Humans of Haas: Marco Lindsey

Humans of Haas is a new series that offers a glimpse into the lives of our Haas colleagues.

We chose Marco Lindsey, executive advisor to Dean Rich Lyons, for our first profile after we found out about his passion for Spartan Races and wanted to hear more.

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Bursting through heavy bags during a Spartan Sprint

What are Spartan Races?

Spartan Races have a mixture of running and various obstacles that tax every part of your body to find your weaknesses. They range from three to 15 miles. You don’t know what the obstacles are going to be until you’re in it.

How did you get into them?

I’ve been a weight lifter all my life but I hated running. I was looking for something to bridge the gap. I found out about Spartan, and figured it was the toughest thing out there. I didn’t know anyone who did them and no one I knew was crazy enough to do it with me. I watched a few videos and decided to try one.

In August of 2014 I did my first Spartan Sprint at AT&T Park and I was hooked. It was 3.5 miles up and down stairs, carrying sandbags or 40-gallon jugs of water, rope climbing and a cargo-net climb. You have to climb a 7-foot or 10-foot wall to start every Spartan.

How do you climb a 7-foot wall?

You just do. You run up to it and jump as high as you can, and then you pull yourself over it.

How do you climb a 10-foot wall?

Same way.

How many races have you done?

I did two at AT&T Park, one in Monterey, one in Tahoe.

The Monterey Super was 10 miles and the Tahoe Beast was 15 miles with 30-plus obstacles. It was the most difficult thing I’ve done in my life—I wouldn’t wish that race on my worst enemy. There were over 750 people who didn’t finish. It was on the back side of Squaw, and all up hill. First it started raining, then hailing, then snowing. For me, that happened right after we had to swim across a small lake. Many people didn’t finish because of hypothermia. At mile 12 I started shivering so badly that I had to stop for a minute. But I decided the only way I wasn’t going to finish was if they carried me off. I had come too far to quit. That one was on October 3, my birthday.

Why do you do it?

Two reasons. It’s a challenge that not everyone can do. I like to have that in my toolkit of things I’ve been able to do in life.

You also really learn that your body can do a lot more than you think it can do, if you put your mind to it. At the Spartan Beast, I was wet, it was snowing, and I was freezing, but I was still moving forward. A couple of miles later, my body temperature came back up and it was because I had set my mind to it.

Last year I earned the Spartan Trifecta, which means a sprint, a super, and a beast in one calendar year. I keep the circle medal there on my desk. Whenever my day gets rough, it’s a reminder that I can do whatever I set my mind to. I can put my hand on it and remember. I think maybe that’s why I do it.

 Scaling a wall at the AT&T Sprint

Scaling a wall at the AT&T Sprint

Sandbag carry at AT&T

Sandbag carry at AT&T

Log carry

The uphill log carry at the Tahoe Beast

Inverted wall climb at the Monterey Super

Inverted wall climb at the Monterey Super

Uphill barbed-wire crawl in Monterey

Uphill barbed-wire crawl in Monterey

Uphill bucket brigade for Monterey Super (not pictured: the 100 pounds of rocks inside that bucket!)

Uphill bucket brigade for Monterey Super (there are 100 pounds of rocks inside that bucket!)

Do you know a Haas human with a story to share? Send your suggestions to Laura Counts:

Staff on the Move (part II)

Professional development and career growth can take many different directions and occur in many ways. That’s evident when you look at data on the moves our very own staff have been making. Twelve staff members (in career appointments) have either been promoted within their current unit or have applied and been selected to fill a vacant position. Some of them joined Haas after having worked in another campus department, while others transitioned from Haas to a new campus opportunity. This mobility allows staff to transfer their skills and continue to grow professionally while staying within the organization.

Drew Ollero, who transitioned from the EWMBA Program office to the MBA Programs for Working Professionals Admissions unit by applying for an internal position, shares his thoughts about his experience: “Being able to work within the same degree program allowed me to effectively transfer my knowledge immediately to the admissions unit. Having knowledge of the current student experience provides an opportunity to speak to prospective students and leverage my connections with students, faculty, and alumni to benefit the unit. In addition, I am positioned to help strengthen the relationship between my former and current units through collaborative projects, shared initiatives, and streamlined communication and processes.”

Aileen Bautista, who recently accepted a new role in the MBA Career Management Group, was able to seamlessly transfer her knowledge and have the opportunity to grow professionally. In her new position, Aileen is able to enhance her project management and leadership skills. “I have been able to lead our team in successfully hosting our annual Experienced-Hire Networking Event up at the Memorial Stadium. We had 200 EWMBA, EMBA, and alumni attend, in addition to recruiters from 20 companies,” says Aileen.

Angela Matossian, who joined the Haas Facilities team, says that her transfer from campus Facilities Services (Physical Plant Campus Services) enabled her to bring to Haas her campus-wide perspective of facilities services: “The transfer from working in the my previous position to a Customer Service Specialist position at Haas allows me to utilize my skills and experience in customer service, operations, and organizational support.” In addition, working at Haas means being in the heart of campus and experiencing campus life. “Currently, I am having daily interactions with a diverse staff, faculty, and student community, and looking forward to taking part in many activities offered within Haas,” shares Angela.

Our best wishes for successful experiences and professional development to those who moved in the past four months:

  1. Andrew Ollero, Associate Director, MBA Programs for Working Professionals Admissions
  2. Aileen Bautista, Program Manager, MBA Career Management Group
  3. Rahul Sampat, Director of Admissions, Evening & Weekend MBA Program
  4. Jae Park, Online Editor, California Management Review
  5. Tony Cricelli, Systems Administrator, Haas Technology Solutions
  6. Diane Nguyen,  Assistant Director of Admissions and Student Services, MFE
  7. Amanda Gill, Associate Director, EWMBA (transfer in from University Extension)
  8. Rachel York, Associate Director, EWMBA (transfer in from Cal Teach)
  9. Angela Matossian, Customer Service Specialist, Facilities (transfer in from campus Facilities Services)
  10. Mebrak Kahsai, Administrative Assistant, Haas Technology Solutions (transfer in from Campus Shared Services)
  11. Julia Sprague, Director of Admissions, School of Information (transfer to School of Information)
  12. Jenny Su, Cal Answers Analyst, Office of Strategic Program Management (transfer to campus Office of the CFO)

*The above list includes staff (in career appointments) whose position was reclassified or staff who applied for a new role between October 1, 2015 and January 26, 2016, as reflected in the HCM system. It includes staff who moved in to Haas from campus as well as staff who transitioned from Haas to another campus position. If your position was reclassified or if you obtained a new role within that timeframe and your name is not listed, please let us know (contact

For additional information about decision-making processes around hiring, reclassification and vacancies, click here.  To keep up on job openings at Haas, follow Jobs@Haas on Twitter (the account also feeds directly into our Staff Now page) or visit the Jobs at Haas webpage.

This is the second in a series of Staff on the Move posts. We will continue sharing this information throughout the year. 

3 down, 3 to go: North Academic Building update

By Nicole Terrell, North Academic Building Project Manager

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Greetings! As the new NAB project manager, I wanted to update you on progress thus far with the building, and what you can expect going forward.

How are we progressing?

The structure is halfway there. As of January 25th, Level 2 & 3 cement pours have been completed, and Level 4 is being poured this week. We’ll be celebrating this mid-rise point with a party in the O’Donnell Courtyard at 1:30 pm February 10.

When will the NAB open?

After a few rain delays, expect a soft opening in Fall 2016, with classes starting in Spring 2017. Don’t forget you can track progress on the Webcam. 

What’s going to be in the building?

The building will be a high-tech student learning lab. It will include:

  • 8 tiered lecture rooms
  • 4 flat, flexible-use spaces for experiential learning
  • 28 team study rooms
  • an indoor/outdoor café
  • state-of-the art audio-visual systems through the building
  • lounge areas
  • a 300-seat event space with sweeping views of campus and the San Francisco Bay

The building is also designed to be as healthy as possible for its occupants and the environment, with features that promote energy efficiency, low water use, and high air quality. Look for more details in our next building update.

Need more NAB specifics?

Who is in charge of making sure we have a smooth transition into the new building?

I’ll be working closely with Jo Mackness, Kevin Cornish, Marina Verdian, Dan Sullivan and Rocky Moran to lead our transition. We’ll be working to ensure that all Haas stakeholders—including program offices, academic instruction, event space coordination staff, students, and faculty—are prepared and ready for the transition.

What’s going on in terms of transition planning?

I’ve begun partnering with Facilities, Haas Technology Solutions, Marketing and Communications, Academic Planning, Development & Alumni Relations, and central campus to ensure the opening of the building runs smoothly. We will form an advisory group made up of representatives across Haas. I’ll be collaborating with the NAB Advisory Group to ensure that everyone is prepared.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Don’t hesitate to contact me at, or stop by my desk in the Dean’s Suite with any questions.




How to Be an Ally at Work

By Laura Gardner


Haas School staff members have gotten together nearly every month for the past year to learn about and discuss varying diversity topics, and each month we are encouraged that attendance seems to grow. This month, Eric Abrams and I hosted two sessions on how to be an ally at work (one on the Haas campus, and one at Addison Street). Discussions were lively in both locations.

The conversation centered around how we can use our own privileged status to be an ally to those who don’t have the same type of privilege. Privilege is defined as access to resources based upon our inclusion in an advantaged group: for one might have white privilege, class privilege, gender privilege, etc., as well as privilege in the workplace based on seniority, job title, department, education level, or visibility.

Many of us may not be aware that we have a privileged status, so the first step in being an ally is to understand your own privilege.  Understanding our privilege in the workplace is important because unconscious bias can lead to inequalities like racism and sexism, a hostile workplace, salary inequities, and other detrimental effects. Other tips for being an ally: listen and do your homework; speak up, not over; when you (inevitably) make mistakes, apologize; and remember that ally is also a verb.


For those that missed the discussion, or would like a refresher, here are some other suggestions about how to be an ally at work. Below, you’ll also find the two videos we used for the discussion.

  • Give people credit for their work, especially if they have less seniority or if you’re their supervisor. Think about our student workers too.
  • Listen to people when they tell you their experience, and validate them, even if you don’t fully understand, “I didn’t hear sexism in that comment myself, but I certainly hear that it was very upsetting to you. What can I do?”
  • Be open-minded. And similarly, don’t be defensive.
  • Confront your own prejudices and biases, even if it is uncomfortable to do so.
  • Don’t assume! Don’t assume that all your colleagues are straight, or that they all drink alcohol, or that all your Asian colleagues are good at math, for example.
  • Be inclusive with activities (e.g. organize activities that aren’t alcohol-centric).
  • Challenge traditional roles (men volunteering to take notes, for instance).
  • Take ALL ideas seriously, especially if you’re in a leadership role.
  • Take a more passive role when you have more privilege in a group (listen, read, learn, etc.).
  • Take a more active role when you’re around your peers (advocate, educate).
  • Ask questions.
  • Watch your language. Anytime you criticize or gossip about others, you are often alienating the people you’re with. “I can’t believe s/he… likes the color yellow; eats meat; takes anti-depressants; has a cousin in jail; owns a pet snake; etc.”



Help Green the Holidays at Haas

Reuse Recycle Ecology Environment Go Green Meeting Concept

Reuse Recycle Ecology Environment Go Green Meeting Concept

By Lam Le, BS 17, Green Team Member & Center for Responsible Business Sustainability Analyst

Since the launch of UC Berkeley’s Energy Incentive Program in 2012, Haas has saved a total of 100,345 kilowatt hours of electricity—the equivalent of what 100 households use in a year! Our reduced energy use has also earned us $10,000 in incentive payments from central campus.

In June 2015, we went on to achieve another Green Certification for reducing energy use in the library with smart power strips; stationing composting and recycling bins throughout the buildings (notice how much easier it is to recycle now!?!); operating a ReUSE station where people can leave unwanted office supplies that are still in mint condition for someone else’s use (it’s in the mail room!); and installing low-flow aerators on faucets throughout the Haas campus.

While we have accomplished great results as a group, each of us can make an impact by taking these simple actions:

Download and follow these Office Energy-saving Tips

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Join the Haas School of Business Team in UC-wide Cool Campus Challenge

Take quick and easy energy-saving pledges to earn “cool” points.

Just one more week left to join!

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Need inspiration?

With 300 staff and 250 faculty, we can certainly come up with more energy-saving ideas that help our campus be greener and make the holidays just that much more meaningful. Share your ideas in the comments section below, or submit them to

Happy Holidays!



How cross-school collaboration is paying off: stories from DAR

By Michelle McClellan, Assistant Dean, Development and Alumni Relations

Second in a series of four articles by senior Haas leaders about the key goals underlying our strategic business plan

As we begin to put our new strategic business plan into motion, I’ve noticed that a theme is emerging: our shared views about what is important to us as a school. The key word there is shared: in order to build on our Defining Principles and put our plan into action, we need to up our game as collaborators. How do we better collaborate to strengthen our alumni network—and do so with the extraordinary talent, insights, and commitment that can be found everywhere across the school?

While it’s too early to measure outcomes of our new strategic priorities, we already have some powerful stories that illustrate how small steps and more focused and defined collaborations are having an impact. One example is our tactic of delivering life-long alumni learning opportunities. A diverse group of partners within Haas and across campus, including the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Berkeley-Haas Digital team, our program offices and faculty, and the Berkeley Resource Center for Online Education, has been developing digital content that will allow alumni continued access to the best of Haas. And early indicators show that thousands of alumni are already embracing our Students Always principle: More than 2,500 people have watched Professor Teck Ho’s Best of Pricing Seminar, which is accessible to alumni and students, and a “Haas Talk” video titled “Why Bitcoin Will Change Everything,” by Ian Lee, MBA 10, has gotten 21,500 views. With increased Haas-wide partnerships in both content development and marketing, traffic to Berkeley-Haas Insights—our life-long learning web portal for alumni—has increased more than 150% in the past year.

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The Berkeley-Haas Insights portal allows alumni to access content created throughout Haas.


Connecting with our alumni within our company communities is another important tactic. It falls under our Bay Area location strategy, but it’s also linked to our Network-value tactic. Working collaboratively this past summer, Development and Alumni Relations and the Career Management Group provided first-year MBA students with lists of alumni at the companies where they were interning. The response from students was enormously positive—they expressed appreciation for the introduction to a new corporate network of Berkeley-Haas alumni.  While it was focused on our MBA students, the project had some unintentional ripple effects. And undergraduate student wrote this note to Dean Lyons: Wanted to share with you an update about the power of the Berkeley-Haas network so far with my summer internship. I have been able to reach out to several alumni…So far, the reception has been overwhelming positive…It has been an eye opening experience to see the Berkeley-Haas network growing and thriving.

It’s inspiring to read a student’s comments about how small steps lead to a stronger community. And, we hope that these activated groups grow in strength to help drive career support, admissions, and custom executive education. Where next will our teams shine and form new networks?  Stay tuned as we gain momentum with our alumni network tactic teams and partners.

Video in 2 acts: How NOT to give feedback

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 11.53.23 AMMissed the Nov. 12 staff town hall? You can still watch Dean Rich Lyons and COO Jo Mackness putting themselves out there in the name of building our workplace culture—and getting rescued by DSAC colleagues.





Feedback is love

Disrupting the Status Quo on All Hallows Eve

ECSM Halloween
By Barinder Dhillon-Flanagan, Deputy CIO for ECSM

Consider the following question: How do we disrupt the status quo while respecting established behavior?

“Bring your ideas to the All-Hands on October 30th where we’ll spend some time identifying existing services that we could stop delivering in order to make room for new services that we don’t yet deliver (but that our customers have told us they want).”

With this invitation from CIO Kevin Cornish, the stage was set for our All-Hands ECSM meeting—a gathering to begin discussion of our organization’s future. The question on the table: What can we stop doing to make room for new services?

“In the spirit of trying something new, I’ll turn the rest of my muse over to a liberating structure entitled ‘Wicked Questions,'” Kevin told the group at the outset. “The idea behind this challenge is to encourage us to confront both sides of a seemingly paradoxical question. The best responses will solve for both questions without resorting to ‘yes, but…’ or ‘either-or’ statements.”

Our introspection began with asking our team members to anonymously write one bold idea about Haas ECSM’s current services on a small card. These cards were then passed around to random fellow staffers who were tasked with assessing and rating the ideas anonymously. A rating of 5 represented 100% backing for the idea, while lower ratings indicated diminishing support. Each idea was passed around and rated through five rounds by five different staffers.

At the end of the activity, the cards were tallied and the ten best-rated ideas were read aloud. These winning ideas included thoughts about ECSM’s current services, their relevance to our existing customer base, and notions about improving or updating that service. The power of anonymity paid off, and we received valuable suggestions on how to improve the way we manage and provide services.  Concentrating on only the top ten ideas also ensured that leadership would be able to devote time to review and act on these suggestions, and circle back to staff with some results within a reasonable time.

In all, I thought our All-Hands on All Hallows Eve succeeded exceedingly well in tackling the “Wicked Problem” we are grappling with. It also embodied the spirit of our four defining principles, which clearly resides within us all.

Volunteer this Friday: Go beyond your desk—and beyond yourself!


MBA students at work in the Alameda Point Collaborative nursery during Week Zero

By Danner Doud-Martin, Green Team Co-Leader

It’s easy to go beyond yourself when there are cool opportunities to volunteer at amazing local nonprofits…and when you give back during your work day, get picked up and brought back to campus by motor coach, and get a picnic lunch!

This Friday, Haas Staff and MBA have the wonderful opportunity to work side-by-side volunteering at Alameda Point Collaborative (APC).  The volunteer day is co-organized by Engage@Haas, the Dean’s Office, and the MBA fundraising organization Challenge for Charity.

APC is a supportive housing community that uses all its resources to help families and individuals break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. It’s the largest supportive housing provider for homeless families in Alameda County.

“APC is a hand UP and not a hand out,” says Chris Conanan, MBA 16 and C4C’s liaison the organization. “The staff is dedicated to helping community members change their lives. Over 200 children live at APC, and with the help of the greater community, they can all aspire to be Cal Bears. Haas students and faculty can provide a positive example as well as some elbow grease that will allow APC to brighten lives for families.”

APC has identified areas that could use our help—ranging from helping with the farm and nursery, assisting with tech issues, and organizing their new library. But the work may changed based on needs on the day we get there.

PrintWe hope to have a great showing of staff and students. “Volunteering for such a wonderful cause is amazing in itself, but being able to do it with our students is even better. We have the opportunity to make a difference in Alameda’s community and engage with our students in a way that we have never done before. This is going to be our best community service day yet, you don’t want to miss it!” adds Jenna Choban, from Engage@Haas.

There’s still time to register here:

The schedule:

  • Coach Departure from Haas: 12:00 PM
  • Picnic lunch: 12:30 PM
  • Volunteer Time: 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM
  • Return Time to Haas via Motor Coach: 5:00 PM

See you on Friday!