Alumni Notes

  1. Steve Michlin

    BSE- ChemE BSE-MatSci, ’84, reports: “I have 39 issued U.S. patents. I am an inventor. I invented a ‘Superbowl Chair’ that goes along the peak of my 67-foot glass room on the third floor by remote control. It also rotates clockwise and counter-clockwise by remote control. Last, it goes up and down between my second and third floor, also by remote control. I have a youtube video, including a song about the Superbowl Chair. Check it out.”

  2. Winston Wenyan Ma

    MBA ’03, managing director at China Investment Corp., is part of the Asia Society Class of 2013-14 “Asia 21 Young Leaders.” This is a prestigious group of the region’s emerging leaders under 40 in fields including government, business, policy, education, and arts. This will be Asia Society’s eighth class of Asia 21 leaders for a program that identifies and brings together young leaders based on their outstanding achievements, commitment to public service, and desire to make the world a better place by collaborating with counterparts across the Asia-Pacific region. China Investment Corp. is the sovereign wealth fund of China; its North America office is based in Toronto. Ma is one of a small number of native Chinese professionals working as an investment professional and capital markets attorney in both the United States and China. He is also a standing director for the Canada China Chamber of Commerce and a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum.

  3. Justin DeLay and Michael Yagley

    co-founders of Chicago-based TempoDB, recently announced they have raised $3.2 million of Series A capital from midwest venture capital firms. The financing will allow them to grow the time series database service and continue scaling big data storage for sensor data. DeLay, BBA ’05/MSI ’12, is CMO at TempoDB; Yagley, BSEE ’05/MSEE ’07, is CTO. TempoDB enables unlimited storage of measurement data generated by sensors and connected devices, a service for which there is exploding demand. The firm serves customers in industries as diverse as energy, manufacturing, infrastructure, healthcare, and the emerging “Internet of Things.” Built for software developers, TempoDB’s database is infrastructure-as-a-service and makes time series data storage and analysis simple and powerful. The firm’s growing customer base includes Fluke, NinjaBlocks, WattVision, sMeasure, and many others. In addition to their business partnership, DeLay and Yagley share a passion for music. While students at U-M, they founded the band The Most. The duo have started two companies together, and TempoDB is the first to gain venture funding. In 2012 they graduated from the first TechStars Cloud class in San Antonio, Tex., a highly competitive accelerator program.

  4. Alex Chalmers

    MBA, is managing director of Avenida Capital in Colombia. Founded in 2006, the real estate private-equity firm’s staff also includes U-M grads Michael Teich (BA), and Carlos Alberto Torres (MSE). With offices in Bogotá and New York City, the company pursues opportunistic fund and direct equity investments across select property types throughout Latin America. The firm has committed capital both as principal and on behalf of its investors to residential, retail, and mixed-use projects in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Panama, and the United States. “We are focusing on the emerging middle class segment, and are doing some really interesting things,” Chalmers says. “The private-equity scene is just beginning down here so it’s a great time to be a part of it.” The principals and advisors of Avenida Capital have executed over $1 billion of real estate transactions.

  5. Chris Blauvelt

    ’06/’07, is founder and CEO of Patronicity, a crowdfunding platform in Detroit that enables anybody to make a difference in the community by supporting local businesses, organizations, and events, while simultaneously offering donors incentives to do so. Patronicity accomplishes this by helping local entities (a small business, for example) raise small amounts of capital through online donations for specific growth-related projects. In return for their support, the business offers value-adding rewards to the donors. In this way, Patronicity helps the business, the donor, and the community win, because “businesses are thriving and patrons are walking the streets” Blauvelt says.

  6. Audrey Geyer

    ’88, is an independent video producer in the Metro Detroit area, and her nonprofit company, Visions, has completed a one-hour documentary on Michigan Native Americans entitled, “Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience.” It dispels the myth that American Indians have disappeared from the American horizon, and reveals how they continue to persist, heal from the past, confront the challenges of today, keep their culture alive, and make great contributions to society. Their experiences will deeply touch both Natives and non-Natives and help build bridges of understanding, respect, and communication, Geyer says.
    In the documentary, an Ojibwa Firekeeper demonstrates the ancient healing ceremony of the Sacred Fire. Also, a Native American businessman, journalist, artist, and youth advocate share how they use ancestral teachings to foster diversity and creativity as well as to educate and initiate social change. The stories shared in this documentary are powerful, startling, despairing, and inspiring. They reflect an American history fraught with the systematic destruction of a people. Yet, amidst the debris of suffering and trauma, there is resilience and a profound remembering and healing taking place today, which also will benefit the next Seven Generations. The program airs throughout November 2013 on six Michigan PBS stations. Viewers also can find it at Vimeo (password: geyeraudrey).

  7. Douglas K. Sheff

    BA ’80, is president of the Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA) and recently received a national award for helping to put Massachusetts on the map as a leader in workplace safety. Sheff is the first attorney in Massachusetts to serve as president of the MBA, president of the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, governor of the American Association of Justice, and Trustee of AAJ’s National College of Advocacy.

    In October 2013 the Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), a national nonprofit membership organization dedicated to representing the interests of millions of workers and their families, honored Sheff for bringing together a multi-industry coalition from business, law, medicine, government, and academia to speak with one voice on a variety of safety issues as part of the MBA’s Workplace Safety Task Force. Other states are now looking at the “Sheff Model” for their own workplace safety initiatives.

    Sheff is senior partner at Boston-based Sheff Law, founded by his father in 1957. Sheff joined the firm in the early ’80s.

  8. G Scott Haislet

    BBA ’82, celebrates his 25th year in practice in Lafayette, Calif. He is a CPA and tax attorney, with emphasis on real estate, 1031 exchanges, estate planning, and tax matters. Haislet has authored two courses: “Real Estate Taxation” and “1031 Exchanges,” and teaches those courses to CPAs and attorneys on behalf of the California CPA Education Foundation. He lives in Orinda, Calif., with his wife, Pam, and their children, Rachel and Garrett. He has been a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area since 1982 (arriving immediately after U-M graduation, citing “you don’t shovel fog in the winter” and “here you play golf year-round”). Haislet plays more that 100 rounds of golf per year, and retreats to Carmel whenever possible.

  9. Ali A. Houshmand

    MS/PhD, recently was inaugurated as the seventh president of Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J.

    Houshmand earned his master’s degree and a doctoral degree in industrial and operations engineering from Michigan. He was appointed Rowan’s president last summer. He served as interim president for a year and, before that, was the university’s provost, a position he took in 2006. Though he wears Rowan Brown and Gold with pride, he has been known to utter “Go Blue!” more than occasionally on campus. He loved his time at Michigan and considers Ann Arbor one of the places he thinks of as home.

    Houshmand is leading Rowan, formerly a small state teachers’ college, into a profound period of transformation. In the past two years, the University, which now has 14,000 students, added two medical schools and became the second comprehensive public research university in New Jersey. Rowan is only the second institution in the nation to have both M.D.- and D.O.-granting medical schools. The M.D.-granting medical school, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, located in the City of Camden, was the first new medical school in the state in New Jersey in more than 35 years.

    Houshmand is known across the state for his passion for education, intensity, work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit, willingness to change the status quo, and for his devotion to providing students with a quality, affordable education.

    As Rowan’s president, Houshmand is working to increase Rowan’s campus to 25,000 students, improve diversity, quadruple research funding to $100 million annually, increase Rowan’s endowment to $500 million, and to expand academic offerings in in-demand areas such as science, technology, business, engineering and medicine.

    See Houshmand in action.