Class Notes: Winter 2018


Taylor Jesse Clear (BBA ’65) recently retired for the third time and closed his business, Ballistic Trap Media, a gun range design and consulting firm whose clients included police, military and national security agencies. Before retiring in 1995, Clear spent 27 years as a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State. Prior to that, he was an underground miner in Colorado and a Merchant Marine radio officer and deck seaman, serving at the end of the Korean War and in the Vietnam War. He and his wife, DorothyRossignol Clear, live in Virginia, but try to visit New Orleans at least once a year to see family and enjoy the food, music and architecture.

John Koerner III (UC ’65, L ’69, MBA ’70) was recognized by Times-Picayune in its coverage of New Orleans’ tricentennial. Koerner was featured as part of its “300 for 300” feature, which profiles 300 notable New Orleanians who have helped to make the city what it is over the last 300 years. Koerner is president of Koerner Capital Corp. and the former president and co-owner of Barq’s Inc. and its subsidiary, the Delaware Punch Co.



Stephen Hill (MBA ’73) is a professional expert witness, testifying on financial issues, corporate structure and mergers on behalf of consumers in utility regulatory proceedings. Over the past 40 years, Hill, as the principal of Hill Associates, has provided expert testimony on the cost of equity capital, capital structure and corporate relationships in over 325 regulatory proceedings before state andfederal regulatory bodies. Hill is also a professional musician and has been a long-time member of the house band for Mountain Stage, a two-hour live music radio show carried on over 250 NPR stations in the U.S. In December, Mountain Stage celebrated its 34th year on the air.



H. David Pickering Jr. (MBA ’81) has been retired from American Express for three years and living on the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He recently lost his wife of 35 years, Lyda, to cancer, and so is in the process of reevaluating his retirement plans.

Michael Schroeder (BSM ’87) is president of Roundstone Management Ltd., which was recently named to the 2018 Inc. 5000 list as one of America’s fastest growing private companies. Based in Lakewood, Ohio, Roundstone provides insurance management services for medium-sized businesses and nonprofit organizations, offering alternative funding strategies for managing healthcare costs.



Timothy Smith (BSM ’90) has been named senior vice president and general manager of the Backup Business Unit at J2 Cloud Services, a division of J2 Global. Smith previously served as vice president, platforms business management, at Western Digital Corp. He also held several senior positions at EMC Corp., including vice president, global platform operations–business development, and vice president, global supply management. Prior to entering into the data storage space, Smith worked in the investment banking industry with both Lehman Brothers and the Credit Suisse First Boston Technology Group covering storage and other IT companies.

Lakshman Charanjiva (MBA ’95) recently joined BC Partners, a leading private equity firm advising funds totaling ca. Euro 17 billion. Charanjiva serves as a technology partner based out of the firm’s New York office.

Jeff O’Hara (MBA ’95) is the author of Have Fun, Fight Back and Keep the Party Going: Lessons from a New Orleans Entrepreneur’s Journey to the Inc. 5000, a new book about entrepreneurism and overcoming adversity that offers a behind-the-scenes look at New Orleans. The book, O’Hara’s first, was releasedon Dec. 1 under Inc. magazine’s “An Inc. Original” imprint. O’Hara is president of destination management company AlliedPRA New Orleans.

Amanda Mantle Winstead (MBA ’96) was appointed board chair of the Arts Council New Orleans in January 2018. ACNO was one of the select arts non-profits in New Orleans to recently receive a Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) program grant. In addition to two years of unrestricted operating support, grantees, including the board chair and executive director, participate in a management training program run by the DeVos Institute of Arts Management. Winstead is the principal of Amanda Winstead Fine Art LLC, a fine art appraisal and private art brokerage firm.

Chan Nicole Gaither (BSM ’97) is the owner of Creativa IP Law LLC, an intellectual property boutique law firm in New Orleans. Creativa specializes in trademark and copyright law.

Maggie Giddens (BSM ’99) recently accepted a job with Dallas-based G6 Hospitality as managing director of external communications and corporate social responsibility.

Carol J. Schlueter (MBA ’99) is the new director of the German-American Cultural Center in Gretna, Louisiana. Located in Gretna’s National Register Historic District, which was settled by German immigrants in the mid- 1880s, the center interprets the unique German immigrant contribution to Louisiana’s history through exhibits, lectures, programs and other educational activities. Schlueter is the former executive director of publications at Tulane who retired in 2016 after a 24-year career at the university.

Matt Schwartz (BSM ’99) was profiled by Times-Picayune for its “300 for 300” series, which highlights 300 notable New Orleanians who have helped to make the city what it is over the past 300 years. Schwartz is co-founder and principal of the Domain Cos., a real estate development firm whose New Orleans properties include the Ace Hotel, the Preserve and Crescent Club apartments, and the South Market District, a $500 million mixed-use development combining luxury apartments with retail, restaurants and entertainment venues in the heart of downtown.



Tom SpiersTom Spiers (MBA ’01), chief operating officer of Gulf South Eye Associates in Metairie, has been appointed to a two-year term as chairman of the World Trade Center of New Orleans. In that role, he’ll lead the board of directors of the 1,000-member non-profit organization whose mission is to create jobs and wealth in Louisiana through international trade, economic development and allied activities.

Gary Anderson (MBA ’04) has joined the Rockefeller Global Family Office following Rockefeller Capital Management’s acquisition of Greer Anderson Capital, a private investment management firm serving ultra-high-net-worth families and individuals. Anderson had served as Greer Anderson’s chief investment officer and managing partner since its founding in 2008. He was previously director of investments for Tulane University.

Matt BergerMatt Berger (MBA ’04) has joined the board of directors of the Louisiana Association of Health Plans. Berger serves as regional president of Humana’s Louisiana and Mississippi Medicare markets. Prior to that, he spent four years as the company’s Medicare Central Division chief financial officer.

Alex Tokatlian (BSM ’04) has been named to the Brand Star Committee of Portada, a provider of marketing and business news and intelligence. Tokatlian is multicultural marketing & advertising program leader at Domino’s Pizza. In that role, he leads U.S. multicultural marketing for Domino’s, including advertising development, digital engagement, media and retail strategy. Prior to joining Domino’s, Tokatlian managed several iconic brands at the Hershey Co. and also worked at the New York Stock Exchange and Frito-Lay. Tokatlian resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his wife and their three daughters.

Katherine McCoy Rivera (BSM ’07) has joined Adams and Reese in New Orleans as the firm’s marketing and communications manager. Rivera has spent the entirety of her career in midsize to Am Law 200 corporate defense law firms, focusing on communications and marketing strategy.

Madelyn O. BreerwoodMadelyn O. Breerwood (BSM ’08) has joined the law firm of Levey, Wagley, Putman & Eccher in Winthrop, Maine, as an associate attorney. A native of Winthrop, Breerwood returned to Maine last year to practice elder law. Prior to that, she spent three years with the New Orleans firm Herman, Herman & Katz representing plaintiffs in mass tort litigation. In her new role, Breerwood will be assisting clients with estate planning, trusts and probate.

Brian Rosenblatt (MBA/JD ’08) has joined Wildcat Capital Management, the family investment office of TPG Capital co-founder David Bonderman, as general counsel and chief operating officer. Prior to joining Wildcat, Rosenblatt served as general counsel of OZ Management, also known as Och-Ziff, one of the largest institutional alternative asset managers in the world.

Keegan O’Brien (BSM ’09) joined Artisan Partners in October 2018 as a director focused on corporate strategy. Artisan Partners is a buy-side asset management firm focused on providing high value-added, active investment strategies to clients globally. In his new role, Keegan will help Artisan identify, diligence and on-board new portfolio managers in both traditional and alternative asset classes. Prior to joining Artisan, Keegan worked for amulti-billion dollar single family office and for investment banks, Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital. With the new opportunity, Keegan and his wife, Dana, relocated from New York to Chicago.



Zach Engel (BSM ’10), culinary director of Pomegranate Hospitality in New Orleans and winner of the 2017 James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year Award, announced that he will be opening a new restaurant in Chicago in 2019. Galit, which will be located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, will feature modern Israeli cuisine and more. Engel was formerly chef de cuisine and executive chef at Shaya, Alon Shaya’s acclaimed New Orleans restaurant that also featured Israeli cuisine. When Shaya departed his namesake restaurant in September 2017 and founded Pomegranate Hospitality, Engel joined him at the company and assisted in the opening of two restaurants, Saba in New Orleans and Safta in Denver.

Steve GleasonSteve Gleason (MBA ’11) was profiled by Times-Picayune as part of its “300 for 300” series, whichwho have helped to make the city what it is over the past 300 years. A former NFL player, Gleason revealed that he was battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in 2011. Since then, Gleason has worked to raise public awareness of ALS, promote scientific research and help provide patients suffering from neuromuscular diseases with leading-edge technology, equipmentand services.

Ben WarshawBen Warshaw (BSM ’14) has served on the steering committee for ATLeaders, the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Young Professionals Council, for over two years. Recently he’s taken on the additional leadership role of chair for the ATLeaders Professional Influence Working Group, focused on developing Atlanta’s next generation of business leaders. He was also recently recognized by theTechnology Association of Georgia’s Young Professional Society as a leader in personal and professional branding. In the nonprofit space, Ben has been selected to join the advisory board of the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta’s major not-for-profit theatre company. He has also taken on a committee leadership role with the Human Rights Campaign Atlanta chapter, helping to advance LGBTQ equality.

Jerry DiColo (MBA ’15) has joined The New Orleans Advocate as its new metro editor. In that role, he will help to lead news coverage in New Orleans and the broader region. DiColo spent six years as a business and financial markets reporter at Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal in New York, where he focused on energy and commodities. He is returning to journalism after working in finance since earning his MBA.

Nick Leverett (MBA ’15) and his wife, Claire, announce the birth of their daughter, Olive Elizabeth Leverett. Leverett is director of market research at the Dilweg Cos., a commercial real investment firm. The family resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Eduardo Leiva (MBA ’18) is commercial manager of Corporacion Enerjet SA in Lima, Peru, where he leads the salesforce, marketing and customer service teams. Under Leiva’s management, the company achieved historic sales last year and looks forward to continued growth.

Catherine Nelson (MBA ’18) recently hosted the opening of her exhibition “A Tussle with the Genius Loci” at Book Club Gallery in New Orleans. The immersive installation drew inspiration and actual materials from wetlands and riverbanks that Nelson collected while kayaking. The opening also featured a performance involving Nelson’s sculptures by the dance company Known Mass, co-choreographed with Ann Glaviano, Rebecca Allen and Dewuan Frances. Freeman alumni were well represented at the event.

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