Aaron Buchsbaum (BBA ’52) was awarded the 2011 Emory Law Distinguished Alumni Award. The award recognizes outstanding alumni who have achieved distinction in legal practice, teaching, research or public administration, and who have demonstrated distinguished service to Emory University. A native of Savannah, Ga., Buchsbaum devoted his life and career to fighting discrimination. He was a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a volunteer attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union and an officer of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council. He was also active in the Anti-Defamation League and championed human and civil rights wherever possible. In 1967, he was the first attorney to challenge racial discrimination in Georgia grand and petit jury selections in a case that led to the desegregation of juries in the state. He was president of Savannah Legal Aid and Georgia Legal Services, which provides legal services to the indigent, and in the 1960s, he successfully challenged legal practices used to jail civil rights demonstrators in Savannah. He was instrumental in desegregating the Savannah Bar Association, and in 1980, he resigned from the association over its practice of holding functions at private clubs with discriminatory membership policies. He later rejoined after the organization ended the practice. Buchsbaum retired from active legal practice in 2006, and in 2011, the Economic Opportunity Authority For Savannah-Chatham County Area named its new Head Start building after Buchsbaum in recognition of 40 years of exemplary service as leader of the EOA’s legal team.
H. Patrick Rooney (BBA ’52) has been elected as a vice president of the Christian Brothers Foundation in New Orleans.
Francis L. “Shorty” Fraenkel (BBA ’54) received the Young Family Award for Professional Excellence from the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana. The award recognizes legal, financial and estate planning professionals from the New Orleans Jewish community who demonstrate extraordinary concern for the future of Judaism, for the Jewish community and for their clients by encouraging tax-wise planned giving to JEF. Fraenkel is a managing director of Neuberger Berman, a New York-based money management firm.
Jerome Broussard (MBA ’71) and his family recently donated $4 million to Flathead Community College in Kalispell, Mont. The gift, in honor of his late wife, Rebecca, will be used to build a $5 million nursing and health center. Broussard is the former co-owner of Columbia Falls Aluminum Co. in Columbia Falls, Mont.
Ashton Ryan Jr. (MBA ’71) has been elected chairman of Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans. Ryan is president and CEO of First NBC Bank.
G. Ben Johnson (MBA ’76) has been named president and CEO of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce.
Bruce Spizer (A&S ’76, MBA ’77, L ’80) is the co-author of a new book on the Beatles’ U.K. recordings. Beatles for Sales on Parlophone Records, Spizer’s seventh book on the Fab Four, documents in meticulous detail the Beatles’ 13 albums, 13 EPs and 22 singles on Parlophone Records, the band’s British label, in addition to covering releases on the band’s own Apple Records, Christmas records made for the band’s fan club, and recordings made in Germany and released by Polydor Records. Spizer, a tax attorney and CPA, is one of the nation’s leading Beatles experts. In addition to his books, he is a frequent speaker at Beatles-themed conventions, he contributed an essay to the 2006 four-CD box set The Beatles Capitol Albums Volume 2, and wrote more than 2,500 questions for the Beatles edition of the board game Trivial Pursuit.
Geoff Rose (BSM ’79) has been elected president of the board of the New Orleans Track Club.
Steve Dvoskin (MBA ’81) was named area vice president of operations for Dallas and North Texas by Time Warner Cable in September 2011.
Mala Vyas Salvador (MBA ’81) recently celebrated her 30th anniversary with ExxonMobil in Houston, where she currently serves as an IT applications cost recovery supervisor. In addition, Salvador and her husband, Gerry, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in 2010. The couple has two daughters. “I’d love to reconnect with fellow 1981 MBA grads,” Salvador says. “Look for me on Facebook.”
Elizabeth Boh (BSM ’83) has been elected to the board of directors of the Legacy Donor Foundation.
Lanny Marks (BSM ’83) has been named president-elect of the Greater Boca Raton Estate Planning Council in Boca Raton, Fla. Marks is owner of Marks & Associates in Boca Raton.
Rhett Weiss (BSM ’83) has joined Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management as the new executive director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute. Weiss will lead EII, which was formally launched in 2011, as it grows to become a hub for entrepreneurial research, education and programmatic activities. Weiss is the founder, chairman and CEO of Dealtek Ltd., a provider of web-based decision software & management consulting for strategic business transactions. Prior to joining the Johnson School, Weiss was a senior team leader for strategic development at Google Inc.
Kent B. Ryan (BSM ’84) has been named vice president of the board of Stuart Hall School for Boys.
Richard K. Blum (MBA ’85) has been elected president of the Christian Brothers Foundation in New Orleans.
J. Roger Brown (MBA ’85) has been elected as a board member at large of the New Orleans Track Club.
Todd A. Bloom (MBA ’89, L ’92) graduated from the U.S. Naval War College in June 2011 with a master’s degree in National Strategy and Strategic Studies. Bloom will be based in Quantico, Va., until the end of the year as part of the Expeditionary Warfare Collaboration Team, a collaboration between the Navy and the Marine Corps. After that, he will head to Iraq for a one-year assignment.
Doug Meffert (MBA ’89) has been named treasurer of the Alliance for Affordable Energy. Meffert is the Eugenie Schwartz Professor of River & Coastal Studies and deputy director for policy at the Tulane/ Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research.
Mary Beth Verdigets (BSM ’89) has been promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer at First NBC Bank.
Richard D. Weber (MBA ’89) has been appointed to the board of directors of Northern Oil and Gas Inc., an exploration and production company based in Wayzata, Minn. Weber currently serves as chairman and chief executive officer of PennEnergy Resources, a private equity backed independent oil and gas operator focused on the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Prior to co-founding PennEnergy in June 2011, he was president and chief operating officer of Atlas Energy Inc. and Atlas Energy Resources LLC, which were purchased by Chevron Corp. in 2011 for approximately $4.4 billion. Prior to joining Atlas, Weber spent 14 years at McDonald & Co. Securities Inc., subsequently acquired by KeyBanc Capital Markets, where he founded that firm’s energy group, serving independent oil and gas producers, pipeline companies and utilities.
Wayne Baquet (MBA ’90) has been named treasurer of Volunteers of America of Greater New Orleans.
Aaron Miscenich (MBA ’91) is president elect of the Rotary Club of New Orleans. Miscenich is executive director of the New Orleans BioInnovation Center.
Mark Cusumano (BSM ’92) has been appointed to the board of directors of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri. Cusumano has more than 20 years experience in entrepreneurship and business administration. As president and CEO of Fresh Warehousing, he has organized and led a management team that is aggressively pursuing a rapid growth strategy in each of its affiliated companies, FW Warehousing, FW Trucking, FW Logistics and Lazarus Realty Group. Cusumano is on the BBBSEMO regional board and has been an active Big Brother for 10 years.
Omid Yazdi (BSM ’92) became a partner in KPMG in October 2011. Yazdi leads Forensic Services in KPMG’s Pacific Southwest region. He’s based in Los Angeles.
Pam Mascari (BSM ’94) has been elected secretary of the Women’s Energy Network in New Orleans.
Tim Rod (MBA ’94) is vice president of information technology and operations for Global Technology Resources, a consulting solutions integrator with a broad range of information technology expertise serving enterprise, federal and state government, healthcare, educational, and other markets nationwide. Rod has 19 years in the information technology field. Prior to joining Global Technology Resources, Rod held various senior level positions at companies including Lady Luck Gaming Corp., Harveys Casino Resorts, Hyatt Gaming Services and Fontainbleau Resorts.
Mike Sellers (MBA ’98) has joined the Houston office of Bracewell & Giuliani as an associate in the firm’s Intellectual Property group. Sellers’ practice focuses on patent prosecution and IP litigation.
Jeff Baron (BSM ’00) was recently highlighted as one of Gambit Weekly’s “Forty Under 40,” the newspaper’s annual list of young innovators who use their skills to make New Orleans a better place. Baron, who was featured in the summer 2011 issue of Freeman magazine, is owner of the Dough Bowl and Crescent Pie & Sausage Co. in New Orleans, and he recently opened a new restaurant, Pizzicare, specializing in New York style pizza. In addition to highlighting his business success, Gambit lauded Baron for his social entrepreneurship efforts. Crescent Pie & Sausage Co. and Pizzicare are both affiliated with NOLA Green Roots, a community-based garden that teaches low-income residents how to grow and prepare fresh food.
Jonathan T. Wachman (BSM ’00) and Melissa Beth Enson were married in August 2011 in New Haven, Conn. Wachman is a dealer at Charles Cheriff Galleries, his family’s art and antiques business in New York.
Ashley Francis (MBA ’01) has been named president of the Parents’ League of Louise S. McGehee School in New Orleans.
Hidetaka Kokubu (MBA ’01) is director, finance & planning, with the Walt Disney Co. in Japan.
Linda Baynham (MBA ’02) has been elected to the board of the Women’s Energy Network in New Orleans.
Quin Breland (BSM ’03) has joined the law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz as an associate, focusing on mergers and acquisitions and corporate transactions.
Kenneth Spahn (MBA ’04) recently joined Couch, Conville & Blitt, a multistate law firm based in New Orleans, as chief financial officer. Spahn has held various accounting positions with Coca- Cola Enterprises and Entergy, and prior to joining Couch, Conville & Blitt, he was controller for Lapeyre Stair Co.
Vincent Ilustre (MBA ’04) was honored as one of Gambit Weekly’s “Forty Under 40,” the newspaper’s annual list of young innovators who use their skills to make the city a better place. Ilustre is executive director of Tulane’s Center for Public Service, which oversees and helps to coordinate the university’s public service requirement for undergraduates. Each semester, between 1,400 and 1,500 students volunteer with 120 nonprofit organizations on projects related to their area of study. Illustre has led Tulane’s Office of Service Learning since 1999.
Todd Speece (MBA ’04) has joined Raymond James Financial as an equity capital markets specialist, where he will lead the firm’s capital raising efforts for technology and clean technology companies. Speece is based in the firm’s San Francisco office. Prior to joining Raymond James, Speece was a senior member of the private and public capital markets team for technology and clean technology at Piper Jaffray & Co. Speece also previously worked at Norwest Equity Partners and Thomas Weisel Partners.
Melonie Hall (MBA ’05) has been elected chairman of the board of Boys Town Louisiana. Hall is director of customer service at Entergy New Orleans.
John McChesney (MBA ’05) has been named general manager of Dorf Ketal Speciality Catalysts in Stafford, Texas. Prior to joining Dorf Ketal, McChesney spent 28 years with Albemarle Corp., most recently serving as global business director. McChesney recently relocated from Baton Rouge to Sugarland, Texas, for the new position.
Sean Waldo (MBA ’05) was recently promoted to a first-line manager role within IBM’s Sales & Distribution division in Dallas. In five years, he has impacted multiple customer engagements that have contributed to generating approximately $100 million in revenue. He continuously works to help customers succeed and embraces any challenge that IBM hands to him.
Lory Cenac (BSM/MACCT ’06) was recently promoted to manager in the New Orleans office of Ernst & Young.
Michelle C. Hassing (BSM ’06, MFIN ’07) and Richter J. Fridman (BSM ’06, MFIN ’07) were married in New Orleans on Sept. 10, 2011 at St. Louis Cathedral. Several attendants of the bride and groom were also Freeman alumni, including Nicole Mast (BSM ’07), Stephanie Leiting (BSM ’09), Courtney Ordone (BSM ’05) and Cyrus Kanga (BSM ’09). Hassing is an accountant with Entergy Services in New Orleans.
John Graham Jr. (BSM ’06) accepted a new job as global treasury analyst with GE Healthcare in September of 2011. Graham is based in Pewaukee, Wis.
Patty Riddlebarger (MBA ’06) was selected by the Young Leadership Council as one of its 25 Role Models for 2011. YLC Role Models are members of the New Orleans community who provide outstanding examples for the young talent that the YLC represents. Riddlebarger is director of corporate social responsibility at Entergy Corp.
Katie Crosby (MBA ’07) has been named to the board of WYES TV. Crosby is chairman of Fidelity Homestead Bank in New Orleans.
Scott Thompson (MBA ’09) is working on a new business in Santiago, Chile, with help from an innovative program sponsored by the Chilean government. Start-Up Chile provides grants, office space, and access to investor and industry networks to entrepreneurs from all over the world who choose to build their companies in Chile. The goal of the program is to make Chile the innovation hub of Latin America. Thompson’s company, Bungolow, features private flash sales of upscale hotel rooms in Latin America. Thompson and a high school friend, Scott Bird, started Bungolow in July 2011. User registration for the site opened in October 2011, with the first private sales launching shortly thereafter. Sales on Bungolow are limited in time and quantity, featuring a handpicked collection of hotel rooms at steep discounts. However, sales are available and visible only to Bungolow members, and membership in Bungolow is invitation-only. Thompson has been impressed by the Start-Up Chile program and has found its global focus to be reminiscent of the Freeman School. Bungolow is one of 200 teams participating in the program. Only 40 percent of teams come from the United States. Thompson has opened Bungolow membership to Freeman alumni via the invitation code FREEMAN1, in order to seek feedback on the site. Bungolow is located at www.bungolow.com.
Clayton Schmidt (BSM ’10) has joined MediaCom as a communications planning assistant. Schmidt is based in New York City.
Wes Gautreaux (MBA ’10) and his wife, Jenny, are pleased to announce the birth of their son Wyatt James Gautreaux. Wyatt was born on Aug. 5, 2011. Gautreaux is business development manager with Koch Industries in Wichita, Kan.
Lindsey DeLeo (BSM ’11) has been hired as a communication buyer with Morgan and Co., a marketing company based in New Orleans.
James J. Hance (MBA ’11) has been named vice president of the board of Eustis Engineering Services in New Orleans.
Erin Hayes (BSM ’11) has joined Zehnder Communications as a media coordinator.
Christopher Williams (MBA ’11) and Katherine Connick were married in New Orleans on June 18, 2011. Williams is a project analyst with Barriere Construction in New Orleans.