This month, we received obituaries for three classmates: Ira Gewolb (PC), James Boyd Lewis (SY), and Wayne Thomas Dodge(ES). To see the complete obituaries, go to the In Memoriam section under the Class tab. […]
ROBERT BILDNER, Class Secretary
Class Secretary Robert “Rob” Bildner is an attorney by training (University of Pennsylvania Law School ’78) who left law practice to found and run several food companies, including RLB Food Distributors, which he sold in 2007. Rob is married to Elisa Spungen ’75; they have four children, Elana ‘06, Ari ‘09, Eli ‘10 and Rafi ‘16. Active in the nonprofit and philanthropic community, Bildner serves Yale in many capacities: 1972 Class Secretary and 35th Reunion Gift Chair; Sterling Fellow; member of the University Council (the advisory committee to Yale’s President), the Parents Leadership Council, the Yale Development Council, and the Board of Directors of the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life. Rob also has spearheaded a number of initiatives at Yale, including organizing and chairing the Yale 5 Year B.A. Reunion, a gathering of alumni of a program that sent selected undergraduates in the ‘70s to work in a developing country (Bildner spent a year in Iran from 1970-1971). He is an organizer and the alumni chair of the Yale Photography Workshop sponsored by the AYA, to be held from April 24-27, 2014.
WILLIAM (BILL) FOWKES, Corresponding Secretary
Bill was a philosophy major at Yale, Public Relations Director at WYBC, and a member of the Davenport Armour Council and the Davenport Dramat. (In the 1980s, he was an active member of YAAMNY and served as their AYA representative for three years.) After Yale, he went to graduate school at Northwestern University, where he earned an M.A. and a PhD in philosophy, and taught part-time as an Instructor. He was assistant professor of philosophy at Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY from 1976-1979 and published a book on Hegel’s aesthetics and several articles. In 1979 he moved to New York City and launched a second (32-year) career in media, working in a variety of executive positions in marketing, communication, and strategy at Time Inc, CBS Records (Columbia House), HBO, Inc., and Showtime Networks. In 1998, he began a second (part-time) career as a writer of fiction, branching out into playwriting in 2004. His fiction has been published in many journals. His plays have been produced around the country. (For more information about his writing, see his website www.williamfowkes.com) Since leaving Showtime in 2011, he spends most of his time working as a playwright, with some marketing consulting work on the side. He has two daughters, both of whom work in the fashion industry–Laura (graduate of Cornell), who is a senior designer at Michael Kors, and Julia (graduate of University of Michigan), who works in sales and marketing. In 2012, he married Stephen Michael Smith, a music conductor. They split their time between homes in Manhattan and New Fairfield, CT.
FRANK KREJCI, Treasurer
Frank majored in Administrative Sciences, Yale’s answer to a business degree during the turbulent 60’s & 70’s. When he wasn’t totally immersed in his studies, he found time to earn 3 varsity letters in wrestling (a varsity sport that once existed in ancient Greece and ancient Yale), was Vice President of Yale Banner Publications, Social Chairman of Saybrook, headed the Yale Bowl Concessions student agency and joined DKE his senior year to drink beer. He is most proud of being part of one of the few freshmen entryways who hosted females during Co-Ed Week, which eventually led to changing Yale for the better forever. Alumni activities include being Past President of the Yale Club of Wisconsin, AYA Rep from Wisconsin and a Class Agent. Immediately after Yale, Frank went to Harvard Business School to earn his MBA and join the rugby team. After returning to his hometown of Milwaukee, he held positions with Eaton and Briggs & Stratton, was a venture capitalist, and owned companies making automation equipment and furniture manufacturing. He is currently President and CEO of STRATTEC Security Corp., a NASDAQ traded (symbol: STRT) global manufacturer, primarily for the automotive industry. He is married to Marina and has three grown children. Frank is active with non-profits focused on the performing arts and the redevelopment of downtown Milwaukee. Since many non-Linguistics majors cannot pronounce his last name, it sounds like Cray’ chee.
DEBORAH POST, AYA Representative