc.


London Committee Members

Andrea Hall, AM ’86, MBA ’95, Director of Operations, Celergo UK Ltd.

Damien Harte, ’87, Chief Operating Officer, Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd.

William Hatton, ’05, Director, Unicredit Markets & Investment Banking

Blair Jacobson, ’99, Partner, Citi Private Equity

Stephen Jansen, ’97, Chief Operating Officer and Partner, Voriana Capital Partners LLP

Ulrike Koeppl, ’08 (EXP-13), Executive Director, Global Markets Consultants

Laurence Mulliez-Hurel, ’92, Consultant

Marc Nahum, ’90, Consultant


Mumbai Committee Members

Sangeeta Anand, ’05 (AXP-4), Investment Director, AMP Capital

Praveen Chennareddy, ’05, Principal, Gaja Capital Partners

Pritam Doshi, ’00, Executive Director and CEO, PAE Limited

Luis Miranda, ’89, President and CEO, IDFC Private Equity Company Ltd.

Sameer Parikh, ’03, Assistant Vice President, IDFC Projects Limited

Vinod Rohira, ’07 (AXP-6), Director, K. Raheja Corporation

Pradhakar Tadepalli, ’98, Chief Operating Officer, Tyfone Inc.

Janak Vaswani, ’86, Managing Director, Mikap Engineering Services Private Limited


Class of 2010 Sets Record for Class Gift Participation

The class of 2010 set a new record for the Full-Time MBA Program class gift campaign, achieving the highest-ever participation rate, with 99.5 percent of the class contributing. Raising $26,447 for the school, the class donated its gift to the Annual Fund and the Case Competition Fund, a new resource created by the graduates to support students representing Chicago Booth in regional, national, and international case competitions.  

This year’s “Prepared to Challenge” campaign featured contests each week to increase awareness and encourage support from the class. Challenges included portfolio management and creative marketing, both aimed at faculty, prompting professors to compose the most profitable fictitious portfolio over the four weeks of fundraising or write the best class of 2010 slogan.

Adding to the series of contests, class gift committee member Eli Strick, ’10, led an effort to organize sponsorship from United Airlines. All donors received two passes to United’s Red Carpet Club, and members of the five cohorts with the highest participation earned Premier Associate status with the airline for a year. 

“United has a lot of Booth graduates and its leadership team is very supportive of the school as a whole,” said Strick, who joined the airline in the fall. “I thought it would be a good idea to have companies that employ a lot of our graduates, especially at senior levels, to encourage our class to be active alumni and participate in the class gift.”

Strick contacted Sasha Trifunac, ’08, who manages United’s Red Carpet Lounges, with the plan for lounge pass sponsorship. Trifunac not only embraced the idea, but offered Premier Associate status as an additional incentive. Many students lose their flyer status while in school and become frequent travelers again after graduation, Strick said.

“It definitely boosted everyone’s motivation,” added Strick. “All incentives aside, 99.5 percent participation is a huge accomplishment for the class of 2010 and really showcases our spirit and loyalty to the school.”—K.F.


 Changes in club leadership

Four alumni clubs have announced new leadership.


President Roel Haeseldonckx, ’08 (EXP-13)

Outgoing president Kris Vansanten, ’95



President Traci Ayer, ’04

Outgoing president Manish Sood, ’04 (XP-73)


South Florida

President Chris Westgate, ’06 (XP-75)

Outgoing president Sheri Colas-Gervais,
’93 (XP-62)



Co-president William Bila, ’02

Co-president Francois Bleytou, ’07 (EXP-12)

Outgoing president Anand D’Souza, ’06



Rajan Says Education Failings at Root of Economic Crisis

The failure of education to keep pace with the higher-paying jobs created by technology is one of the root causes of the current economic crisis, according to Raghuram Rajan, Eric J. Gleacher Distinguished Service Professor of Finance.

In fact, education gaps have carved a deepening disparity in wages between the managerial class and the industrial worker. “The manager’s income is running away from the factory worker’s,” he said. “Why is this happening? Because the 90th percentile has a college degree and the person at the 50th percentile stopped at high school.”

Rajan, author of Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy, outlined the reasons behind the financial crisis for alumni and business professionals at a Global Leadership Series event in Washington DC in June. Rajan also spoke at GLS events in Los Angeles, New York, London, Delhi, and Mumbai.

He said technology today has created jobs that require a higher degree. “High school graduation rates have been stagnant since the 1970s. College completion rates today are no different from cohorts born in the 1970s and the 1940s, especially for males. In general, education rates have not kept pace with technology. As a result, because the supply of the educated has not kept pace with the demand, the incomes of the highly educated are running away from the incomes of the high school educated. That creates a problem because the median wage is stagnant.”

According to Rajan, the only genuine solution to growing income inequality is to “upscale” the education level of high school graduates. However, that goal would take years to achieve, involving comprehensive changes in schools, communities, even nutrition levels and the family.

“It takes a long time and hard work, and may be impossible for some. How do you tell a 35-year-old single mother with two kids who has a graduate equivalency diploma that she cannot get one of the good jobs in the economy?”

Rajan also said it’s vital for parents and communities to take a more active role in improving schools and pushing their children to get a better education.—M.P.  


Read full coverage of Rajan’s remarks

Find a Global Leadership Series event near you

Read Rajan’s Fault Lines blog

Last Updated 10/14/10