Class Notes


  Harry Grossman (BS Accountancy) phoned in response to a recent issue of InSight to inquire about Beta Gamma Sigma, the business academic honorary. Harry, who served as president of the Illinois Society of CPAs in 1961, said that he has retired from the Chicago firm of Altschuler Melvoin & Glasser. He observed, rather delightfully, that, at the age of 90, he is still enjoying retirement.

After a fifty-year hiatus, we have established contact with Howard Hyle. Hyle enrolled in the economics master's program in 1948 after finishing his undergraduate degree at William and Mary, which was interrupted from 1943_46 while he served in the Infantry in World War II. When the GI Bill ran out he was forced to leave school, one thesis shy of his degree. But, he made a very successful career at Coca Cola — spanning forty years. When he retired in 1989 he was vice president, international. From 1989 until his second retirement in 1997, Hyle was chairman of a small consulting company, Solutions International, Inc. Howard and his wife Mary, whom he met while at Illinois, live in Atlanta, Georgia. They have four children and six grandchildren.


Carter H. Brantner (BS Finance) writes from his home in Ocala, Florida, to say that he has retired. After twenty-three years in the Army (he retired as a colonel in 1985), Carter went into management and financial consulting in the Washington, D.C., area until 1990. Then a professional opportunity for his wife, attorney Mary Galbreath, took the couple to San Jose, California. There, Carter says, "I became a stockbroker and worked with the mutual fund companies of three banks in positions of progressively greater responsibility. I followed my own good investment advice and was able to retire in November 1998." The couple moved to Ocala in March.


Michael Grobstein (BS Accountancy) has been named to the board of directors of Guidant Corporation, a company that manufactures products and services for the treatment of cardiovascular and vascular disease. He retired as vice chairman of Ernst & Young in 1998, after a thirty-four year tenure, during which he held leadership positions in audit and accounting, strategic planning, risk management, and international operations, he was admitted to partnership in 1975. An accomplished author and lecturer, Michael also serves on the board of trustees and the executive committee of the Central Park Conservancy and the board of directors of the Coro Foundation, a national educational foundation based in Berkeley, California.

Richard Romer (BS Accountancy) sends word that, on January 1, he merged his CPA practice with that of Lumsden & McCormick, LLP, the largest locally owned firm in Buffalo, New York. Now a partner in the business service group, Richard lives in Williamsville, New York.


Since 1996, D. Michael Fox (BS Accountancy) has lived in Belize, where he established a branch office of Pannell Kerr Forster Belize. A CPA, Michael is managing principal for the firm, as well as director of training. He has also established the Business Exchange Center, a division of the firm specializing in business brokerage and investment support activities. Michael moved to the western Caribbean after many years in Chicago, where he worked for Arthur Andersen, and in CFO positions for a collection of medium and large corporations. For nearly ten years prior to relocating to Belize he was a turnaround specialist, providing independent consulting services to companies in distress from eroding operations and finances. He also conducted seminars and wrote articles and a handbook on the subject, and organized a Turnaround Conference, efforts which drew attention from Crain's Chicago Business. Currently he writes a business and finance column for he San Pedro Sun. He and his wife Cheryl live on Ambergris Caye.


John Antos (BS Business Administration) lives and works in Dallas, where he is president of Value Creation Group, a management consulting firm. John is co-author of a new book titled Driving Value Using Activity-Based Budgeting, recently published by John Wiley & Sons. Another of his co-authored works, Activity-Based Management for Service Industries, Government Entities, and Nonprofit Organizations, is also published by Wiley.

For Bruce Summers (AM Econ `69), 1999 is a big year. And getting bigger all the time.

In May he marked his twenty-fifth year on the job with the Federal Reserve Banking System. November is the thirtieth anniversary of his graduation from Commerce, with a master's in economics. He and his wife, Nancy Guthrie Summers, also an Illinois graduate with a master's in English the same year, celebrate their thirtieth wedding anniversary in December. And at the end of that month — which also happens to be the end of the year, the decade, the century, and the millennium — comes the big one. The Year 2000, or Y2K.

If anyone is prepared, it is Summers, who is Director of Federal Reserve Information Technology, and the person responsible for the Federal Reserve's core information technology infrastructure. It is this infrastructure that supports the daily settlement of about $2 trillion worth of financial transactions on the books of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks. For several years, from his Richmond, Virginia, headquarters, Summers has devoted considerable attention to helping the country's financial system step up to the Y2K challenge.

"I am highly confident that the U.S. financial system, and the technical and operational infrastructures that support it, will make a smooth transition to the Year 2000," he said reassuringly, in a recent telephone interview with InSight. "And the banking system is in a high state of compliance" — thanks to the efforts of Summers and his team, who have been helping a diverse range of institutions and agencies, from tiny credit unions to foreign central banks, address Y2K issues. By now it is well known that the core of the concern lies in the way computer programs and operating systems have historically overlooked the implications of the turn of the millennium. In the incredibly complex and disparate network that represents today's worldwide information technology infrastructure, software must be "educated" that "00" signals the onset of a new century.

"The nation's financial system as a whole has been very responsible in its preparations for the Y2K, and banking and financial supervisors have played an active role as well," noted Summers. But few efforts, no matter how monumental, preclude the need for a standard disclaimer. "Anything this large and complex is bound to entail some glitches somewhere," he allowed, recommending that consumers observe those same "prudent precautions and due diligence" that apply to any other major transaction. "Maintain financial statements and records going back a couple of months," he advised. "It's also a good idea to check out your own banking relationships to see exactly where the institutions you depend on are, in terms of compliance." As to preparing for December 31, 1999, he compared it to a coming ice storm. "It's the same as making sure you can get along without electricity for a couple of days — just in case."

Bruce Summers says his career aspiration from early in life was to serve with the Fed. Having earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Notre Dame in 1967, he came to Commerce that year to pursue graduate work in economics. But his dreamed-of move to the Fed was not the simplest of transitions. In 1969, his Ph.D. program in economics was interrupted by military service, and he found himself not in a classroom but aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer. Nancy Guthrie left her own doctoral work in English at Illinois so that they could be married. She went on to get a J.D. from the University of Virginia, and he persevered along his chosen career path.

"Information technology was not what I studied at Commerce," he pointed out. "I've devoted a career to running virtually every type of central banking business in which the Fed is involved. The key to information technology leadership is aligning and integrating technology and business strategy, and maximizing IT value through an understanding of the underlying businesses. I feel Commerce provided me with a very firm foundation — something I could build on as a practitioner of central banking."

Summers has also done a great deal of international work for the Fed, particularly on reform of emerging market economies. Through the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, he has first-hand experience in the banking and financial markets of North America, Latin America, the European Community, Central and Eastern Europe, and Asia. "I've worked with banking institutions, the securities industry, and clearinghouses on a number of major challenges and in challenging circumstances," he concluded. "Y2K is another such challenge — one which underscores the interdependencies of the financial industry across all sectors."

The Illinois CPA Society bestowed one of its highest honors on Patrick Delaney (PhD, MS Accountancy '64), naming him its 1999 Honorary Member. Delaney, chair of the Department of Accountancy and the Arthur Andersen Professor at Northern Illinois University, was recognized for his extensive involvement in the society and his service to the accounting profession over a period of twenty-three years. He has chaired several ICPAS committees and served as vice president of the board in 1990. His textbook, CPA Examination Review, is widely used for the exam preparation. During the twelve years Delaney has chaired NIU's accountancy department, the program has maintained its reputation for producing excellent students who rank among the top ten in first-time pass rates on the CPA Exam.

John Nicholas (MBA) writes to tell us that he was appointed associate dean of the Graduate School of Business at Loyola University Chicago in January. In addition, he recently published a textbook, Competitive Manufacturing Management, with Irwin/McGraw Hill.

Alan Pacer (BS Economics) writes from Chicago, where he is sales manager _ commercial accounts for A.M. Best, a company that has been in the insurance rating business for the past century, and provides CD-ROM and Web-based insurance data. Alan was named the company's "Sales Representative of the Year" two years running, in 1997 and 1998.

Michael W. Babcock (PhD Economics) received the 1998 Senior Faculty Award for Research Excellence in the Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Institute for Social and Behavioral Research at Kansas State University, where he is professor of economics. According to nomination papers for the award, Michael Babcock is one of the nation's foremost authorities in agricultural transportation, intermodal competition in intercity freight markets, and the impact of public policy on transportation market share.

Frank L. Hull (PhD, MA '65, BS '47 Economics) writes from Fresno, California, to inquire after his diverse classmates. He wants to know: "Where are they?" Having retired from the faculty of California State University at Fresno in 1985, Frank says he is active in a number of community organizations and "thoroughly enjoying retirement."

On April 1, Richard Szecsy (PhD Marketing/Strategic Management) was appointed vice president marketing for the Americas at Pioneer USA, a building materials company in Houston. Richard, who lives in Castle Hills, Texas, had previously taught at St. Mary's University in San Antonio.


James E. Furlan (MBA) has been named chief operating officer of Learning Tree International. He joins the company from Xerox, where he was most recently vice president and general manager for distributed printing and publishing systems. A worldwide provider of education and training to information technology professionals in business and government, Learning Tree is headquartered in Los Angeles.

Steven J. Gross (BS Accountancy) is pleased to be celebrating twenty years in private practice as a Chicago attorney and CPA specializing in tax/estate planning. He writes: "My wife, Tina (Education '75), and I are very proud of our daughter, Alyssa, who will be attending U of I this fall to continue the family tradition. Alyssa also received a National Merit Scholarship based on her high school academic achievement." The family lives in Northbrook.


At the beginning of July, Gary Hemmer (BS Finance) started a new job as president/CEO of the First National Bank of Waterloo. He lives in Swansea, Illinois.


Larry Krupp (BS Accountancy) was elected treasurer of Decalogue Society of Lawyers, a bar association of over 1,000 Jewish lawyers. He was also elected to a three-year term as trustee of the Decalogue Foundation. Krupp is a partner in Veatch, Rich & Nadler, Chtd., a CPA firm located in Deerfield.

Rick Lopatin (BS Accountancy) writes that, in October, he joined Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals as vice president and chief financial officer. The company, which specializes in liquid generic pharmaceuticals, is located in Morton Grove, Illinois. Rick makes his home in Evanston.


In February of this year, Jeff W. Baer (BS Accountancy) was appointed corporate controller of Magnequench International, Inc.,
a magnetic powder and permanent magnet manufacturing firm in Anderson, Indiana.

A L U M N I   C A L E N D A R
O F   E V E N T S

October 16
Homecoming Tent Party
Mark your calendars now for Homecoming '99. We will have great food and you'll see many Commerce alumni and friends. Food will be served beginning two hours before kickoff. All Commerce alumni and friends are invited to attend. Plan to be with us. Reservations are necessary. Contact our office for more information.

October 29-31
Reunion Weekend
The University of Illinois Alumni
Association is making plans for this year's Reunion Weekend, which will honor alumni from 1934, 1939, 1949, and 1959. Commerce alumni returning for the weekend are cordially invited to visit the CBA Open House, at 11 a.m., on October 29. Watch for more information about the weekend.




CALL 217-244-6669


Peter Solvik (BS Business Administration) has been named to the newly formed Board of Advisors of Akamai Technologies in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Peter is senior vice president and chief information officer of Cisco Systems, an award-winning $12 billion company.
With the company since 1992, he is responsible for Cisco's worldwide use of information technology and for the Internet Business Solutions Group. The Akamai board is a group of world-renowned leaders in the Internet, networking, science, and entertainment.


Neal Davis (BS Business Administration) has recently been promoted to station manager/director of sales for WYZZ-TV, the Fox affiliate for the Peoria/Bloomington market area. He and his wife Jackie and their two children live in LeRoy.


Last November, Paul Johnson (BS Marketing) became global account executive for Procter & Gamble's Costco team. Paul, who now lives
in Woodinville, Washington, writes that he is working on developing a strategy to leverage scale for global retailers "in a way that improves our company's share of the retailer's business."

Lynn McGovern (BS Accountancy) has been named one of seventeen new partners in Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP,
a New York-based law firm with affiliates throughout the country and the world. Lynn is an attorney in the Chicago office, where her practice area is lease finance.

In January, Ron Pocs (BS Marketing) was promoted to vice president of the Blackstone Group, a marketing research company located in Chicago. Ron lives in Carol Stream, Illinois.

Best Buy Co. has announced the appointment of John Walden (BS Finance) as president of the E-Commerce Division for the Minneapolis company. In this newly created position, Walden is responsible for the continued development and execution of Best Buy's on-line initiative. John's seventeen-year career spans executive positions with Peapod, Ameritech, and Storage Technology Corporation. He also holds a law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law; and a master's from Kellogg.


In March, Robert Stead (BS Accountancy) joined Okane International as chief financial officer. Headquartered in Bothell, Washington, Okane is one of the first companies to address broadband or high speed access between new generation data networks and customer demand for media-rich services, by creating a universal network through convergence of cable and telephone infrastructures. Robert had previously worked for WinStar and Avant Garde, leaders in communications technology.


Lisa Evans (BS Finance) writes from Denver, where she is vice president for Urban Neighborhoods, a real estate developer specializing in historic preservation. Having purchased a home last August, she reports that she "loves Colorado, especially skiing and snowboarding." Lisa recently got together with classmates Julie Manning Wrona (BS Accountancy `88) and Mi Jin Lee.

After twelve years at Cerus Bank, Kurt Kiprinz (MBA) has joined Lake Forest Bank and Trust Company, where he is vice president in commercial lending. Kurt and his wife make their home in Park Ridge, Illinois.

Energy Trading-Gas Corporation has announced the appointment of Daniel A. Valenti (MBA) as vice president, chief information officer. The Houston-based company is a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation. Daniel holds a JD from William & Mary and a BS from Fairleigh Dickinson.


An e-mail has come in from David Becker (BS Marketing) with the happy news that, on April 16, he married E. Renee Frenzel, formerly of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. David writes that the wedding took place in Louisiana amid a de facto reunion of Commerce alumni, including best man Dan Smith (BS Marketing) and his wife Paula Scholfield (BS Marketing `85), as well as Chris Lipetzky Barker (BS Marketing), Rob Vacko (BS Accountancy) and wife Laura Pirtle Vacko (BS Accountancy), and Debbie Kaczmaryn Dewar (BS Accountancy `90). Following a honeymoon voyage to Australia and New Zealand, David and Renee are living in Chicago, where he is vice president of client services for Strategic Media Research.

Steve Kapaun (MBA) writes from Lawrenceville, Georgia, where he is president and founder of Workforce Alternatives, a consulting company specializing in training and change management. Prior to founding the company in 1997, Steve worked for Andersen Consulting in the company's Change Management Practice, and also spent a year with IBM as a regional manager in the ERP Division. Steve and his wife, Marilyn Bardie Kapaun (LAS '88), have a five-year old daughter, Camille.

Prabha Parameswaran (BS Finance) has written in with an update. After graduating, she joined Arthur Andersen's tax division, then, in 1990, returned to Illinois to earn a JD. Having graduated from the College of Law in `93, she spent six years at Pedersen and Hapt in Chicago. Recently, Prabha returned to Arthur Andersen, where she is now a member of the in-house legal group.


Illinois MBA Intranet

The Illinois MBA Program, Alumni Affairs, and the Commerce Office for Information Management are proud to announce the debut of Illinois MBA Intranet. Designed as a combination of electronic bulletin board and e-mail, the program is based on the FirstClass (FC) collaborative software and is accessible through the Web. MBA Intranet has been created to provide alumni, faculty, and staff with a way to stay in touch and keep abreast of developments in the program and the College of Commerce.

Go to:

Log on to learn about MBA news and events. The site also provides free e-mail for alums, chat rooms, class update rooms, and much more!

Visit our home page for information about
 Commerce Alumni Association activities.


In March, Michael Denton (BS Accountancy) joined the financial services department of Rome Associates LLP in Chicago. His responsibilities in this CPA/business consultant firm involve the preparation and review of client financial statements. Michael, his wife Jennifer, and their two daughters, Sandra and Christina, live in Country Club Hills, Illinois.


Bethany Bare (BS Accountancy) writes from San Diego to note that on April 1 she was promoted to regional controller for McDonald's and is responsible for financial support services for seventy-five franchisees and more than 330 restaurants. She adds: "My co-worker is an Iowa accounting alum, so we are an all-Big Ten team." Bethany lives in Laguna Hills, California.

The past year has been an eventful one for Gordon Rice (BS Finance), who writes in to say that he became vice president of LaSalle Bank in Highland Park in the spring of `98. On New Year's Eve, Gordon married Janet Legrand. The couple honeymooned in Jamaica, and are living in Frankfort, Illinois, in the home Gordon built last September. Gordon notes that he serves on several boards of directors, including Highland Park Hospital, Epilepsy Services for Northeastern Illinois, and the Suburban Fine Arts Center. He is also a member of the Rotary Foundation.


In a recent e-mail from San Diego, Lori Lee (BS Marketing) says: "Just completed my first marathon . . . Suzuki Rock-n-Roll Marathon in San Diego on May 23. I am proud to say that I was part of the Leukemia Society's Team in Training Program . . . . After five months of training and fund-raising and with the help of the other 4,000 Team in Training members from across the country, we raised over $12 million for the Leukemia Society." Lori has been an account manager for Wright Line Technical Environment Solutions since 1996.

Boonghee Yoo (MSBA) has just been promoted to associate professor of marketing at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. Boonghee also won the 1999 Teacher Recognition Award for Excellence in Teaching, given by the SCSU Student Representative Assembly.


"Thank you for your newsletters," notes an e-mail from Katsuaki Koseki (MSBA). Katsuaki is now living and working in Yokohama, Japan, as manager of the administrative office for the Graduate School of Business Administration, Keio University.


A recent communiqué from Anu Singh (BS Finance) finds him working for Arthur Andersen in Bangkok and loving it. ". . . I am learning all about the Asian collapse and getting quite familiar in the emerging market business practices." His assignment, which began about a year ago as a temporary project in Jakarta, may well be permanent. International life and travel clearly agree with Anu, who concludes: "Never been happier, never been happier . . . ."


Crain's Chicago Business recently did a profile of Sara Ulbrich (BS Business Administration), describing her as "the face of Chicago's emerging high-end corporate service sector." A senior consultant with Arthur Andersen, Sara, who is 24, spends a great deal of her time on the road, immersed in the businesses of her clients. She told the magazine that her job, which she clearly enjoys, is like being "a member of an intellectual SWAT team."


Kristen Lambert (MBA) sends an e-mail from Nantucket where she has been spending time with her family before starting her job with IBM in August. "I will be a part of the internal consulting group," she writes. "This essentially means that all of IBM could be a client and would hire our group to do process, marketing, or strategy assignments. I'll be based out of White Plains, New York, but the assignments could be anywhere IBM is located. I'm excited and a little nervous. Mostly excited though." She adds: "It is very strange to no longer be in the program or in Illinois, for that matter. I didn't realize how attached I had become." Good luck, Kristen!