BY LEAH RACHEL VON ESSEN
Since 1971, the Distinguished Alumni Awards have honored business leaders making an impact. This year’s winners have used their curiosity, drive, and enterprising spirits to attain their own visions of success in the fields of medicine, investment management, manufacturing, and real estate. These alumni are rethinking the future of their businesses and communities.
Chief Executive Officer, PIMCO
Corporate Award: Emmanuel Roman, ’87
To this day, Emmanuel Roman is thankful for the people at Booth who pushed him to take the difficult classes he didn’t think he was able to do.
“I think the one thing that Booth did for me is this incredible quest for knowledge and for data,” Roman says. “I was lucky enough to learn from some of the best minds of the generation. . . . The quantum jump in terms of intellectual curiosity and knowledge that I gained from my education I will always be grateful for.”
An intense drive and an extraordinary knowledge of the financial industry, long praised by his peers, have helped Emmanuel Roman, ’87, usher in a new era at PIMCO, one of the world’s premier fixed-income investment managers.
In November 2016 he became CEO of PIMCO, based in Newport Beach, California.
Thinking ahead to the future, Roman emphasized a focus on luring top tech and finance talent to the company. This push has been a success: the firm’s total assets are at $1.66 trillion today.
During Roman’s tenure, PIMCO has partnered with nonprofits such as the Global FoodBanking Network and Girls Who Invest, as well as with the California Institute of Technology, to establish two fellowships. In 2018 PIMCO partnered with the Center for Decision Research (CDR) at Chicago Booth in support of CDR’s behavioral science research.
Roman’s decisiveness and intellectual curiosity continue to distinguish him among his colleagues. A true polymath, he is a voracious reader, a wine connoisseur, the owner of an extensive art collection, and a trustee at the University of Chicago.
“I remember receiving the admission package in the mail in France in 1985 and knowing that I had been admitted, which I could hardly believe, and it feels like yesterday,” Roman said. “This school has been unbelievably good to me.”
Rattan L. Khosa
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, AMSYSCO
Entrepreneurial Award: Rattan L. Khosa, ’79
Rattan Khosa entered the post-tensioning industry after earning a master’s degree in structural engineering. As he progressed throughout his career, he knew Booth was the best fit for his business education.
“The reason I chose Booth is because I felt I would get the best education, when it comes to management experience and knowledge. What I have learned, I have gained by having been at Booth."
A determined Rattan L. Khosa, ’79, came to the United States from India in 1969 with $3.75 in his pocket. Thanks to his unflinching resolve and knack for taking calculated risks, Khosa is now the CEO and founder of AMSYSCO Inc., a company that has turned a profit every year since it opened.
Khosa started AMSYSCO in 1981 out of the basement of the home he shared with his wife, Bharati, and son, Neel Khosa, ’07. Today, AMSYSCO is a midsize company based in Romeoville, Illinois, providing unbonded post-tensioning systems on commercial structures, including the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois; Millennium Park and the Midway Airport parking garage in Chicago; and the Guthrie Theater and the Minnesota Twins baseball stadium in Minneapolis.
His own early hurdles inspire Khosa to share that success by giving tremendous support to future generations of students: his generous gifts have established the Rattan L. Khosa Student Entrepreneurs Program at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and endowed the Rattan L. Khosa Scholarship that provides support to Full-Time MBA students.
“To win the Distinguished Alumni Award, especially in the entrepreneurial field, confirms what I have been doing,” Khosa said. “Not only growing the business, but leveraging it to make a difference in the lives of so many people.”
President and Chief Executive Officer, Emerald South Economic Development Collaborative
Public Service / Public Sector Award
Public Service / Public Sector Award: Ghian Foreman, ’01
Ghian Foreman grew up in Hyde Park, playing basketball in the neighborhood and going to parties on the UChicago campus. A chance encounter with Booth students later made him feel like he could truly call the school his alma mater.
“I really felt it before I was even a student,” Foreman says. “I felt like it was calling me.”
In 2019, Ghian Foreman, ’01, became the president and CEO of Emerald South Economic Development Collaborative. The group works to develop and support communities on the South Side of Chicago through a focus on commercial corridor expansion, sustainable housing, and workforce development.
Foreman also redevelops abandoned properties with Washington Park Development Group LLC, a firm focused on inner city real estate development in Chicago. His business philosophy includes a respect for the needs of the community. “It’s really important to show positive images about the South Side of Chicago,” Foreman said. “Not just [to counter] what we hear on the news—the violence—but to show the good things that are happening: the good people, the good stories.”
In 2016, he won the PrivateBank Norman Bobins Leadership Award, sponsored by one of the country’s leading organizations supporting community development. In 2018, Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed him president of the Chicago Police Board, the city’s civilian oversight agency for police accountability.
A Hyde Park native, Foreman said that Chicago Booth “felt like a place that I can truly call my alma mater, because I really felt it early, even before I was a student. I felt that it was calling me.”
Griffin R. Myers
Cofounder and Chief Medical Officer, Oak Street Health
Young Alumni Award
Young Alumni Award: Griffin R. Myers, MD ’07, MBA ’10
Booth changed the way Griffin Myers thinks about problems. “I don’t stop when the answer feels right. You’ve got to keep asking,” he says.
“I came to Booth as a naturally curious person, but what Booth did was get me to ask more questions, to not stop, to keep digging, and at the same time, equip me with new ways to go get those answers.”
Griffin R. Myers, MD ’07, MBA ’10, saw firsthand during his residency in emergency medicine how poorly low-income seniors fared in the health-care system. A social entrepreneur at heart, Myers was inspired to start Oak Street Health, a network of primary care practices that use a value-based model to serve older, lower-income patients, in 2012.
Myers is the cofounder and chief medical officer, helping guide Oak Street in its mission to improve lives and decrease cost of care. By 2019, Oak Street had reduced hospital admissions among its patients by over 40 percent, achieved five-star quality ratings, and tallied a 91 percent net promoter score, a measurement of patient satisfaction. From its first clinic in Chicago, Oak Street has expanded to serve more than 60,000 patients at 40 locations in eight markets, with plans to open between 14 and 20 new centers this year. Myers is an adjunct instructor of emergency medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, a research associate at Harvard Medical School, a diplomate of the American Board of Emergency Medicine, and a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Despite his packed schedule, Myers spends one day a week working alongside Oak Street’s care teams. “Find the impact that you want to have, that you’re obsessed with,” Myers said. “And go do whatever it takes to make that impact.”