Winter 2007

Alumni Notes & News



Hans Grande, MBA 02, Passes Away


Hans Grande, MBA 02Hans Grande, MBA 02, died on October 24, 2006, after a ten-month battle against cholangiocarcinoma, a rare but aggressive type of cancer.


Grande, 34, died at his mother's home in Washington state surrounded by his wife, Nancy Suh, MBA 02, and his family. Remembered by friends and family as genuinely friendly and diplomatic, Grande had a talent and a passion for building community. "Hans made family everywhere he went. He brought people together and made them feel like they were a part of something bigger," says Philip Guindi, MBA 02, who worked with Grande at Adobe Systems, Inc. "He really helped develop communities."


Athlete, cyclist, and avid Bears fan, Grande was devoted to Haas and dedicated himself to growing and improving the campus community. Hans was highly respected as a Young Entrepreneurs at Haas (YEAH) mentor, helping local high school students from disadvantaged school districts get on the college-bound track. He also developed the idea for a five-year pledge system for the MBA 101% Giving campaign, which netted $497,910 in three years for the Haas Annual Fund. Grande also created the Class Committee for MBA 2002, leading the class to set an all-time participation record for alumni giving in 2005 and a first-place finish in participation in 2006.


In addition to his fundraising efforts, Grande was a driving force of the Axe Cohort, a participant in the Challenge for Charity, and a contributor to the Technology Club. He served on the committee that recruited Dean Tom Campbell and was heavily involved in the school's effort to reform the MBA core curriculum in 2002. "Students often attempt to restructure the curriculum but Hans was actually able to make an impact," says Suh. "Changing the curriculum was challenging because there are so many parties involved, but Hans was really effective in bringing the different groups together to make tough decisions."


After graduation, Grande joined Adobe Systems, where he led the group charged with guiding Adobe through its merger with Macromedia. While working for Adobe, Grande rallied his co-workers to volunteer their time and work with middle school students studying near Adobe's campus. "He was such a people person," says Suh.


His family asks that donations be sent to The Philanthropy Community Foundation, which partners with the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation on research and education about Cholangiocarcinoma. To contribute, please send donations to:


The Philanthropy Community Foundation

ATT: Steven W. Bennett, Trustee

3165 East Millrock Drive, Suite 500

Salt Lake City , Utah 84121



Warren Simmons, BS 49, Dies at 79


Haas School alumnus Warren Simmons, BS 1949, died on June 21, 2006, at his home in Napa at the age of 79. Simmons was the founder of Chevy's Mexican restaurant.


An airline pilot for Pan American from 1950 to 1970, Simmons led a life rich in entrepreneurship. By the time he received his degree in 1951, Simmons was already hard at work on his first venture: developing San Francisco's Pier 39. Simmons worked tirelessly for five years obtaining permits, showing slideshows to neighborhood groups and charming city officials to complete his Pier 39 project. His enthusiasm was contagious. Simmons succeeded where U.S. Steel, Ford Motor Company, Kidder-Peabody, and other developers had failed, opening the famed tourist attraction in October 1978.


Three years later, he sold the waterfront complex and founded Chevy's Mexican restaurant. Starting with one eatery in Alameda in 1986, Simmons grew the business to include 38 locations around the Bay Area.


While operating Chevy's, Simmons struggled to find a reliable source of fresh cranberries for the establishment's seasonal margaritas. To solve the problem, he purchased thousands of acres of farmland 300 miles south of Santiago, Chile, and created CranChile, the largest grower and processor of cranberries in the world. Although Simmons sold Chevy's to PepsiCo in 1993, he continued to operate CranChile.


Simmons was also a partner in a real estate and construction business, imported monkeys from the Philippines for the production of Salk Vaccine, opened an electronics factory, founded the DISCO department store chain, and started the Tia Maria restaurant chain.


He was a faithful supporter of the Haas School of Business and was a former member of the Benjamin Ide Wheeler Society and California Alumni Association Cal Spirit Alumni Club.


He is survived by his wife, Caroline; his sons Scooter, Stuart, Gregory; his daughter Leslie, his stepchildren Natasha and Damian; his sister Margaret Brunhouse; and his six grandchildren.


Previous Story | "Alumni Notes" Table of Contents


[Top of page]