2016

Stories related to "Alumni". http://www.chicagobooth.edu/magazine/spring-2016/rss

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Distinguished Alumni Awards 2016

Since 1971 we have celebrated innovative leaders across all industries, from finance to the arts, manufacturing to public service, and beyond. The Distinguished Alumni Awards honor individuals who continue to challenge and change the world we live in, exemplifying the resounding impact of Chicago Booth. Though they represent four distinct disciplines, our winners share a passion for forging new territory. Each has found a way to buck convention and create new opportunities through bold ideas and a clear vision for lasting impact. Susan Axelrod: Founding chair, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE). Susan Axelrod, LAB ’70, MBA ’82, didn’t go looking for her career; it came knocking on her door when her seven-month-old daughter was

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The Jet Set

In order for Todd Musgrove, ’10, to get to the office, he takes a plane, a train, and a car. And he likes it that way. Every two weeks, the Tokyo-based founder of Flight Digital Media, a digital marketing and mobile development firm, hops a nearly five-hour flight to his Metro Manila, Philippines, office. He doesn’t stay at a hotel. Instead, a corporate apartment in the city makes it easier to commute with only a carry-on. In Manila, unlike in Tokyo, life revolves around the business—and he embraces the grueling schedule. “I work crazy hours when I’m there because I try to maximize my time,” said Musgrove, who relocated from Chicago to Tokyo with his wife and two young children five years ago. Musgrove is a supercommuter—a new kind of business traveler who often traverses multiple time zones just to get to the office. The career path is by choice, albeit not one without difficulties. Today’s so-called supercommuter is just as comfortable hopping on a three-hour international flight as his neighbor who may take the highway to work and spend 40 minutes in traffic. For supercommuters, it’s not simply about taking on a temporary assignment elsewhere: they are strategically flying to global hotspots in order to get ahead in their careers without uprooting their lives.

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How Do You Help Food Banks Get Exactly the Food They Need?

Feeding America collects truckloads of food from food manufacturers, big-box and grocery stores, and other sources all over the country, and distributes them to 210 regional food banks according to need. In the old system, food banks were ranked based on which needed the most food. One by one, they were told what food they were going to get and how many pounds of it they were going to receive. Even if they had yogurt, for example, they had to take more yogurt or run the risk of those donation sources no longer offering food. That was inefficient and wasteful. Feeding America decided there had to be a better way. The organization came to us: Harry L. Davis [Roger L. and Rachel M. Goetz Distinguished Service Professor of Creative Management], Robert Hamada [Edward Eagle Brown Distinguished Service Professor of Finance Emeritus], Donald D. Eisenstein [professor of operations management], and me. We proposed a market in which food banks would bid fake money in auctions of all the food that was available. So instead of being handed more potatoes, the Idaho food bank could bid on peanut butter, which is more nutritious and desirable.

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Building Trust with Blockchain

For the fintech industry—for all financial institutions—trust in transactions is essential. To increase trust in online transactions, software technology known as blockchain creates a higher level of accounting transparency than in standard transactions, where all parties aren’t privy to the accounting ledger. There are many forms of blockchain, but they generally operate the same way, by creating digital signatures of each transaction and sharing them among a network of computers. Each computer can use the signatures to continuously verify who owes what to whom. <br/>

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Taking Inventory

The Challenge: Apple’s customers had evolved, and Cheryl Eng’s retail programs needed to keep pace. Customers could participate in small group demos intended to introduce them to Apple, the Mac, and later iPhones and iPads. But as technology became ubiquitous, basic tutorials weren’t cutting it for Apple owners. Customer feedback showed that “we weren’t meeting their needs. They wanted to capture memories from a child’s birthday party, but didn’t know how to do it in the best way,” Eng said. Addressing this need required a new strategy, not only to enhance the customer experience, but to change the mindset of senior leadership.

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The View From the Bay Area

Is the Golden Gate Bridge looking a little maroon lately? Perhaps. More than 2,600 Chicago Booth alumni now live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area. Though the tech scene dominates, large numbers of alumni also work in consulting, marketing, and investment banking—bringing a data-driven sensibility to the start-up hotspot. Alumni who attended Polsky Center’s West Coast Demo Day at Google headquarters (see “Something Ventured,” page 26) shared how they’re bringing The Chicago Approach to the city by the bay.

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Profiting from Giving Back

Throughout a long and successful career that took him to the top of the corporate world, John Edwardson, ’72, held true to a value he learned as a child—the importance of giving back. “All four of my grandparents were active in social service work,” said Edwardson, the retired chairman and CEO of Vernon Hills, Illinois-based CDW, and a University of Chicago trustee. “Two were immigrants and none made it past the eighth grade, but they lived in small towns where people took care of each other. I learned just from being with them.”<br/>

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This is Working For Me: Daniel Morissette

After eight and a half years as CFO of Stanford Hospital & Clinics in Palo Alto, California, Daniel Morissette is now senior executive vice president and CFO of Dignity Health. The San Francisco–based provider, the biggest in California and fifth largest in the nation, encompasses 42 hospitals and 60,000 employees. A Midwest native, Morissette savors the Bay Area’s 250-plus days of sunshine, often running three-to-five miles per day. When work, travel, and negotiations become stressful, he clears his head through prayer and meditation. “A great mentor of mine said, ‘Let’s close our eyes for a minute.’” As a mission-based health-care organization, we take care of all comers. Previously they were paying nothing. With coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act, we got a little bit of a financial boost. Over time, with preventive care, we hope to see far fewer tragic and painful cases. In a mission-based system, I get to strive for the same successes most businesspeople do and then reapply those earnings to society. If we efficiently charge and collect like any other firm and work on making the product better, both our revenue per patient and our margins go up. With that we can spend more on equipment to diagnose and screen, open additional facilities, provide even more help to the powerless and in impoverished areas, and hire more people. We do good things for people.

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Socially Conscious Networking

When images of a drowned Syrian toddler on a Turkish beach made global news in September 2015, the Syrian refugee crisis hit home for Megan Morgan, ’06. “As a mom myself,” Morgan said, “my heart ached to see that suffering.” Morgan—the Chicago-based head of equity and index sales for the Americas at the derivatives exchange Eurex—began searching for ways to help Syrian refugees. Seeing news footage of refugee parents carrying their children, Morgan recalled the importance of her stroller when she traveled around Europe with her young son. “It was his space where he could nap if he was tired, and it was a luggage rack for me,” Morgan said. “I thought, ‘Their life could be a little bit easier if only they had a stroller.’” <br/>

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A Workday With Michael Farb and Avi Stopper

Avi Stopper, ’06, and Michael Farb, ’09, cofounded CaptainU to create an easier way for high school athletes and college coaches to connect and build meaningful relationships. The CaptainU suite of products allows the athletes to promote themselves to recruiters, and the coaches to control the recruiting process from start to finish and improve their teams. The company’s roughly 60 employees span two offices, with CEO Stopper based in Denver and COO Farb settled in San Francisco. In the last eight years, CaptainU has helped more than 1 million students connect to more than 10,000 college coaches and over 2,000 tournament directors.<br/>

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Tabletop Gaming

In an era when a hotly anticipated Xbox One or PS4 release can out-earn a blockbuster film, you might think that sitting around a table, rolling dice, and passing Go is a passé pastime. Buzz! You’d be wrong. Interest in tabletop games—from epic world-building adventures to clever new card games to crowdfunded indie darlings—is exploding. According to market researcher ICv2, the hobby-games industry is an $880 million market in North America alone. 2015 saw its seventh straight year of gains, with a growth rate approaching 20 percent. Gaming and gamer culture is reaching new heights.<br/>

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My Culture Collection: William Lee-Ashley, '06

As chief of staff of the Denver Public Schools system, overseeing 90,000 students and a near billion-dollar budget, William Lee-Ashley manages the district’s communications, government affairs, and outreach work. He’s also a celebrated visual artist, working largely in mixed media including oils, pencils, and spray paint. Featured in three solo shows in Denver in the last four years, Lee-Ashley’s art wrestles with issues and ideas from the personal (raising his two little kids) to the philosophical (“how society is dealing with race”). We asked him what sparks his creativity.

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Counting Sheep

When jet-lagged corporate clients approach Nancy Rothstein, ’79, a Chicago-based sleep expert known as The Sleep Ambassador, she’s quick to point out that to feel better on the road, they should skip that extra cup of coffee and find a place to nap. “One of the primary preparations for any meeting is sleep,” said Rothstein, a sleep wellness consultant for Fortune 500 companies. “It’s a foundation to functioning.” As more business travelers are expected to dive into deal-making conversations right off a flight, jet lag can be even more of a nuisance. And while it’s impossible to feel completely refreshed after a night (or day) of flying, there are ways to ease the discomfort of adjusting to a new time zone—a situation familiar to alumni featured in this issue’s “The Jet Set.”<br/>