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Chris Zach, MBA 13, Selects Haas for Culture Lester Center


After learning about the environmental and supply concerns associated with energy use during his work with Caterpillar Inc. and the Department of Energy, Chris Zach was inspired to pursue an MBA. He wanted to play a bigger role in guiding clean technologies from the laboratory to commercial viability. But not just any MBA would do. For Zach, MBA 13, the culture at Berkeley Haas was the deciding factor.


Zach, the recipient of a Mike and Carol Meyer Graduate Fellowship, was initially attracted to the school’s commitment to specific values with its Defining Leadership Principles. “I want to be at a school that isn’t trying to be everything to everyone,” says Zach. The principles Students Always and Beyond Yourself especially resonate with Zach. He has always had a voracious appetite for learning and is interested in clean technology because of its critical importance to people and the planet.


In addition to culture, Zach found Berkeley Haas appealing because of its strength in the area of entrepreneurship. “I knew that I’d have a network of peers interested in entrepreneurship as well as the considerable resources of the Lester Center,” says Zach. Given his interest in clean technology, the Cleantech to Market Program, and the school’s strong connection to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) were other key factors.


Zach’s lifelong passion for figuring out how things work first led him to earn a degree in mechanical engineering. He gained experience in the business of technology through rotations in marketing, business development, and strategy at Caterpillar, as well as in his work with an energy consulting firm in Washington, D.C., analyzing opportunities for new, energy-efficient technologies for the Department of Energy. A summer internship with Mission Motors, a San Francisco-based supplier of advanced electric vehicle powertrain technology, is deepening his knowledge of the cleantech sphere. He is also a vice president of the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative, a multidisciplinary club on campus, where he is launching a new program for students to help assess the commercial viability of LBNL’s energy inventions.


The Mike and Carol Meyer Graduate Fellowships were established in 2010 to support students pursuing a full-time MBA who also have engineering experience and intend to pursue an entrepreneurial career. “I am so pleased Chris Zach is receiving this fellowship because of his excellent academic record, background in engineering, and entrepreneurial focus,” says Carol Meyer, BS 69, MBA 71. “Chris is already accomplished in his career,” adds Mike Meyer, MBA 70. “His multidisciplinary perspective and humbleness make him the versatile business leader companies are looking for now.


Deeper Roots in Big Apple


An energetic group of East Coast alumni has re-launched the New York Chapter of the Haas Alumni Network. After meeting with Dean Rich Lyons in May, the group finalized new board roles and bylaws in June. One major goal of the chapter: enable the tri-state region’s 1,700 alumni to better connect with each other. To get involved, email Chris Nuttall, MBA 02,, or Will Wright, MBA 09, will_ wright@mckinsey. com, and join the new “Haas in NYC” groups on LinkedIn and Facebook.