This year's winners are rethinking the future of their businesses and communities.
- May 09, 2019
Since 1971, the Distinguished Alumni Awards have honored business leaders making an impact. This year’s winners have used their curiosity, drive, and enterprising spirits to attain their own visions of success in the fields of medicine, investment management, manufacturing, and real estate. These alumni are rethinking the future of their businesses and communities.
Chief Executive Officer, PIMCO
My name is Emmanuel Roman, also known as Manny Roman. I finished Booth in 1987. It wasn't called Booth at the time. That was before the great gift of David Booth. I run a company called PIMCO. I am the CEO and responsible for leading the firm, dealing with key relationships, setting the strategic imperative of the firm, and running the business day to day.
The education I got from Booth shaped my career because I really learned a lot in two topics. One was finance and the other one was econometrics. Having a framework to be able to analyze datasets and understand the risk, to this day, is incredibly helpful. I'm very grateful to have made friends for life. But I'm also very grateful to have met a few people who told me that there were things I could do, and learn difficult topics, and take difficult classes that I didn't think I was able to.
I think the one thing that Booth did for me is this incredible quest for knowledge and for data. I was lucky enough to learn from some of the best minds of the generation. I still have a very strong connection with the university as a trustee. The quantum jump in terms of intellectual curiosity and knowledge that I gained from my education, I will always be thankful for.
Receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award makes me very happy. I remember receiving the admission package in the mail in France in 1985, and knowing that I had been admitted, which I could hardly believe. It feels like yesterday. The school has been unbelievably good to me. I'm very, very thankful, and it means a lot to me. I hope that I will do everything I can to deserve it in the future, also.
An intense drive and an extraordinary knowledge of the financial industry, long praised by his peers, have helped Emmanuel Roman, ’87, usher in a new era at PIMCO, one of the world’s premier fixed-income investment managers.
In November 2016 he became CEO of PIMCO, based in Newport Beach, California.
Thinking ahead to the future, Roman emphasized a focus on luring top tech and finance talent to the company. This push has been a success: the firm’s total assets are at $1.66 trillion today.
During Roman’s tenure, PIMCO has partnered with nonprofits such as the Global FoodBanking Network and Girls Who Invest, as well as with the California Institute of Technology, to establish two fellowships. In 2018 PIMCO partnered with the Center for Decision Research (CDR) at Chicago Booth in support of CDR’s behavioral science research.
Roman’s decisiveness and intellectual curiosity continue to distinguish him among his colleagues. A true polymath, he is a voracious reader, a wine connoisseur, the owner of an extensive art collection, and a trustee at the University of Chicago.
“I remember receiving the admission package in the mail in France in 1985 and knowing that I had been admitted, which I could hardly believe, and it feels like yesterday,” Roman said. “This school has been unbelievably good to me.”
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, AMSYSCO
Rattan L. Khosa:
My name is Rattan Khosa. I graduated in 1979 from Booth. I am CEO and founder of AMSYSCO. The intent of the product is to make the concrete strong because concrete, you can compress it as hard in compression, but when you bend it, it is weak. After I finished my master's instruction engineering education at the University of Maryland, I got into the same field I am today. That was the time in my life when I had to make a decision of what to do. Two years after graduating I started my company, and this year is our 38th year.
Rattan L. Khosa:
I felt if I have to make myself better and I have to have the best education, Booth is the place when we talk about MBA. The reason I chose Booth, because I felt that I would get the best education when it comes to management experience and knowledge. What I have learned, I have gained by having been at Booth. Booth, I understand has all 50,000 alums spread all over the country. I know quite a number of them, but not all of them. But I know one thing, that having been at Booth and graduated from Booth, you are a class in yourself, that you have an education that not many people have.
Rattan L. Khosa:
It gives a pleasurable feeling to belong to such a community of successful people spread around the world. To win the Distinguished Alumni Award, especially in the entrepreneurial field is luck to me. It confirms what I had been doing, not only growing the business, but leveraging the business to make the difference in the lives of so many different people, to see that this is being recognized, obviously it makes me happy and my wife and son also happy
A determined Rattan L. Khosa, ’79, came to the United States from India in 1969 with $3.75 in his pocket. Thanks to his unflinching resolve and knack for taking calculated risks, Khosa is now the CEO and founder of AMSYSCO Inc., a company that has turned a profit every year since it opened.
Khosa started AMSYSCO in 1981 out of the basement of the home he shared with his wife, Bharati, and son, Neel Khosa, ’07. Today, AMSYSCO is a midsize company based in Romeoville, Illinois, providing unbonded post-tensioning systems on commercial structures, including the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois; Millennium Park and the Midway Airport parking garage in Chicago; and the Guthrie Theater and the Minnesota Twins baseball stadium in Minneapolis.
His own early hurdles inspire Khosa to share that success by giving tremendous support to future generations of students: his generous gifts have established the Rattan L. Khosa Student Entrepreneurs Program at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and endowed the Rattan L. Khosa Scholarship that provides support to Full-Time MBA students.
“To win the Distinguished Alumni Award, especially in the entrepreneurial field, confirms what I have been doing,” Khosa said. “Not only growing the business, but leveraging it to make a difference in the lives of so many people.”
President and Chief Executive Officer, Emerald South Economic Development Collaborative
Public Service / Public Sector Award
My name is Ghian Foreman. I'm a graduate of Booth class of 2001, and I am the president and CEO of Emerald South Economic Development Collaborative. I have a pretty unique story about what drove me to Booth. I grew up here in Hyde Park in the neighborhood. I grew up playing basketball and going to parties on the campus, but didn't really know any black people who attended the school. I got an opportunity to meet some, at the time it was GSB students and they kind of told me about what an MBA was and it really made me feel special. It felt like a place that I can truly call my alma mater because I really felt it early even before I was a student. I felt that it was calling me.
One of the things that we believe about [redeveloping] Overton [a former elementary school site] is that it's really important to show positive images about the South Side of Chicago, not just what we hear on the news, the violence, but to show the good things that are happening, the good people, the good stories that are happening in the community. Booth provided me with a framework to make decisions, a foundation that I could build upon to be able to make good choices. Sometimes it is a very specific framework like the outside impacts model that we use in the New Venture Strategy class, and other times it's just a way to think through issues to make sure that we're covering all the bases.
My biggest advice would be to continue to use the Booth network. I think you have to continue to [have] the same feeling of learning that we got when we were in school is the same feeling you have to continue throughout your career. When I received the award, it was such a huge surprise. I called my mom and I told her about it, and she asked me why was I surprised and said, "This is important work that you're doing," and that it is, you will be recognized and sometimes, it is a surprise, but there'll be more surprises coming your way.
In 2019, Ghian Foreman, ’01, became the president and CEO of Emerald South Economic Development Collaborative. The group works to develop and support communities on the South Side of Chicago through a focus on commercial corridor expansion, sustainable housing, and workforce development.
Foreman also redevelops abandoned properties with Washington Park Development Group LLC, a firm focused on inner city real estate development in Chicago. His business philosophy includes a respect for the needs of the community. “It’s really important to show positive images about the South Side of Chicago,” Foreman said. “Not just [to counter] what we hear on the news—the violence—but to show the good things that are happening: the good people, the good stories.”
In 2016, he won the PrivateBank Norman Bobins Leadership Award, sponsored by one of the country’s leading organizations supporting community development. In 2018, Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed him president of the Chicago Police Board, the city’s civilian oversight agency for police accountability.
A Hyde Park native, Foreman said that Chicago Booth “felt like a place that I can truly call my alma mater, because I really felt it early, even before I was a student. I felt that it was calling me.”
Cofounder and Chief Medical Officer, Oak Street Health
Young Alumni Award
My name's Griffin Myers. I'm Booth class of 2010. I'm co founder and chief medical officer here at Oak Street Health. And what that means is that I have the privilege of helping build out the platform that helps us take care of our patients, support our medical group, and help us grow to have an impact around the country.
I chose Booth and not somewhere else because it's the technically most challenging environment to learn accounting, finance, economics, the technical skills that you need to translate. In the same campus, there's a world-class medical school [and] the best business school in the world, and for me that synthesis was really important.
Being a part of the Booth alumni network means to me is really about impact. There's this instant credibility that everyone in the alumni network has. We have expectations for each other, high expectations around performance and integrity and the way that we're going to do our jobs. Whatever I'm trying to achieve in the world and whatever you're trying to achieve in the world, we're going to hold each other accountable to that because we're a part of that community.
I came to Booth as a naturally curious person, but what Booth did was get me to ask more questions, to not stop, to keep digging, and at the same time equip me with new ways to go get those answers.
Booth really changed the way I think about problems. I don't stop when the answer feels right. You got to keep asking. As I think about Booth students today, they're learning the technical content. They're building a great network. I would tell them to find the one thing that they're obsessed with because once you're obsessed with it, you can't stop it and it's not about work and it's not about the hours and it's not about work life-balance because it is your life. So I would say find the impact that you want to have that you're obsessed with and go do whatever it takes to have that impact.
Receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award is an incredible honor. It's humbling, especially knowing the quality of our alumni network at Booth. It makes me think that it's a recognition really of the work of our entire team and the impact that Booth had on me in allowing me to help lead our team to have the impact we're having. And it's also a challenge. I know that we have to keep it going and I have to keep it going to have the impact we want to have here at Oak Street, rebuilding health care as we should be.
Griffin R. Myers, MD ’07, MBA ’10, saw firsthand during his residency in emergency medicine how poorly low-income seniors fared in the health-care system. A social entrepreneur at heart, Myers was inspired to start Oak Street Health, a network of primary care practices that use a value-based model to serve older, lower-income patients, in 2012.
Myers is the cofounder and chief medical officer, helping guide Oak Street in its mission to improve lives and decrease cost of care. By 2019, Oak Street had reduced hospital admissions among its patients by over 40 percent, achieved five-star quality ratings, and tallied a 91 percent net promoter score, a measurement of patient satisfaction. From its first clinic in Chicago, Oak Street has expanded to serve more than 60,000 patients at 40 locations in eight markets, with plans to open between 14 and 20 new centers this year. Myers is an adjunct instructor of emergency medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, a research associate at Harvard Medical School, a diplomate of the American Board of Emergency Medicine, and a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Despite his packed schedule, Myers spends one day a week working alongside Oak Street’s care teams. “Find the impact that you want to have, that you’re obsessed with,” Myers said. “And go do whatever it takes to make that impact.”
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