Class Notes

New job? Promotion? Your classmates and colleagues want to know. Send your updates for Class Notes to mgt-editor@buffalo.edu.

Please note: Individuals are listed in Class Notes according to the year of their most recent School of Management degree.

1960s

Donald W. Enslin, BS ’63, is retired from his career as an executive at National Fuel Gas Co. He also served on numerous community boards, including Boys and Girls Clubs of Buffalo, the Red Cross and the Erie County Mental Health Community Services Board.

Joseph W. Plandowski, MBA ’69, co-founded In-Office Pathology LLC, which has provided pathology labs for more than 75 physician groups in 25 states. More recently, he co-founded In-Office Toxicology LLC to provide confirmatory drug-testing labs in physician offices. 

1970s

Paul Klein, BS ’76, was promoted to executive vice president and chief information and strategy officer at Rich Products.

Tony Formato, BS ’79, joined Parkview Health Services as a business development specialist.

1980s

Sharon Randaccio, BS ’76, MBA ’81, president and CEO of Performance Management Partners, opened a second location for her clothing boutique, Red Siren, in Buffalo’s Elmwood Village.

Steve Verney, BS ’80, MBA ’81, who retired from a 34-year career with Allstate Insurance in 2015, was named chief financial officer for National Auto Care.

Joseph Kerr, BS ’85, MBA ’86, was appointed senior associate dean for finance and administration and chief operating officer for the UB College of Arts and Sciences.

Joseph Randle, MBA ’87, joined Western New York Independent Living as a recovery and wellness coach.

Alumni Spotlight: Connor Vander Zalm, BS/MBA ’11

This year, Connor Vander Zalm, BS/MBA ’11, jumped from the corporate world to the National Football League when he was named senior accountant for the San Francisco 49ers.

“What excites me about working for the 49ers is the team atmosphere,” says Vander Zalm, who spent the past six years in accounting at Republic Services. “Now that I’m part of the biggest professional sports league in America, I have an incredible view into running a successful business, a world-class stadium and a legacy sports team.”

In his role, Vander Zalm prepares financial reports and revenue analysis, works on player contracts and oversees the team and stadium cash flow.

“I was a student athlete in the School of Management, worked as a teaching assistant for multiple classes and co-founded the UB Water Polo Club,” he says. “All of that prepared me to balance the demands I face now.”

Elena G. Mendel, BS ’88, CPA, was promoted to assistant controller of National Fuel’s regulated companies, including National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp., National Fuel Gas Supply Corp. and Empire Pipeline Inc.

Paul Eusanio, BS ’89, CPA, was appointed director and shareholder of Arcara Zucarelli Lenda & Associates.

1990s

Ann M. Wegrzyn, MBA ’90, was promoted to chief information officer at National Fuel Gas Co.

Catherine Campbell, BS ’91, was promoted to vice president, finance lead for the project maximization initiative by Delaware North.

Edward Dianhui Dong, MBA ’91, founding chair of the U.S.-China Committee of the International Leadership Foundation, received the UB Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Salvatore Durante, MBA ’91, was named chief operating officer at UBMD Internal Medicine.

Penny Hokanson, BS ’91, was appointed vice president and senior credit officer at Evans Bank.

Daniel Laufer, BS ’91, completed a three-year term as head of the Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Marketing and International Business and has spent the past several months on sabbatical, researching crisis management in Europe and North America.

Robin Selino, BS ’91, CPA, CGMA, joined Arcara Zucarelli Lenda & Associates as a senior manager.

Phyliss A. Hafner, BS ’94, was appointed partner at the newly renamed law firm of Burden, Hafner & Hansen LLP.

Ajay Hattangdi, MBA ’94, COO, InnoVen Capital Group, and CEO, InnoVen Capital India, was listed among the 40 most influential people in India’s startup ecosystem by Deal Street Asia, a financial news outlet.

Matthew Lenhard, JD/MBA ’97, was promoted to equity partner at Rupp Baase Pfalzgraf Cunningham LLC, where he is a trial attorney in the insurance defense litigation practice group.

Amy Steimle, MBA ’98, joined Stovroff & Taylor Realtors as a licensed real estate salesperson.

Luis Cabrera, BS ’99, was named manager, international channel sales at Harley Davidson Motor Co. in Singapore.

2000s

Sanjay Gupta, MBA ’00, joined Facebook as head of project management in the Global Marketing Solutions group.

Frank Penque, EMBA ’01, was named business systems audit manager in the Space and Defense Group at Moog.

Jessica Schimert, MBA ’01, joined Performance Management Partners as a business consultant.

Kelly (Converse) Teal, MBA ’01, was appointed unit head of the Enterprise Systems Unit at the International Atomic Energy Agency, part of the United Nations.

Ryan Landry, BS ’02, was promoted to vice president and treasurer at Hamister Group, a health care and hotel management company.

Michē C. Needham, BS ’02, CPA, was promoted to partner at Lumsden McCormick, where she performs tax-related services for the oil and gas, real estate and professional services industries.

Charles Fashana, BS ’03, was named marketing director at 19 Ideas and was re-elected to the Explore & More Children’s Museum board of directors.

Jennifer Wiler, MD/MBA ’03, associate professor and executive vice chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Colorado, published a new book: Value and Quality Innovations in Acute and Emergency Care.

Christina Brozyna, BS ’98, PMBA ’04, was promoted to senior vice president and manager of business banking sales at M&T Bank.

Johan Klarin, MBA ’04, a Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition winner, was named managing director of Viaduct, an organization that helps small businesses accelerate growth.

Alumni Spotlight: Lindsay DiCosimo, BS ’11

As tourists zip line above the Niagara Gorge and take in stunning views of Niagara Falls, Lindsay DiCosimo, BS ’11, is on the ground, sharing their stories in her role as marketing and communications manager for WildPlay Niagara Falls.

“WildPlay creates unforgettable outdoor recreation experiences that take our guests outside their comfort zone, and each day at work brings exhilarating new opportunities for me,” she says.

DiCosimo regularly gives back to her community through WildPlay’s Volunteer Rewards program and Earthlings Workshops and, in her free time, as a volunteer for Project SHARE, which provides a food bank and other resources for low-income individuals in Niagara Falls.

“During my four years at UB, I was pushed harder than I’ve been in any other life experience so far,” she says. “The perseverance and resiliency I learned at UB continues to be an integral part of my career and lifestyle, and I will always be grateful for that.”

Jim McAuliffe, BS ’93, EMBA ’04, was named president and CEO of Koike Aronson/Ransome, a worldwide manufacturer of metal cutting, welding and positioning equipment.

Shafiq Jalal, MBA ’05, was promoted to senior accountant at Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner LLP.

William Grieshober Jr., EMBA ’06, was appointed general counsel for Rich Products.

Michael D. Olear, CEL ’07, a licensed associate real estate broker and president of Olear Realty Group, received the Network in Aging Dr. Evan Calkins Meritorious Service Award.

Carlos Zuniga Jr., BS ’07, was promoted to bank officer and senior internal auditor at Evans Bank.

Marc Adler, MBA ’82, CEL ’08, president of Why Not Marketing and partner at Allen St. Poutine Co., opened a second location for his restaurant: Hertel Ave. Poutine and Cream.

Benjamin Nadler, MBA ’08, was promoted to director, revenue optimization and Medicare pricing at Independent Health.

Adam Poole, BS ’08, CPA, was promoted to senior manager at Freed Maxick CPAs.

Susan Steblein, MBA ’08, CPA, was promoted to senior manager at Freed Maxick CPAs.

Michael Van Remmen, BS ’08, was promoted to senior manager at Freed Maxick CPAs.

Carly Battin, MBA ’09, is the communications manager at Bak USA, a social enterprise that employs a local workforce to build mobile computers.

Thomas R. Christy, EMBA ’09, was named director of budget, planning and assessment at D’Youville College.

Christopher E. Koenig, MBA ’09, was named president and CEO of Niagara Lutheran Health Systems.

Marc Martis, PMBA ’09, was appointed director of total rewards at Rich Products. 

2010s

Lisa Petronio, BS ’10, was named managing director for Upstate New York at Strategic Retirement Partners.

Ingmar Haffke, MBA ’11, completed his PhD in information systems at Darmstadt University of Technology and serves as senior consultant for Detecon Consulting.

Kristen Lopez, PMBA ’11, was promoted to account operations supervisor at Praxis, a patient recruitment agency.

Kate Crawford, BS ’11, MS ’12, CPA, was promoted to financial accounting advisory manager at EY.

Jason Pappas, BS ’12, founded Queen City Risk Management, an insurance brokerage business.

Thomas Warne, BS ’12, was named technical sales specialist at Bak USA.

Zach Brado, BS ’11, MBA ’13, was promoted to business development director at NetPlus Alliance, a buying group of more than 375 industrial and contractor supplies distributors.

Joseph Elhage, BS ’12, MS ’13, CPA, joined Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner LLP as a senior accountant.

West Richter Jr., BS/MBA ’13, was named assistant vice president at M&T Bank, where he manages the IT asset and configuration management team.

Ralph J. Bishop, BS ’14, compliance representative for the IRS, received the Distinguished Government Service Award from the Buffalo Federal Executive Board.

Steven Briggs, EMBA ’14, was named vice president of sales for Dynabrade.

Adam Cardinal, BS ’13, MS ’14, CPA, was promoted to senior accountant at Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner LLP.

Carson Ciggia, BS ’14, is a law enforcement sales representative for Axon (formerly Taser International), which develops integrated smart technology solutions for public safety officers nationwide.

Jesse Koester, BS ’14, joined Freed Maxick CPAs as a health care analyst.

Ikey Ajavon, BS ’15, was promoted to marketing strategy specialist at Bak USA.

Ali Kamyab, PMBA ’15, was promoted to senior sales engineer at Synacor.

Faris Mango, PMBA ’15, was named technical program manager at Amazon.

Heather A. Montague, BS ’02, EMBA ’15, was named senior assistant provost for finance, budget and operations at Stony Brook University.

Tharuman Thavakumar, BS ’12, MBA ’15, was promoted to research specialist and team lead at CoreLogic, a global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider.

Samantha Bugaj, BS ’14, MBA ’16, entered the manager-in-training program at Rich Products.

Chanel David, PMBA ’16, was promoted to process development engineer II at Rich Products.

Erin Dings, MBA ’16, was hired as manager in training at Rich Products.

Holly Freed, BS ’16, was appointed senior accountant in the small business advisory division at the Bonadio Group.

Don Herzog, EMBA ’16, was named regional vice president of operations at Life Storage, a real estate investment trust specializing in self-storage.

Kevin Lelonek, JD/MBA ’16, was appointed associate attorney in the business litigation practice area at Gross Shuman P.C.

Vivien Lin, BS ’15, MS ’16, joined Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner LLP as a staff accountant.

Katherine Fierle, BS ’17, was hired by Bak USA as a human resources generalist.

Yu Chieh (Chris) Lin, MBA ’17, was named technical program manager at Bak USA.

Michael Seamans, BS ’17, joined Bak USA as a business outreach specialist.