Search the Bulletin

3. Get Down to Business

38a_trolley.jpgBAY-AREA BUSINESSES
The idea for a Swarthmore business group in the San Francisco Bay Area took root in fall 2009 during the depths of the recession. In January 2010, more than 75 Swarthmoreans attended its inaugural event at the San Francisco Friends School. Swarthmore College Bay Area Alumni in Business (BAAB) piggybacked its opening meeting on a Swarthmore Connections event, featuring Professor of Economics Mark Kuperberg.

“Several of us were getting calls for career advice and about job openings,” says Sohail Bengali ’79, “and thought it would be a good idea to have a professional business group in the Bay Area.” He joined Bay Area residents Gus Alverelli ’00, Seth Brenzel ’94, Harold “Koof” Kalkstein ’78, and Autumn Quinn ’04 in launching the BAAB with the goal of helping alumni grow their professional networks and share ideas, insights, and opportunities from their collective business experiences.

With a list of more than 200 interested alumni and the ongoing help of the Alumni Relations Office, the group is preparing for its fourth panel discussion this fall, which will focus on the creative arts and digital media.

Previous panel discussions, featuring alumni presenters, have included Asset and Wealth Management—an Insider’s View; Entrepreneurship in Technology; and Life Sciences: Facing the Challenges of Doing Well, While Doing Good. More than 45 alumni attended each event.

Interested alumni can contact Bengali at


The Lax Conference on Entrepreneurship, supported by a bequest from the late Jonathan Lax ’71, has brought alumni, students, and friends of the College together for a day of panels and roundtable discussions each spring since 1999. Recent conference themes have included Social Entrepreneurship and Sailing in Any Wind: Risk and the Entrepreneur. Co-sponsored by the Offices of Alumni Relations and Career Services, the Lax Conference is free and open to the public. The 2012 Lax Conference will be held on March 18.

• Alumni business-interest social-networking sites are gaining popularity. H.G. Chissell IV ’96—director of strategic development with Viridity Energy, a smart-grid energy company, and former alumni representative on the Swarthmore Sustainability Committee—initiated the Swarthmore Sustainability Network on LinkedIn. With 133 members currently and still growing, the group discusses general and College-related sustainability issues. Interested in joining? Just search for “Swarthmore sustainability” on LinkedIn.

Comments are closed.