The Alumni Council and Board of Trustees are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 Alumni Awards: Jon Congdon ’81, Dodd Fischer ’61, Peter Ziegler ’63 and Jack Wiese ’06. Webb's alumni awards program aims to recognize alumni who represent the best of Webb through their exemplary work and achievements.
Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award
Jon Congdon ’81
In 2014, the company Jon Congdon '81 co-founded, Beachbody LLC, reached $1 billion+ in sales. Congdon and his partner, Carl Daikeler, established the business in 1998 with one idea in mind: to help others live healthy, fulfilling lives. To that end, Beachbody has become a leading provider of fitness, nutrition, and weight-loss solutions – including the popular P90X® Series – with more than 20 million customers.
In its first 15 years of business, Beachbody earned several awards and accolades, including multiple Telly Awards and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Congdon was a finalist for Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award in 2005. In 2009, he testi?ed in Washington, D.C., in front of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance as a representative of the marketing industry, supporting the right to use inspirational testimonials in advertising.
Congdon has maintained close ties with his Webb family, retaining friendships with classmates, supporting the Affiliates Auction with Beachbody products, loyally supporting the Webb Fund, and in 2013, as part of the Fulfilling Our Promise campaign, making a substantial gift of $100,000 to renovate a Next Generation classroom in the Nelson Center.
As he was starting his own business, Congdon often consulted with Webb friends, Tom Courts ’81 and Chris Brown ’81.
“Those friends have been instrumental in making me who I am as a human being,” said Congdon. Sports were also a big part of his life at Webb – he participated in basketball and cross country and served as sports editor for Blue and Gold.
After Congdon graduated from UCLA with a degree in political science with dual emphases in Constitutional Law and International Relations, he began his professional career at Proctor and Gamble which he described as a “little too big for me.” He then began a period of mindful searching – including working as a parking valet in Beverly Hills, travelling to Guatemala to learn Spanish and eventually returning to the states to become a school teacher for 3 years. He went back into the world of marketing at Guthy-Renker, where he met Daikeler – the two men launched a national computer dating service and built a revenue sharing network of more than 100 radio stations to promote the concept. After that unit was sold to Cendant, the pair decided to start their own company.
Congdon cites his experience at Webb with helping him grow a company from humble beginnings to global recognition.
“Our teachers kept us focused on the future,” said Congdon. “Even after I left school, I remember running into [former Webb teacher] Henry Sharp at an alumni event. At the time I was in my globe wandering phase, and I remember him saying ‘you know Jon, when you jump back in, you’re capable of doing a great deal with your life.’ At the time I was a little hurt, but he was just still being a Webb teacher, helping guide me in the right direction.”
Colborn Distinguished Service Award
Dodd Fischer ’61
Dodd Fischer ’61 has had almost every affiliation with Webb possible: he is an alumnus, an alumni parent, a former trustee, a reunion chairman, a class agent, a campaign volunteer, a consistent major donor, and a regional host.
Classmate John Erving ’61, who acknowledged Fischer’s service to Webb, said, “Dodd has been crucial to the success our class had while at Webb, and to motivating us as alums to stay engaged with each other and The Webb Schools.”
Fischer didn’t actually start school with his class, entering as a sophomore, but he quickly made up for lost time – playing soccer, baseball, and basketball, and participating as a member of Block W and the California Scholastic Foundation, and as an editor of the Blue and Gold and a contributor to the literary magazine, Sage.
In between degrees at Yale and Stanford, he also served his country, as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army infantry in the Korean conflict.
Upon receiving his MBA from Stanford, Fischer worked at several investment and stock brokerage firms; in 1981, he founded Storables®, a specialty retail chain that carries a variety of products aimed at helping consumers organize their homes and work spaces. The store currently operates in four locations, including two in Seattle, Washington, and two in Portland, Oregon.
Fischer has consistently volunteered his services to Webb through his participation with class of 1961 activities and through his service on the Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2009. He and his wife, Nancy, have also graciously hosted Webb events in Portland.
In 2005, Dodd and Nancy, established the Dodd Fischer ’61 Endowment Fund to support the operating budget of Webb, and Dodd is a member of the Thompson and Vivian Webb Society which recognizes alumni, parents, and friends who have made an estate commitment with The Webb Schools.
Former Head of Schools Susan Nelson described Dodd as “a truly exemplary alumnus in so many ways.” By almost every measure of the Colborn Distinguished Service award criteria – service, consistency of dedication, and engagement with the institution – Fischer has generously and ably demonstrated his commitment to The Webb Schools and its constituents.
Colborn Distinguished Service Award
Peter Ziegler ’63
Peter Ziegler ’63 once wrote to his classmates about Webb: “The school played an important part in our formative years, and I think it was a contributing factor to the success we experienced later in life.” His classmates, in turn, have described him as “a very good man,” and “an excellent product of a Webb education,” (Chuck Bell ’63); and, “an indefatigable donor of time and talent to our school and much deserving of the Colborn Distinguished Service Award,” (Bruce Heintz ’63).
Ziegler is remembered by his classmates for his quiet humor and easy-going demeanor.
“Peter was successful in nearly every facet of Webb life,” recalled Thomas Butterworth ’63.
He was a perennial member of the California Scholastic Federation, recipient of the National Merit Scholarship Letter of Commendation, letterman in football and tennis, editor of El Espejo, a member of the Chapel Guild, and a two-year member of the Honor Committee.
Ziegler received his B.S. in industrial administration and organizational behavior from Yale in 1967, and his law degree from the University of Southern California in 1974. In between, he admirably served his country as a line officer in the United States Navy from 1967 to 1971.
Throughout the years, his affiliation with Webb has been virtually uninterrupted. He served on the Board of Trustees for more than 20 years, was President of the Alumni Association, Chairman of the Alumni Gift Committee for The Campaign for The Webb Schools and helped establish The Class of ’63 Endowed Fund with a major gift. He also made a generous bequest to the school during the Fulfilling Our Promise Campaign.
Ziegler was a lawyer for 34 years at international law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher where he made partner in 1982 and co-partner in 1999; he was in charge of the Los Angeles office before he retired in 2008 and during his time with the firm, he handled major corporate clients including Litton, Times Mirror Corporation, Grumman, TRW and the Tribune Company.
With his wife, Cheryl, Ziegler has also supported numerous non-profits in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.
“Peter has outstandingly and always magnified and spread the values of The Webb Schools throughout his career and life,” said Wade Bray ’63.
“He’s living his life like Dr. Webb taught us to,” added Bell ’63.
Young Alumni Rising Star Award
Jack Wiese ’06
Jack Wiese ’06 has given Webb alumni who follow in his footsteps (… or in his wake), a lot to live up to. At Webb, he was an Honor Committeeman – upholding the schools’ high standard of integrity – and an all-American swimmer. He still holds a number of WSC records in individual events and relays; he was part of two CIF championship relay teams in the 200 medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay, and was a three-time CIF runner up in the 100m butterfly.
He’s also set records as he’s helped his class, as class agent, finish in the top ten for fundraising through the March Madness campaigns in 2014 and 2016.
At The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated cum laude with a bachelor of economics, Wiese served as president of the Penn Athletic Association and helped set the Penn swimming record for the 400 meter relay (swimming in the butterfly leg).
His enthusiasm for Webb is boundless – in addition to his work as class agent for the past 5 years, Wiese is serving as co-chair for the class of 2006 tenth reunion. He also spoke at sophomore career evening in 2014 – expounding on his career in Media Solutions at Facebook.
Wiese has worked in marketing and advertising at several innovative and creative companies including comScore, a global media measurement and analytics company, and Ignited, an inventive marketing and advertising enterprise. Today, he is a Client Solutions Manager for Facebook where he is pioneering one of the most relevant spaces of the modern economy – mobile ad sales – at one of the most revolutionary and significant companies of our times. He liaises with small and large companies to help them reach their target audiences for advertisements on Facebook and Instagram; his responsibilities encompass market research, data analytics and creative.
Through his work and his continued involvement with Webb, Wiese has continued to exemplify Webb’s mission to think boldly, mindfully, and creatively … and to lead with distinction and serve with a generous spirit. The Rising Star Award honors a young alumnus of the last 15 years who has:
- Demonstrated exceptional achievements in their chosen field, or used their success to bring good to the world
- Demonstrated affinity for his/her alma mater, including volunteer service, active engagement and philanthropy to Webb.