How do you stay relevant professionally or personally?
Jim Jorgensen, of Camas, Wash., writes, “My last novel Blind Will was based on German V2 rockets that von Braun had fly four miles high with no way to shoot them down. One thousand fell on London, but von Braun was expected to extend the range to the White House and Wall Street. That would have forced FDR to make peace with Hitler and bring our troops home from England. What we do know is von Braun later used this rocket to put an American on the moon. This was a story never told.”
Morton Beebe, of San Francisco, a regular participant in Haas Alumni Board events, has joined the board of directors of the Treasure Island Museum. He’s authored five books and set feature films in SF. As a photojournalist, Mort and his wife, Danielle, have filmed in China and India. He adds, “We left our tour of China just ahead of the virus outbreak last year.”
Lloyd Tosse lives in Nevada City with his wife, Diane Wadsworth Tosse, BA 60 (psychology).
Peter Green See MBA 1963.
October 16–18, 2020
Raul Gomez See MBA 1972.
Doug Perlstadt, of Berkeley, Calif., acquired an executive search company specializing in life sciences/biotechnology.
Edgardo Mixco, of Daly City, Calif., submits, “After graduating from Cal, I worked for AT&T for many years as a computer systems programmer/engineer. I was laid off in 2009 during the recession and in 2010 started a new career. As a financial services professional and educator, I have helped educate individuals and families on solutions to achieve their financial goals. My first focus is educating clients on fundamental financial concepts, analyzing their current situation, and then offering customized solutions. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have one child. Once upon a time I played football for the Golden Bears, so after I graduated from Cal, I volunteered as a football coach at San Francisco’s McAteer High School. We won two championships and appeared in the Turkey Day Championship game five times. In 2001, I became a volunteer coach at my alma mater, Jefferson High School in Daly City. During my time at Jefferson, we founded the Daly City Titans Pop Warner Football organization. As president/football coach, I managed business affairs of the organization and coached the Mighty Mites on the basic fundamentals of football. It was a very enjoyable and rewarding experience.”
“Reading a wide variety of books, therapy, meditation, volunteering, openness at work to take on anything, and embracing an attitude of service toward others all help me stay relevant.”
ALISON SANDERS, BS 08
SENIOR ASSOCIATE, SEAPORT CAPITAL
Andrew Shapiro was elected to a second term as board chair and president of the Mill Valley Library Foundation. Additionally, he was appointed to the board of the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame of Northern California. His activist investment management firm, Lawndale Capital Management, recently celebrated its 27th anniversary. Andrew continues to regularly speak at national conferences focused on corporate governance, hedge fund, and activist investing topics.
Timothy Yee, of Alameda, Calif., continues to help clients create socially responsible retirement plans while being quarantined in a spare bedroom. “There is always a demand for passionate professionals in all fields,” he shares.
Mister Emael (Ernesto Arellano), of Bilbao, Spain, announces, “This fall I will be working at an officially approved language school in Valencia, Spain, if everything goes well. My position is facilitated through the Ministry of Education, but formally I’m contracted by local governments. I initially moved to Zaragoza, Spain, in 2016. The following year I was in Madrid, and now am in Bilbao. Follow my adventures on Instagram @masteroffineart.”
October 16–18, 2020
“Never retire! Keep your brain functioning at full capacity. Keep current, keep active, keep as many clients happy as you can handle.”
LLOYD TOSSE, BS 60
MANAGING PARTNER, TOSSE LLP
Jeff Cohen, of Beverly Hills, Calif., reports that Cohen Gardner LLP, the entertainment law firm he founded, celebrates his client Bong Joon Ho, who won four Oscars for his film Parasite: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Foreign Film.
Wendy Nguyen writes, “I’ve been working in the digital health space for the past 10 years, most recently at Propeller Health. In my spare time, I founded Vote By Mail 2020, a political action committee focused on registering Democratic voters in the key swing states that will make a difference in the 2020 election. It’s been a rewarding experience working with Cal and Bruin interns, Haas alumni, and even some alumni from that school on the farm. Contact me.
Brian Cason, of San Rafael, Calif., updates, “I have started a real estate investment and development platform named Helios Real Estate Partners, focused on value-added industrial and life science opportunities in the Bay Area. I have moved back to the Bay Area after long stints in NYC and Denver.”
Alison Sanders, of New York City, writes, “Working as an investor with Seaport Capital; acquired two platforms in 2019 (All Traffic Data, Linen King). Have been fostering kittens since 2016 for Flatbush Cats and the ASPCA. Franny’s story with Flatbush Cats made it to the front page of Reddit and the Dodo.”
Susy Schöneberg, MBA 17, was named to the San Francisco Business Times’ list of 40 Under 40 leaders. She joined Flexport, the first global logistics company focused on technology, as an early employee. As the founder of Flexport.org, she empowers companies to ship goods in carbon-neutral ways and delivers humanitarian aid around the world. During COVID-19, Flexport shipped millions of life-saving supplies to five continents.
October 16–18, 2020
Yeonjoo (Rosa) Seo, of Singapore, announces, “After five years of working in various business development teams of SAP Services, I am joining the strategy team as services strategy expert. My key responsibilities will include the rollout of cutting-edge business models throughout SAP, co-creation of strategy anchoring it in the market reality of SAP Services, and ensuring that it is adopted in an exceptional way.
“My family has been living in Singapore for two years, but for now the kids and I are unable to return due to travel restrictions imposed by the government. So my 3-year-old and 4-month-old are enjoying a COVID-19 style vacation with their grandparents in the Bay Area.”
Clement Kao, of San Francisco, writes, “I’m currently a product manager at Blend, a fintech startup digitizing the consumer finance ecosystem. Digital consumer finance is more important than ever, and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted just how important our work is. We’re actively hiring across multiple kinds of roles! Check out blend.com/careers for all of our openings.” Shown: Kao with family.
Brian Ratajczak reports that he and Charles Kemp have moved to New York City.
Val Yermakova, of San Francisco, updates, “Quit my cybersecurity job at Google to start a company. Got into Techstars and currently commuting everyday by bike through the snow in Colorado!” View her skills and requests. Shown: Yermakova with Alan Zhao.
Taylor Hines, of San Francisco, writes, “After graduating from Haas, I interned at a local business in my hometown. Six months into that internship, I was offered an internship at Dolby Laboratories, a tech company that develops audio and video technology. Moved from Sacramento to San Francisco, worked two internships, picked up film photography as a hobby.”
Moncarol Wang, of Millbrae, Calif., reports, “After a year in tax consulting, started at a boutique law firm last summer. Currently choosing among 10 law schools for the fall—all ranking within the top 20! I hope to practice at the intersection of business and law.”
Mark Ansell, of Redmond, Wash., started a new job at Microsoft as a program manager for the development of the Surface Pro.
Andrew Ansell, of Glendale, Calif., writes, “I started a new role at Microsoft as a full-time program manager!”
Ofek Arush, of El Cerrito, Calif., writes, “While in college, I co-founded Quokka Brew, the market’s first caffeinated Jitterless Coffee®. I am now pursuing it full time alongside a few of my fellow Haas classmates! We worked with chemists and food scientists to develop our patent-pending blend of organic amino acids and nootropics, scientifically proven to eliminate the jitters and crash from caffeine without sacrificing any of the energy.
Additionally, our coffees are shown to improve focus, cognition, and mental clarity. We launched our Kickstarter mid-July and introduced our plant-based and sustainable ready-to-drink oat milk lattes! Visit: QuokkaBrew.com. I would love any support with the Kickstarter. If you have any feedback, ideas, or questions, please contact me at [email protected].”
Peter Green, of Waterford, Conn., announces, “Turned 80 this year after retiring 19 years ago as director of the Trident Nuclear Submarine Program at Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics. All 18 Trident subs continue to operate flawlessly.”
A Leader of Significance
Caroline Winnett, MBA 90, the executive director of UC Berkeley’s SkyDeck, was named to the Most Influential Women of 2020 list by the San Francisco Business Times.
Robert Caruso, of San Leandro, Calif., reports, “My company has managed 20+ projects in the Bay Area over the past two years with emphasis on soft story and accessory dwelling unit (ADU) construction, saving property owners hundreds of thousand of dollars by minimizing cost overruns while tightly controlling project timelines.”
Luis Amable Montero, of Santiago, Chile, is retired, and writes, “During my last 15 years of active work I was nominated as commercial attaché for Chile in the U.S., in charge of the Southeastern states, located in Miami, Fla., and afterwards I was commercial attaché for Chile in the U.K. “Once I retired in 2008, I acquired a new skill and became a teacher of musical dynamics (my passion) for elderly people (like myself), acting mainly in the area of music therapy. I conduct classes for two courses in the elderly department within the Las Condes Town Hall in Santiago. My obligations are with two groups of 25 participants, women and men, with two classes per week.”
Raul Gomez, of Carlsbad, Calif., worked as an international banker in New York City, then Mexico City, and 20 years ago moved to San Diego to start a food exporting company, an enterprise he continues. An advisor to entrepreneurs, he is a member of Tech Coast Angels,
an angel group investing in startups.
Nancy (Yudelson) Lewellen, of San Francisco, who celebrated her 20th year since graduating from Santa Clara University Law School, specializes in business and real estate law, following 30 years of corporate, real estate lending, and mortgage brokerage. “Sorry to miss our 45th reunion in person,” she adds. “Hope to hear from you.”
April 23–25, 2021
Joseph Garrett, of Berkeley, Calif., notes, “Still managing partner at Garrett, McAuley, advising banks and non-depository financial institutions. Also on the board of directors of Pacific Premier Bank, a $20 billion bank in Southern California. Still living in Berkeley,
a 10-minute walk from campus.”
Lynne Levesque updates, “In January 2017, after closing down my consulting practice and beginning a new career as an author and historian, I decided to fulfill a life-long dream to live in France. That year then turned into two more. Earlier this year, after selling my condo in Boston, ridding myself of what seemed like half of my belongings and storing the rest, and after finding a to-die-for apartment overlooking the English Channel, I arranged to have the items in storage moved to Dieppe, two hours north of Paris.
“I spend my days struggling to relearn the language of my father, writing the sequel to my book on my eighth great-grandmother Jeanne Chevalier (lynnelevesque.com/blog), enjoying new friends, visits from ‘old’ ones and family members, continuing my research on my ancestors, and generally living a lovely life here with my ornery cat who now has her European passport! I haven’t stayed away from U.S. politics, however, and so am working to ensure that Americans living abroad (as well as those living in the U.S.) are registered to vote and plan to vote in November. Please go to votefromabroad.org to get started. Americans abroad must request ballots in every calendar year they wish to vote.”
Redge Martin, of Oakland, Calif., announces, “Last year, I sold Clars Auction Gallery after being there for 26 years and being the president and owner for 23 years. It was purchased by a group of private investors and seems to be doing well, in spite of COVID-19. I’m now catching up on all the projects I put on hold over the years.
“We have three grandchildren and bought a home in Georgia to be close to them. I am, however, remaining bicoastal, since I love the Bay Area.”
“Serving on advisory and industry panels allows me to share my experiences, gain exposure to others, and forces me to continue learning so I can bring value to every meeting.”
Mike Ralston, MBA 99 COO, Qwake Technologies
Susan Rosin, of San Rafael, Calif., writes, “I retired in 2016 after some health issues. In 2019 I used my personal and professional experience to start a health and wellness podcast as well as a coaching business helping women over 50 deal with family responsibilities and career while taking care of their own health and wellness.”
David Southern, of San Francisco, reports, “Two years ago, I retired from a 30-year finance career supporting biopharmaceutical companies. It was a great ride watching the industry grow from a few startups to the major industry it is today. I have taken up writing about business topics. For my current book project I would love to hear from any who think their company has done a great job at building reward systems structured around intrinsic motivation and/or recognizing group accomplishments. Contact me at [email protected].”
Michaela Rodeno, of Napa, Calif., notes, “The Napa Valley is very quiet, thanks to COVID-19 and California’s well-coordinated efforts to keep it from spreading. Peaceful. Our wine grapes are growing on their normal schedule, oblivious to human concerns. Perhaps by the time this issue is published, wineries will again be allowed to welcome visitors (carefully)? In the meantime, the Rodeno family is grateful for the support of our Villa Ragazzi Sangiovese fans.”
Jesse Wolf, of Bronx, N.Y., is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Flow Pharma, Inc.
April 23–25, 2021
John Liu, of Portland, Ore., started Laurelhurst Asset Management LLC.
Andrea Lepcio, of Bar Harbor, Maine, updates, “I am a playwright. The news is that I am now a personal trainer, yoga and tai chi teacher. I’m part owner in a wellness studio in Bar Harbor. I’m developing an Aging in Motion program to serve seniors in person and online. Happily living with my partner Lynn and our dog Lady.”
Mauri Schwartz, of San Francisco, announces, “With my company, Career Insiders, over the years I’ve had the great opportunity to help many Haas alumni advance their careers, and I want to express my appreciation. In this challenging time of COVID-19, I’m proud to be offering free weekly job search Q&A sessions. Please connect with me if you’d like to join in or have other questions I can help you with. I’m also proud to be featured by the Financial Women of San Francisco: haas.org/mauri-schwartz.”
“As an expat in France, among other activities that challenge me to stay relevant, I’m working to ensure that Americans living abroad realize they can vote in November wherever they are living and am encouraging them to register, request ballots, and vote!”
Lynne Levesque, MBA 77
April 23–25, 2021
Karen Criddle, of Bellevue, Wash., writes, “B-school classmates connecting over Zoom, working from home, working out at home, kids moving home, working on projects around the home—it’s the same story everywhere. So nice to have a network of Cal friends to count on for support, advice, and friendship.” Shown: Sue Vance, MBA 85, Stamford, Conn.; Karen Criddle; Mike Barretto, Hull, Mass.; Jean Nozawa Pelfini, Tiburon, Calif.; Kate Hart, Salinas, Calif.; Tonia Sabatini Rubin, Greenbrae, Calif.; Robin Rasure Roeper, Princeton, N.J.; Laura Hudson Evans, Monte Sereno, Calif.; and Julie Sloman Chrisman, MBA 87, Corte Madera, Calif.
Ray Cummings, of Burien, Wash., reports, “For the past 11 years, I have worked at PATH, a global health nonprofit based in Seattle, the last five of these as director of PATH’s Market Dynamics Global Program. We conduct market analytics and develop and implement strategies for improving access to health care products in low- and middle-income countries. Our current projects include analytic and market strengthening work in over 15 countries for drug, diagnostic, and medical device products in the fields of malaria, COVID-19, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases.
“Self-care strategies during COVID-19 social distancing include bicycling, Zoom calls with friends and family, and long-distance music recording projects with my adult sons. Thank goodness for technology!”
Keven Baxter, of Bethesda, Md., retired in May from his law practice, moved from Orange County, Calif., to Washington, D.C., and now manages operations for ICC, a charity focused on international relief for oppressed communities. He writes, “Crazy move in the middle of pandemic, but YOLO!”
Ralph Garcia, Jr., of San Mateo, Calif., writes, “Work from home means things will never be the same!”
Charmaine Clay, of Piedmont, Calif., updates, “After 25 years in senior leadership roles at Wells Fargo, I retired in 2018. I enjoyed my tenure there, especially the adviser and mentorship roles I had with Native People’s Team Member Network and Diversity and Inclusion Councils.
“I am now treasurer and on the executive board of Girls Inc. of Alameda County, which supports girls [working to] become tomorrow’s leaders. I also enjoy hiking and just finished the 49-mile scenic route through San Francisco.”
Steven (Steve) Terusaki, of Albany, Calif., announces, “I’m working on a transition plan to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of a great program for Haas alums: the Alumni Forums Program for the Haas community. Alumni Forums are a way Haas alums can live the four Defining Leadership Principles. Connect with me on LinkedIn for
Caroline Winnett, of Berkeley, Calif., reports, “We are running a completely remote startup acceleration program at Berkeley SkyDeck, and it’s going extremely well. Lots of engagement by our community and our founders located around the globe, who are heroically Zooming in despite wildly differing time zones. Our SkyAdvisors are more active than ever, and we continue to build and strengthen our network.
“We will have another Cal Bear in the family! My daughter begins the PhD program in cognitive neuroscience at Berkeley in the fall.” Shown: Class of 1990 “Zoom-union.”
April 23–25, 2021
Lisen Stromberg, of San Francisco, writes, “I am thrilled to announce the launch of my new company: PrismWork™. We provide data-driven insights, 360° messaging, internal and external market research, and leadership training to support the 21st century company.” Learn more at prismwork.com.
“I create an annual learning agenda and plan to achieve it. The plan usually relies heavily on networking outside my industry.”
Cristina Bermudez Rossman, MBA 00 CMO, Relativity
Stephanie Acton Kaplan, see note for Brian Kaplan, MBA 1993.
John Dean, of Rocklin, Calif., shares the following: “After 28 years with the HP family of companies, I retired in May. Capstone to my finance career was leading the design of a new companywide revenue recognition system in 2017–18. There were some difficult days, but never bad days at work. Now on to a new project: remodeling a century-old house in San Francisco.
“My wife of 27 years, Zhongwei, keeps me ‘walking in my shoes’ (an Al Green phrase). We walked one of the Camino de Santiago routes in 2019, look forward to another next year. Offspring Evan (36) is a general counsel in NYC; Kenneth (22) and Tamsen (18) are attending college in technical fields.”
Bill Golove, of El Cerrito, Calif., reports, “I have recently co-founded a company to commercialize a technology which has a chance to greatly accelerate renewable energy. In a nutshell, conventional generation natively provides significant grid stability support, whereas most renewable generation does not. This technology enables renewable generation to provide grid support faster and more precisely than anything available today. A 100% renewable grid is
within reach!” Shown: with son Leo.
David Cherner, of Mill Valley, Calif., writes, “Now more than ever connection is important, and nothing connects us more than music and art. For the last few months, I’ve been part of a great team of friends and colleagues that has banded together to launch Artist Rescue Trust, a philanthropic effort to provide financial relief to professional artists and creatives. We’re music fans, art lovers, and performing arts patrons from all over the country who want to ensure that artists can still create and share and continue to move us and worry less about making ends meet during this crisis, however long it lasts.
“Our goal is to provide 1,000 artists with $1,500 each. It’s ambitious, but we believe we can make it happen. If you have the means and willingness to contribute, we’d love your support. But more than anything, we’d love if you could help spread the word and share our mission among your networks. All donations are tax-deductible. More at artistrescue.org.”
Brian Kaplan, after more than a decade in the nonprofit sector, returned to the startup world: “In November of 2018, I joined Eversight to head up business development. Eversight is a Palo Alto-based AI-driven platform that helps consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies test optimal promotion offers to run in grocery stores. We also work directly with retail chains like Raley’s and Walgreens to help with pricing decisions. We are fortunate to serve two essential industries during COVID-19 and busier than ever. The pandemic is having a profound impact on both the way people shop for groceries and what they are buying. As a result, historical data and regression models do not help predict shopping behavior going forward. We are all trying to understand what the future looks like; for CPG and grocers, our testing platform provides real-time insights. Having never worked in the CPG/retail space, I continue to learn new things every day.
“On the personal front, my wife, Stephanie Acton Kaplan, MBA 92, has been the COO of Madorra, a women’s health startup, for the past couple of years. They are in clinical trials in Australia. Stephanie made several trips to Sydney before international travel ceased, and I joined her for my first visit in January 2020. Both our kids are home during the pandemic. Our daughter is home from Willamette University, where, hopefully, she’ll be able to return for her junior year in the fall, and our son, who started last year at Accenture, has been working from our house for several months now. We are four adults, two dogs, and two cats under one roof during challenging times.”
Toshiyuki Ogura, of Hachioji, Japan, is teaching undergraduate-level yoga classes and an Olympic/sports business class converted to online this semester. “Adjusting to sudden change of daily lifestyle,” he writes.
April 23–25, 2021
Fair Trade USA, the company founded and led by Paul Rice, was awarded a $1.4 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to strengthen support for producer-led community development projects along fair trade supply chains. Read about Rice.
Omar Téllez, who was the first president of smart urban transit startup Moovit and now serves on its board, recently celebrated the sale of the company to Intel for $1 billion. Moovit applies AI and big data analytics to track traffic and provide transit recommendations to some 800 million people globally. Intel is seeking to boost its autonomous car division with
Peter Townshend, of Poway, Calif., writes, “I started my own business and legal advisory firm, Townshend Venture Advisors, in 2017, and have been helping launch, fund, and sell tech and life science startups ever since. I have eight kids and an amazing wife. We were lucky enough to do a Caribbean cruise in February before hunkering down in quarantine ever since.”
David Hehman, of Sebastopol, Calif., co-founded a startup accelerator and angel investment fund, Underdog Labs, with classmate Alex Chang.
Conrad Voorsanger joined The House Fund as a partner focused on operations and working to support the portfolio and make new investments. The House Fund is a pre-seed and early-stage venture capital fund focused on UC Berkeley startups.
Scott Kucirek, CEO of chocolate maker Ocho, was featured in Authority Magazine offering lessons he’s learned. Read the article, “Here Are 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO of Ocho Candy,” at haas.org/kucirek.
Mike Ralston, of Mountain View, Calif., reports, “Left the fire service after 14 years, after launching a technology and innovation office and drone program for Menlo Fire. Now COO and co-founder of crisis technology startup Qwake Technologies, introducing visual-based communication and augmented-reality thermal imaging to firefighters. After getting millions of views through a Super Bowl ad and a Snapchat filter, we are now actively pushing toward first financing round and plan to have product in market in 2021. “Like many shelter-in-place refugees, our family took advantage of the enforced home time to adopt our new rescue puppy, a shepherd mix named Kahlua!”
Nilmini (Gunaratne) Rubin, of Washington, D.C., informs, “I launched a coalition called Fix the System that is strengthening democracy in the United States. We are fighting to improve election security, increase vote by mail, add days of early voting, protect voter rights, and stop gerrymandering. The pandemic has made our work
even more meaningful
Marc Stern, of Oakland, Calif., is coming up on five years in product management at Cerus, a medical technology company focused on the safety of the blood supply. Recently, Cerus has been involved in convalescent plasma for COVID-19 patients, helping educate about the therapy and offering its technology as a way to improve patient safety. He adds, “Hopefully, the ongoing studies will show benefit and support continued use of the therapy, one of the few currently available.”
Anna (Bogardus) Young, of Melbourne, Australia, is combining succession management and leader development work across the businesses of the Wesfarmers portfolio, while also engaged in pro bono coaching and advisory committee membership in the education sector. Shown: Young with husband, Joe, and children, James and Greta.
Che (Chris) Mott, of The Randstad, The Netherlands, updates as follows: “I started a new initiative this year in Europe, where I have lived since leaving the Bay Area in 2008. On October 28 I will co-chair the ‘Grow with AI Summit’ alongside Amsterdam Institute of Technology and the European Leadership University. I’m pretty nervous, since our past gatherings have been smaller and mostly physical world—held at small venues like Microsoft Reactor or law firms in Europe or the South Bay (e.g., Fenwick). If anyone wants to volunteer for the final push, I would welcome ‘Bear Friends Power.’ We also need a few more speakers experienced with industry transformation using data science and AI. Our ultimate goal is to help industry be more ‘resilient’ this year—and to help startups adapt. These include Kaeme, a Ghanaian SME run by an impressive woman CEO named Freda, selling natural cosmetics (shea butter and soaps). They lost 95 percent of their customers due to COVID-19.” Che adds that they seek sponsors—“cloud or data science platform companies, high-tech biggies or vertical industries with a CSR function. We will bring a lot of knowledge into one place to leaders and teams to navigate the next few months.” Learn more at gvxchange.com/eutour and email [email protected]. “To classmates, I missed the online reunion and was pretty bummed. Next time!” Shown: on a winter roadtrip in Europe.
Cristina (Bermudez) Rossman, of Chicago, writes, “After 18 amazing years at Morningstar, I am excited to have joined Relativity, the leader in e-discovery, as CMO.”
Atsushi Sakahara, of Kyoto, Japan, reports, “My directorial debut film about the aftermath of the 1995 Tokyo sarin gas attack: Me and the Cult Leader—A Modern Report on the Banality of Evil, has been invited to Sheffield Doc/Fest, one of the top documentary film festivals in the world (sheffdocfest.com/films/6978). I’ve now become the first internationally acclaimed film director with an MBA, after winning the Palme d’Or with a short film I produced in the summer while at Haas. I also published a practical guide book, Is straight the shortest? Hegelian Dialectic for Creative Thinking, in Japan, my sixth book.”
Anita Darden Gardyne, MBA 88, the president and CEO of caregiving platform Oneva, was awarded a 2020 Women in Leadership award from the California Legislature. She was lauded for being a successful entrepreneur and for her commitment to encouraging girls and women to achieve their dreams. Oneva connects families to caregivers for in-home care of any age, infant to adult.
April 23–25, 2021
Tanir Ami, of Berkeley, Calif., updates, “I started a new job as the CEO of the CARESTAR Foundation, an organization making grants in support of innovations in the emergency response field. We are a statewide funder, meaning we get to look at projects throughout California that address issues of structural racism and barriers to optimal care and health outcomes.”
Dan (Pine) Firepine updates as follows: “My wife is working from home except for one day a week; Ty (13) and Fio (14) have online school; and I’m at Kaiser in emergency medicine where we’ve not been inundated. It’s likely that health care delivery will accelerate the transition to less personal but more convenient online delivery—and it will likely not go back. “Entrepreneurs and tele-health have new possibilities both inside and outside of health care, as at least some current teens and adults choose different routines, shopping habits, residence choices, and more. I’m excited to be involved and alive to watch how the world adapts over the next two years and to play a part in longer-term innovations.”
Peggy Wu, of Charlotte, N.C., announces, “I started my new job as VP Strategic Partners at LPL Financial. I am responsible for building successful partnerships with investment managers to deliver great products for investors. We also bought a house in Charlotte and look forward to finally putting down roots after multiple big moves since getting married 17 years ago. Please ping me if you pass through town: peiyiwu1[email protected].” Shown: Wu with John, Lilia (13), and Kadin (11).
Will Birdsey, of Lafayette, Calif., writes, “Inspired by Ken Rosen’s Intro to Real Estate class in my last semester, I took several years to finally launch my real estate career in 2004. After many years working with incredible people and interesting projects at Hines and The Carlyle Group in the Bay Area, I decided to scratch that entrepreneurial itch and partner with another individual in 2019. I am happy to report we have several interesting projects underway. Very grateful to all of the Haas alumni who have helped me over the years.
“Jen and I have two lovely daughters (Claire and Grace) who enjoy traveling with their mom and dad whenever we get the chance. With the shelter-in-place this spring, we have been appreciating the ability to explore some of the great hikes available in our own backyard (Contra Costa County).” Shown, the Birdsey family in Paris, summer 2019.
Jennifer Sang, of Hercules, Calif., is now executive assistant dean for the College of Biological Sciences at UC Davis.
Lime, the electric scooter and bike rental company co-founded by Brad Bao and Toby Sun, MBA 13, earned new financing in May to the tune of $170 million from Uber in partnership with Alphabet and Bain Capital. Uber’s electric bike and scooter division will integrate with Lime. Bao, formerly the CEO, will become chairman
Yan Chow, of Orinda, Calif., updates, “In May 2019 I left Amgen, where I was the digital medicine lead, to join Automation Anywhere in San Jose as global health care leader. The company is a forerunner in enterprise software’s fastest growing segment: robotic process automation (RPA). My goal was to experience working at a bona fide pre-IPO unicorn, and it’s been a fascinating ride, which has felt the impact of COVID-19.
“On the homefront, our youngest daughter is spending this spring quarter with us, her college having gone virtual (including commencement). The silver lining is we’re enjoying more family time together. The two older kids are launched and sheltering in place in Santa Monica and Munich, Germany. As personal projects, I started a podcast, Life 2.0, focusing on what it means to be human in the 21st century (life20.libsyn.com) and a blog called The Renewable Human (renewablehuman.blog).”
Mark English, of Clayton, Calif., shared a photo: “PPE/SIP with one of my two Spider buds (Ollie and JJ).”
“Adapting to these COVID-19 times, leading with empathy first and keeping people over profits are all ways that I’m staying relevant and helpful these days.”
BRANDON MIDDLETON, MBA 15
SENIOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, AMAZON WEB SERVICES
April 23–25, 2021
Niko Vuori, the founder and CEO of Drivetime, which offers voice-activated entertainment for car rides, reports, “Very excited to announce that Drivetime has won at the Webbys! Honored to pick up the People’s Choice Award for best voice game. Onwards and upwards!”
Stanley Chan, of Singapore, writes, “Enjoying my fourth year in Singapore working at Amazon Web Services. As the head of Technology Partners, I get to work with amazing startups and software companies across
Brett Wilson and John Hughes were mentioned in a Wall Street Journal article in May about the upside of graduating during a recession. Wilson and Hughes co-founded TubeMogul while earning their MBAs. They turned to their Berkeley Haas Alumni Network for support and, eventually, investors followed. Wilson advocated for persistence. His advice to the Class of 2020? Stay the course. “You don’t have to solve all of your problems on Day One.”
Charlene Chen started a new job as COO of Lantum, a bespoke medical staffing management platform that pairs available clinicians with open shifts.
Bhavin Parikh was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article in May about lessons he learned having graduated during a recession. Parikh, the co-founder of test-prep company Magoosh, said the best thing visionary thinkers can do during financially challenging times is to work on perfecting their offerings.
Rob Williamson, of Lafayette, Calif., writes, “I’m excited to be working with Haas neighbor north of the wall, the UC Berkeley College of Chemistry, leading a team of architects and designers at HOK to design Heathcock Hall. The new 90,000-square-foot chemistry research building will rise at the corner of Gayley Road and University Drive and do for the College of Chemistry what Chou Hall did for Haas, by providing additional space in modern facilities to advance the college’s research mission. The building is expected to open by the spring
“I enjoy attending conferences in my field and talking to fellow Haasies about their careers. Last year, I formed a group for founders who had graduated with me and we discussed ways we could support one another.”
BREE JENKINS, MBA 19 LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE, PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS
April 23–25, 2021
Laurie Peterson, of Oakland, Calif., writes, “After selling my toy business, I found myself pulled back to campus, where I audited a few classes. It was a much-needed intellectual reset. There is something about the way Haas smells that makes me happy. It must smell like good memories.
As I tinkered around with what to do next, I kept shoving a business idea to the back of my mind. I even went out and interviewed for ‘a real job’ doing M&A. But my entrepreneurial spirit is a pesky little bug. I decided to give the idea just one afternoon sitting in the Haas library pulling industry research reports (it no longer has books by the way! I would know because, of course, I tried to smell them). That one afternoon turned into many more, and now I call the pesky bug Inkbrite.
“I am thankful for our community’s continued support: for my classmates (who have become investors and advisors and, of course, friends), for the alumni office, and for SkyDeck. It’s a weird time to be starting something new, in the middle of a pandemic. Just when we began hunkering down was when I felt ready to burst out the door screaming: ‘I’m ready, world! Let’s do this!’ But the world had another way.
As I write this, it’s been 11 weeks of isolation. I count myself lucky for our health and well-being. I hope my Haas crew is healthy and well and that we can get together for our 10-year reunion, which I think is next year (gulp)! I’ll meet you at the faculty club bar.”
“LinkedIn is my go-to for the pulse on my business networks, Fishbowl is my go-to for culture insights, and I read Fortune’s Broadsheet each morning to understand the issues and trends facing women in leadership.”
LISEN STROMBERG, MBA 91 CEO, PRISMWORK
Len Conapinski, of Chapel Hill, N.C., updates, “DuFour Conapinski Ha LLP, our renewable energy boutique firm, is entering its fifth year; we now have 10 people across four offices on the East and West coasts. It’s been a great run so far, with a lot of support from the Haas community.”
Joel Sitty, of Toulouse, France, announces, “In September 2019, my wife and I moved from San Francisco to southwest France, the home of Airbus, and my new job is as a flight test manager. Here, I’ll help Airbus and my company, Pratt & Whitney, complete all the test flights required to bring a new aircraft model to market. In our free time, we have been enjoying the towns and villages of the countryside, practicing our French, and eating far too many chocolate pastries. If you pass through, let us know!”
Stephanie Lawrence and Aashi Vel were featured in a Forbes article in May about the future of food tourism. During the pandemic, they pivoted their business model, which typically connects travelers with local hosts to share authentic food experiences, by launching a series of online cooking classes taught by their worldwide hosts. Read the article: haas.org/traveling-spoon.
, of Lafayette, Calif., reports, “Haas Lecturer Clark Kellogg and I ran a six-week, COVID-19 inspired design sprint with 25 participants from three continents. Questioning the status quo, the teams designed solutions for 20-somethings sheltering in their apartments, the elderly isolated in their homes or care facilities, and frontline health care workers. One solution: How do we re-establish personal (and professional) relationships when traditional practices (e.g., shaking hands or kissing cheeks) can threaten someone’s safety?”
Kate Morris, of San Francisco, after nearly six years with Adobe’s Employee Experience team, recently started a new role as director, People Business Partner, at Gong.
Brandon Middleton, of Union City, Calif., writes, “In addition to my nine-to-five gig leading sales in NorCal at Slalom Consulting, I’ve started a few new activities related to teaching and advising early-stage startups (Berkeley SkyDeck, Free Ventures, Stanford d.School). I also started a new job as a part-time second-grade substitute teacher for my 8-year-old daughter who is out of school. The last thing I’m excited about is the launch of Trillicon Valley, a company I’ve co-founded with a few designer, tech, nonprofit, and education friends. Be on the lookout for more coming soon.”
Kimberly MacPherson, MBA/MPH 94, the executive director of health management at Haas, was selected by full-time MBA students to be their recipient of the 2020 Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching. MacPherson joined the faculty in 2006 and teaches a variety of graduate-level courses.
April 23–25, 2021
Byte Foods, the digital vending startup co-founded by Megan Mokri, was acquired by Bay Area corporate caterer Oh My Green.
Daniel McFadden, of Plymouth, Minn., announces, “I have the privilege of being promoted to the lead associate brand manager on America’s #1 cereal: Cheerios! My wife, Ashley, and I welcomed our first child, Michael Christopher, on April 4, 2020.”
Jeff Neblett, of Overland Park, Kan., reports, “I moved to the greater Kansas City area with my wife and our son after successfully completing an acquisition through my search fund, 20 South Partners. My search partner and I are running an inbound IT helpdesk focused on providing tech support to internet service providers. We’re excited to be supporting rural broadband providers who are helping bridge the digital divide across the U.S. Please reach out if you are in the greater KC area, have any questions about the search model, or would like to network!”
Sarrah Nomanbhoy was featured in Marie Claire magazine as part of its “Women Who Win” series celebrating inspirational female trailblazers. Nomanbhoy co-founded Marhub International, a platform that connects refugees with tailored information and services through
Bree Jenkins, of San Mateo, Calif., writes, “After graduating, I became the founding head of operations for Hayward Collegiate, an elementary school I helped open to prepare scholars to have agency over their lives. With a job description ranging from finance and compliance to school lunch manager, I found that my favorite part of the work was in developing the culture of the school and supporting the teachers. Now, I’m working at Pixar Animation Studios in leadership development, fusing the technical with the creative and empowering the people who create some of my favorite stories — stories that impact the world.
“Last December, we had a great vacation with my parents-in-law in Costa Rica. It was such a beautiful place, and we enjoyed everything from lounging on the beach to jumping off a ‘Tarzan’ swing, which included a crazy free fall where I screamed my lungs out.” Shown: Bree and friends.
Viraj Phanse, of San Jose, Calif., joined Amazon AWS in a product management role to define and build out cloud-scale platforms and services. “Mentoring product managers at Product League; designing a design thinking workshop for small industries in the clean-tech and energy space,” he adds.
Jaime Zepeda, of Castro Valley, Calif., announces, “I was elected to the California Board of Advisors for Citizen Schools, an after-school program that offers hands-on learning and volunteer teachers and mentors to instill real-world skills to middle-schoolers. I volunteered for this nonprofit early in my career, and now I have the privilege of helping raise their profile, efficacy, and funding across the state.”
April 23–25, 2021
April 23–25, 2021
April 23–25, 2021
Robert Ford, a 23-year veteran at Abbott, became CEO of the medical technology and health care company on March 31. He previously served as president and chief operating officer and has also been elected to the board.
Richard Wilson, of Orinda, Calif., started a new position as vice president, program management, at Audentes Therapeutics, an Astellas company. At Audentes, he heads the team of program leaders for a portfolio of gene therapy treatments for rare neuromuscular diseases, a job for which he interviewed, accepted, and on boarded in a 100% virtual mode. He was looking forward to finally visiting his new office one of these days.
April 23–25, 2021
Ben Wild, of Oceanside, Calif., started a new job in March as assistant chief pilot for Lusardi Construction. Lusardi has headquarters in Dublin, Calif., and San Marcos, Calif.
April 23–25, 2021
Lisa Rawlings, of Washington, D.C., writes, “I am honored to serve as the president and CEO of National Urban Fellows (NUF), an equity-focused public service leadership development program. Now more than ever, we need well-trained and courageous public service leaders.” Each year, NUF selects a cadre of mid-career professionals to earn a master’s degree in policy management from Georgetown University and complete a residency at a social impact organization. To support them, see nuf.org.
Meghan Shah, of Danville, Calif., reports, “While I stayed with my company (Chevron) through my MBA and after I graduated, I did start a new role there, pivoting my career from marketing and communications to strategy and management. I am now an adviser to the GM of Downstream and Chemicals Corporate Affairs. During the pandemic, I’ve decided to use the time to take online classes and just recently finished Yale’s Science of Well-Being course on Coursera; next up is the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate. I have also started an online 200-HR Yoga Teacher training.”
Aaron (Ronnie) Chatterji won a tight Democratic primary race for state treasurer in North Carolina in March. Previously, Chatterji, a professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, served in the Obama administration as a senior economist for the White House Council of Economic Advisers.