News & Events
Zdanowski Receives Clarkson University’s Top Award for Young Alumni
[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/zdanowski.jpg .]
Potsdam, N.Y. - John E. Zdanowski of Danville, Calif., former CFO of San Francisco-based Linden Lab, has received the Woodstock Award from his alma mater, Clarkson University.
Given each year during Reunion Weekend, the Woodstock Award honors young alumni who have demonstrated outstanding loyalty and service to Clarkson and the Alumni Association and who have used their Clarkson experience to make a notable contribution to their careers.
John Zdanowski received his bachelor of science degree in electrical & computer engineering from Clarkson in 1989. He continued his graduate studies at Syracuse University and in 1992 was awarded a master of science degree in electrical engineering. In 1994, he received a master of business administration from Harvard University. While at Clarkson, Zdanowski was a resident advisor and later resident director. He was a member of Sigma Chi and was inducted into the Phalanx and Eta Kappa Nu honor societies.
In 2006, Zdanowski was named CFO of San Francisco-based Linden Lab, the creator of Second Life, the world’s leading 3D virtual world environment. When he joined the company, Second Life saw explosive growth. Zdanowski implemented a new financial discipline, tripled the work force to over 300 employees, and drove the enterprise to profitability while growing revenue eight fold. He is credited with upgrading processes from basic bookkeeping to public company accounting standards and controls.
In 2007, Zdanowski was profiled in CFO Magazine, and then again in 2008 in the Journal of Accountancy. Under his leadership, the growth of Second Life's virtual economy increased from $20 million to over $400 million annually. Zdanowski also oversaw monetary policies to stabilize the $100 million virtual currency exchange.
Before he joined Linden Lab, Zdanowski was chief financial officer for HouseValues Inc. in Seattle, Washington. He is also the founder and former chief operations officer and chief financial officer for Affinity Internet Inc., a company that provides shared and dedicated server Web site hosting services to small- and medium-sized businesses.
Zdanowski serves on three boards: Garrison Enterprises Inc., the largest provider of hosted environmental health data management systems serving 100 state and local municipalities across the country; Pixelfish Inc., a technology-driven provider of award-winning video advertising solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses and their advertising partners; and RentJuice, a startup provider of hosted applications for rental management companies and real estate agents and brokers.
He is the current reunion-giving chair for his class.
Zdanowski lives in Danville, California, with his wife, Charlotte, and their children, Celia, Jack and Caroline.
Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.
Photo caption: John E. Zdanowski of Danville Calif., former CFO of San Francisco-based Linden Lab, has received the Woodstock Award from his alma mater, Clarkson University. Left to right: Clarkson University President Tony Collins, Zdanowski (with son Jack), and Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations Steve Newkofsky.