Mendoza School of Business

ND Business Briefings: December 2020 alumni news and updates

Published: December 17, 2020 / Author: Mendoza College of Business

2020 was an unprecedented year, to say the least. But Mendoza College of Business alumni consistently stepped forward to serve with excellence and speak out for human dignity. Here’s a roundup of some of the alumni stories we’ve highlighted this year.  

Barely a week after federal regulators gave distilleries the green light to make hand sanitizer, Charles Florance’s (MBA ’13) distillery was producing and bottling the batches of sanitizer for distribution to essential workers in his community.

Dr. Paul Gregerson (EMBA ’01), a longtime advocate for L.A.’s homeless, reflects on what the effect of the pandemic might be on an already vulnerable and stricken population.

Rodion Begliak (MBA ’19) returned to his home country of Belarus to vote in the presidential election. But his quick trip home became a nightmare when he was swept up in an anti-democratic crackdown.

Emily Rupchock (MNA ’20) advocates for families facing the tough realities of childcare deserts.

The Notre Dame MBA Class of 2020 passed along a gift to future students looking for some quiet space to take a call. 

Career news

  • Greg Miller (BBA ’83) was named CEO of C.J. Segerstrom & Sons. He most recently served as chief development officer of Great Wolf Resorts.
  • After 32 years as the University’s chief investment officer, Scott Malpass (MBA ’86, ND ’84) retired. As such, Malpass was responsible for investment of the University’s endowment and other assets totaling $14 billion.
  • Kelli Marti (BBA ’92) was hired by Churchill Asset Management LLC as managing director and CLO portfolio manager. Previously, she was chief credit officer at Crestline Denali Capital.
  • Ardee Toppe (EMBA ’98) was appointed by Goodman/Daikin North America as senior vice president and president of its Goodman, Quietflex, and PTAC Business Units. Toppe has been with Goodman for nearly 18 years.
  • Erin Kerr (BBA ’01) was named CEO of Blessings in a Backpack, effective Jan. 1, 2021. Currently, she serves as the organization’s chief development officer.
  • Gregory Stewart (EMBA ’03) has joined SAAM Inc. as its global president, board member and strategic leader. SAAM, Inc. is a company dedicated to improving the health and safety of individuals through the design and implementation of affordable air quality, smoke, fire, gas and chemical detection smart devices. Stewart has more than 20 years of executive level experience with GE, Rexel, and WESCO, including leadership roles while living in Asia for 10 years as an expatriate. 
  • Aaron Erter (EMBA ’04) was named president and CEO of PLZ Aeroscience Corp. Previously, he was at Sherwin Williams Co., where he most recently served as president of its Performance Coatings Group.
  • Tom Goldrick (BBA ’07) has joined Houlihan Lokey Inc.’s Transaction Advisory Services practice as a managing director and head of M&A Tax Services. Previously, he was managing director of KPMG’s Mergers & Acquisitions Tax practice.
  • Michael Benson (MNA ’11) was appointed president of Coastal Carolina University, effective Jan. 2. 2021. Most recently, he served as president of Eastern Kentucky University and was named president emeritus there in December 2019.
  • Jeannette Lenear Peruchini (EMBA ’14) was appointed by AECOM to lead its Building + Places division in Chicago as managing director and director of interiors. Previously, she worked at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
  • Michael Benassi (MSBA ’19) was named vice president of enterprise analytics at United Federal Credit Union.
  • Timothy Wells (EMBA ’19) has been promoted to vice president of sales, economic and business development at AEP and will lead AEP’s new business development in commercial and industrial customers.

Board of Directors

  • Laura J. Schumacher (BBA ’85) was appointed to the board of directors for CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. She will serve as a member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Schumacher currently serves as the vice chairman, external affairs, and chief legal officer at AbbVie.
  • Michael Zahn (MBA ’04) was appointed chair of the Indiana Bankers Association board of directors. He serves as president and CEO of Huntington-based First Federal Savings Bank. 


  • A research project by John Lalor (BBA ’11), an assistant professor of IT, Analytics, and Operations (ITAO) at Mendoza College of Business, and three other faculty members in Mendoza’s ITAO department received a $5,500 Innovation Initiative Small Grant Program grant from the ACC and Center for Research in Intercollegiate Athletics. The research team includes associate teaching professor Scott Nestler and assistant teaching professors Martin Barron (ND Ph.D ’18, ND MS ’15) and Seth Berry.

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Read November’s ND Business Briefings.