Although the HBO series Boardwalk Empire is a work of historical fiction, Fox School alumnus Edward McGinty, BBA ’89, the show’s research advisor, helps ensure that the writers’ words are backed up with historical facts. Here, he talks about how growing up in Atlantic City helped land him a job on the acclaimed series.
How did you connect with Terence Winter, the show’s creator?
After graduating from Temple, I went to film school at Columbia University, where I met Terence Winter at a Q-and-A screening with the cast of The Sopranos. A few years later, Terry mentioned that he was writing a project about Prohibition in Atlantic City to a friend of mine from film school. My friend said, “You’ve got to meet my friend Eddie, he grew up in Atlantic City and knows everything there is to know about the town.”
What was that first meeting like?
I brought as much research material as I could carry to the meeting. My grandfather and my father, Ed Sr., ENG ’56, had worked at the Ritz Carlton, where the real Nucky lived. At the end of the meeting, I showed a photo of my grandfather wearing his bellman’s uniform, standing on the boardwalk in front of the Ritz. Terry looked at it and said, “You’re hired!” I think I may have been the first person on the payroll.
So growing up in Atlantic City gave you an edge?
Absolutely. I brought a lot of first-hand knowledge to the table. I was always fascinated by the history of the city I grew up in. I had always heard stories from my Dad about growing up in Atlantic City, so there was a lot of family history I could refer to. And [Temple History Professor] Bryant Simon’s book, Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America, sat next to Nelson Johnson’s Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City [on which the HBO series is based] on my bookshelf for years. Those are two of my personal favorite books about the history of Atlantic City.
What does your father say about your work on the show?
The high point of my life was taking my Dad to see the Boardwalk set in Brooklyn. When he saw it for the first time, he stopped in his tracks. He climbed the stairs to the boardwalk they had built and leaned on the railing and said, “You guys really nailed it.”
What does being a researcher for the show entail?
The writing staff comes up with the storylines, and I support them with as much historical research as I can about the time period. If they have any questions along the way, I find the answer by searching the Internet, going to libraries, calling on experts, etc. Anything I need to do to find answers as quickly as possible. When the script comes out, I go back through it and fact-check, making sure that everything is on the mark. Everyone on the show does their best to make sure the historical elements are as authentic as possible.
You appeared on screen during the first few seasons as Ward Boss Boyd. How did that happen?
One day I was sitting in the writer’s room, and Terry looked across the table and said, “You kind of look like a character from back then. You should audition.” I brushed it off, but he persisted. I had trained as an actor at the American Conservatory Theater, but I hadn’t auditioned in a few years, so I was extremely nervous. But I got the part. The fun thing is that my character was named after a real ward boss, who was my grandfather’s fishing buddy. So much of this show for me has been due to good luck and great fortune. The best part of it all has been having a mentor like Terence Winter to learn from.
Did you draw on your experience in Philadelphia while researching the storyline for Willie Thompson, who was a student at Temple this season?
Terry had the initial idea to have Willie go to Temple, and it made a lot of sense. When I went to Temple as an undergrad, there was a big contingent of Atlantic City kids there. So I was able to add a lot of first-hand knowledge to my research. On top of that, the Temple Library staff was very helpful. They pointed me to a number of digitized documents and yearbooks from the era. Also, [Professor Emeritus] Jim Hilty’s book, Temple University: 125 Years of Service to Philadelphia, the Nation, and the World, was an invaluable resource. Every Temple student and alumnus should have a copy of that book on their shelf.
“Mercedes is a core research partner, and has been instrumental in bringing new ideas, methodological rigor, and tenacity to our joint work.”
– Michael E. Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor
Harvard Business School
Assistant Professor, Strategic Management
Hometown: Seville, Spain
Motto: Stay positive.
Latest read: Tim Harford’s Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure
Latest band: Gotan Project
Businessperson she admires: Oprah Winfrey – self-made, great teacher, connects with the public and gives back.
Best way to cope with stress: A good cup of coffee and the gym.
Innovating in the fast lane
Ask Mercedes Delgado about the current pace of innovation, and here’s what she’ll tell you: It is moving faster than ever.
Delgado, an assistant professor of strategic management, focuses her research on entrepreneurship, country competitiveness, and the relationship between industry clusters and the performance of firms, regions and countries.
In the three years since Delgado joined Fox, she has demonstrated the power innovation and collaboration can have in and outside of Alter Hall.
In September 2010, Delgado and a team of Harvard and MIT researchers earned a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to help policymakers more effectively tap into regional innovation clusters that drive economic growth.
Delgado, who describes clusters as “geographic agglomerations of companies, suppliers, service providers and associated institutions in a particular field,” said the EDA grant has allowed the researchers to use state-of-the-art methods to better assess the presence, dynamics and emergence of regional clusters (for example, clean energy). Their main goal is to provide mapping tools for firms, practitioners and fellow researchers to evaluate growth opportunities.
Delgado’s “Clusters and entrepreneurship,” which she co-authored with Harvard University’s Michael E. Porter and MIT Professor Scott Stern, was published last year in the Journal of Economic Geography. But the team has been working on clusters and regional development for years, beginning with Porter’s pioneer work in the 1990s.
“I have been very fortunate to work with and learn from great researchers,” Delgado said. “Collaboration makes it easier to see the bigger picture and produce more impactful research.”
Before joining Fox, Delgado completed post-doctoral fellowships at the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Innovation Policy Group and Harvard Business School’s Institute for Strategy and Competiveness, which Porter directs and where Delgado is a senior associate.
Research also plays a vital role in her Fox curricula and instruction.
“The interplay of research and teaching is crucial. My research helps me develop new course material, including company cases and tools for assessing the business environment in a particular location,” said Delgado, who, just last summer, studied the entrepreneurial capacity of Andalusia, Spain, by interviewing more than 50 organizations.
Since 2009 she has collaborated on a new curriculum development initiative to link strategic management’s undergraduate capstone and Fox’s MBA Enterprise Management Consulting (EMC) Practice, increasing real-world experience for undergraduates. As part of the course enhancement, Delgado co-authored a case study of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program with EMC Managing Director TL Hill.
“Discussing these cases with the students, and the follow-up on the cases offered by the CEOs,” she said, “improve students’ learning experience and motivation to succeed.”
With help from her colleagues, Delgado is designing an MBA-level course on Analytical Foundations of Strategy, which she plans to pilot in Fall 2012.
“This course will offer the analytical tools to facilitate strategic decision-making in a setting of uncertainty,” Delgado said. “The business environment changes fast, and these changes need to be reflected in the curriculum.”
Some might consider Robin Lenge’s life a fashion fairytale. Others might call it a testament to the power of networking and pursuing your passion.
Originally from rural Schnecksville, Pa., Lenge, BBA ’91, came to Temple for its urban environment. Today she has a fast paced, New York City fashion-industry career that has taken her to trend shopping in Europe, leather shows in Bologna, fabric shows in Paris, and mills and factories in Asia. She has worked for Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Kate Spade, Coach, Gap and, currently, Banana Republic.
“I wanted to mix the creative with the business,” said Lenge, who monitors commodity markets as frequently as she leads the creation of new fashion accessories.
Early in Lenge’s career, a family friend helped her secure an internship and her first job with industry giants Polo Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, respectively. She remembers running home after one of her first meetings at Tommy Hilfiger to call her parents and tell them that Hilfiger had asked her opinion.
Later, at a fashion awards ceremony with Hilfiger, Lenge saw an outstanding video presentation by then up-and-coming designer Kate Spade. Inspired by the video, Lenge wrote to Spade, expressing how much she wanted to join her company.
“It was such a cool place, and I wanted to be a part of it so much that I was willing to do anything to get there,” she said.
It worked, and when a job opened up at Kate Spade, Lenge was called.
Along the way Lenge made strong friendships in the industry. She recounts the excitement of moving to New York fresh out of college and building a friend and community base around her work. Those friendships helped Lenge move from Kate Spade to Gap and Coach.
Today Lenge is director of production non-apparel for Banana Republic. She helps her team of six coordinate with design and merchandising to translate concepts and raw materials into 500 styles a season and tangible products, such as handbags, jewelry, belts and other accessories.
Lenge provides the designers with the tools to execute their vision, works with overseas offices and factory partners, and manages the designers’ ideas through production and quality control.
One of the most rewarding aspects of her job is seeing the concepts she started with walking down the street in the hands of consumers.
“I see people carrying a handbag I made, and I love that.”
Stephen Wilson, BS ’62, was selected by the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH) as the 2010 recipient of the Doug Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes dedication and service to AATH and a significant contribution to the understanding and application of humor or laughter during an entire career with a definable body of work.
Harvey Goldberg, BBA ’65, has been nominated to join the board of directors at Dynasil Corp., a leader in specialized sensors, precision instruments and optical products for the medical, industrial and homeland security/defense markets.
John J. Mullen, BBA ’67, was mentioned in Philadelphia SmartCEO for his business, Apple Vacations, which is now the largest tour operator in America.
Timothy Cousounis, BBA ’72, was appointed managing director of DAI Palliative Care Group, a national consultancy that partners with hospices to build their medical staffs.
Alan Inman, BBA ’73, was recruited on short notice to facilitate and help arrange panelists for the “Family Track” of the Global Peace Convention in Manila, Philippines. Inman helped reorganize convention sessions and workshops for two weeks before the convention began.
Michael Lefkoe, MBA ’73, retired after 32 years in the retail industry. His career included positions at Lit Brothers, John Wanamaker/Carter Hawley Hale and Charming Shoppes, where he was an internal auditor. He was also responsible for accounts payable and the rent department as associate director of accounts payable at Charming. Most recently at Deb Shops, Lefkoe was assistant controller of leasing.
Joseph Badowski, BBA ’76, was awarded the professional insurance designation Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) by the American Institute for CPCU. He works for Harleysville Insurance Company as a liability claims supervisor in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Claims Service Center.
Linda A. Galante, BBA ’76, was named as one of the “Women of Distinction” in Philadelphia Business Journal.
Linda A. Galante, BBA ’76, joined the board of directors to The Forum of Executive Women as treasurer.
Jane Scaccetti, BBA ’77, was named as one of the “Women of Distinction” in Philadelphia Business Journal.
Dan Garrett, BA ’79, recently joined PricewaterhouseCoopers’ health industries advisory practice executive team. He has worked with key industry executives across leading commercial health plan, provider and life sciences organizations, and he has also served as an adviser and board-level executive to key industry associations and federal healthcare agencies.
Robert Hicks, BBA ’80, has joined the staff of Delaware’s Auditor of Accounts. With more than 25 years of experience in his field, Hicks previously worked in management positions for the consulting service Accume Partners, MBNA America and Campbell Soup Co.
Wanda Paul, BBA ’80, was appointed to the board of directors for Steppingstone Scholars, Inc., a Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization that develops and implements programs to prepare underserved schoolchildren for educational opportunities that lead to college.
Marc Goldstein, BBA ’80, is celebrating 15 years as principal and owner of Malvern-based GM&P Strategic Advertising, a full-service advertising/marketing agency providing organizations with strategic planning, creative, media planning, execution and production services. Goldstein has 31 years of experience in the advertising/marketing industry.
Lee Zeplowitz, BBA ’82, was appointed to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia legacy advisers group, which is comprised of law, financial planning, banking, trusts, investments and insurance professionals.
William Byrne, BBA ’83, has joined WSFS Financial Corp. as senior vice president of commercial banking. With more than 25 years of commercial lending and leadership experience, Byrne oversees commercial banking activities in Pennsylvania and is based in West Chester.
John Paterakis, BBA ’84, was appointed to the newly established Haitian Relief Commission of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Central America. He will be helping to coordinate all relief efforts in Haiti undertaken by the Greek Orthodox Church globally. Paterakis is first vice chairman of the Board of Church World Service, the relief and development arm of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.
Katherine Clupper, MBA ’85, was named as one of the “Women of Distinction” in Philadelphia Business Journal.
Kathleen Block, BBA ’86, of Milligan & Co., was named one of seven new board members of Philadelphia women’s fundraising federation, Women’s Way.
Justin Brooks, BBA ’86, professor at the California Western School of Law, was named one of California’s Top 100 Attorneys in a September 2010 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Journal. This honor marks the third consecutive year in which Brooks has received this recognition. One of four San Diego attorneys to be honored with this award, he is also one of three criminal defense and appeals lawyers in the state to make the list.
Linda Guendelsberger, MBA ’87, was mentioned in Philadelphia SmartCEO after being named one of WeiserMazars LLP’s Smart CPAs of 2011.
Rebecca U. Harris, MBA ’87, received the Member of the Year award from the National Association of Women Business Owners on Aug. 3.
Thomas Spearing, BBA ’88, was promoted to president of Hill International’s Project Management Group (Americas), where he will be responsible for managing the company’s project management operations throughout the U.S. Hill International is a global leader in managing construction risk.
Jeffrey Gorke, BBA ’89, has published The Physician’s Guide to the Business of Medicine: Dreams and Realities, a playbook that maps out the business realities physicians and practice administrators must understand in order to identify, seek and find their “dream” practice.
Carlton Adams, MS ’89, joined Peabody as senior vice president of global supply chains with executive responsibility for the company’s worldwide procurement efforts, including developing comprehensive strategies while managing the quality and cost of goods and services purchased. Most recently, Adams served as director of service parts, purchasing and supplier relations for Caterpillar Inc., with global responsibility for purchasing services.
Joseph Lukach, MBA ’89, has been named CEO of Philadelphia nonprofit Center for Autism. He was previously executive director of Siloam, a Philadelphia HIV/AIDS service organization. Lukach will lead the Center for Autism’s strategic plan, which focuses on increasing the availability of its evaluation and treatment services to people in the Philadelphia region.
Laurada Byers, MBA ’90, was appointed secretary to the board of directors to the Russell Byers Charter School.
Alan J. Kaplan, MBA ’90, was mentioned in Philadelphia SmartCEO for his firm Kaplan & Associates, Inc.
Jay L. Weinstein, MBA ’90, joined the board of directors of the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation.
Katayun Jaffari, MBA ’91, a partner in the business department of Saul Ewing LLP and chair of the firm’s Corporate Governance Practice Group, has been elected to the Board of Directors for the Scleroderma Foundation, Delaware Valley Chapter. She was also named one of Philadelphia Business Journal’s “40 under 40,” an annual list of individuals younger than 40 who are proven performers in their respective industries and have made Greater Philadelphia a better place to live and do business.
Karen Jett, BBA ’91, has been inducted into the Montgomery County Community College Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. Jett is principal of Jett Excellence, which helps executives turn values into business practices. She is also an active member of the Institute of Management Accountants and an adjunct professor at Villanova University, where she teaches certified management accountant review courses.
Ron Iller, MBA ’93, accepted a position as senior manager with a global consulting firm, The North Highland Company, to start a local healthcare practice helping hospitals and healthcare systems take advantage of new technologies and navigate through healthcare reform and Meaningful Use requirements. He also received certification in Healthcare Information and Management Systems from the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society.
Regine Metellus, BA ’93, of Urban League of Philadelphia, was elected to the board of directors for Maternity Care Coalition in Philadelphia.
Patrick Maloney, MBA ’94, has been appointed CEO of Brooksville Regional Hospital. He has more than 20 years of healthcare experience, most recently as CEO of Coral Springs Medical Center in South Florida.
June Bretz, BBA ’96, was named executive director of the Volunteer Center of Gloucester County.
Kevin Darrington, MBA ’98, chief financial officer of Tops Friendly Markets, has been named CFO of the Year by Business First of Buffalo. Tops is a full-service grocery retailer in western and central New York and northwestern Pennsylvania. Darrington is a certified public accountant and has previously worked for Pathmark Stores, Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy and Foot Locker.
Richard Lussier, MBA ’00, has been appointed vice president of worldwide sales for RainDance Technologies Inc., a private company pioneering microdroplet-based technologies for single-molecule and single-cell analysis. He is responsible for advancing RainDance’s customer relationships and growth into all research and clinical markets that the company serves globally.
Rebecca Udell, MBA ’01, joined the KSS Architects design team to continue its successful expansion into the Philadelphia regional market, particularly in corporate interiors as well as commercial development and higher education.
John Sider, MBA ’02, former deputy secretary for technology investment for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, has been appointed managing director of Ben Franklin Technology Partners. Sider will be responsible for managing statewide activities and communications.
John Tancredi, BBA ’02, opened his own collectible toys company at www.Higbytoys.com.
Scott Sampson, MS ’03, accepted a new position as business systems analyst and tester with Vanguard Group in Valley Forge, Pa.
Rebecca Gushue, MBA ’03, was appointed Ward 5 Commissioner in Philadelphia.
Laurie Fanelly, MBA ’04, has been named director of financial and administrative services at University of Pennsylvania Libraries.
Nikki Johnson-Houston, MBA ’04, was named as one of the “Women of Distinction” in Philadelphia Business Journal.
Sophie Shuklin, BBA ’04, is now a principal consultant for a boutique-consulting firm, Atidan LLC.
Mumin F. Islam, BBA, ’04, was elected as a board member for Maternity Care Coalition.
Karen M. Sanchez, MBA ’04, joined the Commercial, Real Estate and Public Finance group of Thorp Reed & Armstrong.
Amy Rice, BBA ’06, is engaged to Stephen Mularski.
Lawrence Spruel, BBA ’06, helped bring a supermarket to the North Philadelphia community, serving as treasurer of the board of directors of Progress Plaza Shopping Center.
Courtney V. Mrusko, BBA ’07, was hired as an account executive for the Philadelphia healthcare team of Lockton.
Angela Prendergast, BBA ’07, was recently hired as assistant director for online marketing in Temple University Alumni and Development Communications, where she is responsible for managing all aspects of Temple’s online community, myowlspace.com. She was formerly in the Philadelphia Flyers’ marketing department.
Sherri Napoli, BBA ’08, is now a contract specialist at Defense Supply Center Philadelphia.
Christa Detweiler, BBA ’09, was named director of community engagement and volunteerism for the North Montco Volunteer Center in Hatfield, Pa.
Seth Morgan, BBA ’10 and Steven Nicholas, BBA ’10, were recently hired by the Philadelphia-based accounting firm BBD.
Peter Rooke, MBA ’10, was hired as a rotational analyst at Hirtle, Callaghan & Co.
James Curran, BBA ’11, was hired as a market research analyst for Independent Blue Cross.
Brent Saunders, MBA, LAW ’96, CEO of Bausch + Lomb, has traveled to at least 60 countries in the past decade, yet the leader of the world’s largest independent eye-care company hardly gets a chance to look around.
“Except for one trip, I don’t think I’ve taken time to do any sightseeing,” Saunders said, recalling the lone exception – his second trip to China – when he had an extra day to squeeze in a “week’s worth of activities.”
Such is life for Saunders, who oversees a company that does business in 100 countries and has more than 10,000 employees worldwide. Appointed CEO in March 2010, Saunders said his job is to ensure as many ideas as possible result in tangible innovations.
To that end, Saunders recast research and development as “development and research,” which, while acknowledging research is essential, emphasizes development as the work that transforms ideas into products that help people see and live better.
Although Bausch + Lomb is best known for eye-care products, the 158-year-old company has two other business units: surgical and pharmaceuticals. With Saunders at the helm, the company has rejuvenated its product pipeline across all units, with projects that include a new laser technology for cataract surgery, new contact lens solution and materials, and a novel anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical agent.
In addition to developing potentially game-changing products, Saunders also emphasizes that “results, in and of themselves, are not enough.”
“It’s how we achieve the results that is going to make us different – or better – than our competitors,” said Saunders, who at age 41 is among the nation’s youngest CEOs.
Before Saunders joined Bausch + Lomb, he served as a senior executive with Schering-Plough, a partner and head of compliance business advisory at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and chief risk officer at Coventry Health Care. And before that, he attended the Fox School at night, doubling up on classes as he practiced law.
“I really learned how to prioritize my time and do things efficiently and effectively,” said Saunders, whose grandfather and brother also have Temple degrees. “It’s probably the best learning I gained from my time at Temple.”