Mendoza School of Business

ND BUSINESS BRIEFINGS: January 2021 alumni news and updates

Published: January 28, 2021 / Author: Mendoza College of Business

Brewing up a startup

Just in time for #DryJanuary, Emree (Chapman) Woods non-alcoholic beer line entered the niche craft brew scene.

Emree (Chapman) Woods (BBA ’07)

“I’m extremely excited about the potential of the industry. It’s part of a ‘better-for-you’ trend. Part of living a healthy lifestyle is cutting back on alcohol,” said Woods, who studied management entrepreneurship at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business in 2007. The non-alcoholic beer market in North America is predicted to surpass $6.4 billion by 2026. Her startup, Rightside Brewing in Atlanta, currently produces an IPA and a citrus wheat brew and donates 5% of its profits to sobriety-related efforts.

Woods started exploring what it would take to brew and market a premium-tasting beer without the alcohol when she was pregnant in 2018. She drafted a business plan and entered the 2019 McCloskey New Venture Competition, Notre Dame’s pitch competition for early-stage startups. 

Through McCloskey, she was assigned a mentor, Ryan Bove (ND ’08), who launched a gluten-free microbrewery in 2012. Two Mendoza students also helped her with market research to validate revenue metrics. “I left with a lot of confidence and steam,” she said. “It was energizing to work through the plan and to have someone validate the plan.”

Woods’ Notre Dame network provided support in other ways, as well. Classmate Molly Iarocci (MBA ’11, BBA ’07), who works as director at DCA Asset Management, served as an adviser through the fundraising process, and Kait Moran (ND ’07) signed on as an investor. 

Career news

  • Father Bob Lombardo, C.F.R., (BBA ’79) has been named an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He is one of the eight founders of the Community of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.
  • Thomas R. Fox (BBA ’96) was appointed president of Malwarebytes. He has served as the company’s chief financial officer since 2018 and will retain the title of CFO.
  • Jeff Thormann (MBA ’01) was named vice president of sales at SmartBiz Loans.
  • Dominic L. Eck (BBA ’06) has been named shareholder at the public finance law firm Gilmore & Bell, P.C.
  •  Scott McMahon (MNA ’06) has been named executive director of the Greater Minnesota Partnership, a nonprofit that advocates for state economic development policies and resources that benefit the region. 
  • Meghan Gill (BBA ’09) has been promoted to director of project management at AbelsonTaylor.
  • Charlie Speer (BBA ’14) has joined Trailbreak Partners as an analyst. Previously, he was an associate at StreetLevel Investments.
  • Alec Fogarty (BBA ’15) was named vice president at TSG Consumer Partners, San Francisco. He has worked for TSG since 2017 on the due diligence of new investments and supporting the growth of TSG’s partner companies.
  • Annie O’Brien (BBA ’17) joined Maranon Capital as a portfolio analyst. Previously, she was a senior associate at PwC. 
  • Kayah St. Gerard Joachim (BBA ’19) was promoted to a position as an ecommerce brand planner for General Mills. Previously, she worked in sales at General Mills. 

Board appointments

  • Scott Giacobello (BBA ’92) was appointed to the board of directors for biotechnology company Autobahn Therapeutics and will serve as the chair of the company’s audit committee. He is chief financial officer of GW Pharmaceuticals.
  • Michael S. Zahn (MBA ’04), president and CEO of First Federal Savings Bank, Huntington, Indiana, was elected 2021 chairman of the board of directors of the Indiana Bankers Association.

Startup news

  • GENERIS, founded by Lindsey Brassington (MBA ’09), received honorable mention in the 2020 Webby Awards’  Apps, Mobile, and Voice Health and Fitness category. The app makes personalized food, fitness and supplement recommendations based in part on DNA testing and was one of Notre Dame’s IDEA Center’s 2019 startups.
  • Resonado, an audio industry startup founded while Brian Cho (BBA ’19), Erikc Perez-Perez (BBA ’19), and Peter Moeckel (BBA ’20) were undergrads, signed a licensing agreement with audio electronics manufacturer Soundlab Technology Co. Ltd. 

Submit your career news to

Read December’s ND Business Briefings.