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Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing class notes submitted in last 6 months by graduates in the 1980s
Chicago attorney Steve Smith J.D. '80 has launched Legal Ally, a law firm specializing in small businesses and entrepreneurship. His specialty focuses on startups, women-owned businesses, and LGBT entrepreneurs. The firm offers clients a combined 36 years of legal experience. Legal Ally's mission is to provide excellent service from experienced lawyers at large global firms for fees that fit small business owners. The firm specializes in litigation, drafting and negotiating binding contracts, protecting intellectual property, such as trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, incorporation, employment law, drafting employee manuals and insurance advisory. Legal Ally also works with clients to ensure that their online business is protected as well. Smith wants business owners to know, "Some of the seemingly small decisions you make at the very start can have huge repercussions later. We help business owners avoid problems down the line by being proactive in the beginning." Legal Ally specializes in coaching lawyers. "We have coached hundreds of lawyers in our 36 years in practice." says Smith. "Legal Ally can help lawyers build their book of business, have a career plan and become rainmakers." Smith has long been passionate about helping women and LGBT entrepreneurs and small business owners succeed. In addition to his duties as Founding Partner at Legal Ally, he is on the executive committee of Personal PAC, a pro-choice political action committee and is a member of the LGBT chamber of commerce. Prior to founding Legal Ally, Smith practiced law at large firms such as Sidley, McGuire Woods and Bryan Cave. At Santa Clara Law School, he was an Editor of the Law Review.
Silicon Valley Business Journal has named Terri Marcroft ’80 one of its 2017 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley. Through her consulting firm MarketSavvy Inc., she serves local tech companies as their “interim VP of marketing,” developing positioning, messaging, go-to-market strategy, and execution.
Company contact info: www.Market-Savvy.com, 408-656-1876, firstname.lastname@example.org
Following her tenure as director of production finance at Arnold Shapiro Productions, Dorothy Duder ’80 has joined MAK Pictures in Sherman Oaks, California, as director of production finance. She resides in North Hollywood with her Academy Award–winning husband, artist Doug Drexler. Both have been active in television production for more than 25 years.
Rolanda Pierre Dixon J.D. ’80 served as keynote speaker at Mission College’s African American Celebration Luncheon, which recognizes achievements made by African Americans.
Pierre Dixon was the first African American assistant district attorney in the history of the District Attorney's Office in Santa Clara County. In 1991, she established the first domestic violence unit in Santa Clara County, among many other accomplishments, retiring in 2011 after 30 years of service.
With humor and insight, Pierre Dixon led attendees through her musings on current events, early motivations for becoming a lawyer, and reasoning behind advocating for the domestic violence unit.
“Every child deserves to be raised in a home of peace—can't promise them all a million dollars, can't give them all a scholarship—but we can certainly keep them in a home where they're not being abused, where their mothers are not being abused,” she said. “And for me, that was what I wanted to speak to.”
Pierre Dixon's journey to becoming a lawyer was at times fraught with challenge. While attending Lowell High in San Francisco, her guidance counselor told her she could never become a lawyer because it was “too difficult.” It took her mother calling the school before Pierre Dixon was put back on the right track to support her career interests.
“I was lucky,” she said. Even though Pierre Dixon grew up in a single-parent household, her mother always made it clear “my girls are going to do what they need to do to be successful.”
Positive self-talk and years of hard work ultimately paid off for Pierre Dixon, who was over the moon when she learned she passed the bar exam.
“I cried from the depth of my toes to the top of my head,” she recalled. “In that moment, in that phone call, I had been told that my dreams had been fulfilled. I was an attorney and licensed to practice law in the State of California. I was 24-years-old.”
Thomas S. Templeman '81 has joined Graybug Vision as Chief Operating Officer. The company is a venture-stage pharmaceutical company committed to developing potentially transformative therapies for ocular diseases including wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma. A seasoned pharmaceutical executive with more than 25 years of cross-functional experience, Dr. Templeman joins Graybug Vision from Medivation (acquired by Pfizer in late 2016), where he was Senior Vice President Pharmaceutical Operations and Quality. In that role, he was responsible for early and late-stage pharmaceutical development, operations and quality including early developmental candidates, clinical developmental candidates and marketed products. As a member of the Medivation Executive Committee, Dr. Templeman was responsible for developing and implementing company vision and strategy.
Thomas S. Templeman, PhD, said, "There is a dramatic increase in eye diseases due to our aging population, and an increased need for new and more effective treatments. Graybug Vision's novel delivery technology, to create injectable, long-acting products to deliver single or multiple drugs for up to one year in the eye, significantly reduces the treatment burden on patients and physicians. I am excited to join the management team with our efforts to deliver innovative care to patients."
Dr. Templeman began his career as a research and development scientist and over the past two decades has held management positions at, among others: Ortho Diagnostic Products and Centocor Biologics; Liquidia Technologies, where he was Senior Vice President, Integrated Supply Chain; and at Hospira, where he was Vice President, Manufacturing, Science & Technology.
In June, Peter Coe Verbica '82, J.D. '99 published Left at the Gate and Other Poems. Peter continues to work in the Wealth Management Group of an investment bank, providing credit facilities as well as portfolio advisory services. He serves as President of the South Peninsula Area Republican Coalition, and Vice President of the Pine Ridge Association at Henry W. Coe State Park. He has taught Principles of Investments in the Econ Department of SJSU this past year. He is also helping with the 1982 Year Reunion Committee for Santa Clara University. Peter ran in 14 trail races last year for the fun of it, including the Death Valley Half with his competitive athlete wife, Tiffany, who typically placed 1st or 2nd in every race.
Peter Coe Verbica ’82, J.D. ’99 has been promoted to associate vice president and senior financial advisor for a wealth management group at a major investment bank. In March, he published three books: The Missing Tales of Sherlock Holmes, Eighty-Eight Lost Haikus (under a different pen name), and Speak Easy and Other Poems. His Sherlock Holmes short stories were praised by novelist Elizabeth McKenzie as "clever and addictive and supremely well done."
Sean Nalty '82, J.D. '85 is a member of Ogletree Deakins' Life, Health, Disability, ERISA and Employee Benefits practice. For more than 30 years, Sean has specialized in ERISA litigation and California litigation involving life, health, and disability insurance. In 2014, Sean was awarded a Client Choice award by International Law Office (ILO). He was the exclusive winner of the Healthcare/Life Sciences category in California. Sean also volunteers with Catholic Charities of the East Bay, St. Vincent De Paul, various East Bay homeless shelters, and Ministries to the Sick.
Mary Alexander J.D. '82 is a San Francisco–based personal injury attorney, who is representing the parents of Griffin Madden and Michela Gregory, two victims in the tragic Ghost Ship fire in Oakland in December. Over the past 30 years, Mary Alexander has earned a national reputation for her work protecting consumer rights, winning the respect of clients and colleagues alike. A past president of both the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and the Consumer Attorneys of California, Mary’s career – both in and out of the courtroom – has focused on one thing: ensuring that those who have been harmed by the negligent, preventable actions of others get their day in court – and get the answers, and justice, they deserve. A scientist before she studied law, Mary leverages her technical background in every matter she takes on, and is well known for her ability to explain complicated theories to juries – and for using high-tech courtroom exhibits that help make difficult points easy to comprehend. She’s taken on cases other lawyers won’t, or can’t – such as child sex abuse cases – and assisted clients from all walks of life. She has been named one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s “Top 10 Trial Attorneys” by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Rocket EMS, a high-value manufacturer of complex boards in the Silicon Valley area, appointed Marla Sanchez MBA ’83 as its new CEO and executive director. Sanchez’s professional experience has been primarily focused on business processes and operational finance at several high tech companies, including Motorola, AMD, VLSI, and SDL. She has served as the CFO at Avanex, as well as on several different Boards.
Christine Russell ’71, MBA ’83 has been appointed to the board of directors of eGain, a leading provider of cloud customer engagement solutions. Russell is CFO of UniPixel and a director and audit committee chair of QuickLogic Corporation. Prior to joining UniPixel in 2015, she served as CFO for a number of technology companies, including Vendavo, a leading provider of SaaS pricing optimization software; EAG; Virage Logic; and OuterBay Technologies. Russell serves on the board and is a former chair of Silicon Valley Directors Exchange (SVDX). She has also served as president of Financial Executives International (Silicon Valley Chapter) and is an emeritus member of the Leavey School of Business advisory board.
Committed to the Jesuit mission as it relates to education, as a higher education professional, Helen Valine '84, '89 M.A. is excited to serve on the board of the Jesuit Graduate Admission Professionals. The purpose of the association is to support admission members of Jesuit colleges and universities, share best practices in enrollment management, and promote professional development. She looks forward to achieving much good and effective work on this board.
Jesper Rasmussen J.D. ’84 is a trial attorney who has practiced law in California for more than 30 years. While Rasmussen has in-depth knowledge and experience in many areas of the law, he now specializes in employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination, public entity defense, civil rights, business litigation, and anti-SLAPP litigation.
Rasmussen has successfully tried cases to verdict in both state and federal courts, including a three-week jury trial for FEHA retaliation, where his client was awarded $110,000 in costs, and a two-week jury trial in U.S. District Court for alleged violations of the ADA and rights of privacy. He has never lost a case he has taken to trial, and he’s appeared and argued before the California Supreme Court as well as worked on an appeal that resulted in a precedent-setting Internet libel opinion by the California Supreme Court. Rasmussen has a strong track record of resolving cases in their early stages, having won more than 40 motions for summary judgment. He also has extensive experience in writs and appeals.
Kevin Dowling '84 started a new job in January 2017 as a Major Gift Officer for Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley
California State Senator Bob Wieckowski J.D. '85 has been selected to lead CSG West’s Energy and Environment Policy Committee. Wieckowski becomes the first California legislator to lead this important body. The work of CSG West policy committees reflects the substantive issues facing Western legislatures. CSG West policy committees offer opportunities for legislators to learn from policy experts and their peers from across the region. Policy committees can also recommend resolutions and policy positions for consideration by the CSG West Executive Committee. Policy committee chairs play an important leadership role in convening committee members and identifying committee priorities. Committee chairs provide direction to CSG West staff in the planning and coordination of the policy committee's agenda during the biennium, lead committee meetings, and ensure committee business is carried out. “This is a fantastic opportunity to share California’s progress on important issues with my colleagues from throughout the western United States and advance the information sharing and cooperation of the Energy and Environment Committee,” stated Senator Wieckowski. “As a delegate to the Paris Climate Change Conference, I am eager to continue efforts on climate adaptation as Chair of this committee. CSG West serves as a terrific forum to learn what other states are doing and share best practices as we grow our economy while combating climate change in the West.”
Senator Wieckowski represents District 10 in the California Senate, which encompasses portions of Alameda and Santa Clara counties. He has served two terms in the State Assembly and is in his first full term in the Senate. He currently chairs the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality, as well as Budget Subcommittee 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation.
Phil Rehkemper ’85, MBA ’89 was recently named VP and CFO of Freeman, a leading global provider of brand experiences and integrated services for experiential marketing. He will be responsible for the company’s accounting, tax, financial planning and analysis, real estate, and treasury teams.
Julie Mar-Spinola J.D. '87 received the Alumni Special Achievement Award from tthe Santa Clara University School of Law. She holds a dual business and legal role as Finjan Holdings, Inc.'s Chief Intellectual Property Officer and Vice President of Legal. She is responsible for the Company's revenue-based operations, including IP assets, cyber technology innovations, enforcement programs, licensing best practices, public policy initiatives, and mentorships. In 2016, Ms. Mar-Spinola was appointed to the Board of Directors for subsidiary, Finjan Mobile, Inc. Ms. Mar-Spinola has dedicated her entire professional career in representing high technology companies of all sizes and business models on all things IP, including IP portfolio development, M&A's, acquisitions, divestitures, enforcement (licensing and litigation), as well as preservation and monetization of proprietary technologies and patents.
Julie is Chairman Emeritus and co-founder of ChIPs (www.chipsnetwork.org), a non-profit dedicated to advancing women at the confluence of law, technology, and regulatory policy. She serves as a court appointed mediator specializing in patent and other complex disputes, since 2011, and is a member of the High Tech Advisory Board at Santa Clara University, School of Law, since 2014. Ms. Mar-Spinola has been a member of the Patent Public Advisory Board (PPAC) since 2015. Julie has also been recognized for her contributions in the fields of technology and law, including most recently by the Silicon Valley Business Journal and the Recorder.
Leslie R. Lopez J.D. '87 is the deputy director and chief counsel at the California Department of General Services.
Ms. Lopez has served as deputy secretary and general counsel at the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency since 2013. She served as general counsel at the State and Consumer Services Agency from 2007 to 2013 and as a deputy attorney general in the Government Law Section at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General from 1994 to 2007. She was a deputy city attorney in the Sacramento City Attorney’s Office from 1990 to 1994 and in private practice from 1987 to 1990.
Christopher Der Manuelian J.D./MBA ’87 is a personal injury attorney with offices in Jackson, Modesto, and Stockton, California. He worked as an insurance defense attorney in the Bay Area for the first 10 years of his career.
Steve Clinton '87, J.D. '97 is with the law firm Womble Carlyle. He mentors law student participants in the Entrepreneurs Law Clinic, as well as participates in the "Bronco Network" which connects mentors to Santa Clara student athletes to provide guidance, information, and career counseling. He writes, "It's very rewarding to be able to connect with students and provide perspective and hopefully some helpful suggestions about the path ahead." As the dad of a child with special needs, he's proud to be a board member of Hope Services – the leading provider of services to people with developmental disabilities in the region.
Peter C. Califano J.D. ’87 is the president of the Commercial Law League of America. In 2011, Mr. Califano testified in Congress and has since organized the CLLA’s leading effort for bankruptcy venue reform. He has more than 30 years of experience in representing parties in all aspects of insolvency-related matters, including bankruptcy and state law insolvency proceedings, litigation and related business transactions.
For the contributions he has made to enriching the lives and furthering the prospects of the poor—and for his leadership within the Society of Jesus—Scott Santarosa, S.J., ’88 received the School of Engineering's highest honor, the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award, recognizing alumni whose accomplishments in their professions, communities, and University service have set them apart.
During his time as a student at SCU, the seeds for Santarosa's future were planted when he took part in a brief trip to Mexico. There, he witnessed abject poverty but was moved by how the people experienced God's love. After receiving his bachelor's degree in civil engineering, he joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, running an after-school program for low-income families in New Jersey, and soon decided to begin the formation process to become a Jesuit. He spent his fourth year of theology studies in Mexico City.
As a Jesuit, Fr. Santarosa spent five years at Verbum Dei High School in Watts, Los Angeles. When he arrived in 2000, the inner-city school was on the verge of closing. Just six years later, he transformed the school into a well-respected Catholic preparatory school for low-income students, with 100 percent of the graduating students accepted to college. For the next eight years, he lovingly pastored Dolores Mission Church in Los Angeles, a parish dedicated to social justice through serving the poor and the immigrant. In 2014, he took on the role of Provincial of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, and as the Jesuits merge the California and Oregon provinces, he will head the new province, which includes Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Hawaii.
Santarosa is no stranger to this mag; read about his provinical post in the Summer 2014 edition.
Jeffrey C.P. Wang J.D. ’89 is managing partner, Litigation Practice Group, International Corporate Transaction Group, at WHGC, in Newport Beach, California. Wang’s practice focuses on handling the legal concerns of international and domestic corporations, with a special emphasis on international technology corporations.
Wang started with the tax department of Pricewaterhouse in San Jose, California. He then became a litigation attorney at several reputable, AV-rated litigation law firms in Northern and Southern California. Wang started this firm in 1994 and has since built a substantial client portfolio in Northern and Southern California as well as in the Pacific Rim countries.
He has been a frequent commentator in Chinese language newspapers regarding the legal significance of recent events that have impacted Trans-Pacific international commerce and the Chinese American business community. Wang has also been a frequent speaker in events and seminars sponsored by international government agencies, think tanks, and public accounting firms that are designed for international corporations focused on the political, business, legal, and intellectual property issues related to doing business in America.