Tag: Alumni

Olin Business School honored four recent Olin alumni with the Emerging Leader Award on April 22. The honorees exemplify leadership, innovative thinking and vision. We recognized them for their service to Olin, thought leadership, business acumen and impact.

From top left clockwise: David Eckstein, Beth Frattura, Ryan Rakestraw, Jimmy Sansone Jr.

David Eckstein, BSBA ’09

David Eckstein is the chief financial officer of Menlo Security, a Series E cybersecurity company. In his role, he oversees all matters relating to finance, accounting, human resources and legal. During his tenure at Menlo, he has raised over $200 million across three rounds of financing.

In addition to his role at Menlo Security, Eckstein is a scout for Sequoia Capital, where he has made more than 50 investments across seed and Series A companies. He is also the sole GP of Eckstein Capital, an $8M mid-stage investment fund.

Previously, he was head of finance for Cisco Cloud Security, via its $635 million acquisition of OpenDNS, where he had served as senior director of finance. Before OpenDNS, Eckstein was a senior finance manager at Box, where he focused on corporate finance, capital markets, investor relations and treasury. He also has worked as a technology, media and telecommunications banker at Barclays in New York.

Eckstein obtained his BSBA from Olin and his MSc in finance from the London School of Economics. He lives in New York with his wife and two sons.

Elizabeth Frattura, EMBA ’16

Beth Frattura has spent the past 15 years with Morgan Stanley as a financial adviser for high-net-worth clients, helping them create a roadmap for their future and manage their complex financial affairs amidst ever-changing circumstances. As a certified financial planner and senior portfolio manager, she provides comprehensive advice on investment management, retirement planning, tax strategies, employee benefits, insurance and risk management. Her practice is based on implementing the best actions and strategies available to help her clients prepare for retirement and reach other financial goals.

She holds a BS in business administration from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) and an MBA from Olin. She has been featured in the St. Louis Business Journal as a recipient of the NABCAP Top St. Louis Wealth Managers Award and as a 30 Under 30 Honoree in 2014. Frattura also received St. Louis Magazine’s FIVESTAR Wealth Manager Award in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

After struggling with infertility, in 2020 she founded a nonprofit, the Stork Foundation for Infertility. Its mission is to provide financial grants to low-resource couples who require costly medical infertility treatments to conceive a child. A strong advocate for education, she also serves on the board of directors for the SIUE Foundation and Endowment.

She resides in Edwardsville, Illinois, with her husband, Todd, and their two children, Mary and Ellis.

Ryan Rakestraw, MBA ’13

Ryan Rakestraw is a director at Temasek International, where he focuses on making venture capital investments in early-stage food and agriculture companies. Given the importance of innovation necessary to feed a growing global population, to support better nutrition and to increase the sustainability of global agricultural production, Rakestraw seeks to back promising entrepreneurs and teams that can profitably address these needs with new technologies and business models.

Previously, he was an early-stage investor with Monsanto Growth Ventures, Cultivation Capital and the Yield Lab, which he helped to found. Earlier in his career, Rakestraw was a systems engineer with Northrop Grumman, where he helped design and implement military platforms ranging from undersea to space applications.

He holds a BS in electrical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a Master of Science in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins and an MBA from Olin.

Jimmy Sansone Jr., BSBA ’10

Jimmy Sansone Jr. started The Normal Brand clothing company with the help of his family in 2015. He was quickly joined by his brothers, and they own and run it together equally.

He grew up in a big family that always encouraged an entrepreneurial spirit; both his mother and father run their own businesses. He inherited his love of clothes from his father and grandfather, the sharpest men he’s ever met.

Sansone graduated from Olin with a BSBA in finance and played football for Coach Larry Kindbom.




Olin Business School is proud to honor four recent Olin alumni with the Emerging Leader Award. These honorees exemplify leadership, innovative thinking and vision. We are recognizing them for their service to Olin, thought leadership, business acumen and impact. An awards luncheon is on Friday, April 22. Register here.

David Eckstein, BSBA ’09

David Eckstein is the chief financial officer of Menlo Security, a Series E cybersecurity company. In his role, he oversees all matters relating to finance, accounting, human resources and legal. During his tenure at Menlo, he has raised over $200 million across three rounds of financing.

In addition to his role at Menlo Security, Eckstein is a scout for Sequoia Capital, where he has made more than 50 investments across seed and Series A companies. He is also the sole GP of Eckstein Capital, an $8M mid-stage investment fund.

Previously, he was head of finance for Cisco Cloud Security, via its $635 million acquisition of OpenDNS, where he had served as senior director of finance. Before OpenDNS, Eckstein was a senior finance manager at Box, where he focused on corporate finance, capital markets, investor relations and treasury. He also has worked as a technology, media and telecommunications banker at Barclays in New York.

Eckstein obtained his BSBA from Olin and his MSc in finance from the London School of Economics. He lives in New York with his wife and two sons.

Elizabeth Frattura, EMBA ’16

Beth Frattura has spent the past 15 years with Morgan Stanley as a financial adviser for high-net-worth clients, helping them create a roadmap for their future and manage their complex financial affairs amidst ever-changing circumstances. As a certified financial planner and senior portfolio manager, she provides comprehensive advice on investment management, retirement planning, tax strategies, employee benefits, insurance and risk management. Her practice is based on implementing the best actions and strategies available to help her clients prepare for retirement and reach other financial goals.

She holds a BS in business administration from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) and an MBA from Olin. She has been featured in the St. Louis Business Journal as a recipient of the NABCAP Top St. Louis Wealth Managers Award and as a 30 Under 30 Honoree in 2014. Frattura also received St. Louis Magazine’s FIVESTAR Wealth Manager Award in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

After struggling with infertility, in 2020 she founded a nonprofit, the Stork Foundation for Infertility. Its mission is to provide financial grants to low-resource couples who require costly medical infertility treatments to conceive a child. A strong advocate for education, she also serves on the board of directors for the SIUE Foundation and Endowment.

She resides in Edwardsville, Illinois, with her husband, Todd, and their two children, Mary and Ellis.

Ryan Rakestraw, MBA ’13

Ryan Rakestraw is a director at Temasek International, where he focuses on making venture capital investments in early-stage food and agriculture companies. Given the importance of innovation necessary to feed a growing global population, to support better nutrition and to increase the sustainability of global agricultural production, Rakestraw seeks to back promising entrepreneurs and teams that can profitably address these needs with new technologies and business models.

Previously, he was an early-stage investor with Monsanto Growth Ventures, Cultivation Capital and the Yield Lab, which he helped to found. Earlier in his career, Rakestraw was a systems engineer with Northrop Grumman, where he helped design and implement military platforms ranging from undersea to space applications.

He holds a BS in electrical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a Master of Science in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins and an MBA from Olin.

Jimmy Sansone Jr., BSBA ’10

Jimmy Sansone Jr. started The Normal Brand clothing company with the help of his family in 2015. He was quickly joined by his brothers, and they own and run it together equally.

He grew up in a big family that always encouraged an entrepreneurial spirit; both his mother and father run their own businesses. He inherited his love of clothes from his father and grandfather, the sharpest men he’s ever met.

Sansone graduated from Olin with a BSBA in finance and played football for Coach Larry Kindbom.

Pictured clockwise from top left: David Eckstein, Beth Frattura, Ryan Rakestraw, Jimmy Sansone Jr.




Olin Business School will honor four distinguished alumni on Friday, April 22, at a morning panel discussion and an evening celebration, both of which are open to the greater Olin community to attend. Register here for the morning panel discussion and here for the evening celebration.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is a tradition—now in its 35th year—in which Olin recognizes the accomplishments of our outstanding alumni who have become leaders in their community and have attained distinction in their careers. Those who are honored embody the core values of vision, innovation and leadership and have each made a positive impact on business and the communities in which they live. 

Chuck Cohn, BSBA ’08

Chuck Cohn is the founder and CEO of Nerdy (Varsity Tutors). Nerdy is a leading direct-to-consumer platform for live online learning. The company offers a comprehensive online learning destination that enables the delivery of scaled, high-quality, live instruction for learners of all ages across more than 3,000 subjects. Through its flagship business, Varsity Tutors, the company delivered over 4.7 million hours of live learning in 2020 across multiple learning formats including one-on-one instruction, small group classes, large format group classes and adaptive self-study. Since the start of the pandemic, Nerdy has helped over 500,000 students access free online classes.

Cohn has a BSBA in finance and entrepreneurship from Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis and lives in St. Louis, with his wife and children. He serves on the board of the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Washington University and on the leadership council of the Danforth Plant Science Center.

Jeff Davis, PMBA ’95

Jeff Davis is chairman and chief executive officer for Perficient, a leading global digital consultancy. He leads daily business operations and directs the development and execution of the company’s global growth strategy and initiatives. Davis joined the company as chief operating officer in 2001. He was promoted to president in 2003 and was named chief executive officer and appointed to the board of directors in 2009.

Davis has a strong technology management and consulting background, with a blend of nearly 30 years of experience working at Big Four as well as entrepreneurial firms. Leading a team of tenured executives, he oversees all Perficient business groups and functional disciplines, including marketing, sales and client delivery. He has played a central role in Perficient’s dramatic growth, managing the company’s organic expansion and leading Perficient’s M&A program, including the integration and assimilation of acquired businesses.

Under his leadership, Perficient consistently delivers operating metrics among the industry’s best, and has grown into a leading healthcare consulting and strategy firm. Named the sixth-largest healthcare IT consulting firm by Modern Healthcare in 2020, Perficient supports many of the most prominent health organizations in the U.S., including nine of the 10 largest healthcare providers and the five largest health insurance plans.

Perficient has been routinely recognized by technology partners and industry organizations with high-profile growth and performance awards, including being named a 2020 Microsoft Health Innovation Award Winner for enabling personalized care.

During Davis’ tenure, Perficient has grown to nearly 4,500 colleagues and $600 million in annual revenue, transitioned from the Nasdaq SmallCap Market to the Nasdaq Global Select market, and has been added to both the Russell and S&P SmallCap 600 indexes.

Jill Ackerman Jones, EMBA ’06

Jill Ackerman Jones has over 20 years of experience in multiple disciplines and functions at the EVP, SVP and VP level. Her widespread experience spans regional leadership roles of domestic and international regions, global production and supply chain leadership, and finance leadership roles.

Her most recent position was EVP for Brown-Forman Corp., president of North America, CCSA (Caribbean and Central and South America), IMEA (India, Middle East and Africa) and GTR (Global Travel Retail).

Jones was a member of the CEO’s Executive Leadership team, where she was a strategic partner to the CEO, participating in the establishment of a clearly defined vision, goals and action plans with the objective of maximizing growth, profit and ROIC.

In her EVP, regional leadership role, which encompassed all sales and marketing efforts for the regions she oversaw, Jones directed strategic work for key geographies within her region and was responsible for attainment of short-term and long-term financial and operational goals. Her regions were responsible for delivering approximately two-thirds of the company’s net sales and gross profit.

Jones is a board of manager for Breakthru Beverage Group, one of the top three beverage alcohol distributors in the United States and is a prior board of director for First Beverage Group, a private equity company, and on civic boards and trade boards including the National Association of Manufacturers, Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, Family & Children’s Place and the Louisville Ballet.

Marie Winters, MBA ’81

Marie Winters, CFA, CAIA, is a senior vice president for Northern Trust Asset Management with $1.3 trillion of assets under management. She leads a research team supporting high yield and investment grade corporate bond portfolios. Additionally, she oversees sustainable investing initiatives for Northern’s Fixed Income group globally.

Winters began her career at JPMorgan Chase, where she served as a leader and participant in new departments and initiatives for high yield securities, distressed investing, and M&A due diligence.

She is the recent president and a current executive officer of Chicago Finance Exchange, a professional organization for senior executive women in finance. At present, she serves as a member of CFA Institute’s Education Advisory Committee, a global committee of senior investment practitioners that advises the institute on criteria for credentialing CFA candidates. Additionally, Winters is a former chair and executive officer of CFA Society Chicago. In 2019, Crain’s Chicago recognized her as one of the Notable Women in Finance. She earned her MBA in finance and economics at Olin and her BA in mathematics at Knox College.

Pictured clockwise from top left: Chuck Cohn, Jeff Davis, Jill Ackerman Jones, Marie Winters




Nate Maslak, BSBA ’11, and the company he cofounded and leads—Ribbon Health—landed a $43.5 million Series B investment in November.

General Catalyst led the investment with participation from new and current investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, BoxGroup, Rock Health and Sachin Jain.

The funding is a big deal. “This funding will enable us to accelerate and scale Ribbon Health, creating even more value for our partners with exceptional talent and technology. We will expand our reach across health plans, provider organizations, and digital health solutions,” according to an announcement on Ribbon’s website.

“Ultimately, Ribbon will become the connective tissue that allows patients to find the care they need across any touchpoint in the healthcare system.” 

The company had secured three earlier seed funding rounds. The Series A $10.25 million round led by Andreessen closed on February 27, 2020.

“Nate was a rock star entrepreneurship student as an undergrad at Olin,” former Olin entrepreneurship professor Cliff Holekamp said at that time. “His success is no surprise.”

Cofounders meet in grad school

As the story goes, Maslak and Ribbon cofounder Nate Fox met at Harvard Business School. Both wanted to help family members find the care they needed. That’s because both had watched parents and grandparents endure tests and unhelpful referrals, while spending thousands. They decided to try to help.

In 2016, they launched HealthWiz. HealthWiz evolved to Ribbon to provide patients with a seamless way to navigate healthcare across checking symptoms, researching conditions, finding doctors and estimating costs of care.

The issue became clear. As they helped clients find doctors, according to Ribbon’s website, the team discovered the doctor-data-problem. It included wrong phone numbers, old addresses, out-of-network doctors and physicians who no longer practiced.

Data flaws at the root

Data on medical providers, including address and phone number, are only 48% accurate, according to a press release from Ribbon.

The flaws directly affect patients who want to compare procedure prices. As it turned out, one in three patients were skipping care due to cost concerns. Therefore, “there is a critical need for accurate data on providers, specialties, and insurance that takes price transparency and quality into account.”

Consumers can easily find the address for a local restaurant, Maslak said. The same can’t be said for patients. They might be looking for a phone number to make an appointment for a critical MRI. Or they might want to confirm they are seeing a clinician who is in-network and of high quality. Malslak wants “no unexpected costs associated with their care visit.”

Ribbon’s application programming interface (API) delivers data across providers, insurance, conditions and procedures treated. Plus it supplies cost and quality metrics.

Ribbon has raised a total of $55 million in funding, according to the press release.




Eisenbarth

Rebekah “Beka” Eisenbarth, a 2001 Olin MBA graduate in finance and strategy, has been appointed president and COO of H-P Products. The manufacturer of engineered tube products and central vacuum systems is based in Louisville, Ohio. The promotion will take effect June 30.

“Beka is an exceptional leader with the vision necessary to take H-P to new heights,” H-P Products’ Chairman and CEO Paul Bishop said in a press release.

“She has a deep commitment to H-P’s mission and a keen understanding of where the company needs to go to best serve our employees, customers, and suppliers as we navigate into our next phase of growth and beyond.”

Outgoing President and COO Allen Green echoed the sentiment. “I have worked with Beka for over 20 years and have valued her expertise and leadership throughout our time together at H-P. Since joining in 2002, Beka has touched all aspects of our business and has been a steadfast partner in charting the company’s course through both successes and setbacks.”

Eisenbarth’s family started the company in 1945. She began working at H-P Products in 2002 as an accounting analyst and has since served as materials manager, sales manager, general manager of Engineered Tube Bends and vice president. Eisenbarth is also a graduate of Leadership Stark County, a board member of Arts in Stark and the Income Impact Council for United Way of Greater Stark County and a member of Vistage, a peer mentoring program for executives.

“Our company has never been stronger,” Eisenbarth said, “and I believe we’re set up for continued success to serve customers and deliver innovative, high-quality products unlike any other company. I look forward to working with the entire H-P team to continue on this trajectory, while ensuring the growth and longevity of the company my family began in 1945.”


Justin Hardy, BSBA '21, graduated in December 2021.
Justin Hardy at his December 2021 graduation.

An amazing story about Olin alum and WashU athlete Justin Hardy, BSBA ’21, is making the rounds.

Hardy, 22, graduated in December after just three-and-a-half years—with a double major in accounting and finance while also playing a sport.

“What Justin is doing right now is a miracle,” Jack Nolan, a WashU basketball player who is teammate of Hardy, recently told television station KSDK-Channel 5’s Frank Cusumano.

What Hardy is doing is playing on while he battles stage 4 stomach cancer.

“Hardy is a really good basketball player,” KSDK reports. “He does all of the little things that makes teams great, and the Bears are just that. They are 12-1 on the season and are ranked No. 4 in the country.”

Hardy got the news of his cancer last April. At the time, he was dead lifting 450 pounds.

“The sadness was really tough at first just because I felt my life was kind of closing in on me,” Hardy told Cusumano in this piece, which aired January 17. “And there wasn’t going to be all the things that I loved in my life. I felt like most of things were gone and I was finished playing basketball.”

Hardy wasn’t finished. Athletes have come back after dealing with cancer, but how many play through the treatment?

‘Not like most’

“The prognosis isn’t pretty, but I am not like most,” he told KSDK. “This is pretty rare to see in a 21-year-old. My age and my health status are two things I really have going for me.

“You have to live your life. I am living in some of the best days of my life. This is one of the best years of my life that I have lived. I want to embrace the moment I am living in. Coming back and playing basketball and finishing my degree are two things that I really wanted to do.”