Office of the VP for Communications – Keeping alumni and friends connected to U-M

Alumni Notes

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.