Class Notes


In March, Jim Buncher (MAS, BS Accountancy '61) was named president and chief executive officer of SafeGuard Health Enterprises, and also joined the company's board of directors. Buncher has more than twenty-four years of experience in health care management and directorships, most recently as a consultant to the industry. He currently serves on several other boards of directors of health care companies.


In May, shareholders of Sears, Roebuck and Co., elected Jim Cantalupo (BS Accountancy) to the board of directors. Cantalupo is president and vice chairman of the board of McDonald's Corporation, which in March announced the acquisition of a stake in, headed by Rich Frank (BS Marketing '64).

Robert Grossberg (BS Business Administration) has written to share some pleasant news — Grossberg & Associates recently celebrated its fifteenth anniversary. Located in Oak Brook, the firm is a retainer-based executive search practice. Grossberg, who is managing partner, lives in Glenwood.


Doug Hoffmeyer (BS Accountancy) has joined eziaz as CFO. The Chicago company is a national provider of Internet and enhanced data services. Hoffmeyer formerly served as senior vice president, finance, and CFO at Teltrend Inc.


In early March, Lou Vogt (BS Finance) was elected president and COO of Associated Estates Realty Corporation in Richmond Heights, Ohio. Vogt, who had previously served as senior vice president of operations, joined the company in June 1998 and was elected a director in May 1999. He has over twenty years of experience in real estate operations.

In a recent note, Stephan Wilson (BS Accountancy) says that he was promoted last December to the newly created position of vice president, finance, customer network services for Alcatel U.S.A. A worldwide telecommunications/Internet company, Alcatel is located in Plano, Texas, where Wilson also makes his home.


Jim Hackett (BS Finance) has been nominated to the board of directors of Kaiser Aluminum Corporation in Houston. He is chairman, president, and CEO of Ocean Energy Inc., a company engaged in oil and natural gas exploration and production worldwide.


Michael L. Gonzalez (BS Finance) was recently named president and CEO of Interlake Material Handling, Inc., a recognized world leader in the manufacture and design of storage rack, conveyor, and order fulfillment solutions in Naperville, Illinois. Prior to joining Interlake in 1995, Gonzalez held senior management positions at IBM, XL/Datacomp, and Storage Tek. While at Illinois, Gonzalez was Chief Illiniwek.

Lane Kramer (BS Accountancy) writes that, earlier this year, he joined Texas Capital Bank as senior vice president, corporate banking. The com-pany, located in Dallas, serves middle market companies in the North Texas area.


In April, Larry Birch (BS Finance) joined Brigade Solutions in the newly created position of CFO and vice president of administration. Located in San Francisco, the company is a provider of outsourced Internet customer support. Birch had previously served as CFO at Gateway Homecare and has also held senior executive positions at MCI Worldcom.

Steven Meyer (BS Accountancy) has been named CFO of Millbrook Corporation, a developer of physician practice management software, located in Carrollton, Texas. He formerly served as regional finance director for U.S. Oncology/American Oncology Resources, a $1.5 billion physician practice management company.


Kathy Wheadon (BS Business Administration) has been named vice president of operations for, an online financial services company in San Francisco. She had previously held the post of senior vice president for Bank of America. As part of its initial offering, has partnered with Barclays to offer a family of index funds.

In May, Jeff Johnson (BS Accountancy) was named senior vice presi-dent and general manager of the Los Angeles Times. A sixteen-year veteran of the Tribune Company, Johnson had most recently served as president and CEO for Landoll, Inc., a publisher of educational materials and books for consumers.


Valarie Remmers (BS Accountancy) has been promoted to vice president of information technology for PFSweb, an international provider of e-logistic services, located in Plano, Texas. A seventeen-year veteran of the IT field, she has been with PFSweb for two years.

Alan Feldman

Alan Feldman (BS Commerce Curriculum '74, MBA '76) probably deserves a break today. But he's probably not going to get it. President of McDonald's USA since 1998, the energetic and affable Feldman has a schedule so tough that even catching up with him for a fifteen-minute phone conversation can require a month of lead time.

The wait is worth it, though. He's witty and matter-of-fact, and he's had a most interesting life — of late, in a top corporate post for the top restaurant company in the world. At last count, McDonald's had annual revenues of $13.2 billion, and 27,000 restaurants serving 43 million customers a day in 119 countries around the globe. Under the leadership of Jack Greenberg, McDonald's chairman and CEO, Feldman has worked to launch a new food preparation system in virtually all McDonald's restaurants in the United States, as well as add new products to the national menu.

"McDonald's is one of the world's leading brands," Feldman said in a recent telephone interview with InSight. "We employ 650,000 people in the United States. Leading an organization of that size is a tremendous leadership challenge — motivating our franchisees, following distribution channels, getting to know our purveyors, and keeping up with the needs and tastes of our clientele."

Feldman is extremely proud of the fact that Fortune magazine ranked McDonald's the number one corporation in social responsibility in its March 7 issue on "Most Admired Companies." "With 13,000 stores in the United States, we have a strong commitment to location. It's something we view with a tremendous amount of responsibility," said Feldman. His work has also drawn attention from Advertising Age, which ran an article in January, detailing the company's new regional emphasis — a process that began in July 1997 when McDonald's split into five geographic divisions. (Feldman was promoted to his current post during the corporate reorganization that took place last year.) The company recently completed its introduction of "Made for You," a new made-to-order food preparation system that allows restaurants to serve food faster, fresher and hotter and also consigns to obsolescence the heat lamps and burger warming bins of old. A few years ago, McDonald's partnered with a new national advertising agency, and reduced spending on TV advertising by 25 percent, while almost doubling the number of weeks spent on local marketing promotions, from a dozen to twenty-three. The trade journal noted: "Company insiders, Wall Street analysts, and even franchisees say these changes, along with the beefed up emphasis on local marketing, have made McDonald's a stronger player in the hugely competitive $100 billion U.S. fast-food business."

Feldman's energy, vision, and good humor have served him well since the launch of his business career almost twenty-five years ago, when he went virtually straight from MBA convocation to a job with Cidair Structures Corporation, a Chicago firm which designs and installs "bubble" structures (such as tennis court domes) for clients both in the United States and internationally. He credits Rick Winter, former professor of business administration and department head (now dean of the business school at the University of Pittsburgh) with helping him get the job. "I came right out of school with the opportunity to run a small company," he told InSight. In 1983 he moved to Pepsico, taking up a position as an internal consultant for the corporation's Frito Lay operation in Dallas. In '86, he took over restaurant operations for Pizza Hut, another Pepsico subsidiary. He was promoted to chief operations officer and, later, to chief financial officer. He joined McDonald's in 1994 as senior vice president and zone manager, becoming Northeast Division president in 1997. The following year he was promoted to president of McDonald's USA.

"Honestly, I never would have gotten started without the opportunities I had at the University of Illinois," he said. "The education. The experience. And the people. I'm still in touch with several of the people I knew while I was in business school." He adds: "Here at McDonald's there is a strong University of Illinois contingent, both among our corporate executives and our franchisees." Commerce alums include James Cantalupo (BS Accountancy '66), who in December became president of McDonald's Corporation, adding the new title to that of vice chairman.

"Some of my neighbors in Hinsdale are alumni as well. We spend a lot of time commiserating about academics and athletics — not necessarily in that order," Feldman said. "And, of course, I got my start in foodservice while I was a student," he continued. "I was bar manager at the Round Robin." Food memories from college days remain vivid. "I remember going to Green Street on Sunday nights when the university foodservice was closed. There was a restaurant that sold three cheeseburgers for a quarter.  I could eat dinner for $1."

"It's always fun to go back to campus," he concluded, in an observation heavily bordering on a strong hint. "Though I definitely think we need another McDonald's there. If the students would sign a petition — that would be great!"


Alejandro (Alex) Andrade (BS Marketing) writes from glorious Cancun to say that in March he was promoted to managing director of the Fiesta Americana Cancun by the Mexican hotel chain Grupo Posadas. Previously he was hotel manager of the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach.

A recent note from Kevin Gilbert (BS Accountancy) tells what he's been up to since graduating from CBA. Having gone on to earn a
law degree from the University of California at Berkeley, he has worked both in private practice and as a corporate transaction attorney for Motorola. In 1995, he joined the corporation's business development office and became vice president and director for the office last February. He is "actively involved in merger and acquisition, joint venturing, and equity investments for all of Motorola's business units," and currently resides in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago.

Clark Lienemann (BS Accountancy) e-mailed in to say that, in December, he became director of business and fund development for Easter Seals Crossroad Rehabilitation Center in central Indiana, "a leading social services, not-for-profit organization serving children and adults with disabilities and special needs." He lives in Indianapolis.


In early March, the board of directors of GS Industries elected Mark Essig (EMBA) as chairman. Essig also continues in his duties as president and CEO for the corporation, which is located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Before joining GS Industries in January 1998, Essig held top executive posts at AK Steel Corporation in Middletown, Ohio, and Washington Steel Corporation, Washington, Pennsylvania.

Matt Graves (EMBA) was recently named senior vice president of financial and insurance services for Biztro, a provider of online services for merging businesses, headquartered in Santa Clara, California. He had previously served as president of Allstate Bank, a subsidiary of Allstate Corporation.

In April, Mark Keithley (BS Accountancy) joined oCen Communications, assuming the post of CFO for the Asia-focused Internet communication services provider, which is headquartered in Los Angeles. He had previously held the post of vice president and CFO of Asia, Middle East, and Africa operations for Global One Communications.

Pete Nicholson (BS Accountancy) has been appointed vice president and CFO of, a Chicago company specializing in online and traditional recruiting. He had previously served as senior vice president and CFO for Total Control Products, a designer and manufacturer of industrial automation control software and hardware.


Michele Dodd (BS Accountancy) has written to tell us of a recent career change. She now holds the position of regional director of real estate for CVS Pharmacies and is based in Chicago. Prior to accepting this position, Dodd was director of real estate for the Eastern Division of Blockbuster Video. Good luck with your new venture!

Joe Ruble (BS Accountancy) has been appointed CFO of Geodesic Systems in Chicago, a provider of software application infrastructure solutions that improve business-critical server performance and reliability. Previously managing partner in a corporate financial consulting firm, he has also held positions at KPMG Peat Marwick, Liquid Carbonic Industries, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.


At the beginning of March, Susan Lawler (BS Accountancy) became associate dean for the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. She writes: "I am running the downtown Chicago campus of LFGSM and looking for faculty and students!"


In March, Jeff Libert (BS Accountancy) took over the post of CFO for Oil-Dri Corporation of America in Chicago, having previously served as vice president, corporate development and planning. He joined the company in 1989 after working for Arthur Andersen.

Brad Stevens (MBA, AB Economics '86) has been named senior vice president of marketing for NxView Technologies, a provider of business-to-business infrastructure services for delivering 3D-based real-world environments on the Web. Prior to joining the company, located in Cary, North Carolina, he was director of online strategy and market planning for

Barclays Capital has announced the appointment of John Welch (PhD, MS Economics '84) as chief economist for Latin America. The company, which is the investment banking division of Barclays PLC, is headquartered in New York. Welch had previously served as a chief economist for Latin America and head of emerging markets fixed income research for Paribas. He has also worked for Lehman Brothers and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and has taught at the University of Texas, Austin, and the University of North Texas.


David Williams (BS Finance) writes from Hong Kong to say that he is now working for the Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm of Draper Fisher Jurvetron, as partner responsible for the Asia Pacific region. He had previously served as head of emerging markets Internet investment banking for Merrill Lynch, where, he writes, "I covered Asia and Latin American Internet companies." E-mail him at

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Li Chio (MBA) writes that he has served as vice president of the Hong Kong branch of Hamburgische Landes Bank since September 1998.

Scott E. Sullivan (BS Accountancy) sent an e-mail to let us know of a recent promotion — to ABAS Assurance Senior Manager in the Peoria office of PricewaterhouseCoopers. A loyal Illini, Sullivan is president of the HOI Illini Club in Peoria. He writes to say that "I can be reached at and would love to hear from all of my college accounting friends."


Mike McLeer (EMBA) recently wrote a letter of appreciation and congratulations to Dean Thomas, including thanks for "inspirational words telling me to `GET OFF THE FENCE!'" (Also enclosed was an article about how Guinness stout, that quintessentially Irish drink, may actually have originated in Wales.) McLeer, who spent four years in England working for Caterpillar, now lives in Peoria and proudly reports that his son will be enrolling at the University of Illinois this fall, and plans to major in accounting. "We are proud parents!!" he wrote. "GO ILLINI!"


Stephen James Butler (BS Finance) wrote that he is now an attorney in Bonney Lake, Washington, where he works in the law offices of Hal J. Geirsbach. He lives in Renton.

An e-mail from Sara Marshack Levy (BS IDM) finds her "all the way in London," where she lives with husband Scott Levy (LAS '86). She recently accepted the post of production and operations manager for Kuan Ltd., "a manufacturer of cosmetics that are produced in England and distributed all over the world." In 1996, she completed a master's degree at the London School of Economics. "It is always
a pleasure to receive the quarterly Commerce InSight," she wrote. "I always look to see if anyone I know is in there!" 


In a fax sent from Seoul, Sungshik Cho (MBA) said that he "recently became the new president and CEO of New Star Trading Co., Ltd., a 30-year-old trading company that has been mainly dealing in textiles and chemicals." He plans to launch a major Internet initiative, which he has been working on for that last two years, while an executive manager for the Korean company.


ChanYul Lee (MSF) sent an e-mail from his native Korea, where he is now risk manager for the strategic finance team at SK Corporation. Lee assumed that post when the company moved to Seoul early this year. He had previously worked for SK's investor relations team. He wrote: "It has been a great pleasure for me to have a chance to read InSight, and I appreciate the effort you make with it."

Cecilia Giordano Zanini (MBA) took a position as product manager at Motorola this past January. She is living in Schaumburg, Illinois.


J.P. Montalvo (BS Finance) wrote that he is living and working in Greenwood, Indiana, where he is a commodity trader for Archer Daniels Midland. He notes that he also has his own business — "MOSOC Enterprises, powered by Quixtar" — and is engaged to be married in October. Congratulations!


Patsopon Khananusapkul (MBA) now lives in Kansas City, where he works for Aquila Energy, as a structure desk analyst in the commodity transactions analysis group. The group's vice president is also a CBA alum — David Haley (MS Economics '86).


Also at Aquila Energy is Darius Vahabzadeh (MBA), who joined the Kansas City company in June as an associate hourly power trader.