Class Notes Title Graphic

Family, friends, and Ross alumni gathered last spring in Bangalore, India, to celebrate the marriage of Ashish Vatsal, MBA ’11, and Amrita (Vijay Kumar) Vatsal, MBA ’11/MS ’11, even bringing Michigan into the festivities with a pre-wedding event at Arbor Brewing Company Bangalore. The couple are enjoying married life in Portland, Ore., where Ashish is senior associate, owner, and account leader at the management consulting firm Point B, and Amrita is director of Ecotrust Forest Management, Inc.
Pictured: Ashish Vatsal, MBA ’11; Amrita (Vijay Kumar) Vatsal, MBA ’11/MS ’11; Aileen Payumo, MBA ’10; John (Trip) O’Shea, MBA ’11/MS ’11; Cynthia Koenig, MBA ’11/MS ’07; Erico Gomes, MBA ’10; Laura Frey, MBA ’11/MS ’11; Nate Springer, MBA ’11/MS ’11; Stephanie (Swain) Gioia, MBA ’11; Dave Gioia, MBA ’11; Jamie Mikkelsen, MBA’11/MS ’11; Rebecca Silver, MBA ’11/MS ’11; Ryan Whisnant, MBA ’10/MS ’10; Anita Bhat, MBA ’11; Ashish Gupta, MBA ’10; Emily Tsiang, MBA ’11.

Steve Mitzel, BBA ’94/MBA ’03, who was most recently general manager/SVP of media and marketing services company Valassis, has started his own management company, C Street Solutions ( Leveraging his 20 years of corporate experience, the new venture focuses on strategic partnership, product review & development, due diligence, integration, and cost optimizations.

Seren Cohen PhD, ABPP/MBA ’83, was recently designated by the American Psychological Association a board certified specialist in geropsychology, following almost 20 years as a practitioner in the field. The highest level of credentialing awarded to specialized psychologists, this certification represents the increasing importance of psychologists in healthcare, and
Dr. Cohen is one of fewer than 50 healthcare providers to earn this status in geropsychology.

Jed Hunter, MBA ’03, joined West Herr Automotive this February as COO. Before joining the largest automotive group in New York, Jed filled a number of roles for Penske Automotive Group and worked with Deloitte in Detroit.

Adam Linkner, BBA ’04, recently returned to his Ann Arbor stomping grounds to practice law. After earning his JD/MBA and working in Alabama and Washington,
D.C., he is now a member of the litigation team at Hooper Hathaway, P.C., where he focuses on commercial litigation, antitrust/competition law, and startup law. Prior to his law career, Adam co-
founded,, and

Jeffrey Horine, MBA ’93, co-founded and became CEO of SPR Advanced Technologies last October. The biotech company was awarded a $650,000 grant by USAID and its government partners — an achievement shared by only three organizations out of more than 1,500 competitors nationwide — to test and deploy its technology to protect U.S. healthcare workers against infection from Ebola and other infectious diseases. In March, SPR Advanced Technologies became the first private company to test and refine its platform at the National Institutes of Health-funded National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories.

David Doneson, BBA ’03, was appointed senior vice president of Campaign for the American Technion Society this May.
In this role, he creates and executes a comprehensive, national fundraising strategy to broaden the reach and magnitude of the ATS, which provides critical support to the innovative science and technology university Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. David previously held a variety of development positions at the University of Michigan, most recently as director of development of U-M
Health System.

Gerry O’Brion, MBA ’99, recently celebrated his fourth anniversary as a professional speaker ( The former big brand executive with companies such as P&G, Coors, Quiznos, and Red Robin now teaches business owners, executives, and managers how to translate billion-dollar brand strategies into knowledge that any organization can use to drive major growth, regardless of budget.

Neil Laws, BBA ’05, was promoted in January to principal at Ares Management, where he focuses on direct lending for the global alternative asset manager. Prior to joining Ares in 2007, Neil worked with UBS Investment Bank as an analyst.

Siva Namasivayam, MBA ’95, received three professional honors in the last 12 months. SCIO Health Analytics, the organization where he is co-founder and CEO, was named to Inc. Magazine’s 500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies for the fourth consecutive year, selected as one of the Top 20 health analytics solution providers to watch by Healthcare Tech Outlook, and ranked in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 for the second consecutive year. SCIO has produced $275 million+ in annual savings for clients in 2014.

Lillian Preston, MBA ’95, recently added a new project to the portfolio of her video production company, OurHealth Media Network. WTVS Detroit Public Television’s “Primary Care with Dr. Lonnie Joe,” hosted by the board-certified internist and pulmonary disease specialist, aims to improve the health of African Americans by examining health and care topics from clinical, cultural, and socioeconomic perspectives. Visit the OurHealth Media Network channel on YouTube to view the eight-part series.

Andy Nguyen, MBA ’13, following the completion of his degree, joined Kraft Foods as associate brand manager for Jell-O. Last fall, he rose to senior associate brand manager, responsible for the advertising, innovation, and consumer strategies for Stove Top and Shake ‘N Bake.

Jason Mironov, BBA ’05, was promoted to senior vice president at TA Associates in Menlo Park, Calif., where he concentrates on investments in business, financial, tech-enabled, and other growth services companies. The $18 billion global growth private equity firm has offices in Boston, Silicon Valley, London, Mumbai, and Hong Kong. Jason sits on the boards of DiscoverOrg and Procare Software, and is an active investor in Dutch.

Carrie Bake-Wong, MBA ’00, and Patrick Wong, MBA ’00, after transitioning out of the auto industry and into real estate, started independent brokerage BAKE Real Estate in December ( Based in Plymouth, Mich., they specialize in local markets, continuing in the tradition of Robert Bake Realtors, established in 1967 by Carrie’s father, Bob Bake, BBA ’63. Currently staffed with five Realtors, the company plans to grow this year. 

Gerald Nanninga, AB ’76/MBA ’78, heads his own consulting firm, Planninga From Nanninga, where he specializes in business strategy ( Combining his diverse backgrounds in financing and marketing, he offers a broad perspective on strategic planning problems, finding solutions that work in the marketplace as well as on the bottom line. Before going into business for himself, Gerald was vice president of corporate planning & analysis for Retail Ventures Inc.

Jeffrey Perlman, BBA ’05, joined global financial services company Credit Suisse after graduation, but since 2006 has been working with global private equity firm Warburg Pincus. As managing director, he handles investments in the real estate sector. Jeffrey also serves on the Board of Directors for e-Shang Warehousing Service Co. Ltd, Cubic City (China) Service Apartment Group Holdings Ltd, Nova Property Investment Co. Ltd, and Vincom Retail Joint Stock Company.

Marcelo Miranda, MBA ’06, recently leveraged his career in equity trading with Deutsche Bank to start his own venture. FlowBTC is the first bitcoin exchange focused on institutional clients in Brazil ( Partnering with bitcoin exchange software provider AlphaPoint, FlowBTC connects to other exchanges around the world to incentivize trading professionals to become more engaged in South America’s digital currency space.

Ariel Olaiz, BBA ’07, and Jaime Olaiz, MBA ’09, have shifted gears to join their family-owned business, Force Line Group. The international transportation and logistics company, which helps manage complex supply chains for clients in northern Mexico and the southwest United States, is capitalizing on the sizeable investments in the region from companies such as Ford Motor Co. Jaime, who previously worked in product development and production system strategy at Boeing, is now CEO of the group, while Ariel, who worked at BlackRock and earned his MBA this spring, is helping professionalize the business and position it for further growth. (Left to right, Jaime and Ariel proudly display their Michigan Ross flag.) 

Nayoung Won, BBA ’10, took a break from her career to pursue a new path in education. Previously a senior marketing specialist at Deloitte, in May she earned an M.S.Ed. in higher education, engaging in topics like increasing access to college and the role of public policy in financing higher education. With her new degree, Nayoung is working in Singapore as a program manager in career services at Yale-NUS College, a new liberal arts college formed between Yale University and the National University of Singapore.

Atul Kalia, MBA ’07, and Paul Singh, MBA ’07, launched a management consulting firm, CERTUS+ ( The firm leads strategy, strategy execution, analytics, process improvement, and cultural transformation related advisory engagements for Fortune 500 clients in various sectors such as media & entertainment, education, transportation, and healthcare, taking a people-centered, generative approach similar to the positive business practices championed at Michigan Ross.

Dr. Sunita Ferns and Dr. Apoorv Agarwal, PhD ’98/MBA ’12, welcomed baby Johan Agarwal this April. Sunita is director of pediatric invasive electrophysiology and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, while Apoorv has a consulting practice focused on alternative energy and technology startups.

Noah Leask, MBA ’15, is celebrating multiple recent achievements. On the career front, his information technology company, ISHPI, acquired Advanced Information Services Inc. and marked its fifth consecutive year on the Inc. 5000, ranking the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. On a personal level, Noah was presented the 2014 Outstanding Alumni Award from Strayer University in recognition of his exceptional professional and personal leadership along with his contributions to the local community.

Beth Benson, MBA ’97, and her husband, Gary Brancaleone, were honored by Oakland University Athletics in January with the Hollie L. Lepley Hall of Honor Community Service Award. The couple are very active alumni at the school, where they met while volunteering on an alumni board. Additionally, Beth is vice chair and chair-elect of the OUAA board of directors and recently led a strategic planning task force for the OUAA.