Alumni Notes




Mary (Forquer) Guinee writes, “After living in Santa Cruz for 16 years, I returned to Hayward three years ago. My two sisters live close by, but, to my dismay, I found out that many of my old friends had died. Now I wonder if there are any of my former classmates in or near the Bay Area. In ’44, ’45, and ’46, I socialized at Newman Hall. Anyone remember that? No one called me Mary. I was better known as ‘Bonnie.’ I would be pleased to connect with a former classmate. My e-mail is My latest endeavor is learning to play the ukelele. Also, I am trying to become more proficient in Spanish.”


Gerald Wheeler, of Pierce County, Wash., reports, “After six years as a retired CPA, I started a new career as a police chaplain with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. Very rewarding kind of work.”


Ronald “Bud” Figel writes, “I started Cal in pre-dental in 1951 and soon recognized that my grades were not very good. I switched to liberal arts and then to business administration. Due to the Korean War, I was drafted in 1953 and applied for active duty in the Navy Reserve. I was assigned to Electronics School even though I was a 2nd class yeoman striker because of my relative scores. After discharge I decided to combine my business and electronic educations, and received a position with the Dalmo-Victor Co. in Redwood City, Calif., and after a very brief term in an executive position, I realized that this was a ‘go-nowhere’ situation for me. I was 24 years old.

I was offered an opportunity to go into business in Denver. Discount stores had become new in retail. GOLO was a new discount store and needed someone to operate the sporting goods department. I started with a partner with $10,000 loans each. We started the business in a ‘leased’ department on Oct. 10, 1956. After a few years we were offered the opportunity to open two larger departments in GEM stores. After a few more years, we leased space in a new large shopping center and named our new store Sports Villa. Operating two ‘discount’ departments and the freestanding standard ‘legitimate’ retail store was incompatible. Because we had two fairly large inventories in those two GEM stores it was prudent to lease a second freestanding store, which we also named Sports Villa. We leased a third Sports Villa store in another new Northglenn shopping center in Northglenn, Colo. Sports Villa, with three stores, became the third largest retail sporting goods company in Colorado. We decided to open a store named Pier 77 with some other partners. Within a couple of hours I received enough information to make my trip well worthwhile.

“We experienced a series of store break-ins and robberies because of the guns and ammunition and too much internal and external pilferage and eventually sold the sporting goods stores. They are now Sports Authority stores.

“I decided to totally leave the retail business and go into commercial real estate, and became very active in Adams County land just north of Denver. As a governor on the Board of the Adams County Economic Development Committee, I developed a real estate database and was named ‘Developer of the Year’ for two consecutive years. I was actively involved with the new Denver International Airport (DIA) development. I retired from Fuller and Company and commercial real estate when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). Now, in addition to a regime of yoga and swimming therapy twice a week, I volunteer. I joined a group called SCORE, (Service Core of Retired Executives) and joined the Denver Rotary and Denver City Club. I was also a member of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and was elected chairman of the Denver Mayor’s Commission for People with Disabilities.

“My wife, Mimi, and I read, travel, and attend theater and the symphony. I have four sons, who are all married and all professionals, and eight grandchildren, including three in college.”

Norman Parsons, of Clovis, Calif., writes, “My oldest granddaughter, Brooke Plummer, of Capistrano Beach, Calif., a graduate of UCLA, married Pedro Brasil Dellabello of Rio de Janiero, Brazil, on June 21, 2013. She met him while in Rio as part of her UCLA curriculum two years ago. He flew to Southern California to propose to her. They can speak to each other in Portuguese. My family needed some more Latin members and is now one-half Anglo and one-half Latin—mostly Mexican and now some Brazilian.”


Dan March, of Burlingame, Calif., a retired elementary school administrator, is expecting a fourth grandchild—first granddaughter.


Joan (aka Joanie Hobday) Krizman, of Sacramento, Calif., writes, “Am doing the same thing we have been doing for several years. Renting our many Craftsman, Tudor, and other style houses in the East Sacramento and Land Park areas of Sacramento. They are advertised on—and once they are put up, the phones start ringing. We also advertise other landlord and homeowners’ homes on our website.

“Prior to this, we took interesting trips to Myanmar, Bangkok, and Angkor Watt in Cambodia. Subsequently, we visited Cartagena and Cali, in Colombia, S.A., and attended son Kent Krizman’s wedding in December. He, too, is a Cal-Berkeley alumnus.

“When this heavy rental season is over (April 15 thru October 15), we will definitely need two or three more vacations to unwind and relax. We can’t decide where to go because we have seen many countries. I, as a Gemini, always like to see something new.

“Have lived in the ‘Fabulous Forties’ in East Sacramento for the past several years. Prior to this, we lived in Hillsborough, south of San Francisco. While we might miss a few cultural activities here, we love the weather, outside cafes and restaurants, all summer long. We are involved in the Sacramento Philharmonic, Sacramento Opera, Sacramento Ballet, Classical Chamber Music of Sacramento, Crocker Museum, etc.”


Tom Kasten, of Hillsborough, Calif., see MBA 1965 notes.

Richard Power, of Shingle Springs, Calif., reports, “In the past, I have created software for various activities, including engineering tech measurements as well as legal processes under the name of RCP Software ( Recently, my wife and I decided to promote the data management software creation process by advertising more. I have sold software to people all over the country. Also as a lawyer, I would love to create software solutions for the California courts if they would let me help but so far that has been a fruitless effort, even though the California court system is essentially going down the drain due to inefficient operating practices. Didn’t Haas teach us to operate efficiently? Why does government have to fight efficiency so much? Can we really afford to have our court system go down the drain? I don’t think so. Are there any other Haas alumni out there who would like to jump in and help save the state court system before it virtually shuts down?”


Vijay (Pandit) Kumar, of Mountain View, Calif., writes, “I am on the board of advisors of Internet Speech, which is having a greater success outside of the U.S.A. than within it. My son Jay works for Solar City based in San Mateo; it had its IPO this year. Unlike Facebook, its stock price has nearly tripled in value. My son’s employee stock options are getting higher in value. My daughter sells real estate in the Santa Cruz area. Real estate was stagnant a couple of years ago, but her sales are improving now.”

Howard Fong, of Monterey Park, Calif., is a commissioner on the Art and Culture Commission and the Sister Cities Commission, City of Monterey Park.


David Goold, of Woodland, Calif., writes, “I very recently retired after 23 years with the County of Sacramento, where I served as a senior accountant and administrative services officer. I will be continuing my small CPA and nonprofit consulting practice. I have also been a church organist for more than 40 years, starting at age 15.”


Rich Knox, of Orange, Calif., writes, “In 2011, retired from Allergan and a career in supply chain management. Now enjoying more time with my two grandkids, traveling, playing golf, coaching Little League, volunteering at PGA golf tournaments, and riding my 2008 Harley Davidson motorcycle. Last summer, my wife, Janet, and I traveled to St. Augustine, Fla., to visit the World Golf Hall of Fame. We are planning to vacation in Maui, Hawaii, later this summer.”


John Fulton, of Charlotte, N.C., reports, “After 14 years in a variety of senior management roles at Daimler, I have returned to my former career in the brokerage industry. Once again, I am serving the needs of business buyers and sellers in the Southeastern United States, as a senior broker with Sunbelt Business Brokers.”


Douglas Weitzman, of Los Angeles, writes, “I attended Berkeley from 1975 to 1977 and lived in Spens-Black for the first year. I was a resident assistant. In 1976 I transferred to the law dorm, as a pre-law student, and lived there until I graduated early in March 1977. I then attended Southwestern Law School from 1977 to 1980; graduated with honors; passed the bar; and continued my education at USC, where I graduated with high honors with an MBT, taxation in May 1981. I have practiced law since 1980, and I have had an active real estate brokerage from since 1981, managing some of the biggest real estate companies in Southern California, including Jon Douglas, Fred Sands, Century 21, Keller-Williams, Prudential and other prestigious real estate companies. I ran for judge, L.A. Superior Court, and came in a strong second.


Tom Frainier, CEO of Semifreddi’s Handcrafted Bread & Pastries, recently helped The Bread Project, a nonprofit organization that teaches culinary and life skills to those down on their luck so they can gain employment. His vice president of bakery operations had been involved with The Bread Project as a volunteer teacher for many years, and Semifreddi’s had donated raw materials, bakery equipment, and even a van over the years. In 2009, The Bread Project was desperately seeking a new location or would otherwise have to discontinue its program. He writes, “As luck would have it, Semifreddi’s was moving to Alameda around the same time, and we were leaving behind a space that had two years remaining on the lease. We decided to sublease the space at a discounted rent to The Bread Project. We subsidized half of The Bread Project’s rent for more than two years so that they could afford to move in and continue to operate. That subsidy was worth $150,000. We were glad that we could help this worthwhile cause. The Bread Project continues to thrive today. For more information visit”

Steven Kaplan, of Stateline, Nev., reports, “After spending 25 years in the IT industry on the channel side of the business, including co-founding, running, and selling a couple of channel partner firms, I recently accepted the position of VP of channel and strategic sales for Nutanix. Nutanix utilizes the scale-out model pioneered by Google to provide converged infrastructure solutions for commercial and government data centers. It’s the fastest growing infrastructure company of the past decade and has an annual run rate of over $80 million in revenues after just 6 quarters shipping.”


Julie (Julie Ann Cramer) Zoellin, of San Diego, Calif., writes, “I am currently a senior research associate at the University of San Diego Center for Education Policy and Law. This year, I am also working on the development of a new center, The Mobile Technology Learning Center, as its interim director of operations. The center focuses on mobile technology learning in the K-12 classroom. As part of the center space planning, I took the opportunity to visit Cal’s Education Technology Department. Brenda Farmer provided a tour of Dwinelle’s active learning classroom. What a great way to reconnect with Cal, thank you Brenda!”


Vince McCambridge, of San Francisco, Calif., announces his five-year anniversary as a director in fixed income capital markets at Robert W. Baird, a Milwaukee-based investment bank.


George Oliva, of Pleasanton, Calif., reports, “Currently looking for my next professional challenge. I have more than 20 years as a controller, VP of finance, and CFO in Silicon Valley and have extensive experience with startups and turnarounds. Big 4 CPA. My last CEO called me his secret weapon. I am looking to help deliver a company to its next stage, profitability, growth, M&A, or an IPO.” George has been married 28 years, has three children in college, and lives in the East Bay.


Jeff Myers, of Washington, D.C., writes, “I am enjoying work at REI Systems, where we help the government make information available to the public. We developed and operate,,,, and, among others. Sometimes I like what the government does and sometimes I don’t, but I think it’s always healthy for the people to be able to see what the government is doing so they can make up their own minds. On the home front, my wife, Lin Liu, BA ‘88, works for the government directly, and my kids Hope and Tucker love walking to school in downtown Washington, D.C.”

Leslie (Lindahl) Schibsted, of Chico, Calif., was recently appointed interim associate vice president for development as lead campus fundraiser at Chico State.

Raymond Young, of Fremont, Calif., writes, “I photographed for Sygma Agency Paris and Pageantry Magazine from 1990 to 2006. After seven years Pageantry called me and said the magazine was letting a photographer go and wanted me back. After deliberation, we mutually agreed; my first assignment was Miss USA, June, 16, 2013, at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas. Thank you, Carl Dunn. On the CPA front, I have been very successful negotiating settlements with the IRS and Franchise Tax Board.”


Timothy Yee, of Oakland, Calif., updates as follows: “Timothy R. Yee, AIF and co-founder of Green Retirement Plans, is pleased to welcome new 401k clients New Resource Bank of San Francisco, Solar Alternatives of New Orleans, and the Capital Good Fund of Rhode Island. We are proud of the good work our clients are doing in community banking, solar panel installation, and community micro-loans.” He adds, “My wife, Rose, and I are empty nesters and are thinking of selling our home in the Oakland Hills and moving to a yacht.”


Jennifer Gandin, of Los Angeles, Calif., announces, “My husband, Peter Tontonoz, and I welcomed our son Elliot Dow Tontonoz on October 17, 2012. He joins big sister Eve.”

Lidia Stiglich, of Reno, Nev., was appointed to the district court bench for the Second Judicial District Court in Washoe County, Nev., on November 30, 2012.

Andrea Romano, of Parma, Italy, writes, “How great it is to celebrate 20 years since graduation, how crisp are my feelings and memories at Haas, but I am also celebrating my five years at Dell this year and 21 years of marriage! While my sailboat turns 17, my oldest son (of three) is still 16: Let’s talk about priorities! Robert Morgan, BS 93, will visit this summer and I hope other mates will join us for a cruise along the Croatian Islands. Fair winds to all of you Bears of 93.”


Larry Fox, of Richmond, Calif., reports, “Working for Kaiser Permanente in the National HR Service Center as an HR analyst. Continuing the ongoing journey/challenge of being a husband to my wife and a father to my three children. Am president of my congregation, Temple Beth Hillel, and doing my fair share of volunteer work.”


Daniel Abram, of New York, N.Y., recently joined the real estate group of national law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP in its New York City office.


Charlene Choi, of Shanghai, China, writes, “Went back to full-time work after two kids and moved from New York to Shanghai. Now at Standard Chartered as a credit analyst for large local corporations (very interesting vis-à-vis the Fortune 500s in the United States).”

Christina Hollingsworth Zhang, of Petaluma, Calif., informs, “I recently completed my 12th busy season in public accounting, only this time I did it with my new firm, Dillwood Burkel & Millar LLP, in Santa Rosa. DBM is a full-service accounting firm providing tax, accounting, business valuation, and consulting services for a variety of business clients and high net-worth individuals. As a senior assurance service manager, I have been working with small- to medium-size partnerships and corporations in wine, manufacturing, technology, and nonprofit industries. I’m proud of the quality services my new firm provides our clients and would love to connect with alumni in the North Bay area who can use our help! Give me a call at 707-577-8806 or email me at”


Jesse Freitag-Akselrod, of London, England, writes, “Fellow Bears! After five years as a stock picker in the listed real estate space, in 2010 I launched Akselrod Consulting, a standalone consultancy with a focus on the European REIT sector. Please take a look at our website at and send anyone our way who might benefit from unbiased and straight-shooting European real estate advice. More recently, I’m rolling out an e-learning platform called Akselrod Academy, which is dedicated to financial modeling and company valuation. For some lighthearted (and hopefully humorous) Excel video-tutorials, please visit us at and check out our AkselrodAcademy YouTube channel. Go Bears!”

David Cheng, of San Francisco, Calif., reports, “I recently co-founded VendorStack, a ‘Yelp + Quora’ for enterprise vendors. We provide a platform for enterprise consumers to do better vendor discovery. We launched our open beta in February 2013 on TechCrunch and raised a small angel note from 500 Startups and other angels. I hope to grow our business and bring more great Cal/Haas talent into our small but growing team! Go Bears!”

Shannon Gallagher-Bolton, of San Diego, Calif., reports, “After six years of practicing big law at Cooley LLP, I recently accepted an in-house position at Qualcomm, where I will be working with Qualcomm Ventures and assisting on M&A transactions.


Fresas Flores Balistreri, of San Diego, Calif., writes, “I am so thrilled to have co-founded a music education/technology company called BRAVURA innovations, which launched in March 2013 to promote global accessibility of music through innovation. Check us out at!

“In February 2013, my husband, Piero, and I took an adventure-filled vacation to the beautiful islands of the Philippines, my home country. We visited historical sites in Manila, went scuba diving in the world-famous and top scuba diving site, Anilao, strolled through the top-rated white sand beach at Boracay, and stayed with wonderful family.”

Aaron McDaniel, of San Francisco, Calif., updates as follows: “Aaron McDaniel’s second book, The Young Professional’s Guide to Managing (published by Career Press, foreword by Jim Kouzes), recently hit bookstores. It’s an essential guide for all millennial managers. The first book in the series, The Young Professional’s Guide to the Working World (published in 2012) received acclaim, including being on the Business Top-Ten English Books List in Europe (WirtschaftsBlatt).”

Artin Sedighan, of Los Angeles, Calif., a senior associate at Cappello Capital Corp. since November 2011, writes, “Completed an MBA at Columbia Business School Class of 2010. Returned to L.A., where I got married to my high school sweetheart and we had our baby girl, Siena June Sedighan, on Christmas Day 2012.”


Viet Nguyen, of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is assistant vice president at CDH Investments, a Hong Kong-based private equity fund.


Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez, both of San Francisco, Calif., write, “We’re very excited to be launching our second product at Back to the Roots, and we absolutely wouldn’t be here without the support of Haas. In addition to our Grow-at-Home Mushroom Kits, we now have the AquaFarm—a fish tank that also grows food! The fish feed the plants by creating usable nutrients and the plants clean the water for the fish! We’re excited to be taking our brand beyond the ‘mushroom guys’ and can’t wait to continue connecting families to food through various beautiful, fun, and innovative products. Look out for the AquaFarm on our website and at Whole Foods, Nordstrom, and Petco!”

Jeshana Jenson, of Jalalabad, Afghanistan, writes, “I am currently deployed in Afghanistan serving in the United States Air Force. I recently reached my four-year mark in the Air Force and pinned on ‘captain.’ I get back from this deployment in August, and I’m getting married in November! I’m marrying a rocket scientist who works at NASA. He’s born and raised in Virginia, where we both live now. Exciting new adventures ahead of us!”


Jennifer Lau, of Shanghai, China, reports, “After spending nearly two years in Apple’s Finance Development Program, where I worked in various groups, including iPhone and worldwide financial planning and analysis, I am now permanently joining the retail finance team in Shanghai as a store operations analyst for Greater China.”


Daniel Chun, of Los Angeles, Calif., has been working for DreamWorks Animation SKG as the assistant to the producers and directors of the company’s animated feature, The Croods, starring Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, and Ryan Reynolds. After more than four years in production and premiering at the Berlin Film Festival in February, this film was released in the United States on March 22, 2013.

Matthew De Soto, of San Francisco, Calif., writes, “I started a new position in sales with Apttus Technology. Along with my new position, I’ve relocated to the Marina District in San Francisco, two blocks away from the Marina Green. I’m loving my new place in the city so far!”

Edmond Lee, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., is currently working at a biotech startup in Camarillo that makes cutting-edge bioreactors. He adds, “Intending to matriculate at Columbia Law this fall, but plans have a way of changing.”

Melissa Medina Em, of Washington, D.C., reports, “At the beginning of the 113th Session of Congress, Representative Ed Royce, my boss, became chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. With his new position, I now serve as the legislative assistant who works on his foreign affairs portfolio and as the committee liaison. Working for the chairman brings unique experience and I continue to be a ‘lifelong learner’ in my new capacity.

“In Washington, D.C., I sit on the board of the California State Society, a nonprofit, bipartisan, social/networking organization whose objective is to promote friendly relations among its members and to serve the interests of the nation and the state of California. I also recently got accepted to the Women’s Campaign School at Yale.”


Virginia Chung, of Berkeley, Calif., writes, “I started a financial ‘edutainment’ project with my Haas classmates, Shuonan Chen and Justin Chu, both BS 13. We entered the Big Ideas@Berkeley 2012-13 Competition under the new Financial Literacy category. I’m very excited to say that we won First Place overall and the Grand Prize Pitch Day contest for Campus & Community Impact! Our project is called Cashify, an online, fun, social platform for financial edutainment. Users play games while learning money management skills and in doing so earn points to redeem for goods and events. If you’re interested in learning more about us, please email”

Back to Top



Winton (Wint) Mather, of Walnut Creek, Calif., writes, “Since 1955, I had two years in the U.S. Air Force, in Texas, and upon returning to California joined IBM, with postings to Hawaii, Washington, D.C.; Dusseldorf, Germany; and many stops in between. My 32 years with IBM were very fruitful, with many different jobs, thousands of associates, and presentations to so many different large and small customers in marketing and marketing management!

“I just returned from my 105th country, visiting Burma (Myanmar) on a two-week trip with Overseas Adventure Travel (15th trip with them). The country is rich with Buddhist history and philosophy/religion. Incredible isolation from the rest of the developing countries, but now on the right track, with a major election, scheduled for May 2015. A photographer’s paradise, with 135 tribes, each with its own language but Burmese as a master interchange. Everyone should have this country on the ‘bucket list.’ I now live in Rossmoor, since my wife died in 2002 at our home in Orinda, Calif.”


Tom Kasten, of Hillsborough, Calif., writes, After serving 12 years on the Hillsborough City Council, two terms as mayor, and 12 years as police commissioner, I retired from the council. It was a great 12 years, including serving on a number of municipal and county boards. I was chair of the board of the City/County Association of Governments for San Mateo County and a board member of the Housing Endowment and Regional Trust of San Mateo County, the Peninsula Traffic Congestion Relief Alliance, and the Office of Emergency Services.

“On July 1 I became president of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, and Sonoma counties. I also serve on the board of the Bay Area Water Supply & Conservation Agency, as well as on the board of a private medical device company, and three investment committees. No moss growing under my feet.”


Philip Carville, of Nevada City, Calif., writes, “Have had lots of fun and done many things over the past 45 years since graduating from the School of Business, as it was called before Peter Haas made his generous donation to the school. I live now in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and work with a few project/investments. The school gave me a perspective on business and society for which I am very thankful.”


Lewis Okser, of Brooklyn, N.Y., informs, “I retired as senior VP of Knight Group back in 2002. My career has been in stock and commodity model building (quants now) having worked for people like Jim Simons, Alexander Migdal, and Gregory Chudnovsky. I tried my hand twice after that in China and was ‘shmeissed’ each time. I just joined a new absolute return/high-yield strategy fund purchased by a former partner. The fund has 20 years of profits and no losses. The model basically predicts U.S. interest rate movement. I am looking to connect with Haas graduates interested in seeing further information about the investment possibilities. This is the first time the model has been offered to institutional and hedge fund investors.”


Remembering John Hanson: A Biography of the First President of the Original United States Government, a book by Peter Michael, of Adamstown, Md., has been named the 2013 eLit Awards Silver Medalist in Biography for books published in 2012. Says Peter, “It would be hard to recognize a more deserving subject than the overlooked John Hanson for this important award, which should go far in helping to reintroduce him to the American people.” The eLit Awards, an industrywide unaffiliated awards program open to the worldwide electronic publishing industry, are conferred annually to illuminate and honor the very best in English-language digital publishing. Remembering John Hanson may be purchased at


Don Bellizzi, of Carmel, N.Y., writes, “We bought a beautiful redwood forest in Elk, Calif., just south of Mendocino. We intend to use it as a vacation home and will be spending more time in California.”


Chris Braunlich, of Briones, Calif., reports, “I am now CEO and director of Conservation Volunteers International Program, a nonprofit dedicated to the sustainability of some of the world’s greatest landscapes and cultural sites. We partner with REI Adventures to lead Volunteer Vacations to Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Machu Picchu in Peru, and Yosemite National Park in California. See our website at

“Although my CEO job at Conservation VIP is 100 percent volunteer, I spend a huge amount of time and energy on it. Why? Originally, it was because I fell in love with Patagonia on my first visit there, realized that it needed help, and wanted to contribute. Now, it is because I know that our organization makes a significant difference to some fabulous places that really need our help. When I read our trip leaders’ reports, I’m always impressed to see how much a small group of people can accomplish when they work together. I also know that we make a difference to the people who participate in our trips. After every trip I see the great reviews that people write, often telling us that the trip was a life-changing experience.”

Marty Cresalia, of Portland, Ore., writes, “Despite all the rumors to the contrary, Portland can be warm and sunny—sometimes. Here is picture of me and my new car, ready for the good days.”

Joe Garrett, of Berkeley, Calif., is serving on the board of directors of Pacific Premier Bank, a $1.4 billion commercial bank in Southern California.

Yoshikazu Inaba, of Tokyo, Japan, is going to start an online site for global asset allocation of ETFs soon.


Emilene Fearn, of Oakland, Calif., completed and was awarded her PhD in Special Education at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education at the end of 2012, only 32 years after completing her MBA studies, giving new meaning to the term “lifelong learner,” she notes. Emilene adds, “I’m currently looking for a university position in the Bay Area teaching graduate-level special and general education teachers. Daughter Dria (UC Hastings grad and attorney) is a law clerk for a U.S. district court magistrate judge, son Jonathan (UC Davis engineering grad, with a master’s degree) is now a software engineer with Check Point Software Technologies on the Peninsula, while husband Jeff Fearn, MBA 83, is enjoying ‘being on sabbatical’ and deciding what he wants to do next.”

Michaela Rodeno, of Napa, Calif., writes, “This year marks the 40th anniversary of Domaine Chandon, where I was employee #2 in 1973 and where I was working while I earned my MBA. The degree surely had something to do with immediately being promoted to VP/marketing. I hope to have finished my book on those heady entrepreneurial days in time for the celebration(s). Cheers!”

Jesse Wolf, of New York, N.Y., who returned to grad school, is currently ABD and expects to receive a PhD in mathematics in September, from the Graduate Center of The City University of New York.


Abe Kohen, of New York, N.Y., reports, “After 11 years at FlexTrade as director, algorithmic trading, and a quarter-century total on Wall Street, I’m hanging out my own shingle as a consultant on all matters of financial engineering, especially as it relates to multi-asset electronic trading. Google me (algorithmic options trading). Tweet me (@abekohen). LinkIn with me.”

Bob Ellis, of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., reports, “I had the good fortune to work for a month in Nigeria as part of IBM’s Corporate Service Corps. The CSC program sends global teams of IBMers to emerging markets to deliver high-quality engagements to local communities and organizations while providing IBMers the opportunity to make unique contributions. My assignment was in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, assisting a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to social development and justice in Nigeria. Other teams addressed IT requirements for the state government and university, all with the full support of the governor. The program exemplifies social responsibility in business and afforded me a rich and rewarding experience in an African culture.”


Therese Miller Henson, of Lewisburg, Pa., writes, “I’m starting on my third career, as the proprietor of Dancing Bear Farm, a bed and breakfast and event venue in central Pennsylvania. After a 25+ year career in corporate human resources and a 10+ year career in mediation and international development, I’m feeling the urge to settle down and grow some roots in this wonderful local community and on this beautiful piece of land. This being my first crack at small business ownership, I am really leaning on that broad-based business education I received at Cal! Marketing, finance, operations, administration—you name it, I’m doing it and loving it!”

On the personal front, she adds, “My life partner of 23 years, Fran McDaniel, passed away suddenly in early 2011. It’s been a rough couple of years since, but a time of reorienting and figuring out what matters most. My daughter will be getting married soon, and her fiancé just graduated with a BA in business from Penn State. My granddaughter is finishing her first year in high school, doing well in a slew of AP classes and every music and drama performance possible!”

Mike Lucero, of Seattle, Wash., writes, “Another successful holiday season with the Xbox Unit of Microsoft (Interactive Entertainment Business). We have launched nearly 100 content applications on the Xbox platform, including ESPN, HBO, BSkyB, Hulu, and Sony Crackle. These apps bring enormous content catalogs onto the Xbox platform where users can enjoy them with the power of the platform, including Kinect and the Xbox Live social features. According to a Forbes article published in January ’Microsoft and Game Consoles are the Future of Television.’ These are exciting times to be in media space and I’m having a great time helping to shape the future.”

Christopher Scharff, of Los Angeles, Calif., writes, “I just celebrated the 10-year anniversary of acquiring Dreamgirl International, an international apparel manufacturer, which has seen its sales grow more than tenfold in the past decade as business has expanded to more than 2,000 accounts in 22 countries around the world.”


Kevin Renner, of Portland, Ore., reports, “Kevin’s firm BrandNew ( has begun providing marketing consultation and management services to the Gokhale Method Institute ( in Palo Alto. Founded by renowned back pain expert Esther Gokhale, the institute’s programs bring significant, non-surgical relief to those suffering from back pain or looking to prevent it.”

Red Smith, of Moraga, Calif., reports, “After 11 fulfilling years as CEO of ContainerTrac, a venture and private equity funded tech company serving the seaport shipping industry, I have accepted the position of president, Business Breakthroughs International. BBI, a Tony Robbins and Chet Holmes company, is a global consulting firm specializing in helping businesses grow revenue and profit.”


Kevin Andrade, of Laguna Niguel, Calif., reports, “For the past 22 years I have been in the real estate development industry. Nearly 19 years of that has been at one firm, Trammell Crow Residential, which transitioned to Mill Creek Residential in 2010. As executive managing director there I’ve been responsible for development and construction operations on the West Coast and have been a member of the company’s management committee. It’s been fun and rewarding, but now I am leaving to pursue my interest in astrophysics, a lifelong passion of mine. In addition, I plan to continue my nonprofit board activities, spend more time with my wife and kids, exercise more, and play more golf. Also, I’ll probably make small real estate investments for my own account. It’s an exciting change for me and I’m really looking forward to it!”

Peter Bluford, of Orinda, Calif., informs, “Since EWMBA graduation in December 1991, I have had the good fortune to continue working and living in the S.F. East Bay. From 1991 to 2008, I migrated through four biotechnology firms, building experience in the areas of licensing, business development, alliance management, and commercial planning. In August 2008, I started an independent consulting business — Lamorinda Life Science Consulting. I specialize in commercializing early-stage technology through market development, sales, collaborative partnering, and license agreements.

“Wife Nancy, Nathan (23), Zachary (20), Savannah (16), and I moved to Orinda in 1996 and have been there ever since. We have been active in the Lamorinda schools, local sports, temple activities, and recently Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley. While I have been fortunate to travel across the United States, Europe, and Asia on business, Nancy and I are looking forward to our own travel as the kids get established in their own lives.”

Frederik Kristensen, of Geneva, Switzerland: “Frederik joined the World Health Organization in Geneva in May, as senior adviser to the assistant director-general. Frederik will in particular focus on the implementation of the recommendations of the U.N. Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women’s and Children’s Health. These cover 13 overlooked life-saving commodities for women and children in resource-poor settings; key barriers preventing access and use have been identified and innovative actions by public, non-governmental, and private entities have been identified to rapidly increase both access and use.”

Tsuguru Saito, of Tokyo, Japan, took on the job as president at GKFX Securities Co., Ltd., following 1.5 years of building up another broker almost from scratch into profitability. “GKFX Financial Services Ltd. bought out an existing domestic forex broker in Japan and turned it into GKFX Securities Co., Ltd. After Tsuguru came to GKFX, he implemented a new trading platform and developed its website ( in less than two months. The initial business results are encouraging, and Tsuguru is pretty confident about the future of GKFX in Japan by reproducing what went well at his previous jobs.


Arden Koontz, of El Cerrito, Calif., writes, “After spending three years in channel management at SolarCity, I’ve recently accepted a position as a partner at Cynergy Group Consulting. CGC provides strategy consulting and investment advisory services for investors and operating companies in the solar space.” Arden adds, “I’ll be relocating to San Miguel, Mexico, with my family for the coming academic year and would be happy to hear from any Haas alums in the area.”


Amy Larson, of Oakland, Calif., was recently featured in the cast of “All I Want Is Silence,” a short film by Cal student Tobias Deml. “As a Cal alum, it was exciting to work with a film cast and crew made up of mostly Cal students,” she says. “My parents both graduated from Cal, so Cal has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.” Amy attended Lair of the Golden Bear as a kid, served as an alumni adviser to the Cal chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma, and has been cast in another upcoming Cal student film project. She also looks forward to using her Haas marketing education to “boomerang” into a part-time acting and voiceover career—her retirement plan! Contact:

Hilary Weber, of San Francisco, Calif., updates as follows: “My leadership consulting business,, focuses on executive and team development and management innovation for both startups and more established organizations, with a special emphasis on social impact. Accordingly, I have partnered with another Haas alum, Steve Terusaki, MBA 89, to form a growing Meet-up group called Social Enterprise Talks (SET). We meet monthly in San Francisco to learn from each other and to explore how, together, we can have a greater positive impact:”

Yves Speeckaert writes, “Hello from Luxembourg. To make a long story short, after earning my MBA from Cal in 1994, I spent 15 years in management consulting, with KPMG, World Bank projects, and then 5 years with Banca Intesa San Paolo, in Brazil, the U.K., and Paris. In the course of these many years I developed a passion for emerging markets and Latin America and Africa in particular, with missions in 15 sub-Saharan African countries, among others. I have now translated this passion into a job in the investment fund industry of Luxembourg, where I help create and manage, as fund director, alternative investment funds (AIFs) specialized in investing in the agro-business, timber, mining, real estate, and infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa and Brazil.” He adds, “Should you have an interest in investing in Africa and Brazil, don’t hesitate to call me or to come and visit me in Luxembourg. There is always a good Belgian beer available for visitors from Cal.”


Anya Axelrod, of Berkeley, Calif., writes, “Meet our new baby girl, Katrina ’Katya‘ Michelle! She was born in September 2012, and her parents and her brother adore her!”

Nap Hosang, of Berkeley, Calif., reports, “Retired from clinical practice (2010). Now leading the hybrid on-campus/online MPH degree program, the first of its kind at Berkeley. Will graduate our first class in 2014. I miss delivering babies, but I get a lot more fishing done. Working with Kari Gothie, MBA 95, on the board (a women’s health nonprofit) and with Haas alums Dave Charron and Arno Hesse, both MBA 95, and JoAnn Dunaway, MBA 92, on the Impact Carbon board, reducing indoor air pollution in rural households abroad. Matt Evans, MBA 08, is on our team.”

Palmer Jackson was named new CMO of FindTheBest, the unbiased, data-driven, comparison platform founded by DoubleClick founder Kevin O’Connor. He brings more than 20 years of consumer and technology marketing experience to FindTheBest, where he will be responsible for the company’s marketing, communications, and branding efforts.

Marcy Porus-Gottlieb, of Seattle, Wash., writes, “I can’t believe it’s been almost 10 years since I left my terrific co-director of alumni relations, Tenny Frost; packed my husband and two babies into our Subaru; and drove to Seattle! Life is great here. Charlie (12) and Eli (10) are thriving and busy student-athletes. Steven owns and operates a highly regarded corporate communications firm, and our mini goldendoodle Siggi loves chasing birds and jumping in puddles. As for me, I’m having a ball juggling my multiple roles and activities: coaching private clients in career search strategies, teaching career management curriculum to MBA students, facilitating workshops for moms reentering the world of paid employment, providing HR advice to startups, sitting on school and nonprofit boards, and driving my kids to sports practices! I’d love to hear from old pals so send me a note via Facebook or LinkedIn.”


Robert Freedman, of San Francisco, Calif., reports, “My technology consulting firm, Accomplio, is coming into its second year and we’re doing some really interesting projects with both consumer and business products. Having been in tech for the past 20 years, including right here in S.F. for the dot-com boom-bust, I have to say that I think this is one of the most exciting times I’ve seen in tech. Young, excited entrepreneurs can make software and hardware and get it to market while still in college—or high school. I’m relearning to code with my 8-year-old daughter, who wants to make an app for her hand-me-down iPhone. How great is that!”

Robert Simpson, of Green Valley, Ariz., announces, “After serving as biology faculty, I am currently dean of arts, communications, and humanities at Pima College, the eighth largest community college in the nation. On July 1, I will begin serving as acting vice president of instruction at Pima. And I have now traveled to all seven continents.”


Andrew Laszlo, of Hillsborough, Calif., reports, “Last year I joined 137 Ventures ( as a managing director. 137 Ventures is a venture-style investment fund in the secondary market that provides liquidity to founders and entrepreneurs in late-stage, privately held tech companies. Our investment strategy differs from that of more traditional secondary funds since we provide a structured loan rather than purchasing capital stock outright. This has advantages for the borrowing founder or entrepreneur and also for his or her company. In addition, I am a board member of Flint Mobile (, a mobile payments company I co-founded before joining 137 Ventures.”

Ira Rubien, of Philadelphia, Pa., writes, “After a great experience as leader of marketing/communications at Wharton, I have started a new role as associate VP, marketing and communications, at Lehigh University, a beautiful campus in Lehigh Valley supporting both undergraduate and graduate arts and sciences, engineering, business, and education colleges. Great step in my higher education career and development of a university brand and reputation program in a digital age.” Rubien also spoke at the What’s Next DC conference on how great brands manage their greatness.

Peter Zabierek, of Montreal, Canada, was appointed the new CEO of Presima Inc. Presima is one of the partner boutique investment firms of National Australia Bank’s direct asset management businesses, specializing in real assets. Prior to joining Presima, he was managing director and co-head of Global Real Estate Securities at Urdang Capital Management, headquartered in Philadelphia. During his 10-year tenure there, the business grew from $250 million to $7 billion. He has also held senior roles at Morgan Stanley and Salomon Smith Barney. Peter writes, “After 10 years of building a business in Philadelphia, it was time for our next adventure. My wife, Jennifer, and my two boys, Henry (9) and Ben (7), have been buying warm clothes and brushing up on their French. We are very excited about this new role. It is a great firm with a great track record of success. I couldn’t be happier about it. Feel free to drop me a line at”


David Garff, of Danville, Calif., writes, “Accuvest Global Advisors, the firm I started in 2005, recently completed its eighth year of operation. Our actively managed ETFs (NYSE symbols: AGLS, ACCU) turned one year old in January of this year. It has been a lot of work, and a lot of miles on airplanes, but I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else!” He adds, “I’m finishing what looks to be my last year of coaching lacrosse for the Diablo Scorpion club, as our second son moves to high school next year. Our triplets turn 12 this year—where does the time go?”

Dan Rosler, of Pleasanton, Calif., recently joined Rocket Fuel Inc. as VP of professional services. The company, based in Redwood Shores, applies “big data” artificial intelligence to improve marketing ROI.

Ravi Shankar, of Cupertino, Calif., was promoted to vice president of product marketing at Informatica. Ravi writes, “I run all technical marketing efforts for one of the product lines—Master Data Management. I have a worldwide responsibility to ensure competitive positioning of the product, evangelizing it, and increasing market share.”

Daniel Tellalian, of Los Angeles, Calif.: “Daniel continues his economic development work as principal of Emerging Markets, Inc., leading the deployment of the $270 million CA FreshWorks Fund that invests in healthy food retail throughout the state’s food deserts. He also continues to consult with financial institutions to expand access to basic banking services for vulnerable populations.”

David Botkin, of San Jose, Calif., writes, “I’m working in Palo Alto running Analytics and Business Intelligence for Disney Interactive. Our daughter Julia, who was born toward the end of our second year, is now entering high school. Where does the time go?”

Gleb Budman, of San Francisco, Calif., notes, “Hard for me to believe, but Backblaze online backup celebrated its fifth anniversary. The company has backed up more than 50,000,000 GB of data and restored more than 3 billion files for its customers. Despite being profitable, Backblaze has raised its first institutional VC financing to grow faster. And I’m incredibly excited to share that we have a small, but vocal, addition to our family—our daughter was born in March.”

James Cook, of Palo Alto, Calif., updates as follows: “My colleagues and I at First Solar sold the Campo Verde Solar Project this month and when construction is completed later this year it will be one of the five largest solar PV power plants in the world at 139MW(ac). While this means fewer trips to Imperial County, it means more time at home with family and friends. Now that the excitement wears off, and sleep comes easier, we are off working on another project, this time in Fresno County. Equally momentous, the City of Palo Alto Utilities Advisory Commission, which I chair, and the city council established a carbon neutral electrical portfolio effective this year. Hoping to see more of you now that I’m working in the city.”

Chuck Kao, of Dublin, Calif., writes, “I co-founded a company when I graduated back in 1999. Fourteen years later, I’m starting another one! Since it has been so long, I feel like I’m doing it for the first time. The company is called Sussle (, and it’s a site that helps you discover new things about your interests from people who share the same interests. It has a strong social mission, and we offer a scholarship to students. I’m eager to reconnect with the Haas community as I grow this business. On the family front, my two kids and wife are all doing well. We’re looking forward to getting a dog—after Sussle gets funded.”

John Liu, of Portland, Ore., writes, “Our asset management firm has changed its name to Timberline Asset Management. We are still located in Portland, Oregon, and assets under management are growing well. I ride a bike to work every day and haven’t worn a suit in a year. Kate, who was just a toddler when we were at Haas, is a junior in high school and looking at colleges. Her little brother, Coltrane, is in middle school. Both of them still keep Mary and me pretty busy.”

Scott Kucirek, of Piedmont, Calif., writes, “We are almost finished with our third year at OCHO Candy ( and things are going better than expected. Sales keep increasing and we are in the middle of building a new facility in Oakland so that we can keep up with demand. At home, we are down to the last couple of months before Natalie heads off to college. She selected Cal over a few other schools, so we are excited that she will be nearby (though I don’t think she will be home very often). Juliet is finishing up seventh grade and continues to play violin and soccer. My wife, Mirjana, works a couple days at her psychology practice and keeps our home running smoothly. We will be in Croatia this summer and hope to visit Paris or London while in the area. In the last couple of months I have had lunch with Patrick Awuah (things are going very well at Ashesi), Rich Chen, Chuck Kao, all MBA 99, and a couple others. If you are in town and have some time, please contact me at so we can catch up. Have a terrific summer.”

Marco Nicosia, of Milano, Italy, announces, “On April 15 our first son, Riccardo, was born. Paola and I are delighted with him.”

Tanya (Shaw) Steinhofer, of Mill Valley, Calif., writes, “We are still enjoying the good life in Marin County. My financial planning firm, Redwood Grove Wealth Management, celebrates its fourth anniversary in May. Business is brisk, but I’ve managed to maintain some form of balance to allow me to volunteer in my kids’ classrooms and also train for a few foot and cycling races. My latest adventure took me to Moab for mountain biking with some girlfriends and I finally ran The Dipsea Race in June. Life is good!”


Dave Marron, of Pleasanton, Calif., informs, “My company, NuCompass Mobility, has an opening for a vice president of global business development. NuCompass Mobility is a global relocation management services firm with a commitment to providing outstanding service through creative solutions and innovative technology. The VP of global business development is a key position in our company. The primary objective is to market and close new business through direct client calling efforts, supply-chain relationships, and RFP responses. If you’re interested, please contact me.”

Nick Sturiale, of Los Altos, Calif., announces, “Started a new venture capital firm in Palo Alto with two partners: $150 million, early stage, focused on enterprise software and consumerized IT. Raised the fund in 10 weeks in Q1 this year and was oversubscribed by $50 million. Just made the first investment out of the new fund.”


Jerome (Rougeot-Maroniez) Rougeot, of Aix-en-Provence, France, reports, “Coming back from the Bay Area for the first time since graduation! We had a wonderful two-week family trip. Of course, we made a ‘pilgrimage’ to the Berkeley campus, where I attended the Startup Competition award ceremony on April 25 and enjoyed the entrepreneurial spirit of Haas. No doubt the Bay Area has a unique charm and it would not take much to convince us to come back. But currently living in Aix-en-Provence in France makes the ‘best-place-to-live‘ competition quite exciting.”

Peggy (Pei Yi) Wu, of San Francisco, Calif., reports, “We are moving again—this time to Singapore! John accepted a job opportunity with Wells Fargo as a global relationship manager in the global financial institutions group. We relocated in late June after a few weeks visiting family and friends back East. I will find a new job after the kids are settled in school. I look forward to connecting with Berkeley alums and making new friends. If you’re ever in Singapore, please give me a holler. Contact:”


Greg Campbell, of Laguna Hills, Calif.: “In the aftermath of the sale of Archstone Communities, where he was an investment officer, Greg is putting his efforts into a multifamily startup company. This new venture is called True North and is backed by Guardian Life Insurance.” Greg adds, “We have four children, two boys and two girls, ranging in age from 3 to 11. The oldest was born 5 days after graduation back in 2002. They are great kids that make life a ton of fun.”

Aaron McNally, of New York, N.Y., reports, “Switched to a new job within Google this year, working on business development for the DoubleClick Ad Exchange. Fun stuff. I imagine the early days of the NYSE were similar! By the time you read this, my townhouse apartment combination in the West Village will be complete (hopefully). Some advice for the Haas community: Never do a townhouse apartment combination.”

Cindy (Karasick) Sherman, of Chicago, Ill., announces, “Cindy and Marc Sherman welcome their little Golden Bear Harrison Tate Sherman to the world, born 11/5/12. Harrison is adorable and we are getting the swing of parenthood.”


Adam Goldworm, of Los Angeles, is producing the supernatural action film The Last Witch Hunter at Lionsgate, starring Vin Diesel. Production begins in 2014 with a budget of approximately $75 million. He is also currently in pre-production on the indie crime drama Dermaphoria, based on the cult novel by Craig Clevenger.

Siddharth Sanghvi, of Oakland, Calif., reports, “After three years managing sustainability at eBay, I am very excited to jump back into the startup world. I recently joined Back to the Roots, a very cool startup founded by two Haas undergrads, where I will be heading marketing and operations. We just launched our AquaFarm, a fish tank that grows food. Check it out at”

On the personal front, he adds, “We just had our second child, a baby boy we named Ari Dev Sanghvi.”

Florencia Estrade writes, “Living in Rio de Janeiro. Happy mother of newly born Sofia (4 months) and Maia (3 years old). I am running an innovation consultancy and an accelerator-focused, shared-value business. We just won a $2 million fund from the Brazilian government for 10 startups, which can be from anywhere in the world. So, Berkeley entrepreneurs, feel free to apply if interested. Check it out at and Start-Up Brazil.”

Linh Do, of Newport Beach, Calif., updates as follows: “2012 brings me back full time to the United States since graduating from Haas. I married Erik N. Johnson in the fall, with cameos by Arturo Morosoff, MBA 04, and Zeph Stuart, MBA 03. I did NGO work in Vietnam for six years and traveled for two. Highlights include developing small and medium enterprises, improving health and social care for orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS, trekking for two months in Nepal, studying peace and conflict resolution for three months at the Rotary Peace Center at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, dirt biking in NE Cambodia, and backpacking in Turkey, India, and south and east Africa, where a Rwandan mountain gorilla gave me a love tap. I am working with, a social enterprise. We are a design house that tailors production around a mission of ethical manufacturing. Our objective is to provide a new marketplace for high-quality, socially and ecologically minded fashion. Fashion4Freedom shares with others the opportunity for responsible design and creation through our network of artisans, craft villages, and partnered factories.”

In April 2013, Nelly Spieler, of Sausalito, Calif., started working as a senior manager for Frank, Rimerman +Co., building and growing an IT audit practice. The initial focus of the practice is on IT assurance audits for service companies and on IT compliance audits.


Qing Li, of Mountain View, Calif., reports, “We humans share 99.9 percent of DNA, meaning we are all very similar. Plus all currently living humans share a common maternal ancestor who lived in Africa about 200,000 years ago and a common paternal ancestor who lived in Africa about 230,000 to 500,000 years ago. Makes us wonder why all the conflicts and wars. On the other hand, the 0.1 percent difference in DNA makes everyone unique. Really makes us appreciate the beauty of diversity. I am working on the world’s first DNA ancestry test based on next-generation sequencing technology at Centrillion Biosciences. You’ll be surprised to find out what ethnicities are in your DNA, where your ancestors were from, when they met each other, and how you are related to other people.”

Putri (Sugondo) Pascualy, of Newport Coast, Calif., writes, “Just finished the manuscript for my book, Investing in Credit Hedge Funds. McGraw-Hill is my publisher, copies expected in bookstores and on Amazon in fall/winter 2013. Still with PAAMCO, managing and structuring complex alternative investment solutions for institutional investors. I’m also looking forward to returning to Haas later this year as a guest lecturer. I attended the SALT conference and expect work-related travel domestically as well as to Europe and Asia this year. Looking forward to seeing Haas alums and reconnecting!”

Joaquin Pedrin, of San Carlos, Calif., writes, “After three years as the principal landscape architect/planner for Pearl Harbor in Oahu, I’ve returned to paradise as an associate landscape architect at Caltrans in Oakland.” He announces, “Since graduation, we’ve added another son to our family, Samuel, in January 2012. He and his brother, Elliott, just enjoyed a few days in Disneyland. Their parents are still recovering.”


Mark Craig, of Redmond, Wash., updates as follows: “After 13 years at Oracle, now working as senior vice president of product management at Vertafore, a SaaS company specializing in the insurance vertical market. Also, moved from S.F. to Seattle in 2011.”

Federico Helman, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, announces, “I recently got married to Camila! We had a wonderful time at the wedding and enjoyed our honeymoon doing a safari in Africa.”

Abhishek Shrivastava, of Santa Clara, Calif., writes, “I started my entrepreneurial journey in the past year with the founding of Unboxed. Company’s vision is to build a product ownership graph for everyone. Our first product is an iPhone application that helps people get organized with the products they own with respect to manuals, warranties, and recalls. The ride has been intense but exhilarating and fulfilling in every aspect.”


Sameer Agrawal, of Fremont, Calif., updates, “After working for 18 years in the corporate world, in October 2012, I took the plunge and launched Optimsoft Consulting. We are a professional services company providing consulting in the areas of business intelligence, market research, and Web development technologies. It has been a great journey so far and I strongly believe that my MBA at Haas had a lot to do with taking this path.”


Bjorn Austraat, of New York City, N.Y., joined IBM as an associate partner in the strategy and transformation practice of IBM’s Global Business Services.

Eliot Bencuya writes, “I left Canyon Capital Realty Advisors with a couple colleagues to start our own real estate investment and advisory firm, Tryperion Partners. We recently closed our first fund, which will invest in a mix of office, retail, hospitality, and multifamily properties. Natalie and I are still living in Los Angeles, where it seems more Haasies are starting to make their way.”

Morgan (Eckles) Bernstein, of San Francisco, Calif., announces, “Matt, MBA 09, and I welcomed our first child, Dillan Melia Bernstein, on Sunday, May 5, 2013. She came in at a healthy 7 lbs. 8 oz. and 19.5 in. and in her first week of life has captured our hearts. Everyone is doing great, and Dillan has already met several of her Haas 09 aunties and uncles, including Mariah Byrne, Omar Garriott, Margaret Yang, and Norberto Guimaraes.”

Limiao Cheng, of Beijing, writes, “After a few years in venture-investments, I started a social commerce business Circle Chic (known as Yishike in Chinese) based here in Beijing. I travel between the United States and China a lot for business development. The idea is to build marketing channels through social media, online/mobile e-commerce platforms, and offline events/trunk shows to market lifestyle brands to improve the quality of life of the Chinese people and bring social impact awareness to the local communities. We are also in the process of bringing Chinese cultural products and brands to the United States through social media partners and offline events.”


Dave Bend writes, “Very excited to announce that I moved to Washington, D.C., with my girlfriend Erin, who’s an amazing lawyer. I also switched to my fourth company since graduation, OPower. Incredibly excited about this opportunity and glad I finally found such a perfect fit.”

Roshan Bhula, of Boulder, Colo., announces, “It has been a very eventful year for Eric Kuhn, MBA 10, and for me. We both left Napkin Labs early this year to pursue other interests. For Eric that means health care IT and for me the transport of physical goods (industry lingo for starting a moving company). And we both became engaged to our significant others and are considering a joint wedding. It will be more likely, if we can convince Conor “Hollywood” Toohey, MBA 10, to officiate!”

Michelle Florendo writes, “I am happily living in Oakland and just married to Sam Mende-Wong in July. Since graduation, I have followed my calling and am a career transition catalyst with What If You Could, a company I founded to inspire ambitious professionals to do what they love and love what they do. I coach type-A professionals through transitions toward more fulfilling work and lead workshops on ‘career pivots’ for universities and professional associations throughout the Bay Area. The most rewarding part of this work is that by following my dream, I have inspired others to follow theirs!” For more information, email Michelle at or visit

Tom Kraikit, of San Francisco, Calif., announces, “Joann and I welcomed our son Evan to the world in April. His big sister, Olivia, has already helped out with Evan’s first few days at home and she can’t wait to teach him everything she’s learned with her two-year head start.”

Pedro Kudrnac, of Santiago, Chile, writes, “The Chilean Chapter participated in an MBA Alumni Soccer Tournament in Santiago. It was the perfect excuse to get together and have a wonderful time, remember good times with friends, and welcome new admits.”

Simon Ru, of San Francisco, Calif., writes, “Launched LessThan6Percent to help home sellers compare realtor commissions and marketing plans. Give it a try if you are planning to sell your home.”


Carlos Chiabra, of San Francisco, Calif., started a senior business manager position at the Autodesk Consumer Group, driving the monetization strategy for products such as 123D and Sketchbook.

Ian Ranahan, of San Francisco, Calif., updates as follows: “2013 has been an exciting year! Along with another Haas alum, Shourya Basu, MBA 11, I left corporate America to form Simple But Needed, an enterprise software company. We have had significant traction signing large clients to use our mobile and Web software to streamline government and enterprise safety processes! Our company has benefited greatly from joining the Skydeck Berkeley incubator and we are looking forward to continued success throughout 2013 as our team grows. Check out our website: and feel free to reach out if interested/curious.”


Hussein Khazaal, San Jose, Calif., reports, “After a wonderful period in management consulting at Alvarez & Marsal, I am very excited to join the startup world ( as director of operations.”

Back to Top



Chris Phenner and wife, Erika, moved Harrison (1) and Will (3) back to Chicago after being away 13 years in San Francisco and New York City. Chris joins TubeMogul as director of platform sales based in Chicago. Ping him with any questions around online video.

Jamie Pirrello, of Cape Coral, Fla., presented a paper at the Academy of Human Resource Development’s 2013 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The paper was titled “Improving the Success of Mergers & Acquisitions: The Role of Learning in an Environment of Planned and Emergent Change.” Jamie is the chief financial officer of BCB Homes, Inc., with corporate offices in Naples, Florida.


Juergen Schmidt, of Munich, Germany, writes, “Started a new global project with a leading DAX (German stock index) company and SFDC. It is a global competence center channel—all cloud, all integrated. The ‘brainware’ was developed during various classes at Haas. I will keep you posted about results. Best wishes to all Haas students.”


Nilesh Savkoor, of San Francisco, Calif., was recently promoted to senior manager, product line management at Cisco Systems. In this leadership role he oversees offer management and go-to-market strategy for a multibillion-dollar portfolio of enterprise networking (routing, switching, wireless) technical services.

Evan Terry, of Boise, Idaho, started a new consulting position at West Monroe Partners as a senior manager in Chicago, Ill., in February 2013 upon completion of the BCEMBA program. Will focus on client delivery and developing the business intelligence and data warehousing practice.

Back to Top



David Klein, Oakland, Calif., writes, “I was the 2013 first-place winner of the National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM) Wagner Award for Advances in Active Investment Management for my paper ‘Equity Sector Rotation via Credit Relative Value.’ As the award winner, I presented my results at NAAIM’s annual Uncommon Knowledge conference in Denver in late April.”

Back to Top



Serge Matulich, of Orlando, Fla., writes, “Retired in 2001 after more than 35 years of university teaching, with the last 18 years at the Crummer Graduate School of Business, Rollins College. With wife, Margarete, we visit our son, his wife, and grandson in California; our daughter, husband, and their many animals in Plant City, Fla.; and we especially like when our grandson visits us.”

Back to Top

"Alumni News" - Table of Contents