San Diego Business Journal Honors Alumni Business Leaders

Two University of California San Diego staff members and an alumnus from UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management were honored by the San Diego Business Journal as “San Diego’s Next 40 Top Business Leaders Under 40.”

The four were recognized today in the San Diego Business Journal, following a presentation of their awards at a recent dinner at the Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter.

The two staff members honored were Zachary Schalgel, assistant director of government affairs for UC San Diego Health, and Josh Shapiro, executive director of UC San Diego’s Center for Applied Research and Evaluation. Both are also UC San Diego alumni.

Rady alumnus Suman Kanuganti was honored for his role as co-founder and CEO of Aira Tech Corp.

Following are a description of their accomplishments in today’s San Diego Business Journal.

Suman Kanuganti

Suman Kanuganti has spent the past four years with Aira Tech Corp—a startup he co-founded—but his footprint on San Diego’s technology sector is much larger. Kanuganti arrived in San Diego in 2007, working as a product development consultant for Qualcomm. A little more than a year later, he joined Intuit as its chief technology officer, working on the ongoing development of products such as Mint, Turbo Tax and QuickBooks. At Aira, he is developing technology that connects blind and visually impaired people with a sighted agent to assist them with common activities. The users wear specially designed glasses equipped with a camera that provide a feed from which a sighted agent can assist the user in real time, from reading a restaurant menu to filling in an application. Suman holds an MBA from Rady, a master’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering from Kakatiya University in India.

Zachary Schalgel

Zachary Schalgel is a longtime advocate for public health, having joined UC San Diego Health in 2007. He is the creator of the award-winning Here initiative to expand healthcare access, provide workforce education and development, and promote clinical research for underserved South Bay and southeast San Diego communities. He also works closely to promote events and services with The LGBT Center and manages all external volunteer activities for staff throughout UC San Diego Health. Prior to joining UC San Diego Health, Schalgel worked as a community representative for Congressman Bob Filner, advising the politician on health, environmental and educational issues. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science from UC San Diego in 2004.

Josh Shapiro

Josh Shapiro’s work involves evaluating workforce trends and conducting regional economic studies, program evaluations and other data-driven projects. He is one of the core evaluators of the effectiveness of the Department of Labor’s $500 million Wired initiative, which involved 15 regions across the country. He has also worked on a number of labor market and innovation reports including a grant from the National Science Foundation on the role social and cultural dynamics play in regional innovation. Shapiro is trained in both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, with a specialization in survey design. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in sociology from UC San Diego and a B.A. in social thought and analysis from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to joining the UC San Diego community, he spent about a year volunteering with Americorps.

This article was originally published on UC San Diego News Center.