Haas School of Business

Alumni Awards and Accolades

 

Two Alumni Named Most-admired CEOs by San Francisco Business Times

Joy Chen, BS 87, above and Andy Kurtzig, BS 94
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Joy Chen, BS 87, of Yes To, and Andy Kurtzig, BS 94, of Pearl.com were among the 15 winners of the San Francisco Business Times 2012 Most-admired CEOs Award.

Chen, who won in the small business category, became CEO of Yes To in 2009 after serving as the vice president and general manager of Clorox's Laundry Strategic Business Unit. Yes To markets natural skin and hair care products made from organic fruits and vegetables under the Yes To Carrots, Cucumbers, Grapefruit, Blueberries, Tomatoes, and Baby Carrots brands.

In Chen's first two years as its leader, Yes To flipped from negative cash flow to positive, grew its top and bottom lines, and quadrupled its revenue, now at $50 million. Yes To also operates a nonprofit organization, which awards grants to schools in the U.S. and Africa enabling them to plant gardens that will feed thousands of students.

Kurtzig, who was chosen as the rising star winner, created his first company, Anser Corp., which produced calendar automation software for newspapers, while still a student at Haas. In 2003, he founded JustAnswer.com, now Pearl.com, a company that offers interactive online professional advice to consumers--for a price--from more than 10,000 professionals, ranging from doctors and lawyers to mechanics and computer technicians. Pearl.com earned $85 million in revenue in 2011, recently closed a Series A funding round of $25 million, and currently has 150 full-time employees.

Plasser of eBay Makes Silicon Valley 40 Under 40 List

plasser

Chris Plasser, MBA 04, head of product at RedLaser, part of eBay mobile, made the "40 under 40" list compiled by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

The honorees on the list were nominated by their peers and selected by a committee to represent the best of Silicon Valley.

Plasser, who hails from Austria, joined eBay to work at PayPal on new payment solutions, including mobile transactions. For the last year and a half, he has been overseeing a startup-like team of 19 employees, including product managers, designers, and engineers, on cutting-edge mobile shopping experiences. He has grown use of RedLaser from 13 million to 22 million users in one year.

Alum's Firm Makes Top 100 Advisor List

The Advisory Group, a wealth management and 401k advisory firm in San Francisco led by alumnus CEO Greg Patterson, MBA 00, was named in Register Rep magazine's 2012 "Top 100 Registered Investment Advisors" list.

The ranking was based on total assets under advisement, breadth of service offerings in areas such as financial and retirement planning, and other factors.

Patterson joined The Advisory Group of San Francisco in 2000 after graduating from Haas. The firm, which advises nearly $1 billion in assets, specializes in strategy for personal wealth clients and building institutional-quality 401k plans for corporations and non-profits. Patterson, a longtime Haas Fund volunteer, also has worked at Callan Associates; SEI Investments in Buenos Aires; and at a branding and communications firm in Spain.

 

 

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