TNS Panel Detail

Success in business is rarely a linear path up a corporate ladder. Curious about the variety of ways that business career paths unfold? The business panel and roundtables will provide insights on how professionals nimbly move through job changes within the same company and career changes from one company to another. Whether you start in finance, consulting, marketing, sales, or some other discipline, you will walk away with a better perspective as to how a career in business provides the flexibility to pursue many different endeavors.

Roundtable Participants

Larry Berlin, AB'89, MBA'94

Vice President, First Analysis

Larry Berlin traded options on the CBOE from high school through the completion of his MBA in 1994. In the interim, he received his bachelor's from The University of Chicago in european history. After completing his MBA from the Booth School in 1994, Mr. Berlin worked in investment banking for UBS in New York City. He then moved back to Chicago, and worked in Internet and consulting start-ups as a relationship manager and acting-CFO. He also designed an options trading game for Ameritrade. He has been with First Analysis since the millenium, where he is a partner in the venture capital funds and a sell side analyst focusing on financial information, phone billing and marketing services. He is also on the board of Incapital, a leading bond underwriter. He devotes time to biking, sailing, curling, and collecting books and is a member of the Alumni Board at the University.

Sean Callahan, AB'90, MBA'91, AB'90, MBA'91

President & CEO, iLight Technologies

Mr. Callahan is President & CEO of iLight Technologies (, an innovative LED lighting technology company. iLight has been listed on the Inc. 500 as one of the fastest growing companies and in 2013 iLight won the Chicago Innovation Award for its newly launched product, SpellBrite (, a click-together LED signage system that combines the striking impact of neon and the flexibility of print. Callahan has over 20 years of experience successfully developing and building companies. Prior to iLight, Callahan was an executive with several venture capital firms that managed over $1 billion of capital and successfully built companies in a variety of industries. Callahan received his AB in economics and MBA in finance from UChicago. He has served on the Boards of Directors of a number of companies, and is a member of several professional organizations, including the Young Presidents' Organization.

Kathy Comella Sullivan, MBA'86, BA (Boston College)

Senior Director Global Advancement, Physical Sciences Division

Ms. Sullivan is currently the Senior Director of Global Advancement at Chicago Booth, a position she has held since 2014. She is responsible for all international fund raising for Chicago Booth including a fund raising campaign in Hong Kong to support construction of a new campus building. Ms. Sullivan joined Chicago Booth in 2012 and initially led the individual giving team until she transitioned to lead global advancement. Ms. Sullivan has been with the University of Chicago since 2005 and headed up the development of pre-professional programs in the College and then was Director of Development in the Physical Sciences. Ms. Sullivan has 15 years of experience in commercial banking, most recently at the First National Bank of Chicago. She holds an MBA from Chicago Booth's full time program and received an undergraduate degree from Boston College.

Wayne Duan, AB'05, MBA'11 (Kellogg)

Director of Digital Commerce, Walgreens

Mr. Duan is currently the Director of Digital Commerce for Walgreens. He leads a merchant team that oversees all aspects of pricing, promotions and assortment strategies and focuses on delivering a best-in-class and seamless digital and omnichannel experience to Walgreens customers. Prior to this role, he managed various merchandising departments at Prior to joining Walgreens, he was a management consultant. He has also held merchandising and planning roles at Target and Banana Republic. He received his MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and received his AB from UChicago in political science and economics. While at UChicago, he was Captain of the University Fencing team and was the President of the Shoreland (decommissioned dormitory). He currently lives in Chicago but travels extensively to pursue his hobbies of mountain-climbing (including a recent scouting trip to Everest Base Camp) and whitewater kayaking.

William Florida, AB'87, AM'87, MPP Harvard Kennedy School, 1990

Vice President, Advisory Research, Inc.

Mr. Florida, CFA, is an equity analyst at Advisory Research, Inc., a Chicago-based investment manager. Prior to entering investment management, Mr. Florida spent thirteen years in Japan and Europe as an executive in pharmaceutical manufacturing firm. Previous to that, he served for three years as a Japanese commercial banker. Mr. Florida holds an AB in public policy and an AM in social science from the University of Chicago and an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School. Mr. Florida is fluent in Japanese and German.

Teresa Ging, AB'00

Owner, Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique

With a Bachelor's degree at the College in economics and statistics and a career in finance for 6+ years, owner Ms. Ging left her finance position to attend Le Cordon Bleu Patisserie program in Paris. In 2007, she launched the catering and delivery side of the business with 20+ cupcake flavors. In 2009, she opened Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique at 115 N Wabash in the Downtown Chicago Loop and in 2016, she opened Sugar Bliss Patisserie at the Palmer House Hilton at 122 S Wabash. In addition, she has received numerous awards since opening Sugar Bliss including Best New Business in 2010 from the City Treasurer's Office/City of Chicago and Rising Star Award in 2011 from the Women's Business Development Center, as well as has been invited by President Obama to attend the signing of the White House Council on Women & Girls.

Rob Harris, AB'96, SM'08, MLA'01 (Washington)

Principal Consultant, Slalom

Mr. Harris graduated from the College in 1996 with a degree in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. After a brief stint in the PhD program and summers spent excavating in the Middle East, he decided to switch gears and start a graduate program in Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington. Upon graduating with his MLA in 2001, he began a career in environmental planning and geographic information systems. He returned to UChicago for an MS in Computer Science in 2008, and since then has been a product manager at start-ups and technology companies in Chicago. Currently, he is a Principal Consultant at Slalom, where he helps his clients create capabilities for product management and agile software development. His wife is an Associate Dean in the College, and their daughter is a second grader at Lab.

Lloyd Holzman, MBA'06

VP, Inventory and Supplier Performance, Grainger

Mr. Holzman has worked at Grainger since 2012 and is currently the VP of Inventory and Supplier Performance. Prior to Grainger, he worked at The Boston Consulting Group for six years, most recently as a Principal. He received an MBA from the Booth School of Business and BS Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois.

Philip Lao, AB'02, MBA'08

Director, Business Development, Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Mr. Lao currently works at Takeda Pharmaceuticals where he is a Director in the Global Business Development team. Prior to joining Takeda, he worked at Pfizer Inc. and Novartis AG in various Business Development and Mergers & Acquisitions roles. He started his career in the Healthcare Investment Banking team at Deutsche Bank and has an AB and MBA from the University of Chicago.

George Savvas, AB'07, SM'08

Technical Product Manager, Groupon

Mr. Savvas graduated from the College in 2007 with a degree in math and economics. In 2008 he graduated again, receiving a Masters degree in statistics. After graduation, he joined Enova International as a product manager. In 2016, after several successful launches of web-based financial products, he left Enova for Groupon, where he continues to work as a product manager.

Kate Volzer, AB'09, MBA'14

CEO, Wisr

Ms. Volzer began her career in higher education administration working in a combination of admissions and career services roles at the University of Chicago. She was a part of the team that grew admissions numbers from 14,000 to applications over 30,000 while improving student yield to over 65%. While in career services her team was responsible for leveraging corporate partners and parents to find career opportunities for students. Upon receiving her MBA, Kate left her role at UChicago and accepted a position as VP Business Development at DecisionDesk which is an admissions software company based in Lakewood, OH. As a member of the leadership team, she was responsible for strategic partnerships with industry giants and enterprise sales opportunities in the midwest and northeast. Kate is passionate about helping students find success in their pursuit of higher education which was the catalyst for launching Wisr.

Akira Yamaguchi, AB'99

Senior Director, Corporate Porfolio Management, CME Group Inc.

Mr. Yamaguchi is presently Senior Director, Corporate Portfolio Management at CME Group Inc., where he supports senior leadership return maximization across corporate project investments and connects the larger organization to executive decisions and priorities. Prior to CMEG, Mr. Yamaguchi held a variety of product, project, and analysis roles in consulting, software, electronic brokerage, and trading environments. In his free time, he enjoys competing in and coaching Ultimate Frisbee up to the international/World Championship level. Mr. Yamaguchi graduated from the College in 1999 with a degree in Economics. While in the College, he was a proud member of Henderson House and involved in his residence house, intramural sports, MUNUC, Alpha Phi Omega, and Club Ultimate.