The Wharton Club of the Triangle: A New Club Takes Flight
Raleigh, NC, and the surrounding area have a thriving, deep-rooted tradition of collegiate sports—most famously, ACC basketball. Unfortunately, the technology sector employers in nearby Research Triangle Park have not fared as well as the college sports teams. The resulting downsizing and closings have made the area a transient one, with families coming and going at a rapid pace. This turnover had made it difficult to establish a Club in the so-called Triangle area. For those who wanted to get involved, the nearest Club was over two hours away in Charlotte.
Then in the spring of 2004, several Wharton grads got together to discuss starting a local Alumni Club. It was obvious from the first gathering that, although the Triangle area was a mid-tier metropolitan area with only a few hundred Wharton alumni, there was plenty of interest and excitement in establishing a Club. So soon after a few planning meetings and brainstorming, the Wharton Club of the Triangle was born.
Sanctioned in July 2004, the Club has gotten off to a fast start. Led by Kevin Brimhall, WG’93, and a steering committee of fellow alumni, the Club has put together a strong slate of events. Social events have included happy hours at local establishments, including a coffeehouse owned by Gray Medlin, WG’80; a cooking class at a classic Italian eatery; and a wine tasting and “Wine 101” discussion at a wine shop owned by Bill O’Neill, WG’94. The summer was highlighted by a discussion with Jason Santamaria, WG’01, about his book The Marine Corps Way. In the fall, Dr. David Hughes, WG’60, a retired professor of Marketing at Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC-Chapel Hill, led a fun and interactive session on a creative problem-solving methodology that is applicable to all aspects of one’s life, work, and family. In December, Club members gathered at the NC Food Bank to sort food and help fight hunger during the holiday season.
The Club is also building networks with other alumni clubs. Jason Santamaria and Aron Lelental, WG’88, worked with the clubs of Harvard, Stanford, Duke’s Fuqua, UNC’s Kenan-Flagler, Yale, and NC State to form the Triangle MBA Alumni Association (TMBAAA).
While “Wharton Club only” events will continue, they will be augmented by TMBAAA functions. Recent events included a dinner with a speaker on the topic of Paying the Human Costs of War, and a case discussion on South African breweries.
If you are moving to or visiting the Raleigh area, please drop a line to <email@example.com> for info about the Club’s upcoming events. You can also visit the Club online at <www.wharton.upenn.edu/alumniclubs/triangle/>.
– Kevin Brimhall, WG’93, President, Wharton Club of the Triangle
“Not Ready for PGA Players” Tee Off in Pittsburgh
When we got back in touch with Wharton alumni in Western Pennsylvania to start our new club, we discovered that one of us owns a public course near Pittsburgh. And since Wharton grads and golf go together like…well, Bill Gates and money, we decided immediately to organize the First Annual Western Pennsylvania Wharton Golf Outing on June 16. We teed off after work at the Marada Golf Course in Clinton, PA, owned and managed by Deborah and Evans Crawford, W’75. The course is nine holes (yardage 3090, par 35).
Players included: Melvin Steals, W’92, Jeff Smith, WG’96, David Hopkins, WG’02, Greg Wissinger, W’00, Wes Posvar, WG’74, Jonathan Kaufman, WG’04, John Vogel, C’83, Alexandra Hendrickson, WG’79, and Andy Behrends, Associate Director, Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving.
Playing Best Ball raised the competitive stakes: “Neither Mel (Steals) nor I shoot under 100 individually, but in the Best Ball format, we shot a 42,” said David Hopkins. “We were able to hang with Greg Wissinger and Jeff Smith for about five holes. But we triple bogeyed the sixth hole and that set us back.”
The course won rave reviews. “It compares favorably with Pinehurst and Oakmont,” said Greg Wissinger. “Seriously, it’s a great course for learners who are uncomfortable with the pressure of an 18-hole course. The greens are very good. It’s the best nine-hole course in the area.”
Players found the number 3 and 6 holes to be especially challenging. “The number 3 par 5 forces you to ‘thread a needle’ through the trees off the tee box, then dog leg hard left with over 220 yards uphill to the green.” said Jeff Smith. “It’s a ‘no gimme’ par 5.”
“I like the number 6 par 3 over the big ravine,” said Greg. “Holes like that are good because they are visually interesting and a challenge.” Deborah Evans Crawford had not kept in touch with fellow alumni since she graduated.
Hosting the outing changed her mind. “This was a lot more fun than I ever imagined,” she said. After the game, over fried chicken and beer at the golf pavilion, we decided that we need more practice before we try out for the PGA, so we will definitely run this event again next year. Come join us!
– Alexandra Hendrickson WG’79
Ringing in Success: Wharton Business Plan Competition Winners Chosen NASDAQ Opening Bell Ringers,Welcomed by Wharton Club of New York
The Wharton Business Plan Competition Grand Prize Winners for 2005— Jonathan Goodspeed, WG’05, and Dhaval Gosalia, SEAS’05, (front row, fourth from right) — were honored by NASDAQ as Opening Bell Ringers on June 27, 2005. In the photo, they are joined in New York’s Times Square by members of the Wharton Club of New York, as well as family members and staff of Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, which co-manages the Competition.
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