Gael Glimpses - Fall 2012


Chris Cooper EMBA has announced that his electronic/pop band, Loquat, has signed with a major label that is distributed by Sony. He and the four other band members plan on doing more benefit shows. Their album came out on iTunes, and they have a video on YouTube.

[1] Mark Curtis EdD ’11, a news correspondent for WLNE in Providence, Rhode Island, reported on both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions this summer. Curtis is a 30-year radio and TV professional, who worked at the Bay Area’s KTVU from 1993 to January 2008. Curtis has covered presidential campaigns and traveled the country with candidates as a blogger and freelance political analyst. His book “Age of Obama: A Reporter’s Journey with Clinton, McCain and Obama in the Making of the President 2008” was released during inaugural week 2009 by Nimble Books, Inc.

[2] Mikey Lawler made the fateful decision at age 19 to try out for a beach soccer team in Santa Cruz, which led to tournament play around the U.S., the chance to play for the U.S. Beach Soccer Team in Rio Quente, Brazil, and an offer to play in Switzerland for three months in the summer. His success led to an offer from another Swiss team for the 2012 season; he now lives in Switzerland for three months out of the year. At home in the Bay Area, Mikey works as a personal trainer at Living Lean in Orinda and coaches soccer at De La Salle High School. He says his time in Switzerland has taught him about sports, life, culture, communications, relationships, himself and what he really wants and needs. He hopes beach soccer will take off like beach volleyball has and be included in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Check out Mikey’s game-winning bicycle kick goal in the last minute of a game: ecZbiLhGI


[3] Patrick Young ’09 and Alexis Standfield are happy to announce that they are engaged to be married. Patrick is employed as an IT administrator in Pleasanton, and Alexis is a Ph.D. student in physical therapy at Oakland’s Samuel Merritt University.


[4] Maritza (Flores) EMBA and Paul Haller were married on May 7, 2011, in Pleasanton. Hilary Calhoun EE ’06, EMBA was a bridesmaid, and fellow Gael Kathleen Cook EMBA also joined the couple on their special day.


[5] Stephanie (Fierro) Eastwood EE is working as a litigation paralegal for a large firm in Sacramento. Stephanie and her husband have two boys (pictured), ages 3 and 1.

[6] Molliee Martin and Martin Marechal ’06 are engaged and plan to marry on April 27, 2013, in San Francisco. They currently live in Los Angeles with their Pomeranian, Gaston.

[7] JP Musgrove and his wife, Rebecca, welcomed a daughter, Julia Grace, on April 23.


Stefani Carver and fiancé Levi Finch (an Oregon alum) were engaged on July 2011 and married September 22, 2012, in Pebble Beach.

Anthony Spivey EE is working for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area as an enrollment and match specialist pairing Bay Area youth with positive adult role models in one-to-one mentoring relationships. His colleague, fellow Gael Nicole Olson EE ’08 (Human and Community Services), is employed as a match support specialist supporting and guiding mentors during their match relationships.


[8] Angelina (Elliott) Burke graduated from UC Davis School of Medicine on May 19. She was a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society and received the Crystie Halsted Award for Excellence in Pediatrics and is currently a pediatric resident at Kaiser Oakland.

[9] Andrew ’05, MBA ’09 and Victoria (Hernandez) Hansen met in marketing class their junior year and have been inseparable ever since. They were married in the SMC Chapel last year and celebrated their first anniversary on July 30. Andrew, who runs the finance team at a venture capital firm, and Victoria, an apparel buyer for Sears, are enjoying the city life in their San Francisco home along with their dog Goose.

[10] Kehli Louise Kankelborg, of Butte, Mont., is engaged to Randy William Hazlett of Ramsay, Mont. Kehli is pursuing a master’s degree in technical communication at Montana Tech in Butte, where she works as an outreach program coordinator. Randy is a civil engineering graduate of Montana Tech and is employed at Pioneer Technical. A September wedding is planned.

[11] Sean O’Brien was named one of Sacramento’s 40 Under 40 by the Sacramento Business Journal for his work in the community.

[12] Stephanie Sandbergen MS received word this month from the California Board of Behavioral Sciences that she has completed all the requirements to finally sit for the first of two marriage and family therapist exams. She vacationed in Alaska in July 2011


Patrick Williams ML ’04 was appointed police chief for the city of Petaluma. Williams, a graduate of the FBI Academy and the University of the Redlands, received a master’s degree in leadership fromSaint Mary’s.

[13] Stephanie Ceminsky ME ’03, ECR ’04, who served as an assistant principal at Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton this past 

school year, was selected as the new principal at Donlon Elementary School in the same community.


[14] Hai Ho has been with the Capuchin Franciscan Order since 2005 and recently was ordained to the priesthood in June by Bishop Richard Garcia. The ordination (see photo) took place at his home parish in San Jose, Calif. He now serves as associate pastor at St. Lawrence of Brindisi Catholic Church in Los Angeles.

[15] Marisa (Baldoz) Matz ’03, ML ’11 married Michael Matz on Oct. 1, 2011, in San Clemente, Calif. Gaels in attendance were matron of honor Angela (Schnellbacher) Dixon ’04, ECR ’07, Gina Amato ’04 and Veronica (Garcia) Hernandez ’03. The couple resides in Dana Point, Calif.

[16] Scott Smigielski and his wife, Kim, welcomed their first child, Graham Scott, on May 23.


Beth (Carrillo) Burnell is a social worker for the Orange County Social Services Agency. She was married in 2007 to Eric Burnell and has three children, Tyler, 4, Drew, 2, and Leigha, who was born on Jan. 23.

[17] Kristen (Fry) Wallace ECR ’03, ME ’08 and her husband, Charles, are proud to announce the arrival of Benjamin’s little brother, Jackson Wayne, on Aug. 23.


Cathy Blyther, Joe Manifesto and Brandon Nelson attended the SMC Wine Festival in August.

[18] Joe R. Manifesto married Rachel Nethercott on Feb. 4 at Saint Mary’s College Chapel. Both attended Our Lady of Grace (K–8) and Bishop O’Dowd High School. Rachel graduated from San Diego State University in 2005 with a B.A. in communications and currently works as a hairstylist, while Joe is employed as a deputy sheriff for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. Gael members of the wedding party were groomsmen Brandon Nelson and Jon Hacker, as well as Joe’s father, Joe M. Manifesto ’68. Joe and Rachel currently reside in Dublin, Calif.


Kelly McMillin EE , a 23-year veteran of the Salinas Police Department, was appointed chief of police of that city. He rose through the ranks from officer to detective, corporal, sergeant, commander, and then deputy chief. McMillin helped create and directed the Community Alliance for Safety and Peace, providing leadership for Salinas Police  Department’s Ceasefire strategy, work for which he was honored by the White House with 11 other leaders at the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention.

[19] Michael Spencer and his wife Elizabeth are thrilled to announce the arrival of their third son, Matthew Collins Spencer, who was born on May 23. The family lives in Fresno.


Dave Perry MBA ’01, ECR ’04, ME ’04 is excited to begin his new adventure as principal at St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral, Fla. Dave recognizes that there are many blessings associated with working at a Catholic school, but the best is having his three kids (Drew, 7, Kaylin, 6, and Charlie, 4) with him at school each day. Dave and Sue (Susan Perry ’03) are hoping to find a few Gaels in South Florida with whom to share their Gael Pride!


[20] Michael Keefe EE ’96, former deputy fire chief of the San Mateo-Foster City Fire Department, was appointed fire chief for those communities. Keefe also served as president of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation in addition to serving as a member of the statewide executive board. The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation is a Californiabased nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting burn prevention education and burn survivor assistance.


[21] Damien Fairbairn and his wife, Angelina, welcomed their first child, Lucas Shane Tan Fairbairn, on March 29. They reside in San Carlos, Calif., and are enjoying every minute of parenthood.


[22] Geoff Calla recently worked as an actor opposite Nicole Kidman in the made-for-TV movie “Hemingway & Gellhorn.” The film premiered in May on HBO.

[23] Dr. Lauren Speeth EMBA ’89, the founder of the Elfenworks Foundation, SMC Regent, and frequent campus  lecturer, has authored a new book, “Intelligence & Compassion in Action, The 7 Pillars for Social Entrepreneurship.” The purpose of the book is to be used as “a tool to empower the aspiring social entrepreneur, with real guidance as to how, and why, social entrepreneurship


Diana Helfrich EMBA, most recently vice president of marketing for SolarCity has been named vice president of marketing at Blu Homes, a California and Massachusettsbased green precision homebuilder. Helrich has 25 years of executive and marketing experience in clean-tech and high-tech sectors promoting renewable, environmentally friendly technologies.

[24] Robert Sher EMBA and lecturer, 1995 – 2000, has been asked by to be a permanent columnist in its Leadership section with a column entitled “Game Raising Insights: CEO-to-CEO.” Sher is founding principal of CEO to CEO, a consulting firm that helps executives running mid-market companies raise their game. From 1984 to 2006 he was the chief executive of Bentley Publishing Group, and steered the company to become a leading player in its niche of decorative art publishing.

“The Connected Company” by Dave Gray with Thomas Vander Wal was published in 2012 by O’Reilly Media. It launched at #58 on the Amazon Top 100 Business titles and #8 on top Business Communication titles.


[25] Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Troy L. Nunley was nominated by President Barack Obama in June to serve as U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of California.

A White House press release announcing the nominations included a congratulatory statement from the Oval Office, “I am pleased to nominate these distinguished individuals to serve on the United States District Court bench,” said President Obama. “I am confident they will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who recommended Judge Nunley for the position, expressed her admiration for the SMC alumnus. “In addition to a decade as Superior Court judge in Sacramento, Judge Nunley brings with him a range of experience as a criminal prosecutor in two district attorney’s offices, as a deputy attorney general in the California Department of Justice and in private practice. I believe Judge Nunley will serve with distinction on the District Court,” she said.

Nunley grew up in San Francisco and attended Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory High School.


[26] Brent Eastman and Maureen Butler Eastman ’86 own Brent Eastman Insurance Services Inc. in Salinas, Calif. Brent is also vice president of the California Rodeo, held every year in Salinas during the third week in July, and president of Partners for Peace, also in Salinas. Amanda, the first of five children, just graduated from CSU Channel Islands and is working at Chateau Julien in Carmel Valley. Son Sam attends Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz. Cammie, age 15, is a sophomore at Notre Dame High School, and twins Ben and Brent Jr., age 10, are in 5th grade.

[27] Jo Singleton MBA is currently national IT program manager, Kaiser Permanente in Pleasanton, Calif., previously senior vice president at Bank of America and vice president at Wells Fargo Bank. In May, her son Andrew graduated from Chico State University with a BS in Business MIS and stepson Burton Ritz obtained his MBA from Saint Mary’s.


Louis A. Lotorto, Jr. appeared in the Colony Theatre of Burbank, Calif.’s, production of “Blame It on Beckett,” which
ran from Aug. 8 through Sept. 2. He also appeared in the farce “Noises Off” at the Norris Center for the Performing Arts in Palos Verdes, Calif., from Sept. 21 through Oct. 7.


Clare Pool Purpura ’79 was recently recognized by Barron’s as one of “America’s Top 100 Women Financial Advisors” in her current role as managing director and international financial advisor with Merrill Lynch Venture Services Group in San Francisco. Clare and her husband, Andrew have a daughter Jessona, who is a sophomore at Sacred Heart Prep in Atherton.


Candy (Finnegan) Timoney graduated in May from California State University Sacramento with an M.S. in nursing degree. Candy and her husband, Dennis, live in Granite Bay, Calif., and just returned from a two-week vacation in Italy.


[28] Michael A. Kelly has been elected the 2012 –13 president of the International Society of Barristers. A partner in the San Francisco litigation firm of Walkup, Melodia, Kelly and Schoenberger, he was a 1976 graduate of UC Hastings College of the Law. Kelly was recently chosen by rating-service Super Lawyers as one of Northern California’s Top 10 attorneys and in 2011 received the Oliphant Award from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy for his pro bono contributions to advocacy teaching. In addition to his legal practice, he spent 20 years as an adjunct assistant professor of law at Hastings.


[29] Steve Aloia has had a child enrolled at SMC for each of the past 16 years, from 1996 until his final child, Molly, graduated in May. The Aloia family includes Molly Aloia ’12, Caitlin Aloia ’08, Shannon Aloia ’05, Matthew Aloia ’02 and Stephen Aloia ’00. Steve’s brothers, Roland Aloia ’65 and Roland Aloia ’65, also attended Saint Mary’s. There has been an Aloia enrolled at SMC for 25 of the past 51 years, making it a true family affair.

[30] Michael Tucevich is a federal administrative law judge in the Phoenix, Ariz., Hearing Office and resides in Scottsdale, Ariz. He and his 16-year-old daughter took a trip to Paris in the summer of 2011.


Dan Whitehurst has been elected chairman of the board of AAA Club Partners, a holding company with 10 AAA auto clubs serving 12 million members in 20 states. ACP is based in Walnut Creek and Wilmington, Del. Dan says AAA reminds him of Saint Mary’s. “It has positive people who want to be of service.”


[31] Lou Lotorto and wife, Karen, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 25 with a formal dinner for family and friends at Seattle’s Fairmont Olympic Hotel’s Georgian Room. Son Louis Jr. ’83 served as master of ceremonies.

1954 – 1956

[32] Four founders of Les Amies des Frere, a group of former De La Salle Christian Brothers who support the Leo Center, were honored at the Leo Center Celestial Gala on March 31. They are Pat O’Brien ’55, Chuck Meuel ’56, John Savage ’54 and Gerry Forrest ’56. The Leo Center provides after-school supervision and ESL classes to students in Oakland.


[33] Neil Sweeney and Beverly T. Sweeney celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in August with their eight children and their spouses, 20 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, who initiated the Neil and Beverly T. Sweeney Family Endowed Scholarship for Saint Mary’s students as a gift to mark the occasion. Neil, six of his and Beverly’s children, and seven of their grandchildren attended Saint Mary’s.