What was an inspirational or memorable moment you had at Berkeley Haas?
Mort Beebe, of San Francisco, notes, “Still exploring the world, downsizing from digital cameras to iPhones. Four weeks in April we documented Jordan to Egypt to Greece.”
Donald R. Foster, of San Diego, Calif., died in July 2022. He was 87. At Cal, Don lettered in cross country and track while majoring in finance. After graduation, he enrolled in the Air Force ROTC from 1958 to 1961, and in the reserves until 1968 as a captain. He received numerous post-graduate certificates from Wharton, Stanford, Harvard, and the University of Chicago. “Don held many leadership roles, including president of Financial Analysts Society of San Diego, VP of San Diego Securities, VP of Smith Barney, Harris Upham and Co., and with the California Society of Municipal Analysts,” his wife, Barbara, shared.
“Don was proud to achieve his entrepreneurial dream of launching his own securities firm, Foster Securities. Don and Barbara contributed generously to Cal Athletics, Berkeley Haas, the Big C Society, and many others. To celebrate Don’s legacy as an indefatigable Bear, his wife, Barbara Foster, & friends established the Donald R. Foster Track & Field Scholarship. If you have any interest in contributing to this endowment, please reach out to the Cal Athletics Fund at 510-642-2427 or email [email protected].”
Jon Adams, of Kapaau, Hawaii, offers “gratitude for the knowledge I received at Berkeley Haas School of Business. I can say it was the biggest contribution to my business success. I am now retired in Hawaii.”
John W. McGinnis, of Santa Rosa, Calif., writes, “As a 1960 U.C. business graduate now 86 years old, I was never able to take advantage of what Haas School of Business offers students today. From what I read in Haas periodicals, the experience today’s business students have at Haas is far away from what I experienced. Although I fully enjoy my retired years, at times I have wondered what it would have been like to experience the Haas environment and the opportunities it would have brought.”
Mitchell Reinis, of Culver City, Calif., updates, “Following graduation, I went to law school at (then) Boalt Hall and graduated in 1964. As an undergrad, I was a fullback and kicker on the Cal rugby team for a few years and played a little football from 1957 to 1960 on what turned out to be Cal’s last Rose Bowl team. I went on to practice law for over 50 years in the LA area. I still have a pro bono law practice limited to representing my family. I have four children, 10 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.”
Michael Solomon, of Sacramento, Calif., notes, “Still practicing law with one of the lowest active state bar numbers. Two sons, five grandchildren ranging from two weeks to 9 years old.”
Nelson Estrada, of Managua, Nicaragua, announces, “Beginning a decade past, I eased into retirement. I have kept quite busy, along with my wife, with several projects including writing, piano music and composition, and, perhaps most importantly, painting. However, the most relevant is doing all this while accompanying our three adult children as they progress through life and solve their own issues. We have three beautiful granddaughters. We live a good part of the year in Central America, my birthplace, and enjoy tremendously the fantastic year-round climate.”
50th Cal Reunion
October 6, 2023
50th Haas Reunion
December 7, 2023
Paul Morrison, of Amelia Island, Fla., and Soledad, Calif., reports, “Spending full time on our new wine brand, JL WOOD; it’s off to an exciting start. Our 2021 Premier and No-Oak Chardonnays have earned three gold medals in recent international competitions. Marketing is our high priority, and we continue to reach customers with our award-winning label designs and website. Despite worries about possible negative impacts from last fall’s unexpected high temperatures, our 2022 wines are tasting great and are being prepped for bottling in early July.
“My wife, Carol (Wood) Morrison, and I recently completed an amazing early spring vacation, driving and visiting the sights in the Florida Keys. It was a welcome break from the stormy weather in California.” Shown: Carol and Paul.
Janice Hom, of San Francisco, announces, “Last year, I retired from a career that included three systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs), where I was involved in internal audit, data analytics, and international compliance.”
“During the Vietnam war, we mostly concentrated on our studies, but the carpet bombings in Laos and Cambodia motivated us to meet at a nearby hall to join the strike.
—Nelson Estrada, BS 72
Hal Bogotch, of Santa Monica, Calif., recently completed a 12-week intensive online creative writing program, Pocket MFA, with an emphasis on poetry. His next goal is publishing a book of poems. Highlights of his family’s spring break trip to Las Vegas were The Hunger Games Exhibition at MGM and hiking in Red Rock Canyon. His special-needs daughter graduated from high school in June.
Kevin Murray, of Martinez, Calif., announces, “I have operated a boutique real estate brokerage in Central Contra Costa for over 20 years, but I have also co-founded a few nonprofits that help the homeless and other people in need. The latest, a food pantry out of the Contra Costa Juvenile Hall in Martinez called Martinez Needs & Good Deeds, will soon obtain 501(c)(3) status. Much of our food comes from local groceries or from a food bank. Juvenile probation officers often take it directly to families when doing home visits.”
Timothy Yee, of Alameda, Calif., reports, “Thrilled to say my son, James Yee, passed his securities Series 7 exam and is going further in the 401k/ESG industry. Maybe I can sell my practice to him and retire?”
Bradley Leimer, of Moraga, Calif., updates, “My 30 years in the financial services industry have had the goal of making banking better and more inclusive by serving the needs of the full breadth of our communities. I currently lead fintech partnerships for the Americas Division of Tokyo-based global bank SMBC. Previous roles included leading innovation and fintech strategy at Madrid-based Banco Santander, and various leadership roles within regional banks, community credit unions, and the fintech ecosystem. I co-authored the book Beyond Good, published during the pandemic, which focused on the positive societal aspects of financial startups and banking collaborations. I write and speak about banking and technology trends and advise global corporates, startups, accelerators, and key industry conferences within the financial services space. My wife, Marcia, and I are raising our two children in Moraga.”
Chuck Herrick, of Plano, Texas, reports, “Started a new job, returned to Bank of America to fill a role as SVP, business intelligence leader.”
25th Cal Reunion
October 6–8, 2023
Carlos Delherra, of Long Beach, Calif., writes, “The real estate investment company I co-founded in 2009, Mosaic Investment Partners, focuses on university student housing at USC. Mosaic owns and operates over 25 student housing properties (100+ units) with $100 million of total asset value and $55 million of student housing projects under development. We are about to break ground on a new 57-unit, sevenstory, mixed-use multi-family development at USC this year.
“Our family lives in East Long Beach, and we love the community here! I married another Cal Bear, and we have two children (10 and 6). I coach my son’s Little League team and am also on the board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach.” Shown: Carlos (center) with wife, Imelda, and kids Giselle and Marquez.
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 the federal district court and the 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.”
Strong Ties remembers the late Barclay Simpson, BS 43, and his unique leadership style in business and philanthropy. The book details the growth of his successful company, Simpson Strong Ties, his philosophy of progressive and inclusive business practices, and his lifelong commitment to education, the arts, and public service in the East Bay.
—Katharine Ogden Michaels, MA 77 (English)
Quan Nguyen, of Friendswood, Texas, traveled to Singapore for the Learning Abroad program of the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. Quan, who will complete the MBA program in December, married Thanh Pham in Houston on October 15. Shown: Quan and Thanh.
Amy Lei, of New York City, updates, “Starting my 11th year fundraising for cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. We’re moving our family from the Big Apple to the suburbs of the Windy City. Looking forward to connecting with fellow Haas Bears in the Midwest!” Shown: Amy (center) with husband, Xin, and kids, Jack, Lucy, and Mia.
Yunna (Yun-No) Cheung, of Las Vegas, was named to America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors Best-in-State for 2023 by Forbes and SHOOK® Research. A financial advisor for Edward Jones, Yunna ranked No. 11 in Nevada.
“This is a really a team award,” she adds, “one I could never have achieved without the tremendous support from my branch team. And I am forever indebted to my clients for the trust they have placed in me and the relationships we’ve built as we work toward the financial goals that give them the freedom to live life on their terms.”
Yunna adds, “This work inspires me because I know I can make a meaningful difference for my clients and colleagues, and in my community.”
Yunna bested about 1,600 competitors, based on her community involvement, assets under care, tenure in the industry, and other factors. Visit haas.org/Yunna-Cheung.
Reece Whitley, BS 22, a 10-time Pac-12 champion, finished his collegiate swimming career by earning All-American honors in the 200-yard breaststroke at the 2023 NCAA Championship. Whitley’s 1:52.93 helped secure Cal’s 8th national championship. Photo: Cal Athletics.
Kevin Lee, co-founder of immi, a healthy instant ramen company, recently secured a new round of $10 million in Series A funding. These funds will allow the company to introduce nine new flavors, round out its executive team, and expand its reach into nationwide retailers.
10th Cal Reunion
October 6–8, 2023
Shuo Chen announces, “In December 2022, I married the love of my life and best friend, Gorick Ng. We were introduced in 2012 and remained in touch ever since—despite living on separate coasts and sometimes in different countries. I am so incredibly happy and grateful that I found Gorick. He is the WSJ best-selling author of The Unspoken Rules and has since joined me on the faculty at Cal’s College of Engineering, where we co-teach a course called ‘Redefining Sucess.’” Read the incredibly charming New York Times story about their unconventional first date at haas.org/Chen.
“Getting my acceptance letter to Haas! As a Compton native, I worked so hard and overcame so many obstacles to achieve this amazing milestone.”
—Carlos Delherra, BS 99
Co-founder/Partner, Mosaic Investment Partners, LLC
Jackson Block, of New York City, writes, “I’m proud to announce Tiana Tukes and I have co-founded LGBT+ VC, the first 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the LGBT+ and allied venture capital investor community. Our vision is to help all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people prosper through business and technology investing.
“On June 20 we held an LGBT+ VC Summit meeting titled “From Stonewall to Silicon Valley,” convening LGBT+ and ally leaders from the technology, private wealth, and venture capital industries. LGBT+ VC debuted in NYC at Netflix with a proclamation from Governor Hochul and remarks from NYC Councilmember Erik Bottcher praising its innovative work. Learn more at lgbtvc.org/events.” Shown: Jackson (left) and Tiana Tukes.
Rachel Lee See MBA 2023.
Nick Kennedy of Fresno, Calif., writes, “I am re-entering the music industry as the general manager of the historic Tower Theatre while also launching new music with my indie-punk band, Tower Rats. I assembled a team of prominent, independent concert promoters to manage the iconic landmark.
“Before college, I managed music ventures and toured as a musician. After graduation, I dedicated the past few years leading marketing, PR, and public affairs consulting for clients in the transportation, water, and municipal long-range planning industries.
“I am thrilled about the opportunity to oversee the management of such an important anchor business in my community. Giving the gift of music, dance, and theater while still having the room to write and release music with some of my best friends, including my brother, is priceless!”
Andy Rosenberg moved from San Francisco back home to Los Angeles. “I’ve been working with Flexport, whose mission is to fix the user experience in global trade, and we’re helping thousands of the world’s leading brands accelerate their growth with increased efficiency and best-in-class service. As an account executive, I help companies of all sizes improve visibility and costs related to shipping. And would love to connect with other Haas alums!”
Andrew Ansell, of Redwood, Wash., writes, “After three years, I left my first job out of Haas undergrad, as a product manager at Microsoft, and am going back to school! I’ll be back in the Bay Area in the Stanford MBA class of 2025.” In July, Andrew volunteered in Armenia at a nonprofit tech-education center called the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies. “I co-teach a product management learning lab for teenagers in a border town and Yerevan, with my twin brother. Being half-Armenian, we’ll also be looking for historical details on off hours/weekends.”
Flagg Taylor, of Athens, Ga., reports, “Continuing to enjoy retirement, volunteering at the Georgia State Botanical Garden and some mental health programs. Oldest grandchild off to Providence College. Blessed with a great education at Cal and continued good health at 81.”
Lester Roddy, of Surprise, Ariz., notes, “Learning to grow old … gracefully! Looking forward to a month’s
travel around Europe later this year.”
Alex Krem, of Boulder Creek, Calif., forwards the following: “Was in the four-year JD/MBA program, scheduled to graduate in 1972. Finished law school six months early but dragged my feet on my final project until the last minute, 1976. Bankers or masochists might find my paper on ‘Ship Financing’ in the library. Fit, healthy and happy, and retired as a lawyer and international investment banker after 40 years. Wonderful tours with the U.S. government, Bank of America in Tokyo, London, and Cairo, NZI Bank in Auckland, and with my own company, Admiralty Investment Group (admiralty.net) in more than 70 countries. Man, what a ride! Came home to Berkeley to rescue Camping Unlimited for the Developmentally Disabled, founded by my father in 1957 (visit Camp Krem at campingunlimited.org). A related nonprofit, Living Unlimited (living-unlimited.org), provides a Home for Life™ for adults with disabilities.” Alex’s organization has so far created four communities housing 55 people with special needs in Sonoma County.
“Only a few million more to go!”
John Doolittle, of Bodega Bay, Calif., writes, “I have done nothing to keep in touch with my classmates from the MBA program located in SF during the mid-70s. For this, I’m sorry. I used much of what I was taught in a career with Pacific Tel and SBC, retiring in 2000. I also retired as a colonel in the Air Force Reserves and served 30 years as a National Ski Patroller at Homewood, Lake Tahoe. Much of what I learned at Cal helped in my career and now retirement. My wife, Nora, and I have traveled to more than 45 countries and enjoyed meeting people of different cultures and backgrounds. We traveled to Antarctica in 2020 and the Arctic in 2022. The Arctic had little ice and snow, few birds, fewer polar bears, and retreating glaciers, while Antarctica had it all. During COVID, I wrote a book about our family’s 1978–79 adventure in Iran, titled Khoda Hafez … Goodbye Iran (available on Amazon). Nora and I and our two children got on a plane the same day the Shah left, and none of us ever returned.
“Our grandson plays baseball for Cal. We plan to visit the Kimberly area in Australia in 2024, and I’m now writing a novel about ski patrolling at Lake Tahoe. I wish the best future possible to all my classmates.”
Hidefumi Yamagami, of Tokyo, reports, “At Institute of Business and Accounting, Kwansei Gakuin University, I teach international finance and related subjects to graduate students from Europe, Africa, and Asia. Just five years have passed quickly since I started this job as an affiliate professor. We had a nice Sakura party at the International House of Japan at Roppongi, Tokyo, which is a sister organization of International House at Berkeley!” Shown: Hidefumi (center) with graduate students.
April 26–28, 2024
Jesse Wolf, of Bronx, N.Y., is an adjunct assistant professor of mathematics at Fordham University and The City University of New York and a consultant to FlowPharma, a biotech firm.
Ted Gutierrez, of Oyster Bay, N.Y., is the founder and co-CEO of FLINT Systems: Experts in Authorship Determination. The document analysis firm measures authorship attribution, contract cheating, and threat assessment using automated processes. “Our software platform enables businesses, institutions, and law enforcement to analyze whether a certain document of questioned origin shares likely common authorship features with other documents of known origin, applying standard linguistic rules and patterns,” he explains.
“I retired almost 10 years ago; nevertheless, about three years ago, I came across this opportunity that I couldn’t resist. I’m in the game again.”
April 26–28, 2024
Nancy Pollard shares, “My son, Austin, and I at the summit of Mount Whitney—quite a feat! Go Bears!”
Andrew (Pete) Kaplan, of Charlotte, N.C., ran his 12th Boston Marathon. “I joined a small group of runners who have completed the marathon in six different calendar decades, beginning with the 1970s.”
Steve Nozik, of Santa Fe, N.M., updates, “In February, several MBA 85 and 86ers met for one of our periodic mini-reunions, this time on the island of Maui. Once again, nonstop laughs ensued while reminiscing about the great times we had at Berkeley. Friendships forged have remained strong for nearly 40 years, despite varied lives and physical distances.” Shown: Steve (center) with Colleen Cassidy, MBA 86; Mike Hammon; Cindy (Baldwin) Strauch, MBA 86; Chris (Husnak) Evers; and Rich Strauch.
Robin Rappaport wrote in to say, “My dearest friend, Julie Saltzman Leuvrey, of Portland, Ore., passed away peacefully at home on March 31 surrounded by family, after an extended illness. She was 61 years old. In the San Francisco offices of Eastdil Realty and Metric Partners, Julie became enamored with the challenges of the investment real estate business and decided to enroll at Berkeley Haas. She actively supported Planned Parenthood, the Alzheimer’s Association, the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, the Jewish Federation, and many other charities. Julie was also on the board of the Halprin Conservancy, on the Council of the Knight Cancer Institute, and helped raise money for Phil Knight’s 500 Million Dollar Challenge grant for cancer research. She is survived by her husband of 34 years, Eric Leuvrey; her children, Nicolas and Allisa; her brothers, Jeff, Dan (Liz Burns); sister, Barbara Lovre (Randy); nieces, Adrianne Saltzman and Alex Lovre; and a tribe of loyal friends.”
Kevin Renner, of Camas, Wash., joined Wellrithms as executive vice president of marketing. The fastest-growing company in Oregon over the past four years, Wellrithms works with self-funded employers, insurers, and others who pay the cost of health care billing errors and abuses. Kevin also traveled to Barbados and Puerto Vallarta for fun. Shown: Kevin and Thida Myint.
Melisa (Lewis) Wilson, of Los Angeles, writes, “After working at MUFG Union Bank for over 30 years, I recently retired and am working on my second act. My daughter finished her second year at the University of Chicago, which is a great reason to get to know Chicago better. I am loving volunteering at Smithsonian Associates on a regular basis and look forward to digging into my new role as CFO of Friends of the Library of my local library, among a variety of things I am exploring. So grateful to see a lot of familiar faces at the 1988 MBA reunion in April, especially my college roommate, Kimberly Winter, MBA 94, and her husband, Chris Slattery.” Shown: Melisa (right) with Kimberly Winter and Chris Slattery.
April 26–28, 2024
Lisen Stromberg, of Palo Alto, Calif., writes, “You’d think I’d be disappointed PrismWork didn’t win the 2023 SXSW Innovation Award some weeks ago. You’d be wrong. Never in my wildest dreams did I think Corey and I would be sitting together in the Grand Ballroom at the Austin Convention Center learning about some of the most creative and innovative ideas and solutions to the world’s problems. PrismWork was there because of our groundbreaking HEARTI®: Leader Quotient—the online tool we created to assess the power skills of modern leaders. Over 2,000 global leaders have taken the HEARTI®: Leader Quotient. You can too at PrismWork.com. Being able to highlight one of our premier solutions to help empower leaders, being among other innovators and dreamers, made being at SXSW a win.”
Jonathan Barsade, of Wynnewood, Pa., co-founded FLINT Systems: Experts in Authorship Determination with Ted Gutierrez, MBA 81.
April 26–28, 2024
Raudline Etienne, of New York City, writes, “I am pleased to share the news that Daraja Capital Partners—dedicated to the critical purpose of bridging the capital access gap for diverse entrepreneurs in fund management—is open for business. This is a very exciting moment for me personally—to directly apply experience to purpose. For the community of brilliant, talented, and still resource-constrained diverse fund managers, I know this is a step toward greater opportunity.
“Daraja Capital Partners provides seed capital to fund managers and then partners with independent sponsors executing on a wide range of investments.
“We look forward to opening doors and creating wealth for those underserved. To those in the business, if you know talent with entrepreneurial spirit or interesting investment opportunities, please send them our way. If you are a sponsor or manager, please send your information to [email protected].”
Hirotake Ohta, of Tokyo, announces, “I have left Mitsubishi Materials Corporation after 36 years of service. The polycrystalline silicon department, including two plants in Japan and the U.S., was sold to SUMCO Corporation at the end of March. My current target is to have this transition as smooth as possible for all of us involved and increase the value of SUMCO Group by having this vertical integration from raw material to semiconductor silicon wafers with the world’s highest quality.”
Atsushi Toda, of Tokyo, writes, “The Haas Cherry Blossom Party in Tokyo has finally come back after four years! This has been our annual event for years and, during the pandemic, we have been patiently waiting. We had a fantastic moment to catch up with our classmates and families underneath beautiful cherry flowers. Everyone looked happy and healthy. It is great to be friends over decades, and we really appreciate our days at Haas. Go Bears!” Shown: Atsushi (front row, second from left, wearing Cal hat) with family and friends from the MBA classes of 1992, 1994, 1995, and 1996.
Tarek Mohammad and Jin Kim, both MFE 23, were accepted into the Techstars Accelerator program for launching hyphen labs, a platform for industry decentralized finance (DeFi) trading. The duo was the first MFE-founded startup from Haas to make it into the intensive three-month accelerator for promising companies.
William Killea, of Coronado, Calif., informs, “Returned to the U.S. from working in Spain and Switzerland as co-head of international business development for a U.S.-based financial software firm. Since 2016, have been a strategic advisor for the plans/policy/strategy division of Naval Special Warfare Command in Coronado.”
Lo Toney, of San Francisco, reports, “I have been to the floor of the NYSE as a CNBC contributor appearing on SquawkCNBC. Today was special to participate with so many Black founders + VCs on the podium to ring the closing bell!”
Ann Hsu, of San Francisco, writes, “I was peacefully taking a break professionally, serving as a full-time caregiver for my elderly parents, a husband with Parkinson’s, and twin teenage boys, when the pandemic hit. Witnessing my teenage sons doing Zoom school propelled me into joining and then leading the historic Recall School Board campaign in San Francisco in early 2022. When that recall succeeded by a landslide, I ended up in the national media spotlight (NY Times, NBC News, etc.) and was appointed by the mayor to be on the school board. There I learned firsthand how urban public education worked (or not) and ran my own election campaign, where I missed re-election by just 0.06% of the vote last November. In January, I launched a nonprofit school to provide quality, rigorous, affordable, and bicultural education to San Francisco students and families. It is named in honor of my late father: Bertrand D. Hsu American & Chinese Bicultural Academy (BertHsuAcademy.org). Would love to have the support of the Haas community!”
April 26–28, 2024
Seth Brenzel writes, “I was honored to be sworn in by San Francisco Mayor London Breed as a new commissioner of the San Francisco Arts Commission. I look forward to serving our great city in this role, and I am grateful for the opportunity.” Shown: Seth (second from right).
Allen Schoonmaker, of Hong Kong, announces, “Continuing to run my startup focused on HRTech in Hong Kong. We are making steady progress, growing the business and penetrating new markets, despite macro headwinds. We are looking to expand into new geos in SEA soon.
“My wife and I suddenly found ourselves empty nesters when our youngest joined her brother at boarding school in Boston. Although we miss them both, we are thrilled to have them studying in the U.S. We are enjoying the extra time for new pursuits.”
Alison Lingane, of Oakland, Calif., updates, “This past year has been quite a whirlwind! My Project Equity co-founder and I were recognized with the Heinz Award for the Economy in 2022 for our ‘leadership in the movement to create better jobs and a fairer economy by advancing employee ownership.’ We launched Project Equity almost 10 years ago to promote an innovative approach to M&A for lower middle market and main street companies.
“I had a fun time coming back to Haas recently to talk about our work in a class, profiling a local business directly supported by the City of Berkeley, one of our dozen local government partners. It’s been great to see the interest from MBA students in employee ownership as a business model and in its ability to create stronger businesses, quality jobs, and strong local economies. My next chapter will be raising a third impact fund to finance the transactions. Would love to be in touch if you have any words of wisdom!
“Hard to believe, but two of our three boys are in college! If you’re in the Bay Area, I would love to reconnect. I’ve been so focused on parenting and work that I’ve lost touch with so many awesome people!”
Emilie Cortes, of Bend, Ore., reports that she and Elizabeth Meyer reunited after 15 years by traveling around Chile in December. “We had a great time, and Elizabeth reached a personal altitude record of 18,386 ft. on Cerro Toco in the Atacama Desert. I also enjoy connecting with Rebekah Saul Butler annually at the Confluence Philanthropy conference; she attended as managing director of Grove Foundation and I as treasurer of the Compton Foundation. I continue to be inspired by her work in impact investing and wish her luck in her new role at Gratitude Railroad.
“Finally, I also credit Confluence Philanthropy for facilitating my partnership and friendship with Tracy Gray, BCEMBA 07, managing partner and founder of the 22 Fund. Tracy and I continue to find ways to support each other, including co-authoring ‘How Foundations Fail Diverse Managers and How to Fix It’ in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. In April, I joined The 22 as its first CFO.” Shown: Elizabeth and Emilie in Chile.
Dennis Cox reports in from Arusha, Tanzania. “Our family picked up and moved here in August 2021. Taking a sabbatical from real estate sales, I joined my wife, Tara, in doing youth ministry with Young Life at three international schools. It has been an adventure to say the least, adapting to a totally different culture and for me to switch gears and live off donations to work with teenagers from around the world who attend these neat schools. (Our three daughters attend an arts-centered one.) We live a few hours from the Serengeti and Mount Kilimanjaro, so look us up if you want help planning a trip! We will be here two more years.” Shown: Dennis (second from right), Catherine, Charlotte, Tara, Shannon.
Reza Afkhami, of Menlo Park, Calif., was appointed as 23andMe’s chief corporate development officer overseeing corporate development efforts across its therapeutics, research services, and consumer groups. He will spearhead a wide range of industry collaborations for the company. “I’m excited by the innovative approach that 23andMe brings to drug discovery and development and the power that genetics can play in leading us to new medical treatments,” Reza says. “I look forward to helping make 23andMe’s mission a reality by allowing many more consumers and patients to truly benefit from the human genome.”
Karl Pisor, of Tokyo, announces, “After five years developing the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) in Japan, starting to see some powerful traction on the ground with Japanese small and medium enterprise clients. I think I’ve found my dream job: giving up the peaks and valleys of the independent consultant life to focus on teaching and coaching high-performance leadership teams.
April 26–28, 2024
Stephane Guerraz, of Copenhagen, Denmark, updates, “I just launched a podcast called Leaders in Flow, to explore the art of conscious leadership with Scandinavian and global mindsets. We engage in dialogues with leaders and university professors to discover business and psychological insights.” Find the podcast on Spotify (spoti.fi/3nY9MHV), Apple Podcast (apple.co/3O9k6Yd), or YouTube (bit.ly/3W6HZBJ).
David Saxe, of San Francisco, sends the following: “San Francisco-based real estate investor and operator Calvera Partners, co-founded by Brian Chuck, Brian Milovich, MBA 06, and David Saxe, announced the launch of Calvera Income and Growth Fund, the firm’s fourth discretionary private real estate fund. The fund is seeking more than $100 million in capital commitments from accredited investors to acquire a portfolio of multifamily properties in high-growth markets.”
Edited by Ker Gibbs, the head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai during the US-China trade war, Selling to China is a sobering look at the realities of the intermeshed nature of the Chinese and American economies at a time of increasing political tension.
—Ker Gibbs, MBA 90
Executive in Residence,
University of San Francisco
Jit Bhattacharya, of Chatsworth, Calif., co-founder and CEO of e-mobility company BasiGo has just launched a first-of-its-kind, high-power DC fast charging station for electric buses in Buru Buru, Nairobi, Kenya. The station has the capacity to charge six electric buses simultaneously, but is projected to support 25 electric buses by year’s end. The charging station is the first to be connected to Kenya’s new e-mobility tariff. BasiGo now has three charging sites in operation, including Embakasi and Kikuyu, with the capacity to charge over 20 buses.” Shown: Jit (left) with the CEO of Kenya’s national electricity utility.
Vandana Bharvani wrote in to say, “I am very sad to announce that my friend and classmate, Beidi Zheng, and her 12-year-old daughter passed away in a car crash in Santa Clara on June 14. Beidi was 44 years old. She was friendly, warm and stayed active in the alumni community over the years. Our class is shocked and is trying to support her family. Please consider making a donation toward the GoFundMe campaign that has been established by her husband, Christopher Chambers.” Visit haas.org/Beidi-Zheng.
Mariette Fourmeaux Mendoza, of San Diego, announces, “I got married last September to Pete Mendoza at my godfather’s gorgeous home outside Bordeaux, France. Romain Galoisy, Ashish Shete, and Leland Hedges brought their usual love and celebratory joy to the three-day affair. Newton Cheng was there in spirit, as he awaited his to-be-adopted second child. As unexpected as it was, Pete and I met in state prison, where we both create and facilitate rehabilitative programs. In addition to the nonprofit Brilliance Inside, I founded Brilliance Institute, which guides individuals and teams to align with and ignite their culture of brilliance, so that each of us can get out of our own way and become who we were always meant to be.”
Adam Prishtina, of Austin, Texas, reports, “With over 20 years of product management experience, I have launched my own software product strategy consulting firm called Thousand Things Consulting: haas.org/Prishtina. If your company needs help developing and executing your vision, I’d love to chat!” Shown: Adam (center) with sons Alex and Benjamin.
Brian Richardson, of Chicago, writes, “I was recently named CEO of StartOut, the national nonprofit working to help LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs turn their business ideas into reality. For details on their work, visit startout.org.”
Preston Smalley, of Danville, Calif., announces, “Thrilled to lead Roku’s Viewer Product team, which is helping cord-cutters discover and return to their favorite TV shows on their Roku player or TV. Recently named one of a handful of VPs on the CEO’s senior leadership team, I’m growing the capabilities I learned back at Haas. This is especially true as the company scales a successful offering in the U.S. to other markets around the world, all while creating win-win situations for our business partners.
“Celebrated 20 years of marriage with my lovely wife, Jeanine. I cannot imagine a more supportive partner I’d want to go through life with. I would not be the man I am today if not for her.”
“When our MBA team won a marketing competition in Minneapolis. It made me feel like I was among greatness.”
—DENNIS COX, MBA 02
YOUTH PASTOR, YOUNG LIFE
April 26–28, 2024
Natalie Melamed, of Belmont, Calif., updates, “After 11 years at Deloitte (my first post-MBA job), I joined the strategy team at cybersecurity leader Palo Alto Networks. I enjoy the company’s fast pace and deepening my knowledge of the cybersecurity industry. When kids ask what I do, I say, ‘Mommy is an internet warrior.’
“The war in Ukraine has changed our world. In the microcosm of our household, we now have a teenage host daughter to complement our three kids who are 10 and younger. We also provided shelter to my best friend’s husband once the draft started in Russia. We are enjoying the large ever-evolving family and feel beyond blessed. We are still on the Peninsula—a knock on the door of a friendly visitor is always welcome!”
Portia (Yee) Meneau, of Orinda, Calif., notes, “I have started a new role at AAA as VP of Smart Mobility leading GIG CarShare, GoMentum Station, and AAA Car Buying services.”
Lichien Chen, of Shanghai, and Nan Duan had a great time catching up with Seung-Ho Ahn on his visit to Shanghai, which is fully open. Shown clockwise: Seung-Ho, Nan, and Lichien.
Ella Morgulis, of Oakland, Calif., turned her labor of love coaching side gig into a full-time coaching practice in 2020, and it “feeds her soul and allows flexible hours and extended travel,” she reports. “I realized that my life as an immigrant in the U.S., including my career, could have been much easier and lighter had I found coaching support years ago, and that my professional career could have been much different also. I embarked on a journey of bringing humanity back to organizations by helping people find their true voice, a path aligned with values and fulfillment. I am amazed by how much people change and how easily they move past the places where they were stuck when they recognize why and what they truly want (visit lifeenlightened.net). My partner, David, and I moved to Rockridge and would love to connect with other Haasies.”
Sarah (Morra) Qualters, of Alameda, Calif., reports, “In 2022, after being diagnosed with breast cancer, I took a leave from work for surgery and four months of intensive chemo and radiation. After a hard, seven-month journey, I was officially declared cancer-free on Valentine’s Day 2023!” Shown above: Sarah holds Ghost Town Brewing’s F*ck Cancer IPA. She is thankful for support from the Haas friends who came from all over the country to take her to appointments and support her and her family, including Shana Hawley, Steph Lawrence, Melissa Millan, Ruth Duggan Kowitz, Mary Florcruz, Yuri Yakubov, and Vivien Leong.
Recently, she was promoted to senior director of marketing at The Wine Group, responsible for the Premium Plus & Estate Wines portfolio, where she will lead strategy and growth for its $15+ portfolio of wines.
Uday Tennety, of San Jose, Calif., leads product and strategic partnerships at a new startup called Nile (nilesecure.com), co-founded by John Chambers, ex-CEO of Cisco, and Pankaj Patel, ex-EVP of Cisco.
April 26–28, 2024
Michael (Mikhail Talanov) Talan, of Berkeley, Calif., announces, “I started a new life. I left Russia during the Snow Revolution, foreseeing the country’s descent into autocracy. I blew up my career to pieces, having decided that I shall rebuild a version 2.0 from the same tools. I did.”
Business and Civic Leader
Tracy Gray, BCEMBA 07, founder and managing partner of The 22 Fund, was appointed to the Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women. Gray and five others will work toward advancing progress in gender equality and workforce development and entrepreneurship. Separately, Gray’s fund recently launched an unprecedented partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration to help women- and BIPOC-led businesses expand to global markets.
Billy Blaustein updates, “After five years at Tesla, I resigned in 2022 to start a business. I raised a seed round from venture capitalists and moved from Paris, France, to São Paulo, Brazil, to start a battery swapping business for motorcycles in Latin America. The region has a vehicle fleet that is <1% electric; we are working to electrify it.
“My wife and I welcomed our son, Leonardo Dakota Blaustein, in 2021.” Shown: Billy and business partner Jack Sarvary.
Natarajan Subbiah, of San Francisco, writes, “Leading product and data science at Uber freight through the pandemic was certainly interesting. Definitely a lot of learning in terms of crisis management and hiring for grit. Launched an early-stage fund, Operator Stack, and met some incredible people along the way and learned a ton.”
April 26–28, 2024
Amy Fan, of San Francisco, co-founder and president of Twentyeight Health, was recently featured in Business Insider for securing an $8.3M Pre-Series A funding round. The company’s unique focus on low-income communities and communities of color is reflected in the product portfolio of education, meaningful partnerships with nonprofits and community colleges, and beyond.
Daniel Potter suffered a brain aneurysm in April and passed away. Elizabeth Van Benschoten, MBA 03, reflects on his passing: “Daniel was one of the best Haas hires I’ve made yet. He was such a hard worker, smart, smiling, and curious. Our whole team at Union Bank loved him. He was very proud to have earned his evening MBA, such an accomplishment while holding down a full-time job. To lose someone so young and full of talent, starting out in life with his new daughter and home, fills my heart with sadness. He will be greatly missed, and our field of affordable housing will miss out on his future contributions. Please consider making a donation toward the GoFundMe set up to help support his family. All funds will go directly to medical, childcare, food, and home expenses as the family navigates the next steps:
Xia (Saoji) Xiao, of San Francisco, shares more about Daniel Potter. “Daniel was one of the kindest people I’ve ever come across. We immediately bonded over our commonalities: We both worked in the real estate industry, we were both double Cal Bears, and we loved the outdoors. Over the years, we trained together for long bike rides, laughed at how terrible we were at golf, and, most importantly, celebrated all the wins and losses in life.
“Daniel dedicated his career to making affordable housing a reality for all. He was an active, hard-working, and genuine person who touched the lives of so many people in his community. On behalf of Daniel’s classmates, we all love and miss Daniel deeply but take comfort in knowing that his legacy will live on through the work he did to improve the lives of those around him. Rest in peace, Daniel.
“Help us reach our goal of $25K to establish a scholarship fund in honor of Daniel. The fund was established with the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley. Visit haas.org/Potter-Memorial-Fund.” Shown: Saoji; Kristi Vo; Lori Sipe-Chen; Anne Appleton; Daniel Potter; and Joel Sipe-Chen.
“Pitching our entrepreneurial idea to VCs on Sand Hill was a surreal experience. A make-or-break moment for anyone with startup dreams.”
—Portia Meneau, MBA 10
VP of Smart Mobility, AAA
Gautam Chaudhary, of Fremont, Calif., reports, “My consulting company has made significant strides in Oracle ERP Cloud implementations. We have been continuously adding more and more public sector customers.” Gautam proudly adds that with his younger daughter starting at Stanford, “Now we are empty nesters.” Shown: Admit Day with his wife and daughter.
Steve Lee, of San Francisco, updates, “In 2022, I launched Kiva Capital Partners, a high-impact search fund backed by top-tier CEOs and investors! Our mission goes beyond acquiring and operating a single thriving business. We’re deeply committed to preserving its unique culture and ensuring its legacy flourishes in good hands.”
Raja Kiran Kumar (Sandireddy) Reddy, of Fremont, Calif., started at Google Cloud as a product manager. “More important is my personal news,” he notes. “Similar to how we welcomed our firstborn, Myra, one month after joining the MBA program, we welcomed our secondchild, Mayuka Sandireddy, one week after I joined Google Cloud, on January 25, 2023. Exciting times.” Shown: Raja, Mayuka, Sailaja (mother-in-law), Myra, and wife, Praneetha.
“Watching my classmates get on stage in Lecturer Mark Rittenberg’s class on leadership and recognizing that sharing your heart is of utter importance for the world, not just for self.”
—Ella Morgulis, MBA 11
Founder, Life Enlightened Coaching
A firsthand account of the only foreign takeover of a Chinese national bank during China’s golden era of economic reforms in the early 2000s. A riveting story covering the full process of a private equity buyout deal that created billions of dollars in profit for Shan’s investors.
—Weijian Shan, PhD 87, Executive Chairman, PAG
Kate Hughes, of San Francisco, reports, “After spending a decade in the marketing and advertising space, I have left my role as the VP of operations and marketing and I am thrilled to announce the launch of my new consultancy Perfectly Positioned Products. This venture is dedicated to helping founders and startup teams strategically position their products in the market. From competitive landscape analysis and category selection to product naming, creative messaging, and more, teams will have the support they need to build a cohesive vision around their positioning strategy. I currently work one-on-one with clients and will open enrollment for my new online group coaching program for early-stage founders in September.”
Asif Mohammad, of Sunnyvale, Calif., started a new job as a senior growth product manager at Twitch and also launched a podcast and newsletter series called GigaGrowth, for growth SaaS professionals.
April 26–28, 2024
Rachel Lee, BS 17, of San Francisco, cheers, “Just finished my Double Bear degree and will be starting at Amazon as a senior product manager!”
Chris Phenner, of Chicago, is now VP, business development, at FLASH. “Facilitating more than $4 billion annually in gross transactions, FLASH provides SaaS to more parking and EV charging locations than anyone else,” he notes. “We provide data and recommendation engines that enable the smarter selection of charging and parking. I work with automakers, navigation system suppliers, and consumer mapping apps (like Apple Maps and Google Maps) to help deliver smoother charging and parking experiences. If you are in the EV world, let’s catch up at [email protected] or 224.223.4231 (cell).”
April 26–28, 2024
Joshua Posamentier, of Piedmont, Calif., informs, “After co-founding Congruent Ventures six years ago, we just held our first Founders’ Summit and highlighted the 51 companies we’ve invested in, which collectively employ thousands of people and are moving the needle around climate change. You can make good returns while investing in climate positive companies! We also just announced our latest fund at $300M, focused on backing the best growth-stage companies in the portfolio. This brings our AUM to over $700M and makes us one of the most active early-stage climate tech venture shops in the world.”
Chad Curran, of Orinda, Calif., reports, “After almost five years managing the renewable energy contract portfolio of Meta, perennially one of the largest corporate purchasers of renewable energy, I joined Equilibrium Energy as director of Energy Contract Management and Settlements. Equilibrium is building a digital native power company operating at the intersection of grid variability, market volatility, economic optimization, commercial structuring, and risk management, across the end-to-end power value chain.”
April 26–28, 2024
April 26–28, 2024
April 26–28, 2024
Charles Shimooka, of Berkeley, Calif., shares word of an informal gathering of classmates in April. Shown: Charles (center, sitting). Top Row: Li Jin; Srini Mohan; Phil Bellezza. Bottom Row: Sarah Morrill; Margaret Park; Rachel Kinnunen; Paris Latham; Sanej Bandgar; Dan Palshaw; Marisa Hewitt.
April 26–28, 2024
Ben Meng delivered the commencement address to the MFE graduating Class of 2023 in March. The executive vice president, chairman of Asia Pacific, head of global private equity, and executive sponsor of sustainability at Franklin Templeton, Meng told the class to use their finance careers to change lives for the better. “Do well and do good at the same time,” he said.
William Halal, of Washington, D.C., writes, “My TechCast Project is launching a ‘Portal to Global Consciousness.’ The portal will allow anyone, anywhere, to experience global consciousness—like William Shatner did recently. We think a critical mass of people holding this worldview is needed to resolve today’s global megacrisis and to create a mature and sustainable world. Those interested in supporting can do so at Indiegogo.”
Janet Smith retired from Canadian public service in 2000 at the rank of deputy minister. “Published my book Standing in Possibility in 2022, a memoir of resilience and hope. Moved in 2023 to the Amica Residence in White Rock, B.C.”