Past Letters from the President
Letter from President
Lauren Malan AB ’02, AM ’02, JD ‘07
Dear Fellow Harvard Alumni and Friends,
Thank you for your interest in and support of the Harvard Club of San Francisco. You, along with our club officers, board members and numerous volunteers, make HCSF a vibrant community for alumni throughout the Bay area. Our club also maintains close ties with the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) in Cambridge to keep the west coast connected to campus. We currently have close to 1,500 members enjoying the benefits of HCSF membership and look forward to having many more of you join us. We welcome your attendance at events and participation in the club, whether you are a long-time HCSF member or an alum new to the area.
We kicked off our 2015-2016 year with a fantastic HCSF Annual Dinner, attended by many of you and featuring Harvard ‘86 alum and Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott as our distinguished speaker. Throughout the course of this year you are invited to attend our always popular annual events including Global Networking Night (in January and June), our Harvard-Yale Game viewing party (Go Crimson!) and our festive Holiday Party.
HCSF is one of the most active Harvard alumni clubs in the country, organizing over 100 events each year for the past several years. Upcoming events on our calendar include the Founders Series; a Napa adventure; a reading group for those who miss the Harvard classroom; the Nutcracker ballet; the opera; numerous theater and sporting events; community service opportunities; and countless social events bringing together alumni from across the Harvard community.
As you can see from our diverse offerings, our HCSF Activities Committee plans events that appeal to alumni with varied interests. We hope there is something for everyone! Last year, some of our youngest members created Crimson Club, an organization focusing on events for recent graduates. We welcome not only your suggestions for activities or programs for any subset of the alumni community or our membership as a whole, but also your involvement as well.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Letter from President
Preston Dodd, EdM '94
Greetings, HCSF members and friends! HCSF has many important initiatives under way, and I will highlight a few of them in this letter.
Since my last communication, HCSF:
... welcomed Harvard President Drew Faust to San Francisco.
As is covered in greater detail in a separate article in this newsletter, HCSF was honored to host a luncheon on January 21st for Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust, which was attended by over 450 Bay Area Harvard Alumni.
... hosted humanitarian scholars and leaders.
On February 7th, HCSF hosted a sold-out event as part of a West Coast information campaign in support of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights. Harvard Professors Michael VanRooyen and Jennifer Leaning described how these two centers of engagement are preparing the next generation of practitioners and academics to take the lead in understanding and improving conditions for people trapped in worldwide cycles of crisis and deprivation.
... continues to nurture development of tomorrow's great ideas.
Through the work of Eliot Hodges in launching the increasingly popular Founders Series, HCSF provides a forum for interested HCSF entrepreneurs to hear first-hand experiences from fellow alumni who have launched their own businesses.
On April 2nd, a number of HCSF members participated in a day-long TEDxPresidio event, which brought together over 600 people to hear from leaders who are shaping the future in areas such as corporate social responsibility, entrepreneurship, technology, media and nonprofits.
At our upcoming Annual Dinner on June 9th, we will hear remarks from NASA Kepler Mission Scientist, William Borucki, and the nation's former top higher-education official, Sara Martinez Tucker.
Thanks to the work of our Vice President of Schools, Michael R. Alderete, HCSF will host William Fitzsimmons, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid of Harvard College, in the fall. This will be the first Bay Area visit by Dean Fitzsimmons for a Harvard Club of San Francisco event in well over a decade.
I urge you to complete your 2011 membership forms. With over 13,000 area alumni, HCSF possesses a fantastic network of alumni – from recent graduates to mid-career professionals to empty nesters – but we depend on your membership dues to run our local Club. HCSF is an entirely volunteer-run organization with two paid part-time staff members, and we do not receive any direct financial contributions from Harvard University.
Thanks to you:
This is my final newsletter to you as your President, and it has been my honor and privilege to have served in this capacity. To me, the vibrancy of Harvard, and the promise it holds for its alumni, extends beyond the walls of the campus to the experiences we carry forward with us and continue to hold because of our association with Harvard.
Many thanks to the officers and the Board of HCSF for their service, to the members of HCSF for their support and special thanks to incoming HCSF President, Augie Rakow, and Executive Director, Kirsten Pickford, for their efforts throughout the year. I value all of the new relationships I have developed through my roles on the HCSF Board, in HCSF community service, and as your President, and I look forward to building upon those foundations in the years to come. In the meantime, I hope to see you at a HCSF event soon.
Letter from President
Sheela Goud Zemlin, MBA '98
Dear Fellow Harvard Alumni,
Thank you for your support of our local alumni club and for your unprecedented participation in our events. I am thrilled to tell you that our membership is at an all time high of approximately 1,400 paying members, representing 10% of the Bay Area Harvard graduates. However, we strive to one day reach most of our 13,000 local alumni with relevant programming and volunteer opportunities. Our Club volunteers and officers are continually looking for better ways to serve the needs of our alumni. In support of this goal we asked you to complete the first-ever HCSF online membership survey in March. We received approximately 500 responses to date (you can still participate by going to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HCSF2). The suggestions we received included:
- Adding events tailored to families with young children
- Expanding the geographic span of our events to include the East Bay
- Inviting more speakers from Harvard – including faculty members and successful graduates
- Clarifying the value in joining the Harvard Club of San Francisco
- Launching the Harvard Alumni Family Days Series this summer which will offer networking opportunities for parents, playtime for children and events at child-friendly local museums and parks.
- We would like to hold more functions in the East Bay and are actively looking for volunteers to help spearhead and/or offer up venues for these events – please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to help.
- We are bringing in more Harvard Professors and well-recognized graduates. Sheryl Sandberg, Harvard AB and MBA, will be keynoting our Annual Dinner on Thursday, June 10th at the University Club. She is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and was named as one of the 50 most influential women by Fortune Magazine in 2009. In addition, Amar Bhidé, visiting scholar to the Kennedy School of Government and previous faculty member at Harvard Business School, will speak with our members this fall about his forthcoming book, A Call for Judgment: Sensible Finance for a Dynamic Economy.
- Lastly, we have launched an official Member Benefits program. We want you to be confident that your $60 annual membership (regular membership cost) provides value beyond the discounts you receive on our 100+ events per year. Please check our website soon to see new discounts with the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco, Dell Computers and the Sports Basement.
On another note, I'm happy to announce that we have completed a major upgrade to our website. You will now find the process of registering for events easier and faster, since your profile information can be saved and pre-populated into the event registration form. In addition, we have made it easier to quickly find events of interest to you– simply click on the day when you are free and find out what is happening in your alumni community. There are numerous other enhancements, such as the ability to view photo galleries from past events and join the HCSF Facebook group with a single click. Check the new website at hcsanfrancisco.clubs.harvard.edu and visit us often as our site is updated continually.
Thank you to our membership for supporting the HCSF, strengthening our local alumni network and continuing to foster ties between San Francisco and Harvard University. For those of you who are not yet members, please attend one of our upcoming events to see what you've been missing! Whether you are interested in reconnecting with old classmates, business networking, sharing a passion in the performing arts with other alums, or just having fun, we have something in store for you! We look forward to seeing you soon. We also welcome you to attend any of our recurring monthly Activities and Community Service committee meetings to find out how you can put innovative ideas into action to better our club and local community. Lastly, please don't forget to confirm that you have renewed your membership for 2010. You can do this by visiting our website and clicking on the crimson Harvard Alumni log on box, or by contacting our Executive Director, Kirsten Pickford at email@example.com.
Sheela Goud Zemlin
Harvard MBA '98
President, Harvard Club of San Francisco
Dear HCSF Members and Friends,
Thank you for your continued interest in and support of the Harvard Club of San Francisco!
I feel honored to follow in the footsteps of Immediate Past President Amy Hanson (AB '92), who through her dedication and leadership has taken the Club to new heights!
The past year was a successful one for the HCSF across several measures. First, at approximately 1,500 members, the HCSF is now one of the largest Harvard alumni clubs in the world! Second, we are without a doubt one of the most active clubs in terms of frequency and quality of events, offering on average three programs per week (cultural, social, educational, family-oriented, and more) to appeal to our diverse membership (many thanks to our VP of Activities, Jen Shin, and all of our Activities Committee volunteers!) Third, HCSF volunteers have richly contributed to the local community by offering hundreds of hours of support, advice, and inspiration for middle school and high school students in the Bay Area. Finally, our club was recognized as the "Club of the Year" by the Harvard Alumni Association in Cambridge based on the exceptional results in the areas of membership, technology, succession, community service, outreach to young alumni, outreach to graduate alumni, schools and scholarship efforts, programming, or overall general improvement. What an honor!
During the current term, the priorities for the Club will focus on improving the usability and features on our website (hcsanfrancisco.clubs.harvard.edu) and increasing our presence through other online channels (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter), creating stronger connections between our Bay Area alumni and the Harvard faculty and administration, and and improving our financial situation through increased membership and contributions from our alumni.
In order for the Club to continue to thrive, I'd like to personally ask each of you for your support over the next year and beyond. First and foremost, please plan to attend a few events this year. You'll surely be able to find more than enough events of interest to you, wherever your interests may lie. Our goal for every HCSF event is to incorporate an opportunity to network with other alums–before, after, or as the central focus of the event. So come out and enjoy yourself with your fellow alums! Second, please help us to make our club even more successful by volunteering your time–even for a few hours–attending a committee meeting, participating in one of our co-sponsored Boys and Girls Club activities, encouraging your employer to sponsor a speaker series, etc. Lastly, please continue your membership in the club and remind your friends and classmates to join as well! Remember, this is your club– put your personal stamp on it!
In closing, I'd like to thank officers and board members of the HCSF who contribute so much time and energy. Amy Hanson (AB '92), Immediate Past President; Jen Shin (PhD '08), VP Activities; Preston Dodd (EdM '94), President Elect; Spencer Rhodes (AB '00, MBA '04), Chairman and HAA Regional Director; Greg Groeneveld (MPP '88), Secretary; Katherine Dowling (JD '98), VP Communications; Andy Cohen (AB '92), outgoing Treasurer, Stephanie Evans, EdM '79, and Marv Kasoff (AB '64), VP Membership–thank you for your ongoing dedication. I would also like to welcome new officers and board members Norm Boone (MBA '77), Treasurer; Jason Young (AB '04), VP Partnerships; Michael R. Alderete (AB '79), VP Schools Committee; and Tommy Smith (MPA '06), VP Community Service.
I sincerely hope to speak with and hear from all of you over the coming year. Until then...
Sheela Goud Zemlin, MBA '98
President, Harvard Club of San Francisco
Letter from the President
Amy Hanson, AB '92
Dear HCSF Members and Friends,
Greetings! The holidays are upon us, and it is a time for reflection, celebration, and planning for the New Year.
We are in for a treat with this year's Holiday Party (our third annual). Thanks to Vice President of Membership Marv Kasoff, who has organized the party every year, we will be gathering at the Old Mint in downtown San Francisco on Thursday, December 4, for an evening of food and drink, networking, and merriment. The Old Mint has been closed to the public for over twenty years, and we have arranged for tours of the facilities–as well as an appearance of the HCSF Beach Blanket Babylon Harvard Yard Hat! If you haven't registered yet, do so now! The event is just days away, and space is limited. Please see our Web site, hcsanfrancisco.clubs.harvard.edu, and inside this issue for details.
2008 has been a great year for the Club. We have nearly 1,400 members–representing Harvard College and all graduate schools–and have offered more than 100 events in this year alone! Thanks to Jen Shin (PhD '08), Vice President of Activities, and her committee for continuing to build upon the programming momentum generated by her predecessors, Charlene Nee (EdM '95) and Sheela Zemlin (MBA '98).
Looking ahead over the next few weeks, keep an eye out for your membership renewal form in the mail. Be sure to renew early to keep receiving the benefits of being of an HCSF member and to stay part of our dynamic community.
We will soon start organizational planning for next year and interviewing candidates for open officer positions. This is a great opportunity to increase your involvement with the Club and to be part of a friendly, close-knit group. Open positions will include the Vice President of Information Technology, Vice President of Partnerships, Treasurer, and Annual Dinner Chair. Please see page 2 of this newsletter for a full list of positions.
I would like to welcome two new members to our Board of Directors. Elaine Black (AM '74, PhD '81) has organized events for HCSF for many years–most notably, our annual outings to see Shakespeare outdoors as well as The Nutcracker ballet. Also joining us is Katherine Dowling (JD '98) as our new Vice President of Communications. Katherine contributes to our weekly e-mail blasts and will focus on how best to share information with our members and the larger community. We welcome both Elaine and Katherine and are thrilled to have their involvement and enthusiasm!
Would you like to become more involved with HCSF? Please contact me directly. I would be delighted to talk with you about how your background and passion can translate into a role that can contribute meaningfully to our Club.
I wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!
Amy Hanson, AB '92
President, Harvard Club of San Francisco
Letter from the Incoming President
Stephen Watkins, AM '96
It is a true honor to follow Spencer Rhodes, AB '00, MBA '04, as HCSF's new President. For the past three years, it's been my great pleasure to work alongside some of the most creative and dedicated Harvard alumni on the West Coast. The remarkable successes that we have been able to realize during my time on the Board are a testament to the vision, talents, and strengths of my colleagues on the Board as well as those of the members of the Bay Area's Harvard alumni community.
Looking ahead, I welcome the challenges of helping the Club formalize some of the organizational and operational initiatives that were begun under the stewardship of Spencer and his predecessors, Gautham Reddy, AB '85, and Stephanie Evans, EdM '79.
It's my intention, for example, to help refine our committee structure, which channels so much of the energy and ideas necessary for meaningful events and creative internal governance. I'd like to see us continue to strengthen the Community Service Committee by enhancing current key relationships with the San Francisco Unified School District, Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, and Habitat for Humanity San Francisco, to name but a few. I also look forward to helping the Club as it explores new directions in strategic partnerships, reaching out to leaders in business and government, to community service innovators, to our friends in education and philanthropy, and to luminaries of culture and the arts.
My goal is to keep HCSF vital, relevant, and above all, responsive to our membership's needs by reflecting the enduring, familiar themes that define the Harvard experience, and by finding new and different ways of expressing alumni affiliation.
If you are a current member, I'd like to thank you for your continued support and participation. Please let me know if there's anything that we might do to enhance your experience. If you have ideas about bringing a new event, activity, or benefit to the Club, I encourage you to share those thoughts with me and with my colleagues on the Board. If you are a prospective member, I invite you to explore the many events and activities we have to offer.
Here's to a great twelve months, here's to Harvard, and here's to you!
Letter from the Outgoing President
Spencer Rhodes, AB '00, MBA '04
It has been a great honor to serve as President of the HCSF for the past year, and I'm honored and excited to be continuing with the club as Chairman. The HCSF has made a great amount of progress in the past year thanks to the efforts of our fantastic group of officers, volunteers, and board members.
We organized 96 events in the past twelve months thanks to the large number of volunteers on our vibrant activities committee and to the tireless efforts of co-VPs of Activities Charlene Nee, EdM '95 and Sheela Zemlin, MBA '98. With the help of incoming President Stephen Watkins, AM '96, and co-VPs of Community Service Lara Fox, AB '99, Preston Dodd, EdM '94, and Ray Mertens, AB '94 MBA '03, we have had a tremendous increase in the number and variety of community service activities including a deepening of our relationship with the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco.
Marv Kasoff, AB '64 launched the wildly successful "Salon" speaker series which has held ten sold-out sessions in less than a year, and VP of Schools Bruce Jackson, AB '66 led the efforts of countless volunteers to interview over 800 applicants to Harvard College. Outgoing VP of Strategic Partnerships Lin Zhu, MPA '02 and Tania Condon, MTS '93 built out our new membership discount program, and we began providing credit card-sized membership cards as a benefit of membership.
Kirsten Pickford has continued to do a fantastic job running all of our administrative affairs as Executive Director. Stephanie Evans, EdM '79 and Gautham Reddy, AB '85, both past presidents of the HCSF, have continued to generously support the club in many ways. Anne Knight, AB '66, AM '71, HAA Regional Director, has been a great resource and friend to the club as have the HAA staff back in Cambridge including our primary contact Rachel Lamson.
Beyond our countless social and community service events, The HCSF continued to bring the best of Harvard to the Bay Area with numerous events featuring professors and department heads. Most notably, we hosted both President Drew Faust and Provost Steven Hyman in separate events that were both sold out.
I'm happy to announce that Sean Jacobsohn, MBA '98, former President of the HBS Association of Northern California, has been elected to serve in the new role of Director of Revenue, and Elizabeth Cryer, AB '97 has been elected to serve in the new role of Director of Career Mentoring. Other new officers include Amy Hanson, AB '92, President-elect; Greg Groeneveld, MPP '88, Secretary; Kenneth Marshall, MBA '94, VP of Technology; and Jing Nie, AB '06, Director of Young Alumni.
We'd like to welcome recent graduates to the area and encourage them to join both the club and our Young Alumni Yahoo Group at:www.groups.yahoo.com/group/hcsf-recentgrads .
We have a new communication channel for those wishing to get intimately involved in our community service efforts. While all community service events and committee meetings will continue to go out to the whole club via our normal updates, this new yahoo group will serve as a community within which even more community service news can be shared among Harvard graduates in the area: www.groups.yahoo.com/group/hcsf-communityservice .
Finally, I have the pleasure of welcoming Stephen Watkins AM'96 into the role of President. Stephen has contributed immeasurably to the club in recent years. He has served as VP of Community Service, helped found our community service committee, organized several successful events, served as a board member, and contributed significantly to our Early College Awareness Program and to our relationship with the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco. Time and time again, he has proven his desire to see Harvard's presence in the Bay Area be the best that it can be. The board and I are delighted that he has accepted the Presidency, and we look forward to helping him make his mark on the club.
Thanks for a great year, and thanks for your interest in the Harvard Club of San Francisco! We hope to see you at an event or at a committee meeting in the near future!
Spencer Rhodes, AB '00, MBA '04
President, Harvard Club of San Francisco
We've had a great beginning to the 2006/2007 year with 16 events in the past three months. I hope you've been able to join us for some of the fun!
The highlights included our Annual Dinner featuring Mayor Gavin Newsom, a private screening of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth (we packed an entire full-sized movie theater!), a hike on the Land's End Coastal Trail, a scavenger hunt around the city, a beach BBQ, a social mixer at Cav Wine Bar, Shakespeare at Stinson Beach, and a visit from Harvard Dean Scott Abell, not to mention several other prominent speakers, educational events, and private tours. Activities VPs Charlene Nee, EdM '95 and Sheela Zemlin, MBA '98, and the whole Activities Committee are doing a fantastic job! Consider joining them at the next committee meeting on November 2. Register at hcsanfrancisco.clubs.harvard.edu/events/index.asp#nov2.
I want to take this opportunity to welcome all of the recent grads who have moved to the Bay Area! I've seen the numbers at our Young Alum Yahoo group swell in the past few weeks. If you haven't discovered that group yet, please see groups.yahoo.com/group/hcsf-recentgrads.
Beyond the Yahoo group, we invite you to join our Young Alum Committee, which meets for dinner on the first Sunday of every month at 7 pm (the November dinner will be at the Grandviews Restaurant on the 36th floor of the Grand Hyatt, Union Square). Come have dinner, meet new people, and share your ideas for young alum activities! Also, be sure to join us for the Ivy League Young Alum Mixer on Friday November 3rd (see the E-vite at: tinyurl.com/fgtle).
From recent grads to recent admits, I'm happy to report that the club has once again made a positive impact back in Cambridge. A small portion of the Harvard College Fund is composed of the “Scholarship Fund of the Harvard Club of San Francisco” which was donated to The College by past members of the HCSF. Each year, two students receive grants from this fund. These students are told that the HCSF is the source of their grants, and the club always receives nice letters of thanks. This year, one recipient wrote, “My scholarship has opened up a whole new world for me, and I am extremely grateful.”
We can be proud that the Harvard Club of San Francisco helps aspiring students in need at all points of development: from small children through our partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, to teens and preteens in the HCSF Early College Awareness Program, to deserving Harvard students who receive our scholarship.
Finally, on behalf of the HCSF Executive Committee and Board of Directors, I would like to invite you to attend the Second Annual HCSF Leadership Open House and Wine Social. If you've ever wondered about holding a leadership position in the club, serving on the board, or just organizing an event, we hope that you will join us on the evening of Monday, October 23. Please reserve a spot by visiting hcsanfrancisco.clubs.harvard.edu/events/index.asp#oct23. (Note that security will not allow you to enter the building without registering in advance.) Then drop in between 5 and 8 pm at the Bingham McCutchen law offices, located at 3 Embarcadero Center in San Francisco.
The board, officer group, and past presidents will be on hand to answer your questions and solicit your ideas. In addition to these informal conversations, I will give a short presentation on the club's structure and goals. Whether you'd like to make a large contribution or a small one, we hope that you will join us.
We're off to a great year! Thank you for your interest in and support of the Harvard Club of San Francisco!
Spencer Rhodes, AB '00, MBA '04
President, Harvard Club of San Francisco
I am excited to be starting my term as your new president of the Harvard Club of San Francisco. We are ending a very successful year under the presidency of Gautham Reddy, AB '85, in which we doubled membership; engaged a fantastic new executive director; greatly increased our administrative, e-mail, and website functionality; overhauled the Club's governing bylaws; devoted new energy to community service activities; executed a tremendous roster of almost 60 events; and resurrected the newsletter. Gautham spent countless hours working on Club business, attending events, and coordinating with Cambridge. We are fortunate that we will continue to benefit from Gautham's energy as he has agreed to accept the newly created position of “Immediate Past President”, a role we created to assure continuity by keeping past presidents on the executive committee for an additional year.
Amy Hanson, AB '92, our outgoing VP of Activities, also deserves our gratitude for keeping the Club's calendar full of great events. The Club would not be where it is today without Amy, and her leadership will be greatly missed.
For those of you who are new to the Club or new to the Bay Area, I want to take a moment to describe the HCSF at the highest level. Our Club has three core missions: community service, interviewing candidates for admission to Harvard College, and organizing social and educational events. We serve all alumni of Harvard regardless of school or degree, and our board is composed of graduates from almost every school at Harvard, including the Law School, Business School, School of Education, Divinity School, Kennedy School, GSAS, and College. We also include former Harvard instructors, current students, and parents of current and past students.
Founded in 1873, The Harvard Club of San Francisco is the fourth oldest Harvard Club in the world. However, unlike Boston and New York, we do not have a physical location. Instead, we leverage venues all around the city for our events and charge a very modest membership fee of only $50 per year ($25 or less for recent grads). This dues revenue is what keeps us going. Please see hcsanfrancisco.clubs.harvard.edu or call us at 415-621-3900 for information on upcoming events or to join the Club.
In the coming year, we have many goals. Beyond the clear mandates of maintaining a solid schedule of events and continuing to increase membership, some of our priorities include the following:
1) Our greatest assets are our leaders: the people who donate their energy to build the Harvard Community here in San Francisco. This year, we will greatly expand the Club's roster of leaders on all levels, from event organizers to board members and officers. If you would like to fill a leadership role, join a committee, or organize an event, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can make as large or as small a commitment as you would like.
2) We will build on our new relationship with the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco and further expand our community service platform.
3) We will launch an online, searchable, members-only directory to facilitate social and professional networking. This directory will include employer information and will thereby be more informative than the directory at www.post.harvard.edu . To protect privacy, members will be able to opt out, and access will be restricted to paid members.
Thanks for your interest in and support of the Harvard Club of San Francisco!
Gautham P. Reddy, AB '85
Past President, Harvard Club of San Francisco
It has been an honor and a delight to serve as president of the Harvard Club of San Francisco. The year has passed quickly, and there has been a whirlwind of activity by our officers, board members, and numerous volunteers, all working to make the Club better for its members. I owe all of you special thanks.
I am especially proud of the Club's renewed focus on community service, one of my priorities and a matter of great appeal to the membership. We have created a new office – VP, Community Service – currently held by Stephen Watkins, AM '96, who has developed a program for Club members to volunteer at the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco. Ray Mertens, AB '94, MBA '03, led another highly successful endeavor – the Stanley Lynn Early College Awareness program for disadvantaged youth (described elsewhere in this newsletter).
Our new executive director, Kirsten Pickford, has helped us reorganize the Club administration and update our database, ensuring the accuracy of members' data. Kirsten is also continuing in her role as the executive director of the Harvard Business School Association of Northern California, which she has managed for eight years. We have been lucky enough to benefit from her long experience and her efficiency – she returns your phone calls and emails almost immediately!
I am privileged to have followed in the footsteps of Club Presidents Stephanie Evans, EdM '79, John Trasvina, AB '80, Michael Sears, AB '84-'85, Wally Sleeth, AB '65, and Modesta Garcia, EdM '79. During my tenure on the board, we have grappled with the transition from conventional to electronic communication. Each of my predecessors led the Club through positive changes, such as creating an updated and highly functional website and enhancing our email capability. We were able to culminate the transition this year by updating our database, gaining the ability to send email messages to 13,000 Harvard alumni and affiliates in the Bay Area, preparing to launch our online membership directory, and – as you can see – resurrecting the newsletter (thanks to Kathy Rosenberg-Wohl, AB '83, JD '86, and Yvonne Tsang, AB '99.) I am confident that our improved digital communication capabilities will serve our members well. At the same time, we will offer the newsletter and dues invoices in hard copy and continue event registration by phone or fax.
I have been fortunate to work with a fantastic leadership team who worked hard on behalf of our members, and I want to give special recognition to those who are stepping down as officers or leaving the board. Stephanie Evans, my immediate predecessor as president, was instrumental in the launch of our new website last year, has been incredibly generous with her time and financial resources, and over the course of the year has provided me with wise counsel. I am happy to report that she will continue on the board in an ex officio capacity. As VP, Activities, for the past two years Amy Hanson, AB '92, has led the amazing revitalization of the Club's social, educational, and cultural program, which now has the breadth and depth to appeal to the range of members' interests. The board is awed and impressed by the accomplishments of her enthusiastic and innovative committee. Amy also oversaw the creation of the new website. Club Secretary Eric Behrens, AB '7 0, has been a tireless record keeper and, with his legal background, provided invaluable advice and was always the voice of reason. Both Amy and Eric will remain on the board for another year.
Wally Sleeth, the Harvard Alumni Association Regional Director, was a great source of advice and guidance. Wally has moved to Worcester, Massachusetts, but he returns frequently to the Bay Area to visit family, and I am sure that we will see him at Club events. Garrett Stone, MBA '67, and Rick Wales, AB '76, are retiring from the board after several years of dedicated service.
Our Annual Dinner on July 11th will mark the official transition to the next president of the HCSF, Spencer Rhodes, AB '00, MBA '04. Spencer came to us with stellar reviews from the Harvard Club of the United Kingdom, where he served as an executive committee member from 2000 to 2002 and was next in line to be president before he left London to attend to business school.
Spencer has assisted me immeasurably over the past year as the Club's President-elect. His business experience and level-headed advice were great resources for me, and the Club benefited from his boundless energy, earnestness, and willingness to try new ideas. The membership's needs were always uppermost in his mind and were central to his ideas and efforts. From long-range and strategic planning, to recruiting new board members and officers, to event organization, Spencer has proved his managerial and leadership abilities time and again. As organizer of the Ivy League Young Alum Mixer, he held three mixers that drew over 300 attendees each and engaged all seven of the other Ivy clubs in the city.
At Harvard College, Spencer was a Psychology concentrator in Eliot House and earned a Citation in German Language. After working in venture capital in London, he earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he served as chair of his section's social committee. Professionally, Spencer is a Vice President at Merrill Lynch and focuses on institutional investment management.
I am pleased to pass the leadership of the HCSF to Spencer.
Thank you for a memorable year, and best wishes.