Kellogg Magazine | Alumni Wire

Club & Network News

Kellogg Alumni Council and Club Leader Summit | May 2019

Announcing New KAC Leadership Transition

The Kellogg Alumni Council (KAC) Spring Meeting on May 2 ushered in new leadership as KAC Chair Cesar Estrada ’99 wrapped up his final term. Estrada strengthened and expanded the KAC during his tenure, increasing its reach and impact in the alumni community. He leaves a proven track record leading and inspiring the alumni community, and an unwavering passion for Kellogg’s mission.

Catherine Briggs ’94, recipient of the 2019 Wade Fetzer Award, assumes the role of KAC chair, working closely with Vice Chair Chip Bailey ’87 to build on KAC achievements and continue shaping its mission for greater impact.

Welcome New KAC Members

The KAC added six new members at its May meeting: Carolyn Amato ’06, Andrea Gouw ’07, Sarah Jaffe ’93, Matt James ’08, Vic O’Brien ’87 and Susan Silver ’94.

KAC members share their talent, energy and collaborative spirit to help advance its mission and catalyze our global alumni community. Members serve as strategic partners for the school and participate in a working group initiative, attend monthly conference calls and travel to Evanston twice a year as part of their membership.

New Members Introduced to Pete Henderson Society

The Pete Henderson Society (PHS) shares a tight bond with the KAC. After members complete their three-year term in the KAC, they transition to the Pete Henderson Society to continue serving the Kellogg alumni community in ways that best fit their interests. The PHS proudly welcomes outgoing KAC Chair Cesar Estrada ’99, Suresh Krishna ’99, Dolores Kunda ’84 and Phillip Lageschulte ’05.

Alumni Club Leader Summit

More than 45 Kellogg alumni club and affinity network officers from around the world convened in Evanston for the annual Alumni Leader Summit on May 2. Twenty-three clubs and affinity networks were represented, including 14 domestic clubs, seven international clubs and two affinity networks. The Summit provided an opportunity for alumni leaders to build connections, share best practices and hear from Kellogg senior leadership, including Interim Dean Kathleen Hagerty.

Participants spent the day gaining ideas and insights on strategic planning, creating alumni events and learning about new resources and tools provided by Kellogg. Alumni leaders left with the information and connections needed to successfully lead and engage the Kellogg network. Kellogg alumni clubs and networks serve as a valuable connection point for alumni, accounting for 30% of alumni engagement during the last fiscal year.


The Kellogg Alumni Club of Boston continues to engage its community in 2019. The club completed its third event in a three-part series of women-focused events with a joint NU/Kellogg brunch held at three different locations. Fueled by thought-provoking articles sent beforehand, great food at fun Boston-area restaurants and a diverse group of alumnae, the brunches were filled with lively discussions. The club will continue with more women-focused events throughout the year.

In May, the club kicked off a new healthcare initiative in collaboration with Kellogg Professor Craig Garthwaite. Their first event will take place in the fall. In June, the club hosted a community event at Cradles to Crayons where alumni processed and packaged donations of clothing and supplies that will be distributed to local children in need. Also in June, a dozen committed alumni concluded volunteer consulting engagements for Boston-area nonprofits through Community Consulting Teams of Boston.

The club also elected their new board for the next fiscal year starting June 1. A special thank you to the outgoing co-presidents, Valerie Godhwani ’99 and Jessica Morris ’11 and programming chair, Kevin Callahan ’87.

The new slate is as follows: President: Rob DeMento ’09, Vice President: Desmond Pope ’11, Vice President: Bilal Hussain ’15, Treasurer: Amy Goldberg ’01, Communications: Aimee Murray ’12, Secretary: Jessica Morris ’11, At-Large Directors: Valerie Godhwani ’99, Lisa Fanjoy ’09, Elizabeth Bernardi ’14, Bijay Kumar ’11, Dave DuBois ’17, Aakash Desai ’14, Colin Blaney ’10, Christopher Sherrill ’08 and Dustin Clinard ’05.

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Toward the end of 2018, Marisa Bryce ’98 became president of the club in the hopes of being able to create a robust, active and enthusiastic membership. With the help of her newly appointed executive team and the generous assistance of several Denver alumni community members and the Kellogg Alumni office, the club is making terrific headway towards that goal!

Thanks to David Coors ’10 and Jeff Ahbe ’93 for hosting a spectacular brewery tour and tasting at Blue Moon Brewery (owned by Molson Coors) last fall. An additional thank you to alumnus Tim Shannon ’15 and his lovely wife for hosting a private cocktail party in May at their home in Denver featuring Professor Nicholas Pearce as an honored guest who discussed the principles behind balancing work, life, goals and fulfillment. We look forward to many more events in Colorado and facilitating an exceptional alumni community.

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Dallas/Fort Worth

In the past few months, The Kellogg DFW Club wrapped up one of its two biggest events of the year and is in heavy planning mode for the second one. In February, the club hosted its 13th Annual Leadership Symposium at the University of Texas in Dallas. Almost 250 alumni and business leaders from across the Dallas-Fort Worth area came to hear three keynote speakers, among them Kellogg Professor Nicholas Pearce, who spoke about purpose driven leadership, and Kellogg alumnae Maria Thomas ’92, who shared what she learned from her leadership experiences at Amazon, NPR and Etsy about leading digital transformation. In addition, Purple Arch Ventures led a heavily attended lunch session on Venture Capital.

The symposium was truly an example of the Kellogg network at work as much of its content was driven by Kellogg faculty and graduates and it was attended not only by local alumni but also by alumni from other cities, plus current students and even some prospective students.

On August 24, the Kellogg and Northwestern Clubs of DFW hosted the 14th Annual Summer Soiree supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters Lonestar. This year's theme was “Light the Night and Wear Your Best Whites.” Since its inception, the soiree has been a wonderful opportunity to have fun while supporting a great cause. Last year, almost 250 people attended the event.

Last but not least, this was the second year of the DFW Excellence Grant Challenge that targets a $100,000 Excellence Grant for a newly admitted Kellogg student from North Texas. This grant is made possible by a generous local alumnus who has offered to match up to $50,000 of donations from local DFW alumni. This year, it looks like the goal is close to being achieved again due to the generosity of that alumnus as well as many other local alumni, and a contribution from the DFW Club. A great opportunity to make a difference for a future Kellogg student.

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The Kellogg Alumni Club of Italy had the honor of hosting Dean Francesca Cornelli during her travels to Italy last spring on April 3. The event took place in one of Milan’s most historical restaurants with more than 20 Italian alumni joining, enthusiastic to appreciate Francesca's humbleness, new energy and inspiring leadership.

The Kellogg Alumni Club of Italy also welcomed Professor Mohanbir Sawhney on June 13 in Milan as he shared his view on innovation and AI across industries.

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Los Angeles

The Kellogg Alumni Club of Los Angeles (KACLA) welcomed two new members to its board of directors: Samuel Saeyoon Chung ’16 and Satish Varma ’10 to help with event programming and alumni engagement. They are serving alongside continuing board members Carol Henry ’00, Rolando Manzo ’16, Denise Ellison ’17, Erika Haendel Weiss ’02 and Pamela Ng ’00.

The club hosted a wide range of events, from personal development workshops such as Designing Your Life led by Matthew Temple ’93 to touring faculty members promoting their new books (Professor Tim Calkins, Professor Nicholas Pearce with Chip Bailey ’87, and Professor Adam Waytz) to panel events featuring alumni who shared their startup journeys (Sid Shah ’09 and Jen Beall Saxton ’10, moderated by Sam Lee ’09) to social activities such as a joint happy hour with the Law alumni club and the second annual Women’s Brunch co-hosted alongside HBS Association of Southern California.

The board is excited to work with the KACLA community to bring you insightful and valuable events! Anyone interested in getting more involved or who has suggestions for future events should contact the club’s president, Pamela Ng ’00 or other board members.

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New York

The Kellogg Alumni Club of New York held its Spring Women’s Network event, "Lessons Learned from Kellogg Women: A Panel Discussion about Seeking Balance, Finding Fulfillment, and (Re) Defining Success.” An impressive panel of C-level Kellogg women shared how they’ve navigated their professional and personal lives post-Kellogg. Joud Abdel Majeid ’10, managing director and chief operating officer of BlackRock Solutions; Natasha Deckmann ’03, chief executive officer of CarePoint Health; Vimla Gupta ’97, chief marketing officer of Equinox; and Annetta Hewko ’88, principal of Hewko & Associates, comprised the panel, moderated by Beth Smith-Korn ’92, principal of Beth Korn Executive Coaching and a Kellogg Alumni Career & Professional Development coach. Over 60 women attended the event held at the Girl Scouts Headquarters, where Angela Olden ’88 serves as its chief financial officer. The club continues to build out programming for Kellogg women in the New York area, headed up by the Women’s Network co-chairs Humaira Arifin ’13, Tiffany Chen ’17 and Barbara Golub ’87.

A highly successful panel event covering important issues in cybersecurity was co-hosted by Kellogg Alumni Club of NY and Northwestern Law Alumni Club of NYC. It marked the first collaboration between the two alumni organizations. With over 60 attendees, the evening was engaging, informative and highly relevant! The panel included market experts and entrepreneurs who provided their insights on a topic that is becoming more and more critical to so many of today’s businesses. The panel was moderated by David Kimmel ’90 and distinguished speakers included Sherrese Smith JD ’96, Tsafrir Oranski ’03 and Scott M. Kannry, JD/MBA ’11. The event was led by Ally Golan ’09, VP of entrepreneurship for the Kellogg Alumni Club of NY, and Erin Millender JD ’05, co-chair of the Northwestern Law Alumni Club of NYC.

The Kellogg Alumni Club of New York also held its first social impact event in June with more than 30 alumni attending to learn about mobilizing capital to address critical social and environmental challenges while generating financial returns. Organized by Ethan Stambler ’01, the evening included a robust panel discussion with Kellogg alumni active in various aspects of the impact sector, including Jane Bieneman ’95, Christine Elbert ’94 and Scott Lechky ’09. Megan Kashner ’03, clinical assistant professor in Kellogg's Public-Private Interface and director of Social Impact, provided an update on social impact activity at Kellogg, and Sam Schiller ’19 presented his team's carbon yield pitch, which won this year's Kellogg Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investment Challenge. The club looks forward to building on this event with additional social impact programming. To reach Megan Kashner’s social impact team, email

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The Kellogg Alumni Club of Russia held its first official meeting in 2018. We have more than 30 alumni participating from all over the world and we are looking to engage even more. Our current alumni are from Kellogg, Kellogg-HKUST, Kellogg-Shulich, Kellogg-Recanati and of course Kellogg-WHU EMBA. The next meeting will take place in Belorussia.

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San Diego

The big news in San Diego (KACSD): mirroring the Padres front office, the Kellogg Alumni Club of San Diego traded its founder and co-president, Karlo Teran ’09 to the Kellogg Alumni Club of Mexico City for a social chair and a minor league co-president. The arrangement is soccer-like in that Karlo will return to KACSD after his "friendly" schedule concludes some time past his prime. KACSD is a member of MBAsd, an association of alumni groups representing a dozen peer business schools. MBAsd hosts a monthly happy hour on the third Thursday. The club often benefits from being included in other events organized by those clubs for their members, and routinely coordinates with the NU Club for events such as plays and the recent appearance of the Wildcats at the Holiday Bowl.

Each year, KACSD plans at least one special event. Last year, the event was a pre-game chat probing the business of minor league sports with the president and marketing lead of the San Diego Gulls, the farm team of NHL's Anaheim Ducks. This year, the club hosted a dynamic speaker panel at the brand new $80 million Prebys Performing Arts Center in La Jolla. The event sponsor, The Lancer Group (a specialized PE executive search firm), went over the top in arranging speakers, securing the venue, provisioning Snake Oil's craft cocktails and even orchestrating the live-streaming of the event! The four panelists, who addressed the topic of "Leadership & Value Creation," currently work in private equity as investors, operators and buy-side advisors and have prior experience as consultants, investment bankers and board members in high-growth and mature industries.

KACSD welcomes any alumni visiting or residing in this giant cul-de-sac known as San Diego County to subscribe to its email list (via your Kellogg alumni profile on Our Northwestern), to join its LinkedIn or Facebook groups, to reach out, and to attend an upcoming event (there's always a happy hour next month!).

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San Francisco Bay Area

The Kellogg Alumni Club of SF Bay Area has had a great year hosting several successful events, launching new programs and welcoming three recent graduates to the board. The club also benefited from having several Kellogg professors visit, providing insight into their work and sharing their passion.

A few notes on some of the events: Matthew Temple, Kellogg’s director of Alumni Career & Professional Development, hosted a workshop on Designing Your Life and provided alumni with the tools to shake things up and make their career and life fit better together. Ninety-one alumni attended this high-energy, interactive workshop where people shared their stories, identified their passions and helped focus on activities that energize rather than drain them. The event received great feedback from recent graduates to senior managers.

Professor Nicholas Pearce and Lara Balazs, chief marketing officer at Intuit, had a highly entertaining and thought-provoking fireside chat on Prof. Pearce’s book, The Purpose Path. The discussion centered on how individuals can build a meaningful career with a moral center and a purpose in the world. The talk highlighted how each person can identify the purpose behind why we do what we do, help people connect their soul with their role by asking five key questions to define success, and evaluate personal progress. The event was attended by over 80 alumni and received great feedback on the lively discussion.

Mark Andersen ’92, who is part of the BATS improv community, hosted a seminar on the basics of improv and how the principles can be applied to a professional and social context. Through a variety of games and improv concepts, attendees learned how to think on their feet, reduce fear of failure and have a bit of fun in the process. Due to overwhelming demand, the club will be looking to plan additional improv events in the future.

In addition to larger events, such as the JMP healthcare event with Professor Craig Garthwaite, the club has rolled out a new small group dinner series to bring alumni together around common topics and interests. The first event sold out promptly, the conversation was sizzling like the fajitas and guests left energized to host their own small-group dinners in the future. Alumni in the Bay Area interested in hosting a small-group event should contact the club for planning details.

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South Florida

The Kellogg Alumni Club of South Florida welcomed three new board members this year: Vice President Veronica Smith ’11, Treasurer Prithi Ramakrishnan ’14 and Vice President of Events Benito Besada ’18. The club’s new president is Felipe Conill ’16.

The club’s goals for this year are to formalize board positions, develop a signature event and increase engagement within the local alumni populations. The club started the year with an event to promote alumni career development, formalizing board roles, member responsibilities and establishing event runbooks. Smith’s message: “I joined the club seven years after graduation. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect, I attended a board call and I started having a familiar feeling, and I thought, ‘This feels right.’ After joining the board, I was then assigned the vice president role. A couple of months later, I attended the Leadership Summit and the 2019 Kellogg Reunion in Chicago, which was great, and as I was looking down at the sea of purple I thought, “For certain many things in our careers will change, but Kellogg is forever … welcome back home.’ I hope my story inspires you to support your local chapter.”

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The Kellogg Sydney Club hosted a breakfast event at the Bain & Company offices in Sydney, featuring a presentation by Rob Marcolina ’99, group executive strategy, transformation, innovation & technology at Qantas. Attended by 20 alumni, the event was one of several speaker and social events hosted by the club in Sydney. For more information on the Sydney club, contact Kuba Tymula ’08, club chair:

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The Kellogg Alumni Club of Wisconsin finished its 2018-2019 event year with an outstanding June presentation by Kent Grayson, associate professor of marketing, at Northwestern Mutual titled, “Trust in Your Organization and in the Marketplace.” The discussion built on Dr. Grayson’s leadership of Northwestern’s Trust Project.

In March, as part of an onsite tour and dinner at Strattec Security Corporation, Frank Krejci, president, and Adam Gerstmeier ’18 offered insights about the global market growth for locks, key and access control products in the automotive industry.

At April’s CEO breakfast, Stephanie Pugliese, president of Duluth Trading Company, described the history and expansion plans of this casual, lifestyle brand of outdoor and workwear. Of note, Stephen Schlecht ’70 is executive chairman of this exciting niche retail business. Planning has begun for fall programming with exploration of events focused on women in the CEO suite.

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Gulf Cooperation Council

The Kellogg Alumni Club for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is based in Dubai and has been re-invigorated with a plethora of new events and opportunities to connect with new and old friends alike.

The year started off in January with the Northwestern Connect get-together at the Café Belge at the Ritz Carlton DIFC. Kellogg alumni were joined by Northwestern alumni to celebrate the occasion. In February, the club participated in an event with the Chicago Booth Alumni Club in which a professor gave a master class on the lessons learned 10 years after the financial crisis. To further consolidate the relationship with Chicago Booth, GCC co-organized the first outdoor joint alumni event: a “Polo brunch” at the terrace of the Desert Palm hotel, which was very well attended and included plenty of families.

In March, club member Lucy Chow ’00 was a speaker at the Catalyzers VC event that was organized by the London Business School, and which had some Kellogg alumni in attendance as well. Another great event took place in April, where Kellogg joined forces with Wharton and INSEAD to rent out a large yacht and cruise through the beautiful sunset to enjoy views of the Dubai skyline while having a good time. Finally, additional get-together opportunities occurred in May, where Kellogg was invited by alumni organizations from other leading business schools to share in four separate joint Ramadan iftar and suhoor events. Formal events are mixed with spontaneous get-togethers. For example, Kellogg alumni on business travel met for dinner in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Kellogg alumni also participated in the Ras al Khaimah Half Marathon.

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Kellogg Executive Women's Network

In early 2019, The Kellogg Executive Women’s Network (KEWN), in conjunction with Alumni Relations, made a concerted effort to ensure all alumnae for whom a valid email address was on record in the greater Chicago area were included in the KEWN email database. KEWN is excited to welcome these additional alumnae to its network, one of the largest among all Kellogg clubs.

In February, Matthew Temple, Kellogg’s director of Alumni Career & Professional Development, led a “Designing Your Life Workshop” for KEWN alumnae. This interactive workshop encouraged participants to take a design thinking approach to careers and life. Design thinking is a mindset that includes radical collaboration, reframing, curiosity, mindfulness of process and a bias toward action. Designers build their way forward; they don’t wait for epiphanies on mountain tops.

In the ensuing weeks, follow-ups to this program were conducted to reinforce the concepts. In March, Gwen Cohen ’82, wealth advisor at Morgan Stanley, led an informative and interactive program, “Women and Wealth - How to Preserve What You Treasure.” This was the second in a series of programs addressing the importance for women to identify and prioritize their financial goals at every life stage and then build a personalized plan that maximizes the probability of achieving those goals for themselves and those they treasure, however life unfolds.

In May, KEWN held one of its most popular signature events, wine tasting. This was the 11th year for this event and a record number of guests were in attendance. The tasting was held in the Moen Showroom at the Merchandise Mart, with The Artisan Cellar providing food and wine, and a sommelier from Alinea discussing the wines offered. Given the amount of wine consumed and the energy in the room, it’s safe to say the experience was enjoyed by all!

KEWN continued its partnership with the Union League Club’s author’s program. The highlight of the program was meeting Valerie Jarrett, the longest-serving senior advisor in the Obama White House. Ms. Jarrett discussed her book, Finding My Voice.

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