Join the Augsburg Alumni team at A Christmas Carol!

A Twin Cities holiday tradition that is not to be missed- the Guthrie Theater continues their holiday tradition for the 43rd year.

On Tuesday December 12, the Augsburg Alumni team will be hosting a special Auggie pre-theater reception before the show, which will take place in the Guthrie Theater Target Lounge at 6 p.m., with yummy appetizers and a chance to celebrate holiday spirit with old friends and new!Guthrie Theater A Christmas Carol Prmo Graphic

A miserly and miserable man, Ebenezer Scrooge greets each Christmas with a “bah humbug,” until he is visited one Christmas Eve by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future. Through a restless night, the spirits show him happy memories from his past, cruel realities from the present and the grim future should he continue his cantankerous ways– Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a perennial favorite.

Tickets are $35 and are available here:
http://www.augsburg.edu/alumni/events/

Don’t be a scrooge and miss out on this great event!

Join the Augsburg Alumni Board

19 members of the Augsburg Alumni BoardThe Augsburg Alumni Association is looking for volunteers to serve on the board of directors. All alumni are welcomed and encouraged to apply. The Alumni Board guides the alumni office in serving the valued alumni, families, and friends of Augsburg by providing resources and opportunities to engage alumni with the college and each other through consistent communication, inclusive programming, and intentional relationship building. All alumni are welcomed and encouraged to apply. To apply or find out more, contact Alumni Director Katie Koch ’01 at kochk@augsburg.edu.

Read more about current members of the alumni board.

Auggies Win at the Twins

Auggie Night at the Twins was a rousing success on June 22. Tickets in the Auggie block above home plate sold out for the event jointly sponsored by the Augsburg Alumni Board and Young Alumni Council.

The annual night out at the ballpark began with a pre-game reception at the nearby Kieran’s, with a short program hosted by Nick Rathmann ’03 and featuring Robert Grace ’98, who operates Be Graceful Bakery, with a concession booth at TCF Bank, Target Field, and the new US Bank Stadium. Then 75 Auggies watched the Minnesota Twins take on the Phillies and WIN. Special thanks to Nik Linde ’15 for taking the photos.

Measured Impact

Grazzini-June16
Frank Grazzini ’96.

Growing up with an entrepreneurial father planted the seed in his mind that running his own business could make a lot of sense—and was doable. But the idea really took root in his adult life, when Frank Grazzini ’96 realized, after 12 years of working for larger corporations, that this work wasn’t a very good fit for him. He’d much rather create something new than fine-tune an existing structure. So he switched gears. In fact, starting a new business seems to have become a way of life for him, and he sees himself as a serial entrepreneur of sorts. He is now involved in his fourth early-stage business (his third technology start-up), with the potential to scale into a much larger business. The down side? He’d much rather start a new remodeling project than mow the grass!

At Prevent Biometrics, his latest venture, Grazzini is working with two other co-founders and the Cleveland Clinic to commercialize a groundbreaking technology to monitor and measure the force of head impacts to athletes (both male and female) in sports such as football, lacrosse, hockey, and soccer. He says that if a concussion is treated early, it usually results in a full recovery; if not, there is a much greater risk the athlete will suffer permanent neurological damage, even CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) or Second Impact Syndrome, which can cause death.

In spite of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s estimate that over half of all sports-related concussions in the U.S. (approximately 3.8 million each year) are never identified, response has been slow. But now, there finally seems to be a growing awareness that the problem must be taken seriously, as indicated by laws in all 50 states, as well as recent statements by professional sports league representatives. Though some would make the case for ending football altogether (most notably, Dr. Bennet Omalu, whose exposure of the widespread consequences of NFL injuries was dramatized in the recent film, Concussion), Grazzini believes that better monitoring of injuries, plus a few changes to the rules, would likely be sufficient to keep football a healthy sport for kids.

PreventBio graphicPrevent’s head-impact monitor, currently being tested by athletes, has been in development for six years and is expected to be officially released for sale in December 2016, though various inquiries to the company have already been made by researchers in the military and the NCAA for earlier sales. Continue reading “Measured Impact”

Corporate Coach

HawksHeadShotAs one of the first 30 employees at Rollerblade, Inc., Lisa Svac Hawks ’85 was tasked with producing some of the first competitive in-line skating events across the U.S. to showcase the “blades.” Though she had never run a race, her job was to put people on skates, help them get in shape, and encourage them to have fun. She was part of the team that drove in-line skating into the cultural forefront as one of the fastest-growing sports of the time. When she and some ex-Rollerblade execs later launched and marketed “snow skates” in the U.S., these Sled Dogs caught on and were featured in a Newsweek story. The exposure and marketing resulted in Hawks’ traveling to the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, to work with the Norwegian Military Ski Team that would put on a dramatic display of the snow skates during Opening and Closing ceremonies.

This marketing success convinced Hawks that she had found her niche in marketing and communication, and that her decision to forego the field of broadcasting—even after an internship at the local ABC-TV station—was the right one for her. At each step in her career since then, new positions seemed to call out her desire to “build” something—whether in terms of products, experiences, relationships, a fine-tuned team, or an unusual market launch. She loved finding undiscovered opportunities, using good communication tools, and assembling a good team—and she still loves the challenge and fun of doing it.

She uncovered such an opportunity at Paper Direct, a high-end specialty paper company, where she was given 45 days to convince the leadership that her alternative idea to existing market launch plans could work. She did so, and the company followed her lead toward specialty retailing to small businesses, setting up distribution networks all across the country at outlets that sold computers and printers.

Hawks later landed at Musicland, where she led the full gamut of communications—investor relations, public relations, employee communications, earnings releases, annual reports, investor reports, etc. Soon after, when the company was acquired by Best Buy, she was invited to take a leadership role in Best Buy’s communications department. She enjoyed some “phenomenal” experiences over the 12 years she worked there, including launches that involved The Rolling Stones, Bill Gates, Usher, and other pop culture figures. Continue reading “Corporate Coach”

The Auggie Alumni Board Wants You

alumni-board
Back Row [L to R]: Adrienne (Kuchler) Eldridge ’02, Sarah Grans ’01, Howie Smith ’80, Jay Howard ’03, Rick Bonlender ’78, Greg Schnagl ’91, Nick Swanson ’09, Patricia Jesperson ’95 Front Row [L to R]: Marie (Eddy) Odenbrett ’01, Hannah Dietrich ’05, Jill Watson ’10 MBA, Meg (Schmidt) Sawyer ’00, Melissa (Daudt) Hoepner ’92, Chris Hallin ’88, Adriana Matzke ’13, Rachel (Olson) Engebretson ’98, Chau “Tina” Nguyen ’08, Mary Prevost ’12 MBA Not Pictured: Cyrus Batheja ’08, ’10 MBA; Sharon Mercill ’09; Jordan Moore ’12 MBA; Brent Peroutka ’02; Nick Rathmann ’03; Tracy (Anderson) Severson ’95.
The Augsburg Alumni Association is looking for volunteers to serve on the board of directors. All alumni are welcomed and encouraged to apply. The Alumni Board is a governing body of the Alumni Association. The board exists to guide the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations of Augsburg College in serving the valued alumni, parents and friends by providing resources and opportunities to engage alumni with the College and each other through consistent communication, inclusive programming, and intentional relationship building. To apply or find out more, contact Katie Koch ’01, Director of Auggie Engagement, at kochk@augsburg.edu.

Call for Alumni Award Nominations

120111 auggie 323You can help the Augsburg Alumni Board identify potential recipients for the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards. Use the nomination form to submit nominations by January 4, 2016. The Alumni Board votes on the recipients at their February board meeting.

Award Criteria:
The First Decade Award is presented to Augsburg graduates of the past 10 years who have made significant progress in their professional achievements and contributions to the community, and in so doing exemplify the mission of the College: to prepare future leaders in service to the world. Graduates from the day, weekend, and graduate programs are eligible.

The Spirit of Augsburg Award honors alumni and friends of the College who have given exceptional service that contributes substantially to the well being of Augsburg by furthering its purposes and programs.

The Augsburg Alumni Association bestow the Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of significant achievement in vocation, for outstanding contribution to church and community, and for a life that exemplifies the ideals and mission of Augsburg College.

Auggie Wants You … On the Alumni Board

auggie in suiteThe Augsburg Alumni Association is looking for volunteers to serve on the board of directors. All alumni are welcomed and encouraged to apply. The Alumni board is a governing body of the Alumni Association. The board exists to guide the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations of Augsburg College in serving the valued alumni, parents and friends of the College by providing resources and opportunities to engage alumni with the college and each other through consistent communication, inclusive programming, and intentional relationship building. To apply or find out more, contact Sara Schlipp-Riedel ’06 at schlipp@augsburg.edu.