"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

--Frank H.T. Rhodes, Cornell University Commencement, May 28, 1995

Monday, December 30, 2013

74. Neal Kaplan

Queens, New York · Industrial and Labor
Relations


nhkaplan@hotmail.com

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.

I am currently Vice President, Deputy General Counsel for the New York Mets. I work with the General Counsel and two other outstanding lawyers on all legal matters for the organization. In addition to doing work for the team and the Mets business operations, we handle legal issues for our home ballpark, Citi Field, our spring training facility in Florida, our training complex in the Dominican Republic, and the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team and its ballpark in Coney Island. Significant matters that I’ve worked on since joining the Mets in 2003 include the creation of the SNY television network; the financing, construction, and operation of Citi Field; the sale of minority interests in the team; and baseball salary arbitration. I live in Queens, New York with my beautiful wife and high school sweetheart Ginny; our children Samantha, 9; and Will, 6; and our cat Maz, 13.

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?

Without question, graduation day. Getting through Cornell was such hard work, often under difficult circumstances, and I remember having such a feeling of accomplishment at reaching graduation in one piece. I was fortunate enough to be one of the ILR degree marshals and help to lead my school into the football stadium, and the first moment I saw the stands full of graduates’ families, friends and loved ones, including my own, is one of my most cherished memories.

Which Cornell classmates do you keep in touch with?

My three closest friends are all Cornell class of 1995: Rob Friedman, David Quigley, and Jonathan Perry. Rob and I have been friends since freshman year in ILR, I met Jon right at the end of senior year, and I didn’t meet David until law school. All three of us went to Harvard Law School, but I think that something about the Cornell experience, or maybe something about the kind of person who would go to Cornell, is the same for all of us, and is at the heart of our friendships.

What advice would you give to a student starting at Cornell this year?

Aside from bring the heaviest coat, gloves, boots, and hat you can find? Take advantage of the opportunity to take classes in different schools, and to meet people whose interests are very different than your own. I was in ILR, but my transcript includes classes like Intro to Acting, Psychology & Law, Ancient Seafaring, Art from 1940 to 1990, and Science in Western Civilization. I tried to make the most of Ezra’s “any person, any study” philosophy, and I’m glad I did.

Monday, December 23, 2013

75. Erin Harty

Baltimore, Maryland · Agriculture and Life
Sciences


eharty@gmail.com

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.

After working as a staff writer/editor for an equestrian magazine and an online pet magazine, I went freelance in 2002. I've done a mixture of writing, editing, and online community management, mostly for equestrian magazines, but also for a lacrosse magazine here in Baltimore. In 2008, I wrote a book on horse care for the Humane Society of the United States.

Those jobs took me from rural Virginia to Phoenix to Annapolis, then finally to Baltimore, where I bought a decrepit 100-year-old rowhouse that has now been completely gutted and redone. I can see Camden Yards from my house!

I still ride horses, although my current horse, Chief, is older and semi-retired now—his show name, when he was still competing, was Ithaca! I also do a lot of volunteering in animal rescue, and currently have a pit bull and an ever-rotating gang of foster cats.


Which Cornell classmates do you keep in touch with?

Through the magic of Facebook, most of U-Hall 3, 4th floor. The folks I actually make a point of visiting with whenever the opportunity arises: my senior year roommates (Thelma Romano Kranyak, Erica Chapman, Aylin Ozmelek Lewallen, James Boglioli), Elana GIlaad, Jennifer Keene, and Concert Commission cronies Tom Lyon, Sanjoy Biswas, and Erika Eason.

What random or surprising encounters with Cornell or Cornellians have you experienced since you left?

Even though none of us were really "runners" while at Cornell, my senior year roommates (Erica Chapman, Aylin Ozmelek Lewallen, Thelma Romano Kranyak, and James Boglioli '94) and I are all now into long-distance running. In 2012, we all got together for the first time in a decade to run a half marathon, and it's given us a reason to meet up periodically for races. James and Erica also convinced me to run my first full marathon in Baltimore in October, and Thelma and her whole family came to cheer me on!

What are you most looking forward to at Reunion 2015?

Besides the obvious -- catching up with old friends -- I love spending time on campus and in Ithaca. As much as it has changed (and holy cow, has it changed!), it always feels like home.

Monday, December 16, 2013

76. Erik Berkule

Seattle, Washington · Agriculture and Life
Sciences


Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
Since leaving Cornell, I have been lucky enough to serve in a variety of challenging and unique positions, while getting the chance to live and travel all over. These have included being a roadie for AC/DC and The Rolling Stones, working for Deloitte Consulting, managing a San Francisco art gallery, doing product management at Earthlink and executive search with Korn Ferry and, now, Amazon. I live in Seattle with my wife, Stephanie, my son, Lloyd, and our two dogs, Happy and Travis.

What was your favorite class at Cornell, or the one you found the most useful?
The Marketing of Fruits, Vegetables and Ornamental Products, especially the filed trip to see the giant pumpkins.

How has your time at Cornell influenced you since you graduated?

I would say that the heavy workload at Cornell prepared me well for the working world, which is ever more demanding with its always-on culture. I also have some friends for life that I shared a very formative four years with and they keep me grounded in what is important.

What does being a Cornell alumnus mean to you?

Since I left New York almost immediately after graduating and never looked back, having the network of alumni out in the world has served me well. It is a unique connection you can immediately light up with people and I am able to find Cornellians everywhere I live.

Monday, December 9, 2013

77. Matt Fortna and Lisa Powell Fortna

Every few weeks, Cornell '95 Faces features a profile of one of our class officers. This week, meet reunion co-chair Lisa Powell Fortna. And for the first time (but not the last) this week's profile is also of a Class of 1995 couple. 

Fredonia, New York · Arts and Sciences & Agriculture and Life Sciences


Names at Cornell

Matt Fortna & Lisa Powell

lisafortna@yahoo.com

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.

After Matthew finished his orthodontic residency at the University of Pennsylvania and 10 years of living in Philadelphia, we moved back to Western New York near my family. Matthew started and manages his own practice. I work for an independent consulting firm focused on large-scale HR transformation initiatives and teach as an adjunct professor at our local community college. But mostly, we are focused on keeping up with our four children and the increasingly complex schedule of activities of elementary and middle school age kids (who knew?!).

What are your duties as class officer and what have you enjoyed about the job?
Lisa:
I was a co-reunion chair for our 15th and am looking forward to working with Michael Stroud and our reunion committee for our 20th. Believe it or not, the planning process really kicks off more than a year in advance of reunion. We have two main goals – to get as many classmates to return to campus as possible and then to make sure everyone has an awesome time by planning fun events with great food and drinks. I love this blog as one of the ways we hope to increase connections and interest. I’ve been to all of our reunions and love being a part of the process. There is nothing like being on campus with thousands of alumni and connecting with old friends and new ones all tied to the shared experience of Cornell.


What was your favorite class at Cornell, or the one you found the most useful?
Matt:
Calculus. Just kidding! Who says that? I enjoyed my Anthropology classes and Comparative Morphology classes the most. I don't think I have put them to good use since the prelims, but the content was very interesting.

Lisa:

Business Communication with Professor Earle was probably one of the most useful classes – even though I might not have known it at the time. The combination of impromptu speeches and the final presentations with his planned technology glitches, lights going off... really was/is a true simulation for my corporate experience. But, then again, Matthew and I met in a freshmen bio lecture, so I guess that class was pretty important even though I never used any bio after that.

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?

Matt:
Hockey games at Lynah Rink were always a treat. We were spoiled while at Cornell. That kind of entertainment is hard to come by these days in the professional sporting world.

Lisa:
So many memories… Matthew and I were married in Sage Chapel with the reception at Willard Straight so that is a pretty special Cornell memory. As an undergrad, seeing Maya Angelou speak, lunching at Trillium, walking up Libe slope in the snow, and the Cornell-in-Washington program definitely make the highlight list.

What extracurricular activity or hobby from your time at Cornell was the most meaningful?

Matt:
Intramural sports, for sure. Never worked so hard for a bunch of T-shirts and pride. I hope the intramural sports program is still alive and kicking for the current students to enjoy. "Sorry organic chem, just can't study right now, we have a hockey game. It's the championship." My how priorities have changed since then.

What does being a Cornell alumnus mean to you?
Lisa:
Being a part of the tradition and legacy that is Cornell is humbling and I am grateful for my experience as an undergrad and my continuing connection as an alumnus. One of the great things about being a Cornell alum is the combination of knowing you are pretty much prepared for whatever gets thrown at you and you get to start with a baseline of credibility – not a bad foundation for wherever the road takes you.

Monday, December 2, 2013

78. Christine Chang

New York, New York · Arts and Sciences


christine@aim13.com

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
Last year, Eric Withrow (my husband) and I were married at a destination wedding in Bermuda followed by a festive Chinese wedding banquet in Flushing. We enjoy life in NYC, and I work at an investment firm focused on hedge funds and private equity. I also serve as a Treasurer at Bottomless Closet NYC, a not-for-profit empowering women to be self-sufficient, as well as on the Trust & Estate Board of SUNY College of Optometry. I volunteer as a member of the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network and as a mentor in Cornell's Alumni-Student Mentoring Program. I love to cook and celebrated my 40th birthday with a 70-person potluck party. I look back fondly to my days living as an expat in London, but recent trips have included our honeymoon in New Zealand, my annual Cornell KD reunion in VA, and visits with friends and family in MA and NC.

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?

I will always be nostalgic for times studying while curled up in a cozy couch in the AD White Library overlooking Libe Slope – it was such a peaceful, idyllic time as a student at Cornell.

What extracurricular activity or hobby from your time at Cornell was the most meaningful?

Kappa Delta sorority fostered close relationships, enduring friendships, a network of friends I treasure.
Cornell’s Equestrian Program and Team – it was a dream to ride horses 3-4 times a week. I groomed horses in exchange for lessons and ride time and learned about horsemanship and discipline. Terrine remains one of the best trainers I’ve ever had.


What random or surprising encounters with Cornell or Cornellians have you experienced since you left?

Abby Joseph Cohen, renowned economist at Goldman Sachs – I met her 1) as a junior at Cornell during a teleconference during Johnson’s business school class 2) as a senior at Cornell at a student/alumnae women’s roundtable lunch in NYC, and 3) several years ago as a finance professional at a CFA Institute event in NYC. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

79. Brett Blumenthal

Boston (Cambridge), Massachusetts
· Architecture, Art, and Planning


moque19@gmail.com

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
Professionally, I'm an author within the lifestyle design and wellness genre. My books have included best sellers 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You; A Whole New You: How to Ignite Change for Your Best Life; and Get Real and Stop Dieting. My next book is currently under negotiation and will likely be released in January of 2016.

Additionally, I'm an artist and focus on multimedia illustrations and watercolors. My work can be found at http://www.tinytoesdesign.com and Etsy.


Prior to my current careers in writing and art, I practiced architecture for over five years and was a management consultant for close to seven years. I also went back to Cornell to get my MBA.

My most recent "project" was giving birth to our beautiful son earlier this year, a project I'm most proud of!

What advice would you give to a student starting at Cornell this year?

While at Cornell, I struggled to find what it was I really wanted to do. It took me a long time to realize that I needed to be true to myself, my talents, and my passions. For years, I tried to fit into a typical corporate setting because I thought that was what I should do. I lived "unauthentically" to who I really was. As a result, the advice I'd give new students is to really explore all that Cornell has to offer and not get caught up in what they think they "should" take or "should" do.

What extracurricular activity or hobby from your time at Cornell was the most meaningful?

I discovered my passion for wellness by taking aerobics classes at Helen Newman Hall as a freshman. I absolutely adored one instructor and was inspired to become an instructor myself. Within a year, I was teaching classes at Helen Newman, too. My favorite class to teach was "Double Step" which was extremely popular among students, attracting upwards of 70 students per class. It was such a blast! All 70 of us in complete synch, dancing and exercising to some of the best music out there. It was a total rush!

If you could change anything about your Cornell experience, what would it be?

I started as an engineering student and transferred to architecture. I had a chance to go to Rome for a semester and I opted not to. If I had it all to do over again, I most certainly would have taken advantage of that opportunity. Travel is a very important part of my life and seeing the world is something I want to impart to my son. I'm sure, had I gone to Rome for a semester, I would have had amazing experiences that would have helped shape my life in a truly positive way.

Monday, November 18, 2013

80. Jordan Berman

Pennington, New Jersey · Industrial and Labor Relations

jordan@shorn.com

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.

I rocked the cradle in 2001 by marrying a Hotelie ’97, Elizabeth Schepp. We have two rambunctious boys (Dean, 9 and Nate, 6) and live right outside Princeton, NJ (there’s a Wegmans…enough said). I’m a former cable TV marketing guy (Showtime, MTV), turned producer, turned entrepreneur, who returned to my ILR roots by launching a start-up, ofc “the office engagement network” (www.ofc.tv). ofc is an interactive video channel and production studio enabling Fortune 1000 companies to engage employees otherwise watching cat videos during their coffee break. In an era when nobody reads and everybody watches, ofc makes HR sexy via amazing workplace video.

What was your favorite class at Cornell, or the one you found the most useful?

My favorite class was a collective bargaining course taught by Professor Harry Katz, now Dean of the ILR School. The class culminated in a high stakes negotiation pitting teams representing labor and management. I teamed-up with my pals, Rob Friedman and Pete DeBellis. We deployed some crazy psychological tactics to throw our competition off-balance. In addition to wearing ridiculous matching outfits, we found a dead mouse and placed it inside a matchbox that was left in our opponent’s mail cubby. The mouse was accompanied by a note, “When the Katz is away, the mice will die!” A classic moment.

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?

My favorite Cornell memory is when my band, Nothing Rhymes With Orange, played at The Nines on Slope Day. I played drums, backing-up my bandmates including Alon Barzilay on keyboards, Pat Hunt on guitar, and Eric Semo on bass. All of our closest buddies came to the performance, likely enhanced by the fact that everyone was buzzed from a day on the slope. The Nines is a somewhat mythic place for me, given I ate there with my dad the first time I ever visited Cornell while still in high school. Best damn deep dish I ever had.

How has your time at Cornell influenced you since you graduated?

My time at Cornell has influenced me in many ways since graduation. I left with a high degree of confidence that I could hustle and keep up with just about anybody, given the concentration of achievers at Cornell and ILR. In fact, an early career lesson was realizing I might have to sometimes downshift my intensity when operating in a more bureaucratic environment. So, Cornell has always been a reminder to pursue great things with great people, even though the world so often rewards mediocrity.

What extracurricular activity or hobby from your time at Cornell was the most meaningful?
The most meaningful activity for me was involvement in the Cornell Tradition and its Student Advisory Council. It provided a great framework around work, service and academics. In fact, I spent 3 of my 4 years holding a part-time job selling shoes at Fontana’s in Collegetown. To this day, I consider Steve Fontana like family. His entrepreneurial spirit and passion have really stuck with me all these years. With that said, winning the intramural softball championship senior year with my buddy, Neil Glass, was a kick-ass moment and I still have that sweat-stained t-shirt to prove it!

Monday, November 11, 2013

81. Chauncy Cay Ford

Every few weeks, Cornell '95 Faces features a profile of one of our class officers. This week, meet the class webmaster.

Austin, Texas · Arts and Sciences 


Name at Cornell
Chauncy Cay Maddox

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.

Investigating digital [online] technology, database debunking, minor coding and scripting, organizing anything and everything. Being green in Austin. Avid foodie and epicurean. Yoga. Singing, dancing, music, painting, travel, cooking, walking and hiking with my husband and dog, and drinking lots of Tea!


What are your duties as class officer and what have you enjoyed about the job?
I am the Class webmaster, which became very streamlined with Cornell's transition from separate alumni websites to a templatized format called CornellConnect.  The nice thing about this transition? We have persistent links to all other Cornell Alumni sites and resources.  The bummer? It's kind of, well, boring. 

So as our Class Officer team has evolved over the past three years and added committees with the support of (amazing!) council members we've morphed into a more modern digital media relationship with Social and Communities roles.  Our website is a great springboard to cultivate our connections with fellow alumni socially on Facebook, Twitter, and the Faces blog!

My favorite part of online/digital media? That it leads you to people offline! Following and connecting with friends [in person!] at a local spot in Austin, TX or on vacation.

What advice would you give to a student starting at Cornell this year?

I do CAAGH interviews for high school candidates and I always tell them to be yourself, be prepared to meet all kinds of people and learn more outside the classroom than in it. (And careful of those chairs at the library, zzz...)

How has your time at Cornell influenced you since you graduated? 

I've lived and worked all over the world. Starting in NYC, with an alumnae connection. I was picked out of a stack of candidates who I'm positive had more relevant experience than I did at the time. My new boss said, "It doesn't matter what you've done, I know you'll get more done than anyone else in that pile and you'll do it better - or try like hell to!" NYC, London, Tokyo, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas to Austin - and that's just where I've lived and worked, not the travels in between. It's been an adventure!

What random or surprising encounters with Cornell or Cornellians have you experienced since you left? 
Running into a sorority sister at a job interview a few years after graduating. I worked at the company, she was interviewing, I had to quietly advise her to take another job - that company was awful! I left a few months later and started my career that I love. She was happy at the other gig and thanked me. Whew!

Monday, November 4, 2013

82. Jonathan Rosenberg

Westchester, New York · Agriculture and
Life Sciences

jon@amultiverse.com

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
I've been drawing comics and posting them on the internet for folks to read since 1997. My first project, Goats, was published as a series of graphic novels by Random House. My current project, Scenes From A Multiverse, has been running since 2010. Last year it won the very first Online Comic Strip Award from the National Cartoonists Society at their fancy/shmancy annual Reuben Awards. You can check out SFAM at http://amultiverse.com.

What advice would you give to a student starting at Cornell this year?

Don't lock yourself into a major or career path too early on. You may be sure you know what you want to do with your life, but you probably haven't been exposed to even a fraction of your possible options in life. Try a little bit of everything while you still have the freedom to do so. Your perfect job may not even exist yet. You just might have to invent it.

How has your time at Cornell influenced you since you graduated?

Although I make a living as an artist and writer, my Cornell education was in the sciences, specifically biology. My exposure to science and rational thought at Cornell permanently changed the way that I think—not just about science matters, but also in regards to politics, religion, comedy, art, and other topics I often touch on in my comics.

If you could change anything about your Cornell experience, what would it be?

I would have eaten a lot more Hot Truck.

Monday, October 28, 2013

83. Erika Eason

Rockville, Maryland · Arts and Sciences


erika.eason@gmail.com

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
I'm currently working as the Instructional Technologist at an independent school in Washington, DC. This is my third year in that position; prior to that, I taught middle and upper school Spanish for 14 years (ten at a private school in Baltimore, my hometown, and four here at my current school). My job is to help teachers integrate technology into their curricula, and to train my colleagues to use tech tools they are unfamiliar with. It's a great job, and I'm glad I was able to transition into something that marries all of my years as a classroom teacher with learning and using technology. Speaking of marriage, I got married almost four years ago to my awesome husband, Mark. No kids, but we do have a crazy cat. I recently began studying belly dance and am enjoying learning more about that expressive art.

What advice would you give to a student starting at Cornell this year?

Take advantage of the opportunities that being at Cornell can provide. Go outside of your comfort zone and try something new and scary. If you are having problems in a class, talk to your professor—it doesn't mean you're stupid. And in the name of all that is holy: whenever the sun decides to make an appearance, take the time to sit there and soak it in... it might be days (or weeks) before you see it again.

What does being a Cornell alumnus mean to you?

It means I get to annoy my husband frequently with the celebration I do every time I hear about someone or something from Cornell doing something great. In all seriousness, I feel connected to something much bigger than myself, to an institution that was founded on such a simple yet almost revolutionary principle—and I am a part of its legacy.

What are you most looking forward to at Reunion 2015?

While Facebook has been a godsend because it allows me to stay in touch with far-flung Cornellian friends, I am most excited about seeing people in person, getting to know their kids, meeting some new people, reacquainting myself with the campus, and just being in the real, physical world, together. There is no substitute for face-to-face time.

Monday, October 21, 2013

84. Melissa Billington

Wellington, New Zealand · Arts and
Sciences

mebillington@gmail.com

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
I am the creatrix of MYOGA--freedom to unfold, a fusion yoga practice, currently based in Powa Centre, Wellington, New Zealand. This year I published the MYOGA Basics Series in photobook/audio form and taught at an international yoga conference. 

I've been focused on these two wellness businesses for the past five years, but am now writing a play, PocaHAUNTus not your Disney princess. As 13th lineal descendant of Pocahontas, I share stories of madness, murder, mayhem, marriage and mothers. With an aim to transmute ancestral poison into potion, the relativity of truth and simultaneous time are explored. This is a solo theatrical performance of song, dance & multi-media story-telling & is part of the 2014 Wellington Fringe Festival. 

Before moving to New Zealand, I lived in India & the Caribbean. 

Next year I hope to visit family & friends in the US & conceive a child (god/dess willing!). 


What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?

Working in the costume shop! It set me up to design shows there, to work at the Santa Fe Opera for four seasons and then as a full-time milliner to the stars in NYC. It was like a second home where I could indulge in my love of fabrics while recreating time periods through clothing. One of the first pieces I made was a codpiece, and the male actor was not shy about enjoying his costume fitting...

What extracurricular activity or hobby from your time at Cornell was the most meaningful?

Since I've been exploring my ancestral connection to Pocahontas from a very young age, I was stoked to meet Frederic Gleach while at Cornell and read his research on the Powhatan people. I was also pleased to be able to create a mask play while an undergrad that was informed partly by his anthropological perspective.

What random or surprising encounters with Cornell or Cornellians have you experienced since you left?

I lived in Puerto Rico for a few years & was listed on the alumni grouping there. When I moved to New Zealand I connected in to see if there were any Cornellians in New Zealand & there were! I have since done business & shared meals/good times with a few of them, both in Wellington & in NYC.

Monday, October 14, 2013

85. Michael Stroud

Every few weeks, Cornell '95 Faces will feature a profile of one of our class officers. This week, meet one of the two class reunion chairs who, along with co-chair Lisa Powell Fortna, will spearhead the planning of our 20th Reunion in June 2015. 

Washington, DC · Arts and Sciences


big_red95@yahoo.com

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
By day, I work for the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in its Private Sector Office, where we advise the Secretary on homeland security matters that impact the private sector. By night, I'm father to a wonderful 8 year old daughter named Quinn Stroud.

What are your duties as class officer and what have you enjoyed about the job?
I am one of the Reunion Chairs and I've enjoyed reconnecting with classmates from long ago.

Which Cornell classmates do you keep in touch with?

Tom Parker, Susan Gross, Atena Rosak, Chris Muldowney, Michael McKean, Ryan Masterson, Greg Bloedorn, Justin Ochs, Seth Meinero, Gerry LaJoie, Jared Konstanty, Pat Grady, Bryan Draga, Pat Cullen, David Weinstein, Kevin Maney, Chris Hanson, and there are more, I'm sure.  

What extracurricular activity or hobby from your time at Cornell was the most meaningful?

The most meaningful activity at Cornell was playing varsity football. Those four years with the team are and were irreplaceable. Besides the obvious workouts, long practices, road trips, games, memories, lifelong friendships, and life lessons, playing for Cornell taught me one thing and that is accountability matters on the field and in your life. In short, be accountable to those in your life and you must rely upon your "teammates" in life to be successful too.

What random or surprising encounters with Cornell or Cornellians have you experienced since you left?

There have been so many they are hard to quantify, but here is a summary. One year after leaving Cornell, I ran into a classmate and dorm-mate and we passed each other in the departure/arrival lounge in Grand Cayman, BWI airport. While attending law school at George Washington University, which I did with three other classmates, I went to San Francisco, there I met an old classmate and ate in a restaurant owned by another Cornellian. Finally, while running a half-marathon in NH with a classmate, I/we saw another classmate - Cornell and Cornellians are everywhere :).

Monday, October 7, 2013

86. Amy Rosenow

Chicago, Illinois · Arts and Sciences


Name at Cornell
Amy Kaplan


Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
I have been Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer of Sheffield Asset Management for the last eight years. I oversee a variety of functions including operations, client service, investor relations, marketing, risk management, and compliance for the $750-million investment management firm. 

I am involved in a number of charitable initiatives supporting a variety of healthcare, educational, and community service organizations and I am a member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women and our Class of 1995 Council.

The dual working parent life is crazy but good. In my somewhat non-existent spare time, I love to travel, read, see movies, and cheer for my NY sports teams (after a decade in Chicago, I’ll root for the Cubs, Blackhawks, Bulls and Bears…as long as they are not playing the Yankees, Rangers, Knicks or Giants…)


What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?

I have so many great memories, it’s really hard to choose. But I think one of my favorites was seeing all the seniors walking around on Wednesdays when we had wine class with the little “lunch boxes” that held the glasses. Was a little rough for me though as my Daily Sun column was often due the next day and heading down to the Sun office to write after that class was not easy!!!

Which Cornell classmates do you keep in touch with?

My freshman roommate Erika Lintner Thomas ’95 actually lives in Chicago now, so we see each other when our crazy working mom lives allow. I also see my former roommate Ralane Randolph Bonn ’94 a few times a year. I had a great time at Jazz Fest in New Orleans this year with Stacy Scavo Cerone ‘95. I also was able to grab lunch in Toronto this year with Jake Karam ’95.

What are you most looking forward to at Reunion 2015?

Showing my kids Cornell before Josh brainwashes them about Washington University in St. Louis or Yale!

Monday, September 30, 2013

87. Michael J. Vetrano

Suzhou, China · Agriculture and Life
Sciences


Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
I am the Head of School at the Dulwich College International High School in Suzhou, China. I have been working in the international teaching circuit for seven years—in Madrid, Spain and now China. Before that, I was a teacher in schools in and around New York City. I am addicted to traveling, and do it every second I can. I have traveled to every country in Western Europe and many countries in Eastern Europe and Asia.

What advice would you give to a student starting at Cornell this year?

Take advantage of everything offered to you. Drink in every experience and become part of the university. It will go by very quickly, and if you don't make an effort to become a part of something, you will miss it.

What random or surprising encounters with Cornell or Cornellians have you experienced since you left?

In Shanghai, this past May, I was in a bar with a few of my friends, and I overheard a guy talking about his ILR classes. Cornell is the only place I know that calls it ILR. So I asked him about it and it turns out he was there with about 10 current Cornell students. We had some drinks and had a great time.

What does being a Cornell alumnus mean to you?

It means a lot of things. It means that I have a link to the greatest university in the world for the rest of my life. It means that I'm a member of an elite group of people who spread out across the globe. It means I can proudly wear the Red and White and hold my head up high. I am a Cornellian!

Monday, September 23, 2013

88. Justin Berk

Baltimore, Maryland · Agriculture and Life Sciences


berk@justinweather.com

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.

After over 17 years on TV as a meteorologist, I started my own business primarily developing apps. My first one, Kid Weather, was the idea of my oldest son when he was in Kindergarden. He is now entering second grade and we have downloads in 28 different countries. I am also a college professor and developed a video series for local ski areas.

How has your time at Cornell influenced you since you graduated?

Most importantly I have always tried to keep my mind fresh. Either learning or creating new ventures rather than fitting in the mold.

If you could change anything about your Cornell experience, what would it be?

I wish I had planned ahead better to spend at least one full summer at Cornell. I tried it one year, but didn't have a job lined up so I had to eventually go home and work. Experiencing Ithaca without the hustle of classes is highly advisable.

What random or surprising encounters with Cornell or Cornellians have you experienced since you left?

Anytime I meet someone who has any connection to Cornell, there seems to be an instant bond regardless of what year the graduated or courses they studied.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

We're Off to a Great Start

Just a quick note to say thanks so much for making the launch of the '95 Faces blog a success.  We hope you're enjoying getting to know or getting reacquainted with the members of our class and are planning to attend our Reunion in 2015 or to meet up with other Cornellians in your area.  In fact, one class member let us know that "...you've inspired me to reconnect to fellow Cornell classmates." Hopefully you feel the same way!  

We also wanted to put out a call for anyone to suggest a Class of 1995 member you'd like to see featured on the blog - whether it's someone you know who has an interesting story to tell or a former roommate or friend you've lost touch with. We can't guarantee we'll be able to use every suggestion, but we'll do our best to include a wide array of people and experiences. Drop us a line at cornell95faces@gmail.com. 

And don't forget to stay in touch with class news and announcements on Twitter at @cornell95 and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cornell1995.

Thanks, and keep reading!


Monday, September 9, 2013

90. Brenda Janowitz

New York · Human Ecology


brendajanowitz@gmail.com


Tell us about what you're doing with your life.

I'm a mom, a wife, and a novelist. 

My third novel, Recipe for a Happy Life, was published by St. Martin's Press in July. I'm also the author of Scot on the Rocks and Jack with a Twist, and my work's appeared in the New York Post and Publisher's Weekly. My agent recently sold my New Adult novel, The Lonely Hearts Club, to Polis Books. It will be out this December.


It's been wonderful making my life-long dream of becoming a published writer come true. After Cornell, I went to law school, and I practiced law for a few years. But whether at a big NYC firm or at my federal judicial clerkship, I'd find myself wandering the halls, thinking of the stories I wanted to write. 

I live with my husband and our two sons on Long Island. Find me atwww.brendajanowitz.com or facebook.com/BrendaJanowitz ortwitter.com/brendaJanowitz and say hello!


Which Cornell classmates do you keep in touch with?

My closest friends in the world are still the people I met at Cornell. 

I'm in touch with Shawn Hecht Morris, Danielle Schmelkin, Jennifer Avitabile Moss, Tandy O'Donoghue, and Jessica Shevitz Rauch. We meet for girls nights out, have our kids play together, celebrate all of our good times and support each other through the bad ones.

There's just something about the people who have known you since you were 18 years old. That sort of friendship is so unbelievably special.


What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?

There are just too many to name. But one of the experiences I always look back on and think about was my semester abroad in Seville, Spain. 

I learned so much about myself that semester-- in a country where I barely spoke the language with a bunch of people I didn't know, I was completely out of my comfort zone. But ultimately, it gave me a sense of confidence. It made me realize that I could do anything.


If you could change anything about your Cornell experience, what would it be?

I'm not sure that I would change anything. Sure, there are times that make me look back and positively cringe, but I think that part of life is having lots of experiences-- the good, the bad, and the completely humiliating. I don't think I'd be the same person if I hadn't gone through all of the various experiences I had during my college years.

Monday, September 2, 2013

91. Christos Seferiades

Athens, Greece · Hotel Administration

cseferiades@gmail.com


Tell us about what you're doing with your life.

Fatherhood seems to be the main activity these days for which I am grateful to my lovely wife Irina. During office hours, my brother Angelos '93 and I run a small hotel management company (www.kihli.gr) that specializes in operating upscale boutique hotels in Greece. We are also real estate developers focusing on upscale private summer residences. Some of the job's perks are spending a week each month on the island of Santorini taking care of business at www.ikies.com and showing houses at www.spezzie.com when needed. 

Living in Greece these past couple of years has not been "fun" and we have definitely learned a lot from the crisis. Signs of recovery seem to be around the corner, especially after such a fantastic tourist season this year.


What was your favorite class at Cornell, or the one you found the most useful?

The class that left a lasting impression on me must have been Ferguson's Principles of Accounting. Freshman year in a huge auditorium learning basic principles that have helped throughout my career. It was so different from Greek high school and also great to experience "boring" material being taught so masterfully.

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?

My management night for the Restaurant Management course. Together with Nathalie Raguz and Ilan Segal we put together a Safari themed night which we enjoyed tremendously. It was a taste of what real life management would be like later.

What random or surprising encounters with Cornell or Cornellians have you experienced since you left?

During the pre-opening period of www.ikies.com on Santorini island (March 2003), I was getting myself lunch at the village of Oia where the hotel is located, and overheard someone in a group of young Americans on spring break mentioning the Hotel School. It was great showing them around the hotel and it certainly did feel encouraging meeting them there.

Monday, August 26, 2013

92. Adam Capes

Atlanta, Georgia · Arts and Sciences


adam.capes@g2gcollection.com

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
I am married to a wonderful woman named Rachelle and we have two amazing children - Chloe, 11 and Aidan, 8.

After selling out a luxury residence fund called Equity Estates last year, I started Getaway 2 Give, or The G2G Collection, as a social enterprise that offers membership in an exclusive collection of high end vacation homes and experiences that dramatically improve people’s lasting happiness through what we call the 3 Keys: Relationships, Personal Growth and Contribution. We have residences in places like NYC, The Bahamas, Chicago, San Fran, Cabo, Deer Valley, Anguilla, Tuscany, as well as yachts, safaris, voluntourism trips and more. 

But the best part of my job is that we're changing the way charities raise money, as every time a member joins, half of the membership fee ($7,500) goes to the member's favorite cause. We've already raised over $700,000 for more than 50 great charities.


How has your time at Cornell influenced you since you graduated?

I started a newspaper at Cornell, The Campus Globe (originally called The Greek Globe) and that experience has shaped my business career.

What random or surprising encounters with Cornell or Cornellians have you experienced since you left?

I ran into someone from my freshman dorm in line to see the Sistine Chapel. I've also met Cornellians in top hotels around the world and the owners of my favorite restaurant in Atlanta are Cornellians.

What does being a Cornell alumnus mean to you?

It means that I was fortunate enough to receive the best college education out there, and have a ton of fun at the same time.

Monday, August 19, 2013

93. Juv Marchisio

Haworth, New Jersey · Agriculture and Life Sciences



Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
While I always keep busy working as a senior brand manager at B&G Foods and running after my 2 kids, my true passion of late has been the publishing of my first book called Dan's Dumb Decision. It is a fun children's book with a moral to the story ("never run away from home").

I actually wrote the book almost 30 years ago as part of a 5th grade English assignment. Now with my own children Christian and Brooke growing up, it felt like a good time to share it with others.

The book is a true family effort. Original inspiration from my mother, current inspiration from my wife and children, and wonderful illustrations from my father-in-law, Pedro Anlas.

The book is available as an E-book through www.authorhouse.com,www.bn.com, and www.amazon.com ($3.99 currently). Currently considering sharing some of the book profits to help aid local educational programs and initiatives.


What extracurricular activity or hobby from your time at Cornell was the most meaningful?
Being part of Cornell Entrepreneurs

What does being a Cornell alumnus mean to you?

It means taking pride in what you do and having a work ethic that is second to none.

What are you most looking forward to at Reunion 2015?

Hanging out with old friends and touring the campus to see all the changes that have taken place over the last 20 years.