Alumni Notes



Mimi (Mary Renard) Knox, of Walnut Creek, Calif., announces, “Class of 1950 president, Dick Ingraham, will invite a distinguished speaker to address fellow classmates at our 68th reunion in the Stadium University Club, May 23, 2018. Save the Date cards have been mailed, or emailed, to those classmates on the UC alumni rolls.”



Mirian & Sonny Low, BS 63, at Angkor Wat, Cambodia, October 2017

Sonny Low, of Chula Vista, Calif., reports, “After a dozen years retired from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), my wife, Mirian, and I have revved up our energies to travel the world! For starters, we flew off to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam in October. There we glimpsed Bangkok, explored the temples and saw the stone bas-reliefs of Angkor Wat, and captured some of the sights and sounds of an economically booming Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). We basked in the sun on a cruise of Halong Bay that glided through crystalline waters punctuated with vegetation-covered limestone towers and saw French architecture still in Hanoi. In 2018, we will be cruising off to Central and South America, where we will see family and old friends from my Peace Corps and USAID days, alongside the sights from Mexico to Guatemala, Panama to Peru, and ending in Chile.”


Rowland Reeves, of Sacramento, Calif., writes, “Have been retired for two years after 27 years as a computer applications and technology teacher. Prior to teaching retired after 15 years from a large wholesale warehousing and delivery company. Enjoying retirement; vacationing with family, pursuing new interests, and participating in neighborhood and city improvement efforts.”


Thomas Leaver, of London, U.K., served from August 2014 through September 2017 as an independent director and chair of the Conflicts Committee on the board of VTTI Energy Partners GP LLC, an NYSE-listed MLP with over 50 million barrels of petroleum products and crude oil storage in key logistics hubs in Malaysia, Fujairah, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Port Canaveral. He also served on the Audit Committee. After managing the successful recapitalization of the Dubai Mercantile Exchange, he stepped down in 2012 as CEO of the first exchange to ever successfully launch a sovereign producer backed physical crude oil contract for the East of Suez market, which became the world’s largest physically traded oil contract. He continues to work as an external consultant to McKinsey on pricing, transparency, and trading matters from time to time, otherwise retired. He adds, “Continue to live in London, now approaching 35 years. I also volunteer for cancer charity CLIC Sargent.”


Last year, Kent Halkett moved to Brentwood, Tennessee, was admitted to the state bar, and joined the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services. He provides legal advice to residents across the state, focusing on the special needs of senior citizens. Kent, wife Kim, and daughters Megan and Bailey spent the Christmas holidays in Rome, Paris, and London. Their trusted golden retriever, Golden Bear of California III, guarded the homestead.


Suresh Bhat See MBA 1998.


Timothy R. Yee, BS 90

Timothy R. Yee, of Alameda, Calif., announces, “My firm, Green Retirement, Inc., just funded an Innovation Entrepreneur seat for the Social Venture Network (SVN). SVN is a community of leaders committed to using their businesses for the greater good. Its Innovation Entrepreneur Program supports women entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs of color as they build companies that are best equipped for success. At Green Retirement, we believe that supporting this program is very much aligned with our own mission of using our business as a force for good to co-create a more equitable economy, a more just society, and a sustainable future for all.”


Elena Gomez was appointed in October to the board of directors of Smartsheet, a platform for managing and automating collaborative work. Gomez is the CFO of Zendesk and former senior vice president of finance and strategy at Salesforce. (See profile on p. 23.)


Sean Peishen Feng, of Albany, Calif., writes, “My company, Space Coatings Inc., is a winner of military R&D awards. With DOD permission, our two new patents will allow us to launch a civilian product that should change the construction world forever, i.e., cheaper, better, and faster. Email me if you’re interested:”


Shaoching Bishop is now president of Bishop Keller Inc., doing business as Regiis Ova, an exclusive private line of luxury products and business consulting services designed and tailored toward demanding chefs in the U.S. She writes, “September marked my fourth year at Sterling Caviar, and I am ready to move on to the next challenge—a new venture to share with family and friends. At Sterling we went from selling less than 300 kg of caviar in 2013 to well above 4.5 tons by August 2017. We created and maintained some wonderful partnerships and regrettably lost a few that I still value and treasure in my heart.… I am grateful to the management and employees who went through the ups and downs with me. Business can be challenging at times, but my passion carries on. I am happy to report that I have entered into a partnership with Chef Thomas Keller, a mentor, friend, and someone with whom I share vision, compassion for humanity, and a strong work ethic. The new venture is about connecting people and sharing the passion of finesse and perfection. We will source the best ingredients in luxury food for our restaurants, community, and extended families. I have relocated to the beautiful Napa Valley. Despite the recent fire, the community is coming back stronger and with a more focused spirit. The sky is blue again, the air is sweet, many wineries have already started to rebuild, and I am so excited to look forward to sharing my new chapter with you.”



Brett Byers, BS 01

Brett Byers, of Los Angeles, has been promoted to executive vice president at The Hawkins Company, Inc., an African-American owned and operated executive search firm. She will continue to provide executive search services to clients in the corporate, government, nonprofit, and education sectors. Byers joined the firm in 2010 as a search consultant and was subsequently promoted to managing director. She has been instrumental in leading some of the firm’s most important search engagements and is a frequent speaker and presenter at conferences and workshops nationally. She has been a key contributor to new city administrations with recent placements of several executive team members for the cities of Oakland, Berkeley, and Santa Monica. She has also led the expansion of the firm’s practice into the New Orleans and Detroit markets.


Will Edmonson, BS 01

Will Edmonson, of West Hollywood, Calif., reports, “I continue to practice law, primarily handling business litigation and transactional matters for individuals and small businesses. Before starting my own firm, I was a partner at Doll, Amir & Eley LLP and an associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. Previously, I served as a law clerk in the federal district court and the federal appeals court. I offer big law firm experience and talent at affordable rates. Please feel free to contact me at 424-248-9581 or if I can help you with anything.”


Chris Natividad See note for Art Amador, MBA 16.



Jennie Ho, BS 08

Jennie Ho, of San Francisco and Hong Kong, writes, “With full passion and a clear mission to raise awareness of women empowerment and gender equality in Asia, I’m excited to announce the launch of the #HerCall movement on January 1, 2018. I co-founded SheHub last year with Patrizia Yeung in Hong Kong, believing women need to take charge and have the total right to decide when and how to meet their life agendas and goals. Through a series of campaigns … we are committed to strengthen our community by uniting empowered women and amplifying our impact together. In the past decade, [my experiences] working and living in multiple continents for a Fortune 500, a fast-growing Silicon Valley startup, and then taking over my family’s construction manufacturing business have given me a tremendous life lesson as a leader and generally just as a citizen of this planet. … [Am] currently serving three roles simultaneously as founder and CEO of Beiter Technologies, an early-stage construction technology firm based in San Francisco; general manager of Woodwell International Group, a manufacturing business based in China; and co-founder and COO of SheHub, a social startup to advocate for gender equality based in Hong Kong.” Last summer, Jennie self-funded and led a four-week marketing program for a small group of Berkeley non-business undergraduates. This year, Beiter is an official sponsor for the Tools & Tiara Construction Skills Summer Camp for girls ages 6 to 19 in New York City.


Last fall, Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez, co-founders of gardening-kit and food company Back to the Roots, celebrated Home Depot’s creation of a Back to the Roots indoor gardening section in more than 1,200 stores.


Kourosh Zamanizadeh, BS 09, MBA 18, and Ryan Alshak during their 10-week stint in London for their startup

Kourosh Zamanizadeh, of San Francisco, writes, “I decided to try something new in 2017—to take a perceived risk in pursuit of a personal dream. I left my career to start a company with my friends. Our startup, Ping, is an AI-powered solution that automates timekeeping for lawyers and provides data analytics to large law firms. We’ve scaled to 12 people, built an incredible product, and signed our first major anchor customer (an 800-person U.K. law firm). I never imagined I’d have to move to London for the summer to pursue my dream, but starting a company will push you in ways you can’t really prepare for. I hope that anyone who is considering entrepreneurship will take the leap. I promise, no matter what, you won’t regret it!”



Naomi Cheng, BS 10, in Alaska

Naomi (Nie Fan) Cheng, of Mountain View, Calif., started a new job on the Technical Accounting and SEC Reporting Team at Netflix, working on implementing new accounting standards as well as quarterly SEC reporting. She took an “amazing” RV trip through Alaska and will be married in March.


Cynthia Xu, BS 10, and Michael Cao

Cynthia Xu, of San Francisco, married Michael Cao, BS 2010 (EECS), in October. The couple met during their senior year at Cal and tied the knot in Carmel Valley, California, after eight years of long distance post-college. In attendance were family and many dear friends from Cal. Cynthia currently works at Tencent in business development, after having completed an MBA at Wharton. Michael, an MBA from Kellogg, currently works in product marketing at Adobe.



Amy Young, BS 11, weds Jonathan Gregory, with Katherine Maslyn, BS 11, as maid of honor and Davin Chang, BS 11, officiating. Photo by Michael Chen, BS 10

Amy L. Young married Jonathan Gregory in June 2016 at the UC Botanical Garden in Berkeley. She writes, “It was really special to celebrate our wedding with family and many Cal/Haas friends in California, as I moved to London a few years ago. My new husband and I enjoyed our month-long honeymoon in New Zealand this December/January.”



Julie Brown, BS 14, and VK Vu

Julie Brown, of Kampala, Uganda, reports, “I just had a reunion with another Haas alum, climbing Nyiragongo volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo. VK Vu and I had a public speaking class together at Haas. She moved to South Africa recently, and I have been living in Uganda for the last year and a half. We decided the best place to meet up would be Nyiragongo, a part of Virunga National Park in the DRC. Highly recommend the trip and watching the documentary Virunga!”



Class of 2017 undergrad alumni Rachel Lee, Mitchell Quon, and Madison Pauly Carmen Zheng, BS 17

Madison Pauly, of San Francisco, writes, “I, along with fellow Haas alumni Rachel Lee and Mitchell Quon started as business technology analysts at Deloitte Consulting in San Francisco in September.”

Carmen Zheng, of New York City, upon graduating with a double major in business administration and media studies, turned down the role of marketing and sales manager at Ford Motor Company to pack her life into two suitcases and move to New York City. She is currently in her second semester at Columbia University pursuing an MS in strategic communication. Carmen loves the Big Apple and is applying her Haas business acumen as a strategic marketing and partnerships intern for LeadDog Marketing Group, a digital and experiential marketing agency specializing in sports and entertainment whose top clients include Red Bull, Audi, and Chipotle. After graduation, Carmen plans to further her passion for digital marketing and communications by entering the tech or mobile apps industry.



Jake Kerr, former CEO of Lignum Forest Products LLP, was profiled in Business Vancouver about his career, plans for retirement, and his ownership of the Vancouver Canadians, a minor league baseball team. See



Jean-Louis Alpeyrie, MBA 68, and his son, Jonathan, on the cover of his book

Jean-Louis Alpeyrie, of Kennebunkport, Maine, retired in 2013. Jean-Louis writes, “I am the proud father of Jonathan Alpeyrie, war photographer and photojournalist. He was kidnapped in April 2013 and freed after 81 days. He co-wrote The Shattered Lens about his ordeal. It is a harrowing story of survival, but also one of finding humanity in your captors and learning about their language and culture. It also deals with the idea of freedom while a hostage and the lure of violence.”


Wally Lowry, of Santa Rosa, Calif., passed away on September 14, 2017, after a medical struggle that began with a hard fall while attending a CPA breakfast. A native of Chicago, he moved often with his naval family before settling in Pacific Grove. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at Stanford University, where he met his wife, Ellie. They married in 1955 and lived in San Francisco, where Wally studied accounting at Golden Gate University. He then joined the Navy, serving for 29 years mostly with the Naval Reserve, where he rose to the rank of captain. In a parallel career, Wally became a CPA, working first for Deloitte & Touche and then moving to the Roy F. Mitchell firm in Santa Rosa. In 1969 Wally joined the accounting faculty at Sonoma State University (SSU), where he taught for 32 years. Retiring as professor emeritus in 2001, Wally continued his own accounting practice with local clients. An active and widely engaged community man, Wally was involved in many local organizations including the SSU Academic Foundation, Santa Rosa Rotary Club, Luther Burbank Center, Sonoma County Museum, Sonoma County Farmlands Group, Sonoma County Alliance, North Coast Hobos, and Empire Breakfast Club. At SSU, Wally founded the Accounting Forum, where he developed and maintained career contacts with the major international accounting firms, co-founded the Wine Business Institute, sponsored accounting scholarships, and generously mentored hundreds of students. Wally’s family suggests memorial contributions to the SSU Wine Business Institute.



Bruce Blackman, MBA 70 (far right), and Joan Blackman and friends on the Nakasendo Trail, Oct. 2017

Bruce Blackman writes, “Lo these years, I’m grateful for my Berkeley MBA training and how it has helped me in the world. I worked 25 years in East Asia and Latin America as an economic program developer, including for an MS in international economics at Johns Hopkins. Since work overseas, I was elected to the boards of two nonprofits—an international adoption agency and a restorative justice group involved with teaching awareness and mentoring prisoners. I found storytelling to be helpful with inmates—by reducing the gravity and lightening us up. I compiled a story collection of ‘people in a pinch’ and wrote an article in Pearls of Ash and Awe (2015) on bearing witness at Auschwitz.

“These years our family is enjoying annual treks abroad, including the Camino de Santiago in 2014, Tuscany, the Cape Breton Highlands, and, in 2017, the Nakasendo Trail in Japan. Also, much appreciation for the Defining Leadership Principles of Berkeley/Haas: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, Beyond Yourself—right stuff so needed in our world today. Wishing you fair winds and following seas in 2018.”


Max Oliva, of Spokane, Wash., reports, “After living and working in Las Vegas, Nevada, for six years, I am now located in Spokane, in a house across the street from Gonzaga University. In Las Vegas, I was the only Jesuit, now I am one of 25! My main ministry, though, is still in the desert. I fly down each month and stay for a week in Vegas to continue some of the activities I was doing before, including giving a talk on ethics at a business luncheon and facilitating an evening of cigars/wine and meaningful conversation with the group’s 14 members.”



Book by Lynne Levesque, MBA 77

Lynne Levesque, of Boston, announces, “I’ve launched a fourth (or is it a fifth?) career as historian/author, using my research, analytical writing, and project management skills, honed after all those years in business. Last year I published, in English and French, a history of the life of my 17th-century ancestor, Jeanne Chevalier ( This project has almost involved living in France for the last year, trying to prove that anyone at any age can learn to speak a new language!”


Jose Miguel Herrero, of San Sebastián de los Reyes, Spain, writes, “After many years as a serial entrepreneur (in Spain), including two internet successes in the first wave of internet and public company CEO experience (Nasdaq), I went back to Spain and founded Big Sur Ventures. Now an early-stage VC tech investor of reference. For those of you who know a little history, you’ll understand the choice of name. My eldest of three kids just started reading economics at UCL (London). Proud.”


Michaela Rodeno, MBA 80, with a ’71 Barbaresco from her home cellar, enjoyed after returning from Piemonte

Michaela Rodeno, of Napa, Calif., updates as follows: “In November, Gregory and I spent two glorious weeks visiting wineries in Piemonte and dining on mushrooms and expensive white truffles (high prices due to dry season) accompanied by an enviable array of Barolos and Barbarescos. Our VRBO cottage on the outskirts of a hilltop village near Alba had a fine view of the vineyards and snow-covered Alps. Altogether, a busman’s holiday for us Napa Valley winegrowers. The Piemontese are generous with their time and their wines, a fine tradition that we endeavor to emulate when Sangiovese fans visit us at Villa Ragazzi. We’re happy to share recommendations with anyone considering a trip to Piemonte; email”


John Wolf passed away November 20, 2017, at home. He was 62. According to his obituary, John had a 32-year career in finance with IBM and retired in 2013. He loved music, dancing, and traveling and was an avid golfer. He was well known for his quirky sense of humor, quick mind, and extensive knowledge of all things rock-n-roll. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to one of John’s favorite charities, Shriners Hospitals for Children. P.O. Box 1510, Ranson, WV 25438.


Jeri Harman, the CEO of Avante Mezzanine Partners, was named in the January issue of Mergers & Acquisitions magazine as one of 35 leading female transaction professionals in mid-market M&A. Harman has over 30 years of industry experience and more than $1 billion worth of deals to her credit.



Julie (Sloman) Chrisman, MBA 87, with Class of 1986 alumnae Jean (Nozawa) Pelfini, Karen Criddle, Robin (Rasure) Roeper, Laura (Hudson) Evans, and Tonia (Sabatini) Rubin

Karen Criddle, of Bellevue, Wash., writes, “More than 30 years after graduation and still enjoy hanging out with classmates. Each fall a group of us MBA women meet for a long weekend. I love this opportunity to reconnect with some amazing women. This year we hit the Big Apple—so much fun!”


James Frolich, MBA 86

James Frolich, of San Francisco, announces, “After leaving California in 1990 for Europe, followed by the Pacific then Canada, I have returned to San Francisco, where I am a principal and national consulting manager for Ecology and Environment, one of the leading environmental and sustainability consultancies in the Americas. I am responsible for helping take the company to the next level, growing our client network, service lines, and geographical coverage. I will also be responsible for directing major and complex client assignments. Here in town, we are currently focusing on sea-level rise, major changes in transportation, and the evolution of the electrical system.”


Christopher Scharff, CEO of DG Brands, parent company of the costume and lingerie label Dreamgirl International, left the company after 14 years to pursue other ventures. Scharff bought Dreamgirl in 2003 and built DG Brands into a $30 million business producing costumes and lingerie sold in more than 2,000 retailer accounts around the world. Today, the company has 12 U.S. sales representatives and more than 20 international distributors. Scharff came to Dreamgirl after serving as vice president at the BCBG Max Azria International Group. His career also includes executive positions at the watchmaker Movado Group and St. John International. He got his start in the apparel business at Lanz Inc., a manufacturing business founded by Scharff’s father in 1938.


Josh Bersin, of Oakland, Calif., updates as follows, “In 2012, I sold our business to Deloitte, so this year (2018) marks the end of my fifth year as a Deloitte Consulting Partner. As part of Deloitte’s partnership agreement, I am going to be ‘retiring’ from Deloitte in May and will be back out on my own again—working as an advisor to Deloitte and as an analyst and consultant to HR leaders and HR technology vendors around the world.”


Ralph Garcia, Jr., MBA 88, and his wife, Jean, flank a tour guide at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City

Ralph Garcia Jr., of San Mateo, Calif., reports, “I am starting my 30th year in the wealth management business. Barrows Hall must have provided me with stamina and perseverance. My wife, Jean (MA, Art History), and I recently visited Quebec City. We highly recommend Christmas as a time visit to this magical place.”


Stewart Noyce, of San Anselmo, Calif., announces, “I just recently finished a three-month early access program for my GAUGE system of startup strategy development and refinement. Three companies from three industries gave their big ideas a confidence boost. I am now taking on clients who need to raise capital for their emerging startups, using the GAUGE method and software to increase their odds for success.”



Caroline Winnett, MBA 90, Berkeley SkyDeck executive director, and Chon Tang, Berkeley SkyDeck fund manager

Caroline Winnett, of Berkeley, Calif., reports, “2017 was quite the year at Berkeley SkyDeck. We raised a $20M fund to invest in our startups, and the fund will donate half of fund carry (profits) back to campus. It’s the first fund of its kind and will support both Berkeley startups and our wonderful university. We also placed our beautiful, lighted logo on top of our building, 2150 Shattuck. Next time you are downtown, look up and see it, especially at night.” [Editor’s note: Read Caroline’s Personal View]


Klaus Koerner, of Brussels, writes, “It is great to be reconnected to the Berkeley community after a while. Having taken up responsibilities for Denmark recently in addition to Austria and Finland lets me explore the Nordic dimension to the economy and society. I continue to assess for the European Commission the contribution of the education system to smart, sustainable, and equitable growth. This analysis feeds into the EU European Semester and the EU 2020 Strategy. In February, it will be 20 years of working for the EU.”


Melissa Wittmeier McCullough, MBA 91 (third from left), with her kids, Alexandra, Sophia, and Nicholas

Melissa Wittmeier McCullough, of Chicago, reports, “I’m still running Immersion Chicago, where I teach, translate, edit, and conduct research in French and English. Since 2016, I’m also on the faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My son, Nicholas, is a sophomore at the University of Vermont and my twin daughters, Alexandra and Sophia, are juniors at the Lycée Français de Chicago.”



MBA Class of 1993 classmates Kim Wirtz, Michelle Buckles, Kristin Nicholson, Rob Pascual, Cynthia Harris, Sandra Stumbaugh, and Lisa Thomas, with (in front) Vuochnear Ly, SHE-CAN scholar from Cambodia

Cynthia Harris co-chaired the SHE-CAN (Supporting Her Education Changes A Nation) annual gala in November, where classmate Kristin Nicholson was presented with the “She Does” Award (see Accolades). Kim Wirtz, Michelle Buckles, Rob Pascual, Sandra Stumbaugh, and Lisa Thomas were also on hand to cheer Kristin as she was presented with this prestigious award.

Nikolaos Panagiotis Karras, of Athens, Greece, recently served his last day with Opel Hellas, formerly owned by General Motors before being sold to PSA Group, and writes, “I served in various leadership positions in sales (fleet key account manager) and marketing (marketing services manager, responsible for all advertising, motor shows, product placements, dealer training, CRM, etc.). Looking for new career opportunities; suggestions, offers, more than welcome! Would also be interested in returning to the U.S., starting a new career, ideally in the San Fran area. Married since 2005, I have a wonderful daughter, Christina, 8 years old. She goes to Athens College, a Hellenic-American institution, getting prepared for studying at UC Berkeley, of course!”


Nobuyuki Oda, of Tokyo, left the Bank of Japan, after working for 29 years as a central bank economist, and has been a professor, teaching economics, at Kyorin University in Tokyo.


David Cowan, of Santa Clara, Calif., announces, “In June 2017, I co-founded Silicon Valley Sales Group. We own and operate the Sandler Training center in Silicon Valley, where we provide sales and sales management training, professional coaching, and leadership development programs for individuals and corporate customers. I love being back in the classroom. And the feedback we’re getting from our students is fantastic! Our door is always open for anyone who wants to drop by to participate in one of our weekly classes.

“On the personal side, we’ve passed along the Cal tradition to both our children. Our daughter, Natalie, graduated from Cal with the Class of 2015. And our son, Joe, is a sophomore at Berkeley; he’ll be applying to Haas for the undergraduate business program this spring!”

Trevor Traina, the founder and CEO of “experience” company IfOnly, has been nominated by President Trump to serve as U.S. ambassador to Austria, according to the Office of the Press Secretary.


Suresh Bhat, who served as Berkeley Haas CFO for more than three years, became the CFO of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation last November. While leading the finance team at Haas, he created a more effective budgeting process and buildout of a long-range financial model, instituted new ways of using data to support decision making, and focused on metrics that matter, among other accomplishments that improved the financial health of Berkeley Haas.

Early this year, Jennifer Cook became CEO of cancer detection startup Grail, which in 2017 pulled off the largest-ever private biotech financing round. Cook has over 30 years experience in the life sciences, a majority of which she spent at Roche/Genentech.

Inese Lowenstein has been appointed president of SCIEX, a life science analytical technologies company. Lowenstein joined SCIEX in 2016 as senior vice president of global sales and service and spearheaded the establishment of the first-ever SCIEX Diversity and Inclusion Council, serving as its executive champion.


Nancy Riess, of Baltimore, writes, “I visited San Francisco for the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference on behalf of Johns Hopkins Medicine. While there, I was thrilled to re-connect with some wonderful classmates, including Amy Jones, Kirsten Barker, Gleb Budman, Julie Templeton, Hana Rotman, Lynn Valdivia, and Rain Rider. We all agreed—it’s impossible to believe 18+ years have passed since our incredible, unforgettable Haas MBA experience. As for career updates, I have completed my fifth year at Johns Hopkins Medicine as director of business development and strategic alliances. We forge alliances with commercial and other third-party entities to co-develop new health IT solutions, disseminate clinical programmatic expertise, and impart Hopkins-developed best practices to touch the greatest number of lives possible.”


Nilmini Rubin, MBA 99, with her daughter, Araliya

Nilmini (Gunaratne) Rubin, of Chevy Chase, Md., writes, “My 9-year-old daughter, Araliya, and I wrote a coloring book called The United Shapes of America. Each page depicts a state and you can color in the congressional districts. It’s been a fun way for us to learn about the political landscape of our country and gerrymandering. We’ve been delighted by the responses that we’ve received from kids, parents, politicians, and even U.S. Supreme Court justices.”

Tanya (Shaw) Steinhofer, of Mill Valley, Calif., announces, “I was honored to learn I’ve been named recipient of the national Heart of Financial Planning award by the Financial Planning Association. This award recognizes people who give back to the profession and the public in a variety of ways. I guess all my volunteer efforts have finally paid off!”


Raj Manghani relocated back to the Bay Area from Asia in early 2017 and has also transitioned careers. He reports, “I have accepted an exciting new opportunity with Calypso Technology, an established San Francisco-headquartered fintech, as the company’s global head of product management and a member of the firm’s operating committee. I will be responsible for driving product strategy and execution across the product suite for the more than 700-person firm that was founded in 1997. This would not have been possible without support from the broader Haas community, particularly my fellow MBA 2001 classmates Marty McMahon, Joe Del Callar, Rohan Kalbag, and David Ko, who went out of their way to connect me with their respective networks while offering time to brainstorm on refining my strategy and execution. Marty’s referral to Calypso’s chief administrative officer helped me secure a crucial second-round interview.

“My Haas career counselors Lara Klein, Peter Jacobs, and Deepak Gupta were terrific in helping me craft my marketing plan, connecting me with key individuals at target companies, and lifting my spirits through the inevitable ups and downs of a mid-career transition process. Luke Kreinberg’s poise and presence interviewing workshop, which I first attended in March 2017, was tremendously useful. Tenny Frost, executive director of alumni relations and development, reassured me that Haas was going to be there for me and connected me with other Haas alums during the search process. And Dean Rich Lyons, BS 82, offered support in the form of ideas and connections after he learned that I was in the midst of a career transition. Little did I fully know about the power of the Haas network and brand in helping navigate this transition. I am extremely grateful to be a Haas alum and part of this wonderful community.”

Todd Wehmann, of Alameda, Calif., celebrated the purchase of his company, Columbus Craft Meats, by Hormel in November: “I have been working at Columbus headquarters in Hayward since 2015 when the 100-year-old maker of premium salami and deli meat was going through a turnaround. As the director of marketing and innovation, I helped transform the company from a sleepy little meat manufacturer into a millennial-focused enterprise through new product launches and targeted marketing that included ad campaigns, a new website, and experiential marketing. Have been living since 2002 with my wife, Bonnie, and two boys, ages 10 and 14, in Alameda, where I occasionally run into Arshad Carim and Nik Dehejia.”


Chris Sklarin, of Cleveland, Ohio, writes, “I recently joined Alumni Ventures Group as managing partner of Castor Ventures, an MIT-focused venture fund. We have eight other sibling funds, including Strawberry Creek for Berkeley alums. Looking forward to new challenges and exciting growth with this opportunity in 2018 and beyond.”



Eric Bretthauer, MBA 03, with daughters Sydney and Rachel; son, Blake; and wife, Sara, along the Great Ocean Road west of Melbourne

Eric Bretthauer, of Jakarta, Indonesia, reports, “My family and I have now spent the last decade living overseas, starting with London, England, followed by Chengdu, China, and [since] 2016, Jakarta, Indonesia, where I continue my strategy and planning work with Chevron. Since relocating to Jakarta, we have managed to fit in trips to Western and Southeastern Australia and, within Indonesia, to see orangutans in Kalimantan’s Camp Leakey and Komodo dragons in Komodo National Park. If you find yourself in this region of the world, please contact me at”

Melissa Dickerson, CFO and managing director of private equity firm Genstar Capital, was named in the January issue of Mergers & Acquisitions magazine as one of 35 leading female transaction professionals in mid-market M&A. Dickerson built out Genstar Capital’s operational infrastructure as it grew from $200 million to $9 billion in assets under management.


Jen Sang, MBA 03

Jennifer Sang, of Hercules, Calif., announces, “I got a new job on the Berkeley campus. After nearly four years running the Fung Institute at the College of Engineering, I just joined the College of Environmental Design as assistant dean for finance and administration.”


Brad Bao See note for Toby Sun, MBA 13.


MBA Class of 2005 alumni at their mini-reunion. Front: Edwin Mok, Sharon Chen, Geoff Wolfe, Anthony Kong, Heather Newlin, Lee Ann Bird, Waldemar Mozes, Mandy Nelson. Middle: Appaji Malla, Ravi Anaparti, Landon Browning, Jeff Bray, Andrea Tarble, Heather Horne, Janine O’Neill, Lisa Cui. Back: Yan Chow, Don Barnetson, Greg Sowa, Dan Bellisario, Reuben Gallegos, Ben Martin, Howard Chen, Phil Strauss, Arun Ramamoorthy, Bimal Sangari, Renxin Xia. Photo: Waldemar Mozes

Yan Chow, of Orinda, Calif., reports, “Our Haas MBA 2005 mini reunions are going viral! Last time there were 12, this time 27 able to make it to S.F.’s Pier 1 for lunch on a beautiful Friday, September 29. The venue was the new Prologis conference center, hosted by Jeff Bray. Organizers were Waldemar Mozes, Landon Browning, and Janine O’Neill.”


Gautam Ghose, MBA 05

Gautam Ghose, of Milpitas, Calif., writes, “I highly recommend the renewable energy sector as a rewarding career choice for anyone looking for a new direction. At Trina Solar USA Inc., I have been marketing the latest and greatest solar modules across North and South America, enabling corporations, schools, hospitals, and sports arenas to generate energy sustainably and economically. Do Good While Doing Well!”


Loren Taylor, MBA 05 (right), with his daughter, Camryn (8); wife, Erica; and son, Manny (5)

Loren Taylor, of Oakland, Calif., decided in January to take his passion for underserved communities to the next level by launching his campaign for Oakland City Council, District 6. As a third-generation Oaklander, Loren is committed to being the transformational civic leader who ensures all residents benefit from the investments made into Oakland’s revitalization. During the campaign, Loren will work at a reduced capacity for the social impact consulting firm ( that he started after an 11-year consulting career with Pricewaterhouse-Coopers. To learn more about Loren’s campaign for Oakland City Council, check out


Tim Kuruvilla, co-founder and chief commercial officer of Viewics, sold the health care analytics company to Roche last fall.

Congratulations to April Underwood and her husband, Matt Herrero, on the birth of their first baby. The boy, named Sam, was born at 1:18 a.m. on January 1—the first baby of 2018 at Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae. According to the Marin Independent Journal, Sam received a gift basket from the hospital.



Michael Badalov, MBA 08, with fiancée, Jessica Guterman, and new baby, Miles Jacob Badalov

Michael Badalov, of San Francisco, and his fiancée, Jessica Guterman, welcomed Miles Jacob to their family in October. They write, “He gets bigger by the day, chats up a storm, and loves his long walks around the city.”


Holly Shelton, CEO of MoveWith, a personal fitness app that delivers audio workouts from well-known coaches, earned praise in a Business Insider article as one of “50 startups that will boom in 2018, according to VCs.”


Deepak Goel, of Folsom, Calif., reports, “I have been gradually building KarmaCircles over the last couple of years, and I’m proud to say we’ve put together a very impressive technology team. Now that the heavy lifting of the core KarmaCircles product is pretty much done, the tech team can take on a couple of projects building products for other companies. We call it Product Studio. If you know anyone looking for high-quality, reasonably priced software development services, I’d appreciate a quick intro. Our engineers bill at $12 to $20 per hour, depending on the project’s scale and scope. We will offer a small commission (around 5 percent) to those whose introductions convert to business. Details at”


Siva Sethuraman, of San Ramon, Calif., writes, “2017 brought great changes to my professional career. After a much cherished nine-year stint with Pacific Gas & Electric I took on a new role with Cascade Energy to start, grow, and sustain their California operations. As the company’s lead for utility engagement, I get to strategize, build partnerships, win work, and build my team! Energy markets in California are rapidly changing and it’s been great to be part of this journey. On a personal note, my family recently took a trip to Montreal and Quebec City and we fell in love with those two places (yes it was still fall). The people of Canada are so friendly and the Quebec food scene is wonderful, especially if you love coffee and European-style pastries.


Toby Sun announces, “Bike-sharing company LimeBike, co-founded with Brad Bao, MBA 05, snared a $50 million investment (on top of $12 million in March 2017) to speed up its rollout to 30 cities and campuses across the U.S. this year. We are planning to surpass Chinese bike-sharing companies Ofo and Mobike, which are now in the U.S.” Sun told CNBC that LimeBike understands the market better than its Chinese rivals. “We are opening one market every week and hiring a team of 10 to 20 people to support local operations and working with city officials closely to launch new markets,” he said. Added to their success, Business Insider named LimeBike one of the hottest startups launched in 2017.


Ravi Vayuvegula, MBA 13

Ravi Vayuvegula, of Seattle, became the senior vice president for sales and marketing, U.S., at Lynx Analytics, a mature mid-size company highly awarded for innovation in graph analytics—a technique used to surface insights from complexly connected data points. “The most well-known examples of graph analytics are social graphs in LinkedIn and Facebook that highlight the various ways we are all connected. Another example is the recommendation engine so well employed by the likes of Amazon,” Ravi said, adding, “Our operations in the U.S. have started to ramp up, and I am super excited to be leading the charge for growth! Please do reach out if you are interested in knowing more about Lynx Analytics and what we can do.”



Sumitha Sampath, MBA 14

Sumitha Sampath, of Fremont, Calif., announces, “I started my new role as vice president of operations in XVELA recently. XVELA is a startup based in Oakland. Its many-to-many maritime business network connects container shipping lines and terminals to seamlessly exchange information and collaborate to achieve win-win outcomes. XVELA has been gaining momentum in the marketplace and has signed key customers. As we roll out and support our cloud-based SaaS, my global team and I are looking forward to providing superior experience to customers all over the world.”


Noah Deich, co-founder and director of Oakland’s Center for Carbon Removal, was featured in a November New Yorker article about carbon-dioxide removal, a potential trillion-dollar enterprise that offers a way not just to slow the rise of CO2 but to reverse it. In “Can Carbon-Dioxide Removal Save the World?” Deich said he came to Haas with a vision of working for a cleantech startup. “But I also had this idea floating around in the back of my head that we’re moving too slowly to actually stop emissions in time,” he said. “So what do we do with all the carbon that’s in the air?” Deich describes his center as a “think-and-do” tank.

Andrew Lee, of Berkeley, Calif., reports, “In 2017, I co-founded a company,, with my wife, Elizabeth. The company name is a play on words between ‘wedding’ and ‘doula.’ We realized that contemporary weddings have devolved into Google Sheets, checklists, and logistics. Our aim is to re-infuse intentionality and soul to weddings. As an example, The Woula works with brides and couples on items like writing vows, setting boundaries with family, and staying mindful on their wedding day.”


Lach Litwer, MBA 15, with Alexia, Rowan, and Ila

Lach Litwer, of Hood River, Ore., founded Wõden, LLC, an advisory firm helping technology clients capture prototyping and procurement contracts with the Department of Defense and NASA and assisting public and private sector clients navigate Vehicle to Grid and Smartgrid development (visit He adds, “Moved family from Oakland to Hood River. We are glad to be back in the state in which we grew up and met each other.”


MBA Class of 2015 alumni James Wang, Champ Suthipongchai, and Alastair Trueger

Alastair Trueger, of San Francisco, started Creative Ventures, with classmates Champ Suthipongchai and James Wang. Building on the success of their first fund, they are now raising their second fund, focused on addressing macroeconomic challenges like labor productivity, climate change, and the aging population using so-called “deep technology.” Standout companies from Fund I include Dishcraft Robotics, a breakthrough robotics company, and ALICE technologies, a breakthrough AI for construction startups.


Art Amador, along with classmate Chidananda Khatua, launched San Francisco-based EquBot, the world’s first active exchange-traded fund that utilizes artificial intelligence to mimic analysts working around the clock. EquBot uses IBM’s Watson platform and, as Bloomberg reports, “will attempt to mimic an army of equity research analysts.” The story was also picked up by Business Insider and MarketWatch. Chris Natividad is the company’s CIO.

Ariana A. (Alisjahbana) Busch recently moved to New York City from China. “I am working for Alibaba Group in the U.S. office,” she writes. “Looking forward to meeting Haasies in the area.”

Rebecca (Yuen) Lee, of San Francisco, started a new job as a senior product manager at Salesforce. Last March, she married Earl Lee.


Derek Purdy, MBA 16 (second from right) with family Krissy, Christopher, Benjamin, Josephine, and William

Derek Purdy, of Sunnyvale, Calif., started a new job as director of quality assurance at Benvenue Medical in Santa Clara. Last year he celebrated the birth of a daughter, Josephine, and also had a magical vacation in Hawaii.


Abhishek Sharma MBA 16


Vicki Gorman, MBA 17


William Morgenstern, MBA 16

Abhishek Sharma, of San Diego, Calif., writes, “What started as a carpool group became a real estate fund called Darina Capital Partners. The general partners of the fund, including Vicki Gorman, MBA 17, and William Morgenstern, invested in three multi-family buildings in 2017. The fund is backed by several Haas investors and has the vision of creating long-term wealth.”


Kendrick Vaughn, MBA 16, at the United States Military Academy with fellow Haasie Alex Pederson, MBA 12

Kendrick (Kenny) Vaughn, of West Point, N.Y., announces, “My 2018 resolution: Embrace a ‘growth mindset,’ connect with my Berkeley/Haas network on the East Coast, and tangibly take steps toward opening a medical practice (acupuncture) with my wife, Seneca. After sharing my resolution with Alumni Relations, I was immediately connected with Alex Pederson, MBA 12, who the following week drove an hour and a half from N.Y.C. to visit me at West Point. I gave Alex a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the academy and shared how the military continues to shape my leadership. Alex shared his experiences from the medical industry, helped me refine a business model, and provided updates on alumni events taking place in the New York area. A phenomenal way to start the New Year as well as a great reminder of the warmth, generosity, and thoughtfulness of our Haas family!”


Kyle Clark, of Berkeley, Calif., started work at CITRIS Foundry, the University of California accelerator for founders building deep technology companies, and writes, “It’s been fascinating to be back on campus working with some of the world’s most brilliant scientists and engineers on building startups—it truly tests my ability to be a student always!”

Mark Murphy, of Jersey City, N.J., was accepted into Y Combinator’s winter 2018 batch as co-founder of Players’ Lounge, an eSports company he worked on while at Haas.


Kourosh Zamanizadeh See BS 2009




Jamie M. Pirrello, BCEMBA 04

Jamie Pirrello, of Atlanta, announces, “After the sale of UCP, Inc. (NYSE: UCP) to Century Communities, I accepted the position of chief financial officer for Interior Logic Group. Headquartered in Atlanta, ILG is backed by Platinum Equity, a private equity firm in Beverly Hills, California. While I am very sorry to leave San Jose and the Bay Area, I am very excited about the opportunity with ILG.”


Gayle Miller, of Sacramento, Calif., writes, “The Berkeley-Columbia (BCEMBA) Class of 2006 mourns the loss of our dear classmate, Lali Reddy. Over 12 years, we have never known Lali except as a fighter. She was tireless; she was fearless; she never stopped caring and doing for others. Science-based compassion that could be linked to a specific area in our brains was her theme. She could map the brain and show you where compassion was housed. Compassion was her dream and her goal. And this compassion will be her legacy—even in the research her disease has inspired. Lali taught us simple things—like how to use an Excel spreadsheet, what it meant to work in business development at Genentech, and more. But she taught us even more important things—like mindfulness and meditation—things that have changed my life. She was a selfless friend to all of us. We are grateful for Lali’s presence in our lives and hope that her memory endures as a blessing.”



BCEMBA 2010 classmates, from left: Anuj Ralhan, Ryan Day, Tushar Shanbhag, Leigh Flores, Ken Nevarez, Michael Chaput, Eric Hall, Matthew Cooper, Guadalupe Nickell, Kian Sandjideh, Christopher Fong, Indy Kimble, and Dan Kimble

Christopher Fong gathered before the holidays with Tushar Shanbhag, Anuj Ralhan, Tapan Samaddar, Kian Sandjideh, Michael Chaput, Matthew Cooper, Eric Hall, Guadalupe Nickell, KV Rajan, Dan Kimble, Ryan Day, Ken Nevarez, Leigh Flores, and Natalie Myres, along with some class members’ extended families. “We caught up over new jobs, startups, family members, and new arrivals and planned a quarterly gathering at the same location. If any MBA class would like to organize a fairly convenient location for San Francisco, East Bay, and South Bay classmates, we recommend exploring the Anchor Public Taps as an option. It’s next to the Anchor Brewery at 495 De Haro Street, has easy street parking for a Sunday afternoon, and it’s between the 280 and 101 freeways.”


Anuj Ralhan, BCEMBA 10

Anuj Ralhan, of San Francisco, has a new job (as of July 2017) as executive director with Mooreland Partners, a mid-market investment bank focused on M&A advisory and private capital raising with offices in London, New York, and Silicon Valley.



Rupam Shrivastava (far right) with BCEMBA 2011 classmates in New York: Kathy Kagan, Joel Gutierrez, and John Olson

Rupam Shrivastava, of Jersey City, N.J., announces, “My partners and I are launching a new asset management company. We have an 18-year pedigree in venture investing with successful investments like Baidu and Skype. Our public equity fund is newly launched and focused on factor-based investing for technology stocks. The plan is to use VC style investing in public stocks—focusing on strong teams, scalable business models, capital efficiency, and sustainable growth among others. Our research is based on the original Fama French 3 factor model as enhanced subsequently by Carhart. We have refined and adapted this model for U.S. technology stocks with a focus on factors that we consider relevant (from a VC perspective). I would love to share further details and connect with like-minded alumni. I will be moving to the Bay Area early in 2018 for the launch of the new company. Hoping to connect with you all.”


Emilie Arel, according to Markets Insider, was named CEO of FULLBEAUTY Brands Inc., an authority for plus-size women and men seeking fashion inspiration, style advice, and clothing tailored to their individual needs.


Carter Reue, BCEMBA 12, with his wife, Kat, and two kids, Ellana and Orion—the Reue crew!

Carter Reue, of Alameda, Calif., writes, “My wife, Kat, and I are thrilled to announce the birth of our second child, a baby boy! Orion Reue was born this November and both mother and child are doing well. In less than four years of marriage, ‘the Reue crew’ is now a family of four! It’s been a whirlwind, and we feel blessed by all of our good fortune along the way. Thank you to all the people who helped us out as our family grows—every babysitting session, meal, and note of congratulations has been meaningful to us, and we are grateful and forever indebted to all who have gone beyond themselves to provide us assistance and support.”


Heather Davis, of Oakland, Calif., was promoted to CFO at Making Waves Foundation, which supports Making Waves Academy in Richmond, California. This followed the successful completion of a year and a half long project in switching out the accounting system for both entities simultaneously. Making Waves Foundation is a private operating foundation that supports the 800-student Title I charter school, provides a scholarship and coaching program for more than 500 first-generation college students across the nation, and is undergoing a $530M school expansion project to serve over 6,000 students in two new cities. Heather was living in Napa and bought a new house in the Oakland Hills in August.

Elisa Rossi, founder of Rossi & Rei, a new luxury brand connecting established luxury craftsmen to the modern consumer, was profiled in Fast Company last year. Her startup connects consumers directly with the artisans who make luxury goods for brands like Chanel and Prada. She coined the phrase human-to-human luxury to describe her business model. See



Darrick Lam, MBA 16

Darrick Lam, of Sacramento, Calif., became CEO of ACC Senior Services ( after a 21-year career in the public sector. The private nonprofit organization “promotes the general welfare and enhances the quality of life for the community by identifying, developing, and providing culturally sensitive health and social services for older adults in the Sacramento Valley,” he writes. “I am very pleased I can apply my newly minted business skills that I have gained from the EMBA Program to not only maintain the quality services but also continue to increase the footprint of this organization.”

Cristy Johnston Limón took on a new job as executive director of San Francisco-based youth arts organization Youth Speaks. For the past seven years, she served as executive director of the Destiny Arts Center in Oakland, a leading youth arts education and movement organization. She writes, “Access to the arts gave me hope and a vision for what our communities could be when our voices were driving the conversation.”



Cathy Goodwin, of Philadelphia, announces, “Just released a new Kindle ebook: Grow Your Business One Story At A Time: How Strategic Storytelling Helps You Stand Out And Succeed In A Crowded Marketplace. Most storytelling books will help you become a better storyteller. This book shows you how to use stories to become a better marketer.” She released a CreateSpace version in January. “I’ve got other ebooks on Kindle as well and will be adding to the list in 2018. Love for anyone to read my books and share their views.” Her course on Udemy—Storytelling For Small Business Marketing—is discounted with this coupon:

Nicholas G. Hall, of Columbus, Ohio, Fisher College of Business Distinguished Professor at The Ohio State University, is serving as the 2018 president of INFORMS. The 12,500- member professional society is the world leader in operations research and analytics theory and applications to business, public policy, sustainability, and health care. Under Professor Hall’s leadership, INFORMS will showcase its award-winning work at its first Policy Day on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., in May.

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