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Class Notes, 2008 July/August

July/August 2008

Thank you to everyone for continuing to send in news. We hope you are all enjoying the summer and that the following updates about your classmates will provide a little poolside or beach reading. In baby news, Robert Weiner and wife Inessa have a new addition, Jacob Lev, born in February 2008. Big sister Sonia Idelle and big brother Joseph Isaac are thrilled to have a new member of their play group. Robert and his family reside in Teaneck, NJ. Anthony and Mary Ciotoli DiRubbo welcomed the arrival of their third child, Tobi Alexis, on October 7, 2008. Tobi has two older brothers, Tony, 5, and Tyson, 2. She took her first trip to Ithaca for the Heptagonal Games at Barton Hall and is looking forward to going to a Cornell lacrosse game in the spring.

Making an impact in the medical field, Kristen Lawrence Billiar informs us that he has been promoted to associate professor of biomedical engineering and awarded tenure at Worcester Polytechnic Inst. in Worcester, MA. After receiving a PhD in bioengineering at the U. of Pennsylvania in 1998, Kristen worked as a staff engineer at Organogenesis Inc. before joining the WPI faculty in 2002. His research in mechanobiology, tissue engineering, and bioengineered skin substitutes has been supported by the Whittaker Foundation and the American Heart Association and has resulted in seven journal articles. He received WPI's 2005 Romeo Moruzzi Young Faculty Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Education.

In addition to his services as our class president, Bob Baca is also keeping busy working for the USDA, making sure that our crops are free of invasive pests. He has recently hired two new members to his team--light at the end of the tunnel after being the only member in his work group for over a year. "It's a great relief to finally start splitting up the workload." His work has reconnected him with Cornell in an odd way: a plant pest of rice was discovered in a Cornell greenhouse (among other research institutions), and Bob and his team are trying to see how widespread this issue might be and how they might deal with the pest. (For more information, check out the Cornell Daily Sun's related article of October 10, 2007.)

Bob would like to thank everyone for remaining so connected with Cornell. He says, "We have an extremely active alumni class, with one of the highest number of dues-payers (thanks!) and highest number signed up for auto-renewal of their dues (thanks again!). This high participation allows us to have more space to bring you all the great updates on our classmates in the class column." You are very welcome, Bob! In family news, Bob writes that his daughter just turned 3 and they "celebrated with a piñata at preschool, home-made and kid-made pizza (can you say 'flour throughout the kitchen'?), the all-important chocolate cake, and unwrapping (aka tearing open) presents. Now to see how many times the family gets to watch the movie Enchanted on DVD over the next month." Bob admits he loves those Disney movies.

Seth and Shelly Hood Briskin had an exceptional Easter weekend that brought many Cornellians together for Rebecca Shilling's wedding to Joe Holper in Chicago. Margaret Showel '92, Christine Anderson Perkins, Laura Fricke Main, Alissa Moore Sims, MBA '98, Melissa Pattison MacQueen, MBA '98, Karen Roberts Sessions, Kimberly Scott Baxter, Donna Bosshardt Abreu '90, Cheryl Lundeberg Lonergan, Cynthia Johnson Mollen, MD '95, Lisa Strope Canter, and Jen Lee Klein all attended. Shelly said they had their dancing shoes on (some more comfortable than others) and were tearing up the floor.

Sandy Davidson is applying his hospitality knowledge on the Georgia Coast. He and wife Gena are developing golf condominiums in the coastal community of Shellman Bluff, just south of Savannah. He says all Cornellians are encouraged to visit. Local highlights include year-round boating and golfing, as well as great restaurants in nearby Saint Simons and Jekyll islands. Check out Sandy's work at Amy Kurzman Buckman has been very busy over the past year with various volunteer commitments at her children's schools and building a new home in Westport, CT, where the Buckman family has lived for the past nine years. They have three children, a son, 7, a daughter, 3, and another son, 18 months. The Buckmans recently returned from London, where they visited Robin Weiner Gusick '90 and her family. Robin also has a 7-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter. Robin's 4-year-old daughter is in her last year of pre-school and loves to play with Jon Goodman's son Jack, Beth Epstein Schweitzer '89's daughter Kyla, and Margi Greenfield Kaplowitz '88's daughter Carly, all classmates of Robin's daughter this year. Maybe they will be together again as part of the Cornell Class of 2025!

David Einhorn has written a book, Fooling Some of the People All of the Time (released in May and available at According to the editorial review, "David is one of the investment community's fastest rising stars." He is president of the hedge fund Greenlight Capital, which he co-founded in 1996 at the age of 27, and now has more than $5 billion under management. According to the inside flap, David's book "is the gripping chronicle of the ongoing saga [involving David and Allied Capital]. Page by page, it delves deep inside Wall Street, showing how Greenlight Capital conducts its investment research and detailing the maneuvers of [Allied Capital] . . . But the story is much bigger than one little-known company. Fooling Some of the People All of the Time is an important call for effective law enforcement, free speech, and fair play."

Saskia Monteiro Thomson is the director of marketing for Marcum & Kliegman LLP, the largest accounting firm on Long Island. Newsday on Long Island published an article spotlighting Saskia's award-winning advertising and marketing campaigns. Saskia writes that after learning her parents "were terrified" when they found out they were going to be audited, she decided to develop an advertising campaign depicting heroic (and muscular) accountants saving the day. To recruit young professionals, she's been posting on YouTube and her firm's own Facebook page, and said that she is experimenting with texting. She could wind up texting business clients with reminders of their March 15 deadlines, for instance, or informing them when their tax returns are filed electronically. At the end of February, Saskia and Marcum & Kliegman's managing partner, Jeffery M. Weiner, spoke in Las Vegas at a conference sponsored by the Leading Edge Alliance, an international association of accounting firms. Their subject: "The Evolution of Marketing: Then. Now. Next."

Richard Field writes that 2007 was a great year. He married Christine Cummins, a Stanford alum and an April MD graduate of Boston U. Richard and Christine moved from Boston to Newport Beach, CA, in June. Dave Campbell was in the wedding party, and Chris Murphy made the pre-parties a great success. Richard is still active with his Int'l Subsidiary Development Inc. consulting business and with direct business development engagements. He invites all classmates to join him and Christine sailing on their J80 sailboat or surfing on the beautiful coast of Newport Beach.

Please continue to share news with us via e-mail, through the link on our class website,, or on the News Form in our most recent class mailing. We love to hear from you! Sharlyn Carter Heslam,; Ariane Schreiber Horn,; Kathryn Kraus Bolks,

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