CLASSNOTES

 

W.L. Mellon Society Member

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Class of 1961

George A. Summerhill Jr., MSIA, of Reno, Nevada, received the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award from Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania, at the fall homecoming awards ceremony in October. It was based on career accomplishments and volunteer work in his communities, for Rotary International and as a charter officer with a Nevada nonprofit housing developer, Silver Sage Manor Inc.


Class of 1963

Robert Shaw, MSIA, was delighted to spend time in recent months with GSIA classmates Boyd Harman, MSIA; Ted Rojahn, MSIA; and Jon Zoler, MSIA, BSIM ’62, and spouses. They had great conversations about the early GSIA days (professors, curriculum, staff, etc.) as well as the remarkable growth of CMU and the Tepper School. Shaw and classmates all feel that GSIA was a fantastic building block for their professional careers. It is Shaw’s personal privilege to remain engaged with the Tepper School and CMU through stimulating webinars, other internet connections, live lectures, receptions and personal contact.


Class of 1966

Stan Zionts, Ph.D., E ’58, has now retired as a ski instructor from Park City Mountain Resort after more than 30 years of teaching skiing. Zionts retired from his faculty position at SUNY Buffalo about 12 years ago, and his wife, Terri, retired as a lawyer about three years ago. The Ziontses continue to live in Boynton Beach, Florida, during the spring and fall, and in Park City, Utah, in the winter and part of the summer. They would enjoy hearing from friends and colleagues.


Class of 1968

Jay Avner, MSIA, recently retired after 14 years as director of contracting with Centene Corp., a health insurer specializing in government programs.


Class of 1969

Stephen Navran, BSIM, currently the chief scientific officer of Synthecon Inc., a biotechnology spinoff from NASA’s Johnson Space Center, is the co-founder and CEO of Animatus Biosciences LLC, a startup focused on regenerative medical therapeutics based in Houston, Texas.


Class of 1970

Ken Derow, MSIA, BSIM ’69, recently completed writing a book about a radical new diet lifestyle based on brain science and psychological principles, in collaboration with Harvard neuroscientist Dr. Rudy Tanzi.


Class of 1971

The American Marketing Association has inducted V. Srinivasan, Ph.D., as a Fellow. It has also created the “Srinivasan Young Scholar Award” to be awarded annually. He is already a fellow of The Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS) and the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science.


Class of 1974

Robert Friedman, MSIA, is now five years into retirement and living in Florida with his wife, Susan, while spending the summers in Connecticut. He serves as the Board Chair of Hazon, a New York-based national nonprofit, and still has an interest in NexGenAlpha, a Europe-based fund organizer. His golf and tennis games are both improving now that he is no longer traveling 30 percent of the time. Robert and Susan still enjoy some personal travel, both to see new places and to visit their children and grandchildren. 


Class of 1975

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Retired from IBM in 2013 after nearly 40 years in the software business, John Schiller, MSIA, is now busier than ever. Happily living in Pittsburgh with his wife of 37 years, he serves on the board of a local software company. He has been doing a lot of traveling to feed his expanding photography passion and to visit his children and grandchild in Boston. He is keeping in touch with a number of GSIA classmates and looking forward to his next reunion.


Class of 1977

Albert Ip, MSIA, was appointed to the board of trustees at Washington University in St. Louis. He was also appointed adjunct professor of finance at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.


Class of 1978

Jeff Branman, MSIA, has joined Authentic Brands Group in New York City as executive vice president of mergers and acquisitions. He recently signed up the acquisition of the Nautica brand from VF Corp. Branman and his wife Liz’s twins, Alexandra (attending Wesleyan University) and Matthew (attending Harvard College), recently turned 21, and Jeff wonders how he got so old.


Class of 1979

Mark Schaefer, MSIA, retired from ExxonMobil in March after nearly 38 years, the last five managing the payment and loyalty card processing operations supporting 13,000 Exxon, Mobil and Esso retail fuel stations in the U.S. and Canada. Schaefer and his wife, Kathy, will remain in Houston, Texas, where their daughter will be married in October.


Class of 1980

Janine Elyse Aronson, Ph.D.; E ’75, ’76, started playing the bagpipes two years ago. Having spent three weeks in the CMU Pipe and Drum Band, Janine developed a love for the pipes and finally decided it was time to learn to play them. She started playing the ukulele last summer and has played guitar for decades. In addition, she is a professor of management information systems in the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia.


Class of 1983

Marcy Trent Long, BSIM, founding director of Sustainable Asia, highlights the podcast series “Eight Million” about the 8,000,000 metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year and what China is doing about it. The five-part audio documentary runs through the ins and outs of plastic waste, taking a critical look at potential solutions coming out of the Middle Kingdom.


Class of 1984

Aurora Lynn (Staley) Violi, BSIM, and William Kerns, HNZ ’92, BSIM, will be celebrating their first wedding anniversary. They were married in Florida on a Gulf Coast island in May 2017 and currently reside in Mars, Pennsylvania.

Kim Strohm, BSIM, vice president of transactions, counsel and chief privacy officer at DCEH in Pittsburgh, moderated a peer-to-peer roundtable discussion at the International Association of Privacy Professionals Global Privacy Summit in Washington, D.C., this March.


Class of 1985

Since 2017, Shantha Mohan, Ph.D., has been mentoring individuals who want to become entrepreneurs and those considering career transitions. In 2018, she joined Carnegie Mellon University in Silicon Valley as an executive in residence, formalizing her role there. When gender equality became a hot topic in 2017, Mohan decided to work on creating a strong mental image of female engineer role models. She has written more than 25 life stories with the eventual goal of publishing them as a book.


Class of 1989

Koichi Kiyohara, MSIA, is a partner at Weber Associates, a boutique marketing and sales agency based out of Columbus, Ohio. When not working, he spends his time in Chicago, Illinois, and in Asheville, North Carolina.


Class of 1991

Patrick Thacker, MSIA, and Renee Thacker recently adopted Lucille Grace Thacker. She is truly a blessing.


Class of 1992

In addition to being an associate professor at the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago and running Hidding Investment Management LLC, Gezinus J. Hidding, Ph.D., has been involved in the online rental industry, and now owns rCommerce®, a registered trademark for online rental commerce, with the aim to develop an interesting business concept around it.


Class of 1993

Alex Galatic, MSIA, is publishing a podcast with his teenage son called “My Kid Wants to Be a Pro Gamer.” The podcast explores the growing business of esports from the perspective of teens and parents through interviews with sociologists, friends, video game enthusiasts and people who have made a career out of a new type of professional sports where the playing field is on computer screens. Galatic and his son are hoping that by sharing their journey, they may help other parents and kids make informed decisions.

Marcelo Rosenhek, MSIA, worked for 23 years in the banking industry in Brazil and left in mid-2015 to run the family business (gifts and decoration products retailer). The business was sold at the end of 2017. He is looking to invest and work in a new venture in Brazil linked to new technology.


Class of 1994

Kevin S. Boyle Sr., BSIM, was appointed CFO of Cell Medica, a leader in cellular immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer.

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Col. Stephen Lightfoot, BSIM, is presently on a one-year combat deployment with the Special Operations Joint Task Force in Afghanistan. Upon completion of the deployment, he will assume command of Marine Aircraft Group 24, located at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii. MAG-24 is composed of seven subordinate units with more than 2,000 personnel who fly and maintain the AH-1Z Cobra, UH-1Y Huey, CH-53E Super Stallion, MV-22B Osprey, RQ-7 Shadow and RQ-21 Blackjack.


Class of 1995

Erick Eidus, MSIA, is CEO and co-founder of PupPod, a company building dog toys for the internet age. The company was founded on the belief that we can build better products for the dogs we love by leveraging technology to provide dogs with mental stimulation and fun. Eidus says pet tech will become the next billion-dollar-plus segment of the pet industry. Dog-loving alumni should check out PupPod.com.

Michel Robe, Ph.D., recently joined the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), where he is the Clearing Corporation Foundation Professor in Derivatives Trading.


Class of 1996

Following a nearly 30-year career in the investment management industry, through which he’s weathered multiple boom and bust cycles, Russell Ewing, MSIA, decided to embark upon a new adventure and join his wife, Vani, and son, Rohan, as a professional husband and father in Wiesbaden, Germany. He looks forward to keeping in touch with his beloved Tepper School community, exploring his birth country, traveling, playing and teaching tennis, and continuing to serve on the Alumni Board.


Class of 1997

The Rev. Nick Frollini, BSIM, celebrated the fifth anniversary of his ordination in the Universal Life Church in 2017. He continues to serve as the deputy director of Carnegie Mellon’s Institute for Software Research, where he has worked since 2007.

Jon Hougland, MSIA, left California last year and is now the CFO for Lower Valley Energy, a co-op utility that serves northwest Wyoming.


Class of 1998

Adam Perl, MSIA, became a co-founder and board member at Arrangr Inc.


Class of 2000

Mike Onda, BSBA, has been promoted to vice president of corporate strategy for J.D. Byrider. His team is responsible for facilitating the annual strategic planning process and driving execution of the strategic plan. J.D. Byrider is America’s largest used car franchise and finance operation, with over 165 locations nationwide, more than $1 billion in receivables and more than 2,500 employees.

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Alan Thomas, MSIA, was sworn in as Commissioner, Federal Acquisition Service, U.S. General Services Administration.


Class of 2001

On a trip to visit the U.K. office of Logi Analytics, Auseh Britt, MBA, took in some of the sights in London. Britt joined Logi Analytics, an embedded analytics software company, last November as their head of demand generation.

Eric Evans, MBA, was appointed CFO of Big Ass Fans in Lexington, Kentucky, in January, following its recent acquisition by a New York private equity firm. He will be relocating to New York from Chicago, Illinois, with his family in the summer.

Kristen Heimerl, MSEC, innovation designer, joined forces with Sprocket, a small team of fun-loving strategists who think if you mix customer-centric design with data science and behavioral economics, magic and business results happen.

After graduating from the Master of Science in Electronic Commerce program in 2001, Mark Kim, MSEC, has been working for Samsung. He was promoted to general manager and is responsible for corporate salesforce implementation.


Class of 2002

Matt Saneholtz, BSBA, was featured in “NexGen Acquisition Success: Partnership, Patience and Teamwork,” printed in the September 2017 issue of the Journal of Financial Planning. The article outlined the steps he took to become a co-owner of Tobias Financial Advisors, a successful fee-only financial planning firm in the greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area.


Class of 2003

Katie Klaber, MBA, was appointed to the Federal Reserve Board, Pittsburgh branch, in early 2018.

Toby Perkins, MBA, recently moved from division controller for Chlor-Alkali and Derivatives ($4 billion in sales) at Westlake Chemicals to finance integration director, responsible for the financial integration of Axiall Corp. ($3 billion acquisition).

Ellen Vayner, MBA, has successfully implemented Concur as the travel and expense management system for her U.S./Canada region clients. She is now managing the second phase of the implementation, which involves the U.K. and Asia. As a part of this endeavor, Vayner initiated, sourced and finished the bidding process for the travel agency partner selection.

Neil Walter, MBA, is CEO of ERA Brokers Consolidated and of commercial real estate firm NAI Excel. ERA Brokers Consolidated has eight residential real estate brokerage locations from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City and was named the top overall company in the ERA Franchise Systems network of over 2,300 offices at the annual International Business Conference.


Class of 2004

Meg Berol, BSBA, was promoted to manager of project management within the engineering organization at Groupon. Berol has been leading Groupon’s corporate data privacy and security updates for the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. In this new role, Berol will also be responsible for the Palo Alto, California, PMO team.


Class of 2005

Devang Mehta, MBA, is now a partner at Anthill Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund. He is actively involved in LP relationships, fund operations and the evaluation of early-stage companies.


Class of 2006

Wilbur Briones, MBA, HNZ ’06, has recently started a new role as an organizational effectiveness lead at Vanguard. If anyone is passing through the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area, please reach out! He would love to reconnect.

Bryan Ovalle, BSE, has been promoted to vice president of customer success for Romeo Power Technology. He will oversee and be responsible for the entire customer-facing value chain. Formerly, Bryan was the senior program manager and head of PMO. Romeo Power Technology specializes in evolving energy technology through the design, validation and manufacturing of lithium ion battery packs for electric vehicles and energy storage applications in Vernon, California.


Class of 2007

Mike Kuentz, MBA, Monica and Matthew moved to Washington, D.C., in 2017. Mike is still with Amazon Web Services and loving it!


Class of 2009

Victoria Guscoff, MBA, was recognized as one of Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest. Each year, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation recognizes a group of the area’s most accomplished women and men for their career success and their involvement in the community.

Vishwa Kolla, MBA, is humbled and fortunate to be recognized as one of the top 50 data and analytics professionals in the U.S. and Canada.

Nathan Ward, MBA, has recently received his certification as chief project control officer from the Earned Value Management Institute. Through his business, NJW Associates, Ward works closely with companies, primarily in the manufacturing and heavy civil construction markets, to develop programs for collecting and interpreting project financial data and to quickly identify and correct deviations from the as-planned project schedule and budget.


Class of 2010

❊ Micah Paul Keith, MBA, pounced on an exciting opportunity to lead the No. 1 almond milk brand in the U.S., Blue Diamond’s Almond Breeze. He left a great team at Nestle but is excited to join a privately held company with tremendous current and future growth opportunities in the food industry. If you need any almonds or almond milk, you now “know a guy.”

Christine (Morgan) Korber, MBA, has been promoted to senior director of procurement for Arconic’s Global Rolled Products and Transportation and Construction Solutions businesses. She currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Gordon Vanscoy, BSBA, became engaged to Alyse Leben. They met while living in Naples, Florida, and have since moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. They wed on May 12, 2018, in Harbour Island in the Bahamas. Gordon recently joined American Airlines as a member of the Fleet Planning team, a division of the company’s Financial Planning and Analysis group.


Class of 2011

Carolyn (Madden) Duncan, MBA, recently joined Wells Fargo’s Innovation Group as a senior product leader, focused on AI Enterprise Solutions — particularly conversational apps and virtual assistants for the bank and its customers — and is building a team to drive those areas. Duncan is very excited for this latest career chapter and will continue to be based in the New York City area with her family.

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Paul Henderson’s, MBA, recent consulting work almost immediately led him to take a role with one of his clients. In August, he joined Grupo Flor as CEO. Grupo Flor is the parent organization that owns and operates five distinct businesses in the California cannabis industry: real estate, cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and retail.

Bahati Mutisya, BSBA, is an attorney at Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, where she represents businesses, governments and health care providers in regulatory matters and civil litigation. Previously, she clerked on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. She earned her Juris Doctor from Wake Forest University School of Law in 2015, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Wake Forest Journal of Law and Policy.

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After five years of teaching economics at West Point upon graduation from the Tepper School, Todd Schultz, MBA, retired from the military and is now the owner/operator of the first Chick-fil-A in the state of Maine. Chick-fil-A Bangor has now been open for over a year.


Class of 2012

Chris Gassman, MBA/JD, kicked off 2018 with a book deal and the development of a podcast series. Along with Matt Flores, MBA, Gassman had five glacier sightings and three glacial summits, hiked on and under one glacier, and saw zero snakes. These were all milestones they hit on their trek through the third-largest glacial field in the world, and all inspired by other alumni and plotted over Reunion meetups. They are accepting teammates for the next adventure.

Freshly moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jono Matusky, MBA, E ’11, serves as an independent adviser to startups based in Havana, Cuba. These include Cuba’s first clothing label and online shop, Clandestina; the indie video game Savior; Guampara, a hip-hop-focused record label; and silver jewelry maker Rox 950. He’s adding U.S.-based startups to his roster as well, but he’s excited to get back down to Havana.

Elliot Wolf, MBA, and Vanessa Sutherland were recently engaged among family and friends during a surprise birthday party for her at the National Harbor. Wolf is responsible for process safety and risk management at Syngenta and is an adjunct professor of chemical engineering at the North Carolina A&T State University. This year, they are looking forward to launching a pre-college STEM scholarship program.


Class of 2013

Justin Borntraeger, MBA, moved from GE’s digital business to an ed-tech startup in San Francisco, California, in November 2017 — quite the adjustment! He is looking forward to attending his fifth Reunion to catch up with friends and see the campus.


Class of 2014

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Timothy Altman, MBA, and his wife, Renee, had a baby in October. Amaya Suk Altman is now close to 8 months old. Timothy has been spending his paternity leave teaching her to build financial models to help her invest her allowance to save for college.

 
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Divyesh Patel, MBA, and his wife, Nisha, would like to announce the birth of their beautiful baby girl, Anaya Patel, born on Jan. 25 at 4:41 p.m. at 6 pounds, 14 ounces and 19.75 inches, in the great state of Texas!


Class of 2016

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Andrey Shatniy, MBA, and Anna are excited to announce the birth of their son, Andrew Anatoliy Shatniy, on Dec. 28, 2017.

 

In December 2017, Dan Szewczyk, MBA, esteemed Robber Barons column writer, proposed to Beth Hargrave-Thomas, MBA ’17, future CEO. They are extremely thankful for professor Brent Glover’s decision to make Szewczyk a finance teaching assistant, which is where he met Hargrave-Thomas while helping her understand DCF analysis. After a few months of knowing each other, the couple spontaneously decided to backpack through Asia during the summer of 2016, and the rest is history. They intend to marry in the Midwest in the summer of 2018.