Keeping alumni and friends connected to U-M

Alumni Notes

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Ronald D. Puhala,
MORRISTOWN, NEW JERSEY, February 21, 2006 – Morristown, New Jersey-based law firm Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP is pleased to announce that counsel Ronald D. Puhala has been elected partner with the firm. Ronald D. Puhala, of East Hanover, practices in Riker Danzig's insurance group, focusing on insurance coverage defense and insurance bad faith. In addition to his law degree, he earned a Masters of Social Work from Rutgers Graduate School and completed postgraduate work in Child Treatment at Boston University. Mr. Puhala is a former Law Clerk for Hon. Ronnie A. Yoder, Federal Administrative Law Judge, Washington, D.C. He earned his J.D from the University of Michigan Law School in 1991 and his B.A. from Rutgers College in 1980. He is admitted to practice in New Jersey.

William A. Gregory,
I have taught at Georgia State University College of Law since 1983. Recently, my article on the Fiduciary Duty of Care: A Perversion of Words, Akron L. Rev(2005) was published. Also, my casebook on Corporations, 2d Edition, Lexis-Nexis was published in August, 2005. I was recently elected as a director of the GSU Federal Credit Union. Within the last few years I taught American corporate law at the Vytautas Magnus University School of Law in Kaunas, Lithuania. My wife, Shawn, a pension law attorney, and I live in Roswell, GA. My email address is

Richard A. Naski, II,
has joined Bodman LLP as an associate attorney. Naski is a member of the firm’s Individual Clients Pactice Group. He concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning and business planning.

Ryann Bunch,
Ryann Bunch has joined Bodman LLP as an associate attorney. She is a member of the firm’s Banking and Real Property Practice Groups. She concentrates her practice in banking and real property law.

Ron Haeske,
Ron Haeske has published his latest novel under the pen name Luke Dawson. The title is Devine Appointment. His hero, Seth Devine, is a U-M college student with a divine gift. Haeske explains the plot as follows: 'God arranges for him to meet people who have been seeking divine help. His appointments start out simple but soon become more intense--facing demonic spirits and Satanic worshippers. Allegro and Crescendo are the two angels assigned to Seth to battle in the supernatural realm. When Seth travels on a summer tour of northern Michigan with his band, he meets Grace Summers and wishes she was his next appointment. When he finds she is, complications arise.

The author invites readers to "enter the world of the supernatural in the first of a new series that will both entertain and inspire you."

Gregory Wesner,
Gregory Wesner joined Preston Gates & Ellis's Seattle office as a partner in its intellectual property law practice. Wesner brings 14 years of litigation experience to the firm including six years as a patent and IP litigator with Seattle boutique Christensen O'Connor Johnson Kindness. Wesner graduated with a degree in economics and earned his juris doctorate at Vanderbilt University in 1991.

Boris Kozolchyk,
On February 16, Dr. Boris Kozolchyk, president of the the National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade, dedicated the Victor and Vicki Folsom Library of Inter-American Law. Victor and Vicki Folsom were among the most respected Inter-American lawyers. Victor Folsom, who died in 1995, was a general counsel of Sterling Drugs and United Fruit, and Vicki was a prominent member of the United Fruit legal staff.

In addition, Victor Folsom served as president of the Inter American Bar Association. Because of his efforts, the University of Costa Rica Law School received a donation of a United States law library collected from various US teaching institutions. Folsom's writings on commercial credit in Latin America inspired Kozolchyk's landmark study Law and the Credit Structure of Latin America, published as a Rand Monograph by the RAND corporation and by the Virginia Journal of International Law. This was the writing that initiated the process of modernization of Latin America's commercial credit law.

I. Kaufman Arenberg,
The 25th anniversary meeting of the Prosper Meniere Society is honoring its founder, Dr. I. Kaufman Arenberg ’63, ’67MD, with the Gold Medal Award at the 12th annual international symposium and workshops on inner ear medicine and surgery. The symposium will be held March 4-11 in Zell im Zillertal, Austria.

Dr. Arenberg will be “honored for his broad and diverse contributions to inner ear medicine and surgery,” the society said, especially for his development of nondestructive surgical and inner ear drug delivery treatments for Meniere’s disease, one of the leading causes of vertigo.

A pioneer in the use of micro-flow-controlled drug delivery to the inner ear, Dr. Arenberg’s innovations are now used to treat other inner ear disorders. He co-founded IntraEAR Inc. to advance and enable the ability to better control and monitor severe otologic ailments.

As a medical student at Michigan, he worked with the Kresge Hearing Research Institute's (KHRI)leading reseachers, Joseph E. Hawkins Jr., Lars Goran Johnssen and Jesef Miller. He recently donated the income of several medica device patents to the University for the benefit of KHRI.

Dr. Arenberg is, or has been, on the editorial boards of seven peer-reviewed journals and was made associate editor of the AMA Archives of Otolaryngology during his residency at Washington University. He has edited six books and written more than 100 publications.

His fascination with the art world resulted in an article on Vincent Van Gogh, which diagnosed the painter’s illness as Meniere’s disease rather than epilepsy. The JAMA published the article as its cover story in July 1990, and Dr. Arenberg appeared on “CBS This Morning” with Paula Zahn and Charles Osgood to discuss his report on Van Gogh.

A resident of Bayville, Long Island, Dr. Arenberg notes that his daughter, Julie Arenberg Bierer, followed his scholarly interests and received her PhD in neurosciences at KHRI in 2001. Her husband Steve received his doctorate in biomedical engineering at Krege the same year. Dr. Arenberg also has two sons who have joined him in his research and business enterprises.

Fran Victor,
U-M Graduate & West Bloomfield resident Fran Victor is being honored by the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) by presenting her the Silver Circle Award at a luncheon ceremony on Sunday, February 26 at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, MI. The NATAS Silver Circle Award is a lifetime achievement award given annually to television professionals who began their careers at least 25 years ago and who have made substantial contributions to the industry and to the community over the course of their careers. It is one of the television industry’s highest honors. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in Film, Fran Victor began her television career in 1979 at WXYZ-TV Channel 7 in Detroit. While there, Fran helped create “Good Afternoon Detroit,” then a flagship afternoon talk show starring John Kelly and Marilyn Turner. In 1990 she began the second phase of her television career as a partner at Victor/Harder Productions. With VHP, Fran has been a leading independent creator of television entertainment, news, public service and fundraising content for national and international clients. Fran has produced television programming that has aired nationally on networks including ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, the Family Channel and Discovery, as well as internationally across Europe and Asia, including Singapore Television. In addition to the Silver Circle Award, Fran Victor is the recipient of many industry awards including multiple EMMY© awards (also given by NATAS), a CINE Golden Eagle award, over 15 Telly awards and more. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is television’s premier industry organization, with 20 regional chapters across the country. For more information about the organization and the award, visit the NATAS Michigan Chapter website at For more information on Victor/Harder Productions, visit their website at

Tim Fagan,
TIM FAGAN (UM '01) WINS ESQUIRE SONGWRITING CONTEST A songwriting contest was staged by Esquire magazine's columnist/musician John Mayer. Famed singer/songwriter John Mayer offered original lyrics and challenged musicians to put them to music. They received 2,212 entries. Tim Fagan's new CD "Out of the Dark" was released in late January ( It includes the winning song "Deeper." After graduating from Michigan, Tim lived in Ann Arbor and performed regularly in various the Ann Arbor-area clubs. He moved to the Los Angeles area in '04, but he returns to Ann Arbor to perform each year. You can read about the contest in Esquire's January edition (with Howard Stern of the cover), and in Billboard Magazine:

Robert C. Black,
is member of the California and New York bars, he is currently enrolled in the LL.M (Criminal Law) program at the University at Buffalo Law School, where he is writing a masters thesis and clerking part-time for U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott in Buffalo, New York. His fifth book, "Nightmares of Reason," is scheduled for publication by C.A.L. Press this year. His most recent journal article was "If at First You Don't Secede, Try, Try Again," New England Law Review 39(4) (Summer 2005): 839-869.

Tom Blake,
, author of, "Prime Rib & Boxcars. Whatever Happened To Victoria Station?" Published in January, 2006, the book includes stories of Rob Lytle, Michigan All-America running back, 1975, with mentions of Bo Schembechler, long-time Associate AD, Don Lund, the late Dr. Gerry O'Connor, Michigan linemen Bill and Tom Keating, Charlie Kines, and running back Bruce Allison, and former football captain, Fred Jahnke, plus many other UM graduates. A unique memoir and business book combined. For info: Tom lives in San Clemente, Calif., and is a columnist for the Orange County Register.

scott w rooney,
Scott W. Rooney, a 1984 graduate of Univ of Michigan Dearborn recently was selected to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a select grooup of personal injury attorneys throughtout the country that have obtain ten or more verdicts and settlements in excess of One Million dollars throughout their careers. Mr. Rooney, whose main office is in Dearborn Michigan, practices throughout the country and specializes in products liability and employment litigation.

Angela M. Hutchinson,
has been named the first African-American president of the Scriptwriters Network. The Los Angeles based Scriptwriters Network (SWN), was founded in 1986 by writers and now has over 600 active members. Hutchinson says she plans to provide a strong support system to the board of directors and the members-at-large. She will work to ensure that the mission statement of the Scriptwriters Network is consistently met, as well as implement new programs to increase membership and promote diversity.

Hutchinson is the author of three feature screenplays and two children’s picture books. She has worked for MTV, MGM, Warner Bros. Television, and National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. She has also managed to develop relationships with over 100 Film and TV Executives, Casting Directors, Authors, credited Actors, Screenwriters, Producers and Directors during the years.

The U-M alumna is a former Miss Teen Illinois Semi-Finalist, recipient of the 2004 International Poet of Merit Award and a 2005 IFP/FIND Project Involve Finalist for her children’s live-action screenplay Charm Kids. She has also recently been selected to join the advisory board of The Writers Store in Los Angeles. Her Web site is

Sandra Ries,
has been named the winner of this year's International Coach of the Year contest. As part of her Success Coaching process, Sandra encourages her clients to create a personal definition of success to assist them in focusing on their goals. She offers individual and group coaching to decision makers in small businesses, non-profit organizations and large corporations. Sandra has recently moved to Austin, TX, and is looking forward to becoming involved in her new community. To learn more, visit

Christine Skandis,
, founder and owner of Skandis Fine Wines, LLC, is now providing custom wine tastings for private functions, business and board meetings. She coordinates this event with feature local restaurants. "After you complete your business meeting your group can enjoy a culinary journey of an exclusive pairing of food with her rare, unique wines," she says. "It is an education and enjoyable event for everyone attending." Skandis focuses the wine import efforts of Skandis Fine Wines on rare, unique, indigenous grape varietals. She is currently presenting the United States with a rare forgotten Italian treasure - wines produced from the ancient Erbaluce grape from Cantina Sociale del Canavese which her company has exclusivity for the entire USA. This grape was enjoyed by the Roman Emperors themselves. An elegant masterpiece, created in a balance of citrus fruits and floral aromas, yet light and crisp with a long lived velvet-like finish. Experience this rare opportunity to enjoy a part of history and wines cultivated from methods of days gone by. To plan a wine event, email her at

Ira Greenberg,
, is a consulting account representative with Expedia Corporate Travel. Formerly with Rosenbluth International and the Center for Applied Research in Philadelphia, Greenberg develops online travel management programs for Fortune 500 corporations, a leading investment banking firm and a labor union located from New York through Washington, DC.

Darcell Suitka,
has been named executive director of the National Arab American Medical Association. NAAMA is a nonprofit, nonpolitical, educational and charitable organization of medical professionals of Arab descent. NAAMA was incorporated in California in 1975 and became a national organization in 1980. Twenty-eight chapters of NAAMA have been established in the United States and Canada. After receiving her BA in Enghlish at U-M, Sutika went on to the University of Illinois at Chicago to receive her Master's in Public Health in health policy and hospital administration.

Eric I. Lark,
a partner in the mergers and acquisitions, securities and corporate law department of Detroit-based Kerr, Russell and Weber, PLC, has been elected chairperson of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. Lark and his family reside in Northville. He is a frequent lecturer and author on various business law topics. Kerr, Russell and Weber, PLC, established in 1874, is one of Michigan's pre-eminent law firms. Approximately 20% of its attorneys are also Certified Public Accountants.

Janice Law,
, a judge in Houston, is the author of Sex Appealed, Was the U.S. Supreme Court Fooled?, which may be previewed on This nonfiction narrative of sex, jealousy, betrayal, ambition and murder is a behind-the-scenes investigation of Lawrence v. Texas, a 2003 US Supreme Court ruling striking down all consensual anti-sodomy laws. The Lawrence case was assigned to her Houston court when Law was judge-elect. She worked as a journalist for 14 years before becoming an attorney and criminal court judge. The landmark case triggered controversies about same sex marriage and related issues which remain in headlines today.

Charles R. Cornman,
will head the new Formulate Prducts Department for Grace Construction Products. The Cambridge, Masspbased firm is a worldwide leader in products and services for the construction industry. Cornman, who completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan, says the new group will focus on products and technologies driven by the needs of producers and contractors, including water reducers, superplasticizers, self-consolidated-concrete, cement additives, concrete accelerators/retarders, liquid membranes, and rheology modifiers. Earlier in his career, Cornman served as senior scientist for the Georgia-Pacific Corporation and was Assistant Professor of Chemistry at North Carolina State University. He holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Davis.

John Wingard,
saw seven of his entries win awards in Creativity 35, the international design publication and competition that recognizes outstanding world-class creativity in all areas of marketing, advertising and corporate identity design. The award-winning projects include designs for the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki, the Ocean Club, Rock Solid Surf Technologies, John Wingard Design and Luminet Systems Group.

“It’s great for our clients to be recognized by the Creativity annual,” said Wingard. “This book sets the standard for our entire profession, and it’s great to be included.” With over 35 local, national and international awards, John Wingard Design provides marketing, advertising, web design and graphics-based communication to a diverse clientele throughout Hawaii and the mainland. Visit to learn more.

Chris Bedford,
the owner of Sailing Weather Services, is serving as official meteorologist for the 2005-2006 Volvo Ocean Race, providing crucial meteorological information to the competitors as they race around the world.

The Volvo Ocean Race started Saturday, November 12, in Vigo, Spain, and will end in June 2006 in Gothenburg, Sweden, home of race sponsor Volvo's headquarters. Between start and finish are more than 31,000 nautical miles, four oceans, five continents, and some of the toughest conditions an ocean sailor can face.

Bedford is assisting race management in keeping the crews safe and competitive by providing a high-quality weather data service to all seven teams while they are at sea. The goal of the project is to supply good quality information for a safe race, and equal information for a fair race.

Bedford worked with the race organization to develop a standard weather data package that is provided via satellite to all teams. Data will be sent every six hours to each boat from a secure server located in Volvo Race Headquarters in Southampton, UK. He has also helped work through the technical issues involved in delivering near-real-time data to the boats in all their far-flung locations. The project focused on safety, practicality, and speed of delivery.

scott w. rooney,
a 1984 graduate of U of M-Dearborn, practices law in the area of complex auto products liability and employment litigation recently. He was selected as a member of the prestigious Million Dollar Advocates Forum comprised of Plaintiff's attorneys throughout the country who had successfully litigated more than one caseto verdict or settlement in excess of one million dollars.

Karen Majewski,
is the author of Traitors and True Poles: Narrating a Polish-American Identity, 1880-1939 (Ohio Univ. Press, 2003). The book was recently awarded the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America's Waclaw Lednicki Prize for best book in the humanities on a Polish subject. The award ceremony was held at the Polish Consulate in New York.

Since 2003 Majewski has served as City Council President/Mayor Pro Tem for the city of Hamtramck, Michigan. In November 2005, she was elected Hamtramck's first woman mayor, and will take office in January, 2006.

Matthew Thorburn,
has been named the winner of this year's Festivo Prize for Poetry, awarded by the Belfast (Maine) Poetry Festival. The prize will be presented to him at the festival on Friday, October 7, 2005.

Thorburn will also give a reading at the festival that night, along with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Charles Simic and Maine State Poet Baron Wormser.

A Michigan native who now lives in New York City, he was most recently back in Ann Arbor in December to read from his first book of poems, Subject to Change (New Issues, 2004). Shaman Drum Bookshop was the final stop on his "Misplaced Michigander" book tour, which also included readings in Lansing and Kalamazoo.

For more information on the Belfast Poetry Festival and the Festivo Prize, please visit For more info on the poet, visit

Pasquale J. Rocco, Jr.,
and his wife, Susan, are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Silvana Marie, August 22, 2005.

Carol Strand Smith,
first attended U of M in Ann Arbor for two years in 1955-1957, then went back to school when her children were out of school, at U of M Dearborn and received her BA in economics in 1983. She writes: "I lived at Jordan Hall in 1955-57. Is there anyone else out there who attended during that time and lived at Jordan? My husband, Richard, and I have retired and are living in Nortwestern Michigan and loving small town living. We purchased a small printed circuit board shop in Livonia in 1982 and our son is managing the business now. We have four children and 6 grandchildren. We have enjoyed doing a lot of traveling, some cruises and some driving or flying."

Christine Skandis,
founder and owner of Skandis Fine Wines, LLC, is presenting the United States with a rare forgotten Italian treasure - Wines produced from the ancient Erbaluce grape. Skandis says the grape "was enjoyed by the Roman Emperors themselves. An elegant masterpiece, created in a balance of citrus fruits and floral aromas, yet light and crisp with a long lived velvet-like finish." She presided over a wine tasting of Erbaluce as well as other wonderful wines at THE RATTLESNAKE with celebrity Chef/Owner Jimmy Schmidt on Aug. 3.

Sarah Carlson,
has been named manager of marketing of Jervis B. Webb Co., a leading materials-handling firm. In this role, Carlson will oversee all marketing, advertising and public relations efforts for the company and its products. Most recently, Carlson served as an account supervisor at Lovio George Inc. in Detroit, where she managed a number of clients and projects, including the 2005 Detroit Fireworks, Exhibit Works, Guardian Building and Michigan Department of Transportation. Previously, she worked as a television producer and writer for WWJ-TV 62/CBS and WXYZ-TV Channel 7.

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