43RD ANNUAL WHARTON AWARD DINNER HONORS LEADING ALUMS
Bios for this year's accomplished alums being honored April 23:
Suzanne J. Peck, WG'66, Sherman Ragland, WG'86,
Mark Ein, W'86, Heinan Landa, WG'91
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Suzanne J. Peck. WG’66
Sherman Ragland, II, WG’86
Suzanne Peck is an Information Technology consultant, and is now the senior consultant for the District of Columbia’s Health Insurance Exchange. Prior to this appointment Suzanne was a senior technology and operations executive for several Fortune 500 companies, including Honeywell Information Systems, Bankers Trust, Sallie Mae, and CoreStates Financial Corporation. She has expanded and strengthened existing businesses, established technology startups, and taught as a lecturer and adjunct professor at the University of Maryland. As the District of Columbia’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Suzanne was recognized as one of the top CTOs of 2006 by InfoWorld Magazine as a standout among hundreds of entries, and other top CTOs who “exemplify the best in IT management and innovation.” Ms. Peck was the only government CTO honored that year, and one of two women selected
InfoWorld celebrated Suzanne Peck for transforming the District’s technology infrastructure from “worst-to-first” during her eight years as CTO and for leading service-oriented architecture-based (SOA) integration efforts. “I am so proud of where the District is today. I came to OCTO with the purpose of creating a self-sustaining IT system for DC and we are well on our way to reaching that goal,” said Ms. Peck.
Throughout Suzanne’s career as District CTO, she has successfully spearheaded projects including the Y2K rollover, DC-NET, Wireless Accelerated Response Network (WARN), Unified Communications Center (UCC), Administration and Human Service Modernization Programs, DCStat and the National Capital Region Interoperability project. She has also led the creation of a dynamic team of seasoned IT professionals to support all of the OCTO efforts. In addition, Suzanne’s vision for enhancing technology and e-government services has made DC.Gov the nation’s best city web portal, according to the Center for Digital Government and Government Technology Magazine.
Suzanne joined the Washington Metropolitan Transportation Authority (WMATA) in March 2007 as the Assistant General Manager and Chief Information Officer responsible for the department's capital investments in technology and infrastructure, applications development and operations of enterprise systems, and support for communications systems and services. Suzanne Peck has more than 25 years of experience working for Fortune 500 companies and accepted both CTO positions to fulfill the need within the District for technological innovation. “
Sherman Ragland, II, WG’86, CCIM, is Chairman, Tradewinds International Holdings, Ltd., and the Dean of the Realinvestors® Academy of Greater Washington, DC. He is a leading expert on trends impacting Real Estate Investors. His work has been quoted in publications such as FORBES magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and the Business Journals. In 2012, Inc. Magazine named Ragland, "America's Real Estate Mentor."
Sherman is the co-Author with New York Times best-selling author, Robert G. Allen, of New Rules of the Game, recently named as an Amazon.com "Best Seller." He is an active real estate investor having completed projects from the office condos in Alexandria, Virginia, to infill townhouse and apartment projects near the waterfront in the City of Baltimore, Maryland, and an auto-mall development in Bowie, Maryland.
Since earning his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Sherman has been involved in a leadership role in the development of over $1.2 billion in development projects in the Greater Washington, DC region, including Carlyle (at the King Street METRO), Lansdowne, VA and several small-scale developments in Prince George’s County and the City of Baltimore, MD. In 1993, he founded Tradewinds International, an investment banking firm directly responsible for the disposition and privatization of over $21.0 billion in federally-owned assets.
He holds the coveted Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation from the CCIM Institute and a Masters Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Virginia, School of Architecture.
Sherman is a lifelong resident of the Greater Washington, DC region, having grown up in Wheaton, Silver Spring and Columbia, Maryland. He lived in Alexandria, Virginia, where he served as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Alexandria, Virginia, before moving to Bowie, Maryland, to found the Realinvestors® Academy. He is the founder of the Greater Washington, DC Real Estate Investor's Association (http://www.dcreia.com), the largest independent real estate investors' association in the United States.
Mark D. Ein, W'86
Mark D. Ein, Founder & CEO, Venturehouse Group: Owner, Washington Kastles; Chairman & Majority Owner, Kastle Systems, is an investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, who has created, acquired, invested in and built a series of growth companies across a diverse set of industries over the course of his 20 year career. During this time, Mr. Ein has been involved in the founding or early stages of five companies that have been worth over $1 billion and has led $650 million of private equity, venture capital and public company investments generating an internal rate of return of over 40%.
Currently, Mr. Ein is the Co-Chairman and Principal Shareholder of Kastle Systems, LLC, the country’s leading provider of managed security systems for commercial office buildings. In addition, he is the Vice-Chairman of Two Harbors Investment Corporation, a NYSE-listed (TWO) residential mortgage REIT. Two Harbors was formed through a merger with Capitol Acquisition Corporation, a company that Mr. Ein founded with a $265 million initial public offering in November 2007 and served as its Chairman and CEO until the merger in November 2009. As of September 30, 2012, Two Harbors had a book value of $3.4 billion and total assets of $17.9 billion. Mr. Ein also currently serves on the board of MACH S.a.r.L, the world’s leading financial clearinghouse for the mobile telecom industry, and is Chairman of the Board of VSGi, a provider of videoconferencing solutions. Throughout his career, Mr. Ein has invested in a wide range of other successful growth companies that have gone public or merged into larger companies including XM Satellite Radio, Nextel, American Tower, Cibernet and Matrics. Earlier in his career, Mr. Ein worked for The Carlyle Group, Brentwood Associates and Goldman Sachs.
Mr. Ein is also the Founder and Owner of the Washington Kastles, his hometown’s World TeamTennis (WTT) franchise. After just five years in the league, the Kastles have already captured the coveted King Trophy three times by winning the WTT Championship in 2012, 2011 and 2009. The 2011 team made history by becoming the first team in the 36-year history of the league to complete a perfect undefeated season with its 16-0 record. The 2012 team repeated this feat with a second straight undefeated 16-0 Championship season. The franchise currently has an active 32 match winning streak – the second longest streak in US pro team sports history (behind the 33 game winning streak of the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers). The Kastles and Mr. Ein have been often honored for its contributions on and off the court including being named the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section’s 2011 Organization of the Year. The team has been recognized four times by the Mayor of Washington, D.C. and the Washington, D.C. City Council with proclamations of “Washington Kastles Day” in the District of Columbia. In recognition of the team’s first Championship in 2009, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty presented Mr. Ein and the Kastles with the Key to the City, highlighting not only their success on the court, “but for their commitment to the District’s communities and our youth.”
In October 2009, Mr. Ein made his professional tennis debut at the ATP Calabasas Open where he and Kevin Kim won a match and advanced to the quarterfinals earning Mr. Ein the distinction of being the oldest ranked player on the ATP tour (#1157 in Doubles as of November 2011). He played in two professional tournaments with Kevin Kim again in 2010 winning a match at the ATP Cancun Challenger. In 2012, Ein and Kim lost in the first round of the ATP Challenger in Salinas, Ecuador. Mr. Ein is also an Executive Producer of “Kicking It”, a documentary film about the Homeless World Cup of soccer that was shown at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and on ESPN.
A native of the Washington area, Mr. Ein actively supports many community, charitable and cultural organizations. Through his professional and philanthropic activities, he is committed to bringing his community together, as well as helping those in need with a particular focus on the youth of the city. Mr. Ein has been frequently recognized and honored for his contributions to his community including being named Business Leader of the Year by the Washington DC Chamber of Commerce in October, 2011 and the region’s Entrepreneur of the Year by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) in 2009.
Mr. Ein is currently the Chairman of the Board of The District of Columbia Public Schools Education Fund (DCPEF) which serves to catalyze private sector support for the DC Public School System and that has raised over $90 million of philanthropic funds in just five years. Mr. Ein also serves on the Board of Directors of The District of Columbia College Access Program (DC-CAP), The International Tennis Hall of Fame, the Executive Committee of the Federal City Council and as a member of the D.C. Tax Revision Commission. In September, 2012, Mr. Ein was also nominated to serve on the Board of the United States Tennis Association (USTA). He previously served on the Boards of Directors of The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the SEED Foundation, The Economic Club of Washington, D.C., The Washington Tennis & Education Foundation and The Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Art as well as the Advisory Board of The Tennis Center at College Park (TCCP), the Steering Committee for the Business Executives for National Security (BENS) DC, the selection Committee for the George J. Mitchell Scholarship program, the Trustees Council of The National Gallery of Art, the Advisory Board of the Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund, and the Donor Advisory Group for the FasterCures Philanthropy Advisory Service. He received his BS in Economics with a concentration in finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA from The Harvard Business School.
Heinan Landa, WG'91
Heinan Landa founded Optimal Networks, Inc., of which he is CEO, in 1991 to deliver unparalleled business and technical expertise to law firms, associations, and small and mid-sized businesses and organizations in the Washington, D.C. community.
Heinan earned his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He received his Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was there that he developed the idea for Optimal Networks and the business plan that helped guide the company through its formative years.
Heinan is actively involved with the Washington metro business community. He is Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for the Wharton Alumni Club of Washington, D.C. and is a charter member of the Technology Section of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).
In addition, he has written and contributed to articles about critical technology and business issues that have been published in prominent national and local media such as LegalTimes, the ASAE's Membership Marketer and Dollars & Cents, LAN Times, The Washington Business Journal, Think Business, Bar Bulletin, The Business Gazette, The Center for Association Leadership's Executive Update, etechnews.com, and Washington SmartCEO. He is considered a thought leader about the intersection of business and technology and is a regular contributor to The Washington Business Journal’s technology e-newsletter, TechFlash.
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