What lessons (personal or professional) have you learned from the pandemic and how are you incorporating them into your life?
Vijay Kumar, of Mountain View, Calif., writes, “I have lived in Mountain View since 1970. I am retired now. I worked in Silicon Valley for Memorex and other companies. I also started a company—Globe Gem, which imported gems and jewelry and sold them to shops and dealers in the U.S. Globe Gem was closed when I retired. My son, Jay, is in North Carolina and my daughter, Amba, is in Santa Cruz. I am divorced and live alone. I talk daily with my nephew Vinod, who lives near Los Angeles. His wife got coronavirus but has recovered now. Vinod worked for three years for me at Globe Gem also.”
Fred Sheng See MBA 1975.
Tim Tran (aka Tran Manh Khiem, his Vietnamese name) published an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times titled, “I’m a refugee from Vietnam. The images out of Afghanistan fill me with horror—and hope.” Tran’s memoir, American Dreamer—How I Escaped Communist Vietnam and Built a Successful Life in America, won three literary awards: a 2020 Best Independent Book Award for biography, a 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Award for autobiography/ biography, and a 2021 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Award. Read his op-ed: haas.org/tran-op-ed.
Cynthia (Richardson) Smizer reports, “I retired to San Francisco after a 30-year legal career in business litigation in Los Angeles. My husband, Chris Smizer (engineering, 1980), and I have traveled the world and now enjoy our four children and not working.”
Joann (Martens) Weiner, of Washington, D.C., updates, “I am starting my seventh year as director of the master’s in applied economics program at George Washington University. We recently changed our STEM-designated program to a Master of Science from a Master of Arts degree. I continue to teach applied micro as well. Had an amazing conversation with a fellow Cal grad about the incredible b-school professor Frances Van Loo.”
Mitch Rosenberg is a certified financial planner, chartered life underwriter, and accredited estate planner with a master’s of science in financial services. His success in the financial services sector spans more than three decades. He was recently chosen by the Pacific Coast Business Times for “Who’s Who in Banking and Finance.” Mitch is founder of MDR Insurance & Financial Services in Thousand Oaks and is a member agent of The Nautilus Group and the Nautilus Plus inner circle, comprising an elite group of fewer than 30 insurance professionals.
Andrew Shapiro, of Mill Valley, Calif., completed a second term as board chair and president of the Mill Valley Library Foundation and was quite busy on behalf of this nonprofit in the middle of the pandemic. After nine years he will term-limit off this board at the end of 2021. In addition to serving on the board of the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame Northern California, Andrew is now a member of the Private Directors Association. His activist investment management firm, Lawndale Capital Management, recently celebrated its 28th anniversary. He continues to speak regularly at national conferences focused on corporate governance, hedge fund, and activist investing topics. He notes, “We celebrated our daughter’s marriage with a pandemic- deferred wedding in Sonoma wine country on August 14.”
Bill Koefoed See MBA 1994.
Beth (Corman) Lee, of San Jose, Calif., announces, “I published my first book on August 10, 2021—a cookbook called The Essential Jewish Baking Cookbook (Rockridge Press, 2021)—and it has already been covered in The New York Times (see haas.org/beth-lee), San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, and more.”
David Inchausti, of San Francisco, became VP and controller of Chevron in 2019 and moved to the Haight in 2021.
Timothy Yee, of Alameda, Calif., reports, “New 401(k)s continue to pour into Green Retirement as ESG investing moves mainstream. Was I 15 years early to the ESG party?! While I’m happy to be busy, I also need work/life balance and took my first vacation in 18 months: Alaska! Highlight: King crab pizza!” Shown: Rose Yee, Timothy Yee, and Wade Robertson.
Mister Emael (Ernesto Arellano), of Valencia, Spain, announces, “I have begun to write about my time at Cal. I submitted my first story to a writers’ competition in August. I haven’t written for publication in a number of years and admit that I am a little rusty. I am just grateful that the contest lined up with my personal timeline in beginning this process.
“I recently traveled to Berlin to investigate whether or not I would be able to live there. Everyone told me that the winters are horrible and that as a native Californian, I might have a rough time. I did, however, appreciate speaking to artists who moved there on an artist visa.” Shown: Emael in Berlin, by Antonio Velez.
Sybil Yang, of Oakland, Calif., updates, “I am now the Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at San Francisco State University’s Lam Family College of Business. I will be overseeing SFSU’s startup incubator, entrepreneurs’ resource hub, pitch competition, annual symposium, and high school entrepreneurship outreach programs.”
“Taking a walk with my dog every day helps me to be a better person.”
—VIDYA KAGAN, BS 90
DIRECTOR OF DATA MANAGEMENT & RESEARCH, MENLO SCHOOL
Olivia Chen, of Palo Alto, Calif., reports, “Pauline Ang (Cal grad 2001) and I co-founded Twrl Milk Tea. Our premium, ready-todrink, plant-based milk teas (tea latte) are made with organic fair-trade tea, are dairy- and allergen-free, and have way less sugar compared with other boba teas in the market. It’s also nitro-infused for a smoother and creamier taste—without additional fats or creamers!
We source from small organic and non-GMO family farms, and our plant-based milks are considered the most sustainable, which gets us Twrling in excitement.
With only 45 calories and 6g of sugar per can, our customers love this coffee alternative!” Visit twrlmilktea.com or @ twrlmilktea.
Sangeeta Desai has been named interim CEO at Dubai-based regional entertainment provider OSN. Desai, who was previously group COO and CEO of emerging markets at Fremantle, has served as a non-executive director on the board of OSN for over year.
Will Edmonson, of West Hollywood, Calif., writes, “I continue to practice law, primarily handling litigation matters for individuals and small- and mid-sized businesses. I offer big law firm experience and talent at affordable rates. Please contact me at 424-248- 9581 or will@ whelawfirm.com if I can help you with anything.”
Walk of Fame
Robert Paylor, BS 20, who wasn’t expected to walk again after suffering a catastrophic injury during a Cal rugby match, walked across the stage in August to accept his Berkeley diploma. Paylor took more than a dozen steps amid a standing ovation at the pandemic-postponed event. “For 1,576 days I’ve thought about this one day,” said Paylor, who can walk up to 300 yards now. “It’s some of the most important five to 10 yards I’ll ever walk in my life.”
Alex Abelin, of Kilauea, Hawaii, is building an innovative nutrition company, Plant- Baby, that designs clean plant-based drinks, foods, and formulas for kids. He and his wife, Lauren, created the company and are launching their first product, Kikimilk (kikimilk.com), this fall.
The Wake Up (Hachette Go, 2021) explores the challenging and nuanced work of pursuing equity and justice. It’s for everyone earnestly trying to go beyond performative allyship to create real change.
—Michelle MiJung Kim, BS 11 Co-founder and CEO, Awaken
Back to the Roots founders Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez won EY’s Entrepreneurs of the Year Award for Northern California.
Christian Kendall, of San Francisco, updates, “After seven years of tinkering and collecting market interest I am bringing the world’s only singing tea kettle to market. It is named 24T, pronounced ‘Two for Tea,’ as this is the song it whistles upon water boiling. Interested parties can learn more about this steam-engine- powered marvel at musicalteakettle.com.
“I’m spending more time in Todos Santos, Baja California, and looking for other alumni to help with local projects to handle garbage and water issues in town.”
Javier Tenorio, of Santa Rosa, Calif., announces, “After 10+ years in finance and accounting, I decided to change careers and joined Costeaux French Bakery in Santa Rosa as director of operations. In this role, I oversee the day-to-day operations of our baking center and manage all delivery routes throughout the Bay Area. If you find yourself in wine country, stop by and say hello!”
Richard Zen, of Hong Kong, reports, “I’m interested in foodtech and also bringing more proptech to companies out here in Asia. I recently began studying the housing crisis in Hong Kong with a view to doing something about it. Would love for alums who have a similar interest or relevant resources/tips to reach out to me at linkedin. com/in/richardzen.” Shown: Zen (left) touring a transitional housing property in Hong Kong that uses stacked containers. He’s joined by friend and project donor Kristine and property program managers Cherry and Alice.
YJ (Young-Jun) Jang, the founder and CEO of Riiid, a global AI tutor, raised $175 million from SoftBank. The company aims to disrupt standardized testing and take its technology to public schools.
Clement Kao, of Irvine, Calif., updates, “I’m now the founder and CEO of Product Teacher, a product management education company that envisions creating a world where anyone can bring dreams to life through software. Through Product Teacher, I’ve released an online self-serve video course called Solving the PM Interview, which has helped multiple people secure PM job offers. I’ve also been able to accelerate the careers of professionals from Redfin, Intuit, Barclays, and more! I love supporting the Haas alumni community, so don’t hesitate to email me at clement@ productteacher.com with any questions.” Shown: Kao with significant other Panpan Xu.
Akshita Singh, of Pleasanton, Calif., writes, “This would be the perfect time to share that I am going back to school! I am changing my career and academic trajectory 180 degrees by diving into computer science.
“As I never took any CS courses at Berkeley, diving into a researchbased CS master’s is a leap of faith decision for me. I spent multiple years as a management consultant at a job Haas helped me get, and during that time I realized how much I liked to continue to intellectually challenge myself. And thus, I’m back attending lectures.
“Moving down to SoCal is another big change for me—first time leaving the Bay Area ever since I set foot in the U.S. eight years ago.”
Mark Ansell, of Redmond, Wash., is the lead PM at Microsoft for the game-day technology solution for the 2021–22 NFL season. For 14 months Mark led a team of engineers designing and developing the sideline Microsoft Surface devices (hardware and software) for the season.
Bria Rosenberg, of Los Angeles, updates, “In January 2021, I started my first postgraduate job—at Andersen Global, an international professional services firm. As a global marketing and business development associate, I get to work with people all around the world on a daily basis!”
“When working remotely, it can be difficult to have a clear distinction between working at home and enjoying your personal life. It’s important to have hobbies and fun nonwork activities to maintain that balance.”
—BRIA ROSENBERG, BS 20
GLOBAL MARKETING AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE, ANDERSEN TAX LLC
Robert W. Marwin notes, “I retired in January of 2005 after 31 1/2 years with ADI Analog Devices.”
Ruth (Minnes) Donohugh, of Pebble Beach, Calif., writes, “Corporate originally, then founded Picante (Berkeley) and Picante (San Rafael).Sold both restaurants and more or less retired.”
Fred Sheng, of Honolulu, announces, “Became a full-time resident of Hawaii after 40+ years in San Francisco. Why? The weather, the pace of life, and the aloha of the people here.”
April 29–May 1, 2022
Joseph Carlson, of Monument, Colo., reports, “Early on a sunny and cool August morning, Kathy and my three teenagers (Michael, 17, a senior; Andy, 15, a junior; and Lily, 14, a freshman) began a new academic year at Palmer Ridge High School with the hope that this new year will be full of positive adventures. Being retired, Kathy and I are certainly enjoying this family time as well as traveling the world with family to more fully appreciate the varied cultures of the world vis-à-vis the United States.
“At an absolute minimum, the past 12 months have certainly been a time for careful reflection and contemplation about learning lessons from the pandemic and incorporating them into our lives. Our family has adapted by returning to some basic life concepts: self-reliance, follow the money, and ‘Don’t believe what you hear and only half of what you see.’ For many people, there is a clear distinction between what actually happened and what they wished would have happened in a given situation.”
Mark Coles, of McLean, Va., announces, “I’m now in my 19th year at the National Science Foundation, where I directly oversee three of NSF’s premier large-scale research endeavors: the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), whose direct detection of gravitational waves led to the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics; the ATLAS and CMS detectors at the Large Hadron Collider, whose observation of the Higgs boson led to the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics; and the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole, the world’s first neutrino telescope. It’s been wonderful to be a part of these ambitious and creative efforts that have pushed the boundaries of scientific knowledge.” Shown: Coles at the South Pole.
Victoria Wray-Greening, of Genoa, Nev., writes, “New ‘skill’: using Zoom! Learning to golf—still at the whack-amole stage. Having moved to Genoa, Nevada, several years ago, my husband and I do a lot of hiking and generally enjoying the eastern Sierra. We are experiencing horrific smoke this summer, which cuts down on the hiking (and progress on my learning to play golf!). I volunteer at a horse therapy program and very much enjoy the horses and the clients, most of whom are children. Our three kids are all over the place: D.C., Portland, San Francisco.
“I hope to someday see my Haas pals again, especially Liz, Nancy, Firouzeh, Dominique, Wendy, Ross—miss you all!” Shown: Hiking with husband, Jay Greening.
April 29–May 1, 2022
Ronald Bohn, of Elk Grove, Calif., has been on special assignment with the State of California since July 2020, first as a coronavirus contact tracer and now a case investigator. “As a contact tracer, I talked to people exposed to the disease about health and safety measures. As a case investigator, I talk to people infected with the disease about those measures.”
“The only thing unchanged is change itself, and we should get ready for the new normal as soon as possible.”
—ZIYUAN YING, BS 20
FOUNDER, EXCEL ORANGE EDTECH GROUP
Alan Kessler, the former CEO of Vormetric, joined the board of directors of Sotero, a cybersecurity technology company led by C.J. Radford, MBA 05.
April 29–May 1, 2022
Steven Terusaki, of Albany, Calif., announces, “SEIDO Consulting, LLC celebrated its 10th anniversary during the pandemic, offering executive business coaching services to individuals who are new to positions of leadership and to leaders seeking their ‘right path’ for leadership success. In 2020 SEIDO Consulting also folded into its service offerings the Haas Alumni Forums program. Haas Forums are your personal board of directors, offering a confidential setting to explore and discover new perspectives on your most difficult challenges. Check out seidoconsulting.com or email s.terusaki@ seidoconsulting.com.”
Amy (Louis) Lujan, of Juneau, Alaska, reports, “Both Stan and I are now mostly retired. We volunteer extensively in the community. Much of that has gone online. Sometimes it feels like we’re spinning our wheels, without in-person events such as live concerts with our musical groups! We have accomplished about five years of home maintenance and organizational projects in the past 18 months, so we’re getting ready for the next chapter. In the COVID ‘window’ this spring and early summer it was great to finally see family and friends in person.” Shown: Amy and Stan Lujan, both MBA 91, hiking near their home in Juneau, Alaska.
April 29–May 1, 2022
David Shiver, of Berkeley, Calif., reports that in addition to his work as a principal with BAE Urban Economics, he is teaching a course in real estate market and financial analysis at San José State University’s Master in Urban and Regional Planning program. He notes, “It’s been really rewarding to share what I’ve learned over my career and help develop the next generation of city planners and real estate professionals!”
Wendy Wong, of La Jolla, Calif., updates, “Recently embarked on a new work/life format as a growth advisor and fractional chief marketing officer, with a focus on mission-based organizations delivering social impact. Enjoying my strategic marketing work with Founders First, an accelerator and lender to diverse-led small businesses, with the mission to build an inclusive economy. Looking to partner with like-minded leaders. Also interested in board or growth advisory roles with social impact businesses and nonprofits and incubating some entrepreneurial projects.”
Leslie Smith announces that her art exhibition “Magic Opossum” opened at the Richmond Art Center on Sept. 9. See haas.org/leslie-smith. Shown: Smith’s self portrait with opossum found in her art studio.
“We now work in a hybrid world, on-site and online. The key question is, why come to the office? Offices should help creativity, team building, and team engagement and are not anymore a place just to meet.”
—FRÉDÉRIC CHARLES, MBA 94
VP DIGITAL STRATEGY & INNOVATION, SUEZ SMART SOLUTIONS
Frédéric Charles, of Paris, updates, “I joined SUEZ Environmental Solutions, as VP for Digital Strategy & Innovation. Digital is key to finding new smart solutions for the planet, reducing energy and water consumption or building smart cities.
“My two kids, Aldric and Gaël, left home as soon as they graduated from their engineering schools. Julia and I have now a big house open to alumni!”
Bill Koefoed, the CFO of OneStream Software, was featured in an article by CFO South Africa highlighting OneStream’s success and plans to expand into new geographies. Read the article: haas.org/bill-koefoed.
Lida Kourita, EMBA 16, was named a Top 100 U.S. Business Leader by The Top 100 Magazine. She is the strategy and clinical development lead at DiscernDx, which is using artificial intelligence to transform the diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases. A physician by training, Kourita also serves as medical innovation lead at neuroFit, a NASA technology spinoff using eye-tracking technology to monitor brain health. Earlier this year, she was appointed as the World Business Angel Forum’s international partner for Greece.
Kassim Chaudry, of Metuchen, N.J., writes, “In early 2021, left EMC/Dell after more than 10 years in various roles. Joined Insight Corp. as a senior manager in the delivery section of the consulting services. Utilizing skills I learned at EMC and then Dell,enjoying every minute. “My son who was born in Berkeley is on his second job; daughter who graduated from Georgetown is busy with her first job; and youngest daughter is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh. Wife left her law firm to start her own business, Chaudry Law. Wish her luck.” Shown: Kassim, Carolyn, Kevan, Kiren, and Kamryn Chaudry.
Co-founded and led by Kevin Brown, Innit, a B2B personalized food technology platform, announced a strategic partnership with Google Cloud that will enable grocery retailers to deliver personalized services across the entire meal journey, spanning online, in-store, and at-home.
April 29–May 1, 2022
Alan Knitowski, of Austin, Texas, notes, “Continuing work as president, CEO, and co-founder of Phunware, Inc. (NASDAQ: PHUN). Was recently featured as ‘self-made’ for the cover of Swagger magazine.” (See haas.org/alan-knitowski.)
“Recently celebrated my second wedding anniversary with Dr. Janelle Moser Knitowski at the One&Only Maldives.”
Arshad Carim, of Alameda, Calif., updates, “Approaching the 20-year mark as a principal at The Alexander Group, Inc. (AGI), a boutique consulting firm focused on revenue growth solutions that I joined straight from Haas on-campus recruiting in 2001. Thoroughly enjoying the work and focusing on the life sciences and analytical instruments, manufacturing and distribution, and healthcare sectors.
“Fantastic seeing classmates at the virtual reunion earlier this year—great hearing about everyone’s successes and life accomplishments. Just completed a 3,500-mile, 11-day trek with the family from the Bay Area to Montana and back. We took in the breathtaking sights at Yellowstone and Bryce Canyon and attended a beautiful outdoor wedding near Missoula. Enjoyed catching up in July with Raj Manghani, Dave Ko, and Todd Wehmann. Great times with lifelong friends!”
Leah Fine, of San Carlos, Calif., reports, “Leading efforts at the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer to expand access to high-quality early detection, treatment, and care through the Centers of Excellence program. Also recently began volunteering with AssistHub, a tech nonprofit that efficiently connects people with government benefits and that was recently named to FastForward’s accelerator program. Ready to launch into the empty-nest world. I guess that means more time with friends, my bike, and travel!”
“The science of human disease and medicine should not be politicized. Do your own research and think for yourself.”
—KASSIM CHAUDRY, MBA 95
REGIONAL MANAGING PRINCIPAL, INSIGHT ENTERPRISES
April 29–May 1, 2022
Christi Burdick-Travis, of Lake Elmo, Minn., writes, “Ooofta (that’s Minnesotan for holy cow). My family is moving from Minnesota back to the Bay. My husband, Dominic, accepted a job at the Marin County Marine Mammal Center, so with our three kids (16, 13, 8) we will be moving. Can’t wait to reconnect with this community in person. If I do the math right, our 20-year is this spring? My email is christi.burdicktravis@ gmail.com.”
Paulo Mannheimer, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, reports, “Instant Solutions, the company I started after graduation, has been growing double digits all these years, especially the last two due to our online collaboration and communication platform. “Used some free time during the pandemic to relearn how to pilot so we never have to fly an airline again.” Shown: Paulo and wife, Elida, frequent flyers on MA (Mannheimer Airlines).
Yamini Rangan became the CEO of HubSpot, the marketing and CRM software company, in September. She had previously served as the company’s chief customer officer. Rangan joins a small number of female CEOs leading U.S. public companies.
Matthew Gallatin joined Stack Overflow as its chief financial officer.
Riding High In April (SparkPress, 2021) draws from Jackie Townsend’s time in Silicon Valley, where she observed the highs and lows of the startup economy. The novel is a powerful evocation of our contemporary tech moment; a revealing exploration of resilience and the pursuit of something unattainable; and a moving story of love, friendship, and letting go.
—Jackie Townsend, MBA 93 Author
C.J. Radford was named CEO of cybersecurity technology company Sotero.
Jesse Brackenbury, of New York City, was named president and CEO of The Statue of Liberty–Ellis Island Foundation. The nonprofit was established in 1982 when President Reagan asked Lee Iacocca to raise private funds for the historic restoration of the Statue of Liberty. Working in partnership with the National Park Service, the foundation has created the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration, developed the free 65 million-record Ellis Island Passenger Database, constructed the Statue of Liberty Museum, and funded over 200 additional projects.
April 29–May 1, 2022
Bradley Clark, of Springville, Utah, writes, “After years of thinking about it I decided to use the commute time I got back from the pandemic to write a book! It’s titled The MBA Distilled for Project and Program Professionals and marries the knowledge gained in MBA programs and distills it down for program managers. It was picked up by a publisher and is available on Amazon.
Jen Quan, of Kailua, Hawaii, announces, “The Quan ohana (pictured) has moved to Oahu. We’ve experienced the amazing spirit of aloha and have met such wonderful individuals and organizations. Our girls are attending Mid-Pacific Institute and Punahou School and are loving their new communities. We are very much looking forward to this next chapter. If there are any Haas alumni on Oahu, would love to connect!”
Brett Wilson and John Hughes, who previously co-founded TubeMogul together, have launched Swift Ventures. The firm is a “founders backing founders” fund that invests in seed-stage AI and automation companies with B2B business models. Learn more at swift.vc.
Saranya Babu, of Cupertino, Calif., writes, “What an intense and fulfilling year despite the gloomy global backdrop of the pandemic. As the marketing head at Wrike, I got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead my team through a complete and overnight pivot. We took an innovative, agile approach and really came together to exceed our goals, leading to a successful $2.25B acquisition that redefined the market dynamics. Receiving the Women of Influence award of the Silicon Valley Business Journal was icing on the cake. My next big challenge: the CMO at Cloudinary. On the personal front I enjoyed a fulfilling year with my family at home. My oldest, a Haas baby, turned teenager and started high school.”
Jeff Denby, co-founder of The Renewal Workshop, a provider of circular solutions for apparel and home textile brands, recently added two athletic wear brands to its lineup: Champion and New Balance. The Renewal Workshop cleans, repairs, and sells apparel that would otherwise have gone into landfills.
Ashish Shete, of Palo Alto, Calif., updates, “My wife, Kaumudi, and I decided to take a break from work and travel across the U.S. on a 6- to 12-month road trip. We purchased a 25-foot RV and got on the road by mid-June, planning to visit all the national parks in the U.S. that we haven’t seen and meet friends along the way. So far, we’ve visited more than a dozen national parks and have been mesmerized by all the beauty in our country.
“We are also learning a lot. The RV life is new for us, and we regularly run into situations that differ from those we face in our regular corporate and suburban lives. Hoping to return with a broader vision and a sharper focus. Many thanks to all who have helped and encouraged us.” See Instagram updates: @rvfarers. Shown: Ashish and Kaumudi at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado.
Sarah Travis was named president of Target’s in-house media company, Roundel, which helps advertisers connect directly with Target’s guests through personalized marketing messages. She previously served as managing director of retail at Google, where she held multiple executive roles in marketing and sales.
“There is opportunity in every adversity. What you choose not to do allows you to do what you want to do, so choose your time investments wisely.”
—SARANYA BABU, MBA 08
Ernesto Rodriguez, of Lima, Peru, reports, “I have been working for Repsol, a Spain-based energy company for 11+ years, in FP&A roles around South America. I joined a new project to integrate long- and short-term planning processes across several countries with multiple fiscal regimes.
“My wife, two kids, and I moved to the Miami area for five months looking for in-classroom education for our 8-year-old, Alejandro, and 5-year-old Julieta. Now enjoying the warm South Florida summer while away from Lima’s cloudy winter. Looking forward to reuniting with former classmates in the area.”
John Pavolotsky, of San Mateo, Calif., updates, “I have started a local Bay Area hiking group, open to Haas alums and others. Our last hike, along the Marin Coastal Trail, included two Haas alums, besides myself, and it was great as always to catch up. Ping me for details.”
Victor Noguera and Bernardo Cordero, MBA 12, co-founders of Flat.mx, raised a $20 million Series A round of funding. Their company simplifies the process of buying or selling a home in Mexico.
Laurie Peterson writes, “We learned in b-school that the easiest time to change an organization’s culture is during a crisis. Well, this seems to be true on the micro level of our family as well. After a tough year we’ve moved from Oakland to Santa Fe, NM, for fresh air and open space. Come visit us in the land of enchantment.”
April 29–May 1, 2022
Nitin Agrawal, the co-founder & CEO of edtech company Interstride, was named to the Forbes Next 1000 list of entrepreneurs and small business leaders who are redefining what it means to build and run a business amid the new normal. Agrawal won in the education category for his work providing international student support services to higher education institutions.
Bernardo Cordero See note for Victor Noguera, MBA 11.
Josh Harrington assumed the role of CEO at Eldex Corporation in May. Eldex manufactures high precision chemical metering pumps and scientific instrumentation for the global market from its company HQ in Napa, Calif.
“Mental health is key to our well-being. I implemented weekly 30-minute calls with my team to share mental health and well-being practices; they remind us to take care of ourselves, and it proved to be a great trust-building exercise.”
—ERNESTO RODRIGUEZ, MBA 09
PERFORMANCE MANAGER PERU, REPSOL
Andrew Hattori has joined the East Bay Community Foundation as vice president of marketing and communications. He writes on LinkedIn: “EBCF is committed to eliminating structural barriers, advancing racial equity, and transforming political, social, and economic outcomes for all who call the East Bay home. I’m humbled by this opportunity to create a ‘Just East Bay’ together and…excited to support EBCF’s bright future as an organization that our community deserves.”
Chao Zhang, of Dallas, Texas, reports, “After working at Nokomis Capital for the past eight years, I left at the end of July to pursue a dream of launching my own firm, Think Different Wealth Advisors LLC. At Think Different Wealth Advisors, our mission is to help tech professionals and physicians retire early and live better by getting to their first million and beyond. We provide both comprehensive financial planning and investment management. To learn more about what we do, visit thinkdifferentwealth. com.”
RESOURCEFUL STUDENTS ALWAYS
Members of the UK Chapter and Lecturer Greg LaBlanc teamed up to offer an eight-week virtual course this spring that gave some 30 lockdown-weary alumni from the UK and European Union an opportunity to connect and re-energize. LaBlanc led four case-study-based classes on digital strategy, helping to demystify complex evolving trends in the digital content sharing and cryptocurrency ecosystems. The other four classes consisted of curated “study groups” representing an eclectic mix of alumni. These allowed attendees to build community both online and in real time once restrictions were lifted. The course earned rave reviews, and the UK Chapter hopes to bring more such content to European alumni.
Claudia Martinez, of Oakland, Calif., announces, “On May 3, 2021, our baby girl, Lucía Elena, joined our family. She weighed 6 pounds and 7 ounces and measured 20 inches. Mom is excited about introducing Lucía to the Haas community!” Shown: Proud parents Claudia Martinez and Elias F. Portales with daughter Lucía Elena Portales.
Virginia Milner, of Seattle, is principal product manager for Kindle Direct Publishing and is behind one of Amazon’s biggest launches in the books category in recent years: Kindle Vella, a new reading experience for serialized stories. She led the initial ideation, strategy, and launch of this new direct publishing/ reading experience. Her previous projects at Amazon include Great on Kindle and helping independent brands build their business selling on Amazon.
Javed Shah, of Sacramento, Calif., reports, “Having worked at ForgeRock for nearly eight years, where I helped design and build the ForgeRock Identity Platform and also the ForgeRock Identity Cloud, I am excited to share that I have been appointed the new VP of Product at 1Kosmos. We are a Series-A funded startup with a platform serving global use cases for decentralized identity management and passwordless authentication. Our platform is disruptive in that we take an architectural approach to preserving user privacy and enabling frictionless identity-based authentication for both enterprise and consumer markets. I am very excited about the future and the prospect of disrupting the current and legacy approaches to centralized identity management.”
Amanda Augustus, head coach of Berkeley’s women’s tennis team, earned her second Pac- 12 Coach of the Year award after a season in which the Cal women’s tennis team won its first conference tournament championship and reached the NCAA round of 16. Augustus, now in her 14th year as head coach, also collected the conference coaching honor in 2014. That year—before the inception of the Pac-12 team tournament—she led Cal to its first Pac-12 title based on its regularseason record.
Eyal Gurion, of Berkeley, Calif., updates, “Started a new job as VP of Care Transformation for Anthem Inc., leading a national team of clinical, product, and analytics professionals working on new solutions to improve care and reduce costs. I’m hiring people across the country and across multiple disciplines and would love to bring in Haas talent.”
Moses Lo, co-founder and CEO of Jakarta, Indonesia-based Xendit, recently celebrated raising $150 million in fresh Series C funding, bumping the fintech’s valuation to $1 billion and unicorn status. Read more about Xendit in the Summer 2021 issue of Berkeley Haas magazine: haas.org/money-moves.
Richard Bissell, of Danville, Calif., reports, “This year, my job changed to a role supporting the transition to electric transit buses at public agencies all over the U.S. This was an exciting change for me and supports my goals of working on meaningful projects that will have an impact on the future.”
Pete Dillon, of Oakland, Calif., writes, “In July, I closed a privileged chapter with growth-stage transportation startup Aperia Technologies and have since joined Color Health as FP&A Manager, Revenue Lead. Color is using population- level health care services, screening, and infrastructure to help everyone lead the healthiest life that science and medicine can offer. As a former chemist, rising finance leader, and double-bottom- line enthusiast, I am so excited to help grow Color into a phenomenally valuable/impactful company! “Outside work, I’m completing Berkeley Extension’s Accounting Certificate, spending lots of time at the Oakland Zoo with my wife and 4-year-old daughter, doing some good running, and looking forward to seeing Haasies in person whenever conditions permit!”
April 29–May 1, 2022
Irene (Liang) Kang, of Austin, Texas, founded Spark Collection, creating bilingual storybooks and playthings. Inspired by her own family’s experience, she is debuting her bilingual storybooks in Mandarin-English and Hindi-English to increase representation and diversify children’s literature. She adds, “When the pandemic began, my son’s day care closed, and I found myself caring for him full time. I realized how quickly he was picking up language, so I looked for books in Chinese and Korean. It was difficult to find accessible and engaging resources for a multicultural and non-fluent family like ours. Inspired to create my own books, I founded Spark Collection to help families learn language and culture in a fun and meaningful way.” Shown: Irene with partner, Chris Kang, and son, Lake.
Yogesh Soni, of Fremont, Calif., announces his book, whose working title is Digital Belonging: How to Bring People Together and Build Purpose-driven Organizations, forthcoming in April. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global upheaval where most knowledge workers worked remotely during a traumatic collective experience, but there were several positives. We spent more time with loved ones and took up new hobbies, growing in our realization of a fundamental shift in the workplace. Most employees don’t want to return to the office full time. What glue will hold the company together? How can remote-first companies ensure long-term employee productivity and retention? How can we design virtual environments with a sense of belonging built in? What do leaders need to do now to get ahead in the game? Excited to explore this fascinating topic through the book, whose journey will answer all these questions.” Learn more at yksoniauthor.com.
Vrinda Gupta’s debit card startup, Sequin, recently closed $5 million in a seed financing round, bringing the total amount raised to $5.7 million. Sequin is geared toward women and helps build credit.
Douglas Pollack, of Berkeley, Calif., reports, “From mid-March through early August of this year, I hiked over 1,700 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, starting at the Mexican border and reaching Ashland, Oregon, before the wildfires and smoke led me to end my hike. I hope to go back and finish the rest of the trail someday soon!” Shown: Pollack near Mammoth Lakes in the Sierra section of the Pacific Crest Trail.
April 29–May 1, 2022
Andrea Acedo Trueba, of Oakland, Calif., writes, “I just started working at an awesome pediatric mental health startup, Little Otter. I had been dreaming about working in the mental health space for a while, so I’m beyond excited to start this new chapter!
“The COVID version of the MBA definitely had its perks. My husband and I visited 24 national parks in the past year and a half!”
Gautam Chaudhary, of Fremont, Calif., updates, “I have hired the CEO of my company. It has brought positive changes to the culture and added pipeline to my business. My daughter has started college.” Shown: Chaudhary with daughters Oju and Suhani and wife, Archana, at Oju’s graduation.
Anna Dai started a new job at Samsung in the Global Strategy Group. She adds, “Moved to Seoul, South Korea. Beginning to learn Korean.”
Nima Sherpa, of San Jose, Calif., notes, “I am experimenting with social boundaries as part of my job in the tech industry and not just through my volunteering rendezvous. Humanity, a generosity my Haasies blessed me with, reminds me to be open to everything life has to offer.” Shown, clockwise: Alena Johnston, Apurva Dheer, I-Ning (Elaine) Cheng, Sweta Chakravadhanula, Loria Purcareata- Armulescu, Lauren Humaydan, MBA 20, Swati Gupta, Nima Sherpa, and Christina Li.
“I’ve learned not to take anything for granted, to savor every moment with friends and family, every moment at school, every trip, every concert. I’ve incorporated mindfulness exercises into my day to make sure I’m truly present and grateful.”
—ANDREA ACEDO TRUEBA, MBA 21
DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS, LITTLE OTTER
THE FUTURE OF TRANSPORTATION
Barry Behnken, EMBA 14, and Jordan Greene, BS 14, celebrated in New York when the company they co-founded in 2013, AEye Inc., went public in August (NASDAQ: LIDR). AEye provides intelligent, adaptive LiDAR (light detection and ranging) for vehicle autonomy, advanced driver-assistance systems, and robotic vision applications. Haas connections there run deep: Stephen Lambright, MBA 94, and David Oroshnik, MBA 93, are also on the team. Shown: Barry Behnken, EMBA 14 (far left) and Jordan Greene, BS 14 (far right), with AEye co-founders Ransom Wuller and Luis Dussan and CEO, Blair LaCorte.
April 29–May 1, 2022
Nick Triantos, of Woodside, Calif., reports, “I’ve started a $50M venture fund, NextStep Ventures, focused on improving pediatric health. We’re raising funds now, but we’ve also begun a small investment in companies building medical devices, gene therapies, drugs, diagnostics, and digital health solutions for children and adolescents. We’re looking to do good while also making money for our investors. One of our partners is Julia Schaletzky, who also runs Berkeley’s Henry Wheeler Center for Emerging and Neglected Disease.
April 29–May 1, 2022
Scott Robertson took his company, DICE Therapeutics, public on the NASDAQ in September and had his picture in Times Square. Robertson is the chief business officer and CFO.
“Relationships are the most important thing in life. Physical distance does not need to be a barrier to nurturing those precious relationships.”
—ANNA DAI, MBA 21
GLOBAL STRATEGIST, SAMSUNG
April 29–May 1, 2022
John Gribowich, of Brooklyn, N.Y., writes, “As a Roman Catholic priest, I entered the Trappist monastery of the Abbey of the Genesee in Piffard, N.Y., in September. The monastery is a place for contemplation as experience through prayer and work. The Abbey is self-sufficiently supported by selling bakery products under the brand name of Monks’ Bread (monksbread. com).
“On July 18, 2021, I witnessed the wedding of classmate Adele Mucci and Franz Boin at the Cathedral of Saint Pardus in Larino, Italy.”
April 29–May 1, 2022
William Halal, of Washington, D.C., announces his latest book, Beyond Knowledge: How Technology Is Driving an Age of Consciousness (shown), now published and available on Amazon. One reviewer called it “The best thing since Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock, and another said it is “a masterpiece of human thought.”
Cathy Goodwin, of Philadelphia, writes, “I’m still running my own business as an online marketing consultant, specializing in small service-based businesses. I just started a podcast: Strategic Storytelling (cathygoodwin. com/podcast). The premise is that stories for business aren’t the same as stories for campfires or bedtime. I’ve developed a story approach for small business branding and am working on a book to be self-published this fall (I have other books on Amazon Kindle).”
Jeffrey Bohn updates, “After nearly five years in Zürich, Switzerland, establishing the Swiss Re Institute, I’ve returned to San Francisco to work as chief strategy officer for a new startup called One Concern. This tech firm uses machine learning to create a new suite of analytics for evaluating the resilience of commercial buildings to hazards. These tools will change the way insurance, banking, and asset management incorporate climate risk and other hazards, like earthquake risk, into pricing, selection, and management.”