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Class Notes: Fall 2021

Friday, October 8, 2021

Let your classmates know what you’ve been up to since graduation. Submit a class note for publication in the alumni magazine.

Note: While we welcome alumni news, the Carlson School does not verify Class Note submissions and is not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained in Class Notes.

1980s

Patrick McHale, ’83 BSB, retired in June 2021 as CEO of Graco, a role he served in since 2007.

Mark Sheahan, ’86 BSB, started a new role as CEO of Graco.

Tom Neu, ’86 BSB, ’08 MBA, was promoted to director, US and Canada, cleaning and workplace safety at 3M.

Gary Gaspar, ’88 BSB, ’94 MBA, was named board chair of Avera Health. Gaspar has served on the board since 2016.

Jean Taylor, ’88 MBA, was named CEO of American Public Media Group (APMG), the parent company of Minnesota Public Radio. Taylor has served on the board of APMG since 2013. She is also a board member for the Minnesota Zoo Foundation. Formerly, she was board chair of the Star Tribune and a member of the Carlson School’s Board of Advisors.
 

1990s

Chuck Tryon, ’90 MBA, is the new president of Bushel Boy Farms.

Michael Rabinowitz, ’90 MBA, is the new chief commercial officer of Oramed Pharmaceuticals.

Kevin Fimon, ’91 BSB, has been appointed to the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees.

Kathy Reilly, ’95 BSB, started a new position as vice president of marketing and innovation at Prestige Beverage Group.

Deborah L. Kidder, ’96 PhD, was named dean of the D. Abbott Turner College of Business at Columbus State University.

Hunter Westbrook, ’96 MBA, was promoted to president and CEO of HomeTrust Bank.

Tim Boe, ’97 MBA, was promoted to vice president, license management services at Informatica.

Mark Perry, ’97 MBA, started a new position as senior director for the Strategic Transformation, Customer Experience Chief Technology Office at Cisco.

Kristine Boedigheimer, ’99 BSB, ’07 MBA, started a new position as talent solutions executive and co-founder at Brillect.

Dawn Rasmussen, ’99 MBA, has been appointed senior vice president for marketing, R&D, insights, and culinary at Ventura Foods.
 

2000s

Brendon Schrader, ’01 MBA, was selected a “2021 Notable Executive in Marketing” by Twin Cities Business magazine.

Kenneth Jones, ’03 MBA, has been named the CEO of Northwest Medical Center in South Florida.

Mark Josephs, ’03 MBA, started a new position as partner/LPL financial advisor at TrueVision Financial Advisors.

Karl Svendsen, ’03 BSB, is now a supply chain manager at Jøtul.

Aaron Browne, ’04 BSB, started a new position as director of advanced practice providers at University of Minnesota Physicians.

Debbi Honey, ’04 MHA, senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Covenant Health, has been named a fellow in the American Organization for Nursing Leadership.

Theresa Mertz, ’04 MBA, started a new position as vice president at Empire Bucket Inc.

Emily Weidemann, ’04 BSB, ’12 MBA, was promoted to director of customer strategy at General Mills.

Rachel Behm, ’05 BSB, launched a new skincare line, Layers. The 20-product lineup uses microbiome science and a holistic approach to achieve healthy skin. After nearly a decade building brands with Johnson & Johnson, Behm joined Ignite Venture Studio, an accelerator focused on health and beauty, which helped her launch Layers in spring 2021.

Brian Durmaskin, ’05 BSB, was promoted to vice president, healthcare corporate accounts at Ecolab.

Eric Jing, ’05 MBA, was named to the Environmental, Societal, and Corporate Governance (ESG) Council of CNBC’s new franchise Sustainable Future. The group of 35 C-suite business leaders will offer insight into challenges and opportunities in building a sustainable future to the cross-platform initiative, which includes reporting across channels and a new 30-minute feature show.

Jill Kokkinen, ’05 BSB, started a new position as global product marketing and commercialization manager at AkzoNobel Aerospace.

Jason Baskin, ’06 BSB, was promoted to director of corporate strategy at Hormel.

Joe Delgado, ’06 BSB, is the new chief financial officer at Preceptis Medical. He was inspired to join the medical industry after his daughter received a tube device in her ear.

Michelle Lejche, ’06 BSB, started a new role as chief risk officer at MidCountry Bank.

Jennifer Rusk, ’06 MBA, started a new role as director, global brand management, premium distinctive brand at Marriott.

Jordan Serre, ’06 BSB, was promoted to principal, business consulting at EY.

David Cloutier, ’07 MBA, started a new position as a business development representative at Refreshing USA.

Fabio Tenorio, ’07 MBA, executive director of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota, was named a policy adviser for the State of Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Michelle Anderson, ’09 MHRIR, was promoted to principal HR business partner at C.H. Robinson.

Michael Mather, ’09 BSB, was elected as a new shareholder of the law firm HKM. Mather has been with the firm since 2016.

Armetha Pihlstrom, ’09 BSB, started a new position as senior director of U.S. and Canada foodservice sales at Future Farm.
 

2010s

Adam Letson, ’10 BSB, was promoted to principal, TT Capital Partners at TripleTree.

Bru Mutebi, ’10 MBA, was promoted to product marketing lead at Facebook.

Matt Stoll, ’10 MBA, was named the director of marketing at Synerfuse.

Ted Bickel, ’11 MBA, was promoted to senior executive vice president of Colliers International. Bickel has been with the company since 2011.

Neelu Boddipalli, ’11 MBA, started a new position as vice president, head of strategy and business development, 3M Health Care at 3M. Boddipalli has been with the company since 2014.

Ana Hawkins, ’11 MBA, is now a strategy director at Medtronic.

Claire (Grasse) Mitchell, ’11 BSB, was promoted to senior manager, climate change and sustainability services at EY.

Dinghan Liu, ’12 BSB, started a new position as senior manager, OBR & MICE at Costa Crociere S.p.A.

Brittany Gowan, ’12 BSB, was promoted to senior HR program manager, institutional PMO at Ecolab.

Christina Sanfelippo, ’12 BSB, an attorney at Cozen O’Connor, co-authored an article centering on the Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA) published in Law 360.

Carolyn Watkins, ’12 BSB, ’18 MBA, started a new position as client strategist at Clockwork.

James Ross, ’13 BSB, started a new position at Simon Property Group as general manager of Concord Mills in Concord, NC. Ross has been with the company since 2013.

Joshua Sletten, ’13 BSB, started a new position as vice president of corporate development at Lakeland Industries.

Prathibha Varkey, ’13 MBA, has been named president of Mayo Clinic Health System. In her new role, Dr. Varkey, who is a board-certified physician and previously practiced at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, will lead the strategy and operations of the health system’s 17 hospitals and nearly 50 community clinics across Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Ryan Kromminga, ’14 BSB, started a new position as an associate at Northborne Partners.

Derek Krouch, ’14 BSB, was promoted to manager at Deloitte Consulting.

Deker Mathers, ’14 BSB, started a new position as head of business development at Essent Biologics.

Courtney O’Donnell Finley, ’14 BSB, started a new position as senior merchandise planner, Rugs & Window at Target. Finley has been with the company since 2014.

Marissa Szody, ’14 MBA, started a new position as regional vice president of operations at AdaptHealth.

Meghan Stiling, ’15 MBA, was promoted to chief digital officer at The Nerdery. Stiling has been with the organization since 2019.

Niandra Theiss, ’15 BSB, was promoted to manager consultant at Sogeti.

Anish Chandak, ’16 BSB, started a new position as operations associate, New Content Initiatives at Spotify.

Steven Kislenko, ’16 BSB, started a new position as audit manager at Deloitte. Kislenko has been with the firm since 2016.

Blake LaBathe, ’17 BSB, started a new position as an FP&A analyst at Orchard Homes.

Alisha Nelson, ’17 MBA, was promoted to customer experience service leader at 3M.

Jake Shoults, ’17 BSB, is now a systems analyst at Optum, helping to build the first cloud–based data repository for the company.

Kristen Resman, ’17 BSB, started a new position as lead, service design & operations at Parsley Health.

Melanie Vossberg, ’17 BSB, was promoted at NielsenIQ to an insights manager based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Morgan Weber, ’17 BSB, started a new position as commercial manager at Klarna.

Adrianne Wensman, ’17 BSB, was promoted to global product marketing manager, Aveda at The Estée Lauder Companies.

Heather Ambre, ’18 BSB, started a new position as category manager—Unilever, Natural Channel at Advantage Solutions.

Masa Afrafa, ’18 BSB, is now an FP&A lead at Flextock.

Monica Kemp, ’18 BSB, started a new position as chief of staff at FULLFILL, Inc.

Sydney Sturm, ’18 BSB, started a new position as digital account coordinator at Rokt.

Brooke Knoll, ’19 BSB, started a new position as on-air host and digital audience specialist at 91.9 Classical KC.

Melissa Markay, ’19 BSB, is now a development associate in principal gifts at the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, based in Palo Alto, CA.
 

2020s

John Reichert, ’20 MBA, was promoted to program manager II at Minnetronix, Inc. Reichert has been with the company since 2016.

Elizabeth West, ’20 BSB, started a new role as account management associate at Gartner.
 

2021 40 Under 40 Recognitions

The Carlson School is proud to congratulate the following alumni for being honored with a Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal 2021 40 Under 40 Award:

James E. Collins, ’10 MBA Greater Twin Cities United Way

Allyson Marie Delgado, ’08 BSB Merchology.com Jill Haspert, ’11 MBA Foxtrot Marketing Group

Mike Kelly, ’14 MBA U.S. Bancorp

Holly Matson Spaeth, ’06 BSB Polaris
 

Funding and Acquisitions

Two companies started when the founders were students at the Carlson School have reached important milestones in recent months.

In June 2021, Morning Consult, a research and polling firm based in Washington, DC, and co-founded by Michael Ramlet, ’09 BSB, raised $60 million in its Series B funding round. This investment brings the company’s valuation to more than $1 billion, giving the privately-held startup unicorn status. Ramlet, the company’s CEO, has said that the funding will be used to expand data collection capabilities and increase the number of countries in which it operates.

Mighty Spark, founded by Nick Beste, ’10 BSB, in 2008, was acquired by private equity firm Swander Pace Capital in May 2021. The move is intended to provide investment and leadership to help the company grow while maintaining its commitment to helping people in need. Beste remains on the board and has narrowed his focus to the company’s meal donations and community impact work.

In Memoriam

 

1940s

Roger Berger, ’48 BSB, passed away in March 2021.

 

1950s

Herbert Bernick, ’52 BSB, passed away in February 2021.

 

1960s

Bill Winter, ’63 BSB, passed away in March 2021.

George Hill, Jr., ’66 BSB, passed away in March 2021.

 

1970s

George “Spencer” Blakeslee, ’77 MHRIR, passed away in February 2021.

Dan Klint, ’79 MBA, passed away in July 2021.

 

Black and white photo of Carlson School staff member, Joyce Hegstrom
Joyce Hegstrom
Black and white photo of Former Carlson School faculty member Roger B. Upson
Roger B. Upson

Faculty and Staff

Former Carlson School faculty member Roger B. Upson unexpectedly passed away in June 2021. He joined the Finance Department in 1967 as a professor, the beginning of a more than 50-year relationship with the school. Upson, who served as associate dean (1972-78) and director of MBA programs (1978-83), is credited with the first national recruitment efforts for the Full-Time MBA Program and for helping to found the Carlson Executive MBA program. After leaving the faculty to join the corporate sector, Upson continued to teach in the Carlson School’s Minnesota Executive Program (MEP) for many years and served as faculty director of the joint Mayo Clinic Rochester/Carlson School Program for physician-executives and administrators from 1997-2010.

One of the longest-serving Carlson School staff members, Joyce Hegstrom, passed away unexpectedly on August 11, 2021. Joyce joined the Labor Education Services (LES) in 1973, where she made lasting friendships and impact until she retired in 2012 after almost 39 years of service. In retirement, she worked on a part-time basis with LES, Financial Services, and the Department of Pediatrics in the Medical School. A self-described bubbly person, Joyce was fond of champagne, art, travel, and bringing light to those around her.

 
Fall 2021 alumni magazine cover

This article appeared in the Fall 2021 alumni magazine

Our world, our lives, and our work have changed. We must continue to adapt.

So, how do we do that? Where do we go from here? What’s next?

Fall 2021 table of contents

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