Fran Hill, Hannah Yoshii Retire After 20+ Years at Haas

Fran Hill in the Development Office and Hannah Yoshii in Administration/Human Resources retired last month after more than 20 years at the Haas School.

Hill started her first job at Haas 25 years ago in the PhD Program, where she computerized the admissions program, improved student services, and created an outreach effort to increase both the quality and quantity of applicants.

She then was drafted to bring the same kinds of improvements to the MBA Program. As director of MBA admissions, she improved the school's reputation from 20th- to 3rd-most-selective in the country and doubled the pool of applicants. Hill then served as lead author of the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program and developed an admissions and student database system for the MFE program.

For the past seven years, Hill worked on the Annual Fund team, helping to increase the campaign's annual contributions from less than $2 million to more than $3 million a year.

"Fran has made an indelible mark on our MBA, MFE, BCEMBA, and PhD programs as well as the school's Annual Fund campaign," says Tenny Frost, executive director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, who has known Hill for 17 years. "She most certainly exemplifies the four defining principles: Beyond Yourself; Question the Status Quo; Students Always; and Confidence without Attitude."

During her retirement, Hill is looking forward to keeping her fundraising skills sharp by helping youth classical music opportunities by serving on the boards of the Crowden School and the Oakland Youth Orchestra. She will also return to several hobbies that she was passionate about 25 years ago–needlework and quilting.

Yoshii was hired 22 years ago to work as a program assistant in the Berkeley Program in Finance, a pioneering program in the business school faculty's Finance Group. The group tapped Yoshii's ability to speak Japanese fluently to help organize conferences in Japan in addition to its semiannual conferences in California. She went on to help coordinate conferences for the Finance faculty until the program disbanded in 2002 amid increased competition from many followers.

Yoshii left the Finance Group and went on to work in the Haas Administration/Facilities Group, where for the past 9 years she worked as a communications coordinator for the school, serving as a liaison between the school and central campus' Information and Services Technology (IST) office. In that position, Yoshii says she has enjoyed having the opportunity to meet most of the incoming faculty and staff members to welcome them and take care of their communication needs.

"Hannah has served the Haas community with a "beyond yourself" approach, even before 'Beyond Yourself' became one of Haas' defining principles," says Bryan Lin, her supervisor. "Hannah always put her customers' interests first and foremost. One never had to doubt the amount of effort she put in on their behalf."

In her retirement, Yoshii plans to travel, including a trip to the East Coast this fall to see the foliage and future plans to go farther to Canada, Europe, and Australia. She also will be managing her several East Bay rental properties.