Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing class notes submitted in last 6 months by graduates in the 2000s
Richard S. Smudin MBA ’00 recently took command of the 354th Civil Affairs Brigade. He has had 27 years of military service. Colonel Smudin's most recent assignments include Battalion Commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 304th Infantry Regiment (United States Military Academy), Chief of the Civil Information Management Cell at the 353d Civil Affairs Command, and Chief of the Functional Specialty Team at the 353d Civil Affairs Command. His operational deployments include service as the Mobilization Plans Officer at Fort Drum in 2003, Civil Affairs Team Leader in Baghdad, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom II - III, and Division Engagements Officer for the Commander of Multi-National Division North at Contingency Operating Base Speicher Iraq during OIF 2007-2009.
Stephanie Rocha '00, J.D. '09 appeared in the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 2014 40 Under 40 list. She is an associate attorney at Miller Morton Cailat & Nevis LLP, where Rocha represents developers, builders and prime contractors in construction litigation, including defect and payment disputes. She also represents real estate agents and brokers, homeowners, landlords, tenants and other individuals and entities in a variety of real estate- and business-related matters.
Jeff Nishita MBA ’00 has joined Novogradac & Company LLP, a San Francisco-based accounting and consulting firm that specializes in affordable housing, community development, historic preservation and renewable energy tax credits. Nishita performs numerous services in the real estate industry, including audit and tax services, consulting, forecasting and training. He works with for-profit and nonprofit developers, syndicators and direct investors.
Mr. Nishita speaks at various affordable housing conferences throughout the year and is in charge of maintaining the firm’s Financial Forecast Model. He is also the founder of the firm’s community service program and one of the founders of the firm’s LIHTC Working Group, a membership organization that addresses technical issues in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.
Before joining Novogradac & Company LLP, Mr. Nishita worked with several start-up companies and small businesses in executive positions.
Kristen Lewis '00 married Brian Howards on May 10, 2014, in San Francisco.
Crystal Lequang-Gonzales ’00 is celebrating the 10th anniversary of her company, Amazae Events Inc. The company has recently relocated to Willow Glen with an expanded team, where Gonzales continues to provide exceptional event planning and design services for corporate functions, social gatherings, and wedding celebrations.
www.amazae.com www.facebook.com/AmazaeSpecialEvents www.yelp.com/biz/amazae-special-events-san-jose
Jane Duong Davaransky ’00 created a petition on www.change.org to ask Medela, a leading manufacturer of breast pumps, to create a program to recycle old breast pumps. After 2,002 signatures, Medela responded by creating a recycling program called Medela Recycles. Each pump received through Medela Recycles supports the donation of new hospital-grade, multiuse breastpumps and supplies to Ronald McDonald House Charities to support parents who have babies in the NICU. Medela expects to recycle 12,000 pumps with this program. As of mid-January 2015, the company has recycled 171 pumps.
Janelle (Pereira) Charles ’00, husband Ryan, and big brother Mason (3) welcomed identical twin baby boys, Tyler and Aiden, on Nov. 24, 2014. The family lives in Morgan Hill.
Sowmya Ayyar '00 lives in Bangalore, India, and is the founder and executive director of Prafull Oorja Charitable Foundation, an organization co-founded with Madeleine Sears '11. Prafull Oorja brings yoga and other holistic practices to populations in need, such as special needs children and rural women.
Gladys (Garcia) Lopez '01 and her husband, Ivan Lopez, are proprieters of Ultimate Performance & Fitness, which was selected for the 2015 Best of Westlake Village Award. Their business, which was recognized in the Gym category for the third year in a row, was selected for enhancing the positive image of small businesses through service to their customers and the community.
Ultimate Performance & Fitness is one of the largest private personal training facilities in the Conejo Valley, with nearly 5,000 square feet of new top-of-the-line cardio and strength equipment. All personal trainers that train clients at UPF must meet strict qualifications in terms of professionalism, training, education and level of certification. These gifted certified personal trainers must also continue to educate themselves in the latest fitness and healthy trends and innovations to better serve the clients of the Conejo Valley.
Angel Diaz ’99 and Alma Diaz Parra ’01 welcomed their second child, Antonio Ernesto, on Oct. 27, 2014. He joins big brother Eduardo Angel who is three years old and the family resides in Los Angeles.
Jimmy Williams ’02 is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland. He writes on the Santa Clara University blog, "I have been working on an approach to identify concrete signatures of the Majorana particle. In some sense, the work I participated in with Professor Betty Young doing research for the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) looking for exotic particles has come full circle. It’s a great job! I have a big lab and a bunch of money to do whatever physics I want. It doesn’t get any better than that."
Melissa (Walker) Sullivan ’02 is a criminal prosecuting attorney in Mount Vernon, Washington. Her husband, Brian Sullivan ’02, is also an attorney and runs his own law practice in Everett, Washington. They welcomed a baby boy, Max, on April 28, 2014. Max joins big sister, Fiona, who will be 3 years old on March 16, 2015. The family lives in Everett, Washington.
Lisa (Mrkvicka) Mudgett ’02 and husband Dan welcomed their fourth son, Isaac Maxwell, on Feb. 21, 2015. The busy family lives in Seattle.
Seasoned family law attorney Yadhira N. Gutierrez J.D. '07 joined Hoge Fenton, a leading Northern California law firm, as an associate. Gutierrez has exclusively focused on family law since January 2008 and offers her clients a full range of services, from premarital and marital agreements to strong advocacy representation when issues cannot be resolved by mutual agreement. Gutierrez is often appointed by the court to act as minor’s counsel, representing children who don’t otherwise have a voice in the family law process. She is also active in the community, working with the Santa Clara County Pro Bono Project and as a Spanish Family Court Services Orientation Instructor for the Santa Clara County Superior Court. In 2014, the Santa Clara County Bar Association’s Family Law Section honored her with the Henry B. Collada Memorial Award. This distinction recognizes extraordinary service, contribution and professionalism with a focus on the betterment of families and children involved with Family Court.
Andrew Gere MBA '02 has been promoted to chief operating officer of the San Jose Water Company, an investor-owned utility in the business of providing water service to a population of approximately 1 million people in an area comprising about 138 square miles in the metropolitan San Jose area. Andrew has ably served the company and its customers for nearly 20 years in numerous positions and capacities, most recently as VP of Operations. In his new capacity, he has primary and direct responsibility for all San Jose Water Company field activities and departments including Operations, Distribution Systems, Water Quality, Logistics, Engineering, Construction, and Water Resource Management. In addition, he supports and advises the CEO in decision making and assumes primary responsibility for design, development, implementation, reporting, and monitoring of key performance metrics, policies, and procedures for the company.
Aimee Catalano MBA '02 made the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 2015 Women of Influence annual list. This list comprises “100 women rocking Silicon Valley business” who have made a big impact across all professions. Catalano is VP, Alliance Marketing, at Citrix. With more than 17 years of experience in the high-technology marketing field, she has held various roles in companies of all sizes including IBM; Interwoven, Informix, Qumu, and XenSource, which was acquired by her current company, Citrix. And while her executive position at Citrix keeps her very busy, it’s her two young children that really keep her on her toes.
Dori L. Yob J.D. '03 made the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 2015 Women of Influence annual list. This list comprises “100 women rocking Silicon Valley business” who have made a big impact across all professions. Yob, 36, has been with Hopkins & Carley since she graduated from law school. She handles complex real estate cases in state and federal courts. SHe also routinely appears on behalf of her land use clients at planning commission and city council hearings. As the co-chair of her firm's litigation department, she oversees the firm's largest department. This January, she was elected chair of the San Jose Planning Commission.
Kalie (Bass) Ward ’03 and Matthew Ward ’03, M.S ’14 welcomed their first child, Brendan Charles Ward, on Jan. 6, 2015 at 11:01 pm. He was 7 lbs 2 oz, 19 3/4" long.
Roselyn (Rosie) Siino ’03 and her husband, Steve, welcomed a baby boy, Lucca John on September 25, 2014. He is their first child.
Margaret Pinard ’03 has recently released Dulci's Legacy, a young adult fantasy-thriller set in Nova Scotia. This is Margaret's second novel, following her debut historical fiction Memory's Hostage in 2013. Both books can be found on Amazon.com. She is thrilled to be writing real stories instead of memoranda, and is currently at work on her third novel. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
www.margaretpinard.com www.taste-life-twice.com @tastelifetwice
Carol Reiley ’04 has written a children's book, Making a Splash. Combining her engineering problem-solving skills with a desire to help kids unlock their potential, Reiley tested drafts of her book in classrooms and homes across the country before crowdsourcing its publication. For now, Reiley hopes Making a Splash will help young readers understand that “it’s not about how smart you are; it’s about how smart you can become,” and to view failure as a stepping stone to greater things, not a stumbling block. Read more in fyi.
Sara (Pfaff) Lee ’04 and Matt Lee ’04 welcomed their second child, daughter Brooke Emerson, on Aug. 12, 2014. Brooke joins big brother Parker, 3.