2017

Stories related to "Alumni".

feature

The Next Generation of Enterprise

On the day of the NVC finals in May, David Rabie, ’15, and his team stood in front of a panel of judges in a Booth classroom and passed out samples of Thai chicken curry, quinoa, and ginger soy broccoli. The meals had been cooked in a futuristic countertop device—similar to a crockpot—called Maestro. Rabie’s vision of simple, healthy meals calls for customers to pop pods of raw vacuum-sealed vegetables, grains, and proteins into the machine and scan the QR-coded cooking instructions on the package. In a half hour, a well-rounded meal is ready to go. The judges tossed out plenty of questions: How did Rabie plan to grow the company? Who would develop the recipes? Rabie had answers, which is why the judges awarded Maestro first place in the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC), Booth’s signature startup program. With a cash prize of $70,000, business services, and enviable industry connections, Maestro has a good start in life. Four months later, the start up is fine-tuning the product, building a

feature

The Survivor

José Antonio Álvarez, ’96 (EXP-1), has seen some of banking’s darkest hours. He was elevated to CEO of Madrid-based Banco Santander a year ago—with Europe still struggling to climb out of an economic malaise and the Greek debt crisis threatening to destabilize the fragile eurozone. Álvarez had been through worse. He was named CFO of the bank 10 years earlier, as the housing bubble was about to peak, then burst, hobbling highly leveraged US and European banks. Yet Santander emerged as Europe’s seventh largest bank, with assets of more than $1.5 trillion. Of course Santander was by no means immune to the crisis that engulfed Europe and its banks, with Spain’s overleveraged construction industry contributing to the frenzy. “The worst was summer 2012,” Álvarez said. It’s when Spain was downgraded by the three major ratings agencies, “a few notches in one shot” from Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard and Poor’s. However, through it all, Santander never posted a quarterly loss, unlike many of its European peers, including BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole Group, and Deutsche Bank. Royal Bank of Scotland suffered such steep

feature

Of Like Minds in the C-Suite

When an organization’s CEO and CFO both hail from Booth, there’s a common methodology to problem solving that cuts to the chase. In a fast-moving environment, according to Byron David Trott, AB ’81, MBA,’82, founder, chairman, and CEO of BDT & Company, applying “the same disciplined approach” as his Booth-trained CFO Mike Burns, ’03, speeds decision making and removes unnecessary drama from the equation. This doesn’t mean that they always agree—far from it. Maria Kim, ’12 (XP-81), CEO of Chicago-based the Cara Program, describes her CFO Carla Denison-Bickett, ’04, as “a healthy agitator.” But in many ways, the open debate leads to increased dynamism that infects the entire leadership team. At BDT & Company in Chicago and Oaktree Capital Management in Los Angeles, the CFOs were the first and most significant external hires by the founding CEOs—and the pairs are still together. At Oaktree, it’s been 20 years as a team for CEO Howard Marks, ’69, and David Kirchheimer, ’78. Kim and Denison-Bickett have led nonprofit the Cara Program for the past year, but previously worked at the organization

conversations

Where’s the Optimal Place to Park a Food Truck?

Pursuing a love of food and cooking, I completed the basic pastry certificate at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris the summer before starting the PhD program. So I was thrilled to see a crêpe truck, Paris Ouh La La, serving lunch during the school year. After several good meals at the food trucks on Ellis Avenue, and observing the variation in the trucks parked each day, I started thinking about how the trucks decide where to park. Where you choose to locate a business is a fundamental economic question—one that food trucks must re-answer every day. The classic location choice model was offered by the mathematician and economist Harold Hotelling in 1929. Consider two ice cream vendors who parked their carts on a one-mile stretch of beach. Assuming the venders offer roughly the same treats, beachgoers will naturally choose to walk to the closest cart. The vendor on the left will serve all the beachgoers to its left, and the vendor on the right will serve all the beachgoers to its right.

conversations

Power Sources

The Challenge: In 1999, Ted Brandt cofounded Marathon Capital in Bannockburn, Illinois, a $25 million investment bank focused on renewable energy. The original compensation structure hewed to the industry norm of a steady balance between salary and bonus, based on both individual and company performance. But in the first several years, Marathon was short of capital and the model was unsustainable. How could the company devise a system of incentives while maintaining the necessary cash flow to sustain the business, Brandt wondered. The Strategy: For the next three years, Marathon slashed salaries and paid bankers big bonuses when deals closed. Revenues grew, but that led to new challenges. This “eat-what-you-kill” model, as Brandt calls it, discouraged teamwork and was unfair to younger bankers who had no say in what projects to join. Also, by paying out bonuses before fixed costs, Marathon had few profits. Compensation ran about 90 to 95 percent of revenues. In comparison, similar banks

conversations

Big Marketers on Campus

Is it possible to geotarget advertising messages by street address? How can business-to-business marketers get better data? Why are millennials spending buckets of money on jewelry? These were among the intriguing queries tackled at Kilts Marketing Day, an annual forum sponsored by the Kilts Center for Marketing. The event brought 16 executive-level alumni in marketing to Harper Center in April to share their industry experience and expertise. Each alumnus hosted a table and led a 30-minute discussion on the latest developments in big data, business-tobusiness marketing, and product innovation. The 100 student attendees—aspiring marketers and those interested in learning more about the field—divided among the 16 tables and rotated for the second session. For the students, the opportunity is extraordinary—joining in discussions, and posing questions directly to alumni in senior positions at marketing heavyweights including JPMorgan Chase & Co., McDonald’s Corp., and MasterCard Inc. For alumni, it’s an opportunity to reconnect with Booth and engage with students. The forum showcases the range of career paths and functions available to students with an interest in marketing—not just consumer products but banking and finance, manufacturing, entertainment, retailing, and technology. Lee Ettleman, a Full-Time student, was interested in the analysis of consumer spending offered by

conversations

I'm No Dr. Love

Marketing is often perceived as being about slick advertising campaigns. To me, marketing is about running a business, a profit and loss account. I start the course by asking students, “If you are running a company and your market share drops, what will you do to fix it?” Students give all kinds of answers to my introductory market share question—they’ll cut prices, innovate, run a sales promotion. I wait until someone says, “We need to figure out what happened.” Unless you get at the underlying cause, you can’t find the solution. I teach from the perspective of presenting the strategic aspects of decision making that are intrinsically linked with marketing. This includes setting an objective for a brand, understanding where customer opportunities lie, and positioning yourself to give your target a reason to buy your product. I call that “the right to win.”<br/>The Framework<br/>I give my students a robust tool kit that enables them to look at any business problem and dissect it. I want my students to be the ones people turn to in meetings because they have something of value to

conversations

The Colombia Conversation

Juan Esteban Calle Restrepo, ’94, heads Medellín-based EPM, the largest public multi-utility company in Colombia. Calle recently discussed the economic prospects for Colombia and Latin America with Santiago Umaschi, ’11, managing partner of a Boston-based strategy consulting firm that specializes in international markets. Umaschi works with a nonprofit arm of EPM that helps small and midsize companies in Medellín find export markets. Umaschi reached out to Calle on a visit earlier this year— the two met for the first time over coffee, and talked about the city’s prospects. They continued the conversation in a summer phone call. Umaschi: I commute from Boston to Medellín from Boston twice a month, and I find the geography to be striking. With the Andes all around you, you’re surrounded by a wall of green. At first I was a little claustrophobic, but then the city grows on you. The people are proud of their city. The metro cannot be cleaner. If you call the car service for a 5 a.m. pickup,

conversations

The View From Singapore

It’s been a festive year for Singapore, which this year is celebrating 50 years of independence. The city also is home to a thriving community of nearly 650 Booth alumni who hold top jobs in trade, banking, and real estate. They get together to swap business and personal advice, help with hiring and job referrals, and even advise on start-ups. Many hold regional responsibilities that require travel—and foster connections— throughout the continent. Low Soon Teck, ’04 (AXP-3), CFO at RCMA Group Pte. Ltd., makes a point to attend a monthly dinner with alumni from his Executive MBA cohort. “We talk about managing people and talent at the workplace,” said Low, whose firm dates from colonial times as a marketer of rubber and has since expanded into agricultural commodities. “Competition for talent is intense in Singapore, where the unemployment rate is almost zero.” When Sarita Singh, ’07 (AXP-6), wrestles with a business problem outside her expertise, she seeks out fellow Booth alumni.

perspectives

Ariel Tiger, '10

With excellent rates on payroll and health insurance services, stylish interiors, and bento box lunches, New York– based WeWork is fast becoming the dream office environment for those not particularly inclined to office environments, including freelancers, start-ups, and small businesses. Chief administrative officer Ariel Tiger, ’10, oversees financial and legal matters, culture, and community growth for the company, which has 48 coworking spaces in 16 cities worldwide. Tiger’s day is a flurry of activity capped off by brainstorming with colleagues late into the night. He takes us through a typical Monday. 6:30 AM Wake up and spend time feeding and playing with my 18-month-old son, Jonathan. There is nothing better than early morning father-son quality time. 7:30 AM Check news, stocks, and, of course, my email. WeWork has operations around the globe and is expanding further internationally, so the company never sleeps. 8:40 AM Walk to our new HQ. We moved from the financial district to Chelsea because we outgrew our offices when our team doubled in size in the first half of 2015.

perspectives

A World of Growth for Small Businesses

I discovered Grow Movement shortly after business school. I was seeking to volunteer as a mentor and contribute toward developing economies. Grow enabled me to use knowledge gained from Booth along with my professional experience. Having worked in private equity [Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch], I had some idea about the attributes of successful entrepreneurs and the elements needed to build a business. After studying several proposals, I decided to work with Martial Batangana, a 24-year-old entrepreneur in Rwanda. His ambition was to build a mobile platform that would provide agricultural advice to local farmers and connect them with regional buyers. Batangana was highly motivated and technically savvy, but I saw that his business needed a framework—it was a matter of planning activities and organizing resources. For six months, I spent two to four hours a week, often on a weekday evening or a Sunday afternoon, communicating with him via email and Skype. Through his deep local and industrysector knowledge, he had identified a need in his home country. I drew on my knowledge of marketing,

perspectives

The Groundwork: A Window on Retail

The average American spends more than 200 hours a year commuting. These are notoriously stressful hours for most, usually spent stuck in traffic or crammed into subway cars. But Davidkhanian has managed to make her morning and evening commutes highlights of her day. For the eight years she’s worked at Macy’s—first as an associate in the merchandising office, now as vice president of market trends—Davidkhanian has walked the 1.2 miles from her home in Midtown Manhattan to her Herald Square office, invaluable 30-minute city adventures. “It feels like I never take the same route twice,” Davidkhanian said during a walk on a sunny morning in late June. Her one regular stop: coffee at Essen on Madison Avenue and 41st Street. “I follow the traffic lights, rain or shine, unless it’s freezing out. It never gets boring.” There’s an undeniable value in analog moments of observation—turning attention to the kind of infinitely varied scenes that unfold in real life versus on a screen. And some studies have shown that walking, like running and other forms of cardio, can help reduce stress as powerfully

perspectives

The Glittering Allure of Entrepreneurship

Of course I was well aware that most start-ups fail, and of course I was giving up the resources and access to talent that come with working for multinationals. But I had the bug to be an entrepreneur and a creator. What exactly to do with that? I always was interested in the luxury segment of consumer goods as a business. I studied to be a mechanical engineer and learned to cut and polish diamonds as part of my training. When I moved back to India in 2011, I studied the female Indian consumer and how she made female choices. The jewelry retail side here in Mumbai and across the world remained traditional. Stores continued to invest in inventory, assuming that people would come and buy whatever was in stock. I learned that even jewelers who had been in the industry for decades weren’t working off the most profitable business model. They couldn’t react to fast-moving trends because they were carrying inventory that didn’t always sell. The consumer, on the other hand, wanted to see new designs more often. I began to wonder, can technology shake up what is happening in this market?

perspectives

Chandra Greer,'90

Style: I wear sneakers with just about everything—suits, dresses, and skirts. They’re easy, casual, and stylish. Plus, I have two kids and run a retail store, so I’m on my feet a lot. These, from Italy, have a particularly graceful, bohemian, beat-up luxury that elevates sneakers to an art form. Travel: I was last in Namibia in the spring of 2014, and it’s an experience I will treasure always. This is a land of extraordinary physical contrasts—other-planet-like sand dunes, sweeping coastal views, and low, lush mountains. The Himba women there, in the way they coat their hair and skin with a paste of red ochre, are striking and beautiful. Art: Henry Darger Henry Darger was the ultimate outsider artist, iconoclastic and super private. I first became aware of him because he lived in a boardinghouse across the street from where I used to live in Chicago. When he died, in the early '70s, his landlord found a bunch of huge murals and a giant illustrated book. He did all of his artwork just for himself, and now it’s extremely valuable. I’m really drawn to that internal expression because it’s

perspectives

An Introduction To Sailing

I started sailing at Cornell University, where I joined the club team. I also spent a semester at sea. It’s a bug that bites you. After college I moved to San Francisco and bought a decrepit, leaky, 20-foot sailboat for $1,000. That’s where I learned to sail single-handedly. With solo sailing, I can just go. I’m not counting on anyone. At Booth, two years later, I had to set aside sailing. The Chicago boating season is short, and I concentrated on my studies. Once I was out of school, I got back on the water. That I could let go of sailing and focus on something else was an important life lesson—one that has also made it easier to step back from racing while my daughter is young. When you leave something behind, the desire doesn’t disappear. You have to wait until the opportunity returns. Sailing alone on the ocean is the ultimate act of self-sufficiency. You’re out for five days, just you. It’s beautiful and fun and lovely, but something always happens—a catastrophe— and you have to learn how to deal with it yourself. One day I had a light wind and lumpy seas, so I set the spinnaker

perspectives

Satya Nadella, '97

Having grown up in the company, what is it 23 years or so, I always come back to the very first thing Microsoft did, the BASIC interpreter. It was this notion of empowering others to do great things. And how do you do that as a business? I also think, in Chicago style, we’re all victims of our economic model. In our case it’s about your product. We want to do the best job of making the tools you use. It could be a student writing a term paper or a developer writing an app. My vision is to take that productivity and empowerment of individuals and organizations and express it in this new world, which is mobile-first, cloud-first. The only way you’re going to have that mobility of the human experience—not the device—is by having cloud orchestrate the movement. Regarding that Chicago-style thinking, is there a Booth class that was particularly memorable? It was a class that I took with [now-retired] professor Marvin Zonis on leadership. He stressed that EQ trumps IQ in the long run—the E is for empathy. How did you carry this into your career at Microsoft? When I’ve had my failures— when I’ve been

feature

Kernels of Wisdom

Chicago Booth was founded in 1898. When it comes to longevity, however, Tokyo-based Japan Corn Starch Co.—a privately held comprehensive corn starch manufacturer founded in 1867—has even the second-oldest business school in the United States beat. This July at the beautiful Hotel Okura Tokyo, the company’s president and CEO, Soichiro “Sean” Kurachi, ’85, hosted a celebration for the 150th anniversary of his family-owned business. The guest list for the event evidenced the company’s global reach—it has strong ties to the United States, sourcing all its corn from US farms and partnering with US academic institutions for research and development, and serves as the corn starch provider throughout Asia for many major companies, including Coca-Cola. Kurachi welcomed guests from around the world: representatives of suppliers, buyers, associations, farms, corporate partners, and academic institutions that have had partnerships with JCS, many of whom have had long-standing, close relationships with both the company and the Kurachi family.

feature

Stepping Back In

It was time for Susan Hopkinson, ’97, to stop apologizing for taking a break from her career. After graduating from Chicago Booth, she excelled professionally with the internet boom of the late 1990s. Hopkinson joined J. P. Morgan’s investment-banking program as an associate. Then, she joined the Japanese investment bank Nomura International as a principal late-stage technology investor. When her fiancé was transferred to San Francisco, where her employer had plans to open an office, the couple moved to the Bay Area. Then came 9/11. At the time, Nomura had its New York office in the World Financial Center, and it decided to consolidate its employees in London. Hopkinson didn’t want to uproot her new life on the West Coast, so that left her amid a lot of out-of-work MBAs, stranded in a city where she had few professional connections. After a short stint consulting with a small secondary fund, in 2002, she earned a position as a fund-of-funds investment manager at Paul Capital Partners, known for its pioneering of the secondary market. A self-proclaimed finance geek, Hopkinson loved the work. “It was very technical but also focused on relationship building with venture-capital firms, so I was really qualified, and I felt very lucky,” she said.

feature

From Fail to Prevail

When Lotika Pai, ’08, arrived for her first day on the job, she was told to leave. Her role had been eliminated. It wasn’t personal; Pai’s start date was September 15, 2008—the same day that Lehman Brothers, her would-be employer, filed for bankruptcy. After enduring a competitive recruiting process and graduating from business school, Pai looked forward to switching into the fast-paced world of investment banking. The setback was understandably terrifying. “It was the sense of being overwhelmed by something that I had no control over,” she recalled. “I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.” In the next few years, Pai got valuable experience as an investment banker at Barclays (which acquired Lehman Brothers days later), but she never forgot the anxiety she felt during the turmoil. “That situation was pivotal for me, in terms of wanting to change the trajectory of my career,” said Pai. That first setback with Lehman inspired Pai to consider entrepreneurship once she had finance experience under her belt. Last year, she cofounded Powwful, a Chicago-based women’s activewear brand that aims to change the conversation around fitness and empowerment. “Ultimately,” Pai said, “I wanted to be more in control of what happened to my career.”

feature

Meet the Dean

Incoming dean Madhav V. Rajan shares his personal story and lays out his vision for Chicago Booth’s future—including the critical role that Booth’s global alumni network plays in building on the school’s successes. Chicago Booth Magazine: You’ve called yourself a “lifelong learner.” Can you take us back and share an anecdote about a moment in your childhood or school years that sparked your interest in business and/or academia? How can Booth instill a similar love for learning in future generations? Dean Rajan: Steve Jobs famously noted that you can only connect the dots looking backward, and that is certainly true in my case. I did not think through or plan out my career. My decision to study business for my undergraduate degree was based purely on the fact that my older brothers were engineers and I wanted to learn something different. I then moved to pursue a master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon University, for the simple reason that my father worked in Pittsburgh. I did well in my first-year courses and was approached by a faculty member, who asked whether I had considered doing a PhD. I had not, but he persuaded me by noting that I would get paid to study, which seemed an amazing concept! This particular professor was in accounting, and that’s how I ended up in that field. However, Carnegie was unique in not having an economics department separate from the business school. Every student in accounting, economics, and finance did virtually the same coursework. Looking back, I have benefited immensely from the breadth of study and interdisciplinary training I received at Carnegie. Even then I wasn’t sure I would become an academic. Many of my PhD friends ended up in consulting, and I always thought the same would happen to me. But I liked academic research and teaching and was successful at it, so when I got a job offer from Wharton, it was an opportunity to keep going. Coming to Booth, I am firmly of the view that the school should support lifelong learning for its alumni. Two years ago, the school launched Back to Booth, which are short, nondegree classes for alumni. These courses provide opportunities to relive the Booth classroom experience with fellow alumni, and to learn about the latest ideas from faculty across the school. I cannot imagine a better way for alumni to keep connected with the school and to continue to learn from our great instructors and the latest ideas they are working on.

conversations

Allies with Expertise

For Booth students, the annual Alumni Angel Awards are not just a celebration of alumni who go above and beyond in giving back to the school. They’re also an opportunity to strengthen the connections among Booth graduates and current students. “The Alumni Angel Awards reinspire alumni. They’re a way of saying, ‘Hey, here’s what your classmates are doing to help others. You should give it a try,’” said Trevor Gingras. He, along with fellow Full-Time MBA students Lexi Messmer and Jackie Yuh, is part of the Dean’s Student & Alumni Representatives group, which oversees the awards. And this year, there was no shortage of exemplary alumni to choose from.

conversations

The View From Tokyo

No matter your industry, the draw to live in Tokyo is readily apparent: ultramodern transport, a fast-paced yet family-friendly lifestyle, and so many great restaurants that residents can hardly agree on a top-10 list. Add in the active contemporary art scene, buzzing nightlife, and neighborhoods brimming with longstanding cultural traditions, and it’s clear why Tokyo’s population is nearing 14 million, and growing. <br/>More than 500 Booth alumni live in Japan, many of whom call this modern-meets-traditional metropolis home. Almost 20 percent of Booth’s tight-knit alumni here work in the banking industry, with other contingents in general management, consulting, and marketing. Those that work in Tokyo are increasingly focused on connecting with prospective students.

perspectives

The Book of Booth: Tandean Rustandy

With a $20 million gift to Booth in 2017, Tandean Rustandy, ’07 (AXP-6), committed his support to expanded research and programming in social innovation and entrepreneurship. Previously known as the Social Enterprise Initiative, the newly named Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation will serve as Booth’s hub for students, alumni, and faculty tackling complex social and environmental problems. Rustandy founded Jakarta, Indonesia-based PT Arwana Citramulia Tbk, one of the best-performing ceramic tile manufacturing companies in the world. Winner of Booth’s Distinguished Alumni Entrepreneurial Award in 2011, he is a member of the Council on Chicago Booth and Global Advisory Board Asia cabinet. CBM: Why did you make the gift to the Rustandy Center? Rustandy: With the center, we can attract the best and brightest minds—people capable of winning Nobel Prizes—to bring creative and innovative thinking and improve the world.

perspectives

Coffee Futures

Back when he worked in finance, Paulo Siqueira, ’04, used to wake up in the middle of the night worried that some market event would spoil his investments. But in 2010, Siqueira and his wife, Juliana Armelin, ’04, left corporate jobs to take the plunge into coffee, starting a farm some 400 miles north of their hometown of São Paulo. “Now, we wake up at night afraid there is going to be a frost in the morning,” Siqueira said.<br/>Despite the occasional weather-related insomnia, the couple has thrived in the coffee business. Two years ago, their farm, Fazenda Terra Alta, won the highest prize for espresso coffee in Brazil. Last year, it won again. Of course, that doesn’t mean the couple’s transition from business to beans has been easy. In growing their farm, they’ve faced a steep learning curve in a business just as volatile as stocks and hedge funds. “If we had known all the risks beforehand,” said Siqueira, “I don’t know if we would have had the guts to start.”

perspectives

Soar Winner

Having a biology teacher for a father has its perks. “As a kid, I always enjoyed going into the classroom and putting a snake around my neck,” said Louise Shimmel, ’77, executive director of the Cascades Raptor Center in Eugene, Oregon. Watching her father rehabilitate injured tortoises and bobcat kittens left a lasting impression on Shimmel. “I really credit him with my deep and abiding respect for animals.” This respect grounds Shimmel’s work at the center, which helps rescue more than 300 animals per year. The center also creates teachable moments for the 30,000 visitors who come each year to see the 50 birds of prey on site, including eagles, hawks, owls, ospreys, vultures, and falcons.

perspectives

Flights of Fancy

Twice a month, Yves Dehouck, ’10 (AXP-9), lugs a two-pound mass of finely tuned propellers, circuitry, and a lens out to a plot of land near his home and sends it off into the heavens. Well, not heavens. As an enthusiastic amateur drone photographer, Dehouck is well aware of the safety regulations that come with his chosen hobby. The rule, he said, is “if you fly the drone, you should be able to see it.” So he aims for the sweet spot: low enough to keep out of trouble, but high enough to capture the sweeping vistas of the world below. It’s a pastime he discovered by way of a lifelong fascination with aviation. Born and raised a stone’s throw from Koksijde Air Base in Belgium, Dehouck grew up wanting to fly helicopters. However, as a young child, Dehouck wore glasses, which was a no-go if you wanted to fly. He thought his dream of becoming an aviator had already crashed and burned.

feature

The Innovator

A digital countdown clock sits atop a giant flat-screen monitor in Tyson Foods’ Innovation Lab. It reads 11 days, 0 hours, 1 minute and 14 seconds—and counting. The lab’s brain trust—led by Sally Grimes, ’97, Tyson’s group president, prepared foods—sit comfortably dispersed around the room. Today Grimes is getting the rundown on the Innovation Lab’s latest snack-food creation ¡Yappah! from her handpicked team, many of whom have colorful, self-appointed titles, such as culinary ninja and experimental brand dreamer. Grimes herself doesn’t really need a distinguishing sobriquet—she’s well-known around the halls of Tyson as not only a food innovation guru, but a key leader helping position the company for growth. She runs about $10 billion of Tyson’s $40 billion business worldwide, guides operations for 45 of the company’s 100-plus plants and facilities, and leads 20,000 team members, whom she readily admits are the backbone of the business. Despite her executive-level responsibilities, she has been intimately involved in many of the company’s biggest successes. Grimes is pleased with everything she’s hearing from the team. As promised, ¡Yappah! will be in stores within 11 days, a mere six months after the countdown clock began and the assorted flavors of the chicken-based snack now displayed before us were just an idea. <br/>

feature

Pioneers in Education

Booth graduates eager to make an impact are finding new ways to apply their MBA—by taking on one of the toughest challenges in the United States today. A growing cadre of Booth alumni are gravitating toward the education sector and applying their business background in a variety of roles, all with the goal of making a difference in the lives of students. It’s an area that badly needs more innovation. In the United States just 59 percent of students who enter a four-year college graduate within six years, according to data from the US Department of Education. And in 2015, 46 percent of scientists rated STEM education for grades K through 12 as being below average, according to the Pew Research Center. For some alumni this less-than-stellar data offers an opportunity to take their careers to different corners of the education landscape—from nonprofit management and school leadership to consulting, investing, and edtech, to name just a few. The combination of addressing some of the nation’s most pressing problems while doing work that’s meaningful on a daily basis is a powerful draw. Meet six alumni advancing bold ideas and envisioning new solutions for the classroom and beyond.

feature

Reconnect Revisited

Reconnect encapsulates the Booth experience: heart-warming, laughter-filled moments with old friends, classmates, professors, and staff. A recharge of the rigorous Chicago Approach in Back to the Classroom sessions with brilliant faculty—and no exams to worry about! Cutting-edge business insights at Management Conference. It’s an enriching weekend that strengthens the bonds across Booth generations. This year’s reunion welcomed more than 2,000 attendees from across the country and around the world, facilitated by enthusiastic alumni volunteers. Boothies reconnected over Chicago’s world-class cuisine at Friday night class dinners sprinkled all around the Windy City. Saturday’s homecoming, a family-friendly BBQ, brought together Booth graduates at Harper Center and on the quad. Alumni clamored to get back in touch with the Booth spirit of inquiry at Back to the Classroom sessions on topics ranging from blockchain technology with Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and Charles M. Harper Faculty Fellow Luigi Zingales, to innovation and entrepreneurship with adjunct professor of entrepreneurship Ellen A. Rudnick, ’73, and Polsky Center executive director Starr Marcello, MA ’04, MBA ’17. At Management Conference, Chicago Cubs executive chairman Tom Ricketts, AB ’88, MBA ’93, not only celebrated his 25-year Booth reunion; he also gave the conference’s keynote address—and may well have been the only Reconnect attendee with a World Series ring. <br/>

feature

A Quantifiable Impact

Steve Czech, ’98, is a quant. That’s how he ended up in an underappreciated but lucrative corner of the alternative-investments market, lending money directly to companies who are no longer attractive to commercial banks (for regulatory or strategic reasons) and who don’t want to issue equity or mezzanine debt. Since inception, his firm Czech Asset Management, LP, based in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, has managed approximately $4.5 billion of committed capital, which it loans to medium-sized companies that generate annual revenue between $75 million and $500 million and annual EBITDA of $7.5 million to $50 million. This business used to be the purview of commercial banks, which maintained long-term relationships with corporate executives. But industry consolidation and regulatory changes drove banks to push these loans off their balance sheets, creating an opportunity for Czech and a host of other Booth graduates who are his colleagues and competitors.

conversations

The View From Mumbai

Mumbai’s Booth alumni network is as large, diverse, and energetic as the city itself. Through events such as impromptu beer-and-chat sessions and the annual Pan-India Booth Alumni Retreat (PIBAR), Mumbai’s more than 150 Booth graduates stay connected and serve as the first port of call in India for any Boothie looking for help. Although Mumbai is India’s financial center, Booth alumni here work not only in the financial services sector but also in retail, healthcare, technology, and even the Hindi film industry, with one graduate having started a film training school. Many Boothies run family businesses, foundations, consultancies, or startups, and some work in the development sector.

conversations

Worth the Risk

The Challenge: For most homeowners, buying insurance isn’t a customer-friendly experience. It takes time working with an agent and finding answers to numerous detailed questions. Filing claims can be arduous, and agents might not keep up with clients’ life changes, potentially leaving them underinsured. “They don’t even call you a customer; they call you a policy holder,” said Assaf Wand, cofounder and CEO of insurtech company Hippo. The Solution: Wand wanted to use technology to streamline the customer experience, but first he needed to learn the industry. Starting in 2015, Wand used his Booth training to break down insurance regulations and compliance into their smallest parts in order to understand how to build Hippo’s customer-centric model from scratch. “Basically we locked ourselves in the office for two years to figure this thing out,” he said.

perspectives

This is Working for Me: Arnold Donald, ’80

After Arnold Donald, ’80, retired at 51 from a long and successful career spent largely at agricultural giant Monsanto, he followed his passions: He bought a minor league basketball team. He indulged his love for dancing. And he joined boards, including that of Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company. Fast-forward eight years to 2013, and Carnival Corporation’s founders and board were calling him out of retirement to lead a turnaround of the profitable but tarnished brand. Donald hesitated—He was retired! Dancing with the stars!—but he ultimately accepted. “It felt like the right thing to do,” said Donald. “I’d been on the board 13 years. I knew the company, the state of its business, and its strong foundation. It wasn’t like I was walking into failure,” he said. The founders and board chose well: in the five years since Donald took the helm, Carnival Corporation’s stock price has doubled and its market cap has soared 74 percent, to $47 billion—even though, worldwide, there’s only a small number of shipyards capable of building new cruise ships, limiting capacity growth, and ever-changing but ever-present geopolitical hot spots that close popular routes.

perspectives

Call of the Wild

Patrick Wallace, ’12 (AXP-11), wasn’t quite sure what he was getting into when he and his wife, Pamela Wallace, drove down a long dirt road with miles of forest on either side in the heart of the Nova Scotia wilderness. When they finally emerged at Trout Point Lodge, however, the property was a revelation. “It is this incredible log structure where otherwise there would be nothing,” Wallace said. Around the lodge itself stretched 125 acres of densely forested landscape with only the chirping of birds and the rushing course of the Tusket River to break the silence. “It was an island of luxury in the middle of the wilderness.”

perspectives

In Search of the New Economy

Day in and day out for four years, Elatia Abate, AB ’99, MBA ’08, interviewed people who were going through the motions. As a senior human resources executive in the corporate world, she met with candidates applying for a position, but whom she suspected weren’t actually interested in the job. <br/><br/>It’s a problem that cuts across industries: a survey conducted of 17,000 American workers in 19 industries by the nonprofit groups Mental Health America and the Faas Foundation found that 71 percent of respondents didn’t like their jobs. Their passions—and, as Abate would come to realize, her passions—lay elsewhere.<br/>“I was tired of meeting people who were fabulous but not interested in the work they were doing,” said Abate, quietly admitting out loud that she wasn’t interested in her work either.<br/><br/>So she did what many people dream of doing but few people actually do: she jumped ship. Abate launched her own freelance executive coaching business. Then, in January 2017, she hit the road, embarking on a year of remote work to get a firsthand perspective on the changing nature of today’s economy. She packed her entire life into a storage unit, with the exception of a carry-on bag and a suitcase, and set off.

perspectives

A Workday with Alexandra (Smith) Rollins, ’16

Bringing together unlikely parties to collaborate on global initiatives is a nuanced job. It requires empathy, relationship building, and strategy—all skills that Alexandra (Smith) Rollins, ’16, uses daily as a community lead at the New York office of the World Economic Forum. Though the Switzerland-based international organization is best known for its Annual Meeting of global leaders in Davos, its broader mission is to improve the state of the world by fostering cooperation across borders and forging collaboration between the public and private sectors. Blending her consulting background with her Booth education, Rollins helps make these high-level conversations happen. “It’s truly amazing to hear firsthand the optimism and concerns of major global CEOs as they relate what’s happening in our world today,” she said.

feature

All in the Family

When a family business has multiple generations and hundreds of stakeholders, how does an individual stand out? Create meaningful change? Carry the business into the future? We talked with Booth alumni who lead or manage family-owned businesses, from a conglomerate in Thailand to a national baker of breads that got its start in a Chicago basement. They all sought a Booth education because of its reputation for intellectual rigor, lessons in analytic problem solving, and world-class faculty. The family members who run these businesses have more than one generation schooled in The Chicago Approach™. They reached a point in their professional lives—inside or outside the family firm—when they saw the need to boost quantitative skills. For some, that time came after a world event such as the 2008 crash, which upended commodity prices. For others, the education was a way to step up and assume new roles. Relying on data instead of emotion eases decision making, they say. This doesn’t mean they’re bloodless. Always they have in mind their founders, most of them immigrants, who created what they now run. They share holidays with generations of stakeholders: there’s no ducking a failed venture. <br/>

feature

Entrepreneurs without Borders

In June 2014, after five years in the marketing department at Coca-Cola, Jonas De Cooman, ’16 (EXP-21), felt stalled intellectually. He was ready to push his boundaries. He planned to pursue his MBA while continuing at Coca-Cola. Then unexpected policy changes at work eliminated continuing education support for De Cooman, and it looked like his plans were crumbling. So he sold his apartment. With two small children, De Cooman and his wife carefully weighed their options and the risks involved. Selling their apartment in Belgium provided the only way to afford his MBA. “I decided to pursue an MBA to kickstart my personal learning curve,” he said. De Cooman realized that he wanted to gain more control over his career and make his own mark in the global marketplace as an entrepreneur. With an extensive consumer marketing background, a global perspective, and a promising business idea, he also saw knowledge gaps he needed to fill in order to launch and operate a scalable new business. “I am driven by personal growth and I felt that I was not learning at the same pace that I used to be learning at the start of my career,” he said. “I chose to study again because I didn’t feel equipped enough to be an entrepreneur.”<br/>

conversations

How Do You Avoid Paralysis by Analysis?

Knowing when to stop looking at data comes up constantly in my Algorithmic Marketing class. In this class, one of the main goals is to be able to develop tools that would help someone make better decisions. Building these tools relies on knowing what exactly the decision is or what the question is. Very often people don’t specify their question in a precise enough form. You need to write down a specific question—it can’t be a vague goal or a vague statement. It’s important to thoroughly articulate your question and your research plan. The more precise your question, the easier time you will have looking for an answer. The question in itself isn’t enough, though. We also need to specify the exact parameters of an acceptable answer. It doesn’t occur to people to write down specs of an answer, but that’s another thing that needs to be done before you get started. You need to give yourself some set of parameters to help you understand when you’re going to stop even before you start. These parameters could be a set of rules you have to satisfy. For example, if I’m looking at how advertising impacts sales, it might be that I am looking for a set of parameters in the context of a particular model. Knowing that helps you look in the right direction. You have to chart out what the ideal answer would be, and you have to chart out what you’re going to be satisfied with in the findings<br/>

conversations

The View From New York

New York has the highest population density of any major city in the United States, with more than 27,000 people per square mile. Yet Booth alumni bump into each other regularly. “You come across them at work, on the street,” said Kate Gusin, ’07. “There are a ton of people from Booth here—everyone who moves here has this premade network of people coming from Booth.” More than 2,200 Booth alumni live and work in the New York metropolitan area. While they work mainly in investment banking and finance, they also delve into other fields, including marketing, sales, and publishing. Booth graduates appreciate the networking possibilities in New York. Jacquie DeSimone, ’97, described meeting a fellow Booth graduate at a happy-hour event and starting a conversation about skiing over a cocktail. By the time the night was over, they were talking business, and it turned into an opportunity for both of them. She isn’t the only one with that type of experience. “I was interviewing for a job and it turned out a Booth friend of mine worked there,” said James Reeves, ’13. “She was able to counsel me on the interview process, and I was also able to shortcut a lot of conversations about my knowledge and the breadth of my skills. The degree from Booth spoke for me.” Anya Gezunterman, ’01, agreed. “People here know Booth.” <br/>

conversations

Checking In

The Challenge: FibraHotel (FIHO), a Mexican real estate investment trust (REIT), had good partnerships with local operators and wanted to expand its hotel portfolio with international brands. Previous negotiation attempts with international franchises and hotel operators were not successful because they weren’t willing to negotiate beyond the standard international deal terms and US hotel standards that are generally used internationally. The Strategy: Guillermo Bravo Escobosa joined FIHO following the REIT’s successful initial public offering in 2012. FIHO built a reputation as a solid developer and real estate owner, and it had the capital necessary to secure strong growth in hotels in Mexico. At the same time during which FIHO wanted to grow its hotel portfolio in Mexico, it was looking for a new international partner with whom it could reach an agreement similar to those FIHO had previously negotiated with its local partners—a new international partnership that would better align incentives for both parties. FIHO wanted to find an international partner and develop a deal that was based primarily on a variable fee structure, rather than a standard top-line heavy fee structure deal. Additionally, FIHO wanted its international partner to be willing to “tropicalize” its products to the Mexican market and invest in expanding local operations teams. <br/>

perspectives

The Book of Booth: Sinuhe Arroyo, ’11 (EXP-16)

Armed with a PhD in artificial intelligence from the University of Innsbruck, Taiger founder and CEO Sinuhe Arroyo, ’11 (EXP-16), came to Booth to hone his vision of building a global AI business. The result: a company that has offices in five countries and is becoming a global leader in cognitive automation for the financial sector. CBM: What was the genesis of your idea for Taiger? Arroyo: After completing my PhD and my first acquisition, I realized that I wanted to build my own business and play to my strengths. I took some of the research that I had been doing during my PhD and started building a product. In that sense, we are a textbook case of technology transfer from academia to business. Because I had a strong academic background, the transition to run a business was not necessarily easy. However, the Executive MBA Program helped me put the pieces of the puzzle together. You start realizing how you can assemble the business, and everything starts to make sense. You think, “Why is this not working? Why is this like that? Boom, that’s why it’s not working.” And then it just flows. That’s a beautiful feeling. CBM: How did the Executive MBA Program help you acquire new customers? Arroyo: It boils down to building trust and negotiating. I am constantly negotiating with customers, providers, employees, partners, and investors. Professor Lars Stole set the foundations for me to understand and think in pure economic terms with his Microeconomics class. Also, I really enjoyed my Negotiations class with professor Ayelet Fishbach, where all those concepts from Micro come to life. It was very beneficial to understand the different approaches and mechanisms you can use to negotiate. <br/>

perspectives

An Array of Talents

“Coming from an entrepreneurial family, I knew I would be starting companies,” said Shruti Gandhi, ’12. And in 2015, Gandhi founded a San Francisco–based venture capital firm, Array Ventures. While completing her undergraduate degree in computer science at Marist College, Gandhi worked full time at IBM as a software engineer, and she earned an MS in computer science from Columbia University. At Booth, Gandhi discovered a passion for venture capital, landing in venture capital roles after graduation, including at Silicon Valley–based True Ventures and Samsung’s Early Stage Fund in the Bay Area. Chicago Booth Magazine connected with Gandhi to discuss her passion for startups and the edge her Booth experience gives her in the high-stress world of venture capital.

perspectives

This is Working for Me: Heather Brilliant, ’05

A financial whiz who studied economics at Northwestern, Heather Brilliant, ’05, worked full time as an equity analyst while attending Booth’s Evening MBA Program. After rising to the role of Morningstar’s global director of equity and corporate credit research, Brilliant moved from Chicago to Sydney in 2014 to take the role of CEO of Morningstar Australasia. Brilliant is passionate about Morningstar’s mission to help investors reach their financial goals. “Whether we are working with advisers, asset managers, or directly with an investor, we always have the end investor in mind as true north, guiding our decision making.”

perspectives

Living on the Edge

Pavel Rodionov’s idea of a perfect vacation doesn’t involve luxury accommodations, five-star dinners, or guided sightseeing tours. “I like to travel, but I don’t like typical touristy places,” said Rodionov, who graduated from Booth’s Executive MBA Program in 2013. “I prefer expeditions, like the North Pole.” In April 2014, Rodionov and his wife, Tatiana, spent six days making a 69-mile trek to the pole—on skis. They embarked on their adventure from Barneo Ice Camp, a fly-in basecamp atop the frozen Arctic Ocean. The couple traversed open ice fields, braved windchills reaching below -30 degrees Celsius, and slept in a tent. “I wouldn’t say we were afraid, but on the second day, I lost all my energy and all my strength,” Rodionov said. He had to spend several hours in a tent, warming up and having some food and drink, before he was able to keep going. When the couple arrived at the North Pole, he planted the Booth flag.<br/>

perspectives

At Home, Abroad

Kendra Mirasol, ’93, had one major goal while growing up in Janesville, Wisconsin. “I remember always wanting to get out,” she said. She studied German in high school and moved across country for college at the University of California, Irvine. During college, Mirasol worked in a hotel in Lindenberg, a small Bavarian mountain town. “They spoke zero English,” she says. “It was so fantastic for exposure learning. You had to sink or swim.” After graduation, in 1989, just before the Berlin Wall fell, Mirasol lived in Kranichfeld, East Germany. She stayed with a pen pal whose family struggled to get by under Communist rule. “They were basket weavers—they got paid $1 per basket.” While attempting to leave the country, she was interrogated at the border for three hours because she forgot to file the correct paperwork at the police station. <br/>“Those are exciting experiences,” said Mirasol, now president of IOR Global Services, a global mobility and talent development solutions company. Without work- and study-abroad programs, she said, “My life would be so boring.” Mirasol came to Chicago Booth to supplement her German literature and language background with business acumen. She was able to maintain a global perspective during her interactions with international students. Mirasol could tell that a good friend of hers from Japan struggled to adapt to the direct, unfiltered mode of classroom discussion favored by some American classmates. “It was so difficult for him to even contribute one idea,” she recalled. “He was probably the smartest man in the school, and when I saw that happening, I felt I had a responsibility to facilitate.” These types of cross-cultural support are needed every day, around the world, on a personal level, and in boardrooms. In April 2016, Mirasol’s passion for international exchange—and for the broader benefits of a global economy—motivated her to accept a volunteer role on the board of directors at the nonprofit Cultural Vistas. <br/>

feature

Building on Big Ideas

Though you might not realize it, you’ve likely encountered USG Corporation’s landmark product recently, maybe even today. In fact, it may very well be in the room where you’re sitting right now. That’s because the company’s drywall, flooring, ceiling, and roofing products are part of countless homes and buildings. As the creator of the iconic and ubiquitous Sheetrock brand of wallboard, Chicago-based USG has led the building-materials industry for more than 116 years, with a storied history of innovation and sales of $3.2 billion last year. It made panels for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. It helped build homes for American GIs returning from World War II. And in November 2016, Jennifer Scanlon, ’92, became the first female CEO in the company’s history. “We are a transformed company,” Scanlon said, just days before leading USG’s first-ever Investor Day in New York City. “That transformation came in a number of ways—interestingly, from a lot of the initiatives that I led prior to becoming CEO.” A Chicago-area native, Scanlon joined USG in 2003 after studying government and computer applications at the University of Notre Dame and holding roles at IBM and in operations consulting. In recent years, she has made USG more global and more responsive to its customers. She was named president of the international division in 2010, when it included only Canada, Mexico, Europe, and a small operation in Asia. She went on to lead the divestiture of the European business, and then assembled an Asian joint venture called USG Boral, with $1.2 billion of revenue in 2017.

feature

Putting Creativity to Work

These days, companies are deploying creative thinking across departments while replacing strict office policies with opportunities to tinker. Firms are allowing employees time to test out ideas, encouraging new concepts without a fear of failure, and building out collaborative, couch-filled office environments. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, and tapping into the potential of creative thinking can be a challenge. Striking the delicate balance between brainstorming ideas and moving forward on a project is one way Ted Wright, ’00, founder of Fizz, a word-of-mouth-marketing agency headquartered in Atlanta, taps into his own creative abilities. When Wright works with clients, one of his strategies is to use hard data as the backbone for creative thinking without heading straight for the answer. In the beginning of each project, he and his team spend hours gathering data on 53 questions in 18 categories to get an idea of the client objectives. Back at the office, teams set aside time for idea generation based on the results. “If you start to care what the answers are, you throw a lid on creativity. The trick is knowing that it’s a journey,” he said. Wright is not the only one figuring out ways to encourage this kind of open-ended thinking at work. Here are some other ways alumni create opportunities for creativity:<br/>

conversations

The View From Seattle

Sean Lobo, ’09, will never forget the warm welcome to Seattle he received from the late Nicholas Waltner, ’90, Alumni Club of Seattle president at the time. “He ran it really well,” said Lobo, who moved from New York to Seattle in 2014 to work at Vulcan Capital. Waltner thoughtfully checked in to make sure that Lobo and his wife had a smooth transition to the Pacific Northwest.<br/><br/>“He was willing to open up his heart and time and energy,” Lobo said. “That left a lasting impression.”<br/><br/>Waltner’s life was tragically cut short in a 2016 traffic accident, but his memory lives on in Seattle’s active alumni club. Lobo, now the club’s president, wanted to continue Waltner’s legacy by welcoming Booth graduates who come to work at companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks as well as the many startups with Seattle offices.<br/><br/>“Our vision was to take what Nick had started and take it to the next level. We were focused on getting people back to events, and we did that with exciting and interesting content,” said Lobo.

conversations

Improving Your Outlook

Randy Bellows, ’88 (XP-57), has been attending Economic Outlook for a decade. Established in 1954 as Business Forecast, Chicago Booth’s annual event provides a forum for professors to evaluate emerging trends and share key insights about where our economy is headed. Having retired after a long career as an ophthalmologist, Bellows is an avid investor, and he considers the event one of his most important resources for information—which was his motivation to attend both the Chicago and New York events last January. “Booth faculty are a step ahead of the ordinary media,” said Bellows. “These people are leaders whom I respect, and when I have the privilege of sitting in front of them and hearing what they have to say, it’s valuable enough that I sit there, take notes, and look at those notes all year long.” At the two sessions, with over 1,300 total attendees, leading Booth economists discussed critical issues facing the global economy. They shared their insights into the outlook for Wall Street and Main Street 10 years after the financial crisis, and discussed whether we might be headed toward another. The events were covered by a number of media outlets, including CNBC, Financial Advisor, and the Chicago Tribune. During the event in New York, John Authers, senior investment commentator for the Financial Times, moderated a discussion between Randall S. Kroszner, Norman R. Bobins Professor of Economics; and Erik Hurst, V. Duane Rath Professor of Economics and John E. Jeuck Faculty Fellow. Both economists said they anticipate strong growth this year, and neither believe there to be a threat of inflation or recession on the immediate horizon.<br/>

conversations

Combining Forces

When Andreas Angelopoulos, ’02 (EXP-7), became executive director of the Private Equity Institute at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, he knew he wanted to capitalize on the combined brainpower of his alma mater and his new employer. With the support of Booth leadership and key faculty members, Angelopoulos has developed a triad of private equity–related programs under the Oxford Chicago banner: the Oxford Chicago Global Private Equity Challenge for the students, the Oxford Chicago Valuation Program for executives and alumni, and the Oxford Chicago Discussions for students and alumni. To make the programs successful, Angelopoulos called on graduates such as Nick Alexos, ’88, who cofounded Chicago-based private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC and is now executive vice president and CFO of York, Pennsylvania-based dental products manufacturer Dentsply Sirona Inc. We spoke with Angelopoulos and Alexos about the one-of-a-kind relationship between the two B-school titans.<br/>

conversations

My Culture Collection: Bill Meyer and Sarah Perkins

Bill Meyer, ’18 (XP-87), who graduated in April from Booth’s Executive MBA Program, dreamed up DesignerShare after noticing a huge peer-to-peer gap in fashion-sharing businesses such as Rent the Runway. Knowing he needed someone with fashion expertise to partner with, he asked longtime friend and lifestyle journalist Sarah Perkins to team up. Perkins had frequently loaned her designer items to girlfriends in her college business fraternity and thought the idea of creating an online platform where women could monetize their own closets was “genius.” They joined forces, and DesignerShare launched in spring 2017. We asked the cofounders what keeps them current as they manage their uniquely two-sided marketplace.

conversations

A Passion for Board Service

Hosted by Chicago Booth’s Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation, the fifth annual On Board conference on April 13 in Chicago convened a crowd of nearly 500 Booth alumni and students, as well as business and nonprofit leaders. Attendees learned key trends in nonprofit board service, gained insight from faculty into how research and other academic tools can be applied in the nonprofit sector, and connected with others looking to make an impact in the social sector.

perspectives

This is Working for Me: Sandra Stark, ’95

Fifteen years ago, Sandra Stark, ’95, went west to Seattle to Starbucks Coffee Company, where she worked with three others in new ventures, a group that behaved like a VC firm: buying Tazo Tea, introducing the Starbucks Card, and looking for other growth opportunities. She wasn’t managing a huge slice of the company’s total $22.4 billion business, as she does these days as a senior vice president managing the global product organization, but it gave her a first glimpse of the fast-growing company’s equitable culture. It’s this culture, she says, that informs “what we do and how we treat people—farmers, suppliers, partners in stores, customers—along the way. It permeates everything we do, it sets the tone, and it helps answer many, many questions. It’s our true north and it’s why I’ve been here 15 years.” A native of Waukesha, Wisconsin, and mother of three tweens, Stark recharges with her kids: skiing and playing tennis and basketball. “I have everything I could wish for in my life. Every single day I think, ‘I am so lucky to have this job.’” Coffee is the heart and soul of our business. Product is my responsibility: beverages, food, merchandise. It starts with coffee and expands from there. What’s the strategy? What’s the right portfolio? What’s the innovation? How are we staying ahead? Currently new to the mix are our Blonde Espresso, made with lightly roasted beans; nitrogen-infused cold brew, which is less acidic and richer tasting; and Teavana Tea Infusions. With merchandise, we’re thinking, what do our customers need to create the right coffee experience at home?

perspectives

A Toast to Data-Driven Marketing

We had just 48 hours. None of us got much sleep. It was 2015, and I was part of a team of Booth students tasked with digging into Kraft consumer data to come up with an actionable solution to a real marketing problem—revitalizing its beloved Capri Sun juice drink. It was a crash course in real-life brand management. Participating in that Kilts Center Marketing Analytics Case Competition emerged as a standout experience for me at Booth. I found this experience so valuable that I wanted to pay it forward after I graduated. When I heard Kilts was looking for new case competition sponsors, I rallied my fellow brand managers at MillerCoors to participate. People were at first a little wary and were unsure about what we would get out of it. Though the investment in terms of cost was minimal, this would require time from our CMO, our vice president of innovation, and other team members. But I knew how to sell this—especially because I had been a participant myself. Even though I had never organized anything like this before, I was confident the partnership would be equally valuable to Booth students and MillerCoors. Students would get a crack at exploring real data-driven marketing. For MillerCoors, it would be a recruiting opportunity as well as a way to bring fresh ideas to a difficult marketing problem. It turns out we had a pretty big one: we had to figure out how to market a new beer brand to an audience that’s trending toward wine and spirits.

perspectives

A Workday With David Lee, ’11

As the vice president of innovation and UPS ventures at Atlanta-based United Parcel Service, David Lee, ’11, helps one of the world’s largest logistics companies think like a startup. He doesn’t fear a robot-filled future. Robots can have the boring jobs, according to Lee. Humans have more important creative and problem-solving work to do. Lee believes anyone can bring forth game-changing products and technologies, no matter his or her job title. He even gave a TED Talk (which has 1.6 million views and counting) on the topic. Here’s how Lee inspires innovation at UPS throughout a typical workday.

perspectives

Pushing Through Turbulence

In 2001, T. D. Arkenberg, ’86, faced a myriad of crises. After keeping his sexual identity private well into his adulthood, Arkenberg made the difficult personal choice to come out to his parents. Only weeks after Arkenberg started a new position at United—a company he had been a part of since graduating from Booth—both the organization and the United States were thrown into chaos when two hijacked United flights, along with two aircraft belonging to American Airlines, were used in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That fall, Arkenberg’s father succumbed to a long battle with cancer, and shortly after, his mother died unexpectedly. <br/>It was a year of learning how to survive. Less than a decade later, Arkenberg left United after 23 years at the company and embarked on a career as a writer.

perspectives

Mathletes in Training

Andrew Van Fossen, ’06, clearly remembers winning second place in a regional high-school math competition. It was a big moment in his life, equivalent to making the all-state basketball team. But unlike the sports stars at his school, Van Fossen returned to school to nothing, not cheering, not a parade or pep rally, not even a decorated locker. “No one cared,” says Van Fossen, now 40, who lives just outside Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kathryn Van Fossen, ’07, and their two children, aged 3 and 6.

feature

Field Position

One morning last fall, before the San Francisco 49ers began their second season in a glitzy new $1.3 billion stadium, Moon Javaid, ’12, manager of business operations for the team, took a hard look at concessions. Sure, this is football. Concession sales were going to be strong. But, he asked, could they be stronger? Javaid, with his background in advanced analytics, turned to hard data for the answer. He scoured sales figures from past seasons. This led him to institute one minor but crucial change to the design of the concession stands: he redirected the queues so that they snake around stanchions, like an airport security line, at 75 points around the stadium. By the midpoint of the season, the move had increased sales by one extra transaction per line per minute since—amounting to an extra $20,000 per game, or $200,000 over the course of each season’s home games, including the preseason. It might sound like loose change—beer money—for a franchise that collected $427 million in revenue in 2014, the first season in Levi’s Stadium, in the heart of the fans and fortunes of Silicon Valley. Javaid, however, understands that the small improvements add up, and his is a top-five revenue-producing team. “In the NFL, it’s not tremendously difficult to make money,” he said. “You can do B+ work by not really doing much, and you can still be profitable. But in order to get to the next level, you need to find those little wins.”<br/><br/>

feature

The Page Turner

When she walks into 57th Street Books, Sara Paretsky, AM ’69, MBA ’77, PhD ’77, is welcomed as an old friend and coconspirator—both of which are true to her legacy in Chicago and in the Hyde Park literary haunt. The best-selling mystery writer, who has just published her 21st book and greets everyone behind the counter by name, is clearly at home here. The city has inspired Paretsky since she arrived by bus at age 19 from Kansas to support the civil rights movement. Since that time—in 1966, what Paretsky calls “the touchstone summer of my life”—Chicago, and largely Hyde Park, has been her second-most-important protagonist. She went on to earn a PhD in history at the university and then an MBA from Booth. All the while she was concocting a unique alchemy of research and storytelling, fact and fiction, analytics and activism, that somehow makes the idea of a mystery writer with a business degree make perfect sense. <br/>

feature

On the Table

Mark A. Leavitt, ’83, the brand-new chief investment officer of New York–based Union Square Hospitality Group, has had a seat at some most-interesting tables. Those in the esteemed restaurants of his Trinity College classmate Danny Meyer are only the latest, including Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, and the Modern. (Union Square Hospitality Group also launched Shake Shack in 2004, as a permanent kiosk that grew out of a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park. It is now a separate public company with more than 75 domestic and international locations and a market value of about $1.2 billion.) Before joining USHG, Leavitt for nearly eight years led global technology, media, and telecommunications investment banking at Piper Jaffray. He’s been on the boards of the Harlem Globetrotters, Leap Wireless, TSF Communications, Trinity College, and several radio broadcasters, including Citadel Communications and US Radio. He currently serves as chair of the board of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts, and, since Booth, has been working to grow and partner with companies at varied intersections of entertainment, media, and tech.

conversations

Back to the Classroom

It’s late October, and students in a packed classroom at Gleacher Center are debating the merits of the Bank of Japan’s implementation of qualitative and quantitative easing. But these are not typical students—they’re already graduates who have returned to the classroom for the first installment of Back to Booth, a new series of two-day courses taught by faculty. The series was born when Sunil Kumar, dean and George Pratt Shultz Professor of Operations Management, envisioned ways to more deeply connect alumni with the school. Back to Booth comes as an addition to existing opportunities that allow alumni to take up to three complementary quarter-long courses, or attend discounted Executive Education programs that are typically five days long.

conversations

The View From Houston

A city once known for strip malls and sprawling suburbs has grown into a sophisticated metropolis in recent years. With a serious art scene, one-of-a-kind restaurants, and luxury condominiums going up in the city’s more pedestrian friendly areas, there are suddenly more reasons to leave the office a little earlier and experience some of Houston’s Southern charms. Almost 40 percent of the 655 Booth alumni in the Houston area work in the city’s energy sector. Many visit the city’s historic private clubs and more-casual dining spots for networking. Others use the well-connected airline hub as a springboard for sector-related international work travel.

conversations

Getting Real

The Challenge: In late 2010, Seth Hewitt was a senior vice president of asset management with Chicago-based ST Residential, which managed (and whose investors owned) a $4.5 billion commercial real estate loan and asset portfolio, including the defaulted loan on a high-rise condominium property in Chicago’s South Loop. The property was saddled with cost overruns, unpaid bills, ongoing contractor litigation, and significant water damage in the building from a burst pipe. Upon taking ownership, ST considered selling the building as is for approximately $40 million, which would have been profitable and reduced risk.

conversations

Fan Favorite

Is it gambling? Is it skill? Or perhaps the bigger question about daily fantasy sports, FBI investigation notwithstanding: Could the NFL actually learn something from the avid at-home data analysts winning big at DFS? Vince Gennaro, ’77, president of the Society for American Baseball Research, thinks so. He credits some of the current DFS boom to the popularity of the fantasy baseball played on a less-than-daily basis in the 1990s. Fans intent on winning their fantasy leagues ushered in a mainstream interest in advanced metrics. This appetite spawned a generation of websites devoted to analytics. And MLB teams actually wound up using data from those sites to support real-world decisions. “If the data is out there and in the public domain,” Gennaro said, “teams will absolutely learn from the fantasy players. But that also depends on the sport.”

perspectives

The Book of Booth: Patrick Doyle

Patrick Doyle combined marketing expertise and an understanding of analytics to lead a turnaround as president and CEO of Domino’s Pizza. Today, Domino’s, headquartered near Ann Arbor, Michigan, is the world’s second-largest pizza chain. Go where the action isn’t. I think there are just too many people in business—particularly earlier-career or mid-career people who are coming out of school—who want to go into an industry or sector that’s hot, where all the value is being created. But how are you going to prove that you’re bringing incremental value? You’re just one more person on that train. Understand the data. To be a highly successful marketer now you have to understand the analytics. Ten, 20, 30 years ago, marketing departments were largely made up of right-brained, creative types. They were coming up with advertisements, and a lot of it was around gut. You still need those people—breakthrough creative material is still going to come often from somebody on the right-brained creative team.

perspectives

This Is Working For Me: Vera Calasan

CEO Vera Calasan, ’08 (EXP-13), dismissed the widely held thinking that there aren’t enough engineers in Europe and cofounded Excellence AG–German Engineering two years ago to prove her point. Coming from a family of engineers, she saw the need for a McKinsey-like company that would employ engineers and source them by project to companies that need specific skills. Her vision paid off. She employs 200, and revenue hit €10 million this year. Buyers are interested, but she plans to hold off on an IPO until 2020. Calasan lives with her partner outside of Düsseldorf, Germany.

perspectives

A Workday With Sonny Garg

Life at predictive analytics start-up Uptake is a far cry from the buttoned-up corporate world. Sonny Garg, AB ’89, MBA ’00, held senior positions at Chicago utility Exelon for more than 13 years, most recently as chief information and innovation officer. Earlier this year he was recruited to head the energy solutions team at the fast-growing company headed by Chicago entrepreneur Brad Keywell. Uptake already has 300 employees at its headquarters in Chicago’s River North neighborhood and partners with manufacturing giant Caterpillar. Less than a month into the job, Garg reflected on the different way he does business every day.

perspectives

From Chicago to Tirana

When is the right time to follow a dream? For Suzanne Weiss, it came near her 60th birthday. After a divorce, and with a daughter grown and out of the house, the senior marketing lecturer and former associate director of administration at the Illinois Institute of Technology Stuart School of Business quit her job, sold her house, and packed her bags for a stint in the Peace Corps. In the spring of 2015, she found herself in the tiny Albanian farming village of Shushicë, “15 minutes and 40 years” from the nearest big city.

perspectives

Getting Back on the Beat

In 2002, 30-year-old Michael D. Armstrong, brand new to management with a brand-new MBA in strategy and marketing, made a radio buy without doing his research— making a few hundred thousand dollar mistake in his first managerial job. It nearly derailed his career. Today, as executive vice president and general manager of international brand development for Viacom, Armstrong tells us how he recovered—and shares his hard-won lesson about the importance of research.

perspectives

In It for the Long Run

Hong Kong is famous for its glinting skyscrapers, many designed by the world’s most famous architects, and its collection of luxury retailers and five-star hotels. Yet there is another side to the city—a huge network of trails forged through the lush tropical landscape, where palm-sized orb weavers spin webs across the paths, deadly pit vipers and cobras slither, and monkeys, feral dogs, and wild buffalo roam. Perhaps it is a testament to the intensity of navigating Hong Kong’s busy and hyper competitive financial sector that ducking under spider webs and hopping over snakes can seem relaxing in comparison.

perspectives

A Recipe for Success

Ask P.F. Chang’s CEO Michael Osanloo, ’96, how he defines his role as head of the polished casual restaurant chain, and he’ll tell you: “CEO is ultimately your general manager, but you’re a general manager with some majors. I view my majors as marketing and strategy.” “My background at Booth allows me to ask the tough questions that make a lot of marketers fidget a little bit,” Osanloo said at a recent visit to campus to speak to students. “That’s when you know you’re asking good questions.” Like fellow alumnus Mark Leavitt, ’83, ("On the Table") Osanloo is looking to innovations in technology to enhance diners' experiences. Learn more about what the former Kraft Foods executive had to say to current students during a visit to Gleacher Center. <br/>

perspectives

My Culture Collection: Meenakshi Dash

With a BFA in painting from the Art Institute of Chicago and an MBA from Booth, Meenakshi Dash is as adept at making business decisions as she is at making neon street murals in New Jersey or necklaces of melted-down silver she procures from Indian pawn shops. At Balderdash, the one-woman multidisciplinary art and jewelry studio she founded in 2009, Dash draws on influences from her international upbringing—from Delhi to Brooklyn, Chicago to London, Singapore, and China. Now based in Jersey City, she’s equally omnivorous in her cultural samplings. We asked her what she’s into this winter.

feature

On a Mission

When he arrived on vacation in Italy in 2011, Sam Porritt, ’86, was looking forward to a week of wine tasting and exploring Tuscany. But his attempt to photograph the first sunrise from the Tuscan villa where he was staying changed his life. Porritt lost his footing and tumbled off a 15-foot wall after taking the photo with his phone. “I took a step and there was nothing under my foot,” he recalled. The fall injured his spinal cord and paralyzed him from the waist down. After two hours on the ground, he was flown via helicopter to an Italian hospital for emergency surgery. He arrived back in the United States nearly three weeks later. Back home in Kansas City, Kansas, he learned what life was like in a wheelchair. Doctors weren’t sure whether he’d ever walk again. <br/>

feature

Cupid is a Quant

Clayton Rose, ’81, wasn’t necessarily looking for a mate when he enrolled at Booth. But in the back row of Sidney Davidson’s tax class, he found Julianne Rose, ’81, a magna cum laude biology major from Boston College. They quickly discovered one thing in common. “Both of us already had jobs,” Clayton remembered. “We were trying not to get called on.” They postponed dating to concentrate on graduating but quickly met up in New York after starting their financial service careers. He was in shipping finance at JP Morgan, and she worked in health-care finance at Chemical Bank. They recently celebrated their 33rd anniversary.

conversations

The Real World

When Bernie Ocampo, ’05, first arrived at Booth, there was a seeming lack of real estate focus. After some quick research, he discovered plenty of alumni in the real estate arena. They just needed someone to bring them together. “I spent a year digging around in the database, compiling the most accomplished alumni I could find,” Ocampo said. “After a year, I invited these folks to be advocates or sponsors, with the idea of building a community.” In 2006, Ocampo helped found the Real Estate Alumni Group (REAG), a global network of alumni led by Ocampo and multiple regional co-chairs based in Chicago, New York, and California.

conversations

The View From Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a metropolis on the move. Walk down its streets and a population of more than 7 million people surrounds you. Many locals spend their commutes consumed by the technology in their hands. It’s a global city that straddles both Asian and Western worlds. It’s also experienced profound growth. Since 1974, Hong Kong has seen an average of 5.3 percent annual growth in its GDP, and tens of millions of tourists visit each year. More than 7,600 skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, many with contemporary architectural designs, paint the city’s skyline, evidence of both cultural and financial advances. Leading high-end consumer brands have opened storefronts in the city, making it a shopping destination for the wealthy. Some 400 alumni call this former British colony home, and they’ll be the first to tell you: Hong Kong’s wealth extends far beyond its finances. <br/>

perspectives

A Workday with Erez Mathan, ’16 (EXP-21)

London-based payments company GoCardless aims to simplify direct debit for small businesses and large enterprises alike, but it’s more than simply a direct-debit venture to COO Erez Mathan, ’16 (EXP-21). “GoCardless allows businesses to get paid on time, improves their cash flow, and allows them to focus on their customers and offer additional services that they weren’t able to offer before,” said Mathan, who moved to London from his native Israel five years ago. “Hopefully, we will grow to a size that we can say that we have impacted many businesses across the world.” That ambition translates into a busy but rewarding workday.

perspectives

Booth 101: Cooking Local

After earning his Executive MBA from Booth in 2011, Daniel Tan, ’11 (AXP-10), decided to take time off to recharge and rediscover his passion before returning to the corporate world. Family and friends advised against it, saying he should leverage his new degree for a promotion and pay raise. But Tan stuck to his plan, and looking back, he has no regrets. “The entire year of slow travel in Latin America and Asia helped me discover so much about myself and the social causes I’m passionate about,” Tan said. “That eventually led me to quit the corporate world and become a social entrepreneur.” During his travels, Tan realized he had reached his limit in visiting temples, museums, and other typical tourist destinations. He yearned for unique local experiences, and started taking cooking classes wherever he could. “It was a good way to get to know a place,” Tan said. “The cooking-class teachers bring you to the markets. You get a crash course on local ingredients. It’s a complete cultural immersion.”<br/>

perspectives

Chairman of the Bordeaux

Stephen Bolger, ’99 (EXP-4), made his name in international management, first in industrial minerals and then in technology. But when Bolger and his wife lost their first child, a decision to align his career with something that had true meaning to him—and the emotional intelligence gained at Booth—led him to pursue his passion for wine in the heart of Bordeaux. While at Booth, Bolger took a class focused on creative thinking, and what he learned there helped guide his career. After working internationally for years, and suffering that tragic loss, Bolger founded VINIV, a Bordeaux-based “experiential” custom-wine-making company that helps clients create not just a personalized product, but a story to tell for the rest of their lives. I will never forget the class I took with professors John P. “Jack” Gould and Harry L. Davis. It was focused on creative thinking and getting a better understanding of “Me, Inc.,” which—when you're a young rabble-rouser—gives you an opportunity to take a step back and think about what motivates you. <br/><br/>

perspectives

This is Working for Me: John Dwyer, ’94

In his first year as president of AT&T subsidiary Cricket Wireless, John Dwyer, ’94, has grown its prepaid wireless business in a market clogged with competitors. In the third quarter of 2016, AT&T reported 304,000 prepaid customer additions and 20 percent year-over-year revenue growth driven by momentum at Cricket. Dwyer has been in the wireless—and wired—phone industry since 1993 and credits a course he took at Booth with opening his eyes to the dazzling challenges in new ventures. Joining the wireless industry in its infancy made him a start-up guy in a giant corporation, and always an advocate for clarity: What’s the plan? Who’s accountable? Chicago born and raised, he calls Atlanta home, where he lives with his wife and two children and a rescue mutt, Lucky.

feature

75 Years at the Forefront

The year 1943 dawned upon a world at war. Little more than a year had passed since the United States entered World War II, but American life had already been rocked to its core. All personal car production had ceased, as Detroit’s Big Three factories churned out tanks, equipment, and billions of rounds of ammunition. By the end of the year, two million men would leave the workforce to serve in the military. And American women—many working outside the home for the first time—marched into factories in unprecedented numbers to replace them. It was an era of change, as Americans struggled to meet the challenges of the day. Chicago Booth entered that changing landscape when it launched the world’s first Executive MBA Program in 1943. The school recognized the need for experienced leaders to apply their knowledge and training to urgent tasks and expand the capacity of American industry. For the first time, there existed a course of rigorous business education tailored to the specific needs of mid-career managers. Or, as an early Executive MBA brochure put it, “The task of war is primarily one of co-ordination of men and materials in the work of industrial production; it is a problem of management.”<br/>

feature

Alumni Survey by the Numbers

As all alumni know, engaging in dialogue is a fundamental part of Booth’s culture. In that spirit, the business school part of Booth’s culture. In that spirit, the business school recently sent a survey to our alumni to ask about the things you value most—from the alumni community, to lifelong learning, to career support. Nearly 5,000 of you shared your insights, answering questions such as, “How do you participate in lifelong discovery?” and, “How would you rate the value of your investment in an MBA you rate the value of your investment in an MBA education at Booth?” We learned that the alumni community continues to get stronger: the vast of alumni highly rate the overall value of their investment in their MBA education. We discovered some fun facts too. For example, almost 70 percent of you sported some Booth swag at least once in the past year. Were you one of them? Dive into the data to see how you compare to your fellow Boothies:<br/>

feature

Meet the Women Shaking Up Business

A successful woman walking into a boardroom full of men. A junior employee seeing a male colleague get credit for her ideas. A new hire anxiously negotiating her salary offer that is distinctly below market value. Sadly, these types of situations are not yet scenes from a bygone era. Too often, women in business must walk a tightrope where assertive is characterized as “shrill” and leadership is denigrated to “bossy.” To address these issues, and continue to tackle the larger problem of gender inequality in business, it takes a community. Booth Women Connect Conference began in 2010 as an initiative to build that collaborative network, and to attract more women applicants to Booth. It has evolved into a can’t-miss annual event that brings together nearly four dozen accomplished speakers with alumnae, students, and Chicago business leaders for a day of collaboration, learning, and growth.<br/>

conversations

The View From São Paulo

Fly into São Paulo’s sprawling business hub, and expect a cadre of close-knit Booth alumni to help you get acclimated. Whether they’re wining and dining or simply making time for a last-minute meet-up, the dozens of alumni in the city maintain close ties with fellow graduates, no matter the industry: though Paulistanos with a Booth degree often go into consulting or investment banking, private equity and venture capital roles represent a growing portion of the alumni base. Since arriving in the city five years ago, Leonardo Alves, ’12 (XP-81), has become part of a growing number of alumni attending events—both formal and informal. Recently this meant going to a U2 concert with a handful of alumni; other nights Alves joins former Booth students to experience some of São Paulo’s excellent Japanese cuisine. A Rio de Janeiro–based Booth graduate’s monthly business trip has turned into standing dinner plans. <br/>

conversations

Acquired Taste

The Challenge: Food producer Kellogg wanted to enter the Chinese market, but failed its initial attempts to do so organically or through acquisition. It decided to pursue a joint-venture partner to lower its market-entry risk since Kellogg could leverage the partner’s local expertise and scale the business, saving time and expense. Joint-venture partners also share the required investment to achieve success. While a joint venture might reduce the possible absolute upside of entering a new market, the probability-weighted return is usually higher than with a go-it-alone strategy. Yet finding a solid partner is difficult. Kellogg worked with Dwight McCardwell in 2012 to find the right match.

perspectives

Booth 101: Exploration

It’s neither the craziest idea ever hatched in a hot tub nor the only one with unintended consequences. When David Collette, ’08, and his uncle Johann Straumfjord Sigurdson shared a bottle of brennivín, Iceland’s national aquavit, while gazing north at 300 miles of Lake Winnipeg, it seemed like an adventure worth taking. Both Canadians, they knew they descended from Icelanders—hence the caraway-flavored liqueur—and sailing from Manitoba up Hudson Bay, and from there to Iceland in search of their ancestors sounded like fun. The trip would take several weeks. They could look for artifacts and talk to people along the way, collecting oral histories and following Viking sagas. Six years later, Collette and Sigurdson are planning their fourth expedition, having formed a foundation, joined two exclusive groups of explorers, and traced their ancestors back to Snorri, the first child born to Europeans in North America and the son of Collette’s 26th great-grandmother. “We know that people from Iceland and Greenland—Vikings—came to Canada around AD 1000,” Collette said.

perspectives

The Book of Booth: Amy and Richard Wallman

In the fall of 1973, a first-year MBA student was moving her things into the graduate-school dorm at the University of Chicago. Second-year MBA students lingered about, some attempting to sell refrigerators and hot plates left by people who had graduated the year before. One of those second-year students was Richard Wallman, who stopped to help the new resident carry her belongings. The two became friends, and three years later, Amy and Richard married. Over the past 40 years, the Wallmans have enjoyed successful careers in business. Amy began her career at EY, retiring as an audit partner in 2001. Most recently, she was director at Cincinnati-based health-care company Omnicare from 2004 to 2015. Richard began his career at Ford Motor Company and served in senior financial positions at Honeywell International and its predecessor AlliedSignal, as well as at IBM and Chrysler. In October, the two made a $75 million gift to Booth. In recognition of the gift, Booth renamed its academic high honors distinction after the Wallmans. (Learn more about the gift in New Ventures, page 18.) Their generosity builds upon their legacy of supporting students and faculty. <br/>

perspectives

Picking Up the Tempo

Ryan Crane, ’15, stood in his kitchen with a wristwatch in each hand, carefully observing bubbling pots of loose-leaf teas and breathing in spices such as ginger and turmeric. Crane was trying to make a new tea blend that would energize him without the inevitable post-buzz crash. A couple of hours later, he stood with a chilled glass of sparkling tea in his hands. After months of experimentation, stained pots, and pleading conversations with a stubborn SodaStream machine, he had landed on a blend that felt perfect. That was the moment that Tempo became real.

perspectives

An Investor on a Mission

If you had asked Joshua Rogers, ’15, about impact investing 10 years ago, he might have thought you were talking about the “impact” of the financial crisis on his career. Fresh out of Harvard, he had joined UBS’s investment-banking training program just in time for cracks in the system to appear. Rogers sought shelter in UBS’s equity research department, where he eventually covered . . . banks. Rogers worked under UBS’s banking analyst, Heather Wolf, who turned bearish on bank stocks before the roof fell in. He later switched to ISI Group, though he was souring on sell-side research. He wanted something more “mission-oriented,” but didn’t have connections in that area. “I thought, ‘This is not going to be a job I can get without broadening my network,’” he recalled. Rogers went to Booth to explore impact investing.<br/>

feature

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

feature

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.

conversations

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.

conversations

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/>

conversations

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.

conversations

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.

conversations

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/>

perspectives

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.

perspectives

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/>

perspectives

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/>

perspectives

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/>

perspectives

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.

perspectives

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/>

feature

Paper Work

It’s a humble brown and white pamphlet, no bigger than the size of a small notebook. Its pages are few, but its contents bear witness to a landmark in the history of business education: the world’s first executive MBA program. The pamphlet, labeled “Executive Program Directory,” was distributed to the students of this new, innovative curriculum when it debuted in 1943 at Chicago Booth, then known as the School of Business. A one-stop info shop, the book answers many questions a new student would have had: Where is my accounting professor’s office? When is the library open? And where is the designated smoking room? This special piece of Booth’s history had been stored with the rest of the XP program archives until recently, when Deb Fallahay, associate director of operations for the program, brought it to the attention of Russ Maki, ’95 (XP-64). This encounter gave the 73-year-old document a new lease on life. “This is incredible,” enthused Maki, as he showed off the pamphlet before its restoration, its pages stained and wrinkled with age. “I mean this is XP-1. This is the origin. This was the first executive program ever.”

conversations

Getting Personnel

The Challenge: How do you go about creating the first diversity and inclusion strategic plan for the Department of Homeland Security, the third-largest and newest US federal government department? With 240,000 employees, not only is the DHS large, it includes long-established agencies such as the Coast Guard and newer agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration, all with their own policies, priorities, and cultures. When Nimesh Patel joined the DHS in 2011 as executive director for diversity and inclusion, the department had no cohesive strategy or oversight of diversity and inclusion, which sometimes resulted in significant challenges for senior leaders when briefing members of Congress about diversity efforts. “We couldn’t even clearly identify our successes, challenges, or the strategies to address the challenges,” said Patel, who recently left DHS to lead diversity and inclusion at WilmerHale, a large international law firm. The Strategy: Patel relied on his experience consulting with Fortune 200 companies regarding their diversity and inclusion efforts, as well as his relationship building, consensus forming, and negotiating skills, to create the department’s strategic plan. He established a task force including representatives from all of the major agencies to create a collaborative process, enable different perspectives, and gain buy-in from all key stakeholders.

conversations

How Can You Take a Smart Approach to Student Loan Debt?

My initial principal loan balance was about $28,000. I didn’t get any correspondence from my loan provider until I was a senior in college. When I got an email that said I had accrued $3,500 in interest, it felt huge to me. I definitely made more than that through on-campus jobs and paid internships during school, and I could have put that money toward my student loans. If the provider had been sending notices, maybe I would have been sending in money sooner. Many students don’t understand that interest is accruing on your loans from your first day of college. Once the grace period expires, that interest is added to your balance, so then you’re paying interest on the interest.<br/>

conversations

Fund and Games

Manish Kothari, ’90, is general manager of institutions for Edmodo, a social learning platform, as well as a senior advisor in Cisco’s Entrepreneurs in Residence program. Thanks to a gift Kothari and his wife, Carmen Saura, made to the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the Kothari Saura Internship Fund provides participants in the Entrepreneurial Internship Program (EIP) with a living stipend, so they can focus on entrepreneurial endeavors. Andi Hadisutjipto—a Full-Time student and the founder and CEO of Chicago-based retail technology company Riviter—participated in the EIP in the summer of 2015 and benefited from the Kothari Saura fund. Bound together by their passion for the start-up scene, Kothari and Hadisutjipto joined a conversation with Chicago Booth Magazine to discuss diversity, funding, and the future of entrepreneurship.

conversations

The View from London

It’s a natural fit—graduates of a business school renowned as a finance powerhouse thrive along the banks of the Thames, making their mark in the world’s preeminent financial and banking hub. More than 800 Chicago Booth alumni live and work in the United Kingdom, home to one of the school’s overseas campuses at Woolgate Exchange, in the heart of London’s financial district. It serves as the headquarters of the Executive MBA Program Europe, anchoring the Booth community as a gathering place for students, faculty, and graduates alike.<br/>

conversations

A Head Start

No matter how successful they have been in their paths to Booth, incoming Executive MBA students enter the program with questions, uncertainties, and often even anxiety over the vaunted rigors of the curriculum, the uniform brilliance of their new classmates, and the imposing intellect of the faculty. As a part of the student’s LEAD experience, the Leadership Development team partnered with about 55 distinguished Booth alumni for the inaugural Executive MBA 20/20, where roughly 250 students in these new cohorts listened as the alumni panelists addressed queries, allayed fears, empathized with doubts, and offered guidance on getting the most out of Booth.

conversations

New Life for Normandy Orders

“It was a sight that is hard to describe,” Stanhope Mason recalled. “As far as I could see, both to the east and to the west there were ships.” Years later, as the retired major general looked back on one of the most crucial turning points of World War II, he confessed, “I had expected not to live through the day.” Then the chief of staff for the US Army First Infantry Division, Mason was among the Allied troops who stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944. The sheer scale of the operation required advance planning down to the most minute of details—and Mason had a 140-page set of field orders to do just that.<br/>

conversations

Who Was XP-1?

CBM takes a closer look at the very first Executive MBA cohort. Follow along as pamphlet distributed to these students in 1943 is restored in this issue’s feature “Paper Work.” Whether or not they knew it, the 52 students who made up XP-1 blazed a new trail in business education. Their course of study, now known as Booth’s Executive MBA Program, was the first of its kind anywhere in the world. The program’s creation in 1943 dovetailed with the wartime demand for skilled administrators, according to Taking Stock: A Century of Business Education at the University of Chicago, a 1998 chronicle of Booth’s history up to that point. <br/>

perspectives

The Book of Booth: David Booth, ’71

In recognition of the largest gift to any business school in the world, the GSB became Chicago Booth in 2008. David Booth, ’71, serves as a lifetime member of the school’s business advisory council and on the Board of Trustees of the University of Chicago. A true path breaker, Booth this year made Forbes’s list of the 40 “Money Masters: The Most Powerful People in the Financial World,” and Institutional Investor honored him with the Manager Lifetime Achievement Award. CBM sat down with Booth in Austin, Texas, at Dimensional’s home office, for his take on leadership, impact, and the value of an MBA. How did Eugene Fama, MBA ’63, PhD ’64, help shape your career? I went to the University of Chicago for the PhD program. I was going to be a professor. After taking Fama’s class and then working for him, I realized I probably didn’t have what it takes to be a leading academic. I decided that my strength was in applying the concepts rather than necessarily trying to think up the next great idea.<br/>

perspectives

This is Working for Me: Carla Dunham, AM ’98, MBA ’03

Carla Dunham first arrived in Hyde Park not to study business but with the intention to graduate from the University of Chicago art history department with a PhD and become a professor. After completing a master’s degree in art history, Dunham switched gears and applied to Booth. “I was intrigued by the opportunity to take my career out of the library and into the larger world,” recalled Dunham, vice president of global brand strategy at Kate Spade New York. After Booth, Dunham tackled successively bigger roles at Target, Henri Bendel, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Amazon before moving to Kate Spade New York. Based in Manhattan with her husband and son, Dunham leads the team responsible for driving brand awareness across all marketing channels globally.<br/>

perspectives

A Workday With Todd Connor, ’07

According to Todd Connor, ’07, about 25 percent of the 250,000 active duty service members who get out of the military each year want to start their own business. In March 2013, Connor cofounded Chicago-based Flank 5 Academy, a personal incubator aimed at helping people launch a new career or business. The following year, he founded Bunker Labs, a Chicago-based organization that helps military veterans start and grow businesses. Military veterans and entrepreneurs like Connor now helm the 12 active Bunker Labs chapters throughout the United States, focused on expanding an ecosystem to support military veteran entrepreneurship in their communities.

perspectives

Booth 101: An Introduction to Beer Pairing

In the back of an Illinois-based taproom, Jamie Hoban, ’02, stands next to a cluster of wooden pallets. Heavy-duty shrink-wrap envelops each of the pallets, which are stacked in rows as high as a basketball hoop in order to protect their fragile contents: thousands of empty beer bottles. These vessels won’t be empty for long. Hoban and his business partners, Brian Schafer and Andy Smith, will soon fill them with Angry Dragon Pale Ale, Pink Tie Saison, Milk & Cookies, and other wildly inventive (and wildly tasty) beers made by their growing business, Ten Ninety Brewing Company.

perspectives

The Courage of Conviction

There’s nobody who can’t be wrong, and I know that from what the University of Chicago taught me. As a student, I earned a sense of confidence that you could point out something you might disagree with. Attending my 50-year reunion reminded me of the life skills I learned while earning an MBA. In my second year of the program, I was taking a class from George Stigler, PhD ’38 (Economics), who would go on to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1982. I wrote a paper that was good but only five pages long. I couldn’t turn in such a short paper, so I added another 13 pages of whatever I could. He returned my paper and summarized my work in two sentences: he liked it, but the first 13 pages were worthless. He was recognizing the paper for what it was, and I liked him for that. <br/>

perspectives

Carving His Niche

There’s a crowd in the living room at the upstate New York farmhouse of artist John Cross, ’60. Next to an opera star, there’s a woman playing a viola. Nearby are two swimmers, one in a swan dive. Of course, these figures are all sculptures that Cross, a retired advertising executive, has carved from soft Sugar Pine wood. “They’re poised, getting ready to act,” Cross said of his creations. “I like that about carving, as opposed to trying to create a gesture of running or speed.” The passion that started with Cross’s childhood hobby of whittling has evolved into a successful art career. Having exhibited in numerous galleries in New York and beyond since the 1970s, Cross has a new show opening December 20, 2016, at the National Arts Club in Manhattan.<br/>