This last weekend was the 5th annual Haas Gala. Held at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco, the Gala recognized the 2006 Haas Leadership Society Members, HAN Chapter of the Year, Class Gift Committee Awards, and Raymond E. Miles Alumni Service Award Winner. The Gala also recognized Paul Otellini (MBA ’74, President & CEO of Intel Corp) as Haas School’s Business Leader of the Year.
Having heard great things about last year’s event, I was eager to attend. Fortunately, there were a few sponsored tables for students, allowing MBAA officers, Cohort Reps, and a few others to join in on the festivities. (Our table of 12 was sponsored by Mary and Howard Lester.) We had a crowd of about 500 who showed up plenty early to mix and mingle beforehand. I arrived maybe a half hour before dinner and quickly found myself bumping into good friends and making a few new ones.
As the Ritz crew began to open the ballroom for dinner and finish setting up the tables, our bartender was called away. With a small crowd gathering in search of a wine refill from the open bar, I seized the initiative and jumped behind the bar to pour a few drinks for my friends and myself. (See photo above.)
During the evening, I ran into my old boss, Norman Minetta (’53 Business Undergrad, 2001 Cal Alumnus of the Year, and previous Secretary of Transportation), and lucky for me, I happen to me in my Dinner Dress Blues every time I see him. I also got to say “fair winds and following seas” to Rich Lyons, who was Acting Dean when the class of ’07 arrived and is taking a leave of absence to work with Goldman Sachs for a couple of years. He’s done some great things for Haas and we’ll miss him.
I had a great time with a wonderful meal and an evening directed by Dean Campbell (no relation) with an appearance by Chancellor Birgeneau and an excellent speech by Paul Otellini.
Afterwards, a group of us headed over to Sip for a friend’s 28th birthday. Despite the competition with the USC-Cal football game caravan, we had a great showing and I caught up with some friends of friends that I haven’t seen in a few weeks. Sadly, still fighting a cold, I left early and returned to the Ritz where I had a room for the evening.
The next day, it was just beautiful outside, so I took advantage of the moment and wandered around Chinatown, with a stop for some dim sum at New Asia and some goodies at Golden Gate Bakery, before returning back to the East Bay to watch our Bears lose their shot at the Pac10 championship. Oh well, can’t win them all.