Archive for the ‘Alumni News’ Category
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
More than 150 alumni and guests from the classes of 1968 through 2008 gathered in City Park Friday night (April 26) for the Freeman School’s third annual Graduate Alumni Reunion Party.
The event, which took place in Parkview Terrace (second floor of the old City Park Casino building), is a chance for the Freeman School to recognize alumni of graduate programs (MBA, MFIN and MACCT) celebrating milestone graduation anniversaries. This year’s party honored graduates from the years ’08, ’03, ’98, ’93, ’88, ’83, ’78, ’73, ’68 and ’63.
The reunion is also a chance for friends and former classmates to catch up with each other and to catch up with the Freeman School. Dean Ira Solomon attended the reunion along with a number of faculty and staff members, and he gave attendees a brief update on the state of the school. Lauren Nelson (MBA ’13), a member of the Graduate Business Council and president of Tulane’s chapter of MBA Women International, also spoke to alumni, offering guests a few comments about life at Freeman from a student’s perspective.
The party also included the presentation of a check to Freeman on behalf of the reunion classes. Members of this year’s reunion classes together pledged more than $300,000 to the Freeman School to provide support for a wide range of operating expenses. Reunion fundraising efforts are continuing through June 30, 2013, so if you haven’t yet made a gift, you can visit the Freeman School’s online giving page to make your pledge.
To see all the photos from this year’s Graduate Alumni Reunion, visit the Freeman School’s Flickr page.
Left to right, class of ’03 alumni Ana Derbez, Jose Mascarell, Tsetsa Dankova and Victor Luque.
Left to right, Kell Riess, Alvin Jones (MBA ’68) and Harry Smith (MBA ’68).
Left to right, Justin Collins (MBA ’08), Lorena Rojas (MBA ’08), Philip Allison (MBA ’08), Ryan Usner (MBA ’08) and Oscar Parada.
Members of the MBA class of 2003, which had the biggest turnout of all the classes honored at this year’s party.
This year’s reunion class chairs presented Dean Ira Solomon with a check for more than $300,000, representing the collective gifts of the reunion classes. From left to right, Chuck Atwood (MBA ’73), Dean Solomon, Alex Hernandez (MBA ’03), David Heikkinen (MBA ’98), Alvin Jones (MBA ’68), John Silbernagel (MBA ’88) and Bob Kottler (MBA ’83).
Thursday, April 25th, 2013
In the 38 years since its debut, the official New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival poster has become as much a part of the annual celebration as Irma Thomas, Crawfish Monica and Rosemint Tea, but few fans are probably aware that the highly collectible posters—which fetch hundreds of dollars on eBay—got their start as a class project at the A. B. Freeman School of Business.
Bud Brimberg (L ’75) created the first Jazz Fest poster, shown above, as a class project in the Freeman School’s first entrepreneurship course.
In 1975, Bud Brimberg (L ’75) was a third-year law student casting about for a class to take just for the fun of it. Unable to find anything to his liking at the law school, he wandered over to the Freeman School and signed up for the only course that didn’t require any business school prerequisites, a new class being taught at the B-school for the very first time. It was called Entrepreneurship.
Developed by marketing professor Bill Bennett and based on a class he’d taken at Harvard Business School, the course consisted primarily of case studies, but Bennett also required his students to complete a class project. Each student was asked to create a pro forma for a proposed business detailing the venture’s capital requirements and projected cash flows and income. Those numbers would then have to be programmed in FORTRAN and run on the university’s mainframe computer.
That’s a lot of work for just a simulation, Brimberg thought. One day after class, he approached Bennett and asked if instead of writing a pro forma he could actually start a business.
“He looked at me and he said, ‘That’s highly unorthodox,’” Brimberg recalls with a laugh. “I looked at him and said, ‘For God’s sake, it’s entrepreneurship!’ And he said, ‘Well, go ahead.’ And that was it.”
From the beginning, Brimberg focused his entrepreneurial attention on Jazz Fest, which was then in its sixth year. His original plan was to make a live recording in the Gospel Tent and release it as an album, but when that concept didn’t pan out, he went to his friend Quint Davis, producer of the Fest, and pitched his second idea: a high-quality commemorative print in the style of classic French poster artists like Alphonse Mucha and Jules Chéret. Davis was skeptical.
“We’ve already got a poster,” he said, pointing to the cardboard placards volunteers would staple to telephone poles around town to promote the Fest.
Brimberg explained he was proposing something very different, a numbered, limited-edition print silk-screened onto museum-quality paper. Davis still wasn’t convinced.
“Okay, I’ll tell you what,” Brimberg finally said. “Maybe you’re right, but I think I can come up with some program that will work and I’ll pay you off the top a percentage of gross. No risk. I’ll underwrite the whole thing. And if I sell one poster, you’ll make money.”
The 2013 Jazz Fest poster was designed by artist James Michalopoulos and features Aaron Neville.
It was an offer Davis couldn’t refuse. Brimberg commissioned two Tulane architecture students to create a design featuring an umbrella-waving parade grand marshal with lettering in the classic art nouveau style. The hand-pulled edition of 1,000 posters sold for $3.95 each at the Fest, and Brimberg spent much of his time explaining to customers why that was such a good deal.
When the dust settled, Brimberg walked away from the Fest with less than $500 in profits (and an A in the class). It may not have been much, but it was enough to launch Brimberg on what’s become an almost 40-year career as a businessman and entrepreneur.
He went on to found ProCreations Publishing Co. and Art4Now, which together have produced the Jazz Fest poster every year with the exception of a three-year stretch in the early ’90s. In 1994, Brimberg began producing the Congo Square poster as well, and in 1998 he debuted an expanded line of Jazz Fest apparel — BayouWear — based on the popular “HowAhYa” Hawaiian shirt he’d introduced in 1981. He also started a number of other businesses along the way, most notably Plan-A-Flex, a manufacturer of architectural design and planning kits. Brimberg sold that company to Stanley Works in 1986.
Looking back on his career, Brimberg credits the Freeman School and that first entrepreneurship class with giving him the tools he needed to be successful.
“If you try to understand what makes a frog jump by cutting it open, which is what most academics do, you really don’t know what makes a frog jump,” Brimberg says. “But if you sit there and observe the frog from every angle, you may not understand the molecular level, but you’ll understand what makes the frog jump. I think what [the entrepreneurship class] did was make me understand how the frog jumped. It showed me all the moving parts you would need to start a business and how everything locked together. So, yes, it was pretty useful.”
Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
The Tulane Association of Business Alumni (TABA) has announced the establishment of chapters in five U.S. cities. The five TABA chapters are Houston, Nashville, Washington D.C., New York and Miami.
TABA has established new chapters in five U.S. cities.
Establishing TABA chapters in cities outside New Orleans has been a longtime goal of the association, and TABA President Tom Spiers (MBA ’01) says he hopes the creation of these chapters will help strengthen ties among alumni in those cities and enable TABA to offer programs that better serve their needs and interests.
“The Freeman School has more than 20,000 alumni worldwide, representing an incredibly diverse population in terms of both geography and demographics,” says Spiers. “I think it’s important for us to do everything we can to engage those individuals at the local level, and the establishment of these first five TABA chapters will greatly enhance our ability to do that.”
According to Peggy Babin, associate dean for external relations, the five chapter cities were chosen based on several criteria, including the number of Freeman alumni residing in the greater area and the response of alumni in those cities to TABA’s outreach regarding the creation of local chapters.
“The five cities we chose—Houston, Nashville, Washington D.C., New York and Miami—are each home to hundreds of Freeman School alumni, and individual alumni in those cities were instrumental in providing the enthusiasm and support we needed to establish TABA chapters,” says Babin. “Our strategy is to get these chapters up and running initially and then add more cities in the coming months and years.”
For information on how to become involved with a local chapter or how to start a chapter in your city, contact Babin at email@example.com or Rhonda Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, January 8th, 2013
Freeman School graduate Edward Crawford (MBA ’09, MGM ’09, LA ’09), an associate with Goldman Sachs & Co. in Miami, is currently deployed with U.S. Navy special operations forces in Afghanistan. He recently this holiday message to share with the Freeman community.
I write to you all today on Christmas from Afghanistan. I’ve been deployed in this remote province for 6 months now and have just a few more months to go. This deployment has been an incredible experience and has taught me a lot about what is most important in life.
We have had good times and bad times but we have always pulled through together. The fighting season here is finally over but unfortunately there has still been violence. We have lost a number of brothers in the last few weeks and the last one’s remains will arrive home on Christmas day. It has been a dramatic challenge for us to deal with the loss of these incredible men but we are cognizant of those wives who have lost their husbands and all the children who will spend their Christmas knowing that their dads will never be back. I have had the great honor of serving with these men who have given their lives for a greater cause and on this beautiful Christmas day we are remembering their sacrifice here. I thank all of you who have supported and prayed for the troops lost during this difficult mission and I pray that, on this day of birth and rebirth, their families can find some solace that their loved ones died as heroes and will never be forgotten. I wanted to thank each and everyone one of you for supporting Mary, Caroline and baby Edward in my absence and for the love and comfort you have provided. You have made this Christmas the most memorable of all.
Today is a new day, a day of joy and we are celebrating how lucky we are to have friends like you. I can’t wait to see you all back in the states in just a few months. Have a Merry Christmas, may God bless you and may the Christmas spirit dwell in each and every one of you on this special day.
The only blind person at Christmas time is he who has not Christmas in his heart.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
Edward J. Crawford
Morton A. Aldrich Fellow & Jones Scholar
Tulane University, A. B. Freeman School of Business
Wednesday, December 12th, 2012
The Business School Council, the primary external advisory board of the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University, has recently added three new members.
Ozgur Karaosmanoglu (A&S ’84, MBA ’87) is senior vice president, investments, and managing director at Raymond James Financial Inc. Prior to joining Raymond James in 1993, Karaosmanoglu served as an investment executive at Legg Mason and as an account executive and operations managers at Dean Witter. Karaosmanoglu is founder of the Global Wealth Management Group at Raymond James, which serves both retail and institutional clients with total assets of approximately $250 million. He served on the Raymond James Executive Council and is a member of the firm’s Chairman’s Council. In 2006, he was named Broker of the Year by Registered Rep. magazine in honor of his dedication and service to his clients.
Dana Mcilwain (BSM ’84) is a vice chairman and leader of the U.S. Advisory Practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he provides strategy and direction for over 9,000 PwC professionals focused on helping clients through three areas of focus: Consulting, Deals and Forensics. Prior to being named leader of the U.S. Advisory Practice, Mcilwain served as a member of the U.S. firm’s Board of Partners and Principals, and was the New York Metro Advisory Regional Leader and East Region Advisory Leader. He joined PwC in 1984 in New Orleans, is currently based in New York and has served a wide variety of clients.
Matt Schwartz (BSM ’99) is a co-founder and principal of the Domain Cos., a real estate development and management firm headquartered in New Orleans and New York. Domain specializes in large-scale community development with a focus on mixed-income and mixed-use development. Since its inception in 2004, Domain has been involved in the acquisition and development of more than 3,000 housing units and 250,000 square feet of retail space in markets ranging from small cities and major established urban areas to pioneering and redeveloping urban environments. Prior to launching Domain, Schwartz was a vice president of Related Capital, then the largest multifamily owner and financial services provider in the country.
With more than 50 members spanning the United States and China, the Business School Council serves as the primary external advisory board of the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University. In addition to leading fundraising activities and promoting the Freeman School externally, the Business School Council advises and assists the dean in the areas of strategy, curriculum and program development, marketing, admissions and placement.
Friday, November 30th, 2012
In 2012, ManpowerGroup ranked accounting at No. 5 on its list of the 10 hardest jobs to fill. That talent shortage is expected to continue through 2020 as more and more accounting professionals reach retirement age.
The inaugural Accounting Leadership Institute featured presentations from 27 accounting professionals, representing 14 different organizations.
Those numbers aren’t lost on the staff of the Freeman School’s Career Management Center. To help meet the nation’s growing demand for accounting professionals, the CMC recently organized a two-day program for prospective accountants as part of this year’s Freeman Days Chicago.
The Accounting Leadership Institute was a professional education and networking event designed to introduce students to the variety of career options available in accounting. Held at the Hampton Inn and Suites Chicago Downtown, the institute featured a day of educational sessions on career management and workplace skills led by Chicago-area accounting professionals followed by a day of information sessions with employers.
“Our primary goals were to educate students on accounting career options, to enhance their professionalism and to help them expand their networks in a major market with a large alumni base,” says Margie Cartwright, career consultant at the CMC and organizer of the institute. “Most of the organizations we partnered with for the institute hadn’t previously worked with the Freeman School, and they all expressed enthusiasm for staying connected with us.”
In all, students heard from 27 accounting professionals, representing 14 organizations from the public, private and non-profit sectors.
“We’re a big fan of anything that draws more students to the accounting profession, so I applaud Tulane for doing this,” says Casey Herman (BSM ’86), a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Chicago, who led a session on Big Four career paths. “It was a great way to help students think about the different dimensions of the accounting profession, whether it’s corporate accounting, internal audit or public accounting.”
The Career Management Center hopes to make the Accounting Leadership Institute an annual part of Freeman Days Chicago.
Students gave the info sessions and workshops high marks, but many said the best part of the institute was the chance for one-on-one interaction with professionals in a wide range of accounting positions.
“The opportunity to ask questions was invaluable,” says Jess Dallager (BSM/MACCT ’13). “We got candid responses that I think were eye opening for a lot of us. You can’t get those insights from a textbook.”
While this year’s event was just a pilot program, Cartwright says she’s hopeful the institute will become an annual part of Freeman Days Chicago.
“The evaluations we received were all very positive,” Cartwright says. “Going forward, we think the institute will be a great way to help expand our alumni base in Chicago and introduce students to a wider network of employers.”
Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
Tulane University celebrates Homecoming 2012 next month, and as part of that celebration, the Freeman School is sponsoring a number of special events for business alumni.
Chef Brian Landry of Borgne will be on hand to serve his acclaimed Louisiana cuisine at the Freeman School’s tailgating party on Saturday, Nov. 3.
On Friday, Nov. 2, Freeman will host an Open House, Tour and Q&A with Dean Ira Solomon from 4 – 5 p.m. in Goldring/Woldenberg Hall II. If you haven’t been to campus lately, it’s a great chance to catch up with Freeman, see our facilities and learn about some of the exciting things going on.
Then, on Saturday, Nov. 3, join us for tailgating at the Freeman School tent in Champions Square at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome prior to the Tulane-Rice football game. This year’s tailgating party honors the BBA/BSM classes of ’62, ’67, ’72, ’77, ’82, ’87, ’92, ’97, ’02, and ’07, but all alumni of the Freeman School are invited.
In the last few years, it’s become a Freeman tradition to invite some of the top chefs in New Orleans to provide food for our tailgating party, and this year is no exception. Joining us will be Brian Landry, executive chef of Borgne, the newest member of the John Besh Restaurant Group, who will be serving his acclaimed Louisiana cuisine in the Freeman School tent from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Those activities are in addition to Tulane’s long list of university-wide events, including a Town Hall with President Scott Cowen, the Helluva Hullabaloo Auction and Party, and the Wave ’12 All-Alumni Reunion Party and Concert featuring the Rebirth Brass Band.
For more information and to register for events, visit http://tulane.edu/homecoming or contact Rhonda Brown at email@example.com or (504) 862-8470
Thursday, May 31st, 2012
The local food movement is gaining popularity among foodies nationwide. In Louisiana, it seems like old hat. Whether they are eating fresh-caught shrimp, creole tomatoes or Ponchatoula strawberries, Louisianians feel that locally originated food is better. Two 2012 Freeman School MBA grads are hoping they can bring Louisiana meat into that number.
Freeman grads Seth Hamstead and Simone Reggie are the founders of Cleaver & Co., a locally sourced, whole animal butcher shop.
This summer, Simone Reggie and Seth Hamstead are opening Cleaver & Co. in New Orleans, a locally sourced, whole-animal butcher shop. The idea is to buy whole cows, pigs, chickens and ducks from South Louisiana farms.
“Our rule of thumb is 200 miles, whenever possible,” Hamstead says. “We know that sometimes we may have to go a little bit farther, but we want to make sure that we can tell the consumer exactly where it’s from.”
Hamstead calls the practice of buying whole animals and butchering them here “a more sustainable business practice” that benefits both the supplier and the consumer.
“We’re making sure the farmers are getting as much as they can out of that animal,” Hamstead says. “We’re also able to choose the farmers who are doing things in the way we think is right. The animals aren’t coming from confined feedlots; they’re not being raised in industrial conditions.”
The result, say Hamstead and Reggie, is a better-tasting product — something residents of food-obsessed New Orleans should appreciate.
While both admit that beef doesn’t usually come to mind when people think of what Louisiana does best, they say there is a long tradition of cattle ranching here that has been “pushed aside by the industrial food system.” They hope they can take New Orleanians’ zeal for local seafood and translate that into a desire for local, “land-based protein.”
“There’s such a market for local seafood,” Reggie says. “You see the signs for Louisiana seafood everywhere, and that’s great. We’re looking to make a movement for Louisiana meat as well.”
For more information about the business, visit Cleaver & Co.
Friday, May 18th, 2012
Rob Lynch (MBA ’12) didn’t just start a new business in New Orleans. He helped start a new industry.
Rob Lynch (MBA ’12), owner of Bike Taxi Unlimited, spent a year and a half working with city officials to draft an ordinance legalizing pedicabs in New Orleans. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
Lynch is the founder of Bike Taxi Unlimited, which last year became one of three companies awarded the right to begin operating pedicabs in New Orleans.
“We get people from A to B with kind of an interesting look at the city,” Lynch says of his pedal-powered rickshaws. “It’s all about showing people a different side of New Orleans.”
A graduate of Loyola University in New Orleans, Lynch worked as a financial analyst in St. Louis for four years, but he eventually grew tired of the corporate grind. When his brother told him about the thriving pedicab business in Charleston, S.C., Lynch, an avid cyclist, realized the tourist-friendly mode of transport would be a perfect match for New Orleans.
He spent two years living in a friend’s basement and subsisting on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to save money for the venture, and then another year and a half working with city officials to draft an ordinance legalizing pedicabs.
“The New Orleans ordinance on pedicabs is one of — if not the — most comprehensive in the nation, and that has a lot to do with local officials here wanting to do it right,” says Lynch. “I brought other pedicab ordinances from across the country to their attention and worked with them to form something that would keep everybody safe and let the industry survive.”
Lynch’s hard worked paid off. Bike Taxi Unlimited carried its first passenger in September 2011, and since then the company’s distinctive yellow pedicabs have become a familiar sight around town and at events like Jazz Fest and the French Quarter Festival.
Lynch recouped his initial investment in December, sooner than he had projected, and he says the business has done so well he plans to expand into two additional cities as well as start a new venture designing and selling pedicabs to operators across the country. Regardless of how much the company grows, however, Lynch says he’s committed to New Orleans.
“New Orleans is going to be the home base of where I do everything,” Lynch says. “I love the city. I’ve loved it ever since I came to college here, and I want to stay here.”
Friday, May 11th, 2012
More than 150 alums spanning 45 years of the Freeman School turned out on Friday (May 4) for Freeman’s second annual Graduate Alumni Reunion Party.
More than 150 alumni from the classes of ’67 through ’07 attended this year’s Graduate Alumni Reunion Party.
The party was a chance for the Freeman School to recognize alumni of graduate programs (MBA, MFIN and MACCT) celebrating milestone graduation anniversaries. This year’s reunion honored graduates from the years ’07, ’02, ’97, ’92, ’87, ’82, ’77, ’72, ’67 and ’62.
The classes of ’82 and ’72 was the best represented with 20 alumni each in attendance, but even classes that only had a few members present were thrilled to see old friends and renew old friendships. In addition to alumni, a number of Freeman School faculty attended the reunion, including Dean Ira Solomon, John Elstrott, Frank Jaster, Jim Murphy, Eric Smith (MBA ’67), Kel Riess, Paul Spindt, Robin Desman Spindt (MBA ’97), Greg Thurnher (E ’02, MBA ’07) and Linda Baynham (MBA ’02).
While the party was decidedly casual and unstructured—it was scheduled to coincide with Jazz Fest after all—Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon delivered a few remarks, updating alumni on the school and recognizing the reunion chairs who helped plan the event. Dean Solomon also introduced Richie Gray (MBA ’12, MGM ’12), who provided alums with a student’s perspective on Freeman’s newest programs and initiatives.
After Dean Solomon spoke, Hardee Kilgore (MBA ’67), chair of the reunion committee for the 1967 class, took the floor and presented Dean Solomon with a check for $207,597, representing the collective gifts all of this year’s reunion classes.
Planning for next year’s graduate reunion is already underway, so if you have a graduate degree from Freeman in ’08, ’03, ’98, ’93, ’88, ’83, ’78, ’73, ’68, ’63 or beyond, keep an eye out for news on the 2013 reunion party. If you’d like to be involved with planning next year’s reunion, please contact Rhonda A. Brown, director of constituent services and initiatives, at 504-862-8470 or firstname.lastname@example.org for info.
From left to right, Class of ’82 graduates Patricia Stern, Mo Dunne, Janet Lyman, Deborah Lamensdorf Jacobs, Barbara Frausto Davey and Robin Peppe Sterneck.
From left to right, Tim Walker (MBA ’92), Jeanne Salassi Walker (MBA ’91), Chris Gleason (MBA ’92) and husband Mark Gleason
From left to right, class of ’07 grads Jamal Brown, Morial Vallot (standing), Ricardo De la Puente, Enrico Toro, Nash Pjevac, Jo-Ann Grande-Pjevac and Monique Brown.
From left to right, Curtis Pollet, Tara Byrd (MBA ’97), Mike Atwater (MBA ’97) and Jennifer Fortier (MBA ’97).
From left to right, Class of ’67 grads Bill Gibbons, George Adams, Eric Smith, John Davis and Hardee Kilgore.
To see more photos from the reunion, visit http://flickr.com/freemanschool. And if you haven’t yet made a class gift yet, there’s still time contribute by visiting https://tulaneuniversity.ejoinme.org/abfreeman.