Alumni Community: Class Notes

By Peggy Bolstetter | Fall 2015

Here you are again — on the first page of class notes. Welcome back.

You probably flip to this page as soon as you receive Mendoza Business magazine. You want to see who got a new job, who got married, who had a baby and, in some cases, who needs your prayers for a soul that has departed.

It’s great that you’re reading this, but information flows two ways, you know. Your classmates want to know about your life. So take a minute to SHARE your news. Email us at



Ryan Bull (BBA FIN) was named to the all-Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Team. Bull, who graduated with a degree in finance with a supplementary degree in computer applications from the Mendoza College of Business, finished his college career with a 3.076 GPA. As a senior, the Eden Prairie, Minnesota, native batted .268 for the Fighting Irish with eight doubles, five homers, a team-high 10 hits by pitch, 27 RBI and 28 runs scored while fielding a perfect 1.000 percent.

Poets & Quants named Elizabeth Owens (MBA) as one of the Best of the MBA Class of 2015. In a survey of 60 of the top-ranked full-time global MBA programs, graduates were selected by administrators, faculty and fellow classmates. More than 100 graduates who “exemplify the best of your school” as evidenced by academic prowess, leadership in extracurricular activities, personal excellence and striking personal narratives were nominated.


Julia Durgee (MBA) received a peer nominated “Bean’s Best” award at L.L. Bean for being a role model, service leader, innovator and expert. Durgee was presented the award, which is given to only 10 people annually, in front of hundreds of co-workers. She was recognized for being highly respected among her peers, senior leaders and industry partners; for inspiring others to do their best, try new things and explore new opportunities; and for her eagerness to tackle complex new tools and systems, learn how to use and optimize them, and then share these learnings with her team. One nominator wrote, “Her enthusiasm is infectious, and we’re lucky to have her as a part of the team.”

Durgee’s commitment to her peers and the community were highlighted, particularly her volunteer efforts at the Boys and Girls Club.


Brennan Investment Group recently announced that Brad O’Halloran (EMBA, BA ’76) has been named a managing principal of the firm. O’Halloran also will continue to serve as executive director of investor relations and in that capacity will maintain primary responsibility for expanding the company’s private client investor base, as well as supporting Brennan’s existing investors. O’Halloran will advise on special acquisition and development projects.

Prior to joining the firm, O’Halloran was the regional director of development for the University of Notre Dame’s Chicago Region. In addition, O’Halloran was previously senior VP and director of corporate development for Duty Free International.


Ashley Martin (BBA MARK) has been promoted to general manager of NIBCO’s Lebanon, Ohio, manufacturing facility. Martin began her career at NIBCO as a trainee in the human resources sales training program, where she won the Sales Trainee of the Year Award. She previously held the position of director of distribution and transportation.


Carl Ashqar (MSA) has joined the firm of Houlihan Lokey as a vice president. Ashqar spent nearly a decade at EY, where he most recently was responsible for the coordination and execution of financial due diligence for corporate and private equity buyers. His experience within the financial services industry includes asset management, mortgage banking, depository institutions and insurance companies, as well as regulatory and bankruptcy-driven advisory engagements. He is a certified public accountant in the state of New York and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the New York State Society of Certified Accountants (NYSSCPA).


Forcura LLC announced the expansion of their client experience team with Matt Obringer (MSA, BBA ACCT ‘04) as director. Obringer will manage and streamline all aspects of the Forcura experience for clients of the industry’s enterprise content management software.


In 2012, former University Notre Dame quarterback Patrick Dillingham (BBA FIN) and his business partner started the company Windy Hill Spirits. They created American Born Moonshine, and after 18 months on the market, the brand has taken off, expanding into its 20th state, including Indiana. Produced in Nashville, Tenn., all three flavors of American Born Moonshine can now be found in a number of bars and stores.


John Hancock Advisers LLC announced the addition of Ryan P. Lentell (MBA), CFA, to the portfolio management team for the John Hancock Financial Opportunities Fund.


Judd McNally (MBA) is the chief lending officer for Notre Dame Federal Credit Union (NDFCU) with responsibility for implementing and monitoring
all lending functions. His primary focus will be on growing NDFCU’s commercial loan portfolio, both with local business and nationally.


T.J. Brecht (MSA, BBA ACCT ’01) has been promoted to partner at Crowe Horwath LLP. Brecht works from the Elkhart office in tax services where he provides tax compliance and consulting services to locally held businesses, predominantly those in the manufacturing and distribution industry.


Susan G. Komen, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, appointed Meghan Shannon (BBA ACCT) to Komen’s Board of Directors. Shannon is a shareholder in the business law practice at Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. in Milwaukee, Wis. For the past six years, Shannon has been actively involved with the Komen Southeastern Wisconsin Affiliate, where she served as board president and treasurer. She was nominated through Komen’s Affiliate Network and brings experience in many areas of corporate, business and finance law.


John T. Schuring (BBA MARK) was elected a new member of the law firm Dickinson Wright PLLC. Schuring is located in the firm’s Grand Rapids office and practices in the areas of banking and financial services, corporate, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, and energy and sustainability.


Mike Drendel (BBA ACCT) has joined LEERINK Partners, a health care investment bank, as a managing director overseeing the firm’s specialty and generic pharmaceuticals practice. Drendel previously was with Lazard, where he was a managing director advising specialty pharmaceuticals companies in M&A transactions. He brings more than 15 years of investment banking experience.

The University of Illinois Springfield has named Mark Kost (BBA ACCT) as its women’s basketball coach.

Brian Archambeault (BBA ACCT) has been promoted from senior manager to partner at Crowe Horwath LLP. Archambeault works in the firm’s assurance professional practice providing technical guidance and oversight to not-for-profit and government audit services.


Steven Campbell (BBA FIN) has joined Annaly as a managing director, head of Annaly Credit Strategy. He joined Annaly from Fortress Investment Group LLC where he was a managing director in the Strategic Capital Group. Prior to Fortress, Campbell held positions at D.B. Zwirn, GE Capital and Dean Witter Reynolds.

John S. Fronduti (BBA FIN) has joined American Financial Group Inc. (AFG) as assistant vice president. He also will serve as vice president of American Money Management, a wholly owned investment management subsidiary of AFG, where he will provide legal advice in connection with the company’s investment portfolio. Prior to joining AFG, Fronduti was a partner with the Cincinnati-based law firm Keating, Muething and Klekamp.


The Governor of Georgia has reappointed Kami Luigs (BBA FIN) to the Professional Standards Commission Board. Luigs is the director of Citizenship for GE Energy Management. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Foundation for Public Education and the Children’s Museum of Atlanta.

Schowalter & Jabouri P.C., Certified Public Accountants and Consultants, announced that Janice A. Smith (BBA ACCT), CPA, has joined the firm as a senior audit manager. Smith has significant experience serving nonpublic entities, including higher education, not for profits, and governmental entities, as well as performing A-133 and other compliance audits, agreed upon procedures and reviews.


Knoll Inc. announced that Joseph T. Coppola (MBA) has been named chief operating officer, effective June 1, 2015. He is responsible for all of Knoll’s supply chain activities, including manufacturing, global sourcing, logistics, quality and environmental health and safety. Prior to joining Knoll, Coppola was the vice president, Global Supply Chain at Boart Longyear.

The Milwaukee Brewers have named Craig Counsell (BBA ACCT) the 19th manager in franchise history, signing him to a three-year contract through the 2017 season. Counsell played for the Notre Dame baseball team and spent the final five seasons of his career with the Brewers, retiring after the 2011 season. He joined the Brewers’ front office in 2012 as special assistant to the general manager.

Gibraltar Business Capital announced that Anthony DiChiara (BBA ACCT) has joined the firm as executive vice president, ABL Originations. DiChiara joins the team to accelerate the firm’s growth in the larger asset-based lending market nationwide, working with North American companies with up to $100M in revenue.


Joe Nolan (MBA) has joined Marathon Pharmaceuticals LLC as chief commercial officer. In his new role, Nolan will oversee the commercial development, marketing and launch of Marathon’s rare disease treatments.


Sandy Botham (MNA) has been hired as the director of athletics and operations at Madison West High School. Previously, Botham coached women’s basketball at UW-Milwaukee and worked for the school’s Alumni Association. While coaching the Panthers, Botham became the winningest coach in Horizon League history.

Botham played basketball at Notre Dame, where she was a four-time all-conference selection from 1984-88. After graduation, Botham spent one year as an assistant at Marquette before returning to Notre Dame to serve five years as an assistant to coach Muffet McGraw. She directed Beloit College to the NCAA Division III tournament in her only season at the school before taking over at UWM.

Botham is a member of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame (as a player) and the Madison Sports Hall of Fame (honoring her achievements as both an athlete and coach).

A $3 million gift from John (BBA FIN) and Mollie Baumer, will endow the Notre Dame head men’s lacrosse coaching position, provide stability and resources for the long term and create funds for use within the department and across campus. Baumer is a senior partner at Leonard Green & Partners of Los Angeles. He is also a member of Notre Dame’s Advisory
Council for the Student-Athlete, Campaign Cabinet and Wall Street Leadership Committee.

Iris Outlaw (MNA), director of multicultural student programs and services at the University of Notre Dame, received the Exemplary Award for Public Service from the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education. She is the treasurer and vice president for administration at the association.

Warren DeSouza (BBA ACCT) has joined Allergen Research Corporation, a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing desensitization treatments for food allergies, as chief financial officer. DeSouza has 25 years of combined experience in biotechnology finance and audit-assurance consulting. He most recently served as vice president, finance, at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, where he led accounting, SEC reporting, purchasing, tax, treasury and risk
management, among other responsibilities.

Martin Hull (BBA ACCT), formerly with the accounting firm of Marvin and Company, has been named chief accounting officer for Plug Power, a manufacturer of fuel cells used to power forklifts in warehouses and distribution centers.

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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.