Class Notes


Sent from Palm City, Florida, a cryptic note from Arnold Unbe (BS Commerce Curriculum) assures us that "It is great living in paradise." Unbe has been retired for thirty years.


Alan Johnson (MS Finance, BS Finance '57) has been named senior vice president of corporate growth and strategic development at KV Pharmaceutical in St. Louis. He brings to the post more than three decades of corporate experience as a lawyer, investment banker, and entrepreneur.


Sam Skinner (BS Accountancy) has been named an independent board member of Navigant Consulting, a global management consulting firm in Chicago. Skinner, who is co-chairman of Hopkins & Sutter, a law firm based in Chicago, has had a long and distinguished career spanning positions in law, public utilities, and national and state government. Last April, he was honored as a Chicago Illini of the Year. This April he will return to campus as an Executive-in-Residence.
Richard Wellek (BS Management) has assumed the post of chairman of the board of Prism Financial Corporation. He had been a board member since May 1999, when Prism became a publicly traded company. Previously, Wellek served as chief executive officer and chairman of Varlen Corporation, until his retirement in August 1999.


James W. Johnston (BS Accountancy) recently accepted an appointment to the board of directors of GreyStone Digital Technology, a San Diego company specializing in interactive and networked 3-D software. Johnston is also president and chief executive officer of StoneMarker Enterprises, a consulting and investment company, and has held top posts with RJR Nabisco, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Northwest Industries, and Citibank.

Wayne Nafziger (PhD Economics) has been named a University Distinguished Professor at Kansas State University, a lifetime distinction and the highest honor accorded by that institution. Author of fourteen books, nineteen book chapters, and more than thirty journal articles and monographs, appearing in a range of distinguished publications, he has garnered numerous honors and made academic contributions at institutions around the world. His international reputation is in the areas of development, inequality, entrepreneurship, and modeling of economic transformation, and his research and writing have encompassed economic development issues in Africa, India, China, and Japan. Nafziger has been a member of the Kansas State faculty since 1967.


John Zeglis (BS Finance) has been tapped to head the fast-growing AT&T Wireless Group, as part of a realignment of key operations for the parent corporation. Named president of AT&T in 1997 and a company executive since 1984, Zeglis has been a major player in the telecommunications industry since he helped guide AT&T through the divestiture of the early `80s, while practicing law for Sidley & Austin. According to news reports tracking stock, shares for the AT&T Wireless Group will be issued this spring, in an IPO that is expected to raise $8-$10 billion and may be the largest in U.S. history. For an in-depth profile of John Zeglis and his career, see the Summer 1999 issue of InSight.


John Antos (BS Business Administration) writes from Dallas, where he is president of the Value Creation Group, a company that "creates value for organizations through various management techniques." Antos notes that his second book, Driving Value Using Activity Based Budgeting, has been published by John Wiley. He has also recently given presentations on "The Balanced Scorecard," including a keynote address before 1,100 people, and a seminar for senior executives in Europe.


On January 1, Behram Hansotia (PhD Business Administration) was promoted to president and CEO of InfoWorks, a knowledge-based marketing consultancy in Chicago. The company, which specializes in enhancing customer value, is part of the Rapp Collins Marketing Services Network and a member company  of the Omnicom Group. Hansotia, who lives in Inverness, also holds an MS in engineering from Illinois.

In late January, Robert Kopriva (BS Accountancy) was elected a vice president of Sara Lee by the corporation's board of directors.
He had previously been appointed president, supply chain, for Sara Lee's U.S. Foods Group, and has also served as president and chief executive officer of the Jimmy Dean Foods division.


Last summer, Marty Thomas (BS Finance) was named president and CEO of Security Bank of DuPage, Naperville's only independently owned community bank. Thomas worked for the Federal Reserve and several major banks in Chicago before accepting his current position. He lives in Palos Park.


For the second consecutive year, CDW has been lauded as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work for in America" by Fortune magazine. Michael Krasny (BS Finance), the company's founder and CEO, has said: "Our culture is based on putting coworkers first. We believe that if we create a positive work environment, then our customers will receive the highest level of service." CDW, described as the country's leading direct solutions provider, has grown steadily over the past fifteen years and is also a Fortune 1000 company. It is located in Vernon Hills, Illinois.


At the beginning of February, Cliff Sladnick (BS Accountancy, JD '81) joined Brunswick Corporation, in Lake Forest, where he serves as assistant general counsel, concentrating on mergers and acquisitions and business development. Sladnick, who lives in Glencoe, had formerly served as senior vice president and general counsel for Bancorp.


In December, David Hill (BS Business Administration) was named vice president of business development for SOFTRAX Corporation, a leading provider of business solutions to software and Internet companies, located in Canton, Massachusetts. Hill has an eighteen-year track record in sales, management, channels, and business development for technology companies. He founded Porta Vista, an Internet company providing wireless portals for mobile professionals.

Robert F. Rugg (BS Finance) writes that in April 1998, after nineteen years with USG Corporation — including positions in Minneapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Naperville — he moved back to the West Coast as president of James Hardie Gypsum, a building materials, construction, and gypsum company in Mission Viejo, California.


In October, Sears announced the promotion of Jeffrey N. Boyer (BS Finance) to chief financial officer. Boyer had been vice president and controller for Sears since 1998, having joined the company in 1996 as a vice president of finance. He has also worked for the Pillsbury Company and Kraft Foods.

Alma Mater may soon claim her own John Grisham — Sheldon Siegel (BS Accountancy), whose legal thriller Special Circumstances has just been published by Bantam. Siegel, who also holds a law degree from UC Berkeley, practices corporate and securities law with Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, in San Francisco. He and his wife Linda live in Greenbrae, with their seven-year-old twin boys. Having begun Special Circumstances several years ago, writing in his spare time, Siegel has seen that work pay off handsomely, in a large advance and a two-book contract from Bantam. Watch for more details in a future issue of InSight. Watch the bestseller list, too.

Effective February 1, Steven Strobel (BS Accountancy) became treasurer of Owens Corning. Strobel joined the company in 1996 as vice president and corporate controller. He had previously spent ten years at Kraft Foods, ultimately serving as chief financial officer of Kraft Foods Canada. Owens Corning, a world leader in building materials and glass fiber composites systems, is located in Toledo, Ohio.


Scott Eisenberg (MBA) writes from Michigan, where he is a managing partner for Amherst Capital Partners in Birmingham. He lives in Franklin.

Effective March 1, Mark Joslin (BS Accountancy) was promoted to vice president and controller of Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, Tennessee. Joslin had previously served the company as vice president. Prior to joining Eastman, he was chief financial officer, treasurer, and secretary of Lawter International, and has also worked for Arthur Andersen LLP, Baxter International, and ANGUS Chemical.

David M. Landau (BS Accountancy) writes from Highland Park, where he is Cantor of Aitz Hayim Center for Jewish Living, and a full-time Mohel. He was also recently elected president of the Chicago Association of Cantors.


After five years in China, Steve Gillan (BS Accountancy) has moved back to the San Francisco Bay area, with his wife Lynne and their daughters Georgia and Phoebe. Gillan is now corporate controller for Alibris, which he describes as "a pre-IPO company selling used, rare, and out-of-print books through its Web site." Adds Gillan: "Check it out!" He and his family live in San Francisco.


John R. Novack (BS Accountancy, JD '87) is a partner in the Illinois law firm of Cox Bruegge, which he helped form in 1999. Cox Bruegge maintains a statewide business practice with offices in Bloomington, Edwardsville, Rockford, and Springfield. Novack has a general corporate practice with an emphasis on agribusiness and employee benefits. In September, he and his wife, Rebecca, were married. They live in Bloomington.


Wendy Harrington (BS Business Administration) has been named to the board of directors of, a California company which specializes in media buying on the Internet. She is also vice president of operations for Internet Capital Group, an Internet holding company that recently acquired a $45 million stake in

In September, Peter Koburov (MBA, AB LAS '86) was promoted to associate partner with Andersen Consulting in Chicago, where he has served since 1987. A member of the University of Illinois Student Affairs Advisory Council, he also belongs to the Presidents Council and is a supporter of the James Newton Matthews Scholars Program. He returns to the university several times each year to participate in recruiting and fundraising activities, and also to enjoy being back on campus. He has noted that "My experience at the University of Illinois has enriched my personal and professional pursuits and staying involved with the university allows me to give something back and to contribute to the quality of student life today." Koburov lives in Arlington Heights.

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In September, Warren W. Stippich, Jr. (BS Accountancy), joined American Express Tax and Business Services. He serves as a senior manager for the consulting company, located in Rolling Meadows. Stippich had formerly worked as director of internal audit for DEKALB Genetics Corporation.


In January, Dan Marriott (MBA, BS ACES '90) was named executive vice president, corporate strategy and development, for Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch, Inc. He had previously served as vice president of marketing, executive vice president of product development and marketing, and executive vice president of business development for the local portal and e-commerce company, located in Pasadena, California.


Amy Linton Smyth (BS Economics) writes from her home in London, where she works as an associate for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. She was married to Robert Smyth, a Londoner, on July 31, 1999, in Chicago. Smyth notes that her job "entails covering emerging market sovereign credits, primarily in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa."


According to a recent fax from Grzegorz Slomkowski (MBA, University of Warsaw/UIUC), he is working for JVC Poland, in Warsaw, where he has been general manager, finance and administration, since July 1997.


Brent Hathaway (PhD Marketing) was recently appointed to Honeywell's recruiting team for Illinois. Hathaway is vice president, marketing and sales, for the company located in Phoenix.


Ed Hamb (MBA/JD) has been recognized as one of the top fifty upward bound employees at Enron in Houston, Texas. Congratulations, Ed!


Heather Bilski (BS Finance) now lives in Monterey, California, and works in Salinas, where she is a financial analyst for Household Credit Services, a credit card company.

Kelly Zudycki (BS Accountancy) lives in Oak Park and works in Oak Brook, where she is a staff accountant for Wolf & Co., LLP.


I N  M E M O R I A M

  Albert Vondenbosch died in Asheville, North Carolina, on January 12, 2000. He was 94 years old. A long-time supporter of Commerce and a member of the University Foundation, he had recently completed an endowment for The Mildred and Albert Vondenbosch Scholarship Fund, named for himself and his late wife.

Mildred and Albert Vondenbosch

A native of Altamont, Mr. Vondenbosch attended the University of Illinois during the '20s, joining Theta Kappa Phi and lettering in wrestling. Having graduated in 1927 with a B.S. in commerce curriculum, he went on to a four-decade career as an officer with Harris Trust. He worked and lived for many years in Chicago, where he was active in the Illini Club, serving as president of that chapter during 1967, the year of the university's centennial celebration. He and Mildred were married in 1933; in 1998 they celebrated their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary in Asheville, where they had retired. Mrs. Vondenbosch died on January 19, 1999, a day before her 93rd birthday. Mr. Vondenbosch subsequently arranged to set up a scholarship fund for Commerce undergraduates bearing both their names (See InSight Annual Report FY 1999). "I'm so indebted to the university," he said at the time. "I have so many good memories."

On August 9, 1996, Albert Rose died at the age of 78. He was a highly respected social reformer and a pioneer of social work education and practice in Canada. Born in Toronto in 1917, he graduated from the University of Toronto in 1939, then went on to earn his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Commerce, in 1940 and 1942 respectively. After serving in the Canadian Army, he went to work as a lecturer for the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Toronto in 1946, launching a distinguished career as a noted scholar and influential spokesman and leader, who was a passionate advocate of the public responsibility to provide the disadvantaged with sound, affordable accommodation and neighborhood public amenities. In his forty-nine year career of scholarly teaching, research, and advocacy, he dealt with housing policy, social welfare, metropolitan government, urban affairs, social work education and practice, public administration, gerontology, and relations between Jews and the wider community.  A tireless researcher and prolific writer, he has been described as "the leading Canadian scholar of housing problems." A tribute written by his son, Jeff Rose, himself a senior fellow at the University of Toronto, summarizes his father's achievements: "Throughout his life he turned his passionate intelligence to altruistic purposes, displaying the same personal qualities of moral engagement, service, and decency that symbolized the kind of society he toiled to create."

Stanley C. Golder, a distinguished alumnus and benefactor of the College of Commerce and the University of Illinois, died on January 5, 2000, in Evanston, Illinois.  He was 70 years old. In the course of a phenomenally successful career as a venture capitalist, Mr. Golder won respect and affection for his involvement in philanthropic and civic causes, devoting endless energy to various charities and non-profit agencies. He was a founder of Golder, Thoma, Cressey, Rauner, Inc., which grew into one of Chicago's top private equity firms, capping a career in finance that also included long and distinguished service with First National Bank of Chicago.

Born in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, Golder lived in and around the city for most of his life. Golder graduated from the College of Commerce in 1951 with a B.S. in economics. In 1952, he married Joan Jacobi, who graduated from the University of Illinois in 1953, with an A.B. in English. After serving as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army, including duty in the Korean War, he embarked in 1953 on a career with First National Bank of Chicago, where he held a series of positions of increasing responsibility over more than a quarter of a century. In 1980 he then joined with partners Bryan Cressey, Carl Thoma, Bruce Rauner, and William Blair to form Golder, Thoma & Cressey, a general partnership which grew into a multimillion dollar enterprise, rated as one of the top venture capital funds in the city. He served as chairman of both the National Venture Capital Association and the National Association of Small Business Investment Companies — in 1989, the latter organization presented him with its Silver Fox Award, in recognition of his lifetime contributions. In 1995, he was inducted into the Private Equity Hall of Fame. A director on several corporate boards, he gave lectures on venture capital and the private equity business, and taught a course on venture capital at Northwestern. Charitable causes and non-profit agencies in which he was involved included the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish United Fund, and the Golden Apple Foundation. He sat on the board of Highland Park Hospital, and was also a supporter of Temple Jeremiah in Northfield and Hebrew Seminary of the Deaf. In 1985, the Golders established the Golder Family Foundation, which benefits organizations, primarily in the Chicago area. In 1995, Stan and Joan Golder were presented with The Human Rights Medallion, the most prestigious award of the American Jewish Committee.

A long-time supporter of Illinois and CBA, Mr. Golder was a member of the University Presidents Council and the Dean's Council of LAS, and served on the Commerce Business Advisory Council. In 1995, the Golders created a $1.5 million endowment to fund the Stanley C. and Joan J. Golder Distinguished Endowed Chair in Corporate Finance.

Bruce Abrams died suddenly in Chicago on December 12, 1999. Just 38 years old, he was a highly successful and well respected developer of commercial and residential real estate, known not only for tireless energy and ambition but for the care and taste with which he approached renovation projects in historic and aging properties. Friends and associates mourned him in the Chicago Tribune as "a gentleman in all his dealings," "the only truly beloved developer in the city," and "just an incredibly nice guy."

A native of Des Plaines, Mr. Abrams graduated from Commerce in 1983 with a B.S. in accountancy. While an undergraduate, he was a member of the accounting fraternity Beta Alpha Psi. After graduation, he went on to earn a J.D. from the University of Chicago in 1986, then founded Bruce C. Abrams Inc., and L R Development. Gold Coast buildings he restored include the St. Benedict's Flats Hotel, the former Playboy Mansion, and the Mayfair Regent Hotel, where he moved with his family after converting it into condos. He is credited with helping revitalize the Lakeview neighborhood, rehabbing vintage buildings there into lofts and retail space. In 1992, Abrams founded Prism Financial, a mortgage company he built into one of the leaders in its field, with 2,300 employees and offices in twenty-four states. At the time of his death he was part of a team involved in a $250 million development for Fort Sheridan, a former Army base on Chicago's North Shore. Other developments in his portfolio included the $200 million Park Tower condos in the new Hyatt at Chicago and Michigan Avenues and a controversial $250 million Lake Shore Drive condo complex belonging to Northwestern University. His partnership in a Chicago Transit Authority land deal also precipitated controversy in October. Developer Steven Fifield, who worked with Abrams, told the Chicago Sun-Times: "This guy was a shining star in our industry. At 38 years old, he had already done what most of us aspire to do in our careers."