Haas Alumni Network North Bay Chapter Names Two Honorees for Embodying Defining Principles

Virgil Caselli, BS 63, is a San Franciscan through and through, having served in top positions with Ghirardelli Square, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and the Fisherman’s Wharf Merchants Association. Laura Bertolli, BS 84, saved her father’s struggling San Rafael auto body shop in 1988, despite knowing little about car repair, and today she’s a leader in the local business community.

Both have been recognized by the North Bay Chapter of the Haas Alumni Network for embodying one or more of the school’s Defining Principles: Question the Status Quo; Confidence Without Attitude; Students Always; and Beyond Yourself. The annual North Bay award, now in its third year, comes with a $1,000 prize, which Bertolli (below left) and Caselli (below right) will split.

“Virgil exemplifies the Haas principles of someone who is realistically confident and who can see possibilities far beyond the present,” wrote Bill Bockwoldt, one of the chapter’s board members. The North Beach native has led numerous historic preservation projects and participated in nonprofit work as a complement to his long career as an executive at a national real estate development and management company.

Bertolli, who worked for a CPA after graduating from Berkeley, “exemplifies the Haas principles of continuous learning and extending beyond one’s self in both goals and commitments,” Bockwoldt wrote. “Her personal, professional, and charitable accomplishments are inspirational.” In addition to continuing to run the car repair business she managed and then bought 24 years ago, Bertolli is active in civic matters and was recently elected incoming chair of the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors.