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Honoring an Extraordinary Alumnus
Guest Writer: Sonja Hongisto Bowman ‘91
Chair, Alumni Awards Committee

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The Graduate School of Management’s 9th Annual Peer-to-Pier gathering in San Francisco last month drew alumni, students, faculty and members of the northern California business community. We came together to share memories, exchange business cards, hear Professor Kim Elsbach’s latest insight into effective management—and honor a very special member of the GSM alumni community.

Mark Otero ’07 graciously accepted the GSM Alumni Association’s 2012 awards for both Distinguished Achievement and Outstanding Service. An extraordinarily successful entrepreneur, Mark is the founder and former CEO of KlickNation. At the end of 2011 he sold KlickNation to Electronic Arts for a reported $35 million; he is now general manager, studio at EA/BioWare, overseeing Electronic Arts’ social network gaming division. At the podium, Mark shared the challenges he faced in building KlickNation’s success and encouraged us all to follow our dreams.  

Mark has been generous in giving back to the GSM—sharing both his time and expertise, as well as financial support. Most recently, he made a significant, multi-year major gift pledge to name a space in Gallagher Hall and to support faculty research in marketing and entrepreneurship. If you were unable to attend Peer-to-Pier, please take a moment to learn more about Mark Otero.

Each year the Alumni Association identifies alumni who have distinguished themselves in their professional career and in their exemplary service to the Graduate School of Management. 
 
Distinguished Achievement Award recipients demonstrate tremendous achievement in their careers. They embody our values, demonstrating:
●      Exemplary leadership and work ethic in their professional life;
●      Financial support and service to the School and/or to the local, national and/or international community;
●      Ability to overcome adversity in their life and career.
 
Outstanding Service Award recipients have:
●      Made an impact on the Graduate School of Management (e.g., through both volunteering and financial support);
●      Been a true advocate and champion of the School;
●      Made a quality contribution in advancing the School’s vision.
 
On behalf of the Alumni Association board of directors, I would like to thank the 2011–12 Alumni Awards Committee. Selecting the award recipients is no easy task, as the School has a great many accomplished alumni. The process requires dedicated time from our volunteer committee members to review qualified candidates and determine the year’s winners.  

We are already gearing up for next year’s awards, and need your help in identifying candidates. If you or a former classmate possesses the above qualifications, please let us know.   
 
Thank you for your support and, again, congratulations to Mark!
 
Sonja Hongisto Bowman ‘91
Chair, Alumni Awards Committee
Graduate School of Management Alumni Association
Distinguished Achievement Award Winner, 2003–2004

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