Class Notes

Class Notes - Spring 2020

Sunday, March 29, 2020

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


Faculty News

Professor Emeritus Ross Azevedo died January 2020. He spent more than 35 years teaching and researching labor markets, compensation, and collective bargaining. After retiring in 2010, he remained a strong presence within the Carlson School and will be remembered and missed by many.


Frederick Dahl, ’50 BSB, died July 30, 2019. Fred was a WWII veteran, active in the community, and spent most of his career running a women’s clothing store chain, The Dahl House, with his late wife, Lee.

Robert Anderson, ’52 BSB and ’53 MBA, died August 15, 2019 at his home in Slidell, Louisiana.


Joel Schleicher, ’74 BSB, was appointed chair of the Florida Talent Development Council as of September 2019. The council advises Florida’s top government officials on how to best cultivate the talent needed for the state’s workforce.

Dr. Madan Saluja, ’76 MA-HRIR, was honored with an award from Lake Superior State University’s Lukenda School of Business for his 50-year teaching career there.

Bonnie Russ, ’77 BSB, was inducted into NAWBO’s Minnesota Women Business Owners Hall of Fame for her work in the founding and growth of her CPA firm, Mahoney, Ulbrich, Christiansen and Russ.

Nick Vitalari, ’77 MBA and ’81 PhD, joined the Quantum Materials Corp (QMC) Business Advisory Board as a founding member.


Todd Chaffee, ’82 BSB, was named a Top 100 Venture Capitalist in the United States by Valuer. Mike Wier, ’82 BSB and ’85 MBA, is now senior vice president, Institutional Fixed Income at Minneapolis-based Oak Ridge Financial.

David Youland, ’82 BSB and ’83 MBA, retired from a 35-year career in B2B marketing and is now a professor of business at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas.

Victor Assad, ’88 MA-IR, is the author of the recently published book Hack Recruiting. Drawing from Assad’s more than 30 years of human resources leadership experience, the book outlines how companies can utilize digital tools to build employer brands, streamline recruiting processes, and hire faster.

Vallabh Sambamurthy, ’89 PhD, was appointed the Albert O. Nicholas Dean of the Wisconsin Business School at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

Mike Zechmeister, ’89 BSB, is the new chief financial officer at Eden Prairie–based C.H. Robinson.

Dr. Chad Boult, ’89 MPH (SPH) and ’00 MBA, is now director of Medical Education for the Saint Alphonsus Health System in Boise, Idaho.

Pamela Murphy, ’89 BSB, is an ethics and compliance director at Abbott.


Conrad Leifur, ’92 MBA, Charles Kummeth, ’93 MBA, and Ben Rasmussen, ’99 MBA, were each selected as a “Person to Know in 2020” by Twin Cities Business. Leifur is CEO and owner of Vestalia Hospitality, Kummeth is president and CEO of Bio-Techne Corp., and Rasmussen is partner at the Twin Ignition incubator. Management Compensation Resources, LLC, founded by Scott Rollin, ’90 BSB, celebrated 20 years in business in 2019.

Mayada El-Zoghbi, ’90 BSB, is the new managing director of the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion.

Jim Gilbertson, ’91 MBA, is now chief financial officer of BBQ Holdings, Inc., the corporate entity that owns the Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que chain.

Andrew Lacko, ’92 BSB and ’96 MBA, is now the chief financial officer at ClubCorp.

Mark Schindele, ’92 BSB, was promoted to chief of stores at Target.

Kyle Rolfing, ’94 MBA, joined the Wellbeats Board of Directors.

W. Thomas Stanley, ’96 MBA, was featured in an article in US Black Engineer that focused on his experience working in STEM and his tips for students and recent grads.

Leslie McDonnell, ’96 BSB and ’01 MBA, is now president and CEO of IRADIMED Corporation.

Judd Nystrom, ’96 BSB, was appointed chief financial officer of Caliber Collision.

Darrell Johnson, ’97 MBA, is now the chief marketing officer at Cerner Corporation.

Andy Nowinski, ’97 BSB and ’06 MBA, joined D.A. Davidson Research’s institutional equity research team.

Jessica Phillips, ’09 MBA, joined Ulta Beauty as their new vice president of merchandising.

Himanshu Dwivedi, ’98 BSB, CEO of Data Theorem, was given a Silver Award for CEO of the Year in the Security Software Division at the 2019 CEO World Awards program.

Theo Black, ’98 MBA, was recognized with the 2019 Richard Alberg Distinguished Science and Technology Professional Award from the Minnesota Federation of Engineering, Science, and Technology (MFESTS) and the Minnesota Section of the American Society for Quality (ASQ).

Dale Eastlund, ’99 MBA, was promoted to vice president, supply chain partners at Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Todd Gease, ’99 BSB, recently joined AuDConnex as vice president of finance.

Sylvia Strobel, ’99 MBA, is the new president of Twin Cities Public Television. Strobel was also recently elected to the NPR Board of Directors.

Cathy Schmidt, ’93 MBA, is now director of business development at PCL Construction Services.

Class Notes
Carlson Alumni are making more than business deals—they are making music too. Alumni Scott Mays, ’11 MBA, Charlie Schaller, ’05 BSB, and Ion Skillrud, ’08 MBA, are a part of the rock band Carriage House. They recently performed at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon in St. Paul at mile 24. Congratulations to these alumni for the great set and being awesome partners in the community.


Michele Ramirez, ’00 MA-HRIR, recently joined Stryker as a senior HR business partner.

Brian Slipka, ’00 BSB, was named co-founder and president of Business Broker Investment Corporation’s Minneapolis headquarters. He was also accepted into the Forbes Finance Council.

Brian Fischer, ’01 MA-HRIR, is now vice president of HR—Greater Asia Region at Intel Corporation.

Dan Greenfield, ’01 MBA, joined engineering firm KLG as chief financial officer.

Brad Paine, ’01 MBA, is now the chief digital officer at CSC ServiceWorks, Inc.

Mike West, ’01 MA-HRIR, is the author of the recently published book, People Analytics for Dummies.

Christina Finkel, ’02 BSB, is now chief marketing officer for inGRAINed Snack Co, which she co-founded with her husband. One of their products was recently featured on the TV show Shark Tank.

Rich Garrity, ’02 BSB and ’07 MBA, recently completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Manjit Gill, ’02 MA-HRIR, recently joined Baker Hughes as vice president of total rewards.

Annie Young-Scrivner, ’03 MBA, CEO of GODIVA Chocolatier, was appointed to the Yum! Brands board as a non-executive director.

Tim Mayer, ’04 MA-HRIR, was appointed by the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners to serve on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Board in the private sector business role.

Brandon Champeau, ’04 BSB, and Matthew Lorenz, ’08 MBT, were each among the 2020 honorees for the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. Champeau is senior vice president at United Properties. Lorenz is partner at KPMG.

Sid Gandhi, ’05 MBA, was recently elected to the Minnesota Public Radio Board of Trustees.

Mike Moh, ’05 BSB, played Bruce Lee in the July 2019 Quentin Tarantino film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Dawn Dexter, ’05 MBA, started a new position as director, finance operations for Amazon.

Jason Baskin, ’06 BSB and ’13 MBA, was promoted to marketing director at Hormel Foods.

Erika Berndt, ’07 MA-HRIR, is now the senior director of human resources at MicroVision.

Ryan Broshar, ’06 BSB, and Reed Robinson, ’06 BSB, were each selected by Twin Cities Business as a “Person to Know in 2020.” Robinson is a co-founder of Beta.MN and Broshar is a founder and partner at Matchstick Ventures.

Erica Diehn, ’07 MA-HRIR and ’13 PhD-HRIR was recently promoted to associate professor, management department, at the University of St. Thomas.

Erik Magnuson, ’07 BSB, was hired in a newly created role: vice president of air distribution capabilities at CWT.

Jeremy Stimpson, ’07 MBA, was promoted to vice president, general manager of Great Northern Corporation’s Racine, Wisconsin facility.

Kayla Anderson, ’08 BSB, is now head of business development & strategic partnerships at BackerKit.

Kendal Carlson, ’08 BSB, started a new position as B2B strategy & program management at Wayfair.

Alvin Schexnider, ’08 MA-HRIR, is operations framework project manager at the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Freyr Halldorsson, ’08 PhD-HRIR, is now an assistant professor at Reykjavik University.

Linda Breed, ’08 MA-HRIR, is director of corporate HR at TMK IPSCO.

David Bryant, ’08 MA-HRIR, is owner of DHB Change Advisors.

Jake Chen, ’09 BSB, started a new position as strategy & business operations at Waymo.


Kamran Ayub, ’10 BSB, is now a lead engineer at Target. He is also an educator, speaking at technical conferences and a course author for the Pluralsight learning platform, where he teaches software development skills.

Matthew Hanzlik, ’10 BSB, is now vice president, global diversity & inclusion at Nielsen.

Morshed Alam, ’10 MBA, was named senior vice president and chief financial officer of Ecumen.

Josh Marlatt, ’10 MA-HRIR, was named senior director of total rewards at SoFi.

Mindy (Empey) Schwabenbauer, ’10 MA-HRIR, is an HR program manager, M&A at Amazon.

Ina Budnik, ’11 BSB, is currently pursuing her MBA at London Business School while interning at feminine care startup Callaly in finance & strategy.

James Evans, ’11 MBA, joined eSolutions as chief financial officer.

Jackie Walter, ’11 MBA, is now working full-time on her business, Sprinkles & Confetti, an online party supply company that curates party supply boxes delivered to your door.

Corey Walther, ’11 MBA, is now president of Allianz Life Financial Services.

Danielle Scotti Mattson, ’11 MA-HRIR, recently joined Medtronic as a global talent management consultant.

Bridget Szeluga, ’11 MA-HRIR, is now director of human resources at McDonald’s.

Weilu (Wendy) Xu, ’11 MA-HRIR, is an HR analyst at Futurewei Technologies.

Thompson Aderinkomi, ’11 MBA, and Matt Lewis, ’14 MBA, were each among the 2020 honorees for the Minneapolis/ St. Paul Business Journal’s 40 under 40. Aderinkomi is co-founder and CEO of Nice Healthcare. Lewis is vice president of strategic initiatives at Greater MSP.

Siijie Cheng, ’12 BSB, started a new position as senior program manager at Amazon.

Bryce Chilton, ’12 BSB, was promoted to vice president—private equity at The Carlyle Group.

Brittany (Holmquist) Heyboer, ’12 MA-HRIR, recently joined General Mills as a learning and development manager.

Amit Kachru, ’12 MBA, is now vice president, financial at Medtronic.

Steve Lottes, ’12 MA-HRIR, is senior HR manager at Frito Lay.

Anant Patel, ’12 BSB, started a new role as senior program manager at Amazon Web Services.

Michael Stanfield, ’12 MA-HRIR, started a new position as human resources generalist/crew scheduler at Kellogg Company.

Jingnan (Janine) Zhang, ’12 MA-HRIR, is now an international sales manager at JBS USA.

Vincent Phan, ’13 BSB, is now manager, price and packing strategy at Salesforce.

Garett Bluemn, ’13 BSB, has a new position at Securian Financial as senior strategic sourcing manager.

Courtney Sutherland, ’13 BSB, was promoted to senior account manager at Ipsos in North America.

Tom Garretson, ’13 MBA, is now senior portfolio strategist at RBC. He currently chairs the firm’s U.S. fixed income subcommittee and is a member of the Global Portfolio Advisory Committee and the U.S. Investment Committee.

Lisa Stark, ’13 MBA, was promoted to controller at US Bank.

Barrett Wilcox, ’13 MA-HRIR, was named a senior HR manager at GE Aviation.

Nolan Hazard, ’14 BSB, is a project architect at Koch Hazard Architects.

Vu Nguyen, ’14 BSB, was promoted to manager at Deloitte Sweden.

Jessica Vang Herr, ’14 MA-HRIR, is an assistant vice president of human resources at Synchrony.

Caleb Moore, ’14 MA-HRIR, was named senior human resources business partner at Workday.

Allison Ash, ’15 BSB, was promoted to senior account manager at Insight Global.

Lindsey Kolling, ’15 BSB, started a new position as marketing executive – events & partnerships at SiteMinder.

Laura Studer, ’15 BSB, started a new position as internal audit consultant – IT ICFR Governance at UnitedHealth Group.

Aleksandre Sambelashvili, ’16 MBA, passed away on August 23, 2019. He is remembered as an accomplished research scientist at Medtronic and a loving family man.

Tom Vosbeek, ’17 BSB, started a new position as associate at Ares Management Corporation.

Kaia Anderson, ’18 BSB, is currently serving on the Young Professionals Board at Special Olympics Minnesota and has recently started a new position as a marketing associate at Post Consumer Brands.

Zachary Hofeld, ’18 MBA, joined Kaveny + Kroll as a junior trial attorney.

Madison Schwartz, ’19 BSB, received the Tomato Can Loving Cup Award for her outstanding leadership beyond the classroom. She has worked to promote student mental health by giving numerous speeches and serving with organizations supporting the cause. Maddie is now working for Minneapolis– based Boom Lab, which provides recent college graduates with additional training in technical and communicative skills.

Santiago Strasser, ’12 BSB and ’19 MSBA, is now a global consumer insights associate at General Mills.

Spring 2020 alumni magazine cover

This article appeared in the Spring 2020 alumni magazine

This issue of our alumni magazine focuses on our world, how we take part in it, and how we, as a community, are making it a better place.

Spring 2020 table of contents