Archive for the ‘Alumni News’ Category

MBA grads go whole hog into new venture

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.


A bicycle built for business

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.”


Graduate alumni celebrate reunion in City Park

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 rhondab@tulane.edu 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.

 

 


Five alums among DiversityMBA’s Top 100 Under 50

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Five Freeman School alumni are among the honorees in the 2011 DiversityMBA Magazine Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive & Emerging Leaders.

Top 100 Under 50Compiled by DiversityMBA Magazine, the list recognizes exceptional minority and multicultural executives—including African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, foreign nationals and women—who have achieved success in highly competitive corporate, government or entrepreneurial environments.

Diversity MBA Magazine is an internationally distributed publication targeting women and multicultural professionals in corporate America and government as well as entrepreneurs and business students.

The honorees will be featured in DiversityMBA Magazine’s summer 2011 issue and will be honored at the magazine’s awards gala in September at the Chicago Wyndham Hotel.

This year’s Top 100 Under 50 award winners are Alex Hernandez (MBA ’03), founder and president of Hernandez Consulting; Lily Le (MBA ’98), executive vice president and chief marketing officer of AEG Affiliated Energy Group; Vipin Mayar (MBA ’88), executive vice president and global director of marketing performance at McCann Worldgroup; Sami Miettinen (MBA ’96), executive director of Royal Bank of Scotland; and Anne St. Clair (MBA ’01), private client manager at Bank of America.

Alex Hernandez

Alex Hernandez

Lily Le

Lily Le

Vipin Mayar

Vipin Mayar

Sami Miettinen

Sami Miettinen

Anne St. Clair

Anne St. Clair

 

This was the fifth consecutive year that Freeman School alumni have made the magazine’s Top 100 Under 50 list.  Since the magazine began compiling the list in 2007, more than a dozen alumni of the Freeman School have been featured.

To learn more about the annual honor and to see the complete list of this year’s honorees, visit diversitymbamagazine.com.


Tulane Business Forum looks at leveraging resources

Monday, October 11th, 2010

The Receivables Exchange was founded to connect small- and mid-size businesses in need of working capital with investors, but according to president and co-founder Nicolas Perkin, the biggest innovation the New Orleans-based company brought to factoring wasn’t creating a transparent marketplace for buyers and sellers of commercial receivable. It was enabling buyers to apply the same risk-management principles to receivables that they apply to the rest of their portfolios.

Nic Perkin

Nicolas R. Perkin, co-founder and president of the Receivables Exchange, talked about the company's growth as part of a panel discussion on alternative capital markets.

“Buyers can take 1 percent of 100 different auctions across 100 different industries,” said Perkin (TC ’94). “If you’re going to go buy stock, you’re not going to put all your money in IBM. You don’t do it in any asset class, why would you do it in this asset class? That’s really the fundamental principle of the innovation we think we’ve brought to the table.”

That unique innovation has helped to fuel 300 to 400 percent annual growth at the company, which Perkin said is in the early stages of a preparing for an IPO.

Perkin talked about the evolution of the Receivables Exchange and the current business landscape as part of a panel discussion on alternative capital markets at this year’s Tulane Business Forum. The forum, an annual presentation of the Tulane Association of Business Alumni (TABA), took place at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel on Oct. 8. This year’s program focused on the theme “Leveraging Corporate Resources,” and more than 650 people attended the forum to hear some of the ways that innovative businesses and business leaders are doing more with less.

Robbie Vitrano, co-founder and chairman of marketing firm Trumpet, told the story of Naked Pizza, which has used social media to grow from a single store in New Orleans to an international business with 400 stores in development in locations as far away as Dubai and Istanbul.

“We used [social media] as a way to get people interested in our idea, primarily using Twitter and Facebook to distribute this conversation in a way that allowed Naked Pizza to acquire two billionaire investors and more than 5,000 franchising inquiries,” Vitrano said. “It allowed for media to get a hold of this idea and start to distribute it. While we were just one location, were were in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and blogs around the world. In essence, it allowed us to validate the concept.”

Vitrano added that the low cost and wide reach of social media platforms makes them an ideal tool for businesses to find out what ideas work in a cost-effective way.

“Conceivably, that should favor a place like New Orleans, which isn’t New York or Silicon Valley but which certainly has Net intelligence and Net ingenuity,” he said.

David Brain, president and CEO of Entertainment Properties Trust.

The forum kicked off with a presentation by Charles N. Kahn III, president and CEO of the Federation of AmericanHospitals, who walked attendees through the process of how health reform was enacted and what it will mean for business. Kahn was followed by Vitrano and John Winsor, CEO of Victors & Spoils, a marketing firm based in Boulder, Colo., that, like Trumpet, is using social media technology to accomplish things that previously would have been unthinkable for an agency with just 10 employees.

Joining Perkin on the alternative capital markets panel were J. Marshall Page III, a partner at Jones Walker, and Christopher J. Perry, president and global head of Thomson Reuters Trading Focus Accounts. The panel was moderated by Peter Ricchiuti, assistant dean at the Freeman School and research director of the Burkenroad Reports program.

David Brain (A&S ’78, MBA ’79), president and CEO of Entertainment Properties Trust, a NYSE-traded REIT that focuses on megaplex movie theatres and entertainment retail centers, followed the capital markets discussion with a presentation on the often misunderstood concept of off-balance-sheet financing.

Dean E. Taylor, chairman, president and CEO of Tidewater, talked about the ways the company distinguishes itself in a commodity industry as luncheon keynote speaker.

The forum concluded with a luncheon keynote presentation by Dean E. Taylor (A&S ’71), chairman, president and CEO of Tidewater Inc. Taylor’s presentation focused on distinguishing your company in a commodity industry, and one of the key elements to achieve that goal, he said, is having the right people in place. To illustrate his point, Taylor showed a video that told the inspiring story of Tidewater’s Damon B. Bankston supply boat, whose crew rescued 115 people from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion and fire aboard the BP Horizon oil rig.

“That’s something about which I’m immensely proud,” Taylor said. “They didn’t do it for glory. They didn’t do it for any other reason than it was the right thing to do. That’s typical of so many people in our industry that do what they do because they feel like it’s the right thing to do.”


Diversity MBA Magazine names five alums to “Top 100 Under 50”

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Diversity MBA Magazine has selected five alumni of the Freeman School for inclusion on its 2010 list of the “Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive & Emerging Leaders.” The list recognizes exceptional minority and multicultural executives—including African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, foreign nationals and women—who have achieved success in highly competitive corporate, government or entrepreneurial environments.

This year’s Freeman alumni honorees are:

  • Shellond D. Chester (MBA ’00), assistant dean for finance, School of Liberal Arts, Tulane University
  • Jesse W. Devlyn Jr. (MBA ’93), CEO, Devlyn Vision Inc.
  • Vincent Ilustre (MBA ’04), executive director, Center for Public Service, Tulane University
  • William A. Taylor Jr. (BSM ’93, MACCT ’94), owner and founder, Taylor CPA & Associates and W3 CPAs and Consultants
  • Bouvier Williams (MBA ’93), vice president, talent management, human resources, MTV Networks

(more…)


Commencement ceremony celebrates a return to normalcy

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

This year’s Freeman School commencement ceremony was nothing special, and according to Dean Angelo DeNisi, that’s what made it special indeed.

Kelly Buck (BSM/MACCT '10) is all smiles after receiving her diploma as Sara Biller (MACCT '10), left, and Enrique Caballero (BSM/MACCT '10), right, look on.

In his introductory remarks at this year’s ceremony, DeNisi told graduates and their families that each of his first four commencements had been extraordinary for one reason or another.

His first commencement ceremony in 2006 was the first commencement after Hurricane Katrina, which gave the event a special meaning. The following year, DeNisi awarded diplomas to the graduating MBAs who made the courageous decision to return to Tulane and New Orleans after Katrina, again adding a special meaning to the celebration. DeNisi’s third commencement ceremony stood out for his awarding of an MBA to an 81-year-old man who had begun the program in 1953, making him one of the oldest people ever to earn an MBA from Tulane. And last year’s ceremony was special because it included the awarding of the first degrees in the Freeman School’s new Master of Global Management program.

“This year I thought, okay, we’ll have a normal graduation,” DeNisi said, “but I was wrong. Although we have no one special item to acknowledge, we celebrate the normalcy of an academic year in this, the fifth year following Katrina. More importantly, we honor you and your academic achievements. Each of us here today is proud indeed of your accomplishments, your dedication to your programs and your school, and your active participation in the revitalization and resurgence of this great city. So, yes, today is a very special day.”

Vincent Do (MBA '10), kneeling, strikes a pose for photographers. Behind him, left to right, are fellow MBA grads Andi Rahmawan, Pavan Rupanguntla, Hasan Eryilmaz, Waron Sanguanwongwan, Mei-Yu Chen, Carolina Rojas and Cesar Solorzano.

This year marked Tulane’s 93rd year of conferring business degrees. At the May 15th ceremony in McAlister Auditorium, Dean DeNisi presented diplomas to more than 400 men and women from five continents, including 70 Master of Accounting graduates, 151 Master of Business Administration graduates, 131 Master of Finance graduates, 22 Master of Global Management graduates, 37 Master of Management graduates and two Doctor of Philosophy graduates.

Earlier in the day, 227 students received their Bachelor of Science in Management diplomas at the Undergraduate Diploma Ceremony in the Louisiana Superdome, which honors graduates of Tulane’s five undergraduate schools.

Chonchol Gupta (MBA ’10, MGM ’10), outgoing president of the Freeman School’s Graduate Business Council, delivered the charge to graduates. David Arango received the BSM Award for Scholastic Achievement, which recognizes the graduating BSM student with the highest cumulative grade point average, and Karthik Mahadevan earned the Marta and Peter Bordeaux Scholastic Achievement Award, which recognizes the graduating MBA student with the highest cumulative grade point average.

Freeman School Dean Angelo DeNisi, Tulane board member John Koerner and Associate Dean Peggy Babin, left to right, watch from their seats on stage as Chonchol Gupta delivers the charge to graduates.

In addition, five Freeman School graduates—John Baber, Jeffrey Good, Corrie Gurucharri, Kendall Plain and Adam Salup—received the Tulane 34 Award, which is presented each year to 34 Tulane graduates who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, student leadership and community service throughout their collegiate careers.

“I wish you the best in all your academic, professional, and personal endeavors,” DeNisi said at the ceremony’s conclusion. “We look forward to following your careers and watching you contribute to building a better world.”

To see additional photos from this year’s commencement ceremony, visit the Freeman School’s Flickr page.


Callais family honored as 2010 Outstanding Family Enterprise

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2010

Contact: Rosalind Butler
504-862-8482
rbutler4@tulane.edu

NEW ORLEANS–The Callais family, whose businesses include marine transportation, banking and waste management services, has been named the 2010 Outstanding Family Enterprise by the Tulane University Family Business Center. The award was presented at the Family Business Center’s annual Wealth Management Seminar, which took place at the Westin New Orleans Canal Place on May 5. Accepting the award on behalf of the family were Gloria Callais and sons Michael and Corey.

Left to right, Corey Callais, Gloria Callais and Michael Callais accepted the 2010 Outstanding Family Enterprise Award for the Callais family.

“The Tulane Family Business Center is delighted to honor the Callais family, who embody the very best of family business practices and values,” said John Elstrott, director of the Tulane Family Business Center. “The Callais family is recognized throughout Southeast Louisiana for civic leadership, charitable giving and community service, but even more importantly, they have demonstrated unwavering faith and an unyielding commitment to family. In 2008, the family suffered the tragic loss of two members, Paul A. Callais (MBA ’93) and Peter W. Callais (BSM ’86). I don’t know many family businesses that could have handled such a terrible tragedy with the grace and strength the Callais family has shown.”

(more…)


Freeman hosts 14th annual Finance Case Competition

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

MBA students from Freeman and seven other top-ranked business schools competed for $10,000 in cash prizes at the 14th annual Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence Finance Case Competition.

This year’s competition, which took place on March 19 in Goldring/Woldenberg Hall II, featured teams from Tulane, Emory, Rice, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of South Carolina, University of Texas at Austin, Washington University and Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt took first place and the grand prize of $5,000 in the competition, Emory earned second-place honors and a prize of $3,000, and University of Texas at Austin won third place and $2,000.

Joe Agular, a senior partner at Johnson Rice & Co., was one of four alumni who served as guest judges for this year's Finance Case Competition.

Serving as judges of this year’s competition were Joe Agular (MBA ’88), senior partner and energy analyst with Johnson Rice & Co.; Chris Conoscenti (MBA/JD ’01), executive director of the Oil & Gas Investment Banking Group with J.P. Morgan; David Morris (MBA ’94), managing director of Oracle Capital Partners; and Gay LeBreton (MBA ’77), a managing director with Chaffe & Associates.

“The competition is a tremendous event that really showcases the MBA students’ financial training by allowing them to apply the lessons learned in the classroom to a complex problem,” says Agular. “But it’s more than just an academic exercise. It’s the pressure of working under a time constraint and then presenting to judges, in effect a situation that very much represents what the students might face in their careers in finance or industry.

“I have been a judge for the competition for a number of years now, and I continue to be amazed by the talents of the MBA students that participate. The quality of the analysis presented by the teams is quite impressive considering the difficulty of the case and five-hour turnaround time they are working under. The competition really puts these students to the test, and they deliver well-thought-out recommendations to the issues the case presents. It makes being a judge quite challenging because the teams are all so talented.”

The finance case competition began in 1997 and has been sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence since 1998. Berdon Lawrence (BBA ’64, MBA ’65) is chairman of Kirby Corp., an operator of inland tank barges based in Houston. He is a former member of the Board of Tulane and serves on the Business School Council.

To see more photos from the competition, including photos of the winning teams, visit the Freeman School’s Flickr site.


Record attendance highlights Freeman Days New Orleans

Friday, March 19th, 2010

This year’s Freeman Days New Orleans recruiting and networking event broke records for both corporate participation and alumni involvement.

More than 60 alumni attended this year's Freeman Days New Orleans Networking Reception.

Freeman Days kicked off on Thursday, March 11, with the annual alumni networking reception. More than 150 people attended this year’s event, which gives students the opportunity to mix and mingle with both alumni and corporate recruiters. That number included more than 60 alumni, an all-time high for the reception.

On Friday, a record 31 companies held information sessions, far exceeding last year’s total of 16 companies. Among the firms presenting this year were Abercrombie & Fitch, Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, Disney, Google, Harrah’s, Intralox, Merrill Lynch, Northwestern Mutual, Ochsner, Pan-American Life, the Receivables Exchange, Verizon Wireless and Zehnder Communications.

To see photos from the networking reception, visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/freemanschool/



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