Congratulations 2016-17 GSM Alumni Association Award Winners
Recognizing Rew Ikazaki MAD 87 and Roger Halualani MBA 91

Established in 2003, each year the Alumni Association recognizes two GSM graduates who embrace our core values of passionate, energetic leadership, and a continued advocacy of team building and service. We announced and honored our 2016-17 winners at the 14th annual Peer-to-Pier signature event in San Francisco.

2016-17 Distinguished Alumni Award: Rew Ikazaki MAD 87

An accomplished professional, Ikazaki has worked his way up the corporate ladder. He recently left an integral role as chief counsel at Tesla, where he helped lead the innovative company’s legal team while it was in startup mode, pushing boundaries in design and performance that helped to deliver its all-electric Model S sedan.  

Ikazaki has negotiated and drafted complex commercial and technology agreements (licenses – hardware/software; joint development; manufacturing; service/support), and has led the products, technology and IP due diligence and post-close integration in M&A transactions. Early in his career, Ikazaki worked in Tokyo for five years, serving as foreign counsel at a Japanese law firm and later joining the legal department of Japan’s second-largest diversified ink and chemical manufacturer.  

His career has taken many paths, and each one helped bring depth and experience in multiple business units and engineering teams, which exposed him to different areas of law. He has worked for an impressive list of technology companies from around the world, and has matured into a seasoned and savvy lawyer. During his 11 years at Sun Microsystems he learned that career advancement is about slices of “PIE”: Performance, Image and Exposure.  

As he progressed in his career, Ikazaki learned that even perfect performance and image don’t guarantee success, and that exposure to different skills and team members was crucial to his advancement. At Sun, he was able to work with a new group every few years and by the end of his tenure there, he had worked with multiple business units and engineering teams, which exposed him to different areas of law.

More importantly, Ikazaki said, changing groups increased his exposure across the organization so more people could “vouch” for him—which naturally built his professional network. In fact, his entry into Tesla was facilitated by one of his former Sun colleagues.

In addition to his MAD, Ikazaki received a J.D. from UC Davis in 1987—he completed his graduate degrees concurrently—and has a B.A. in economics from UCLA.

2016-17 Distinguished Service Award: Roger Halualani MBA 91

Halualani is principal/partner at Halualani & Associates/Epiphany Partners Inc. He has given generously and consistently to support and grow the Graduate School of Management. His engagement with the School includes serving as a GSM Alumni Association board member for five years (2011–2016), including as board president from 2013-–2015.

He joined the Dean’s Advisory Council in July 2016, and is the GSM’s Dean’s Advisory Council liaison to the UC Davis Foundation Trustee’s Global Campaign Leadership Council.

Halualani has served as a class ambassador, annually soliciting his classmates to support their alma mater, since 2010. He has supported the new M.S. in Business Analytics program, and in 2015/16 served on the GSM Dean’s Search Committee at the request of UC Davis Provost Ralph Hexter.

Halualani has shared his knowledge of business validation with scientists, researchers, students and others seeking to commercialize their work at our entrepreneurship academies. 

In 2013 he made a lasting impact on the School with a multi-year, $25,000 gift to establish the Halualani Fund for Curricular Innovation and to support the Integrated Management Projects and Articulation and Critical Thinking (IMPACT) curriculum for MBA students . Two years later Halualani established the Graduate School of Management Alumni Association Board of Directors Fund with a $30,000 multi-year gift to support the priorities and ongoing activities of the GSMAA board of directors.