A team of students from the Fox School of Business put together the pieces to win a national case competition.
The students won the Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge, a three-month case study from a major company – iconic toymaker, LEGO. The competition culminated with eight teams delivering presentations during the RIMS 2016 Annual Conference and Exhibition, held April 10-14 in San Diego, Calif.
This marked the third win in five years for students from the Fox School’s nationally ranked Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management department. Senior Actuarial Science majors Carolyn Murset and Zilong Zhao, and Risk Management and Insurance majors Andrew Donchez and Sean Preis, a senior and a junior, respectively, comprised the winning team, which received $4,000 in prize earnings.
The Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge tasks undergraduates from around the country with developing a comprehensive, written risk analysis that will be judged by a panel of experts at the annual risk management society’s conference.
“Temple’s Risk Management and Insurance program has helped us to hone our analytical and critical-thinking skills, and adequately prepared us to identify the main risks facing LEGO,” Donchez said. “Meeting LEGO’s strategic risk manager and picking his brain taught us that risk management is a real-world issue that demands passionate, curious and persistent practitioners.”
“Winning the competition is an extraordinary closing on the last chapter of my Temple journey,” Zhao said. “It signifies the high caliber of future business leaders Fox School has nurtured.”
Walter Douglass and his son, Keith, took different routes to the Fox School of Business. But at commencement, they walked together. The father and son sat beside one another May 6 at the Liacouras Center, and had their names and degrees announced simultaneously during the Fox School’s commencement ceremony.
Walter, who in 2009 opened a tax-preparation service, received a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. Keith, 23, earned his Bachelor’s in Finance.
Walter, 50, balanced academic, professional, and familial responsibilities as “the most non-traditional student you’ll ever find,” he said. Walter has spent more than 30 years driving tractor-trailers, making nightly runs to Connecticut and returning to the family’s home in Schwenksville, Pa., in the mid-morning hours. At points of his undergraduate career, Walter would finish his day’s work and head directly to Main Campus. More recently, he would log a few hours of sleep before attending a late-afternoon class.
“There were times when I’d have two courses per semester,” Walter said, “but mostly, I would tell myself, ‘Let’s just take it one course at a time.’”
Walter began his pursuit of a college degree in 2001, first earning his associate’s degree at a community college before transferring to Temple. He’s been completing coursework ever since, except for an 18-month sabbatical while he received chemotherapy to treat Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Keith, 23, completed 18 credits of coursework in the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters in order to ensure he would walk with his father at commencement.
“When I looked at my schedule (last year), I thought, ‘I have to push myself. I owe that much to my father.’ He’s the hardest-working man I’ve ever known,” Keith said. “That was my motivation to get through it. I kept thinking, ‘This man has been through everything. I don’t have any excuses.’”
Temple University’s Fox School of Business honored Gerard H. “Jerry” Sweeney as the recipient of the 2016 Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership – the school’s highest honor, for outstanding achievement, leadership, and commitment to the community by a distinguished member of industry.
Sweeney was honored at the 20th annual Musser Award reception and dinner, held Nov. 17 in Mitten Hall, on Temple University’s Main Campus.
Sweeney is President, Chief Executive Officer, and Trustee of Brandywine Realty Trust, which develops, builds, and manages the nation’s leading Class A office and mixed-use properties. He has held these roles since the company’s founding in 1994. He has overseen the growth of Brandywine, from four properties and a total market capitalization of less than $5 million to more than 33 million square feet and a total market capitalization of close to $5 billion.
“Jerry Sweeney has overseen Brandywine Realty Trust from its infancy through to today. He is directly responsible for helping the company flourish into a leader in the real estate industry,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “This year marks an anniversary. For two decades, we have honored distinguished business professionals with the Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership, and Jerry certainly fits that description.”
Entrepreneurs piled into Alter Hall clinging more than posterboards and presentation materials. They also brought dreams of success and self-employment.
The Fox School of Business hosted casting associates from the hit ABC show “Shark Tank,” which features self-made millionaires who award mentorship and financial support to budding entrepreneurs in exchange for equity stake in their businesses. More than 170 Temple students, alumni, faculty, and staff applied in the hope that their June 11 pitches would result in selection to appear on a future episode of the show.
“I walked in the room to make my presentation, and I immediately felt so nervous,” said Fox Part-Time MBA student Vinti Singh, who pitched a standing CT scanner for horses that wouldn’t require anesthetization. “I can only wonder what it’s like to deliver a pitch in front of the actual sharks.”
Casting associates listened to 60-second presentations inside the Steven H. Korman Conference Room, with two Temple entrepreneurs having to deliver their pitches simultaneously and side by side. The associates asked entrepreneurs to reveal both the monetary value they would ask of the Sharks, and to name the Shark with whom they most strongly identified.
Caren Sachs, an associate for the show, told applicants prior to their casting calls that “personality is just as important as your pitch.” She emphasized that “Shark Tank” seeks entrepreneurs who can speak energetically about their businesses, products, and concepts.
Alter Hall’s Undergraduate Commons served as the waiting room for Temple entrepreneurs before their number had been called. Applicants paced the room, rehearsing their talking points and working through their demonstrations.
Brandon Study, a Fox School senior majoring in Entrepreneurship, said he felt confident while making his pitch. Temple University “prepares you for moments like this,” he said. “That training is what helps you thrive in crunch-time situations.”
Dr. Mitrabarun “MB” Sarkar, a renowned educator and researcher at Temple University’s Fox School of Business whose pedagogical work garnered national, international, and university awards, died June 7, 2016. He was 54.
Sarkar, who joined the Fox School faculty in 2008, was the H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation within the Strategic Management department at Fox. He also had served as a visiting professor of strategy at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.
“MB was an innovator at every stage of his career,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “His passion for teaching and empowering students, and his thirst for knowledge were tremendous. MB’s passing brings great sadness to our Temple and Fox communities. My thoughts and prayers at this time are with his wife, their two daughters, and his family and close friends.”
In 2013, Sarkar received Temple University’s Great Teacher Award, the highest honor conferred by the university on faculty. On seven occasions, he was named Outstanding Professor of the Year in Fox’s Global, Executive, Online, and Part-Time MBA programs. Sarkar also was a five-time recipient of Fox’s Crystal Teaching Award. Last November, he received the Musser Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes a Fox School faculty member who challenges students to think imaginatively and creatively.
Sarkar was the founding Academic Director of Fox’s Global Immersion Program in Emerging Markets, and led the initiative of building partnerships and experiential programs for Fox MBA students in several countries, such as Chile, China, Colombia, Ghana, India, Israel, Morocco, South Africa, and Turkey.
Temple University’s Fox School of Business has entered a three-year partnership with Flinders University to deliver its nationally ranked entrepreneurship programs to the prestigious Australian university.
The Fox School of Business will help Flinders University drive South Australia’s economic transformation by training thousands of undergraduate and graduate students annually in the entrepreneurial mindset and skills required to start new businesses and facilitate innovation in existing industries.
This partnership, announced in August, leverages Fox’s reputation as a leading provider of online and entrepreneurship education. In January 2016, the Fox Online MBA program earned a No. 1 national ranking from U.S. News & World Report for the second consecutive year. And in November 2015, Fox’s undergraduate- and graduate-level Entrepreneurship programs earned top-10 rankings from The Princeton Review and Entrepreneurship magazine. It also leverages the Fox School’s extensive experience in supporting entrepreneurship-based economic development in the Philadelphia region, largely through the 350 projects completed by its renowned Fox Management Consulting program.
Flinders University, through its New Venture Institute (NVI), is creating entrepreneurial opportunities for its 26,000 students. Since its founding in 2013, the NVI has overseen 252 student projects and 136 start-ups, trained nearly 1,500 individuals, and generated more than $540,000 in investments.
BBA ’92, LAW ’99 | Co-owner and Director of Business Affairs, Axis Music Group
Appreciating his roots: “I spend a lot of time in Los Angeles and New York for work, and my wife (Angela) and I like to travel, but there’s nothing like Philadelphia. We enjoy dining in the city, walking and biking on the river and visiting the museums. And I’m constantly inspired by the new development in Northern Liberties, Center City and Powelton Village, where we live.”
At any given time, Chauncey Childs has five or six projects – maybe more – going simultaneously. And he wouldn’t want it any other way.
“This is exactly how I envisioned my career playing out,” said Childs, the co-founder and director of business affairs for the Philadelphia-based Axis Music Group. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Childs is the business arm of Axis’ operations. He’s tasked with negotiating contracts, drafting agreements, managing budgets, and collecting royalties for Axis, which oversees a host of music artists, songwriters, and producers. Childs doubles as the business manager for James Poyser, BBA ’94, who he first met during their undergraduate careers at the Fox School of Business.
The two crossed paths in a finance class at Temple University, and then again years later in a recording studio at A Touch of Jazz, a Philadelphia music production company. They decided to go into business together, and Axis was born. Today, their company’s operations are two-pronged: Axis writers and producers craft original songs for established artists, and they also write original songs for film, television, and TV commercials.
“When a TV show or movie is transitioning from one scene to the next, someone writes that musical segue. That someone is Axis,” said Childs, explaining one of Axis’ functions. “When we first got started, we used to hustle to get work. And now, after we’ve been at it for 20 years, we still have to hustle, but we also get contract work on the profile of what we’ve already accomplished. We’ve come a long way.”
Childs’ interest in music, and his desire to represent the industry’s top talent, dates to his days at Temple. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Business Management from the Fox School, and later his Juris Doctorate from Temple’s Beasley School of Law, to turn that dream into a reality.
“Temple gave me the confidence I needed in order to start my own business,” said Childs, 45, a Philadelphia native. “Both of my degrees provided me with the toolkit that I needed to hit the real world and say, ‘I can be an entrepreneur.’”
Childs’ work, at times, seems never-ending. A written agreement is required every time an original piece of music is penned. The volume of contracts, he said, can be extensive. But he’s also overseen much-larger contractual agreements. Notably, Childs negotiated a label imprint deal with Sony Music, aligning Axis with the international music giant allowed Axis the opportunity to market and distribute their Artist’s music through Sony globally.
“That was a milestone moment for me,” Childs said.
The contracts pay the bills. What’s most rewarding, he said, is Axis’ commitment to developing young talent.
Franklin Walker, a percussionist at Poyser’s church, came on board as an understudy to Poyser. Walker, a self-taught drummer, wound up on tour with rapper D’Angelo and presently performs with Poyser five nights a week on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” for which their band, The Roots, serves as the house band.
Childs said he met another young man, Aaron Draper, at a high school career fair at which he was speaking. Draper, rather than speaking of his interest in attending college, kept reiterating a desire to drum professionally. On the spot, Childs invited Draper to Axis’ studio, believing he could benefit from exposure to talent, top equipment, and studio time. Draper is currently on an international tour with pop-soul singer Adele.
“We’ve been able to take the next generation of musicians, mentor them, and, based on our relationships in the business, give them opportunities to carve out careers for themselves,” Childs said. “I’ve got to say – it’s some of the most-rewarding work we do.”
It doesn’t hurt that stars like Erykah Badu keep Childs’ number in their smartphone contacts.
“It’s an unwritten rule that James will work on all of my albums,” Badu said, “but I don’t step into the studio until Chauncey and Ward White (Badu’s representation) have worked out the details.”
Said Childs: “James and I have put in a lot of work over the years to get Axis to where it is today, and it’s been worth it. Every step has been worth it.”
Growing up in Laceyville, Pa., a town of less than 400 people, Meredith Sadlowski was eager to experience life in a city. After graduating from high school in 1999, Sadlowski left behind the town she loved and moved to Philadelphia to attend Temple University’s Fox School of Business.
Fast-forward to today and Sadlowski is Senior Vice President of Branded Sales and Marketing for Gulf Oil in Wellesley Hills, Mass. Sadlowski has worked for Gulf Oil, one of the fastest-growing branded fuel marketers in the U.S., which owns and operates one of the largest refined products terminaling networks in the northeast, since 2007.
“In my current role, I work alongside our executive leadership team on the development and the execution of a branded sales plan that supports business growth and enhances brand awareness of the iconic Gulf brand,” said Sadlowski, BBA ’03, who earned a degree in Economics.
During her nearly 10-year career with Gulf Oil, Sadlowski has also served as Vice President of Branded Contract Sales Operations, Director of Branded Contract Sales, and Branded Territory Manager. Sadlowski’s roles evolved from sales and customer specific in her early years with Gulf, to more leadership and tactical strategy-focused in her most recent position.
“Our goal at Gulf is to be the best supply and brand partner for our customers in the marketplace. In order to be the best, you must have a keen understanding of the customers’ specific market conditions, so you can provide solutions that balance both the needs of the customer and Gulf,” Sadlowski said. “Therefore, much of my time is spent evaluating each market, and of course, ensuring our team is focused and delivering innovative, competitive offerings to existing customers and new prospects to ensure business growth.”
Many of the business skills Sadlowski learned in her courses at the Fox School assist her on a daily basis including economic modeling to evaluate financials, sales forecasting, strategic planning, and management.
Prior to joining Gulf Oil, Sadlowski spent four years after college working as Director of Marketing and Sales for Pro Sign Company. Thanks to a connection from her brother, Sadlowski was hired and helped the company roll out its marketing plan.
During college, Sadlowski also gained professional experience as an Operations Manager for venture capitalist, Michael Karp. Working full-time as a junior and senior, Sadlowski earned exposure to a variety of sectors such as, telecommunications, real estate, and charter schools. She predominately assisted with the administration side of the charter schools. Temple’s flexible schedules and various campuses helped Sadlowski manage full-time work en route to graduating in four years.
The Fox School also offered career-shaping moments for Sadlowski, who attended sessions that welcomed business executives to speak about their careers and experiences. In particular, a session with a female executive at Target stood out to her.
“That was a pivotal moment for me sitting in that lecture, watching her, and being exposed to someone that has been successful in business,” Sadlowski explained. “I remember thinking that she represented exactly what I wanted for myself and my ultimate career path. It is key for students to have access to people out in the workforce who can inspire and mentor them. That experience helped define the next phases of my education and career.”
As Sadlowski reflected on her overall experience at Temple, she remembered the original transition to college life being difficult as she adjusted to a large campus and city. Although after the first semester, everything changed and Temple was home, she said.
“And every career move has been the same feeling. You go into it and you’re not quite sure and there are times that you want to give up, but you don’t and you actually work harder than before, keep going and keep pushing forward,” Sadlowski added. “And when you succeed at it, that power, that feeling just for yourself is something that you can’t get from anything else. Temple was the start of that for my life and me.”
Stephanie Reitano, BBA ‘92
Owner, Capogiro Gelateria and Capofitto Forno Pizzeria
Hometown: Howell, N.J.
“Mangia!”: Surrounded by tasty treats each day, Reitano says she does not give in to temptation – at least when she’s around the gelato. The same can’t be said about the savory items on her menu. “I can’t go a single day without eating a 12-inch margherita pizza,” she said. “I eat one every day. I haven’t met a pizza I don’t like.”
A cookbook changed Stephanie Reitano’s life.
Before receiving “Marcella Hazen’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking,” a gift from her husband John, Reitano admittedly didn’t know her way around the kitchen. Her love affair with cooking began that day, in 1996. It manifested in a trip in 2001 with John to Italy, where she tasted gelato for the first time.
“It’s denser, richer, and creamier than ice cream, and lower in fat and calories,” Reitano said, recalling that trip through Capri with a smile. “And to be honest, I don’t even like ice cream. But I tasted it, half-hazelnut and half-chocolate hazelnut, and I remember thinking, ‘I have to try more of this.’”
Gelato, at that time, hadn’t been popularized in the United States. It wasn’t until a few years later, on a return trip to Italy for a food trade show, that she and John proposed opening an ‘artiginale’ gelateria in Philadelphia.
And Capogiro Gelato Artisans was born. Today, Reitano owns six locations where her sweet dessert treats can be consumed, including Capofitto Pizzeria + Gelateria, a dual pizzeria and gelato shop located in Philadelphia’s Old City section.
Reitano craved replicating the flavors, textures, and tastes of the gelato she consumed in Italy. So she went about creating Capogiro in the same fashion. Reitano and her husband own a dairy in the city’s East Falls section, where they pasteurize the raw milk they purchase in Honeybrook, Pa. She produces all of her gelato bases and flavorings from scratch. The roasted and blended nut mixtures that produce nut paste? Done in-house, she said. The same goes her chocolates.
“In Italy, there are 20,000 places to get gelato, but the go-to places – the places everyone talks about – are ‘artiginale,’” Reitano said. “John and I were at that trade show and we met people who said, ‘Americans like things easy. Do it this way.’ But we were never looking to take the easy way out.”
The extra effort hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2011, National Geographic named Capogiro Gelato Artisans the best place in the world to eat ice cream. The recognition, published in National Geographic’s book, “500 Food Journeys of a Lifetime,” solidified Reitano’s decision to commit to old-style preparation and only the best ingredients. Her mouth seemingly waters when she discusses the peaches she buys in-season from a farm in Lancaster, Pa., or the strawberries she orders from a farm in nearby New Jersey, or the blackberries the size of walnuts. “I dare you to find a locally grown blackberry better than that,” she said. “This region and its food are spectacular.”
Reitano, who graduated from the Fox School with a degree in Human Resource Management and Business Law, lives in Fairmount with her husband and their three children – daughter Michaela, and sons Emanuel and Severin. Despite the heavy workload of managing a half-dozen locations seven days a week, she’s proving daily that it’s been worth the journey.
“I hear stories of people incorporating Capogiro into their lives, or their vacations, and it’s humbling,” Reitano said. “How we got the National Geographic honor is inspiring, too. The writers, photographers, and editors turn in their votes for where they eat when they travel, and they overwhelmingly voted for us.
“They described us as lovely and wonderful, and said ‘anytime you’re in Philadelphia, this is where you must go.’ To receive that kind of praise and validation meant a lot.”
Ronald H. Sherr, BS ’51, LAW ’56
Has served as a trial lawyer for 60 years and is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Joseph Badal, BS ’66
Published his ninth suspense novel, Death Ship, with Suspense Publishing; it is the fifth in his Danforth Saga. His books have been ranked in the Amazon Top 100 in the crime and espionage categories and have won best mystery/thriller awards from a variety of organizations, including the Military Writers Society of America.
Maryann Lenzi, BBA ‘74, MBA ’85
Published Primal Revenge with Beaver Publications Inc. in 2014. Written under the pseudonym Maralyn Morgen, it is a novel about a narcissistic sociopath.
Thomas Ramsburg, MBA ’74
Named to Survey Magazine’s Top 20 Researchers You Need to Know, the publication’s annual list of leaders in the marketing research industry. He is operations director of Research America.
H. Richard Haverstick Jr, BBA ‘74
Nominated to Actua Corporation’s Board of Directors. He serves as Treasurer, Trustee, and Chair of the Audit, Risk, and Compliance Committee of Thomas Jefferson University and Health System, and is a retired managing partner of Ernst & Young LLP, who brings deep expertise in corporate finance, financial reporting, and accounting.
Lynn G. Ozer, BBA ‘77
Hired by Fulton Financial as president of small business administration lending. She most recently served as president of government guaranteed lending with Susquehanna Bank.
Harith Wickrema, BBA ‘80
Donated $104,500 to Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management – the Fox School’s sister school – for the establishment of the Harith Wickrema Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality Management Endowed Scholarship Fund at STHM. Wickrema is the president of Island Green Living Association, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which works toward the creation of sustainable green tourism and the preservation of St. John.
Joseph F. Messina, LAW ’80, MBA ’85
Received the Joseph I. Mulligan Jr. Distinguished Public Service Award from the International Municipal Lawyers Association.
Steven L. Winokur, BBA ‘81
Recognized as one of Philadelphia’s 2016 CFOs of the Year, by the Philadelphia Business Journal. He is the chief financial officer of Centennial lending Group, a Maple Glen, Pa.,-based mortgage bank that provides loans for residential home buyers.
Marc Cohen, BBA ’83
Elected to the school board for Bensalem Township in Pennsylvania.
Ray Villeneuve, BBA ‘83
Joined Virtual Instruments, a leader in infrastructure performance analytics, as the company’s president. He previously served as CEO of Skytree, an entreprise-class machine learning company.
Robert A. Zipperlen, BBA ‘84
Recognized as one of Philadelphia’s 2016 CFOs of the Year, by the Philadelphia Business Journal. He is the chief financial officer of The Renfrew Center, a Philadelphia-based provider of education and treatment for sufferers of eating disorders, trauma, anxiety, depression, and women’s issues.
Chuck Paul, BBA ‘84
Recognized as one of Philadelphia’s 2016 CFOs of the Year, by the Philadelphia Business Journal. He is the chief financial officer of CoreDial, a provider of white label cloud communications tools based in Blue Bell, Pa. In his role, Paul oversaw the tripling of corporate revenue and a 260-percent employment growth within two years.
Sue Vestri, BBA ‘86
Recognized as one of Philadelphia’s 2016 CFOs of the Year, by the Philadelphia Business Journal. She is the chief financial officer of Greenphire, a King of Prussia, Pa.,-based provider of payment services for clinical trials. She has nearly three decades of financial leadership experience.
Joe Stuhl, BBA ‘86
Named senior vice president and broker executive with Munich Reinsurance America, Inc.’s reinsurance division, and will serve on the division’s executive leadership team. He previously served as the division’s client manager.
Ned Hunter, BBA ‘87
Appointed executive vice president and senior executive officer of Harrington Hoists, Inc., a Manheim, Pa.,-based manufacturer and supplier of chain and rope, air-powered, lever, and manual hand-chain hoists.
Arjun Bedi, MBA ‘87
Selected as the Fox School of Business’ 2016 honoree for Temple University’s Gallery of Success, which annually recognizes banner alumni within each of Temple’s 17 schools and colleges. Bedi is a senior leader within Accenture, a worldwide professional services company that provides strategy, consulting, technology, and operations services. He serves as a managing partner and the director of life sciences client portfolio lead.
Michele Kraynak, BBA ‘88
Appointed director of accounting and consulting with Ludwig Business Consultants, in Lansdale, Pa. Kraynak has more than 30 years of experience in internal accounting management.
Marc Arot, EDU ’87, BBA ’90
Serves as project manager at MetalWërks USA in Kennett Square, Pa., and serves on the East Nottingham Township Planning Commission. His experience at WRFT, Temple Ambler’s campus radio station, resulted in him forming Don McAvoy and the Great Whatever after his graduation in 1990. The band recently released its third CD, There’s Time Between the Bridge and the Water.
Laurie Griffin Frayne, BBA ’91
Will lead a new team dedicated to data strategy and governance at Everest National Insurance Co., which strives to produce industry-leading underwriting.
Dr. David Hagenbuch, MBA ‘91
Recently published a book, titled, “Honorable Influence: A Christian’s Guide to Faithful Marketing.” He also serves as a professor of marketing at Messiah College, in Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Marna Nape Spiotta, BBA ‘91
Joined New York-based A to Z Wineworks as the director of trade development, with a focus on on-premise sales within the New York metropolitan area.
Jennifer Ables, BBA ‘96
Invited to the White House to participate in The United State of Women, a summit in Washington, D.C., that focused on celebrating achievement and influencing change for the future. Ables received an invite for her work with the therapeutic social dance program Soldiers Who Salsa, for which she serves as executive director.
Kenneth Hannigan, MBA ’96
Completed his doctor of business administration from Walden University in December 2015. He serves as the chief executive officer at Adva-Net, a pain management network that helps injured workers return to work. He also owns and operates two Philly Pretzel Factory stores in the Pittsburgh, Pa., area.
Dr. John J. Ryan, PhD ‘98
Appointed to a three-year term on the 49-member board of trustees at the University of Notre Dame. Ryan serves as the president of King’s College, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He also serves on the boards of Stonehill College, in Easton, Mass., and the University of Portland, in Portland, Ore.
Dr. Hendrik Muth, MBA ’98
Appointed vice president of product marketing and strategy with Volkswagen of America. He will oversee all product marketing activities, which include the current and future Volkswagen brand vehicle portfolio for the United States.
Dr. Terry Hyslop, PhD ‘01
Elected as a fellow of the American Statistical Association. He is a professor of biostatistics and bioinformatics at Duke University, and the director of the Duke Cancer Institute of Biostatistics.
Edward Robinson, BBA ‘01
Named senior vice president and head of Fifth Third Mortgage at Fifth Third Bancorp, providing comprehensive oversight of all mortgage-related functions at the Cincinnati-based company.
Rakia Reynolds, BBA ‘01
Named the inaugural entrepreneur-in-residence for Visit Philadelphia, the official visitor and tourism site for Philadelphia. She is the president and founder of Philadelphia-based Skai Blue Media.
Rebecca Udell, MBA ‘01
Promoted to executive director of marketing strategy with KSS Architects, a design firm focused on architecture, interior design, and planning.
Meredith Sadlowski, BBA ‘03
Named vice president of branded sales and marketing for Gulf, having previously served as vice president of branded contract sales operations, director of sales and account manager. She is responsible for all branded business and collaborates on Gulf Oil’s national go-to-market strategy. She was director of sales and marketing with Pro Sign Co. and served as operations manager for UCH, a venture capital firm, prior to joining Gulf.
Alyce R. Notaro, BBA ‘03
Promoted to senior tax manager by Tronconi Segarra & Associates, a Western New York-based certified public accounting and business consulting firm. Notaro, a certified public accountant, joined the firm in 2007.
Steven Burda, BBA ’03
Named senior financial analyst of Alarm Capital Alliance, one of the nation’s largest residential home security providers, based in Newtown Square, Pa. As part of the company’s executive management team, Burda brings nearly 15 years of experience in the areas of finance, operations, marketing, and strategy.
Shadi Albert, BBA ‘05
Named vice president and director of field operations with Selective Insurance Company of America, in Branchville N.J. He had served as vice president of commercial lines underwriting.
Phyllis Ludwig, MBA ‘05
Announced that her company Ludwig Business Consultants, an accounting and consulting practice that launched in 2002, had acquired Michele’s Money Services in August.
Eleanor Lukens, MBA ‘06
Elected as vice president and general manager of the measurement and power systems division within AMETEK Aerospace & Defense, a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electro-mechanical devices.
James F. Eaton III, BBA ’08
Has earned the personal financial specialist credential from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He joins other professionals who have demonstrated advanced knowledge of estate, insurance, investment, retirement and tax planning. A CPA financial planner with KatzAbosch in Baltimore, Eaton is a manager and a member of the firm’s highnet-worth and pass-through/ real estate tax groups; he lives in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania.
Nicholas DeJulius, BBA ‘10
Featured in an article by The Philly Voice about his newly opened business, Arterial Agents, a mixed-use-concept grocery located on Philadelphia’s Jewelers’ Row.
Kwan Suh, BBA ‘10
Launched an update to the popular shopping app Delivit LLC, which allows consumers to leverage technology in order to purchase and receive international goods.
Josh Tait, BBA ‘13
Hired as a human resource data analyst with Amazon, in the Greater Seattle area. He previously had worked with eBay Enterprise.
Rob Lawton, BBA ‘13
Spearheaded an effort to deliver 60,000 bottles of water to Flint, Mich., following the contamination of its drinking water.
Amanda J. Hornberger, BBA ’14
Co-owns Maejean Vintage, an e-commerce antique jewelry store she helped found five years ago. About.com, British Vogue, Lancaster Online, Lucky and Teen Vogue have all covered her store.
Joseph Jones III, MBA ‘15
Appointed superintendent of the Neshaminy School District, in Langhorne, Pa. He previously had served as superintendent of the Woodbury City (N.J.) Board of Education.
Andrew Nakkache, BBA ‘15
Mike Paszkiewicz, BBA ‘15
Co-founded Philadelphia-based food delivery app Habitat, which caters to college students. Its anticipated expansion into a second Philadelphia campus will take place soon.
Lauren Snyder, BBA ‘15
Appointed public relations assistant for American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie, in New York City.
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Steven Sclarow, MBA, ‘16
Owner’s Representative & Project Manager, Partner Engineering and Science, Inc.
Hometown: Ambler, Pa.
MBA Lingo: “The Executive MBA program added value and a core competency I didn’t know I was missing – the language of business. I’ve always been able to communicate design and construction concepts to clients, consultants and peers. My EMBA experience provided me with new, complimentary language skills, vocabulary and an enhanced strategic outlook and approach.”
Steven Sclarow, MBA ’16, knew he wanted to be an architect from when he was in the seventh grade. Great design relied on two of his major strengths – problem-solving and creativity. Sclarow, 41, has spent nearly 20 years making his dream career a reality.
“What I love about being an architect is that I not only get to build a space, but also watch others experience it and see the joy that space creates for them,” Sclarow said.
As a recent graduate of the Fox School of Business’ Executive MBA program, Sclarow combines his design and project-management background with business skills to take his career to new heights. Sclarow enjoyed the program’s team projects and classes, and the Spring 2016 South Africa immersion trip, in which he experienced international culture and business – all of which provided him the opportunity to build new professional relationships, and enhance his innovative thinking and business repertoire, all while working full-time.
“I gained knowledge and a perspective I could immediately apply to what I’m doing,” Sclarow said.
Following graduation from Syracuse University’s School of Architecture, Sclarow worked for the firm Partridge Tackett Architects, honing his craft prior to joining EwingCole in 1999. While at EwingCole, he developed and collaborated on multiple projects during his 12 years there, spanning two coasts – from science and technology and healthcare facilities, to local entertainment venues like the Mitchell Performing Arts Center in Bryn Athyn, Pa.
Sclarow relocated to Southern California in 2003 to help grow EwingCole’s burgeoning West Coast practice, where he worked on projects that highlight the “sexier side of architecture, sports and entertainment venues” he said. For example, he worked on the Rio Village Seafood Buffet in Las Vegas, and the first ground-up “racino” – a 11/8-mile horse racetrack and full service casino and gaming facility, Zia Park Casino in Hobbs, N.M.
Sclarow worked in construction management for the Department of Homeland Security in 2011 and his West Coast experience culminated in his appointment as president of the American Institute of Architects Orange County in 2012. He then moved back to Philadelphia to be closer to his family. Upon his return, he managed the construction phase on one of his favorite projects, Top of the Tower at 1717 Arch Street.
“Working from conception through completion, I pour my passion and soul into working with clients to collaborate and deliver aesthetically attractive spaces, enhancing their ROI” he said.
At present, Sclarow continues working in the design and construction industry and enjoys moderating panel discussions for the commercial real estate news site, BisNow. He and two peers from the Fox School are also collaborating on a business plan for a mobile app, Drinks-Up! It’s an app that enhances the bar experience by providing hassle-free drink ordering, the improvement of customer service and value-added marketing, and data analytics for bar owners.
“I’ve had the opportunity to take on new challenges that have allowed me to grow exponentially and see tangible results,” Sclarow says. “I’ve made great connections and had a transformative experience in the EMBA program. I’m excited for the next evolution in my career.”
Dr. Anthony Di Benedetto
Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Hometown: Montreal, Quebec
It’s been a few decades since Dr. Anthony Di Benedetto grabbed his bass, got on stage, and played music in front of big crowds. But the longtime Fox professor still harkens back to his rock-and-roll days in the 1970s whenever he gets to the front of a class and speaks to his students.
“I’m always conscious of being on stage,” he said. “It’s a little bit like doing theater or music. I still remember things like not turning your back on the audience. I really concentrate on not turning my back on my class. And as far as being engaging, the way you address the class is, in a sense, the way you would address an audience.
“I would say I’m better in a classroom because of what I’ve done in music.”
In other ways, music also helped Di Benedetto reach the stage where he is today — as one of the world’s leading research scholars in innovation and technology management. When he was a child growing up in Montreal, he had a tough time making friends. His parents spoke to a psychologist, who encouraged them to find an outlet for their son.
And so music it was.
“Sure enough, when I was in high school, I met a lot of people through music,” he said. “It was fun. And I stayed with it.”
Di Benedetto played in several bands in high school, college, and throughout his 20s, using his skills on the bass to become a valuable commodity because, as he put it, “everyone else wanted to play lead guitar.”
And he was good enough to make a little money at it, too, playing covers of The Beatles, The Who, and The Rolling Stones in clubs and hotels around Montreal for one popular band and what he called “oom-pah” music and pop songs in German clubs for another.
But when it came time to thinking about his future, he decided that the life of a professional musician just wasn’t for him.
“The short story is I gave up rock-and-roll to get my MBA,” said Di Benedetto, who earned his MBA and PhD at McGill University, before launching his career as a professor, joining the Temple University faculty in 1990, and remaining there ever since.
Di Benedetto is certainly happy with that choice, admitting that he seldom plays music and rarely even thinks about his days in a band. But it will always be an exciting, interesting and eye-opening time in his life.
When asked if he’d ever play again, he left the door slightly ajar.
“A musician never says that he’s unemployed,” he laughed. “He’s just between gigs.”
Thomas Edison once said: “There’s a way to do it better—find it.”
Isn’t that what all of us discover in business? There is always a better way to fuel your innovation, spark your creativity, and foster growth. Each opportunity creates a new situation, and these situations will result in something new or different.
It’s important to remain aware of these situations, to help maximize your personal and professional opportunities. As a Fox School alum, you are rooted in an institution that encourages self-awareness and hardwork.
Those situations are manifested by the Fox School of Business Alumni Association.
Want to visit campus? Take a tour of the facilities, and meet with faculty and Fox School Student Ambassadors.
Want to support current students? Act as a mentor, or subject-matter expert.
Want to engage with fellow alumni? Join the FSBAA as a volunteer, or pursue a Director-at-Large position.
All of these outlets present opportunities to demonstrate your creativity and talents, make connections with current and past students, and potentially advance your career.
As Temple University founder Russell Conwell wrote in his famous “Acres of Diamonds”: “You can journey to the ends of the earth in search of success, but if you’re lucky, you will discover happiness in your own backyard.”
I encourage you to return to your collegiate backyard at Temple University and the Fox School of Business.
Hometown: North Wales, Pa.
Happy feet: Another of Raman’s interests includes her involvement with Temple Agni, the university’s all-female South Asian Fusion dance team. “(It was) a good step back from anything academic and anything business-wise,” she said. “It was just kind of a good place for me to be the way I am and hang out with my friends, but also dancing is just such a great release.”
Neha Raman, BBA ’18, was “really into nail polish,” but found that her options were limited.
“I wanted a more custom approach,” she said, “and was tired of seeing the same colors over and over again.”
Her solution was to launch a make-your-owl nail polish business – called “Rungh,” the Hindi word for “color” (and pronounced “Rung”) – in November 2015. The Temple junior did so while still a student at North Penn High School in North Wales, Pa. It was not without help – her parents, listed as the business’s co-founders, put up $40,000 in seed money – and not without setbacks.
In time she produced a product that sells for $39.95 and includes six nail-polish bottles with nail-polish base, 18 pigment capsules, a battery-operated mixer, and disposable mixing wands. She has sold “about 100” to date, but there has been measurable success in many other ways.
Rungh, which has been featured on Zulily.com, was the official nail polish of Philadelphia Fashion Week in February 2016, and that same month Raman was the runner-up in College Pitch Philadelphia, winning $5,000 in the process. In April she was again a second-place finisher, this time in Temple University’s Be Your Own Boss Bowl, and picked up a $10,000 prize. And in June she made a one-minute pitch to casting associates of the popular television program “Shark Tank,” when they visited Temple’s campus.
She is not permitted to say how that went, but to her father, Niranjan (he goes by N.J.), this entire exercise has been a no-lose situation.
“We thought it would be a phenomenal experience that you can’t get in the classroom,” he said, referring to himself and his wife, Usha. “This is a real thing. … Given the fact that Neha is so young, it’s not like there’s a nest egg she might lose. She’s at the point where she can leverage her youth to her advantage. She can learn from her mistakes. If things don’t go the way she wants, there will be other opportunities open to her.”
N.J. emigrated from his native India a quarter-century ago, to pursue his master’s degree in marketing communications at the University of Connecticut. Usha, who he did not know at the time, came to UConn from the same nation a year later; she was seeking her master’s in nutrition.
They met and hit it off, and N.J. is now a marketing research consultant, while Usha is a senior data analyst at Cigna. They have always told Neha and her younger sister Nina to follow their passions. Neha, not surprisingly, describes entrepreneurship as “taking what you like and enjoy, and turning it into a business.”
“There’s nothing like this,” N.J. said. “We thought she kind of hit the nail on the head (with the idea).”
Neha, who in her spare time performs for Temple Agni, the university’s all-female South Asian Fusion dance team, believes even greater things are ahead for her business. Other products, she said, are on the horizon – products she can’t yet disclose. And she speaks hopefully about her post-college days.
“By the time graduation comes, I’m hoping that Rungh is at a point where I can really manage it full-time and take it even farther,” she said. “I can’t wait to see how far things go in the coming years. That’s my goal: Hopefully by the time I graduate I already have something that is ready to take off.”
Tamara Woods has been in the spotlight since she was three months old, when her mother sent her photograph for inclusion in Hollywood Spotlight Photo Magazine. In between then and now, she’s made stops in the United States Air Force, the retail and nonprofit worlds, and the Fox School of Business before pursuing acting full time.
Now Woods is preparing for two upcoming roles: As Sergeant Diane Torres in her first feature film, “A Sense of Purpose: Fighting for our Lives,” and as Frannie Lou Hamer in “Freedom Smitty,” a stage play about Kenneth Smith, a Philadelphian who helped desegregate Girard College.
Though she has performed all of her life — while dancing at family functions and acting in church plays — Woods, who comes from a military family, knew she wanted to serve her country. While stationed in Kuwait during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Woods started doing liturgical dance and singing in the military base’s church choir. She also helped organize a play for fellow military personnel.
“We had a packed house,” she said. “It was just beautiful because you have all walks of life, all colors coming together in the house of the Lord. It wasn’t just U.S. soldiers, and that ignited my passion again for performing.”
When she returned home, Woods juggled working in the nonprofit sector, serving in the Air Force Reserves, taking courses toward her Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Fox, and attending auditions and rehearsals. That hard work paid off. Today Woods’ dynamic background helps inform her career. In “A Sense of Purpose: Fighting for our Lives,” Woods plays a military veteran recovering from sexual assault and post-traumatic stress disorder.
She is also preparing for her role in “Freedom Smitty,” in which she will play a voting right activist and civil rights leader who was instrumental in organizing Mississippi’s Freedom Summer.
“In school for Black History Month, you always learned about Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but there are so many people in my culture who are heroes and who stood up in the Civil Rights Movement,” she said. “I had never even heard of Frannie Lou Hamer until now.”
Woods sees her work as a way to give back. She hopes to continue touring with the anti-bullying play, “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” in order to open a dialogue between school officials, law enforcement, and parents.
“I feel as though I’m inspiring, uplifting and empowering someone, hoping that it will make some kind of beautiful change in somebody’s life,” she said.
Here’s a glimpse into a day in the life of Tamara Woods:
3:30 a.m. Start my day with bible readings, prayer, and positivity that make room for productivity and prosperity.
6:00 a.m. Family business. (The work of a wife and mom never ceases.)
9:00 a.m. Create inspirational content and share industry information on social media.
10:00 a.m. Check and respond to emails. Search for auditions and apply. Make phone calls to follow-up on current and upcoming projects.
12:00 p.m. Eat lunch while promoting projects and events on social media.
2:30 p.m. Review a new monologue for auditions. Call to run lines with a fellow actress and schedule our next rehearsal through Skype. Call my agent to follow-up on auditions and put together my reel.
4:00 p.m. Prepare dinner while I wrap up a business call with a filmmaker.
4:50 – 5:30 p.m. Eat dinner with my family, and discuss our day and what’s coming up.
6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Rehearsal for “Freedom Smitty”
10:00 p.m. Prepare for the next day. I check email from my agent for any travel arrangements I’ll need to make.
11:00 p.m. Time for some sleep. (My routine starts all over again at 3:30 a.m. There’s a saying, “The early bird gets the worm!”)