Filter Results

The Big Question:

What’s a risk that you took (professionally or personally) that has paid off?

Alumni Notes



Tom Teare, of Boerne, Texas, writes, “Continuing in retirement.”


Robert J Zembsch.Robert J. Zembsch, (also MBA 1968), died Feb. 1, 2023, in Berkeley. Bob was on the ground floor of Haas’ entrepreneurship program in the late 1960’s, and worked closely with Leo Helzel for the next 50 years. He enjoyed a 75-year devotion to Cal in numerous capacities, including serving for many years on the Alumni Scholarship Committee, hosting football recruits, and serving as a visiting lecturer for several MBA entrepreneurship classes. He was a proud dad when all four of his sons went to Cal. Donations in Bob’s memory can be made to the “Robert J. Zembsch Undergraduate Business Scholarship” at Haas. Read his obit:


Richard Tavernetti, of Petaluma, Calif., comments, “From any perspective, life is a journey and made more complete from reading primary sources. If the study of economics is part of that journey, you will not stop learning about human nature as depicted in Lewis Roberts’ Merchants Map of Commerce, 4th edition, London 1700.”

Larry Tessler.Larry Tessler, of Moraga, Calif., reports, “Retired after a 35-year career with a local department store chain, a national off-price department store chain, and a group of music stores, and I founded and operated my own business. Retirement allowed me to learn more from clients and co-volunteers through participation in my local chamber of commerce, my homeowners association, and most importantly with SCORE (, a national free service for which I have mentored new and existing business clients for 25 years.”


Allan Herzog, of Kentfield, Calif., is celebrating 60 years as a financial advisor (managing director, investments) with Wells Fargo Advisors in San Francisco.


Paul Holman, of Menlo Park, Calif., shares, “I started a new job, relating to life insurance policies. I moved my residence from Menlo Park to Burlingame. I met my wife, and we have two children. We spent significant time enjoying traveling to different locations around the world. I also enjoyed working with nonprofit organizations.”


Junichi Yamasaki, of Tokyo, reports, “After getting three patents in financial engineering at the age of 77, I decided to prepare for a new life as a researcher. I was lucky Johns Hopkins accepted me to the online MS program in mathematics. I am maintaining an A there, among young classmates in their 20s.

“The company I started was great fun. But things change. It is time to start a new life. I am still ambitious, aiming at a Ph.D. in applied math. Great mathematician Bill at Ehrman Hall, if you remember me, give me an e-mail. I am back in your world, as a ‘tough rival.’”


Gary Garabedian, of San Francisco, is in private wealth with William Blair & Company.

Tim (Khiem Manh) Tran, of Camas, Wash., announces, “My 2020 book American Dreamer: How I Escaped Communist Vietnam and Built a Successful Life in America (Pacific University Press), available on Amazon, won four awards: Best Indie Book Award, Next Generation Indie Book Award, Readers’ Favorite Book Award, and Excellence in Independent Publishing Book Award. It has also received quite a few good reviews.”

The Answer

“I questioned the status quo by starting my 401(k) practice focused on ESG investing. Lots of risks and challenging decisions, but I am still here 18 years later.”



Sheryl Hawes.Sheryl Hawes, of Walnut Creek, Calif., writes, “I have been retired since 2011, after an amazing career at Pacific Bell and AT&T. My business administration degree (finance and accounting) that got me hired in 1981 served me very well, since most managers had communications backgrounds but no accounting or finance knowledge. Now that I am retired, I still use those skills in volunteer work.

“I have traveled to India, France, England, Kenya, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovenia since retirement. Traveling to Croatia and Budapest, Hungary, in the fall. I am now on the board of a Bay Area fraternal organization that’s helping gain back building rentals, which are still feeling the effects of
the pandemic.”

Aziz Khatri, of Alameda, Calif., with KW Commercial Oakland, played a pivotal role in facilitating the successful lease of 1150 Brickyard Cove Road in Richmond, Calif., for EarthGrid PBC, a company committed to advancing sustainable solutions in the Bay Area. Khatri’s client-focused expertise in commercial real estate helped secure prime real estate for EarthGrid, named a startup to watch in 2024 by Business Journals’ Bay Area Inno.


Joann (Martens) Weiner, of Washington, D.C., is spending her George Washington University sabbatical in London writing about EU company tax reform.


David Inchausti updates, “Retired in 2023 after a 35-year corporate career that took our family to five countries over 20 years. On my first day of retirement, my wife and I embarked on a cross-country road trip covering 6,800 miles and 23 states over 30 days. Now living on both coasts, in San Francisco and Leesburg, Va., just outside of Washington, D.C.”


Two women sitting next to each other smiling.Jeannette Gerber, of Ossining, N.Y., celebrates the power of mentoring: “As mentioned in the fall ’23 Alumni News, Samaya Mammadsoy, BA 23 (data science), and I connected through the Cal Alumni Mentorship program and developed a close relationship over the past year. After spending the summer with us on the East Coast, Samaya returned to Cal to tackle her senior year. Luckily for my husband, Matko, and me, she came back to stay with us over the holidays and experience NYC in winter. Matko and I are so thankful to the Cal Alumni Mentorship program for bringing Samaya into our lives. She has become part of our family.

“As I am writing this, she is flying back to the Bay Area to complete her degree. We’re so proud of her and her accomplishments and wish her all the best during her last semester.” Shown: Jeanette and Samaya Mammadsoy.


Timothy Yee.Timothy Yee, of Alameda, Calif., is “thrilled” that his son, James, has decided to join the family 401k practice, Green Retirement, Inc. “Might retirement now be possible?” Timothy also celebrates his wife, Rose Penelope L. Yee, winning the endorsement of the California Democratic Party in her run for Congressional District 1. “She is taking a risk running a populist campaign in a conservative district but feels the urgency ‘to make things better for all.’”


Book cover for Personal Prerogative: The Path to Personal Empowerment and Living an Authentic Life by Dan Regan.Dan Regan, of Napa, Calif., published Personal Prerogative: The Path to Personal Empowerment and Living an Authentic Life (available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and bookstores nationwide).

The Answer

“Leaving the global finance world and starting my own tutoring business was one of my most courageous business decisions I’ve ever made. At SMART TEST PREP LLC, I’ve created a transformative environment in which students are empowered to become independent thinkers and learners.”

—Jeannette Gerber, BS 89
Master Tutor & Mentor, smart test prep llc


Howard Wang at the New York Stock Exchange.Howard Wang, of Cerritos, Calif., notes, “Back around 2012, I was on the founding committee of what has now evolved into the Ares Philanthropy group, who were selected to ring the NYSE opening bell on Nov. 14, 2023, to honor World Philanthropy Day. Since I’ve been involved in lots of the programming and organizing over the years, I got to join the special occasion.”


Dan Chang standing in front of a whiteboard.Dan Chang, of Los Angeles, reports, “I’m running for school board in Los Angeles! Since Haas, I’ve had a wonderful career. I’m a public school math teacher today, but I’ve opened 17 charter high schools in LA, and I’ve worked in philanthropy, tech, and banking. Now, I’m running to change the nation’s second largest school system. Look me up!” Dan was endorsed by former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa among others, and in January the LA Daily News wrote: “Rarely have [LAUSD voters] had a chance to elect a school board candidate as qualified and potentially impactful as Dan Chang.”

Olivia Chen, of Palo Alto, Calif., announces, “Twrl Milk Tea co-founders Olivia Chen and Pauline Ang, BA 01 (mass communications) launched their cafe-style plant-based drinks and boba toppings nationwide into Sprouts and select Whole Foods markets. The duo launched three new products in 2023: Ube Milk Tea, Brown Sugar, and Crystal Boba toppings. Longtime friends, Chen and Ang took a risk during the pandemic to start Twrl Milk Tea in their home kitchen, and it is now in 770+ locations nationwide.

“Using single-origin teas grown on organic family farms and climate-friendly pea milk, Twrl Milk Tea’s plant-based drinks are crafted with sustainable sourcing front of mind. Ang and Chen draw upon their respective Chinese and Taiwanese heritage to bring unique, allergen-friendly flavors in a creamy, nitro-infused format to consumers in the U.S. and abroad. Twrl Milk Tea is a Bevnet Best New Beverage Winner, a Food Network Editor’s pick, rated Highly Recommended by Bon Appetit Magazine, an Expo West Nexty Best New Beverage Finalist, and a 100 percent woman- and minority-owned company, based in San Francisco.”


Roy Ng, of Hillsborough, Calif., shares, “I’m excited to share Bond’s partnership with NerdWallet to launch the NerdUp card! Huge shout-out to the teams at NerdWallet and Bond for making this solution a reality. The NerdUp secured credit card is a free card uniquely designed to expand access for consumers who want to build their credit history—removing key barriers typically found with traditional secured credit cards.” Ng, co-founder and CEO of Bond, writes, ‘We founded Bond to democratize access to financial services. Now, together with our parent company FIS (NYSE:FIS), we are excited to partner with NerdWallet to help consumers build their credit history and improve their financial health.”



Will Edmonson, of West Hollywood, Calif., notes, “I continue to practice law, primarily handling litigation matters for individuals and small and mid-sized businesses. Before starting my own practice, I was a partner at Doll Amir & Eley LLP and an associate at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP. Previously, I served as a law clerk in federal district court and federal appeals court. I offer big law firm experience and talent at affordable rates. Please feel free to contact me at 424-248-9581 or [email protected] if I can help you with anything.”

Diana Rothschild, of San Francisco, announces, “Scaled our partnerships team at DoorDash across the U.S. and Canada’s enterprise new vertical partners in U.S. retail and B2B, and Canadian grocery, convenience, alcohol, and retail. We provide hundreds of thousands of deliveries for Dashers and bring the convenience of same-day delivery for all your pets, beauty, office, and sporting good needs! #lifehack “We took our two daughters (9½ and 12) on an amazing six-week Italian adventure, touring during the day and working at night, providing incredible quality time while still being super productive.”

The Answer

“Dropped out of San Jose State University and took two years off from college. By working, I found that I was good at accounting and business operations. I started over and got into Berkeley Haas. Best decision ever!”

—Sheryl Hawes, BS 80
Executive Director, SupplyChain Strategic Planning, AT&T


Kenneth Chen, of San Jose, Calif., is “thrilled to share some exciting news: I’ve recently joined Aiven as chief financial officer! I’m looking forward to being part of this innovative organization and helping it become the trusted open source data platform for everyone. After more than eight wonderful years at Spotify, I wanted to join another tech organization with a customer-centric and product-driven mindset. I have full confidence in the leadership team and our product, and I’m eager to leverage my past experiences and contribute to Aiven as the company embarks on its remarkable growth journey!”


Kat Karimi, of Los Angeles, reports, “After almost 20 years of consulting for boutique firms, I have started my own consulting company to kick off 2024. Focusing on health care strategy and innovation—and with a nod to Cal!—Bear & Lion Innovation provides consulting services to health care organizations ranging from digital health startups to large health systems. I’m excited for this next chapter in my career and look forward to continuing to work with amazing people and clients.”


Alejandro Vélez Ramírez, of Oakland, Calif., co-founder and CEO of Back to the Roots, was featured in Newsweek en Español América, as follows: “Ramirez, a Colombia native who immigrated to the United States with his family to escape the violence of the Cartel Medellín, co-founded the company with Nikhil Arora. The company’s mission is to help a new generation to connect with the process of cultivation. Furthermore, his #GrowOneGiveOne campaign donates seeds to schools, investing in a sustainable future.”


Bride and groom walking down the aisle with arms joyfully raised.Brian Ratajczak, of New York, reports, “For the past year on Google’s BizOps corporate strategy team, I’ve been on the front lines developing Google’s go-to-market and commercialization strategy for bringing generative AI to consumer and enterprise products. Several of our top questions, as we navigate this platform shift from the position of an incumbent, make it seem like I’m back in the business school classroom.” Shown: Brian and Supriya Hobbs were married on August 6, 2023, in Mount Hood, Oregon.

The Answer

“I declined a promotion at Kearney to accept a less senior sales role at Google. This decision opened up opportunities in the tech industry, ultimately leading to the launch of my own tech startup.”

—Sergio González, MBA 09


Woman standing next to a man holding a dog.Michelle Nie writes, “I moved to Paris and continue to expand my independent social impact consulting business here. I’ve engaged two clients already, including my former employer Common Group and French edtech company Lynx Educate. I also started a master’s in public affairs at Sciences Po and am enjoying the opportunity to develop a deeper policy foundation.” Shown: Michelle, Chalen, and Diamond.

A man sitting with a dog.Chris Williams, of Livermore, Calif., notes, “Recently started my own growth marketing agency, Affogato ( Bought a house in my hometown. Got married.” Shown: Chris and Topo.


Ryan Murphy, of Berkeley, Calif., a six-time Olympian gold medalist, married his college sweetheart, Bridget Kontinnen, on Sept. 30 in Olympic Valley, Calif. Nearly 200 family and friends attended the wedding, including fellow Olympian swimmers Chase Kalisz, Nathan Adrian, BA 12, and Lenny Krayzelburg, and former Olympic swim coach Dave Durden.


Victoria Stafford.Victoria Stafford, of Salt Lake City, is excited to share that she extended her contract with Bell Creek Consulting through April 2025. “A social enterprise dedicated to driving economic mobility, Bell Creek works to improve the education-to-workforce continuum to ensure that we all travel dignified paths to thriving lives.” Stafford supports a large foundation’s grant-making strategy around U.S. workers living at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. “At Bell Creek, I have learned so much from my colleagues and clients about how to translate social impact aspirations to real-world decision-making. It has been such a gift to work here.

“Outside of work, I co-authored and published an academic article with my dad—talk about father-daughter bonding!—called, ‘Now We’re Cooking With Electromagnetism: Making Induction Stoves Cool’ in Sustainability and Climate Change” ( “My father, a marketing professor with an interest in green innovation, and I observed the ‘culture wars’ around gas vs. induction stoves. Upon further investigation, we uncovered the fascinating marketing history behind the rise of gas stoves. In this paper, we propose various strategies for induction stove advocates to ‘sell’ professional and home chefs alike on the virtues of induction as a fixture of cleaner, faster, and greener kitchens. Now, we are in conversations with like-minded chefs to make induction cool!

“This passion project made me reflect on some of the most formative undergraduate experiences I had at Cal studying food systems and food justice, including Haas Professor Will Rosenzweig’s Edible Education lecture series (in collaboration with Chez Panisse’s Alice Waters) and Associate Professor Kathryn de Master’s ‘Sociology and Political Ecology of Agro-Food Systems’ course at the College of Natural Resources. I am sharing so much gratitude for these star professors and to everyone at Cal dedicated to building a more equitable and just food system!”


Vivian Feng.Vivian Feng, of San Francisco, writes, “I just started as an AI + ML product manager at JPMorgan! Last month, I entered with a partner into the JPMorgan Chase Global Product Conference’s Pitch Competition, and we ended up earning first place!

“Since graduating, one of my favorite trips that I’ve taken is a homestay program I did in Vietnam. The group I was with trekked 10 miles of unpaved path through rice fields from the nearest town to get to the village where we stayed. I saw animals, plants, and insects that I didn’t know existed. This three-day trip gave me so much perspective. It’s an experience I truly will never forget.”

Man racing a bicycle wearing a helmet and goggles.Shyam Sethi, of New York, raced an IRONMAN Triathlon and completed another 10-day Vipassana meditation course in Shelburne Falls, Mass.


Clio Smith.Clio Smith reports, “I moved to NYC recently to immerse myself in the fine arts scene, and I’m fully taking advantage of the art studio classes, galleries, and museums. I’m now selling my fine art prints on—integrating art with business!”



Schuyler Bailey shares, “I earned a BS from Cal in 1964 and an MBA in 1965 (finance), and then joined The Bank of California as a management trainee with the goal of becoming a branch manager. After nine months, I was asked to become a credit officer in Central Credit, analyzing the financial statements of the bank’s largest corporate borrowers—initially excluding international loans/lines, which were added two years later. After five years in Central Credit, my supportive boss asked me one day, ‘Did you see the job posting for a commercial loan officer at San Francisco main office?’ I told him I did not look at those notices—as I was happy and productive in Central Credit. He said, ‘You need some management experience to add to your resume! You should apply for that position.’ Long story short, I got the job. After five years at SF Main, I went on to enjoy another 30 years managing the Berkeley and Oakland offices, with extensive personal involvement in community activities, including serving on numerous boards. A great career!”


Philip Carville, of Grass Valley, Calif., reports, “Kind of cruising along these days. After a stint in the Marine Corps and then with IBM, then co-founding a software company, then serving as president of a Northstar resort in Truckee, then as a VP of Fibreboard, then a builder/developer at Northstar and Olympic Valley, then a builder of the Carneros resort and Loma Rica Ranch, I have settled down as a co-owner of a health club, South Yuba Club, in Grass Valley. I have met many wonderful people. Always proud of the foundation Haas gave me to pursue a life in business. At 84 and having traveled a good bit, I am happy to be spending peaceful days in Grass Valley, giving back and helping people when I can. Nothing is more rewarding.”


Arnfin Haavik, of Oslo, Norway, notes, “I just passed 80 and am still up and going (but not running). I celebrated my birthday (70 guests) with a surprise disco dance party. That was fun—when an 80-year-old throws themself into disco dancing. I am out of business but enjoy life, with my main interest playing the piano in two small jazz bands.”


Richard Hill, of Pittsburg, Calif., writes, “After a career in business, I earned my PhD in clinical psychology and am still in private practice. Recently moved to Contra Costa County to be near the next two generations. We have been enjoying OLLI and alumni activities: grateful for Cal, then and now.”


45th Reunion
April 26–28, 2024


Michaela Rodeno.Michaela Rodeno, of Napa, Calif., announces, “We had a Cabernet harvest to celebrate in Oakville in 2023, with our grapes going to Rombauer, Groth, Oren Swift, Robert Mondavi, and our own little Villa Ragazzi winery, among others. It started slowly in a cool, wet spring and ripened slowly in a gloriously temperate growing season. The winemakers are on record with ‘vintage of a lifetime’ comments. We can hardly wait until the wines are ready to share…in 2026.

“I no longer have to fly transcon to visit my adorable grandsons, 1 and 3, in New Jersey, because they’ll be living right next door as soon as my ADU/granny downsizing cottage is complete. CA laws and Napa County regs make it expensive to build anything new; I wouldn’t be doing this but for the joy of having the family together.”


Two women standing together and smiling.MaryJo Radosevich, of Piastów, Poland, updates, “A four-hour climb to view an erupting Icelandic volcano was an amazing and dramatic adventure. Now, I am on a new one! I began a cooperative translation of the historic Polish book Róże dla Lone: Za wolność Polski i Danii (1939–1945). Roses for Lone: For the freedom of Poland and Denmark recounts the heroic life of WWII resistance fighter Anna Lone Mogensen and her husband, Lucjan Masłocha, murdered by the Gestapo a few days after their wedding in January 1945, in Copenhagen. Although my heritage is Norwegian, Scottish, and Croatian, it is an honor to be invited to work on this exciting project with Agnieszka Olszewska Kaczmarek, the author’s daughter. I began formal Polish language lessons last spring. Last year, I was the English voiceover for the 20-minute YouTube video based on this book.” Shown: MaryJo (right) and Agnieszka.


40th Reunion
April 26–28, 2024


Laura Clayton McDonnell.Laura Clayton McDonnell, of New York, started a new job as president, corporates, at Thomson Reuters, supporting global enterprise customers.

The Answer

“Transitioning from a career as a securities lawyer to a business executive was a risk that paid off.”

—Laura Clayton McDonnell, MBA/JD 85
President of Corporates, Thomson Reuters


Ann (Brighouse) Cripps, of San Carlos, Calif., notes, “I have retired after many years in marketing and product management. Most recently I worked for a small firm in HR technology and, before that, I headed up product management for merchant banking at Wells Fargo. I’m on the board of the Friends of Huddart and Wunderlich Parks in San Mateo County.”


Black and white photo of five friends, four men and one woman.Ralph Garcia Jr., of San Mateo, Calif. shares: “Classmates and my wife in my Cedar Street ‘penthouse’ apartment, circa 1988.”


35th Reunion
April 26–28, 2024


Large group of people vamping for the camera.Caroline Winnett, of Berkeley, Calif., informs, “Berkeley SkyDeck continues to grow and expand. In addition to our core Berkeley programs, we now have programming in Europe and in Japan. We also continue to expand our collaboration with the wonderful Haas students. We just launched the Operator-in-Residence program for MBAs, who support our startups with ongoing project execution. And I’m happy to say we now have three Haas MBAs on the SkyDeck team: myself; our Head of Europe, George Panagiokatopoulos; and our new Head of Business Development, Taylor Marcus. And I got married in France last summer!” Shown: Back row: Jamie Thomas; Ekin Gunaysu; Gordon Peng; Nuné Zadoyan; Jun Jiang; Riddhi Khanna; and Kathy Chen. Front row: Sibyl Chen; Brian Bordley, BA 14 (political science); Caroline Winnett; and Taylor Marcus, MBA 16.


Adam Hardej, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., updates, “Family-run commercial real estate appraisal firm—aka BAAR Realty Advisors—is still going strong after 25+ years with my most recent hire, daughter Rachel. Son Adam worked the business for a while, but is heading up Sandhill Markets as CEO on the VC side of the table these days. Wife Beth Ann Hardej (legal studies ’91) is still acting CFO.

“Biggest news of 2023 was that I’m a proud grandfather; son Adam (III) had an Adam (IV), a bouncing, healthy baby boy. That and my daughter joining me to run the business have made it a great year, and I am looking forward to great things in 2024. Hello to all Cal friends—if you’re in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., or Carmel, Calif., then drop me a line; we can play some golf, if I’m not reviewing an appraisal report.”


Man wearing a hat and winter coat rowing a boat.Tom Stahl, of San Francisco, writes, “After retiring from my business career last year, I’ve just published a book,
Traveling Light: Photographs and Stories. The book contains 63 of my award-winning photos from around the world, from the 1991 and 1992 photos that won me the Eisner Prize in Photography twice while at Haas, all the way to photos exhibited at the de Young Museum and National Zoological Museum of China in 2023. Each photo is paired with an essay: tales from my travels, descriptions of the places depicted in the images, detailed accounts of how I created the photos, and my philosophies on travel and life. Available on my website”


30th Reunion
April 26–28, 2024

Tom Brigham, of San Francisco, announces, “After some time in high-tech, I migrated back to the construction world and have been running my own general contracting firm for the last 15 years or so. Our company is called Velero Construction (named after my grandfather’s sailboat), and we do residential and commercial construction and development. In this capacity, my Haas skills have been invaluable, but I really enjoy the flexibility and independence of this industry.”


Mark Beckford.Mark Beckford, of Folsom, Calif., reports, “I’m finally grounding myself after visiting 45 countries and 125 cities, putting away my airplane lapel pin and abused passports as I focus on helping local and national social ventures and NGOs. I am very excited to start a new venture, NetBridge Communities LLC, focused on grant strategies and writing services for nonprofits.”


Komal Shah, of Atherton, Calif., and her husband, tech entrepreneur Gaurav Garg, are on a mission to help correct the historical imbalance in the art world by collecting art made by women and artists of color. She’s particularly interested in abstract art. “Abstraction does not care about boundaries, and about geographies, and about gender, and I love that,” she says. “It’s a universal language of ideas.” The duo were named among 2023 “Top 200” collectors by ArtNews.

The Answer

“Saying ‘yes’ to a shark research expedition in 2015 that allowed me to develop photography, film, writing, and speaking skills that I use today to highlight the havoc humans are inflicting upon our oceans.”

—Steve Peletz, BS 83, MBA 99
Principal, Deep Blue Monthly


Hank Boyd.Hank Boyd, of Fulton, Md., the assistant dean for civic engagement and marketing professor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, writes, “It has been years since I graduated from Berkeley. During my academic career, I have taught marketing theory and practice to more than 17,500 students. Outside of academe, I have worked as a summer associate at Heller Ehrman, a pharmaceutical rep at Merck, and an economic forecaster at IBM. After my Berkeley MBA at age 24, I got my Ph.D. in marketing from Duke and my JD in intellectual property from UW-Madison.” A chemistry and biophysics Princeton alum, Boyd also serves as managing director and principal at Ombudsman LLC, a diversified consultancy, and is licensed to practice law in Maryland, Wisconsin, and the U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin.

“My opinions have appeared in USA TODAY, The Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Washington Business Journal, Wisconsin State Journal, Sports Illustrated, ESPN’s The Undefeated, Crain’s Chicago Business, Morning Consult, and CNBC. I have participated in live interviews on Maryland Public Television, local network affiliates, WTOP, WMAL, WIBA, and Knowledge@Wharton. Executive clients include the NFL, ExxonMobil, SAIC, Verizon, Stanley Black & Decker, and Ocean Tomo.” Hank resides in Howard County, Md., with his wife, Isabel, daughter, Gigi, and a Shiba Inu, Yuki (see

David Garff, of Danville, Calif., reports, “I’ve recently taken on the role of CEO of MIG, Inc. MIG is the culmination of 40 years of work, bringing together seven different companies from across the globe. Through MIG and its affiliates we provide a platform, MOSAIC, which centralizes strategic management and provides products and services to wealth managers around the world. If you are headed to Utah, or the Bahamas, or Uzbekistan, and need some suggestions—let me know!”


25th Reunion
April 26–28, 2024

Man and woman seated in front of a boy and girl.Ted Hartnell, of Sydney, Australia, announces, “My professional obsession since Berkeley has been ‘market simulation.’ I developed a comprehensive market simulation software delivered through my Scientific Strategy website ( I recently sold the B2C version of the software to an SaaS company in the pricing industry, then started working on a financial version of the software. As this financial version is vastly more complex than the B2C version, I’ve needed to upgrade my technical skills. This has led me to pursue a master’s in computer science at Georgia Tech (Go Yellow Jackets!).

“Haas was a life-changing experience for me! Unfortunately, I am now passing through a much less pleasant life-changing experience. In September last year, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer … very nasty form of cancer that often stays hidden until it is too late to do anything about it. This has caused me to leave my loving family in Shanghai and return to Australia for treatment. I had been determined to come to the Haas reunion in April, but this trip is now up in the air. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to see you all again soon!” Shown clockwise: Ted (lower left), Aidan, Sydney, and Song.

Man on a boat with other people behind him.Steve Peletz, of San Francisco, notes, “I’ve spent the last eight years assisting marine biologists in the Eastern Tropical Pacific—photographing and filming endangered sharks, helping tag sharks underwater, and creating strategic, marketing and operational plans on key projects topside. As an empty nester, I’ve found volunteering, diving and filming underwater, and helping ocean conservationists to be personally rewarding and meaningful.”


Christopher Barton, of Greenbrae, Calif., was excited “to keynote to 5,500 top selected students and professionals from across Turkey” in October. “All in one magnificent stadium—yes, stadium!—in Istanbul at Zirve23! Wow! (Or, ‘Vay!’ in Turkish)! Thank you to London Speaker Bureau for setting this up!”

Pascal Hoffmann, of Oakland, Calif., updates, “I am thrilled to announce that I joined BlueShield of California, a mission-driven not-for-profit company headquartered in the Bay Area, as director in the product management and strategy team. I find it purposeful to pursue a noble mission: ‘To ensure all Californians have access to high-quality healthcare at an affordable price.’ #BeyondYourself!”

Woman and man standing together.Roberto (Bobby) Matus reports, “After two decades of managing international economic development projects overseas (from Mongolia to Managua), my wife (Arlem) and I made three big mid-COVID moves: (1) We left D.C. for lovely Raleigh, North Carolina; (2) I started Blue 22 Capital, a private equity firm that invests in multifamily workforce assets in growing North Carolina; and (3) we welcomed Rocco, our Rhodesian Ridgeback to our family! We are thrilled to share that all three worked out great: NC has been delightful, from the emerald beaches to the pristine mountains; with the backing of our investors Blue 22 Capital has successfully acquired, rehabbed, and operated three workforce apartment complexes; and our four-legged handsome Rocco has captured our hearts (and pretty much everyone’s that he meets).

“I’ll be in the Bay Area in the third week of April, so will reach out to local fellow Haas 2000 alums to see if we can get an evening soirée on the calendar! It would be great to reconnect! It has been way too long! Reach out to say hello or to do a virtual coffee or beer! [email protected].” Shown: Arlem and Bobby.

Charlene (Son) Rigby, of San Francisco, writes, “I led a merger between two nonprofits last year and am now CEO of the combined company, Global Genes, a patient advocacy and research organization focused on rare diseases. Did you know there are more than 10,000 rare diseases and fewer than 5% have approved therapies? Patients with rare diseases encounter a range of challenges, including delayed diagnosis, difficulty accessing appropriate medical care, and lack of effective medications. Please reach out if you want to learn more or get involved.”


Splice CEO Kakul Srivastava, of San Anselmo, Calif., was featured in a Billboard article focused on ethical AI and creating music as its own joy. Read the story:


Seth Halpern, of Austin, Texas, announces, “After 20+ years working in tech (thanks Haas for starting me down that path!) I’ve taken the entrepreneurial plunge. A co-founder and I have launched Embrace uses the digital product content that our customers already have, often in the form of PDFs, Word docs, slide decks sitting in Google Drive, Sharepoint, Confluence, etc., and applies AI against it so that marketers can create tailored content quickly, CSMs/support can answer technical questions fast and reliably, SCs can prep RFP responses easily, and sales can easily build targeted and accurate communications. We’re finding our approach works for companies across virtually all B2B industries. Learn more at”


20th Reunion
April 26–28, 2024

Steve Leeflang, of Sandy, Utah, informs, “After about seven years devoting most of my time to growing and supporting the manufacturing side of our business, I’m now able to spend more of my time on product development, which is what I love most and is what our business needs to continue to diversify.”

Woman, man, two kids, and a dog.

Rodrigo Brumana Moreira, of San Jose, Calif., reports, “We moved back to the Bay Area last year and are finally here ‘for good.’ We are blessed to live here; we celebrated our daughter’s 15th this year. Looking forward to seeing everyone at the 20-year reunion. Twenty years?! Where did the time go?” Shown: Rodrigo (center) with wife, Alessandra, Baxter, Bella, and Max.


Mary Francis, of San Ramon, Calif., announces, “I was named to the 2023 National Association of Corporate Directorship 100™ list. This annual recognition honors leading corporate directors and corporate governance experts who impact boardroom practices and performance. It has been an honor to serve the corporate governance community over the past eight years. Over my many years at Chevron, I have been most proud of our commitment to strong governance, which is core to getting results the right way.”

The Answer

“Leaving corporate America to build a successful financial advisory business from scratch with a 2-year old, a stay-at-home wife, and a mortgage at age 39.  I would never have had the courage to take that risk were it not for the confidence I had in my Berkeley Haas MBA as a credential to fall back on. Twenty-one years later I’m flourishing in the perfect job for me.”

—Frank Hundley, MBA 91
First Vice President Wealth Management, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC


Nader Ghaffari, of Sausalito, Calif., shares, “Dong Liu, MBA 21, and I are thrilled to unveil Daybreak Insights, an analyst research firm dedicated to evaluating emerging technology vendors. This is our third business venture together in 15 years, starting with Dong interning for us when he was in undergrad, and my encouraging him to apply to Haas for his MBA during our second venture.”


Man taking a selfie with more than a dozen people behind him.Stephan Krajcer, of Toronto, Canada, writes,  “On a personal note, last summer we celebrated Vitoria’s bat mitzvah—blessed by family coming from Brazil and friends from Toronto.” Shown: Stephan (front and center) with family from Brazil.


15th Reunion
April 26–28, 2024

Three men standing in front of a curtained window.Sergio (Alonso) Gonzalez, of Spain, writes, “Rodrigo Burillo and Ico-founded Piper ( early in 2023 and successfully closed a €3M pre-seed round  in October. A next-gen sales productivity and intelligence solution, Piper puts AI to work for both sales reps and sales managers. Through its advanced interpretation of sales conversations from video calls, emails, Whatsapp threads, and audio notes, Piper automatically populates the CRM, freeing up sales capacity and ensuring unbiased, high-quality data.

“Piper is accepting beta testers at the moment and offering special conditions to Haas alumni: Reach out to [email protected] if you’re interested.” Shown: Sergio, Rodrigo, and third co-founder Michele Trevisiol.

The Answer

“Ten years ago, I took a break from my full-time marketing career to live in Europe and train as a classical singer. I studied bel canto in Verona and lieder with Edith Mathis in Salzburg, Austria— a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I’ll never forget.”

—Jessica Wan, MBA 10
Executive and leadership coach


JD Margulici, of Oakland, Calif., announces, “After co-founding multiple software startups in the transportation and manufacturing sectors, and with over 20 years of experience designing and deploying information technology in diverse operational domains, I am stepping into a new role as an independent consultant to operational technology innovators. I am rekindling my consulting brand, Novavia Solutions, which I created upon graduation. My purpose is to assist startups, academic teams, or skunk works projects that may be developing novel sensing devices, modeling capabilities, or full-fledged industry solutions aimed at reducing costs and improving operational performance in industrial sectors, equipping them with durable software solutions and workflows that boost their effectiveness and productivity. Now more than ever, the entire world needs to strive to better utilize our finite resources, and innovative operational technology is the  pathway to get us there. Find out more at”

Christine Vleck Jensen, of Emeryville, Calif., opened her first Pilates studio in Lafayette in 2022 after moving to the East Bay. It was a hit, and now the veteran Clif Bar e-commerce marketing director is opening a new studio in Elmwood.

Three men standing together in hiking gear.John Pavolotsky, of San Mateo, Calif., notes, “I formed the Peninsula Hiking Club in 2021 and since then more than a few Haas alumni have joined our monthly hikes. If you’re interested, please reach out.” Shown: John (center), Kiran Karadi, and Vasanth Matamudra.

Jessica Wan, of Berkeley, Calif., reports, “I started my leadership and executive coaching practice in spring 2022 and have been enjoying supporting business leaders (including several Haasies!) on challenges in the workplace. I continue to perform as a classical singer, and this past fall I launched an after-school enrichment program teaching music to kids ages 9 to 12. My podcast, The Ampersand Manifesto, has helped share stories of other ‘Ampersands’—people who straddle two worlds. I’m grateful for a life that feels full and vibrant!

“Last summer, my family and I spent about six weeks on the road. We spent quality time with 50+ family members and friends in Taipei, Toronto, and Minnesota. It was a fantastic post- pandemic reunion!”


Catherine Jhung, of San Carlos, Calif., notes, “I’m headed into my 10th year at Hercules Capital, leading all of business development, origination and venture relationships for our technology fund. Over COVID we moved to Sonoma County and have since moved back to the Peninsula. Our daughter (10) is an avid ski racer and gymnast.”


Man, woman, and two boys.Mary Flor Cruz, of Oakland, Calif., updates, “After working at two high-growth companies (LinkedIn and Credit Karma), I decided to go out on my own to do fractional CMO and marketing consulting work, which I love! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you or a friend needs marketing help.

“My husband, Ethan, came home last month with a kitten, which was quite a surprise. So now we have two boys (Brody, 7, and Finley, 4), and a kitty named Plum (3 months).” Shown: Clockwise: Ethan, Mary, Brody, and Finley.


10th Reunion
April 26–28, 2024


Nick Caldwell, of New York, reports, “I joined Peloton Interactive as its new chief product officer! I’m excited to lead the product organization at Peloton, to connect the world through fitness, and to empower everyone to be the best version of themselves.”


A still from a CBS news program that shows a woman, dog, boy, and reporter holding up a book.Renata Bell, of El Dorado Hills, Calif., announces, “After successful careers in tech, Renata and Brian Bell have embarked on new passions in 2023. Renata recently left her role as director of product marketing at LinkedIn, where she led strategy for its multi-billion dollar talent solutions portfolio overseeing the largest product lines. Now, she is focused on writing a children’s book series and supporting startups.

“Together with her 7-year-old daughter, Renata has created the Honeybunny Visits book series aimed at teaching kids about world cultures. Featuring Honeybunny, a unipuppy who travels the globe, they have published entertaining and educational books about Japan and Iceland so far, with more countries to come.

“Her husband, Brian, MBA 18, has turned his side passion into a full-time career in venture capital. As founder of Team Ignite Ventures, Brian draws on expertise in finance, product, marketplaces, and AI to invest in early-stage companies. Renata serves as an operating partner at Team Ignite, leveraging her marketing experience to assist portfolio startups. Giving back to the Haas community, Team Ignite also offers internships to Berkeley students interested in venture capital.” Shown: Renata and daughter, Suzie, on CBS.

Derek Purdy, of Gilroy, Calif., writes, “As a New Year’s resolution, I’m finally taking an improv class this winter to expand my thought processes—and so far it’s been a blast! This resolution was based on a recommendation made in my Entrepreneurship course back in 2015—thank you Professor Beyer and your guest speaker Alan Becker!”


Man, woman, and baby.Chloe McConnell, of Berkeley, Calif., updates, “Lars and I were thrilled to welcome our first child, Margot Rose, on Dec. 1. We live in NW Berkeley and are close with our Bay Area Haas family. Margot has already met a number of her Haasie aunts and uncles!” Chloe is still enjoying Adobe, now as director of product management on Adobe Express, and Lars is an account management manager at Flexport.

Yuriy Pryadko, of  Kyiv, Ukraine, announces, “Haas@War: I am submitting this alumni note to inform you that in December 2023 I was mobilized by the Armed Forces of Ukraine to defend my country against the brutal Russian aggression. I intend to carry my rank of private with confidence and without attitude. I will be a student of the military art and science as diligently as I was a student of technology and business; I am certain I will go beyond myself in the ways I don’t yet know.

“I ask you to join me in questioning the status quo of making the support of Ukraine a political bargaining chip. Please call your representatives today and tell them you demand that international economic and military support of Ukraine continues unconditionally, until we liberate our people suffering under occupation and secure a lasting peace. I love you. –Y”


Woman, man, and two dogs.Caitlyn Driehorst updates, “2023 was a busy year! I moved back to my hometown of Las Vegas to be closer to family and to launch my new company, RightWise Wealth, a fiduciary and independent financial planning and investment management firm. Jonathan and I bought a house on the same suburban walking trail as my parents, welcomed a puppy to the family (our senior dog, Amelia, is stricken at the betrayal), and closed out the year with yet another big change: We got married in our backyard Dec. 9. Here’s to hoping that 2024 is just as happy—but maybe a little calmer! Always happy to get a drink with any Haasies visiting town.” Shown: Caitlyn, Jonathan, and pups.

Jamie (Jamieleen) Lee, of Portland, Ore., writes, “I’ve jumped into the entrepreneurial world and started my own eCommerce Labs focused on teaching, advising, and consulting! I’ve joined as a course instructor at Maven and launched my first eCommerce 201 class in December (5/5 star rating) and another in January. After speaking at several conferences this year (eTail West and Boston), I really wanted to scale my learnings through speaking and coaching.

“As another branch of my ‘labs’ I’ve also started eCommerce/growth consulting in areas I truly care about: health and wellness, fashion/lifestyle, and nonprofits. Joining Stripes Group (which owns On Running, Erewhon, Reformation, Levain) in mid-2023 as an executive advisor really helped propel my interest in serving a variety of clients and industries.”


5th Reunion
April 26–28, 2024

Laura Andersen, of Orinda, Calif., writes, “This fall, I published a new measure of educator workplace well-being, created in partnership with Dr. Hallie Fox, Dr. Kris Evans, and members of the American Federation of Teachers. View the full report on educator well-being and the measure we created—Creative Commons license for non-commercial use!—at We continue to explore and support educator workplace well-being nationwide.”

Sean MacMannis, of San Francisco, reports, “I am building new revenue streams for my one-person business, currently coaching and freelancing in the blockchain space. Possible paths include launching a mastermind group and possibly a community-building platform! I moved from Alameda back to SF during COVID, got divorced, remarried, and am now expecting my third child, a boy, in April!”

Alex Stanton, of Miami, notes, “After four years sticking it out in the consulting lifestyle, I now run my own executive coaching practice, helping ambitious leaders grow in their careers without losing themselves in the process.

“When you face challenges and difficult decisions, connecting back to yourself makes all the difference. The core tenet of coaching is that you have the answers, the courage, and the capacity within you; sometimes you just need an outside perspective to shake it out. As an executive coach, I use my formal training, psychology education, and management consulting experience to empower founders, entrepreneurs, and managers to make decisions they feel good about, without all the second-guessing. I help you become the leader you’ve always wanted to be while making the impact that you’ve always wanted to have.

“Please reach out if you could ever use uninterrupted time to process a work-related challenge and take your career to the next level!” Details at


Woman, man, baby, and dog.Juliana (Pugliese) Pierce, of Austin, Texas, announces, “On Nov. 28, 2023, my husband, Erik, and I welcomed our first child, Caleb Paul Pierce. TBD: whether he decides to go by Cal for a nickname!” Shown: Juliana, Caleb, Erik, and Gunner.

Pallav Vyas, of Los Gatos, Calif., senior manager of document AI at Adobe, was a key leader in the launch and growth of Adobe Liquid Mode, recently featured in Time’s Best Inventions of 2023. He started his journey on Adobe Liquid Mode as one of three founding engineers and over time drove the majority of product development.

Liquid Mode uses AI to adapt PDFs to fit whatever device you’re reading on and allows font resizing, making reading documents on a small screen a breeze. This year, customers read over 1 billion files, showcasing the indispensable impact of the technology.

Says Vyas: “I’m grateful for the MBA experience that contributed to my role in such groundbreaking innovations!”


Man holding a baby with a boy looking over his back.Nicholas Houchin, of Moraga, Calif., reports, “I was recently promoted to director of operations for The Allen Group. This was my goal when starting the EWMBA program in 2019 and the result of 10 years of hard work at the company.

“In April 2023, my wife and I welcomed our second son to the family, Cole Houchin. Our oldest is thrilled to have a little brother, and seeing their relationship grow has been very special.” Shown: Nicholas with sons Beau and Cole.

Man and woman in front of a castle.Cesar Nunez, of San Francisco, writes: “My Houlihan Lokey team and I attended several M&A conferences in the past months, connected with PE, strategic investors and very talented founders. We all hope 2024 will be a better year for dealmaking and fundraising in the U.S.

“My wife and I went to Iceland, Ireland, and Spain in 2023. All fantastic places, but we really enjoyed the folklore and charm of castles and towns around Ireland.” Shown: Cesar and wife, Chelsea.


1st Reunion
April 26–28, 2024

Book cover of How the Sly Siblings Learned to Share.Naomi Domkam, of Oakland, Calif., writes, “I recently co-authored and published How the Sly Siblings Learned to Share with my sister, a children’s book inspired by our upbringing. Its core message focuses on  emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, and problem solving, for and by kids. Adults can use the approach showcased to provide kids with tools to help them better manage conflicts with other children. This kid-led approach to conflict resolution has the benefit of being supported by academic research on developing sustainable sibling relationships. The book is available in nine bookstores across the Bay Area and Denver and in the Oakland Public Library!”



Chris Phenner, of Chicago, reports, “I transitioned into the world of electric vehicle infrastructure in 2023. I joined a firm called Flash as VP of business development. So many EVs will need so many places to charge. Most of the apps for finding, selecting, and purchasing EV charging sessions are confusing. It is a fascinating puzzle to tie together digital UX with legacy systems in the parking industry. If you are in the worlds of EVs or urban mobility, I’d love to hear from you.”


20th Reunion
April 26–28, 2024

Joe Duran, of Newport Beach, Calif. writes, “And so the next chapter begins. Starting in 2024, I plan to launch Rise Growth Partners (, a new firm that will provide funding and strategies for the next generation of national registered investment advisors. We launched and raised $250M from Charlesbank.”


Man standing on a rock on a sandy beach with the ocean behind him.Joshua Posamentier, of Piedmont, Calif., just celebrated the sixth year of Congruent Ventures, the early-stage, climate- and energy-focused firm he co-founded. It recently closed its first Continuity Fund and its third flagship vehicle, Fund III, bringing assets under management to >$1B with a team of 12. The firm has invested in 54 potentially transformative companies, from food to fusion and from electric trains to forest fire management. The portfolio now employs thousands of people across the U.S. and has the potential to mitigate gigatons of carbon emissions, pollutants, and inefficiency.

“For fun, I managed to bike more miles on the road, dirt, and gravel than I drove in 2023 and continue to coach my kids’ mountain bike team. I ski and surf with my family when not on two wheels. This year, my family visited the Galapagos Islands.”


15th Reunion
April 26–28, 2024

Elias Eliadis.Elias Eliadis, of Oakland, Calif., is a principal  director with Accenture’s Industry X practice in San Francisco. In his new role, he focuses on the semiconductor industryas it goes through a major transformation globally. Elias advises clients on developing and implementing strategies on how to grow and manage risks in a highly challenging environment. An active public speaker, he continues to present for industry events, panels, and workshops.


10th Reunion
April 26–28, 2024

Larry (Lawrence Hugh) Sidney, of Zephyr Cove, Nev., updates, “In 2023 I moved my holistic financial planning and investment business to Palisade Investments, LLC. It’s been a great transition, and I am one of the only advisors in the Lake Tahoe region specifically offering ESG and sustainable investing.

“This fall I had the incredible honor of presenting a TEDx talk at TEDx South Lake Tahoe. My TEDx story started just months before my EMBA at Berkeley, when my brother Ray Sidney and I went off to bobsled and skeleton school in Park City. As Haas dean at the time, Richard Lyons often said to us, I went from ‘they do that’ to ‘I can do that!’”


Lucky Sandhu, of San Ramon, Calif., reports on the continued growth trajectory of the digital mortgage lending platform Reliance Financial. Now, at, you can obtain on-demand personalized mortgage rate quotes. The company specializes in home loans up to $766,550, catering to first-time homebuyers, real estate investors, and homeowners seeking refinancing options. Additionally, Reliance Financial is expanding its offerings to include accounting services for small-to-mid-size companies. For strategy and business development roles email [email protected].

Richard Wilson, of Orinda, Calif., updates, “I was elected to the 2024 Board of Directors of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, the leading international advocacy organization that champions the benefits of engineered cell therapies and genetic medicines for patients, healthcare systems, and society.”


Man holding a boy and a woman holding a girl.Jeff Decker, of San Francisco, announces, “I’ve crossed the chasm in my career to launch my own food business consulting practice. As a fractional COO for food companies, I help drive growth through strategic roadmap and product development in addition to uncovering efficiencies to build profitability for regional restaurant and CPG brands. It’s been a pleasure expanding my network within the food and beverage industry via the Haas alumni network—please reach out!

“Loving life in the Outer Richmond with my family.” Shown: Jeff with Ethan (6), Reese (3), and wife, Dana.


5th Reunion
April 26–28, 2024


Satomi Rash-Zeigler,  of San Diego, reports, “As of January 1, 2024, I am the inaugural executive director of the UCSD Labor Center.”


1st Reunion
April 26–28, 2024



Man and woman standing together.Rick Boettger, of Key West, Fla., joined Diana Nyad at the ten-year reunion of her historic Cuba swim.



Vasyl Nair notes, “In 2021, I was appointed as the chief executive officer of a $13B pension fund in Sydney, Australia. My daughter (5) keeps my wife and me busy.”


Sreekanth Pallavoor.Sreekanth Pallavoor, of Bangalore, India, updates, “I inaugurated an AI startup for MedTech in April 2022 and currently run it. CARAIO Technologies is an AI platform for genetics-driven medical diagnosis of human chromosomal disorders. The vision is to become efficient, accessible, and affordable for wider adoption across all population segments. My startup got selected for SkyDeck incubation in November 2022, as well for a successful second stage of incubation again with SkyDeck in May 2023. The learning and experience from the Berkeley ecosystem I gained have been really outstanding. I hired some UC Berkeley students as interns and was able to visit twice from India, in November 2022 and June 2023. It was a wonderful experience to be there again, where I could meet some of the great faculty from Haas who had taught us.”

Woman and man standing under a canopy of lights.Rajrupa Raghavan, of Salt Lake City, was selected to be an advisory board member of ContactCenterWorld (CCW) in 2023. CCW is the world’s largest contact center association; it organizes the most prestigious awards and conferences in the industry.


Woman and man standing together.Rahul Bajpai, of Mumbai, India, is group chief executive officer with Asian Institute of Oncology Pvt. Ltd. at Cumballa Hill Hospital. “Traveled a lot in 2023, across domestic and international sectors. Combined a couple of these visits with family alongside, striking a balance between work and personal life. Best part is that the family also figures more deeply into my work domain, and we have a larger sense of responsibility to deliver the best outcomes.”

Vinay Subramanian.Vinay Subramanian, of India, notes, “Switched jobs within health care, three years ago. Moved from Medtech to Biopharma. Had an amazing vacation in Kashmir! A lifetime experience!”


Manoj Kumar Sharma, of Mumbai, India, president and chief human resources officer of Aarti Industries Limited since 2018, announces a new project, “a metamorphosis for transforming the lives of manufacturing professionals.” He adds, “Settled in Mumbai. Son finished his undergrad at Purdue. Mentoring three startups on a pro bono basis in last three years.”


Man speaking into a microphone.Samsu Sempena became director of technology for an Indonesian government nationwide skill development program recognized by the United Nations for its contribution to sustainable development goals ( “I relocated with my wife from Singapore to Indonesia in 2022. Fortunately, the pandemic situation had significantly improved, facilitating a smooth transition.”


Madhumita Mantri, of Sunnyvale, Calif., updates, “Working as product lead at StarTree, an early-stage startup building a real-time analytics platform and anomaly detection solution. My side gigs: creator, author, podcast host, PM coach @Exponent,, co-founder AIForEveryone.Org, design thinking advisory member at UC Riverside.”


Akram Aburas, of Saudi Arabia, established several new companies, in engineering, farming, recycling.

Radhakrishna Bijjala, of Singapore, reports, “I changed my leadership style from shying away from giving feedback to giving assertive feedback to my direct reports. Amendments to my personal life such as exercise and yoga keep my mind positive in leading my company’s organizational changes.”



Marian Coquia-Regidor.Marian Coquia-Regidor announces, “Between starting and completing COBE, I built a global legal operations team based in Manila. This year, I published an article to share our story. Started a storytelling program in an indigenous community to promote love for reading, particularly among girls. Returned to teaching in law school.”

Balaji Jayashankar, of Bangalore, India, updates, “I have taken the additional responsibility of setting up the business analytics function for the entire group where I am currently working. Engaged in multiple new projects related to smart manufacturing and digital transformation, while focused on building the team and on finding opportunities for AI adoption.

“We’ve had great times as a family. Our daughter Hiran, a fifth grader, has been dabbling with her academics and other interests including becoming a professional singer and a racquet sport player. Work-related travels kept my spouse, Kalpana, on her toes this year. We took a couple of vacations, visiting the hillside town of Wayanad, Kerala, and the magnificent town of Agra.”

Glen Murphy writes, “My current role covers Australia and the Pacific, and in November I took my first work trip to Fiji. At the annual conference of the Fiji Commerce and Employer’s Federation I met many terrific Fiji businesspeople who are working to develop and improve Fiji’s economy.

“In April 2024 my wife and I are excited to take the ‘Ghan’ train journey from Adelaide, in South Australia, up the middle of the country to Darwin at the top of The Northern Territory.”

Michael Timmons, of Leesburg, Va., notes, “I recently came back to campus for more Berkeley Haas knowledge—completing the Venture Capital Executive Education program. Two months ago, our family took in two foster children: 7-year-old and 4-year-old boys whose parents are attempting to shake fentanyl addictions.”

Man standing in front of an ancient site in Jordan.Stephan Wagner, of Munich, Germany, updates, “I started a new role as enterprise architect for tech M&A projects for my employer Accenture. In this, I advise clients on value-added strategies in M&A transactions.

“I had a very inspiring vacation in Egypt. Time travel from the present.  Also wanted to share that I had an unusual vacation right before Christmas. I went to Jordan for a week, which is not a common stop these days. What amazed me most were the warm and very welcoming people I had the chance to meet. If I take back one thing from my trip, it is that life is all about understanding, connecting, and appreciating people.”


Joydeep Bhattacharjee.Joydeep Bhattacharjee, of Dallas, Texas, writes, “I started a new job as an AVP of generative AI at The Hartford.”

Ayush Jain, of Pune, India, notes, “Using deliberate practice that I learned from Professor Frank Schultz, I started a new habit in December—writing in a diary every night. These can be reflections or anything I discovered that day. Doing this for over a month now has accelerated my progress.”

Dhananjay Kulkarni, of McKinney, Texas, updates, “I have started working on a business idea; due to personal work and job search, not giving much time to it.”

Vikas Singh announces, “I completed one year with Birlasoft Limited in India. It has been an enriching journey so far while contributing to the growth of the company. The share price is at an all-time high and has surged about 167% in one year.

“During the holiday vacation at year end, my family visited beaches in and around Mumbai. My kids enjoyed water sports, camel rides, horse cart rides, etc. on the beach.”

Nicholas Stowe.Nicholas Stowe, of Olympia, Wash., notes, “Started a job as the chief technology officer for the state of Washington in March 2023.”



Sai Vajha, of Pleasanton, Calif., reports, “Getting very close to starting a company that is focused on bringing the doctor much closer than before to patients and caregivers. Looking forward to sharing the updates shortly, as we announce the initial product release and the leadership team.

“It was personally touching and fulfilling when I got involved in helping the parents of my diseased friend receive his body in India. Perspectives and priorities change in such a life- altering event, working through the hurdles to send my friend’s body back home to India.”