Class Notes

Class notes
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George Nicholaw ‘49 the longtime general manager of KNX-AM (1070) who oversaw its rise into an award-winning, all-news giant and delivered on-air editorials that made his voice familiar to millions of Southern California listeners, died on Sunday August 10, 2014 in Los Angeles. He is survived by Betty, his wife of 50 years. He was 86 years old. James O. Maher ‘47 died January 31 in Washington, D. C.  he was one of the first graduates of Thunderbird.


Harold W. Yost Jr. ‘54 passed away on March 2, 2014. He was 85 years old. After graduating from Thunderbird he was employed by Addressograph Multigraph. During his employment with AM he and his wife lived in Manila, Philippines for three years. He enjoyed living and working overseas… John Forster ‘55 writes: I am a member of Thunderbird’s eighth graduating class from May 1955. Eighteen months after graduation I went to Bolivia with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), a job I found through T-bird graduate Jim Noel ’54 of Pennsylvania. Jim was working in Peru at that time and we worked for CRS for some 12 or 13 years before I decided to remain in Guatemala after taking my family to Argentina, Uruguay and back to Bolivia in l963. In l963 we were transferred to Guatemala where I have lived ever since… Robert A. Shuman ‘56 passed away on April 5, 2014 in Puerto Rico. He was 84 years old… David Wayne Parkinson ‘56 passed away at his home in Lawrence, KS on July 18, 2014.  He was 87 years old. He grew up in the Bay Area, and received a business degree from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, where he was active with the Kappa Alpha fraternity and rowed on the varsity men’s crew team. Wayne earned a graduate degree in International Management from Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management, in Glendale AZ. He worked for Standard Oil International in Karachi, Pakistan. Wayne went on to work for Investors Overseas Services, a mutual fund company based in Geneva, Switzerland. He lived and worked in Bangkok, Thailand and in Jakarta, Indonesia. After returning to the U.S., Wayne worked for National ChemSearch and for Transworld Systems. Wayne had lived Lawrence since 1983… Stanley Ely ‘57 has published his sixth book, Life Up Close, A Memoir, from Dog Ear Publishing. Stanley also publishes blogposts regularly on The Huffington Post. He lives in New York City… David Youmans ‘59 writes: I graduated from Thunderbird in 1959. In 1979, as a new faculty member at Washington State University, I wrote and published an article entitled “A Thunderbird’s Perspective” published in the Thunderbird Magazine in which I used (and possibly coined) the term The Thunderbird Mystique. That term has been used hundreds of times since in Thunderbird publications. My third book, Morning Mists, was featured in the Bookshelf section of the Magazine and included a story titled “The Thunderbird Mystique.”


Kathy M. Kosaitis ‘64 formerly of Los Angeles, CA, died on October 26, 2013 at her home in Walnut Creek, CA. She received a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and her master’s degree in 1979 from Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona. She was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay and worked most recently in Executive Tax Support in the East Bay area of California. She was a strong, brave person with an easy wit, winning personality and big heart. Her many colleagues and long-time friends miss her deeply… Kenneth W. Holbrook ‘66 passed away on February 23, 2014… Peter Feddersen ‘67 passed away in Bangkok Thailand on August 12, 2014…  David Marshall Hunt ‘68 writes: I have experienced over 40 years of international business, consulting, and teaching, in South Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Southeast Asia, Pakistan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, South Africa, Canada, and the USA. The people of these many countries and places and their historical roots and legends have always fascinated me and I retold many tales in my classes and lectures. Now I have turned to writing fiction which I hope reaches a broader audience…  Frederick H. Opper III ‘68 passed away on January 28, 2013…  Stanley Loar ‘69, former CEO and currently Chairman of the Board of Woodruff-Sawyer & Co. (insurance brokerage) in San Francisco, is incoming chairman of World Federation of Insurance Intermediaries which deals with insurance regulators worldwide. He just received the Ramsden-Sullivan Memorial Award for service to the insurance industry. Currently he serves on the following boards: PAR (Bermuda), Loar LTD (London), and AG Re (Bermuda). He and his wife, Sue, live on a ranch in Marin County, CA where eight grandchildren visit often. Dan Partel ’62  I have had a busy year having launched a new company Calibra Technology Ltd on Jan 2 1014 and next week a Second with the launch of Sentronics Ltd at the Professional Motor Sport World Conference in Koln Germany. After three and a half years of R&D our Ultrasonic Fuel flow meter brand Flowsonic will be introduced. The significance of this product to the motor racing world is it will refocus the Auto industry from promoting power and performance to promoting fuel economy a pocket book issue now and even more so in the future A new high profile platform to promote energy efficiency. An example of the impact ,by implementing the new 2014 fuel flow rules with the use of this technology Mercedes is winning the Formula 1 world championship using 30% less fuel than last year and Audi won the 2014 24hrs. of Le Mans using 27% less fuel than 2011. These are incredible results and impossible to repeat year to year but an example of what can be achieved to reduce fuel consumption in the transportation sector when we want to. Allan Brenteson ’60 died in Miami on January 20th.  He was former Rohm & Hass Latin American manager and Director of Baptist Health Systems Miami for many years.  He is survived by wife, Maria.


Ed Auble ‘72 writes: My undergraduate school, Lafayette College, will open its new $10 million Center for Global Education in January. Our class established and is funding the International Speakers Series, a program to bring in outside speakers on current international topics…On a personal note, my third grandchild was born in August. His name is Sebastian, a name that works well in the U.S. and his father’s home country of Colombia. In mid-September, I was invited, along with other T-birds, to Joe Nassif’s ’08 Paella Party in Wayne PA…  Richard Burris ‘72 passed away on April 6, 2013. He was 68 years old…  Byron G. Tosi ‘73 died on May 23, 2014 of complications from emphysema at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was 70 years old… Richard L. Saint-Amant ‘75 of Marlborough, MA died peacefully on June 28, 2014 surrounded by family at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 65 years old… M. Camper O’Neal Jr. ’75 died while jogging in San Diego, CA on March 8, 2014.  He was 66 years old…  Andrew Lubin ‘75 was on Iwo Jima in March 2014 to attend the 69th Anniversary Reunion of the Honor Ceremony held by the U.S. Marines and Japanese Self-Defense forces to commemorate the courage and determination of both sides in World War II’s most costly battle. General James Amos, Commandant, USMC, spoke, as did the Honorable Mr. Nobou Kishi, Japan’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. Andrew was invited by the 3rd Marine Division, and was the only U.S.-based journalist to attend… Michael Wright ‘76 has joined Segal Rogers Casey as Senior Vice President and Senior Consultant. Michael is focusing on pension risk and asset liability management for defined benefit plans and on strategic defined contribution plan consulting. He has spent the past 20 years at Buck Consultants, most recently as National Investment Consulting Practice Leader…  Donald R. Gibson ’77 died on July 10, 2013 in a motorcycle accident while in New Mexico on a business trip. He was a government contractor based at Fort Huachuca, Sierra Vista AZ…  Cynthia Schreuder ‘77 created CLS Printing, which is now headquartered in San Mateo, CA, in April 1990 after growing frustrated with being part of a male-dominated business. Her company provides specialized publishing and distribution of financial documentation such as bond offerings, annual reports for big time businesses like Cypress Semiconductor, official statements and prospectuses…  Sherry Greaves ‘77 passed away unexpectedly on July 22, 2013 at the Ottawa General Hospital…  Cramer Owen ‘78 has been named Key Equipment Finance national leasing manager. In this role, Cramer will focus on establishing new relationships with manufacturers, dealers and end-users with the objective of providing equipment financing solutions to medium and large fleet specialty vehicle operators…  John D. Walker ’78 passed away suddenly in August 2012. After graduating from Thunderbird, he led the State of Tennessee’s fledgling export office which required substantial overseas travel. Later, he moved to international banking serving the trade needs of corporate clients for 26 years. He was actively engaged as a founding member or in leadership positions on the boards of the International Business Council of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, the World Trade Council of Middle Tennessee and the Japan-America Society of Tennessee (JAST). Through his service with JAST, he was closely aligned with the longstanding partnership of seven member states of the Southeast US/Japan Association. As a tribute and in honor of his legacy to the international business community, JAST has established the John D. Walker Iris Award which recognizes unique and lasting contributions toward the enhancement of Japan-Tennessee relations by an individual or company. Proud of his connection to Thunderbird, John spent many hours promoting the school in the Middle Tennessee area. Whether responding to local universities’ requests to give a presentation regarding Thunderbird’s programs, organizing T-bird Tuesdays, taking time to meet with a prospective student or welcoming a fellow graduate to the vicinity, he was always pleased to represent the school. Earlier this year, Nashville T-bird alumni, together with former classmates, purchased a Tower Pub bar stool in his memory. As two alumni commented, “He epitomized everything that is great and unique about the school” and “He understood what it meant to be a T-bird for life.” John is truly missed by all who knew him and will long be remembered for his kindness, generosity of spirit, contagious laughter and good humor. Daniel J. Donahue III ‘77, specialized in Operations work for the Central Intelligence Agency during his 40 years with the CIA, died of a glioblastoma brain tumor on October 7, 2014, at his home in McLean, Va. Mr. Donahue joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1977 after leaving active military duty as an officer in the US Army, where his assignments included Commander of two Special Forces “A” teams in Vietnam. He was with the 101 Airborne Rangers. During his years with the CIA, he served in numerous capacities including CIA Representative, Professor and Chair in National Intelligence at the US Naval War College and Senior Fellow on the US National Intelligence Council. David Mullon ‘77, former Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chief Counsel and Tribal Attorney, joins Venable LLP as a counsel in the Washington office. Roger W. Titley ’75, Senior Vice President and Managing Director at InterContinental Hotels Group, London retired to Coral Gables, FL and Sun Valley, ID after a 35-year, globe-spanning career in hospitality management.


Daniel Bonilla ‘81 passed away on May 19, 2014…  Christopher Hargitt ‘82 passed away on January 10, 2014 in Lake Forest IL at the age of 54…  Gregory A. Duncan ‘82 was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Susquehanna Bank, effective October 10, 2014. Greg, currently Executive Vice President of Susquehanna Bancshares, Inc., also will assume the role of president of the holding company. “During Greg’s 24-year career with Susquehanna, he has held key roles leading front-line banking teams as well as our operational support departments,” said William J. Reuter, Susquehanna Bancshares’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “His expertise in the industry, ability to guide teams and dedication to the ideals of community banking will serve him well as he assumes leadership of Susquehanna Bank”…  James (Jeb) Buffinton ‘89 writes: After 23 years in Paris, I’ve returned to the U.S. and founded a consulting company in Atlanta, GA. Taking lessons from my experiences in high-tech marketing, strategic communications consulting and as a former producer of events for foundations, European royalty, and corporations, I founded J. E. Buffinton Consulting LLC to work via agencies with their clients on communication projects. On the personal front, I’m married to Andria Mikoloski, a certified massage therapist with her own practice, and have two boys, Dylan and Clement. Dylan is in the master’s program at Science Po in Paris; Clement is finishing his first year studying agronomy at Groupe ESA in Angers…  Bill Schrom ‘81 has served as CEO of Houston-based Geotrace Technologies since December 2003. Geotrace is a leading energy company that provides high-tech analysis of geological formations. With more than 200 employees at locations throughout the world, Geotrace is an international company on the cutting edge of technological advancements for the energy industry. Bill has been involved in the geophysical industry for more than three decades, and provides leadership and expertise in a field that is continuously adapting and evolving in the ultra-competitive energy landscape…  Christophe Bellinger ‘80 has retired from the Asian Development Bank as Lead Guarantees and Syndications Specialist. His first exposure to risk mitigation products was in a case study at Thunderbird involving the use of political risk insurance with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). He later went to work for OPIC, then joined the political risk insurance department of the American International Group. In 1988, he joined a team to establish the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, the political risk insurance arm of the World Bank Group, where he spent 16 years. Since studies show that political risks remain a top concern of foreign investors, Christophe plans to continue to work in this field advising investors and exporters on how to protect themselves…  Rachel McKinney ‘83has been named Vice President of Human Resources for the Marcus Corporation. Rachel joins the company with over 30 years of human resources (HR) experience. Prior to joining The Marcus Corporation, she served as executive vice president, chief human resources officer for School Specialty, Inc. based in Appleton, WI for five years… Bruce Moore ‘84 died of complications from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) on January 6, 2014. Sol “Rusty” Dworkin ’82 has joined AIG as Vice President of Global Network Services Business Office in Fort Worth, TX. Douglas Sanders ’87 has been appointed as chief financial officer by Indi (Integrated Diagnostics.  Indi is the creator of Xpresys® Lung, the first non-invasive molecular blood test for the assessment of pulmonary nodules. Sanders is a prominent international life sciences CFO and entrepreneur who most recently served as CFO of CMC Biologics. Alan Musso ‘88, appointed as Bellicum’s CFO and Treasurer, has over 25 years of biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry experience in both large and emerging growth companies, including capital raising, corporate partnering, finance, strategy and the financial stewardship of publicly-traded companies. Prior to being CFO at Targacept, Inc., he began his career working in the public accounting field at KPMG and later held positions of increasing responsibility with Pfizer. Bert Pijls ’89 was appointed by Hellenic Bank’s Board of Director’s the Chief Executive Officer of Hellenic Bank. A Dutch national, Pijls has over 20 years banking experience at positions in the financial services sector of Citigroup and American Express in England, USA, Germany, the Czech Republic and Belgium. Trevor Shine ‘84 is still living and working in the UK. He is a partner in TICTAC Communications Ltd, a company involved in specialised drug analysis.


Amy Barone ’90 is a finalist in the New Women’s Voices Chapbook Competition from Finishing Line Press. Her new poetry book, Kamikaze Dance, will be released in January 2015. She sits on the board of the Italian American Writers Association and is a professional member of PEN America Center…  Tony Louis Browning ‘90 passed away in Brazil on April 19, 2014. He was born on March 10, 1954 in Austin, TX. Tony lived in Miami, FL and most recently in Brazil with his wife, Fatima, and their daughters, Camila and Marina. Tony was the president of MeridianoAgrotrade, a wholesale dried fruit and nut business established in 1994. He is survived by his mother, Susan Browning, his siblings, Luke and Lauren Browning, and his father, Douglas Browning and his father’s wife, Becky… Steven T. Syrmopoulos ‘91, DBA., Englewood CO, will become an associate professor of finance at Upper Iowa University (UIU). He earned his doctorate in business administration at Northcentral University, Prescott Valley, AZ; his master’s degree in international business management at Thunderbird School of Global Management, Glendale, AZ; and his bachelor’s degree at Winona State University, Winona, MN. He comes to UIU from the College for Financial Planning in Centennial, CO where he was an associate professor and chair of the graduate degree program. Previously he served on the faculty of Ottawa University, Western International University, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, all in Phoenix, AZ. Steven’s experience includes financial consulting for Ernst & Young, The Rouse Companies, A.G. Edwards & Sons, and The Prudential… Allan Bennett ‘92 is Director of Business Development & Strategic Marketing at the Knox Company in Phoenix, AZ… Sara Engber ‘93 married Mark Cordes on May 17, 2014 in Kansas City, MO. The reception was held at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, and four Thunderbird alumni were in attendance. Sara was promoted to Vice President Retail Division of Huhtamaki, Inc., a Finland-based packaging and disposable tableware company… David B. Coons ‘94, resident of Burlington, WA, died July 9, 2014 at St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham, WA. He was 45 years old… Jerry Pupillo ‘94 has been named General Manager of Hawai’i’s “Best of Honolulu” family attraction and #1 season pass venue, Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawai’i. In his role, Pupillo will oversee strategic planning, development and implementation, sales, marketing and promotions… Brian Charles Vaughan ‘94 passed away from cancer on February 20, 2014… Alla Weinstein ‘97 is President & CEO of Principle Power which has been named in the 2014 Global Cleantech 100 List which recognizes the top private companies in clean technology. The company’s floating support structure for offshore wind turbines, the WindFloat, represents a paradigm shift in the offshore wind market and enables the installation of offshore wind farms in water depths previously inaccessible due to technology limitations… Cindy Han ‘99 has been appointed as Managing Director of Radius, Asia, a Global Market Research company. She has more than twenty years experience in market research and business development. Sasha Ablitt ’93 is celebrating the 30th anniversary of her business—Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners and Launderers. Founded in 1984 by Sasha’s parents, Neil and Sue Ablitt, Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners started with a boiler, a flatwork ironer and a vintage dry-cleaning machine in Santa Barbara, Calif. From there, the business has grown to now more than 30 employees, with their signature pick-up and delivery service along the Central Coast of California. For the Ablitt family, high-quality dry cleaning is a family legacy. Neil Ablitt’s parents first met working at the dry cleaners owned by his maternal grandfather. After his parents were married, they started their own dry cleaning business in the same building where Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners now operates. After living in Mexico and Canada for a decade, Mr. Ablitt brought his family back to Santa Barbara and started Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners in 1984. His daughter, Sasha Ablitt now owns and operates the business. In total, the Ablitt’s family has been in the dry cleaning industry for more than 100 years. “It has been wonderfully rewarding managing the business I watched my parents build when I was growing up,” said Sasha Ablitt. “Dry cleaning is so much more than doing a load of laundry. Every day, I want to grow the legacy left by my parents and grandparents.” In addition to traditional dry cleaning services, Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners offers a Concierge Service that provides free pickup and delivery; specialized cleaning for household linens, expert wedding dress cleaning and preservation, bedspreads and sofa covers; leather and suede care; expert alterations. Sasha Ablitt graduated from Thunderbird School of Global Management in 1993 with her Master of Business Administration degree in international business. For more information, visit www.ablitts.comMichael Zuieback ’91 has been named Discount Tires  CEO to succeed Tom Englert, who will remain an advisor and member of the board of directors.  Zuieback has been with Discount Tire for 14 years, first acting as the executive vice president of strategic planning before becoming the company’s president. His successor as president hasn’t been named. Brad Brooks ‘91 has joined DocuSign as Chief Marketing Officer to help more customers experience the power of DocuSigning anything, anytime, anywhere, on any device. Securely. Brooks brings more than 25 years of experience leading global marketing and business strategy for blue chip technology companies – including Microsoft, Juniper Networks and AT&T Lucent Technologies – to his role at DocuSign. Uli (Ulrich) Wassmer ’95 died from cancer, on Dec 20. He died age 45, leaving his wife Christina and two sons Fabio (9 yrs) and Dario (4 yrs). Kelli Crain ’97 has been named Vice President of Marketing by Group 1200 Media, the parent holding company of FUNimation Entertainment, Giant Ape Media, and Group 1200 Products. Thomas Idzorek ‘99, CPA, CFA, who has served as president of the Morningstar Investment Management group since 2013, is taking on a new role as head of investment methodology and economic research for Morningstar.


Brandon Bethea ‘04 is a Marketing Consultant for new divers for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). His key responsibilities are managing the content and communications for new diver acquisition, youth market, and PADI Canada… Jeff C. Frazier ‘05, former General Manager and Partner of Microsoft’s Worldwide Public Sector and previous Managing Director of Cisco Systems’ Consulting Services, has been named Senior Vice President Americas for Wynyard Group. Wynyard Group is a market leader in crime fighting software used in investigations and intelligence operations by government agencies and financial organizations. Frazier will lead Wynyard’s America’s business in the U.S., Canada, Central and South America. Jeff is well known for creating top-and bottom-line impact, working with chief executives and government leaders. He will apply that experience to grow Wynyard’s business in the Americas…  Uday Marty ‘05 died in the worst accident on Mt. Rainier in 23 years. He and five others were killed while trying to reach the 14,417 foot summit. He was 41 years old… Matt Harker ‘06was a loving husband to Stacy and father to three young boys – Quinton, Sawyer and Gavin – known by family and friends for his irrepressible optimism. Matt died of brain trauma May 30, 2014 at Swedish Medical Center in Denver after being struck by a car in Casper WY while riding his bike to work the previous day. He was 39 years old… Aaron Wilder ‘08 has been traveling to destinations including Ohio, North Carolina, and Massachusetts as a consultant helping clients on a range of issues relating to organization design and training. Additionally, Aaron has been exhibiting his mixed media, two dimensional art in Washington, DC. Aaron’s first ever show in Manhattan was April 17-30 at SPACEWOMb Gallery. The group exhibition, titled “Spring Art Market,” featured two pieces from Aaron’s “Work on Paper” series. Brent Byers’11 is the new Southeast Territory Manager for BioSafe Systems agrichemical division.  He will be supporting the crop protection, water treatment and food safety business segments.  Based in Pittsboro, North Carolina, Brent will spearhead sales goals to establish consistent, direct communication with strategic distribution partners, growers and packers and market influencers. In his role, Brent is charged with increasing the market penetration and sales of BioSafe’s crop protection, water treatment and food safety solutions. Mark Edwards ’00 has been promoted to Senior Vice President, commercial loan unit manager and bank economist by Northrim Bank. Jill Tracy Khoury ’02 has been promoted to Global Alliance Director, responsible for Dell partnerships.


Jeremy O’Brien ’11 is the new Vice President of Human Resources, Latin America for Ecolab based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Jeremy has more than 15 years of experience in HR supporting multiple geographies across several lines of business. He joined Ecolab from CNH/Fiat Industrial, where he was head of HR for Australia/New Zealand and Far East Asia. Prior to Fiat, Jeremy held several HR roles at Kohler Company and Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Gavin Smith ‘13 recently re-launched/re-branded his independent consulting business, Gavin Consulting.  Their goal is to deliver meaningful insights and solutions in the areas of global management, leadership, strategy, media and digital marketing. He has also launched Civilian Exposure a 501c3 non-profit organization supporting workers and veterans exposed to toxic water and soil contamination aboard US military installations. Civilian Exposure is quickly creating greater awareness, accountability and assistance for victims and families impacted by adverse health problems as a result of their exposure.