Obituaries



UC Berkeley Friend Richard N. Goldman, BA 41


UC Berkeley alumnus Richard N. Goldman, BA 41 (Econ.), a visionary philanthropist and dedicated benefector of the Haas School and university, passed away in San Francisco on Nov. 28 at the age of 90.

 

Goldman and his wife, Rhoda, BA 46, joined Rhoda's brothers—Walter Haas Jr. and Peter Haas—in giving the cornerstone contribution to build the Haas School's current campus and to name the school in memory of their father Walter A. Haas Sr.

 

In addition, the Goldmans provided cornerstone support to UC Berkeley's School of Public Policy, which was renamed in their honor in 1997, as well as the Student-Athlete High Performance Center at Memorial Stadium and the refinishing of Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium. The couple's legacy also includes the $150,000 Goldman Environmental Prize, often considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for environmental heroism.

 

"Richard was an invaluable adviser to me and to previous chancellors, and his loss is deeply felt by all who came in contact with him," Chancellor Robert Birgeneau said in a statement. Goldman served on the Chancellor's Executive Advisory Council and as an emeritus trustee of the UC Berkeley Foundation.

 

Goldman founded and was chairman of Goldman Insurance Services, which was acquired by Willis Group Holdings in 2001. He and his wife, who passed away in 1996, oversaw a charitable foundation created in 1951 that has awarded half a billion dollars to a variety of organizations that strive to make the world a better and safer place.

 

 

Williams-Sonoma Chairman Emeritus Howard Lester


Williams-Sonoma Chairman Emeritus Howard Lester, a longtime friend of the Haas School, passed away on Nov. 16 at his home in Indian Wells, Calif., after a long battle with cancer. He was 75.

 

Lester spent 32 years at Williams-Sonoma, which he bought in 1978. He was instrumental in transforming
the company from one brand with four stores eking out $4 million in annual sales into one of the world's largest specialty retailers with more than $3.4 billion in annual revenue today.

 

The Haas School named Lester business leader of the year in 2003. He served on the Haas Board, an advisory board to the dean, and in 1991 endowed the school's Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, which was named in his honor. More recently, in 2008, Lester gave $1 million to the center to continue promoting and cultivating entrepreneurship and innovation management at UC Berkeley.

 

"Howard Lester was the catalyst behind our school's Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, which he helped establish as a leading force for entrepreneurship around the world," said Dean Rich Lyons. "Berkeley-Haas will miss him and his generous spirit dearly."

 

 

Haas Supporter Arno Rayner, BS 49, MBA 54


Arno Rayner, BS 49, MBA 54, an avid supporter of the Haas School who built his career in investment management, passed away in his Tiburon home on Dec. 3 from complications from pneumonia following a series of strokes. He was 82.

 

After earning his undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley, Rayner served two years in the Army Finance Corps during the Korean War. After being honorably discharged, he returned to UC Berkeley to earn his MBA. He went on to work for the Bank of California, Industrial Indemnity, and Bechtel Corp. before founding Rayner Associates in 1977.

 

Rayner retired as chairman of the board of the renamed Rayner & Haynor in 2009, subsequently becoming chairman emeritus and serving on the advisory board. A chartered financial analyst, Rayner was voted investment professional of the year in 1999 by the San Francisco Bond Club.

 

In 1986, Rayner endowed a faculty chair in finance and management at the Haas School, which is currently held by Professor Hayne Leland. He was among the "Builders of Berkeley"—benefactors whose lifetime giving totals at least $1 million in today's dollars. He served on the executive committee for the Haas School's building campaign as well as the university's Keeping the Promise capital campaign.

 

 

Richard Haber, Former Assistant to Dean


Richard Haber, a former assistant to the dean in the 1970s and 1980s, passed away Oct.15 at his home in Kensington. He was 96.


A third generation San Franciscan, Haber had a varied career that included overseeing public affairs and other matters as assistant to the dean of the business school (since renamed Haas School of Business) under Deans Earl "Budd" Cheit and Ray Miles.

 

"Dick was admired by everyone who had the opportunity to work with him," Cheit said. "He was a key member of the team (who included Ray Miles and Mike Chetkovich) that strengthened the school's ties to alumni and friends and helped generate the momentum that created today's thriving Haas Alumni Network."

 

 

YEAH Mentor Martha "Rashell" Young, BA 94, MBA/MPH 05


Martha "Rashell" Young, BA 94 (Psych.), MBA/MPH 05, passed away Nov. 6 in San Francisco after a long struggle with liver cancer. She was 38.


Young was a mentor in the business school's Young Entrepreneurs at Haas (YEAH) Program and an active member of the Black Business Students' Association.

 

She grew up in a military family, attending school in Georgia, Idaho, California, and Spain. She fell in love with the Bay Area as an undergraduate and joined the Analysis Group Litigation Consulting Firm after graduation, soon realizing she had a knack for research and analysis, and then in 1999 decided to work for herself.

 

A stint in the health care system as a cancer patient opened Young's eyes to a new career path and she returned to Berkeley to earn her MBA and master's in public health degrees. She used her degrees to consult with clients on numerous finance and strategic issues both within and outside the health care industry.

 

 

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