Bob Thomson, ’50 BSB, recently opened his third Pancheros Mexican Grill franchise in Fridley, Minnesota. Thomson also owns franchises of the fast-casual restaurant in Bloomington and Golden Valley.


Larry Abdo, ’69 BSB, and Caryl Abdo, ’69 BSB, were both recently featured in Minnesota Business Magazine in a piece highlighting the dinner series that the twosome hosts for younger couples, preparing them to balance an entrepreneur’s life with family life.


Donald Nemerov, ’76 MA-HRIR, joined accounting firm FGMK in Bannockburn, Illinois, as managing director.


Michael Illbruck, ’85 BSB and ’87 MBA, was crowned the 2016 Melges 20 World Champion in Scarlino, Italy. The World Championships featured four days of incredible sport boat racing at a stunning venue with more than 200 sailors.

Janet Porter, ’85 MBA and principal at Stroudwater Associates in Portland, Maine, has recently been appointed to the AARP Board of Directors. AARP is a nonprofit organization that helps people age 50 and older improve the quality of their lives.

Lynn Littlejohn, ’87 BSB, received the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Award, which recognizes women for their professional achievements, leadership, and contributions to the Twin Cities community.

Christine Sovereign, ’89 BSB, received the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Award, which recognizes women for their professional achievements, leadership, and contributions to the Twin Cities community.


Sherif Guirguis, ’91 BSB, was appointed managing director of hotel operations at Silverwest Hotels LLC, a Denver-based investment and management company. In this role, Guirguis is responsible for overseeing the operations management of all Silverwest’s select service hotels.

Judy Lynse, ’91 MBA and president and CEO of Lifeworks Services, was named to the Minnesota Business Magazine’s 2016 (Real) Power 50. The list is comprised of nominations from previous members, and looks to identify those who are making changes in the Minnesota business community.

Brenda Sallstrom, ’91 MBA and co-founder and principal of Envoi, LLC, was recently recognized on 2016’s The (Real) Power 50 list by Minnesota Business Magazine. Members of the list are seen as the heart of their operation, and are major players in the Minnesota business community.

Dan Martinson, ’92 BSB and president of Xtrudex, was featured on the History Channel series “Million Dollar Genius” for his Gear Tie invention. Gear Tie is a reusable rubber twist-tie used to organize anything from a small cord or cable to large sporting goods equipment.

Charles Kummeth, ’93 MBA and CEO of Bio-Techne Corp., was featured in an article in the Star Tribune for Bio-Techne’s acquisition of Advanced Cell Diagnostics. Bio-Techne Corp. is a Minneapolis manufacturer of biotech research supplies.

Hilary Marden-Resnik, ’94 MA-IR, received the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Award. The award recognizes women for their profound career achievements and dedication to the community.

Jason Martini, ’94 BSB, is CFO of Bearpaw, a global leader in fashion footwear located in California. He is responsible for overseeing manufacturing, planning, and financial development for the company both domestically and internationally.

Sherri McDaniel, ’94 MBA, received the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Award. She was recognized for her professional accomplishments and leadership within the Twin Cities business community.

Gregg Peterson, ’94 MA-HRIR, is vice president of HR at Horton Holding, based in Roseville, Minnesota.

Keri Hoffman-Stelle, ’95 BSB, was featured in the Faribault Daily News in an article describing her journey and success in her career working for the Target Corporation in Minneapolis for the past 18 years.

Kim Noonan, ’96 BSB and ’00 MBA, is vice president of marketing and brand for the Opus Group in Minneapolis. Noonan is responsible for leading marketing strategies to drive business results as well as build awareness and engagement of Opus’ brand.

Jing Liao, ’97 MA-HRIR, was named president and chief commercial officer of Viridis Learning Inc., a San Francisco-based company that provides software for college student career placement.

Francis Sadac, ’97 MA-HRIR, is the director of HR transformation of the Hackett Group in Chicago. The Hackett Group is an intellectual property-based strategic consultancy.

Corey Bonnema, ’98 MA-HRIR, is the manager of employee development and engagement at the Metropolitan Airports Commission in Minneapolis.

Nina Hale, ’99 MBA, founder of digital marketing agency Nina Hale, Inc., was recently recognized as one of Minnesota Business Magazine’s (Real) Power 50 of 2016. The list is made up of people nominated by previous members, and looks to acknowledge those who are big players in the Minnesota business community.


Marc Detampel, ’00 MA-HRIR, started working for Alvarez & Marsal, a management consulting firm, as a managing director in its Chicago office.

Carrie Compston, ’01 MA-HRIR, joined Optiver in Chicago, as its head of HR. Optiver is an international trading company that builds markets and provides liquidity to international exchanges in Europe, the U.S., and Asia Pacific.

Brendon Schrader, ’01 MBA and the founder and CEO of Antenna, was recently named one of Minnesota Business Magazine’s (Real) Power 50 for 2016. Those recognized on the list are seen as remarkable members of the Minnesota business community, known for being successful while helping others along the way.

Bethany Quam, ’01 MBA, was named a senior vice-president at General Mills and president of its Europe and Australasia region. Quam has been at General Mills for 23 years, most recently leading the convenience and foodservice operating segment.

Sara Lissick, ’02 MBA, is the chief financial officer of Lifetouch, Inc. Lifetouch, Inc. is a photography company based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

Diane Palmquist, ’03 MBA, was recently appointed general manager for the Americas at Lumesse, a global leader in talent management solutions.

Brandon Lukach, ’04 MA-HRIR, is director of human resources at The Linux Foundation in San Francisco.

Stacey Fowler Meittunen, ’04 MBA, received the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Award. The award recognizes women in the Twin Cities community for their professional achievements and contributions.

Christina Spriggle, ’04 MA-HRIR, is director of human resources at Constellation, Inc. in Minneapolis.

Xavier Esters, ’05 MA-HRIR, recently joined ServiceMaster, a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services, as area HR manager in Chicago.

Sid Gandhi, ’05 MBA, is a chief strategy and customer engagement officer at Securian in Saint Paul. Gandhi will lead a reorientation of Securian’s strategic position to increasingly focus on end-customer engagement in order to enhance customer experience and increase brand awareness.

James Parker, ’05 MA-HRIR, is head of learning and development North America at BASF in New York.

Justin Porter, ’05 BSB and ’11 MBA, is vice president of operations at Kipsu. He was recently recognized on The (Real) Power 50 list for 2016 by Minnesota Business Magazine. The list acknowledges individuals in the Minnesota business community who are integral parts of their companies, and are working to make changes happen.

Alexandria Smith, ’05 MA-HRIR, has been appointed chief human resource officer for the city of Memphis, Tennessee. She is working to provide HR strategy and talent management for the city, including most recently leading the search for a police chief.

Hannah Ashiokai Akrong, ’06 MA-HRIR, is director of HR at Vodafone Ghana. Vodafone Ghana is a national telecommunications company based in Ghana.

Michael Guanella, ’06 MBA, has recently been appointed COO of Hormel’s newly acquired Justin’s Brand in Boulder, Colorado. Justin’s markets four successful nut butter-based snack brands. Guanella had previously led the Skippy peanut butter brand at Hormel to a new level of growth and innovation.

Cara Eickholt, ’07 MA-HRIR, joined AbbVie, a pharmaceutical company in Chicago, as senior human resources manager.

Claire Jadin, ’07 MA-HRIR, is director of human resources at Hill-Rom, a medical device manufacturer in Chicago.

Jonelle Coletta Parker, ’07 MA-HRIR, is global HR leader, R&D development at Bristol-Meyers Squibb in New York.

Casey Worthington, ’07 MBA, was recently named client services officer at Chandler Inc. in Afton, Minnesota. Chandler Inc. designs and builds branded retail environments. Worthington will be setting long-range strategies to drive overall growth of the company.

Matt Frauenshuh, ’08 MBA and CEO of Fourteen Foods, was recently named among the (Real) Power 50 of 2016 by Minnesota Business Magazine. The list is comprised of Minnesotans who are seen as connectors in their industry, known for making things happen and being remarkable players in the business community.

Kristi Ball, ’09 MBA, is site operations executive/DON for HealthEast Care System in Saint Paul.

Erik Haven, ’09 MA-HRIR, joined CoreLogic in Westlake, Texas, as vice president of human resources. CoreLogic is a leading provider of property, mortgage and consumer information, analytics, technology, and services to businesses and government agencies.


Rudy Moser, ’10 MBA, joined Radio Flyer in Chicago as vice president of sales.

Tara Miller-Hochhalter, ’10 MA-HRIR, is director of human resources at Suburban Imaging in Bloomington, Minnesota.

John Parrish, ’10 MBA, is director of convenience channel for General Mills in Rogers, Arkansas.

Reng Dong, ’11 BSB, recently became senior marketing manager of Nationz Technologies, Inc. in Shenzhen, China.

Taylor Fyfe, ’11 MA-HRIR, is HR manager at The Toro Company, headquartered in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Joy McBrien, ’11 BSB and founder and CEO of Fair Anita, was named among Minnesota Business Magazine’s (Real) Power 50 of 2016. The list recognizes professionals in Minnesota who are major players in their industries, and get things done while helping others as well.

Kia Mikesh, ’11 BSB, is vice president of North Dakota Grain Inspection in Fargo, North Dakota.

Michel Solien, ’11 MA-HRIR, is a HR generalist at Anderson Trucking Service, headquartered in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Andrew Wallmeyer, ’11 MBA, is the new CEO of MinnPost. Wallmeyer is responsible for the success and financial health of MinnPost and he reports to the chair of the board.

Katie Draz, ’13 MA-HRIR, joined Momentum Worldwide in Chicago as a human resources associate. Momentum Worldwide is a global marketing and advertising agency.

Anni Rezac, ’13 BSB, is senior marketing content and integrations analyst at UnitedHealth Group in Minnetonka.

Doug Robinson, ’13 MA-HRIR, is a senior HR business partner at Amazon in Seattle.

Prathibha Varkey, ’13 MBA, was named CEO of Yale Northeast Medical Group and senior vice president of Yale New Haven Health System. Varkey worked for the Mayo Clinic during her time in the CEMBA program, and this will be the second hospital system that she has run since then.

Amanda Jacobsen, ’14 MA-HRIR, is an HR generalist at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, Missouri.

Jackie Korpela, ’14 MA-HRIR, is an HR generalist at the Marcus Buckingham Group in Minneapolis.

Fred Dufault, ’15 MBA, was recently named strategy, planning, and operations specialist at the Department of Defense-Mission Installation Contracting Command in San Antonio, Texas. The Mission Installation Contracting Command provides Army commands, installations, and activities with disciplined and responsive contracting solutions.

Sara Moret, ’16 MBA, was named to the Poets and Quants 2016 Best MBAs list. This list acknowledges students who have had excellent leadership and academic achievements in their MBA program. Moret will be working at Bain & Company as a consultant after graduation.


Irene Fernando, ’07 BSB, and Kent Goodroad were married in Minneapolis on September 9, 2016.

Future Gophers

Seth Steinbach, ’01 BSB, and Krista Steinbach, ’07 BSB, welcomed baby Veronica into their family.

Shelby Anderson, ’08 BSB, and Troy Anderson welcomed baby Evan into their family.

Debra Arbit, ’08 MBA, and Alex Arbit welcomed a new son, Levi, into their family. He was welcomed home by big brother Benjamin and big sister Margot.

Parker Schultz, ’08 BSB and ’15 MBA, and wife, Kristina, welcomed their son, Ethan Schultz, into their family.

Jon Podvin, ’09 BSB, and Mary Podvin, ’09 BSB, welcomed baby Clara into their family.

Eric Wadsten, ’10 BSB, and Meredith Wadsten welcomed daughter, Ella, into their family.

Tara Albaugh, ’14 MBA, and Ben Albaugh welcomed baby Declan into their family.

Kristen Friendshuh, ’05 BSB, had baby Ally Friendshuh on March 3, 2016. She was welcomed home by her father, Jared, and her big brothers, Alex and Luke.

In Memoriam

Brad Cleveland, ’91 MS, passed away in September 2016. In addition to building Proto Labs into one of the most successful new public companies in Minnesota, he was a passionate advocate for the MN Cup and a generous mentor for students and emerging entrepreneurs.


Share Your Opinion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sub Share Events