Keeping alumni and friends connected to U-M

Alumni Notes

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Herbert Brown,
JD '56, is a playwright. His original play, Henry Ford’s Model E, was produced by the Contemporary Arts Theater Company at the Riffe Center in Columbus, Ohio, in April 2017. The story follows the troubled relationship between Henry Ford and his son, Edsel. Henry Ford is remembered for high wages, the perfection of mass production, and making transportation available to the common man. Ford can rightly be said to have given birth to modern America. And yet Henry, the father, was unable to see Edsel, his son, for who he was -- a brilliant designer and an outstanding executive. The arc of the play traces the crushing effect this has on the son, who worshiped his father but never could earn the respect he deserved and craved. The result is tragic. This is Brown's fourth produced play.

Matthew Baker,
BA '03, is the VP of strategic planning at FreshBooks, the nation’s No. 1 accounting software in the cloud for self-employed professionals and their teams. He oversees long-range planning for the software company as well as market insights and public relations. Baker previously served as engagement manager at McKinsey & Co. and senior strategist at Google.

Shaun P. Patel,
BS '08/MD '12, is the chief orthopaedic surgery resident at the Harvard Medical School. In early 2017, he was named to the Forbes "30 Under 30" list.

Steve Geiringer,
BS '75/MD '79/MDRes ' 82, was installed as president of the American Academy of Physical Medicine at its annual assembly in New Orleans in October 2016.

Kevin Knight Duke,
BA '80, authored a book of erotic poetry titled The Red Pony and Chagall, scheduled for release in September 2017. Following the lovely and energetic, red pony named Filly as she pursues love, excitement, and her fortune around the globe, the book focuses on Filly's unconventional relationships with her cat, Midnight, and a painter named Chagall. Duke, a real estate broker doing business as Duke Realty, was responsible for the monthly production of the "Home Sales Map" published by the Ann Arbor Observer for more than 20 years. He was also an active member of many Ann Arbor area nonprofit organizations. His wife, Marie J. Gaston, who died of breast cancer in 2011, was a well-known artist in and volunteer at the Wines elementary school. Both of their sons, Carl and Rune, graduated from Ann Arbor's Pioneer High School.

David Brown,
MBA '95, chief financial officer and executive vice president at Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, recently was selected by the Des Moines Business Record as the 2015 Deloitte CFO of the Year. The annual award honors an individual for outstanding performance in their role as company financial steward, and significant achievement and success within their profession, as well as their personal and professional reputation showing high ethical standards. Brown joined Wellmark in 2011 and played an integral role in helping the company navigate the then uncharted waters of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He also helped develop a transformational cost savings target for Wellmark over three years. Prior to joining Wellmark, Brown spent 12 years with Capital One Financial Corp., where he led the finance function for Capital One’s domestic credit card business. He started his career in public accounting with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Kevin Magnuson,
a member of Michigan's 1988 National Championship Hockey Team, recently was named president of SCC/Special Olympics Chicago (SOC). He has served on the organization's board of directors since 2005. In this volunteer position, Magnuson oversees all fundraising efforts and secures corporate sponsorships to support Special Olympics Chicago programs and events. Much of his current energy is directed toward the 50th anniversary celebration of Special Olympics in July 2018.

Magnuson is the son of late Chicago Blackhawks All-Star defenseman Keith Magnuson (1969-1980), who was very involved with the Special Olympics cause throughout his life. Kevin Magnuson is partner at KO Sports, where he is a licensed Certified Player Agent with the National Hockey League Player Association. His primary role is to negotiate NHL contracts and endorsement deals for the players he represents. He also scouts and identifies the best NHL prospects in the Midwestern United States. Magnuson is a former practicing attorney, and also serves as senior business consultant and liaison for Lyman Law Firm. He was a four-year letterman and an All-Big Ten Academic Team Member during his time at U-M. He graduated from DePaul University Law School in 2006.

Ted Bucknam,
MBA, is the chief operating officer at Solis Mammography, the nation’s largest independent provider of screening and diagnostics for breast health. As COO, Bucknam oversees day-to-day operations and leads internal operational efforts in promoting Solis’ planned expansion into additional markets across the U.S. Bucknam previously served as president of Concentra, a multi-location healthcare subsidiary of Humana, Inc. He spent 20 years working his way through the ranks of the healthcare organization, beginning as an area administrator. His tenure included stints as director of operations, vice president of operations, and senior vice president of operations. Then, from 2011-15, he served as COO and then president.

Aviva Jacobs,
an '03 graduate of Teach for America New Orleans, recently was named a Schusterman Fellow. This recognition is given to those who see Jewish organizational leadership as an important way to create transformational change in the world. Jacobs currently is a VP on the recruitment team at Teach for America. Previously she worked as a senior policy adviser in Washington, D.C., striving to improve the roles of state and local leaders in fighting for innovation in educational equity.

David Wright,
'85, recently was recognized on the Barron’s 2016 “America’s Top 1,200 Advisors" list as well as the FT 400 Financial Advisors list. Wright is a Merrill Lynch private wealth advisor. His placement on both lists follows his previous recognition by Barron's where he has been recognized on the "Top 1,000 Financial Advisors" list every year from 2009-13. Additionally, Wright was named to the 2014 Financial Times "Top 400 Advisors List."

At Merrill Lynch, Wright focuses on clients facing a liquidity event, such as the sale of a business, diversification of concentrated stock, or inheritance. He lives in Winnetka, Ill.

Robert S. Bick,
BBA '83/JD '86, received the "All Star Attorney of the Year" award from the Association for Corporate Growth at the ACG Detroit M&A All Star Awards ceremony in May 2016.

Paul Selvin,
BBA '89, is a managing director of wealth management for Merrill Lynch in New York. He recently was named by Barron's Magazine to its 2016 list of America's Top 1,200 Advisors. The tribute recognizes that Selvin is among the nation's best in successfully working with clients to help them manage wealth and achieve their financial goals. Selvin grew up in Woodmere, N.Y., and now lives in Livingston, N.J., with his wife and two children.

Siddharth Gandhi,
BS '99, recently was named a “40 Under 40” honoree by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal in the publication’s annual showcase of the Twin Cities’ top young business and community leaders. He is a VP at Securian Financial Group. As head of strategy for Securian, Gandhi has been a key contributor to the company’s recent growth, leading numerous acquisitions, spearheading strategic investments in outside start-up ventures, and developing and implementing the company’s enterprise-level strategic plan. Gandhi also uses his talent and experience to benefit the Twin Cities’ community as an active board member of Visit Saint Paul, the official convention and visitor’s bureau for Minnesota’s capital city. Additionally, he is an engaged member of the rapidly growing Indian-American community in the Twin Cities, tackling issues of concern to Indian-American professionals and serving as a mentor and role model to many.

Heather Elisabeth Lanthorn,
MPH '07, received her ScD from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in March 2016. Heather had previously worked as an evaluation specialist at the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) in New Delhi, India. She is now employed by IDinsight in New Delhi as a senior manager.

Kay (Milewski) Kelly,
MPA '05/BA '01, co-authored a children's book that was briefly #2 on the Amazon.com bestsellers list for Children's Diet and Nutrition books (behind the Disney Princess Cookbook). Max the Monkey Has MCADD is the first children's book about this rare metabolic condition and has been embraced by families as a way to explain a very complicated disorder to young children.

Jeanine Young-Mason, EdD, RN, CS, FAAn,
BSN, '60, is the author of The Patient's Voice: Experiences of Illness. The second edition recently was published by FADavis Publishers, in Philadelphia and is available on Amazon.com in eBook and hardcopy versions. The book introduces contemporary autobiographical accounts of psychiatric and somatic illness written expressly for it. The accounts are of children's and adults' experiences of illness and include narratives of family members and advocates in the medical, legal and judicial system. They are all pertinent accounts for students of nursing, medicine, allied health professions and the law. Website: arts4health.org

James R. Weeks Jr,
MD, '77, has retired after being the only interventional radiologist in Northeast Michigan for 26 years. "It is time to enjoy what I have worked for my whole life, and spend more time with my family and friends," he says. It has been 26 years since Dr. Weeks toured ARMC (formerly Alpena General Hospital) saying, “I thought it was such a nice hospital for a small community, and I was fortunate to work with Dr. Bill Walker." Dr. Weeks arrived in Alpena in 1989 after a family practice residency in Kalamazoo Michigan. He began his career working at St. Joseph’s hospital near Benton Harbor. He then decided to return for a residency in radiology. He spent four years at Beaumont studying diagnostic, interventional, and neuroradiology. He worked at Mid-Michigan Regional Medical Center for four years before coming to Alpena. As an interventionist, Dr. Weeks has spearheaded a successful dialysis program over the course of his career at ARMC along with perfecting special procedures such as: digital subtraction angiography, stenting, abscess drainages, cholecystostomies, nephrostomies/stenting, and multiple other procedures including bone, lung, and thyroid biopsies. He is proud of other services now offered in his department such as a vacuum-assisted breast biopsy program, initiated by his partner Dr. Steve Zwieg. Over the years, Dr. Weeks made many contributions to special committees and served in multiple staff positions at the hospital. He sat on the cancer committee for 26 years and held a Chief of Medical Staff position, Chief of Surgery, Medical Director of Radiology, and Director of the MRI mobile. The most gratifying part of his career, he says, is providing the best service possible for the community. At the time of his retirement, he admitted he will miss his colleagues and his staff “who are like my extended family,” and that “although it can be stressful at times, I wouldn’t change a thing."

Elizabeth L. (Betsy) Snider,
BA '70/JD '76, won the 2015 Blue Light Book Award for her book of poems, Hope is a Muscle (Blue Light Press, 2015). Her poetry has been included various anthologies, most recently in Poet Showcase (Hobblebush Books, 2015), River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the 21st Century (Blue Light Press, 2015), and Love Over 60 an anthology of women’s poems (Mayapple Press, 2010). Snider was first published in the ground-breaking anthology, Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence (Naiad Press, 1985). She is retired and lives on a lake in rural New Hampshire. Besides swimming, hiking, and writing poetry, Snider has volunteered as a CASA Guardian ad Litem for abused and neglected children.

Osvaldo Rivera,
MSW ’87, was named a Michiganian of the Year by <em>The Detroit News.</em> He was honored for his extensive leadership in Detroit’s Latino community. Rivera is director of Wayne State University’s Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies and he is also director of community engagement at Southwest Solutions. He has dedicated his life to helping people in his community through activism and engagement.

Tonya Allen,
MSW '96, was named a Michiganian of the Year by <em>The Detroit News.</eM> She is the president and CEO of the Skillman Foundation and works endlessly to enhance the lives of children who attend Detroit Public Schools. Allen also played a pivotal role in the $200-million citywide education reform organization, Excellent Schools Detroit. Increasing educational opportunities and reforming the academic system in the city is at the core of what she does.

Jim Romaine,
PhD, '80, recently joined the Keystone Policy Center's Board of Trustees in Denver, CO. The Keystone Policy Center is a trusted nonprofit organization founded in 1975 to drive actionable, shared solutions to contentious agriculture, environment, energy, education, and public health issues. Keystone is recognized by public, private, and civic-sector leaders throughout the United States for independent, collaborative problem-solving approaches that offer a proven blueprint for progress and collective impact.

Karen Josefsberg Ladis,
BA '87, was appointed to serve on The Florida Bar Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services. She previously served on the American Bar Association Standing Committee for Pro Bono Legal Services for a term of three years. Throughout her 25-year career as a Legal Aid Advocate, Ladis has not only spearheaded numerous efforts aimed at helping those in need but has also mentored, recruited, and trained hundreds of attorneys willing to donate their time on a pro bono basis. She leads Dade Legal Aid in Miami-Dade County, Florida, a nonprofit group that provides access to justice for all.

James Habel,
BBA '98/MBA '05, recently joined PKC Group--North America as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in Farmington Hills, Mich. Prior to that Habel had been the finance director/business unit CFO of TRW's North America Steering business.

Scott Singer,
MBA '96, founded Insider Career Strategies, LLC, a firm assisting job seekers with every phase of their job search, including coaching and resume writing, as well as helping small and medium-sized companies develop and implement their recruitment strategies. He can be reached at scott.singer@insidercs.com.

David R. Roth,
BBA, is a partner in the Real Estate Practice Group of the Houston-based firm Jones Walker. Roth has more than two decades of broad-based transactional experience working both in-house and in private practice with public and private companies. He counsels clients in a broad range of transactions and financing in the energy industry, including projects involving electric power; onshore and offshore oil and gas exploration and production; transportation and pipelines; liquefied natural gas processing; commodity marketing and trading; and ancillary services such as equipment supply and seismic analysis.Prior to joining Jones Walker, Roth served as general counsel of Northern Star Generation LLC, a multiple private equity fund held power-generation company with operations across the United States. Roth is a member of the State Bars of Texas and California.

David Kaufman,
MPP, Ford School, is VP and director of CNA Corp.'s Safety and Security Division (SAS) in Arlington, Va. Kaufman is responsible for overall executive management for the development and execution of all work in SAS, including the areas of public safety, homeland security, emergency management, and public health. He previously worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as FEMA's associate administrator for policy, program analysis, and international affairs.

Dominique Lee,
'07, was honored in 2015 by the The Russell Berrie Foundation, an organization that celebrates unsung community heroes throughout New Jersey. Lee was honored for his work as the founder of Building Responsible Intelligent Creative Kids (BRICK), a New Jersey school that uses a holistic teaching approach to address the needs of students growing up in poverty so they can succeed academically. BRICK has vastly improved the educational prospects of some of New Jersey’s most disadvantaged students, in many cases raising kids’ reading abilities by four grade levels and putting them on a path to college.

Jacki Peck Skole,
AB '90, will see her first book, Dogland, published in August 2015. Part memoir, part investigative journalism, the book chronicles the author's journey, which begins when she brings home an eight-week-old puppy from a New Jersey rescue organization. As she gets to know the dog she comes to wonder how such a young animal could have so many idiosyncrasies. So she sets out to find an answer. See more about the book at ashlandcreekpress.com/books/dogland.html.

Dr. Eugene Schiff,
AB, was honored in April 2015 by the Hepatitis B Foundation, the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and improving the quality of life for those affected worldwide. The foundation honored Dr. Schiff with the 2015 Baruch S. Blumberg Prize for advancing the care and treatment of chronic hepatitis B. Dr. Schiff is director of the Schiff Center for Liver Diseases at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and was unanimously selected for the Blumberg Prize in honor of his pioneering work in hepatitis B and its medical management.

Robert Steger,
MSW '78, was honored with the 2014 U-M School of Social Work Distinguished Alumni Award. During his distinguished 43-year Army career as an officer and a social worker, he has advocated for improved services for the military community. Through problem-solving, educating, listening, supporting and empathizing he has guided thousands of active and retired military members toward gaining control over their lives. His impact on the military community has been immeasurable and exemplifies the vision of the University of Michigan School of Social Work: “A better society through individual and social change.”

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