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Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing class notes submitted in last 6 months
Eric Bell MBA ’78 recently retired after a 35-year-career in banking that included building electronic payment systems and management consulting.
Dennis Smolarski, S.J., ’69, M.Div., ’79, STM ’79 has been appointed as the next director of Campus Ministry. Fr. Smolarski brings unique gifts and experience to the position as an alumnus, longtime professor, and a Jesuit well aware of the changing trends in the spiritual lives of young adults today. Having taught at Santa Clara first in 1975–76 and since 1982, and serving as a resident minister for ten years, he has also led the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and authored research in his field as well as best-selling books on Roman Catholic liturgy.
William F. Abrams J.D. ’79 is practicing at Foster Pepper in Seattle. He is in the firm’s IP and litigation and dispute resolution practices and has served as lead counsel in over 100 patent, trade secret, and IP cases since 2000. Abrams has also been named a Top 75 IP Lawyer in California since 2009. In 2017, he successfully defended a challenge to Seattle’s tax on gun sales. Previously, he practiced at Steptoe & Johnson in San Francisco.
Drew C. Takaichi J.D. ’80, a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge, was honored at the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association 42nd annual Judges’ Night event on May 30, 2018, where he received the John D. Foley Judge of the Year Award.
John T. Mirassou ’80 has finished his first year of employment as a software engineer at Universal Audio and loves it! He also celebrated son Edward Donald Mirassou’s second birthday with wife Sandra Pomeroy.
Philip L. Gregory J.D./MBA ’80 has received the Edwin J. Owens Lawyer of the Year Award from Santa Clara School of Law, which honors a distinguished member of the law school community who is devoted to the highest ideals of the profession and has made significant contributions to the University, the community, and the law. Gregory recently launched his own firm, the Gregory Law Group, based in Redwood City. His practice emphasizes complex business and environmental litigation, including antitrust, financial fraud, employment, securities, and intellectual property matters. His practice draws from his vast array of experience, including serving as the articles editor for the Santa Clara Law Review and the first chair of the State Bar’s Trade Secrets Subcommittee. Gregory is co-lead counsel on a federal lawsuit by a group of 21 young people who claim the federal government is affirmatively violating their constitutional right to a stable climate with fossil fuel energy policies that promote climate change—Juliana, et al. v. United States, et al. (District of Oregon). In March, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the case can proceed toward trial. Gregory continues to serve as a judge pro tem for the Santa Clara County Superior Court. He also serves as a certified mediator for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Gregory is a master of the bench and former president with the Honorable William A. Ingram American Inn of Court. He is a fellow with the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, limited to 500 active trial lawyers in the United States under the age of 70. Gregory also is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He has been a Super Lawyer since 2007 and holds the highest rating from Martindale-Hubbell. Gregory has written articles for and lectured before bar associations, law school classes, and colleges on a wide variety of subjects, including e-commerce, source code escrows, and legal ethics. He has been a partner with Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP; Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley; and Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel, Inc. He has also worked for Spectra Laboratories, Inc., where he served as general counsel; vice president, legal and regulatory affairs; and corporate compliance officer. He started his legal career as an associate with Fenwick & West. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and government from Bowdoin College. He has served on the boards of a number of civic and services organizations in the Bay Area, including Samaritan House of San Mateo County, and as former chairman of the board of EHC LifeBuilders.
Scott Freeman ’80 was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in the Outstanding Culinary Program category as executive producer of Valerie’s Home Cooking on the Food Network. The show wrapped up its eighth season in June 2018.
Patricia (Feeney) Gallagher ’80 joins Catholic Charities of San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin as chief development officer. In this new position, Gallagher will be responsible for providing innovative leadership and strategic vision to all aspects of Catholic Charities’ development and fundraising program.
Here is press release https://catholiccharitiessf.org/news/catholic-charities-names-new-chief-development-officer/
Jon Olson MBA ’81 has joined the board of directors at Mellanox Technologies.
Timothy J. Schmal J.D. ’82 has been appointed to a judgeship on the Santa Cruz County Superior Court. He previously was a sole practitioner. From 2008 to 2014 Schmal was a partner at Burton, Schmal and DiBenedetto.
Chris Meissner ’82, president and CEO of Meissner Filtration Products, is the 2018 chair of the board of directors for the Economic Development Collaborative in Ventura County, California. A Southern California native, Meissner founded Meissner Filtration Products in 1989 in Camarillo, California. He has received numerous awards, including the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Man of the Year Award and Cal State Channel Islands Business and Technology Partnership’s 2015 Community and Business Leader of the Year Award.
Tom Madden ’82, J.D. ’87 was honored as Roblan of the Year by the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce. A Paso Robles, California, native, Madden was recognized for his humility and community involvement, including on Pioneer Day and the Santa Margarita Tractor and Equipment Show. He is also a founding chair of the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival and has been on the Paso Robles Wine Festival committee for 15 years.
Ana Ventura Phares ’83 is serving as interim executive director for Catholic Charities, Diocese of Monterey. The organization helps low-income residents and families in four counties with immigration and citizenship, tattoo removal, Cal Fresh/nutrition education, and emergency rental assistance. To donate, check out www.catholiccharitiescentralcoast.org.
Christine Russell ’71, MBA ’83 has been appointed chief financial officer of PDF Solutions, a leading provider of process-design integration technologies for circuit manufacturability. She brings over 25 years of corporate and financial experience to the company.
Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long J.D. ’83 is joining Ice Miller LLP as a partner in advance of his retirement from the Indiana legislature in November 2018. Long has a law office in Fort Wayne, serves as general counsel for Pizza Hut, and will practice in the firm’s Public Affairs Group.
Colleen T. Davies-Ronan J.D. ’83 has received the Alumni Special Achievement Award from Santa Clara School of Law, which recognizes outstanding achievements of law school alumni who have distinguished themselves in their profession, community, and in service to humanity. Davies-Ronan is senior counsel at Reed Smith and a member of the firm’s life sciences health industry group. During her 35-year career, she has been a partner at both Reed Smith and the firm with which it merged—Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May. For ten years, she served on Reed Smith’s senior management team as global chair of the litigation department and head of legal personnel. During this time, the firm underwent rapid global expansion across the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, growing to 1,600 lawyers in 23 offices around the world. She has focused her litigation practice on complex product liability and commercial defense, and her experience includes national counsel roles and the management of enterprise risk for pharmaceutical, medical device, and consumer product manufacturers. She has been recognized by Chambers USA for both product liability defense and life sciences; named by the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Daily Journal as among the Top Women Litigators; and featured as one of California’s top women rainmakers by California Law Business. She is a member of Santa Clara Law’s Advisory Board and serves as chair of its Executive Committee. A UC Davis undergraduate alumni who majored in English language and literature, she is married to Joe Ronan, formerly general counsel and senior vice president of government affairs at Calpine, and they are the proud parents of Katie (a Boston College graduate) and Patrick (a junior at Columbia University).
Anh Tran, S.J., ’85, M.S. ’90 was awarded tenure and promotion within the Jesuit School of Theology to the rank of associate professor.
Nathan Pendleton ’85, MBA ’89 has opened a physical location of his company, Nox Cookie Bar. The shop opened its doors in downtown San Jose and serves cookies, ice cream, and ice cream sandwiches—and continues to offer its signature cookie delivery service (developed out of the founder's need for late-night snacks that could fuel the final hours of project completion), which runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.
Todd M. Goolkasian ’85 was honored with the national Entrepreneur of the Year award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Goolkasian was selected for founding Cornerstone Structural Engineering Group and for his strategic business savvy as an entrepreneur who has impacted his own community as well as the civil engineering community.
Jayshree Ullal ’86 has become the first female Indian-American billionaire, according to Forbes.com. Ullal served as vice president of marketing at Crescendo Communications, which was taken over by Cisco in 1993. She rose to senior vice president of the Data Center, Switching & Security Technology Group of the company, overseeing more than 20 mergers and acquisitions and $10 billion in revenue. In 2008, Ullal stepped into the role of president and CEO of Arista Networks, a small startup that grew under her leadership into a public company with an $18 billion market cap within a decade.
Robert Dempsie J.D. ’86 has been promoted to assistant district attorney of Tulare County. He has served with the Office of the District Attorney for 30 years, beginning his service with the office in 1988. During this time, Dempsie supervised units in Visalia, Tulare, and Porterville, California. He has also supervised the juvenile unit, the special operations unit and the administrative operations unit.
Lori L. Castaneda ’86 is principal at Heffler Claims Group, a national leader in class action settlement administration. Castaneda comes to Heffler with more than 20 years of experience in the legal industry and has been involved in the successful administration of hundreds of high-profile class action settlements.