Alumni Community: Class Notes

By Peggy Bolstetter | Fall 2015

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Karen Sessions (BBA FIN) is the chief external affairs officer at 5 Bars, an innovator in premier DAS & Wi-Fi wireless infrastructure services. Sessions focuses on public policy, corporate strategy, external affairs and strategic partnerships, business and stakeholder relationships, vertical markets and contract negotiations, IT/IS organizational design, and continued innovation and capabilities within emerging markets and communities. Sessions previously held the title of vice president - director government relations, public policy, law and security with Verizon Enterprise Solutions, where she worked in leadership roles with Verizon and its predecessor MCI for more than 26 years.

Florida Governor Rick Scott announced the appointment of Patrick T. Hogan (BBA ACCT, JD ’96) to the Board of Directors of Florida ABLE Inc. Hogan, is the managing shareholder of Hogan Legal Services. He is currently a member of the Florida Institute of CPA and the Florida Bar. He is appointed for a term ending June 16, 2018.

Mathys and Potestio, an independently owned creative and technology staffing firm, has added
John Grossi (BBA ACCT)
as chief financial officer.


Kathleen M. Creighton (BBA FIN) has been promoted to rear admiral in the U.S. Navy. Creighton currently is serving as the director for Command, Control, Communications and Cyber, U.S. Pacific Command. Creighton holds various decorations and awards, including two awards of the Legion of Merit and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.


TaaSera Inc., a provider of preemptive breach detection for cyber security, announced that David Brigati (BBA FIN) has joined the company as executive vice president of sales. In this role, Brigati will drive accelerated business growth in both government and commercial markets while ensuring the overall quality, effectiveness and customer satisfaction of TaaSera’s solutions for uncovering hidden indicators of malicious cyber activity before a data breach disaster occurs.


Susan C. Ballard (BBA MARK) has been named chief operating officer at National Fire Adjustment Co. Inc. Ballard has more than 20 years’ experience in construction and real estate and will oversee the Syracuse, N.Y., office.

Jennifer M. Pollino (BBA ACCT) has been appointed to the board of directors of the Kaman Corporation. She will serve on its personnel and compensation committee. Pollino currently serves as an executive coach and consultant with JMPollino LLC, an executive coaching and consulting firm founded by Pollino following her retirement from Goodrich Corporation in 2012.

Financial services firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause has hired Michael Milani (BBA FIN) as principal and managing director of Baker Tilly Capital LLC. Milani will be responsible for leading Baker Tilly’s mergers and acquisitions efforts and will be based in the firm’s Chicago headquarters.


Mike Golic (BBA MGT) was recently inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as an honorary “Outstanding American.” Golic played football for four years and wrestled for two for the Fighting Irish prior to an eight-year NFL career with the Houston Oilers, Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins. Following his retirement, Golic joined ESPN, eventually
forming the “Mike and Mike” morning show with Mike Greenberg.


Ad agency executive Jay Carter (MBA) has been recognized as an ELITE by health-marketing industry magazine, PM360. The ELITE (Exceptional • Leaders • Innovators • Transformers • Entrepreneurs) recognition honors individuals who have made a significant impact to the health-care industry throughout their careers. Carter has worked for Chicago ad agency AbelsonTaylor for nearly 27 years.


Chris Policinski (BBA FIN) was appointed by the Minnesota governor to co-chair the Minnesota College Football Playoff Steering Committee. The committee will campaign to bring the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship game to Minneapolis.


Investors Real Estate Trust has elected Jeff P. Caira (BBA FIN) as a trustee. Caira will serve on the board’s Nomination and Governance Committee.

Kathleen Stapleton (BBA MARK) was recently appointed Baptist Easley’s chief financial officer. Stapleton has been with Baptist Easley since 2009 and has served as interim CFO since October 2014.


Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota honored William Herzog (MBA) with its Alumni Appreciation Award. Herzog has been a loyal benefactor and volunteer, and attended many alumni association events. He served on the Alumni Board of Directors from 2002-08 and as alumni board president from 2006-08 as well as serving on several committees including the Presidential Search Committee and the Planning Task Force.


Bernie Buescher (BBA ACCT) has joined the Keystone Policy Center as a senior policy affiliate. Buescher is the former Colorado Secretary of State and a former state representative from Mesa County.


Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP has announced the addition of James Gallagher (BBA ACCT) to its government contracts team. Gallagher is a partner at Pillsbury with more than 40 years’ experience representing government contractors.


Alumni from the Class of 1956 gathered on Oct. 10 for their annual ND ’56 Memorial Mass, which was held in the Welsh Family Residence Chapel. The Rev. Tom Chambers celebrated with assistance of Deacon Jim Revord. A luncheon followed in Morris Inn. Chairman of the ND’56 Endowed Scholarship Fund, Larry Kennedy (BS ’56) presented the 2015-16 Class Honorees - Eugene P. O’Connor and Bernard H. VanEtten (both BS ’56) and Henry S. Dixon (ND ’56).

Fr. Ted Memorialized By His First Class

Bill Warren and Bernie VanEtten (both BS Commerce ’56), along with their wives, Suzanne and Sharon, respectively, met with Rev. John Jenkins, CSC, on Sept. 3 to present a bronze plaque titled, “FOND MEMORIES OF FR. TED FROM HIS FIRST CLASS, ND56.” Joining Fr. Jenkins from the University was Diane Parr Walker, Edward H. Arnold University Librarian, and Dan Crossen Sr., director of University Relations.

VanEtten read a letter from Fr. Hesburgh dated May 8, 2009, in which he stated: ‘I am proud of all of our graduates, but you have a special place in my heart since you were the first to complete four years under my presidency, beginning in 1952.”

Shortly after Fr. Ted’s death, a core committee of four was tasked with creating a memorial. The diverse group, which included John J. Kelly, an engineer from New Orleans; Thomas Cagley Sr., a liberal arts major from Baton Rouge; William K.Warren, a business major from Tulsa and John Manion, a sales/marketing manager from Palm Desert, Ca., labored to create a memorial that appropriately reflected the unique relationship the Class of ’56 had with President Ted.

Hundreds of communications took place to select the plaque.

The Class has worked together for many occasions over the past 60 years as alumni — and its footprints can be seen throughout campus.




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