2004 Reunion Wrap-Up
Reunion chairs Carly Rush and Jackie Bello, daughter of retired English teacher Judy Bello, organized two amazing events to coincide with Alumni Day and Thanksgiving weekend. The Class kicked off the weekend with a get-together in the private area of Clarendon’s O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub, hung out at Alumni Day, and got down to true reunion business on Saturday night.
The Saturday evening Main Event was held at the Josephine Butler Parks Center, a Renaissance-revival mansion that won Best of D.C.’s Best Wedding Venue for 2014. The mansion, located alongside DC’s Meridian Hill Park near U Street Metro station, was packed with happy alums dressed their best and enjoying hors d’oeuvres, desserts, an open bar, music, photos, and plenty of catching up (photos at right).
The fired-up Class of 2004 surely set the standard for 10th reunion attendance. They’re also an impressive group, with accomplishments in all areas, from service to athletics.
Alumni to Watch
Joyce Meng: While a student at the University of Pennsylvania, Meng founded Givology, a 100% volunteer-run online giving marketplace for education. With seventeen chapters around the world, Givology links interested donors to initiatives such as teacher training, library construction, and textbook purchases.
In addition to serving as CEO of Givology since its founding six years ago, Meng is a co-founder of Generation Enterprise, a non-profit aimed at teaching low-income youth the skills they need to launch their own businesses, and a co-founder of Vernier Capital, a global hedge fund. Meng, recognized by Forbes magazine as one of its “30 under 30 in Education” for 2014, is also one of eight TJ graduates to study at the University of Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship.
Nick Meyer: Meyer is co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Sup, an iPhone app which lets users direct — by swiping or using other cues — a ten-second video in which their friend, at the other end of the phone, is the lead actor.
An earlier app co-founded by Meyer, Milewise, was acquired by Yahoo in May, 2013. The app, which helped serious travelers find the least expensive flights — whether they were paying cash or using frequent flyer miles — was dissolved when the leadership team joined Yahoo’s NYC office where Meyer met his Sup co-founders.
Meyer is known in tech circles as one of four ’04 alums who created the massively multiplayer online strategy game Kings of Chaos in their junior year at TJ. The others are Rocco Repetski (DC area engineer), Ben Gelb (hardware engineer at Google), and Aman Gupta (VP of Technical Infrastructure at GitHub).
Kathryn Minshew: Minshew is founder and CEO of The Muse, a website that serves as a career-development platform for millenials and digital natives, with job postings, online classes, an inside look at companies that are hiring, and The Daily Muse, its daily publication.
Named twice to Forbes’ “30 under 30 in Media” and to Inc.’s “15 Women to Watch in Tech,” Minshew has appeared on The TODAY Show and CNN, and contributes to the Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. Before founding The Muse, she was a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. and worked on bringing vaccines to Rwanda and Malawi as part of the Clinton Health Access Initiative.
Vlad Tenev: With his Stanford roommate, Tenev co-founded Robinhood, an iPhone app available since December, 2014 that allows individuals to invest in publicly traded companies without paying a commission. The company, which has raised over $16 million in start-up capital, has been covered widely in the financial press for its disruptive potential and ability to bring younger, less wealthy investors into the market.
The pair’s first financial services start-up, Celeris, allowed them to apply their significant quantitative skills — Tenev was working towards his PhD in math at the time — to perfecting trading algorithms. Their second, Chronos Research, worked with major investment banks.
Chris Mocko: Product Editor at Square, Inc., former Product Manager at Intuit and creator of a successful Facebook app, Mocko is best known for his athletic feats. In 2012 Mashable named him one of the “35 Fittest People in Tech.”
A Division I cross-country and track standout at Stanford, Mocko is one of the nation’s elite distance runners. With wins at the Oakland Marathon (2012), Napa Valley Marathon (2011 & 2012, 2nd in 2014), and San Francisco Half-Marathon (2013 & 2014) under his belt, he is currently training for the 2016 Olympic trials.
Neil Arora: Fluent in Mandarin, Arora has lived and worked in Beijing since 2009. Currently President of Momi Bay Group, which focuses on US/China investment opportunities, he was previously Vice President at CSC Group, where he was the sole Westerner and the youngest vice president in the history of the $10 billion, 600-person Chinese private equity fund, one of the largest in China.
Gary Shambat: Shambat, who earned his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford on a National Science Foundation Fellowship, has developed both extremely low power lasers and extremely high-speed LEDs, and demonstrated for the first time sophisticated optical devices operating inside biological cells for sensing applications. Shambat, who now works for a Bay Area tech start-up, has seen his research featured in wired.com, Forbes magazine, and the SF Chronicle.
Dan Shin: CEO of Ticket Monster, one of South Korea’s biggest online businesses, Shin was featured in the last issue of this newsletter (see December 2014).
Harry Lee: Read about his recently released documentary in TJ Students/Alums in the News.
Alumni Day in Brief
Drawn by the chance to visit their old hangouts for the last time and the exciting opportunity to tour the brand new Research Lab Wing and Chemistry/Geosystems Wing, 170 alumni descended upon their alma mater on the Saturday after Thanksgiving for the annual Alumni Day.
Alumni learned who they had chosen as this year’s Alumni Stars and which teachers they had elected into the TJ Teacher Hall of Fame (below). There were boxed lunches and TJ logo merchandise, courtesy of Colonial Athletic Boosters, available for purchase. As always, the main attraction, in addition to the new labs, was the faculty who showed up and, of course, each other.
Teacher Hall of Fame
Dr. Omar Acio (2012)
Mr. Luc Beeckman, ret. (2013)
Mr. Gerry Berry, ret. (2012)
Dr. Paul Cammer, ret. (2013)
Ms. Genevieve Delfosse (2014)
Dr. John Dell (2012)
Ms. Pat Gabriel, ret. (2013)
Ms. Carolyn Gecan, ret. (2012)
Ms. Pat Groves, ret. (2012)
Ms. Jane Gullickson, ret. (2012)
Ms. Lee Ann Hennig (2014)
Mr. Jim Jarvis, ret. (2013)
Mr. Jay Lamb, ret. (2012)
Dr. John Liebermann, ret. (2014)
Mr. Don Majeske, ret. (2012)
Mr. Patrick McCarthy, ret. (2012)
Mr. Dennis McFaden, ret. (2012)
Mr. Ed Montgomery, ret. (2013)
Ms. Barbara Nelson, ret. (2012)
Ms. Mary O’Brien, ret. (2014)
Dr. Jonathan Osborne (2014)
Mr. Jim Rose, ret. (2013)
Ms. Bettie Stegall, ret. (2013)
Mr. John Struck (2013)
Mr. Michael Stueben (2012)
Dr. Shane Torbert (2014)
Ms. Milde Waterfall, ret. (2013)