News & Releases

The Fox School of Business will honor five accounting alumni who are business leaders in the Greater Philadelphia region at the first annual Accounting Achievement Awards on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at the Hyatt at The Bellevue.

Hosted by the Department of Accounting, the inaugural event will recognize the following alumni with awards reflective of their professional careers and civic service: Ross S. Reiter, CPA; Lori F. Reiner, CPA; Anthony J. Conti, CPA, MBA; Stanley C. Middleman; and James N. Solano, CPA, MBA, MS.

Ross S. Reiter, CPA, will receive the Rising Star Award, presented to a public or private accounting professional who has demonstrated leadership skills and a commitment to the Fox School. Reiter, BBA ’09, is a senior manager at KPMG’s tax consulting practice in Philadelphia.

Lori F. Reiner, CPA, will be presented with the Public Accounting Award for outstanding success in the public accounting sector. Reiner, BBA ’86, is partner-in-charge of the Philadelphia practice of EisnerAmper LLP, specializing in providing accounting, auditing, and advisory services to closely held and private equity-backed companies.

Stanley C. Middleman will receive the Corporate Award, presented to executive-level professionals in the non-public accounting profession who have shown excellence in the areas of financial reporting, accounting, and/or tax expertise. Middleman, BS ’76, is the founder and CEO of Freedom Mortgage Corporation, a national mortgage banker headquartered in Mount Laurel, N.J.

Anthony J. Conti, CPA, MBA, will be celebrated with the Community Service Award for outstanding contributions to the accounting profession and local communities. Conti, MBA ’73, maintains an active civic career following retirement from a 36-year career with PwC, including 29 years as a partner. He has served the Philadelphia community in several civic leadership positions, including interim president and CEO of the United Way on a volunteer basis.

James N. Solano, CPA, MBA, MS, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to professionals who advance the accounting profession through sustained leadership in public accounting, business, or academic communities. Solano, BS ’66, MBA ’68, MS ’79, has had a distinguished 48-year career in the Philadelphia area, successfully balancing his professional career as an accounting professor, practicing CPA, and professional sports agent with active involvement in community service as a founder of two charitable foundations.

In addition to celebrating the storied careers and community involvement of alumni, the Accounting Achievement Awards event goes a step beyond traditional alma mater recognition by providing current and new students access to higher education. The event serves as a kick-off to the Accounting Achievement Awards Term Scholarship Fund, a new scholarship created to support high-achieving accounting students in pursuing their undergraduate and Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degrees, funded by the net proceeds from the event.

“The Fox School of Business Department of Accounting Achievement Awards celebrate our outstanding alumni who excel professionally and make impressive contributions to their communities,” said Eric Press, chairman of the Department of Accounting. “We’re proud of this year’s winners and their connection to the Fox School. Using the proceeds from this event to support the Achievement Awards Term Scholarship Fund, we will assist future accounting professionals in reaching the high level of success attained by the winners of this inaugural event.”

Read more about the event and honorees at fox.temple.edu/accountingawards.

Photo of Dean M. Moshe Porat and Fox School adjunct instructor Paul Silberberg walk in at the Hillel of Greater Philadelphia’s Vision and Values celebration.
Dean M. Moshe Porat and Fox School adjunct instructor Paul Silberberg walk in at the Hillel of Greater Philadelphia’s Vision and Values celebration.

Hillel of Greater Philadelphia recognized Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of Temple University’s Fox School of Business, for his campus leadership and advocacy for Israel.

The Jewish organization honored Porat at its annual Vision and Values Celebration, held June 2. Attended by more than 200 community leaders and friends of Hillel, the event generated nearly $200,000 to fund programs and services for Jewish college students in the Philadelphia region.

Porat was not the only awardee from Temple University. Two undergraduate students, Ari Abramson and Arielle Manstein, received recognition as Student Exemplars of Excellence. Abramson, a sophomore, majors in Management Information Systems at Fox, while Manstein recently received her degree from Temple’s Kornberg School of Dentistry.

Porat lived in Israel for half of his life, moving there at a young age from Poland with his parents. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tel Aviv University, before traveling stateside and completing his doctoral degree program at Temple University.

Photo of Dean M. Moshe Porat and his wife, Dr. Rachel Porat, at the Hillel of Greater Philadelphia’s Vision and Values celebration.
Dean M. Moshe Porat and his wife, Dr. Rachel Porat, at the Hillel of Greater Philadelphia’s Vision and Values celebration.

As Fox School’s Dean, he helped redesign the school’s flagship MBA program to incorporate into the curriculum international immersion trips, including those to Israel, to foster the exploration of the country’s innovation, entrepreneurship, and tech ecosystems. He also led a push to include Israel-based companies within the Fox Management Consulting capstone course, in which students provide professional-grade strategic solutions to paying clients. Porat also serves as an active member of the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce.

“This recognition from Hillel was a point of great personal pride,” Porat said. “I believe strongly in the values and purpose of Hillel, and have always made an effort in my career to demonstrate the strengths and competencies of Israel, while encouraging students to visit the country and learn its innovation and entrepreneurship history. For these reasons, it was quite fulfilling to receive this honor.”

Photo of Dean M. Moshe Porat delivers remarks after being honored at the Hillel of Greater Philadelphia’s Vision and Values celebration.
Dean M. Moshe Porat delivers remarks after being honored at the Hillel of Greater Philadelphia’s Vision and Values celebration.

The event, held on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, buzzed with more than 200 attendees, including Porat’s wife, Rachel, and their sons, Manny and Sam, and daughter, Galia. Hooter, the mascot for Temple Athletics, also made an appearance.

“Moshe not only is a product of another culture and another country, but he’s very active around the world,” said Dr. Neil Theobald, President of Temple University. “He brings a global perspective to the deanship and to our administrative councils that is hugely important. … The value of Hillel and the values of Temple University, what they have in common, Moshe is such a great representative and archetype of those values.”

Alexander Brannan, Lily Tran, Abbey Harris, Rachel BakerHow sweet it is.

Marketing majors from Temple University’s student chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) won the parent organization’s annual Collegiate Case Competition by delivering a marketing strategy for a product from event sponsor The Hershey Company.

The Temple AMA team took top honors ahead of the University of Pennsylvania, Texas State University, and Ferris State University, among other tough competitors. The team of marketing students from the Fox School of Business assembled a thorough, research-driven marketing plan for Hershey’s Ice Breakers Cool Blast Chews, emerging from a field of 91 college chapters to claim first place in the prestigious competition for the first time. The $3,000 top prize will be allotted toward defraying costs related to next year’s case competition, the team said.

“This puts our chapter on the map,” said junior Lily Tran. “Now, other chapters across the country and internationally will look to us as a prime example of what it takes to win.”

The Temple AMA all-junior presentation team comprised Tran, Abbey Harris, Rachel Baker, and Alexander Brannan. The written case team included seniors Taylor Sauder, Rachel Zydyk, and Jennifer McGill. Temple AMA was one of 10 national finalists invited to deliver a presentation at the AMA International Collegiate Conference, held March 17-20 in New Orleans.

The final presentation culminated more than seven months of original research, situation analysis, conducting focus groups and surveys, and marketing recommendations by the Temple AMA team. The group had submitted its written case to AMA in December and, one month later, learned that it had been selected as one of the 10 finalists. From there, they delivered a number of “dry-run presentations,” said Dr. Craig Atwater, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Temple’s Fox School of Business, and one of Temple AMA’s three faculty advisors.

Photo of the American Marketing Association (AMA) Collegiate Case Competition award.“Our team took tips from the faculty members and PhD students to whom they made their practice presentations and fine-tuned the presentation until it was perfectly polished,” Atwater said. “Their focus groups and taste tests also helped our students determine that the product’s positioning was ambiguous. It’s not a gum, as it dissolves within 15 seconds, and yet it’s not a mint. It’s instead classified within a subcategory, as a power-mint. Our students found that for millennials, who enjoy trying new things, this product is cool and fun, but they found that it also required an explanation.”

Those elements proved critical to the Temple AMA team’s presentation, which the group delivered before a trio of high-ranking executives from Hershey. Then, the marketing students waited until all other names had been announced before celebrating their victory.

“While awaiting the results, I remember counting the spots and losing count because my heart started to pound,” said Harris. “TU-AMA is improving in reputation thanks to our incredible faculty advisors – Dr. Craig Atwater, Professor Jim Thompson, and Dr. Drew Allmond – our talented Fox School professors, and the support of the Marketing department.”

Added Baker: “I believe our success is a direct tribute to Temple University’s dedicated faculty, who over the past three years have consistently encouraged innovation in team settings, fostered perseverance, taught us how to think strategically, and have pushed us to reach our potential.”

Molly Belmont
Molly Belmont

Molly Belmont, a Risk Management and Insurance student from Temple University’s Fox School of Business, has been selected as the winner of the 2016 American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) Student White Paper Research Contest.

A junior, Belmont won the AAMGA competition’s Technology and Wholesaler category for her paper, “Internet of Things Insurance, Opportunities, and Threats.”

In her paper, Belmont focused on three distinct areas – the connected home, the connected car, and the connected self – and discussed benefits and potential flaws in the collection of data through the Internet of Things IoT.

“While these devices can help insurance companies price better premiums and lower risk, and can also better educate the consumer and help them identify exactly what they’re paying for, there is a cyber risk involved with these devices that most companies didn’t necessarily consider,” said Belmont, a native of Malvern, Pa. “These systems can be hacked and create unforeseen dangers.”

Belmont said the paper was the culmination of more than one month’s work, during which time she utilized more than 20 sources. She said it was the first writing competition in which she’s taken the top prize. Belmont credited Fox School Assistant Professor Storm Wilkins with the encouragement to enter the competition.

For her winning entry, Belmont will receive a scholarship totaling $1,000; an all-expenses-paid trip and registration for the 90th AAMGA Annual Meeting, to be held May 22-25 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz.; an opportunity to shadow an AAMGA member during his or her meetings at the conference; and publication of her paper in the May issue of Wholesale Insurance News magazine, which is distributed to more than 1.4 million insurance professionals in more than 40 countries globally.

“I’ve been looking into the schedule of events and the networking opportunities available at the conference,” said Belmont, who this summer will serve as a benefits intern in the Philadelphia office of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. “I wasn’t expecting to win, so it’s a big thrill.”

Read about the 2015 research contest winner, Hayley Leather.

Photo of William A. "Bill" Graham IV
William A. “Bill” Graham IV, recipient of the 2015 Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership

Temple University’s Fox School of Business will award William A. “Bill” Graham IV the 2015 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.

Graham will be honored at the 19th annual Musser Award reception and dinner Nov. 5, 2015, in Mitten Hall, on Temple University’s Main Campus.

Graham is the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of The Graham Company, a privately held and leading U.S. insurance and surety brokerage and consulting firm considered one of the largest in the nation based on revenue size. The company provides property and casualty products, employee benefits, and surety bonds for an elite client base.

“Bill Graham helped build a family business into a recognized and respected brand. He’s a giant in the insurance and risk management industries,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “For nearly two decades, we have honored distinguished business professionals with the Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership, and Bill certainly fits that description.”

Graham has been a member of the Philadelphia business community for more than 50 years.

He joined his father’s insurance agency as a sales representative in 1962, eventually becoming the sole owner in 1972. He served as president from 1970 to 1999, and currently serves as chairman and chief executive officer. He has overseen the growth of The Graham Company, from six employees with revenues of $300,000 in 1972, to more than 160 employees and revenues exceeded $40 million.

Graham is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of Bucknell University, and is on the Boards of Directors of Xanitos, Inc.; Adhezion Biomedical, LLC; and Aspire Bariatrics, LLC. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Guest Counts Hospitality.

He is an alumnus of Bucknell University and the William Penn Charter School.

Previous Musser Award winners include Lewis Katz, director of the Katz Foundation; Steven H. Korman, founder of Korman Communities; Joan Carter, co-founder and president of UM Holdings Ltd.; Ralph J. Roberts, founder of Comcast; Stephen A. Cozen and Patrick J. O’Connor, of Cozen-O’Connor; H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, president and CEO of The Lenfest Group; and Dennis Alter, former chairman and CEO of Advanta Corp.

For sponsorship and reservation information, contact Amy Gurreri, Assistant Director of Special Events and Facilities, at 215-204-4889 or amy.gurreri@temple.edu.

Fox School of Business alumni , faculty and students and industry professionals flocked to the Hyatt at the Bellevue Hotel Tuesday, April 22, to celebrate and honor students past and present for the 26th Annual Awards for Excellence Dinner.

Co-hosted by the Department of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management and the Sigma chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, Dean Moshe Porat commented on event’s growth from a small luncheon 25 years ago.

“The idea behind it was to raise the profile of the department, to further connect students to employers, and to attract well-known speakers,” Dr. Porat said. “I think you will agree that we succeeded on all accounts – more people, more illustrious speakers and more successes to celebrate.”

The keynote speaker of the event was J. Hyatt Brown, president and CEO of Brown & Brown, Inc. who had an active career as a Florida state representative in the 1970s, and whom Time Magazine named one of the U.S.’s 50 young leaders in 1979.

Among the more than 30 Fox School students receiving awards were graduating seniors Richard Lee, BBA ’14, and William Thorsson, BBA ’14, who received the G. William Glendenning Award for Excellence in Actuarial Science; Cathleen Gabriel, BBA ’14, and Regina Ross, BBA ’13, recipients of the Joseph E. Boettner Award for Excellence in Risk Management and Insurance; H. Wayne Snider Award in Risk Management winner Martin Leicht, BBA ’14; Allison Cross, CEBS, BBA ’14,, who won the Jerry S. Rosenbloom Award in Employee Benefits; and Nancy Barret, BBA ’14, who was honored with the Baglini Memorial Award for Professionalism and Ethics.

Three Fox alums received the prestigious awards from the department. Cassidy A. Starkey, BBA ’99, manager of the designs Claims Management Programs for The Graham Company – and a Temple University Beasley School of Law grad – received the Norman A. Baglini Distinguished Young Alumni Award in Risk Management and Insurance.

Cigna Global Health Benefits Actuarial Manager Richard Huynh, BBA ’08, was honored with the G. William Glendenning Distinguished Young Alumni Award in Actuarial Science.

John Hannah, BBA ’90, was given the H. Wayne Snider Distinguished Alumni Award in Risk Management and Insurance. Hannah currently serves as senior client executive of Marsh’s Philadelphia Operations.

Associate Professor and Department Chair R.B. Drennan made remarks about the state of the insurance industry’s recruitment and future before awarding students and alumni. He proudly noted that the Fox School is educating future generations in this industry, and “we have been doing it longer and better than anyone else.”

“There is great concern over where the next generation of talent and leaders will come from,” Dr. Drennan noted. “Might I suggest to you, based on the facts as presented, that we in the Fox School have assumed the role as the leader in risk management education and research in the country and that we are also playing a major role to close this gap.”

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) recently named the Fox School’s Actuarial Science program a Center of Actuarial Excellence for the third year in a row. SOA is the industry’s largest professional organization, and this distinction makes the Fox School’s program one of just 14 Centers of Actuarial Excellence in the United States.

Part of Fox’s top-ranked Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management Department, the Actuarial Science program first received this honor in 2009. The recognition is renewed annually until 2014, given that the program holds itself to stringent SOA standards and meets rigorous requirements in the areas of curriculum, graduate count, faculty composition, grade quality, integration, industry connections and research/scholarship.

As a Center of Actuarial Excellence (CAE), Fox’s program is eligible to compete for exclusive CAE Education and Research Grants provided by SOA. These education and research grants vary from single to multiyear awards and can range between $50,000 and $100,000.

The Sigma Chapterof Gamma Iota Sigma has done it again and brought home the prestigious Edison L. Bowers Award for the ninth year in a row — 14 out of the past 16 years!
The Sigma Chapter also received additional awards and scholarships making it the most awards won by a single chapter in the history of Gamma Iota Sigma.

Gamma Iota Sigma is an international professional fraternity for students studying risk management, insurance and actuarial science.

The Bowers Award was given at the 37th Annual Gamma Iota Sigma International Management Conference held in October 2008 in Virginia.

The Bowers Award was created to recognize the one chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma that demonstrates an exceptional, well-rounded and organized program each academic school year.

The Bowers Award takes into account public relations, industry relations, alumni affairs as well as other chapter activities. This award is the highest honor that a chapter can receive from the Grand Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma.

Along with taking home the Bowers, the Sigma Chapter also received awards recognizing community service, membership development, public relations, alumni relations, and career development.

Finally, the Sigma Chapter was given four “Black and Gold Awards” for ‘Neighboorhood Bikeworks Fundraising Project’ and ‘The Gamma Ambassadors Program,’ ‘Creating an E-Commerce Website,’ and ‘Essentials of a Periodic Newsletter.’ These awards recognize unique chapter events and programs that can be replicated by other chapters.

In addition to these chapter awards, Sigma Chapter members and alumni received the following recognition:

Anita Benedetti Memorial Award
Kevin Johnson (Class of 2009)
This award recognizes outstanding participation with RIMS on the local and national levels.

Warren L. Weeks Scholarship
Tiffany Calhoun, (Class of 2008)
This award recognizes the effort to encourage individual members and the furthering of fraternity goals.
Elizabeth Lange Microsoft Scholarship
Paul Rossi, (Class of 2010)
This award recognizes a member’s successful chapter, family and community contributions.

Thomas J. Miles Actuarial Award
Former Sigma Chapter President Aaron Hill (Class of 2008)
This award recognizes a member of Gamma Iota Sigma that best represents the qualities of scholarship, leadership, character and service exemplified by Dr. Miles.The Sigma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma at Temple University will host the 38th Annual Management Conference in October 2009.