On April 6, it was announced that William Strong joined Anzu Partners as a partner to spearhead strategic transactions as the firm continues to expand. He will also join the Anzu Investment Committee. Anzu Partners is an investment firm that focuses on industrial and life science technology companies with the potential to transform their industries.
Mike Blyth is driving AI and ML capabilities in the new world of intelligence exchanges. He says data exchanges are passé, and startups provide an unmeasured level of intensity. It’s very rewarding! Still in Evanston after all these years with a growing set of grandchildren. He’s happy to hear from any locals.
After working in HR and retained search for just under 50 years, Alfred Kloss has moved from Lake Bluff, Illinois, to Garden Prairie. He is enjoying the country life with two dogs and plenty of fresh air. His new home is on three landscaped acres. He has two daughters and two grandsons.
The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association announced the appointment of Martha McGuire, EVP of First Bank Chicago, to ELFA’s Business Council Steering Committee. “Being elected to the council is an honor, and I look forward to serving with other ELFA members,” McGuire says. “I am particularly gratified given ELFA is the national association for leasing professionals. This is an exciting opportunity to represent the interests of financial institutions to the sector’s broader constituencies.”
Emory Williams and his family recently moved from Beijing to Marin County, after 23 years in China. His oldest son, John, will be working towards a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering starting in September.
Indira Christie was recognized as a Woman Leader in New Canaan, Connecticut. She was interviewed and featured on Episode 15 of Women Leaders of New Canaan on NCTV79. Indira discusses leadership qualities, raising a family and being an entrepreneur. Indira is “honored to be selected as one of the Women Leaders of New Canaan, Connecticut, offering perspective and guidance to women of all ages.” Watch the interview on https://youtu.be/1iWxQ_rc-VA.
Kim Greenfield Alfonso is co-founder and chief executive officer of Results One LLC, a training, mediation services and digital accessibility testing minority and certified women-owned business. Results One offers diversity, equity and inclusion training. This includes unconscious bias training, focus group facilitation, climate/organizational assessment surveys and prevention of sexual harassment training. Additionally, Results One offers digital accessibility training and testing for websites, mobile apps and PDFs to ensure digital content is accessible to people with disabilities.
In February, Marvin Irby was appointed to serve on the board of directors of Children International. In March, he was also selected to serve on the board of directors of PBS.
Tom Loeffler has retired as deputy treasurer of Citizens Financial Group. After living in Boston for 25 years, he and his wife, Betsy, are looking to move somewhere they will find warmer weather, lots of golf and frequent visits from their daughter, Bryn, 29, and son, Walker, 27.
Jeff King has stayed active in the Kellogg Network as the chairman of the 2021 Kellogg Leadership Symposium. This year’s symposium was virtual and global, using the new Hopin event platform. Jeff was able to work with Chip Bailey ’87 to find speakers and support in the West Coast. Other Kellogg folks that attended included Scott Brueggeman ’87 and Howard Getson ’87. The Symposium reached over 600 alumni and featured 40 outstanding leadership experts from the Kellogg network.
Lee Wright founded the nonprofit The Pursuit of History to engage adults in conversation about history and connect them with historic sites. When the nonprofit had to cancel its largest History Camp event last March, it quickly launched a weekly live-streamed discussion with notable authors. In August, The Pursuit of History produced a 12-hour live event with historic sites across the country.
Patrick Albright is now the chief development officer for NetCents, Inc. NetCents, Inc is a crypto transaction company based in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Stuart Kerr is missing all of his 4Q buddies and hopes they are all doing well. He is currently living in Florida with his wife, June, and trying to stay out of trouble.
David Rohal has moved from Denver, Colorado, to Davis, California, to join the Sierra Railroad Company as corporate vice president, special projects. Sierra is smaller and more innovative than most railroads and recently announced a project to build a hydrogen-powered locomotive.
Bill Zeeb is grateful for a second year of triple-digit growth for Infinitas, coaching successful leaders for collaboration, growth and performance. Thanks to Zoom, he is on track to ski 100 days this season, which he sees as essential self-care to keep his batteries charged to help others. Last year, he was recognized as one of 24 Master Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Center Coaches globally. He wishes his Kellogg classmates well.
Katie Lacey was recently named to the Designer Protein board of directors. Designer Protein is a leading sports, nutrition and active lifestyle brand.
After retiring four years ago and traveling the world, Joel Bosch and husband, Allan Haze, have settled in Valencia, Spain. They welcome visitors.
In November 2020, Todd Goldman, Chris (Christopher) Balough ’94, and Robin Yoshimura ’94 produced a Zoom concert by Naoko Kasai. It was attended by over 40 classmates and featured the works of Chopin, Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, Ravel and Kozaburo Hirai. Takeshi Kasai ’94 and Naoko Kasai will host their sixth annual concert live in Mountain View on November 20, 2021. The entire Kellogg community is invited to attend.
Just before the pandemic began, Alejandro Olabarria moved from Spain to Switzerland, where two of his sons, Nicolas and Daniel, are studying economics at the University of Zurich. He looks forward to his wife, Cristina, and his youngest, Lucas, joining them there and hopes the Kellogg community is healthy.
Mario Manzocchi turned 60 this year and is still in great shape. Over the last 10 years, Mario has worked as an entrepreneur and engineering consultant on several projects, focusing on renewable energy and public transportation. He recently accepted a full-time position as a senior project manager for a leading engineering consultancy based in Zurich.
After graduating from Kellogg, Tom McNulty moved to Houston, Texas, and he still lives there today. He is a principal with ValueScope Inc. He has been keeping busy doing ESG analytics and valuation work for many of his energy clients. His daughter, Megan, will be attending Texas A&M this fall.
Tim Smith was appointed CEO of Probax, an international data protection company operating in North America and Australia.
Alfredo Capote has become the most relevant SPAC sponsor and investor in Latin America. He has launched SPACs both in Mexico (the first SPAC listed on the Mexico Stock Exchange) and on NASDAQ. He recently finalized the IPO of Alpha Capital Acquisition Company. This is the first SPAC focused on providing later stage capital for technology companies in Latin America. His primary focus is on fintech, marketplace, e-commerce and SaaS. This will become the go-to sponsor to list Latin American tech companies on NASDAQ.
Rachel Fleishman still hails from Hong Kong but is planning to return to the U.S. this year. In the meantime, she is speaking on climate security and helping launch Carbonless Asia, a platform connecting corporations with ambitious carbon targets, tech startups and investors. Reach out to Rachel if you hear of opportunities at the forefront of carbon and climate, or if you’re in Hong Kong and want to catch up over a hike, a glass of wine or both!
Tom Hawkins founded Forté Ventures in 2012 and recently held a successful initial closing on the firm’s $150 million Fund III. With offices in Atlanta (HQ) and Silicon Valley, Forté Ventures is a multi-stage venture capital firm that collaborates and co-invests with corporate strategic partners in technology companies across diversified industry sectors throughout the U.S. and Canada. Initial investments range between $2 million to $5 million, and investor syndicates include leading corporate strategic partners as co-investors.
Michael Gillam has retired after a 43-year career in the transportation engineering consulting business. He and his wife of 41 years, Beverly, have homes in Orlando, Florida, and Franklin, Tennessee. In retirement they plan to continue to visit their four children, seven grandchildren and other family and friends; travel internationally; volunteer with their favorite charity (Samaritan’s Purse); and continue to develop their land in Tennessee.
David Kirshenbaum, a managing director at Chicago-based Virtas Partners, was recently appointed to be a TIGER 21 chair. This group is the Chicago region’s third peer-to-peer group to be formed. Additionally, David recently taught a Kellogg class for Zell Fellows that focused on venture capital and independent sponsor money raising.
Catalyst Ranch, a creative meeting and event space in Chicago’s West Loop founded by Eva Niewiadomski, recently celebrated its 18-year anniversary. It was a challenge to remain in business during 2020 as face-to-face meetings and events came to a halt, leading the venue to shut down for most of the year. Although Eva had to relinquish some leases, she was able to retain a portion of the original space and add a new lofted space, two doors east of the original location.
April Wright has directed two critically acclaimed documentaries: Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace, featuring Leonard Maltin, and Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story, with executive producer Michelle Rodriguez.
In 2020, Julie Novack, CEO and co-founder of PartySlate, received $5 million in Series A funding. PartySlate is a photo-rich platform, used to inspire event planners and connect them with leading event professionals and venues. PartySlate has $11 million in total funding to date, and in the last five years, PartySlate has raised the third-most funding of all Chicago-based, women-founded companies.
Despite COVID-19’s impact on the real estate capital markets, Greg closed several large equity financings on behalf of clients. He varied the engagement mix of both development and acquisition financing and increased the number of clients across asset classes. Today, Greg is engaged to raise capital on behalf of student, multifamily, manufactured housing, medical office and self-storage clients. Greg runs the nationwide capital markets business from his office in Southern California.
Juliann Larimer led the successful sale of Peak-Ryzex from Keystone Capital to Sole Source Capital in March 2021. In 2018, Larimer was named CEO of Peak-Ryzex, a mid-market technology systems integrator focusing on digital supply chain and mobile workforce solutions. During her tenure, the company secured the largest customer win on record, grew EBITDA over 25% and increased enterprise value by over 50%. She is most proud of the culture work her team achieved via the 32% improvement in eNPS in 2020 during the pandemic.
Ken Bower is the CEO of Clayton Financial Group (CFG), a nationally known wealth management firm that recently surpassed $1.1 billion in managed assets. CFG serves successful families in 32 states – including two families within an hour of campus.
After over 17 years of engagement, Ariane Gorin and Frederic Halley ’97 tied the knot in August 2020 in Cabourg, France. Given global travel restrictions, it was an intimate ceremony. In the many scenarios they had imagined their wedding, never once had they expected to have a Zoom wedding
Annette Kaempf-Dern is a professor of management of facility services at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences. Following appointments at HafenCity University Hamburg and Bauhaus University Weimar, she is back in her hometown where she works in the Department of Architecture, Civil Engineering, Geomatics. Her focus in research and teaching students in real estate and facility management programs is on strategic and operative management topics and project, process, HR and workspace management.
Elly Andriopoulou has been appointed president and managing director of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, a sustainable, world-class cultural, educational and recreational urban complex. It was designed by Renzo Piano and includes the facilities of the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera. It is situated within the 42-acre Stavros Niarchos Park in Athens, Greece.
In March, Martha Wofford was named president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island. After a decade at Aetna, and nearly seven years at DaVita, helping lead the company’s shift to value-based care, Wofford says, “I’m thrilled to be joining Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island at this incredibly dynamic time to work with providers and the community to passionately lead a state of health and well-being across Rhode Island.”
Steve Weiland took a new role at Caterpillar as division CFO of the integrated components and solutions division. He left his prior role as division CFO of the Cat digital division. He sits on the board of one of the division’s JVs and the UIUC Technology & Management Program. Steve and his family have relocated back to Peoria, Illinois, from Lake Forest, moving into a home that is five houses away from where they lived three years earlier. His wife, Meegan, and kids, Will, 12, Amelia, 10, and Olivia, 10, are doing well and having fun reconnecting with old friends.
Gabriel Sussman is president of the real estate developing company building La Mansa. La Mansa is a new city with capacity for 13,000 people located strategically near the famous beachside city of Pinamar in Buenos Aires, Argentina. La Mansa is expected to be the most important real estate development project in Argentina in the coming years. It will include shopping malls, universities, colleges, international hotels and residential areas together with high-end amenities and world-class levels of sustainable construction.
Kevin Kan joined McKinsey after graduation in 2009. Yet, he chose to leave McKinsey after just over two years. He now is happily employed in the video game industry and spends his free time living on the island of Puerto Rico.
Andres de Lucca is leading product for WAAVE Technologies Inc, a trailblazing fintech startup bringing fiat-crypto payments to the cannabis industry. Launched in early 2021, WAAVE has grown to serve over 50 clients throughout the U.S. He also heads NW Lights, a product management consulting practice bringing expertise to startups and nonprofit organizations focused on building and launching effective SaaS products.
Ken Merritt has joined Korn Ferry as a senior client partner in the firm’s organizational strategy practice. Ken has expertise across a range of industries and serves on the board of directors for nonprofit organizations and a private operating company. He is currently based out of the Washington, D.C., metro area.
Deb Roberts has launched Embryo Connections, an embryo donation concierge, to help those with remaining embryos from IVF donate to intended parents struggling to have children of their own. The national donation program has grown to nearly 100 fertility practices in just two years and has helped create many new families across the country. This program manages the clinical and logistic requirements to secure the donations for transfer, while empowering donors and recipients to choose what is right for their family.
George Webb is the CEO of Pension & Wealth Management Advisors, a boutique wealth management and advisory firm based in Boston. The firm recently added three new advisors in response to its substantial business growth. The company has tripled in size over the last two years, due to referrals from existing clients and added capabilities. The firm has established an asset management and M&A advisory capability to seamlessly assist business owners on all aspects of maximizing their wealth creation opportunities.
Katharine Leonard has expanded her role as CEO. Her company 92ndStreet Design is now Sōhe Studio. Pronounced “sew,” it will continue its legacy of fabricating luxury products for the private aviation, commercial and high-end residential markets, while offering a wider array of bespoke soft goods, Italian textiles, Mongolian cashmere and woven carpets from Nepal.
Bo Sandine married his sweetheart, now Anna Zhao Sandine, on February 28, 2021, at Trinity on the Green in New Haven, Connecticut. The brief ceremony was limited to immediate family. The newlyweds plan to honeymoon in Maine and Northern New England late this summer. They hope to host a celebration this fall, which will surely include some Kellogg friends!
In 2020, Beth Anne Demeter received Sellstate’s coveted Diamond Award for residential real estate sales production. This is now the sixth time Beth Anne has received a corporate award and the second time she has received a Diamond Award. Beth Anne was also recognized for her contribution to education, including mentoring new agents and teaching certification and continuing education classes for agents. She enjoys helping people move to the Denver area and serves on several Denver-based real estate boards.
Joao Kleber Cardoso joined Aura Minerals, a public gold mining company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, in early 2019 and soon became its CFO. Aura Minerals has assets in several countries in the Americas, including in Brazil and in the United States. In 2020, he led the company through two equity public offerings in Brazil, which raised over $170 million between the primary and secondary offerings. Aura Minerals is a dual-listed company and the first gold mining company listed on a Brazilian stock exchange.
Lorena Sanchez Garcia joined Rappi, the Latin American unicorn, as a global managing director for a new vertical called Dragon. She will continue growing e-commerce, payments and logistics in the region.
Andrew Lim, his wife, Jennifer, and daughter, Zoey, 2, welcomed their second daughter, Mina, on February 25, 2020.
Fahim Naim recently sold his e-commerce startup to an industry-leading public company. He credits his exit to opportunities to his experiences, network and confidence developed at Kellogg.
Genia and her husband, Tim Yovankin, MD, founded Greywood Health Center, an innovative behavioral health day hospital for adolescents and young adults. The first Greywood location opened its doors in the fall of 2020 in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Additional locations are already in the works. The pair also welcomed their son, Emmett James, in October of 2019.
Aftab Khanna and his JV, Yashika, welcomed their second child, Aarav, on December 17, 2020. Aarav joins his elder sister, Ariya, 5, as a potential future Kellogg alumnus and helps to complete the Khanna family. Aftab and Yashika eagerly look forward to revisiting Evanston with their kids and reliving their memories again.
Kevin Kohlstedt and his wife, Karly, welcomed their daughter, Avery, to the world in August 2020. In early 2021, Avery helped edit, package and ship copies of her dad’s first published children’s book, Bizy Buddies Explore Digestion. The Bizy Buddies are a diverse cast of characters that help kids learn about healthy habits and inclusivity.
Arjita Shrimali started The Desi Bride, a platform connecting couples planning South Asian weddings to vendors catering to the dynamic needs of Desi weddings. When she got married (she met her husband at Kellogg), the process of finding vendors was opaque and unnecessarily difficult. She started the platform to make vendor selection easier and less time consuming and help businesses grow.
Luke Otto was promoted to engagement manager at Kenway Consulting in January 2021.
Last summer, Michelle Ross (Wright) married her fearless KWEST leader, Mike Ross ’18 in a small ceremony. In February 2021, she quit her corporate job to co-found COSMO Technology, a kids wearables company. Reconnecting with fellow Kellogg classmates and alumni who went through Zell and/or launched startups has been the early highlight of her year.
Allison (Yang) Murn was named 2021 Faculty of the Year at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Business. Allison teaches marketing to MBA and undergraduate students at Carlson. She also leads Carlson’s digital marketing program.
In the CFO Tech Outlook December 2020 issue, Company Stride Accounting Solutions, founded by Rupal Patel, was rated among the Top 10 Financial Control and Automation Consulting/Service Companies of 2020.
Debbie Brin Leon and her husband, Jesus Leon, welcomed their son, Maxwell Griffin Leon, into the world on March 9, 2021. All are well and enjoying life as a family of three.
After spending a few years as a capital markets lawyer in NYC and London, Tathyane Vosgerau has decided to use her Kellogg knowledge to start her own gluten-free frozen bread company, Gifted Breads. Although gluten-free, Gifted Breads tastes, feels and smells like regular bread. Gifted Breads is now available at Whole Foods.
Bob Grisson and his wife, Allison, have had an eventful start to 2021. They welcomed their fourth child, Isabelle Olivia, in February. Bob is accepting a new position as finance director of Regional School District 4 in Deep River, Connecticut. The family is looking forward to raising their children and working within their hometown community.
Glenn Leonardo Yancy ’19 and Rebekah Joy (Ward) welcomed their first child, Penelope Joy Yancy, on January 15, 2021. They look forward to sharing their fond Kellogg memories with her and taking her to NU football games starting in the fall. Penelope is truly the brightest light of their lives.
Rachmani Domersant is CEO of Rosh International, a firm that helps purposeful philanthropists, foundations and companies convert vision into disciplined social initiatives. He creates opportunities for meaningful improvement in the lives of underserved populations both nationally and internationally. An inspirational leader, trusted adviser and respected academic professor, Rachmani brings innovative approaches, practical experiences and sustainable solutions to solving social issues.
Joe Garrett was recently promoted to chief of staff of national accounts and West region at Anthem, Inc. Anthem is the largest Blue Cross Blue Shield organization in the U.S. and insures 13% of the U.S. population.
David Cole is still working at RBC. He is no longer in London — where he was the head of corporate banking in RBC Capital Markets for Europe and Australia — but is now in Toronto as vice chairman of the RBC Enterprise Strategic Client Group.
Dave Lumley, former CEO of Spectrum brands, is now retired. Dave has launched a new consulting business, Dolphin Consulting LLC. Formerly in Middleton, Wisconsin, Dave now resides in Montecito, California.
After 40 years of engineering and manufacturing experiences, Nick Cray established Operations Excellence, LLC in 2020. Operations Excellence, LLC aims to assist small and midsized manufacturers in developing and implementing operational improvements. Located in Madison, Wisconsin, and serving Midwestern clients, Nick is excited about growing his business by helping more clients achieve improved profitability. He is thankful for the general management education received at Kellogg and the valuable support of his study group. He is active in the NU Alumni Club in Madison and enjoys networking.
In her latest venture, veteran entrepreneur Darlene Ziebell advises independent business owners on becoming leading CEOs. Included in her initiatives are podcasts, online courses, startup checklists and books. Her latest book, A Dozen Avalanches Threaten Small Business, provides insight on 12 key challenges entrepreneurs face that are typically not discussed in business media, journals, startup guides or MBA case studies.
Chris Martinez retired from the corporate and management consulting world to advance his personal commitment to social justice. As the need for housing stability has grown, Chris decided to focus his daily professional endeavors working to end homelessness as chief operating officer of Housing Forward, a nonprofit based in Maywood and Oak Park, Illinois.
Steve Greenspon founded Honey-Can-Do while enrolled at Kellogg. Honey-Can-Do was recently named on the Crain’s Chicago list of the top 100 “Best Places to Work.” Many features of the company’s outstanding culture were learned from the late Kellogg professor, Keith Murnighan.
Steve also ran into Sam Cirone ’09 while in line for tacos outside of the Chicago 19th District Police Station. Sam is currently a homicide police sergeant responsible for the North Side of Chicago. Steve sells coat hangers and laundry hampers at Honey-Can-Do.
Purvee Kondal has been appointed to be an advisory board member for the Sourcing Industry Group. She joined Albertsons Companies as a senior leader for technology and engineering sourcing. Purvee has been appointed as an advisory board member of RampRate.
Jody Richards was recently named EY Entrepreneur of the Year, East Central Winner.
Brian Smith has recently transitioned from helping companies hire military veterans, which he did for the past 10 years, to working as a realtor in South Florida. He recently helped a Kellogg graduate purchase a home in a very challenging seller’s market.
Joseph Obiri recently joined Nestle USA as vice president of global sales over its largest retail customer, Walmart and Sam's Club. He previously was a senior director at PepsiCo. He plans to continue to leverage his Kellogg experience and network as he works for the world’s largest consumer product goods company at Nestle.
Shontra Powell has launched Red Zone Fleet Services, a mobile on-site fleet maintenance and repair business. Red Zone Fleet Services helps keep businesses’ fleets of vehicles ready to meet the demands of moving goods. Red Zone Fleet Services serves fleet breakdowns for businesses in Southwest Florida.
Commander John D. John, commanding officer of the U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS ROSS (DDG 71), began his 10th deployment on April 9, 2021. In this deployment he participates in maritime security operations in the North Atlantic Ocean.
David Kalainov has maintained his ties to Kellogg as a faculty member of NUventions Medical. NUventions Medical is a business course focused on healthcare startups for Northwestern students from the schools of medicine, business, law and engineering.
Sasha Seco Alvarez has been promoted to vice president of Moss Construction’s Fort Lauderdale office. Sasha, a 16-year veteran with Moss, most recently served as the construction management firm’s director of business applications. “Sasha is someone who, from her first day at Moss, embraced our core values and continually demonstrated the qualities we look for in leadership,” said CEO Scott Moss.
Within months following his Kellogg Executive MBA graduation, Michael Labate joined the global software engineering giant, Intellias, as president of North America. When asked how much of the Kellogg academic and networking experience influenced his success, he says, “Each and every day, I recall lessons from my coursework and cohort experiences. The journey not only gave me the right tools, but also the right mindset toward taking on risk under uncertainty –and doing so during a pandemic! Only Kellogg can do that.”
On the day of graduation, Sidhartha Chakravarty was offered an opportunity to join Conifer Health Solutions to lead digital transformation for patient services. In February, Sidhartha took on a new role to lead automation and artificial intelligence. Currently, he is establishing and implementing an enterprise-wide AI strategy to help the firm scale and become more competitive.
Adan Sierra and Rodrigo Zuloaga ’20 raised the first traditional search fund out of Kellogg’s EMBA program, Lionfield Capital. The firm is based out of Key Biscayne, Florida, and will search all across the U.S. for an outstanding platform to operate and grow.
In December 2020, Ronen Shay received his PhD in international relations and European studies from Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. His paper, “Cross-Cultural Understanding of Contemporary Global Multicultural Workforce,” dealt with the Eilat project between Israel and Jordan.
Bobby Sahni was recently elected to the Hockey Canada Board of Directors. As a lifelong fan of hockey with childhood aspirations to represent his country, he is now living his dream of “playing” for Team Canada — only in the boardroom instead of on the ice. Bobby is on a mission to help grow the game of hockey for all Canadians, especially among multicultural and new immigrant communities.
As of March 1, 2021, Robert Palmer is the new CEO of the Association of Change Management Professionals, a nonprofit professional association dedicated to serving as an independent and trusted source of professional excellence. ACMP advocates for the discipline of change management and creates a thriving global community of change leaders and change management practitioners. Established in 2011, ACMP is growing rapidly and has members and chapters all over the world.