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Class Notes


Jack and Marion Bolz sitting together on couch
In Memoriam

John “Jack” Bolz (BS ’50), Marian Bolz, and Anne Bolz

The Bolzes passed away in May and June of 2023. Longtime supporters of the Madison arts industry, the Bolz family, including the late Robert Bolz (BS ’44) and the Eugenie Mayer Bolz Family Foundation, endowed WSB’s Bolz Center for Arts Administration in 1993. Their generous support solidified the arts administration degree program and created a pathway to educate future leaders in the nonprofit and arts industries.
In addition to providing financial support to students, the Bolz family endowment helps to fund curricular enhancements, hands-on learning experiences, and other programmatic needs. Through the center’s applied learning project placements in arts and culture organizations—made possible by Bolz family funding—students apply classroom concepts and gain real-world experience.
In 2020, Jack and Marian’s financial support also helped launch the accelerated Master of Arts–Business: Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership program, which reduced barriers of entry into graduate business school and increased the capacity to expand the program.
The Bolz family’s generosity and commitment to the arts has impacted hundreds of students, alumni, and community members. Their legacy will continue to champion creative leaders—or “Bolzies” as they are called—for years to come.

Bob Bruce
In Memoriam

Bob Bruce (BBA ’53)

Bruce passed away on June 23, 2023, in the company of his family. He was a lifelong supporter of UW–Madison and the Wisconsin School of Business, establishing the Robert Bruce Fellowship Fund and the Robert Bruce Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellow Fund. In addition, Bruce began an endowment for UW Athletics with fellow Business Badger and friend Albert O. Nicholas (BS ’52, MBA ’55), which eventually expanded to include UW Club Sports. A grateful and devoted student of Professor Frank Graner (PhD ’48), who inspired his passion for investing, Bruce founded Bruce Funds, a business he ran with his son, Jeff.


Steve Hawk
In Memoriam

Steve Hawk (BBA ’63, MBA ’64, PhD ’69)

Hawk passed away on May 22, 2023. He launched WSB’s Applied Security Analysis Program—now delivered through the Hawk Center for Investment Analysis—with a pioneering approach that allows students to invest and manage real money. The idea for the program came from Professor Frank Graner (PhD ’48), who tasked Hawk with bringing it to life. In 1970, Hawk piloted the program with a group of 12 students and proceeded to serve as director for 15 years. Thanks to Hawk’s extraordinary leadership and vision, the Hawk Center for Investment Analysis is one of WSB’s most renowned programs.

Feldman standing next to museum painting

Martin Feldman (BBA ’64)

Feldman is enjoying his eighth year of retirement in Florida and is celebrating his 55th wedding anniversary this year. He took a wonderful trip to Barcelona, Spain, where he and his wife visited the Sagrada Família, Montserrat, and the Picasso Museum. They also enjoyed a culinary tour, which was outstanding! Everything on the trip went smoothly, including airports, airline departures and arrivals, and the hotel experience. Feldman really enjoyed the trip and recommends it to others!

In Memoriam

Ronald Brazener (BBA ’68, MBA ’72)

Brazener, of Batavia, Illinois, passed away on January 5, 2023.

Steve Cain (BBA ’68)

Cain recently celebrated his eighth anniversary of managing the Midwest office of Fairfield Capital Group, LLC. The firm is based in Marco Island, Florida, and consults primarily with middle-market companies who are seeking to acquire equipment through leasing or financing.

Eisele smiling as he holds binoculars in the woods

Tim Eisele (BBA ’69, MS ’71)

Eisele has retired after serving 22 years on the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame board of governors. Eisele is a freelance outdoor writer and photographer, covering natural resources for Wisconsin Outdoor News. He has freelanced for newspapers and magazines in Wisconsin since 1971 and received the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Communicator of the Year award in 1995 and 2009.


William D. Soman (BBA ’70)

Soman recently retired from the practice of law in Miami, Florida. His firm, William D. Soman, P.A., concentrated on corporate and real estate business. The Montfort, Wisconsin, native was recently honored by the Florida Bar Association in recognition of his 50-year membership.

Alan Crist (BBA ’71, MA ’79, PhD ’87)

Crist has been an executive search consultant with AGB Search, LLC, since stepping down as the senior associate vice president of UW System Administration in 2015. Four years ago, he was also appointed director of ExecComp, an AGB Search service that assists boards with issues of executive compensation to attract and retain top leadership.

Donald Condon
In Memoriam

Donald “Don” Condon, Jr. (BBA ’74)

Condon passed away on March 19, 2023. Condon was a dedicated and impactful contributor to WSB’s Nicholas Center for Corporate Finance and Investment Banking. A member of the board of advisors since 1998, Condon was also an executive-in-residence and chairman of the executive committee for the board of advisors. In addition, he established a Condon Graduate Scholarship fund in 2001, which supports students within the Nicholas Center. Condon will be remembered for the passion, practical insights, and global leadership experience that he brought to the Nicholas Center.

John McKenzie (BBA ’76)

McKenzie is happy to announce that July 15, 2023, was the grand opening of the McKenzie Regional Workforce Center—a partnership between the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County and the Madison Area Builders Association. This new $10 million facility in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, trains young people and connects them with great jobs in the construction industry. The program also teaches wealth building and entrepreneurship. This initiative has led to a national partnership in 22 cities.

Abstract artwork by Babler

Marcia Babler (MBA ’77)

Babler has shown her work at the Dubuque Museum of Art Biennial, the Woman Made Gallery’s sixth Midwest Open in Chicago, and the 2023 North American Print Biennial exhibit at Boston University, which has long been recognized as one of the most prestigious events in printmaking. It was juried by Elizabeth M. Rudy, associate curator of prints at the Harvard Art Museums. Babler has also worked with a nationally recognized poet on an exhibit collection titled “Journey to Healing.”

Virtual model of a city block

Donald Bredberg (BBA ’79)

Bredberg is a partner with StoneCreek Partners and Adventure Entertainment Cos., and has established a joint venture with Monumental Studios LLC. This venture will further expand his firm’s client work involving film studio business planning, concept design, and studio services in the U.S., as well as select global regions. The new venture also has a first-owned film studio and creative campus in planning in New Mexico.


Steve Bass (MA ’81)

Bass will be stepping down as president and chief executive officer of Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) in 2024 after a long career in public media. OPB is Oregon’s largest and most impactful news organization, which operates a network of five TV stations and 17 radio stations across the region. He plans to spend more time pursuing his music as a clarinetist in various orchestras and festivals. He might do some consulting and advising as well.

Teens posing with a Thank You Volunteers sign

Jo Ann Heinrich (BBA ’82, MS ’86)

Heinrich created the volunteer organization Teens Who Care in Apple Valley, Minnesota, with her two children. Meeting monthly, the group of a dozen teenagers helped the community with an adopted street, sewer drains, and other projects. The mayor recognized this group for volunteering more than 1,000 hours over four years. Heinrich and her son, Josh, were also asked to be in a volunteer video for the city’s Facebook page.

Marc B. Sher

Marc B. Scher (BBA ’83)

Scher retired after 40 years at KPMG LLP. He rose to national and global industry leadership roles at the firm after his promotion to partner in 1996. During his career, Scher worked in several of the company’s offices, including Chicago, St. Louis, San Francisco, and the New York national office. In his retirement, he will serve as the 2024-25 chair of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and sit on several nonprofit boards.

Robert Holtz (BBA ’85)

Holtz is living and teaching in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina.

Jonathan Walsh (BS ’85, MS ’87)

Walsh moved to Florida in August 2023.

Steve Hasbrook

Steve Hasbrook (BBA ’86)

Hasbrook has come full circle with his new position as director of development for the Wisconsin School of Business, the place that helped launch his more than 30-year business career in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Hasbrook couldn’t imagine being in a better place. On, Wisconsin!

Mary Zellmer-Bruhn (BBA ’87, MS ’93, PhD ’99)

Zellmer-Bruhn was appointed as associate dean of MBA and master’s programs at the Carlson School of Management in July 2023 and named to the David M. Bond Fellowship for Ethics and Corporate Behavior. Her older child graduated from UW–Madison in May 2023 and took a job with Delta Airlines. Her younger child started as a first-year student at UW–Madison in September 2023.

Hazen in the driver's seat of a racing car

Thomas Hazen (BA ’88, MBA ’95)

Hazen recently retired from General Mills in the Twin Cities after a long career as an information technology analyst. As a senior lead instructor with Xtreme Xperience, where he has worked part time since 2014, Hazen travels to racetracks around the country, instructing and driving exotic supercars such as the Lamborghini Huracán, Ferrari 488 GTB, and Porsche GT3 RS.

Schwarz holding his skis

Robert Schwarz (MS ’89)

Schwarz recently retired from his position of adjunct lecturer in real estate at WSB after 11 years, where he taught commercial real estate development. He continues working as a consultant at RBS, Inc., where he produces market studies for affordable rental housing developments. Schwarz is also the vice president of Parmenter Development, Inc. He looks forward to having more time for reading, cooking, Nordic skiing, and road bicycling.


Brian Conom (BBA ’90)

Conom was the Surgical Territory Manager of the Year for the third year in a row. He also earned the Royalty Award for the 13th time, and the Gold Award, exceeding quota in all three product categories. Lastly, Conom became the first person to win the Legacy Award for a second time!

Amy Squitier

Amy Squitieri (BS ’90, MBA ’99)

Squitieri was named chief operations officer and president of Mead & Hunt, a highly ranked national architecture, engineering, and construction firm headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. In this role, Squitieri will help lead Mead & Hunt toward its strategic goals and vision. Her business operations, client relationships, and people-development skills have helped the business grow significantly, both organically and through mergers and acquisitions.

Rauman posing with arm around shoulder of child in her learning community

Laura Rauman (BBA ’92)

Rauman was recognized as a Notable Nonprofit Board Leader in the June 5, 2023, edition of BizTimes Milwaukee. She received this recognition as the founder and president of Bloom360 Learning Community, a private school and learning community serving neurodivergent children and adults in Southeastern Wisconsin. It partners with UW–Madison’s occupational therapy program and four other Wisconsin colleges as an approved fieldwork site.

Mike Kopplin

Mike Kopplin (BBA ’93, MBA ’95)

Kopplin has launched You Rule Academy to help legal professionals become court show judges and legal experts in the media. The program is part of Produce Your Life, where Kopplin calls upon his 25 years of experience as a TV producer and executive to help people produce the life they’ve always wanted. Kopplin is an Emmy-nominated producer known for Judge Judy, Divorce Court, Money Court, and other unscripted projects.

Craig Andler (BS ’94, MBA ’03)

Andler is leading a mission-based startup focused on helping teens develop their original superpower—coping skills! Previously, he launched many venture-backed startups in the e-commerce space.

Tricia Check

Tricia (Adams) Check (BBA ’96)

Check is the department administrator of the new Department of Plant and Agroecosystem Sciences in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at UW–Madison. The department launched on July 1, 2023, and is the result of a merger between the university’s Department of Horticulture and Department of Agronomy. Check has been with UW–Madison in the Department of Horticulture since 2000.

1996 UW Commencement photo of Kim receiving diploma

Sang Ho Kim (BBA ’96)

Kim is eager to connect with Badgers who are interested in doing business with Samsung SDS, Cheil Worldwide, GS Home Shopping, and Schaeffler Korea Corporation. He is also eager to connect with people from the Class of 1996.

Heidi Meister

Heidi Meister (BBA ’97)

Meister recently completed her 14th year at Citi. She started at Citi in 2005 as a financial analyst and moved into operations in 2009. Meister worked at another company for four years and recently returned to Citi as a strategy leader.

Jay Laabs

Jay Laabs (BBA ’98)

Laabs received a Luminary Award from the Wisconsin Alumni Association for his accomplishments in leadership, discovery, progress, and service. The founder and chief executive officer of Spaulding Ridge, a global business-technology consultancy focused on cloud computing solutions, Laabs was recognized for the company’s commitment to volunteer service, inclusion, and creating personal connections. Spaulding Ridge is now one of the top workplaces in the consulting industry.

Yoho posing with his family

Keenan Yoho (MS ’98, MBA ’00, PhD ’06)

Yoho was appointed visiting professor at SDA Bocconi School of Management and Politecnico di Milano, the top business and engineering schools in Italy, as part of a one-year sabbatical. During his year in Milan, Yoho is conducting research on the Italian automotive sector to identify adoption rates of Industry 4.0 practices, as well as how the sector is realigning its global supply chain. He is living in Italy with his family and their 3-year-old German shepherd.

Patrick Buchanan (BBA ’99, MS ’01)

Buchanan is the chief financial officer of Next Level Burger, America’s first 100% plant-based burger joint. It has 10 locations nationally, with plans to grow rapidly in the coming years.


Adam Ahearn (BBA ’00)

Ahearn recently joined the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Department of Athletics as senior associate athletic director of external relations after 22 years with Badger Athletics. He will lead the efforts of the marketing, fan experience, and ticket teams, while also overseeing athletic communications and campus and community engagement opportunities. In addition, he will assist in growing department revenue and community visibility.

Katherine Bailey (BBA ’01)

Bailey recently joined Rockwell Automation as a commercial marketing manager. She is responsible for developing strategies that promote products and solutions for the company’s global power-control business. Bailey is proud to join a team with many fellow Badgers.

Patzlaff posing with Bucky Badger

Jenny Patzlaff (BBA ’01)

Patzlaff recently celebrated her second anniversary at the University of Wisconsin E-Business Consortium (UWEBC), where she serves as supply chain practice director. She enjoys being back on the UW–Madison campus and working with great UWEBC member companies who value professional development for their employees. UWEBC has also allowed her to travel the state to many of these companies, helping to strengthen their peer learning communities in service of the Wisconsin Idea.

Jenny Bulgrin Venkat

Jenny Bulgrin Venkat (BBA ’02)

Bulgrin Venkat founded Jenny BV Sales Coaching and Consulting in 2023, where she provides comprehensive sales coaching and consulting services for professionals, entrepreneurs, and startups worldwide. Based in Austin, Texas, Bulgrin Venkat brings a global perspective from her journey living across Wisconsin, London, New York City, and San Francisco. Bulgrin Venkat has experience working for Harley-Davidson and Marriott, and was a founding member of the business sales team at Airbnb.

Johnson standing in front of painted butterfly wings on mural

Kinga Johnson (BBA ’02)

Johnson is an artist and the owner of Radiant Smiles Face Painting. The business has grown to include fine art (Aurealian Art), art gifts, and, most recently, mural painting (The Mural Studio). She is so thankful for a recent opportunity to design and partially paint a mural for the Waunakee Wings Memorial Mural project.

M Faisal Siddiqui

M Faisal Siddiqui (MBA ’03)

Siddiqui has taken on an elevated role as chief operating officer of processes for Cancer Treatment Services International L.P. – South Asia, which is a fully owned subsidiary of Varian Medical Systems. Previously, he had been leading business and operational transformations in tertiary care hospitals through senior leadership profit and loss roles. The journey to this milestone has been fabulous and he remains a proud Badger!

Kelly Fetherolf (BBA ’04)

Fetherolf is involved with Dalum Beverage Equipment, a Wisconsin-based sustainable business that recently launched in the United States and specializes in carbon recapture technology designed especially for craft breweries.

Heather Good (MA ’05)

Good joined the Recreation & Wellbeing team at UW–Madison in April 2023. Good says it’s been an absolute delight to work with this energetic and smart team. Her office is in the beautiful, brand-new Bakke Recreation & Wellbeing Center, and she is happy to give tours!

Laura Gramann Richter (BBA ’07)

Richter is approaching 10 years of running her business, Pieces into Place, which designs custom closets for clients in Southeastern Wisconsin. She and her family recently moved to the Lake Country area of Wisconsin and have been enjoying lots of birdwatching activities with their nearly 2-year-old son, Henry. She has also been planting native species that attract pollinators to the yard!

Trent Kleist (BBA ’08, MAcc ’09)

Kleist is a certified public accountant and was promoted to partner at Baker Tilly U.S., LLP, on June 1, 2023. Kleist’s practice includes assurance and consulting services for clients in the real estate and construction industries.

Vandehey posing in front of logo for his podcast, The Bridge

Justin Vandehey (BBA ’08)

Vandehey co-founded Disco in 2014 with his brother, Jeremy Vandehey (BBA ’10). Disco’s goal was to help companies recognize their employees and reinforce their core values. After growing the company to profitability, Disco was acquired by Culture Amp, a category leader in the employee experience space. Following the acquisition, the brothers started a popular business podcast called The Bridge to help entrepreneurs.

Kristina Bothfeld (BBA ’09)

Bothfeld was named vice president of financial analysis and strategic planning of TDS Telecommunications LLC.

Scott Caliebe (BBA ’09)

Caliebe recently coached his youngest child’s team to an impressive 0-0-13 record in a heavily competitive Green Bay youth tee-ball league. In between yelling at kids to not play in the sand, he continues to make Badger game days a success by crafting award-winning Pine River cheese spreads.

Jon Fasoli

Jon Fasoli (BBA ’09)

Fasoli received a Forward Award from the Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA) for his outstanding exemplification of the Wisconsin Idea. Fasoli was honored for his efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic to connect small business owners with Paycheck Protection Program loans and other federal relief funding. He serves as the chief product and design officer at Intuit Mailchimp and is described as a “champion of small business and the self-employed” by WAA. Fasoli was also named to WSB’s annual “8 to Watch” list in the Spring/Summer 2021 issue of Update magazine.

Lavelle and family posing in hospital bed with newborn baby

Sarah Lavelle (BBA ’09)

Lavelle and Erin Lavelle (BBA ’06, MAcc ’07) welcomed their fourth child, Lily, in August. They are hoping for four future Business Badgers!


Bruce Klink

Bruce Klink (BBA ’10)

Klink launched East Superior Real Estate Partners (ESRE), which features a data-driven strategy, in-house property management, and a robust renovation experience across Midwest growth markets. ESRE closed another Chicago acquisition in June 2023 and is seeking equity partners for future projects. Klink is also on the advisory board of Ladder Up, and enjoys family time with his wife, Melanie Koch (BA ’10), and baby girl.

Nathan Plumb (MBA ’10)

Plumb was promoted to co-portfolio manager for the Plumb Mutual Funds, including the Plumb Balanced Fund and Plumb Equity Fund, on August 1, 2023.

Josh Dver (BBA ’11)

Dver started a new position where he’s spearheading all North American and Latin American sales efforts for a generative artificial intelligence (AI) platform that converts text and imagery to video. With a single still image, the platform can compose a realistic video that includes facial expression, tone, and mood. He’s excited to be a part of the generative AI space, which is evolving faster than he can type this note!

Brischke posing with her husband

Lauren Brischke (BBA ’15)

Brischke celebrated her five-year anniversary on the Alumni Relations team at WSB. She is deeply inspired by the engaged and supportive Business Badger community. She also married her best friend, Nick Mittelstedt, who serves the local community as a firefighter and paramedic for the Madison Fire Department. On their honeymoon, they went paragliding in the Swiss Alps and snorkeling in the Mediterranean Sea—and are excited for the next chapter!

Kelly Mundth (MBA ’15)

Mundth started her own consulting business a year ago with a focus on professional development. Her business consults on all things learning and growing, including the commercial, leadership, and career spaces. She also works with clients in all industries on skill building. Although it was a scary leap, Mundth felt more prepared because of her MBA program experience at WSB. She was introduced to entrepreneurship through the MBA program, but never thought she would pursue it!

Anna Cramer

Anna Cramer (MBA ’16)

Cramer began a new position as development director of Hoyt Sherman Place. She will lead the fundraising efforts for this 100-year-old cultural staple of the Des Moines, Iowa, community. Hoyt Sherman Place is a vibrant cultural destination where people can connect with art, music, history, and one another.

Joel Greenspan

Joel Greenspan (BBA ’17)

Greenspan started his own business as a custom footwear artist. By applying the business acumen he developed within Grainger Hall, Greenspan has landed work with several notable clients, including the NFL, Madison Square Garden, the NBA, and Radio City Music Hall. Currently, he’s prepping for another season of the My Cause My Cleats campaign, where he creates custom cleats for the New England Patriots.

Mike Sweitzer-Beckman

Mike Sweitzer-Beckman (MBA ’17)

Sweitzer-Beckman is excited to be back on campus and serving as director of development with the College of Letters & Science at the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association. He will work closely with the Department of Economics and the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs.

AJ Minucci

AJ Minucci (BBA ’18)

Minucci is happy to announce that he has completed his service obligations as a surface warfare officer in the Navy after more than four years. He has accepted a position with General Dynamics Information Technology as a senior training specialist and is excited to instruct and train the Navy’s next officers! In addition to working full time, he will be attending the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, where he will pursue a master’s in global supply chain management.

Emmy (Emily) Bildings (BBA ’19)

Bildings was recently awarded the 2023 CEO Award from Procter & Gamble (P&G), which represents the top employees across the company for the year. Bildings led analytics and insights for P&G’s Bounty brand, and oversees interns, new hires, Wisconsin recruiting teams, and the P&G annual United Way campaign. She recently started a new role as senior manager for Family Care Front End Innovation and Upstream.

Clayton Grow standing with hiking stick in front of mountain peak

Clayton Grow (MBA ’19)

Grow started working for Time of Grace Ministry as a business intelligence manager in 2017. He helped this Christian multimedia ministry reach record numbers of people in 2018 and 2019. He was promoted to director of operations in 2020 and now uses marketing insight and problem-solving skills to continually improve the digital marketing and internal operations for this multimillion-dollar nonprofit organization.

Krueger and his wife posing in their wedding best

Karl Krueger (MBA ’19)

Krueger and Vania Arias (MBA ’18) recently celebrated their third wedding! After meeting in Grainger Hall during their MBA programs, Krueger and Arias got engaged in September 2020 and had a small legal ceremony in March 2021. They were finally able to celebrate with friends and family—first in Arias’ hometown of Lima, Peru, and then in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They were joined by fellow Badgers, friends, and family at all three weddings!


Sohn posing with two others in full military gear

Paul Sohn (BBA ’20)

Sohn is deployed to Syria in support of Counter Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve as the explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) officer for his platoon. He is responsible for the management of three EOD teams and is tasked with rendering safe and disposing of various explosive hazards on the battlefield.

Grace Colvin (BBA ’21)

Colvin is the founder of Strawberry Goose, a company specializing in organizational tools for young women. With a focus on planners, journals, and pouches, Colvin’s products blend functionality with style, drawing from her own experiences in the business world. As she continues to grow her business, she envisions enriching the lives of successful women by providing them with high-quality organizational tools.

Randeep Dang (MBA ’22)

Dang has been promoted to a global profit and loss leadership position and is now the general manager of ventilation at GE HealthCare in Madison, Wisconsin.

Nick Woods (BBA ’22)

Woods came back to UW–Madison to study law. He says that it feels nice to be back on campus.

Jayla Thompson

Jayla Thompson (BBA ’23)

“I am excited to share that I have recently been included in the Wisconsin Inno’s Under 25 Class of 2023! Blessed to be recognized amongst this great talent in our beautiful city. 📈 As a recent Wisconsin School of Business graduate I am honored to represent for the innovative Badgers and young Black Women out there looking to make a difference in the communities they are a part of.”