Summer 2007

Alumni News

Chapter News


Don Fisher, BS 50, Named Cal's Alumnus of the Year


Haas School alumnus Don Fisher, BS 50, chairman emeritus and founder of Gap Inc., was given the California Alumni Association's 2007 Alumnus of the Year Award at its Charter Gala in San Francisco on March 24. The award is the highest honor given to a graduate of UC Berkeley.


Fisher is a visionary in specialty retailing. Since its beginnings in 1969 as a jeans-only store in San Francisco, The Gap, the company he started with his wife, Doris, has grown and expanded to become one of the greatest successes in retailing history.


For over three decades, Fisher, as chairman and CEO, grew Gap, Inc. into one of the world's best-known brands and largest specialty apparel retailers, with annual sales of approximately $15 billion. The company employs more than 165,000 people and operates stores in North America, Europe, and Japan under the Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic brands.


In addition to his leadership of Gap, Inc., Fisher has long been a community leader and philanthropist. He serves on the board of trustees of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and is a director of the Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco, as well as a governor of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Fisher is a member of the California State Board of Education and a director of EdVoice, KIPP Charter Public Schools, and Teach for America.


Fisher is among the largest individual donors to Berkeley. Among many other gifts, in 1995, he gave $5 million to establish both the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Planning and the Fisher Center for the Strategic Use of Information Technology at Haas. He and three other Berkeley alumni gave $12.5 million to fund the men's and women's aquatic programs on campus.


In 1986, Fisher was named the Haas School Alumnus of the Year. He is currently the chair of the Haas Board.


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2007 All-Alumni Renuion Conference


Paul Rice, MBA 96, CEO and founding president of TransFair USA, shared his ideas on how to "save business and the planet" at the All-Alumni Reunion Conference on April 28 at the Haas School. Rice is known for his company's Fair Trade certifications promising fair wages and sustainable practices for growing products like coffee.


Following Rice's presentation, Adam Berman, BS 85, executive director for curriculum innovation, and Associate Professor Steven Tadelis, chief strategy officer, discussed transforming the Haas School's new "Leading Through Innovation" focus from vision to reality.


Jennifer Aaker, the Thomas W. Tusher Professor of Marketing, and John O'Brien, the faculty director of the Master's of Financial Engineering Program, offered presentations on marketing and financial innovation, respectively. Haas Executive Associate Dean Richard Lyons, BS 82, who is currently on leave from his post to serve as chief learning officer for Goldman Sachs, offered the closing keynote address, titled "Making Innovation Come Alive."


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Haas Alumnus Helps Launch South Asian MBA Association


Dr. Anurag Mairal, MBA 05, and Ketan Shah, who work together at Johnson & Johnson, have formed a nationwide association called the South Asian MBA Association (SAMBAA) to promote connections among South Asian MBAs. SAMBAA aims to provide a platform for mentoring, leadership development, and for fostering entrepreneurial and corporate career opportunities.


The Haas Alumni Network is SAMBAA's first educational partner. The organization will be open to MBAs from any business school who are either South Asian or have an interest in South Asia.

For more information, visit:


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Jennifer Maxwell, BS 88, Recieves Cora Jane Flood Philanthropy Award


Jennifer Maxwell, BS 88, who co-founded PowerBar with her late husband Brian, was given the Cora Jane Flood Philanthropy Award at the Women in Leadership Dinner in Berkeley on April 19. The award recognizes Maxwell's generosity to the Haas School and to UC Berkeley.


Maxwell, a nutritionist, started the popular energy bar company in 1986 and began selling PowerBars out of her kitchen, launching an entirely new food category. Over the next 13 years, PowerBar grew to become a company with 300 employees and $150 million in sales. In 2000, Maxwell sold the company to Nestle SA.


In addition to her successes in business, Maxwell has given generously to the university community, helping fund the Haas Pavilion, the Maxwell Family Field, and even a faculty chair at the School of Public Health. Most recently, Maxwell created the Brian Maxwell Fellows Program at the Haas School, which helps creative and entrepreneurial students fund their MBA educations.


The Cora Jane Flood Award recognizes a member of the Haas School community whose philanthropy has made a significant impact on the school. The award is named in honor of Cora Jane Flood, who provided the seed money for the Haas School in 1898 by donating property and stock in the Bear Creek Water Company to UC Berkeley with the condition that the proceeds be used to fund commercial education. Flood's gift was the largest private contribution in UC Berkeley's then 30-year history.


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Paul Rice, MBA 96

Paul Rice, MBA 96, CEO and founding president of TransFair USA, shared his ideas on how to "save business and the planet" at the All–Alumni Reunion Conference on April 28 at the Haas School.