One night a few years ago, Shannon Siriano Greenwood and her husband made a pinky promise: the next day, they would quit their jobs.
In 2010, Greenwood, BBA ’04, was stressed, unhappy and burned out managing operations at a chain of eight salons in the Washington D.C. area. After fulfilling her end of the deal, over the next few years, Greenwood worked as a social media contributor, marketer, co-founded a boutique cycling studio (which she later sold) and worked as a consultant.
In 2017, she founded Rebelle Con, a three-day women’s conference that brings speakers from across the country to discuss topics such as wellness, money, community and creativity. She also works as a freelance moderator/EMCEE and event curator.
“I lept and let the world catch me,” she says, laughing. “I started my first business basically out of boredom. I found it all out by doing.”
Greenwood and her team discovered that what attendees wanted out of a conference was to build community while learning skills that they could apply for personal and professional fulfillment. After the success of two conferences, Greenwood created Rebelle, an in-person community with local chapters in Richmond, VA and, most recently, Lancaster, PA. Rebelle hosts monthly events including mixers and panel presentations at local women-owned business offices. She was perhaps inspired by her work with the “Boss Babes” collective, a community of entrepreneurial businesswomen.
Some of the best feedback Greenwood received was in response to a session called “The Quitters.” It was a panel of successful businesswomen talking about the things they have quit, whether that be giving up a marriage, a six-figure job or owning a home in order to set out on their own path. The discussion was anchored in topics that people would not necessarily want to open up about in a large group, Greenwood says. But attendees loved it.
In another session, Carrie Sue Casey, founder of Oodaloop Co and former Department of Defense employee, taught a brainstorming technique to the group using “how to make friends as an adult” as the primary problem they were working to solve. “It has been interesting to see what people think they want and what they actually want,” Greenwood says.
It took her a long time to figure out what she wanted. A self-described “recovering work-a-holic,” she puts self-care at the forefront of her life and career and emphasizes that the Rebelle community does the same. While self-care can look different for everyone, Greenwood explains that her brand is relatively simple: being kind to herself and watching her stress levels. She works at a comfortable pace, versus trying to prove herself to other people and has found success in that. Napping is great too, she says.
“I want to inspire other women, pay my bills and drink chai lattes,” Greenwood jokes.
In addition to launching the Lancaster chapter of Rebelle, Greenwood plans to launch even more branches in 2020. Attendance for the fall RebelleCon is doubling in size, and the team is working on a host of new programming for women.
When Ian Thomas first came to Philadelphia in 2002, all he had was a friend and backpack.
Over the next few years, he moved across the country and internationally until he settled back in Philadelphia in 2011. This time, he had a family and a career in international transportation and logistics. He was working full-time when he decided to pursue an MBA at the Fox School.
Now, Thomas, PMBA ’17, runs his own company that blends exercise and tourism in a way that feels authentically Philly. SeePhillyRun invites runners of all fitness levels to join Thomas, a six-time marathon runner and certified city tour guide, on three- to five-mile courses. Groups jog around the city to check out landmarks like iconic locations from the movie Rocky, the city’s expansive mural collection or where the cowboy hat was invented.
Thomas describes himself as a businessman first, a runner second and a tour guide third, which helps to explain how, despite only being operational for about two years, SeePhillyRun has already seen a great deal of success. He differentiates his business by maintaining a hyperlocal focus rather than the “big box” approach of his competition. The company invests back into the local community and partners with organizations such as Parks On Tap, Four Seasons, Philadelphia Runner, Loews Hotels and Temple University.
“I love Philly, storytelling and running,” he says. “I saw Philly as an asset at my fingertips when I decided that I wanted to combine my passions and create a unique way to see the city.”
Thomas leverages his knowledge of business, people and international relations to curate a running experience that is interesting, engaging and transformative for a wide range of people. Living overseas and working in client management in his former career, he developed an appreciation for communicating with people who have English as their second language. He says this understanding has served him well as a tour guide searching for commonalities across diverse perspectives.
Despite the challenge of incorporating multiple perspectives in his tours, Thomas recognizes that his method of tourism attracts a particular clientele.
“People coming out to a running tour are likely to be an ‘experiential’ audience,” he says. “Going on a running tour versus a traditional walking tour is like surfing the internet rather than reading a book. It offers a taste or a piece of the bigger picture in an authentic, fast-paced way.”
He says that he feels like an ambassador for the city, promoting Philadelphia the way it would want to be promoted: shouting quick tales of how it is revolutionary in its inclusivity, creativity and open-mindedness. For example, a popular spot on his routes is the Moore College of Art and Design, founded in 1848 as the first women’s art school in the country.
When looking to the future of SeePhillyRun, Thomas asserts that the company is scalable in a variety of different ways. He could expand the business into different, historically-rich cities or could incorporate other approaches that blend wellness, tourism and hospitality such as biking. Eventually, SeePhillyRun could evolve into a virtual experience.
“As long as the energy is right, we are telling good stories, staying local and plugged into the community—a lot of great things could happen,” he says.
4 alumni blazing trails in their fields
There is more to success than know-how. That’s why business smarts, strength, and character are injected into the DNA of Fox students. That’s why alumni are endowed with traits—perseverance, determination, and professional polish, to name a few—that give them a competitive edge in business. Below, we highlight a few alumni who have built upon their education to achieve great success in the real world.
The Transformer: Steven McAnena
President of Distribution, Life and Financial Services, Farmers Insurance
Steve McAnena, BBA ’93, serves as president of Business Insurance at Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Liberty Mutual Group, Inc. (LMB). He is also executive vice president of Global Retail Markets at LMB. He joined the company in 1993 and served as president. His leadership experience, combined with his diverse experience and track record in product and distribution, help his division continue to cultivate strong relationships with independent agents and brokers. He studied actuarial science at the Fox School.
“I remember my days at Temple—meeting new friends, becoming exposed to new professors, learning new coursework. When I arrived on campus it felt as if things changed in an instant and then kept changing. It was as energizing as it was stressful and I did not realize how four years of my life at Temple would serve as the foundation for my career. At the time, I did not realize that professional life was really a continuation of the learning process that began at Temple.
Charles Darwin has a famous quote: ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.’ The same is true within business—just ask Kodak or Blockbuster. The most successful professionals and companies are the ones willing to invest in changing, evolving, and in some cases totally reinventing their businesses. To be clear, be proud of your accomplishments and celebrate your successes, but always, always be looking in the rearview mirror because the competition is bearing down on you. Try new things. Don’t avoid them. Take calculated risks. Don’t shy away from them. Embrace and learn from mistakes. Don’t hide them. The capabilities and skills that got you here today are likely not the ones you need to win tomorrow. Be ready, be excited, embrace change.”
The Builder: Atish Banerjea
Chief Information Officer, Facebook
Atish Banerjea, MS ’91, is the chief information officer (CIO) of Facebook. Before joining Facebook, he worked in senior leadership roles at NBCUniversal and Dex Media, Inc. and spent 10 years with Pearson PLC. He has also held roles at Maurices, Inc. and Simon & Schuster. Early in his career, Banerjea held a full-time tenure track faculty position at the University of Wisconsin as assistant professor of computer information systems (CIS), responsible for teaching all the advanced CIS courses for the undergraduate computer information systems program, as well as conducting research in support of teaching assignments.
Banerjea, who builds internal systems for Facebook, says the following about how he navigates working for the massive social media company: “I’ve learned there’s a Facebook way of doing things. For one, we build everything ourselves. And that’s because, in large part, we have a very strong platform. It’s also because many third-party products can’t match the pace at which we’re growing. And Facebook is a company driven by efficiency. Rather than bring a third-party product in that would change the workflow and the work process, which is what almost every other company does, we’ve figured out the most effective way someone here can do their job, from HR to finance, is to build a system to meet their needs.”
The Philanthropist: Larry Miller
President, Nike, Jordan Brand
Larry Miller, BBA ’82, is the president of Jordan Brand, a division of Nike Inc. This is his second tour with the brand, and he continues to garner international respect for his reputation as an inspirational leader with a proven track record of building premium businesses in the world of sport. In his role, he oversees the day-to-day operations and works with Nike global leadership and Michael Jordan to drive the brand’s global business objectives. Prior to joining Jordan Brand, he served as president and alternate governor of the Portland Trail Blazers and vice president of the U.S. apparel division of Nike. He also held executive-level positions at Jantzen, Inc. and Kraft General Foods, as well as positions at Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc. and Campbell Soup.
“The Fox School prepared me for a career in business. It allowed me to start in accounting and transition into general management, marketing, and beyond. It prepared me to look at what I do from a business perspective, because it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of sports. I think the Fox School also prepared me to be a leader,” says Miller.
Miller possesses a commitment to philanthropy that is innate to Temple University and the Fox School. In 2015, he established the annual Tamara J. Gilmore Endowed Scholarship to award underrepresented female STHM students who are pursuing careers in hospitality and event management, and who exemplify Gilmore’s professional and entrepreneurial spirit. A Temple alumna who died in 1999, Gilmore was an accomplished business person within the hospitality industry.
When asked, Miller offered the following advice for the Fox community: “I’ve learned a lot of lessons throughout my career, from Campbell to Kraft to Jantzen to the Blazers, and ultimately Jordan Brand. When it comes to leadership, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to have the right people in the right jobs, then allow them to do their jobs and give them support.”
The Mover and Shaker: Margaret (Meg) McGoldrick
President of Abington-Jefferson Health
Margaret (“Meg”) M. McGoldrick, MBA ’76, is president of Abington-Jefferson Health, where she has served as chief operating officer since 1999. She is responsible for Abington Hospital—Jefferson Health and Abington-Lansdale Hospital, as well as five outpatient centers and two urgent care centers.
Prior to joining Abington, McGoldrick held executive leadership roles with Hahnemann University Hospital and the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital. She is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is a Baldrige executive fellow with the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. She serves on the board of directors of several organizations and is the board chair of the Keystone Alliance for Performance Excellence, the State of Pennsylvania Baldrige Alliance Program. She’s also a member of the Dean’s Council of the Fox School and a life trustee of Philadelphia University.
McGoldrick shares the best piece of advice that she was ever given: “Keep moving forward. There are ups and downs, certainly. Nothing’s a straight line. But if you’re not moving forward, you’re probably going backward. And as life moves on, lots of people suggest—wisely—to look for ways to re-center myself. I’ve worked in very stressful positions. Being able to manage that stress has been critical.”
She also offers the Fox community tips to build a great career as a healthcare executive: “I have served on many nonprofit boards that are connected to the work of our organization. This connection into the community provides for a deeper relationship with all those partners in the community that make it possible for healthcare organizations to be more effective. Also, meeting so many talented individuals in these organizations increased my network of professional colleagues.”
McGoldrick’s Secrets to Success
- Respect and support all employees and clinical staff who care for the patients and families
- Listen to those closest to the patients and the work of the organization
- Dedicate yourself to a culture of safety and high reliability
- Embrace constant cycles of learning and improvement
- Commit to the Baldrige Framework of Management
The Career Pitfalls that Taught Her the Most Valuable Lessons
- Don’t let missteps or failures distract you from a continuous focus on your work
- Deal with problems early on, as they often deteriorate further over time
- Stop and listen before you react and try to respond rather than react
5 Fox students and alumni redefining leadership
Modern leadership manifests in seeing opportunity where others cannot. Today’s leaders choose to zig while others zag. They empower others, lifting as they climb. They are agile and creative, adept at solving problems.
They’re also scarce. According to a 2016 report, more than 56 percent of U.S. executives say leadership required to address their companies’ most pressing needs was absent. And only 7 percent of those surveyed say their companies had established fast-track leadership programs catered to the next generation of leaders.
The Fox School is stemming that trend. This year, the school launched the Fox Leadership Development Program (FLDP) to strengthen the competencies in graduating seniors that are most sought after by leading companies. FLDP aims to enhance those skills through a yearlong programming schedule required of all Fox students.
“Our goal through this program,” says assistant dean Charles Allen, “is to enhance our students’ overall experiences at Fox and, as we have for 100 years, better prepare them for the eventual transition from leaders in the classroom to leaders in the workforce.”
Sometimes, they don’t have to wait even that long. Here are five Fox School students and recent graduates proving there’s no cookie-cutter for leadership.
They Make An Impact
Last summer, one week separated the landfalls of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico. The hurricanes claimed more than 100 lives and created $100 billion in damages. Ivan Cardona, a current student pursuing an executive doctorate in business administration (DBA), witnessed the devastation generated by the hurricanes, including the loss of his marketing business. But the tragedy didn’t break his resolve.
Immediately, he sought support for his country— freshwater, food, healthcare, and access to physicians, among other resources. He tapped his network, including others enrolled in the Fox Executive Doctorate in Business Administration program, to make that possible.
Cardona led philanthropic efforts to bring resources to Puerto Rico. He collected and distributed food to 2,300 families on Thanksgiving, using his trips to the U.S. for bi-monthly Executive DBA residencies, as well as chances to create contacts with folks who could lend assistance. He repeated his efforts in December, helping to hand out presents to more than 2,700 children at Christmas. His mission work focused on some of the island’s most affected municipalities, those that still lack access to freshwater and electricity.
Recently, Cardona and others distributed more than 2,000 solar lamps, as well as hand-cranked washing machines, to residents who are still without water and electricity.
“I’m not a hero,” Cardona says. “But when you see that, you start thinking, ‘If I leave, where are these people going to find water? Where are these people going to find food or how are they going to take care of their babies?’”
The work is not over, for Cardona and his home country.
They Give Back
Jannatul Naima, BBA ’18, is a first-generation college student, which means her experience doesn’t necessarily look like everyone else’s. She pursued her undergraduate degree, managed family responsibilities at home, led two student organizations and held down a position in the Fox School’s Office of the Dean.
“My parents, like most immigrants, place value on education,” says Naima. “My mother and my father each work 60 to 70 hours a week. They have always said they will struggle so that my siblings and I won’t have to know struggle. To them, you work hard to get where you need to be in life.”
Her strong work ethic is paying off. In May, Naima earned an International Business degree with a concentration in Finance. She accepted entry into a two-year leadership development program at JPMorgan Chase, where she will rotate between roles in project management, process improvement, risk and control, and analytics. This presents an exciting future for Naima—at JPMorgan Chase and beyond.
Thanks to her success, Naima wants to give back. She found volunteer opportunities through Feed Philly and held positions in two student organizations: The Muslimah Project, a women’s empowerment organization that combats Islamophobia and provides a safe space for women of all cultures; and Temple’s chapter of United Muslim Relief, through which she raised thousands of dollars to aid Philadelphia-based refugees and build a maternity ward in Nigeria.
“Even as a young girl, I set high expectations,” Naima says. “It’s normal for me to be as involved with my school, my community, and my family. It’s all part of my goal to give back to my family and give back to the community in more ways than one.”
Self-starter. Creative content consultant. Haircare influencer. These terms all apply to Tomi Jones, BBA ’18. So does this one: Gig worker, someone who secures gig or contract work.
Jones’ gig work is her life’s work. She monetized her YouTube channel, earning enough to offset a few educational expenses and develop a following of more than 90,000 subscribers along the way. She also works as a creative content consultant who helps firms and brands develop, create, and produce digital stories.
Jones first accepted contract work in her elementary school days when she signed up for table reads of scripts as a child TV production assistant.
She continued her passion for film and TV in 2015 for the movie “Creed.” Not only did she score on-camera time, but she also worked in stylist and production assistant roles on the set. Later that year, Jones interned by day for a Delaware-based bank. By night, she shuttled to New York to serve as a production assistant for the Netflix series “The Get Down” and complete YouTube certification courses. Not making much money, she often ate free meals on set, crashed on the couch of her aunt’s Harlem home, and jumped the turnstiles at subway stops.
“I’m not proud of that last one,” she says, “but I am proud of how you can open doors for yourself with daunting, sometimes-unpaid jobs. No one in this line of work has a resume that says, ‘One year here, two years there.’ Fox is ahead of the curve, and more universities need to be encouraging students that you can find satisfaction and your life’s work outside of a 9-to-5.”
They Create Connections
A study-abroad trip to Spain exposed Kyshon Johnson, BBA ’18, to plenty she’d never before seen: Culture, food, language… and the role of a father in the home.
The International Business major witnessed her host father doting on his wife, Johnson’s host mother. He would bring her flowers and play games with their daughter. He would hug them both tightly.
Johnson grew up in a single-parent household in Philadelphia. Her mother, Johnson’s inspiration, raised three children while attaining three college degrees. Her father, incarcerated, is not a factor in her life.
“Because it was normalized in my community, I didn’t know it was an issue,” she says. “So, I conducted research, and I wanted to share what I have learned and see if I could learn more.”
In 2017, Johnson launched 100 Other Halves. The independent project applied her education, as Johnson met with 100 women of diverse backgrounds. Johnson invited the women, whether in person or in webcam meet-ups, to tell stories about their fathers—good, bad, or nonexistent.
“The women shared one trait: They contacted me to participate. Otherwise, they were all uniquely different,” Johnson says.
Johnson cataloged 100 Other Halves through posts to social media and her blog. She reserved the 100th interviewee for someone special—her mother, Kenya Barrett.
“My mom came into it with an open heart and open mind because she was raised through foster care,” Johnson says. “She was only two when her mother passed away from cancer, and she never knew her father. I watched her lay the foundation for who I am today and I never really asked her about her upbringing. It was enlightening for both of us.”
Upon graduation, Johnson began a business leadership program at San Francisco-based LinkedIn. She hopes to convert 100 Other Halves into a film or TV project.
“It’s important that women have opportunities to share their stories,” she says. “This started as a social experiment, and it’s become a platform for healing that I’m incredibly proud of.”
They Stay Busy
Ryan Rist, BBA ’18, meets weekly with his Little Brother, a 10-year-old student at Philadelphia’s Independence Charter School, through the Southeastern Pennsylvania chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters. They often bond over lunch, conversation, or a game of soccer.
“I’m an only child,” Rist says, “so, in many ways, it feels like he’s my little brother. It’s rewarding to see him every week, get to know him, and make a difference in his life.”
But his leadership in his school and community extends beyond Big Brothers Big Sisters. Rist, who graduated in May with a Finance degree and a minor in Entrepreneurship, will also begin a three-year stint in the finance leadership development program at Prudential, where he held two prior internships. The rotational program allows Rist to build upon earlier experiences within Prudential’s tax investment and business planning and analysis teams.
“I like to stay busy,” Rist says, smiling. His professional, personal, and scholastic experience prove it.
He served three years as a resident assistant in one of Temple’s housing facilities. He also climbed the ladder in the Financial Management Association at the Fox School, for which he served a nine-month term as president—organizing activities, speaker series, and on-site visits to corporate headquarters for the 170-member student organization.
Outside of the classroom, Rist is resurrecting an entrepreneurial passion project he launched in 2014 as a high school senior. Rist Custom Coasters, behind a strong Kickstarter campaign, manufactured drink coasters with rubberized circular bottoms and felt inserts to absorb run-off. Personalized with images of logos or family photos, the coasters earned more than 150 crowdfunding backers. Rist brought his business to 2018 Be Your Own Boss Bowl®, an annual business plan competition at Temple.
When asked if he viewed himself as a leader, due to his many personal interests and professional responsibilities, Rist says, “I think everyone is a leader, to some degree. Everyone has the ability to lead. It’s just that leaders don’t always look or lead the same way.”
This story was originally published in Fox Focus, the Fox School’s alumni magazine.
5 Fox School students and alumni share how scholarships changed their lives
Margaret (Meg) McGoldrick
BBA ’74, MBA ’77, President, Abington-Jefferson Health & Member, Fox School Dean’s Council
“I had the opportunity (in April) to meet with a dozen Fox students and they are so impressive,” says McGoldrick on a recent meeting of the Fox School Dean’s Council. “They are articulate and clear communicators. They show enthusiasm, politeness, and creativity. They attend Fox with a purpose, many of them to start their own businesses once they graduate. You can see that drive within them. Whenever I meet Fox students, I come away with a stronger understanding of why I invest in the school’s future.”
Class of 2019, Finance major
“The scholarship I received was valuable and significant to me because it off set the amount I needed to borrow to finance my education and pursue a BBA in my desired field. Once I graduate, I plan to use my finance degree to pursue a career in the music entertainment industry, and this wouldn’t be possible without the aid of the Johnson family and their scholarship.”
BBA ’80, Vice President of Finance Transformation, Coca-Cola (retired) & Member, Fox School Dean’s Council
“Between contributions from my parents and my work-study program, I funded part of my education—but I still came out of the Fox School with debt. Today, I have a duty to give back to a place that gave me a foundation for a successful business career. Most people tend to think they need to write a seven-figure check to make a difference. That’s certainly not the case. Others need to know that we’re all capable of making a difference for the future generation with whatever we are able to contribute.”
Class of 2019, Accounting major
“Access to scholarships made the Fox School more attractive to me. I worked a job throughout high school, and that made my life more difficult than it needed to be. I didn’t have any flexibility in my schedule, or the ability to focus solely on my education. Now, my schedule isn’t nearly as complicated and I can dedicate myself to my education.”
BBA ’00, Senior Vice President, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
“I’m from a blue-collar Midwestern town, and my husband Brian (Sweeney, MBA ’01) and I both came from humble beginnings. We identify with the struggle of having to finance education, as well as the associated cost of not working in order to pursue a degree. It can be a heavy cost to the student. We firmly believe that education is one of best returns on investment. We established a scholarship at the Fox School to make students’ paths through college a little easier.”
This story was originally published in Fox Focus, the Fox School’s alumni magazine.
If you thought it was tough being a business student, imagine being a business student and an athlete. It’s a unique, life-changing challenge learning how to balance academics and sports, and learning how to be a leader in the classroom and on the playing field. Many Fox students have welcomed this challenge, pursuing both educational and athletic excellence. Some are record breakers. Some witnessed how gender equality shook up collegiate sports. And one went on to compete in the Olympics. Below, six Fox alumni share their memories of playing sports during their time at Temple University.
1. Rafael DeLeon, BBA ’10
Sport: Basketball (2006-2010)
Current job: TV/Film actor
Fact: DeLeon starred in the Netflix series reboot of Spike Lee’s film “She’s Gotta Have It.”
Best Temple sports memory: “Winning the A-10 college basketball tournament three consecutive years in a row, granting us an automatic bid to the March Madness tournament. We were the first team to win three straight conference titles since UMass in the mid-1990’s.”
2. Steven Flaks, BBA ’88
Sport: Gymnastics (1985-1987)
Current job: Director of finance, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Best Temple sports memory: “Winning the Eastern Division Gymnastics Championship as part of the ’85-’86 team and placing second on pommel horse in individual finals. Also sharing in the excitement of Temple basketball reaching No. 1 in the nation in ’88.”
3. Teresa Gozik-Tyson, BS ’85
Sport: Volleyball (1981-1985)
Current job: Vice president, credit analyst, Wells Fargo
Fact: Teresa met her husband, an STHM alum, at Temple University. (They have season tickets to Temple football and basketball games.) Also, their daughter earned a BBA from the Fox School and a master’s from STHM, and their son earned a bachelor’s from STHM.
Best Temple sports memory: “The last year female athletes were under the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) was 1981, and in 1982 we became part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and this was a result of Title IX, of course. So it was a very exciting time for female athletes at the collegiate level. My best memory of the move to the NCAA was that female athletes got textbooks each semester—we didn’t have to buy them! The university supplied them, and we had to return them at the end of the semester, but we were permitted to keep one book each semester. Also, by my junior year we were traveling further distances (via plane) and competing against larger schools. Life was awesome!”
4. Jennifer Harding, BS ’07
Major: Sport and Recreation Management (STHM)
Sport: Crew (2004-2005)
Current job: Major gifts officer, Villanova University
Fact: Harding is the director-at-large of the Fox School of Business Alumni Association (FSBAA) and co-chair of the events committee.
Best Temple sports memory: “Working for the United States Olympic Committee at the headquarters in Colorado Springs before the 2008 Olympics. Being able to work with the athletes and to see the level of dedication it takes to perform at that level still inspires me today.”
5. Michael J. Moore, BBA ’93
Sport: Crew (1989-1991, 1993)
Current job: Partner and chief commercial officer at WillowTree Inc.
Fact: Moore competed in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
Best Temple sports memory: “I have incredible memories from my time at Temple, both on campus and on the river. Winning the Dad Vail four times when the crowds were in the 100,000’s on the banks of the Schuylkill is at the top. Representing Temple at the Royal Henley Regatta in England is right up there, too!”
6. Jim Williams, BS ’66
Major: Business Administration
Sport: Basketball (1963-1966)
Fact: Williams led the Owls in scoring and rebounding from 1963 to 1966, and he was the first player to record over 1,000 career rebounds and 1,000 career points. In 1976, he was drafted by the Chicago Bulls and won a gold medal in the Pan American Games. He went on to play in the Italian League, where his team won the Italian Basketball Cup.
From court to classroom: “Everything was beneficial. You have to learn to discipline yourself, whether it’s on the field of competition or court, or in the classroom. Without discipline and regular hours of practice, you won’t succeed. I never failed a test I was prepared to take.”
This story was originally published in Fox Focus, the Fox School’s alumni magazine.
The Fox School and Temple University is a thriving community of veterans, both current students and alumni. Between 2013 and 2017, 249 veterans earned degrees at the Fox School. And there are currently more than 400 veterans and veterans dependents enrolled. Since its founding 100 years ago, thousands of veterans have chosen to study business at the Fox School. To celebrate these business leaders’ commitments to their country, learn more about these accomplished Fox vets.
1. Edna Tuttleman, BS ’42
Back when Edna Tuttleman (1921-2013) was at Temple, the Fox School was called the School of Commerce. Tuttleman, who claimed her time here was “the most exciting period of my life,” became the university’s first female class president in 1939. Upon completion of her business degree, during World War II, Tuttleman joined the Navy’s Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service program. She eventually earned the rank of Lieutenant (junior grade). Professionally, she went on to run design operations at a clothing firm owned by her husband, Stanley Tuttleman.
Temple Lover: A longtime donor and trustee, the Tuttleman Learning Center is named after her and was made possible by gifts from the Tuttleman Family Foundation.
Art Lover: Edna and Stanley Tuttleman were collectors of art, and their name adorns the Tuttleman Gallery at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Their collection included works by Roy Lichtenstein, Fernando Botero, and Alexander Calder.
2. Dorothy S. Washburn, SMC ’31, MBA ’50
Dorothy Washburn (1909-1985), West Philadelphia born and raised, earned a BS from what is now the Klein College of Media and Communication, and an MBA from the Fox School. Her government career began during World War II when she worked as a clerk at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. She held several positions in the military and won outstanding service awards from the Army and the Air Force, for which she served as a Reserve Lieutenant Colonel. She also worked in Washington, D.C., for the Office of the Secretary of the Navy.
Fact: The Washburn Chair in Marketing, named after Dorothy S. Washburn, is presently held by Dr. Masaaki Kotabe.
Active Life: Washburn served on the board of the Philadelphia League of Women Voters and was a member of both Temple University’s Board of Managers and Temple’s Board of the General Alumni Association.
3. Mark J. Fung, MBA ’11
Rear Admiral Mark Fung joined the Navy in 1988 and he was deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm and the War on Terrorism. He currently works for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command as deputy chief of civil engineers and deputy commander. For his service, Fung has earned the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star Medal. In his civilian life, Fung works as a project manager for AmerisourceBergen.
Wise Words: “Life is too short to do something you don’t enjoy. I enjoyed my time at Temple, and at Fox, and I enjoy my work with the Navy. That’s the secret. What drives me, especially at this level of the Navy, where the stakes are high, is that there’s no room for second place. Even in the business world, you make decisions that affect the outcome of those who work for you and with you. It’s this responsibility to my team that makes me strive to perform at a higher level.”
4. Anthony McIntyre, BBA ’80
Following Anthony McIntyre’s time at the Fox School and Temple University—where he also played football and track and field—he was commissioned as a U.S. Army Reserve Officer and then spent several years as Company Commander of a floating craft company. Professionally, he worked for several years at the Graham Company and Xerox Corporation, before founding the McIntyre Group, an insurance brokerage firm, in 2002.
Temple Family: McIntyre’s wife, Christine, is an STHM graduate. His brother, Michael, earned his MBA from the Fox School.
Wise Words: “Nothing takes the place of persistence, hard work, and integrity. If you get knocked down, get back up. And take risks—with no risk, comes no reward.”
5. Paul Abrams, MBA ’16
Army Staff Sergeant Paul Abrams is the founder of RTB Limited, a soft skills training, and business consultancy. “We help fill the gap in startups to medium-sized businesses who don’t have the budget for a full training department,” says Abrams, who earned his MBA at the Fox School in 2016.
Best Fox Memory: “I loved exposing my cohort members to professional rugby while visiting South Africa for my Executive MBA cohort’s Global Immersion trip. Rugby is a sport I am extremely passionate about; I played and coached for 15 years in the Army and for high-level clubs here in the U.S. Now that a league is starting here, I’d love to start a professional rugby team.”
Wise Words: “My discipline and attention to detail help me be a better leader in both business and the military. I also carry over the Army mantra ‘Be, Know, and Do.’ This creates a line of succession and constant training and communication in any business.
6. Joseph Petro, BS ’66
After earning his degree at the Fox School in 1966, Joseph Petro served as an officer in the U.S. Navy River Patrol Forces until 1970, including one year in Vietnam with River Division 512. He was discharged from the Navy as a Lieutenant. He has since worked as a special agent and senior executive in the U.S. Secret Service—Petro recounted these experiences, including his years alongside President Ronald Reagan, in his book, Standing Next to History: An Agent’s Life Inside the Secret Service—and a managing director at Citigroup. He is currently a senior vice president at Time Warner, Inc.
Wise Words: “Don’t be afraid to take chances—have confidence in yourself and work harder than everyone else.”
“I want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to be successful,” says Jameel Rush, BBA ’07 and adjunct professor at the Fox School. “Barriers to success for individuals and businesses exist. What drives my passion is creating those opportunities and ways to overcome those barriers to help organizations tap into every resource they can.”
As associate vice president of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) for Aramark, Rush leads D&I programs and initiatives across three areas: workforce, workplace and marketplace. He works to ensure that the company hires talent with backgrounds that reflect the communities the company serves, the culture values differences and drives innovation through inclusion and that they partner with diverse suppliers.
Aramark, a leader in food, facilities management and uniforms, has been recognized for diversity and inclusion efforts by organizations including the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2019 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), Diversity, Inc. and BLACK ENTERPRISE.
Rush has played a significant role in making these achievements possible by working to highlight the possibilities for an organization that is highly inclusive and attracts talent across all walks of life. Along with making executives understand the business case for diversity, he investigates the importance of things like the language used in job postings, how culture and process effect talent recruitment and how diversity in suppliers helps to drive profits.
In 2013 when he first joined Aramark, his interest in D&I was born. He was on a team responsible for designing, developing, implementing and managing an employee resource for young professionals focused on specific issues that impact them. “I fell in love with inclusion work once I was exposed to the industry,” he explains. The next year, he took the next step in his career and was named director of diversity and inclusion for the company.
At the Fox School, Rush teaches courses in organizational leadership and business ethics. In this role, he blends his real-world experiences into lessons for students. But he does not have to force the issue, as topics like D&I often come up naturally because they are ingrained in the lives and courses of the modern college student.
“We discuss issues like unconscious bias and discrimination—what they look like and how they function in today’s culture—and the importance of organizational policies to combat them from an ethical and a business standpoint.”
The most important piece of advice Rush would give students and prospective students looking in his footsteps is to network, network, network. He suggests being intentional about maintaining those relationships and building an authentic brand in order to be remembered.
“Everyone has their own unique path,” he says. “Mine is one of many. But my opportunities have come from making friends and associates. If you get your name out there and do good work, a lot can happen.”
Social consciousness, or the idea that people should be aware of problems both locally and far beyond their own experiences, has existed for much longer than companies led by Fox School of Business alumni like when honeygrow founder and CEO Justin Rosenberg, MBA ‘09, decided to use locally-sourced vegetables or United By Blue started hauling waste out of East Coast waterways. Social enterprise, a modern twist on this socially conscious concept, arrived at the forefront of 21st-century business.
At the Fox School, entrepreneurs are baking in the social enterprise section of their business plan well before they leave campus. And because the Fox School has so many innovative, socially-conscious students and alumni, here are a few across various industries that deserve the spotlight.
Performance Adejayan, Founder & CEO of Perade
Performance Adejayan, a current International Business Administration major, is passionate about helping her fellow Nigerian-Americans retain their culture and pride. She has channeled that passion into creating a clothing line called Perade. The idea for Perade was born from a simple question Adejayan asked herself: “Why not turn my passion into a business?”
She felt starting a clothing line that reflected her personal identity would be the perfect solution. Unlike the appropriated “tribal print” that can be found at many mainstream retailers, the brand mixes “African prints with western silhouettes” to transport Nigerian culture into wearable pieces for all. By going straight to the source and receiving products from Nigeria, she is giving back to her home and supporting the global economy.
At this stage in her entrepreneurial journey, Adejayan is currently working on spreading the word about Perade. She is building a team of brand ambassadors and influencers to post about and wear her products.
Anthony Copeman, Founder of Financial Lituation & $hares
At the heart of every one of Anthony Copeman’s ventures is a desire to provide his generation with the tools they need to succeed financially. Since he was a student studying accounting, Copeman, BBA ’14, has founded a nonprofit (Backyard Business) and a financial coaching program (Financial Lituation), began working for the City of Philadelphia and launched an animated financial literacy YouTube series called $hares.
Both Financial Lituation and $hares help users build toward financial freedom through advice and education on financial literacy in an accessible way, especially for minorities and other disenfranchised groups.
Looking to the future, Copeman is committed to scaling the impact of his various projects, measuring the results, and trying new things. “I am constantly inspired by innovation and creativity. I’m always asking myself, ‘how can I leverage my passion and put my own creative spin on it?’”
Thierno Diallo, Founder & CEO of Sontefa Energy
According to the International Energy Agency, in Sub-Saharan Africa, over 600 million
people have never had access to electricity. In Guinea, the home country of Thierno Diallo, BBA ’17, only 53% of urban areas and 11% of rural areas had access to electricity, leaving 8.7 million people without it. With Sontefa Energy, Diallo wants to change those statistics.
“I believe that providing electricity to the people of Guinea, as well as to Africa as a whole, will be the greatest thing that I can ever accomplish,” Diallo says. “The myriad of cultures that are found in my country have always emphasized the importance of helping others.”
The company, whose mission is to empower the future of Africa with green energy, is currently focused on raising capital and is in the process of developing partnerships with solar panel suppliers in the U.S. and overseas. Diallo has developed an engineering team for installment and services, as well as a sales team.
David Ettorre, Founder & CEO of Osprey Drone Services
After graduating from the Strategic Management Entrepreneurship program in 2015, David Ettorre looked to combine the skills he knew he had in order to make an impact on the business world and the environment. He had business acumen, loved working outside and decided to mine the potential of drone technology to shape his career.
“With Osprey Drone Services, me and my team do not just show up with and play with drones. We use technology to solve industry problems,” Ettorre says. Leveraging the accessibility and data collection properties of drones, they offer customers a combination of preventive and predictive maintenance with industrial asset inspection.
Whether that means sending a drone 400 feet in the air to find out if an endangered species of bird has built a nest at the top of a tree or assessing the lifecycle of a wind turbine, the company helps wildlife conservation and their client’s bottom line.
Jen Singley, Keller Williams Philadelphia
Jen Singley, BBA ’13, has been interested in environmentalism since she was a child. For her, it was natural to marry real estate and sustainability. Singley is a real estate agent with Keller Williams and helps first-time home buyers navigate what can feel like an intimidating process. To offer this support, in addition to her day job, Singley hosts first-time buyer workshops in different neighborhoods around the city.
Singley also works with Women for a Sustainable Philadelphia, a forum for encouraging women to connect around a passion for positively impacting the current and future environmental, social and economic resilience of the Greater Philadelphia region.
In an effort to infuse elements of sustainability into her career, Singley offers free recycling bins for clients and organize cleanups in client neighborhoods. “No matter what I am doing for work, I always want to link it to helping Philadelphia and making it a more sustainable, greener place to live,” Singley says.
All of these “extracurriculars” support Singley’s mission to educate herself and teach others about real estate, sustainability and giving back to the City of Brotherly Love.
This story was originally published in Fox Focus, the Fox School’s alumni magazine.
In the early ’80s, John Milligan, BBA ’75, faced a choice: remain in a dead-end job or set out on his own. Milligan decided to move on, build his own diverse accounting firm and create opportunities for minorities. over 30 years later, his business Milligan & Company LLC is the largest minority-owned CPA firm in the Philadelphia region and a champion for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
As a teen in Norristown, PA, Milligan never thought about owning a business or attending college. He dropped out of high school after 10th grade and joined the Navy, serving for four years. After two years of junior college in California, Milligan returned to the Philadelphia area. On the recommendation of a friend, he enrolled at Temple University.
Being one of the few students of color in his classes, he felt out of place at school but he received support and guidance from his professors. They encouraged him to consider public accounting, connected him with employers and coached him through interviews. Milligan graduated magna cum laude with an offer from Coopers & Lybrand, the largest accounting firm in the city at that time.
Milligan left Coopers & Lybrand after nine years when it became apparent that leadership was not ready to make an African American a partner at the firm. However, his experiences there were formative. Not only did he learn the basics of public accounting and auditing, but he also learned about entrepreneurship and running small businesses.
“I had a mentor [Bruce Cohen] at Coopers & Lybrand who really helped me focus not only on becoming a good auditor but also being a good entrepreneur,” says Milligan. “So when I made my decision to leave, that experience and that mentoring really helped me prepare to start my own CPA firm.”
With his staffing choices, business practices and outside endeavors, Milligan has surpassed his initial goal to establish a more diverse accounting firm. Today, approximately 50 percent of Milligan & Company’s employees are minorities and 75 percent of the employees are women. He has made a commitment to support minority-owned businesses in his personal and professional life.
One of the most important decisions he made was to get involved in government programs for small businesses and work with government agencies. Milligan & Company was, for a number of years, a member of the Small Business Administration’s 8(A) Business Development Program. This program offers a broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled at least 51 percent by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. After outgrowing the program, Milligan’s company now provides assistance to other businesses seeking 8(A) certification.
Milligan & Company managed the Philadelphia Minority Business Development Center for eighteen years. “That was very rewarding,” he says. “We helped literally hundreds of businesses with their business and marketing plans, and get bank loans.”
Milligan also created a nonprofit, the Greater Philadelphia Minority Business Strategic Alliance (GPMBA), a network of twenty organizations dedicated to promoting the growth of minority business enterprises with shared resources and collaboration. While GPMBA is no longer operational, one of their most important partnerships remains; Milligan sponsors SCORE, a network of expert business mentors, by providing them with office space in Center City.
Milligan’s interest in community service isn’t limited to his work with entrepreneurs and small businesses. He has served on the boards of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Norristown Area School District Education Foundation, and Montgomery Hospital in Norristown. He is currently the president of the Greater Norristown NAACP. The Fox School Department of Accounting will honor John Milligan with the Community Service Award at the 2019 Accounting Achievement Awards.
“It’s rewarding to be able to have an impact on people and their lives and know somehow you helped other people reach their full potential.”
This story was originally published in Fox Focus, the Fox School’s alumni magazine.
When they met as freshmen in Hardwick Hall, Khadijah “Kay” Robinson, BBA ’04, and Kiana “Kay” Muhly, BBA ’03, had no way of knowing that they would grow and flourish as best friends and business partners.
During their time at the Fox School, they honed their skills, Kiana in accounting and Khadijah in marketing and entrepreneurship. They were both very involved with the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), a student professional organization (SPO). During their time in the organization, with Khadijah on the board and Kiana serving as the president of NABA, they worked together to expand the reach of the SPO, recruiting members who were not strictly pursuing careers in accounting but were looking to enhance their professional network and skills.
After graduation, Kiana began working in one of the big four accounting firms and became a licensed CPA in Pennsylvania. She gained real-world experience in internal and external audits with companies of all sizes, including an international nonprofit. Then, she left the corporate world to focus on her family and smaller business ventures. Khadijah built a successful career in procurement, project management and most recently working in real estate for the U.S. General Services Administration in Philadelphia.
Kiana and Khadijah remained close, bonded by friendship and a shared entrepreneurial spirit. As their individual careers took shape, so did their company Kay & Kay Group, a joint venture that they founded in 2014. The mission of the company is to create innovative products that function easily and solve everyday problems.
Their flagship product, Aqua Waterproof Headwear, was inspired by a common challenge that women face whenever a vacation or a rainy day rolls around: a fashionable way to go swimming or enjoy life without getting their hair wet. Once they had the idea to develop stylish, breathable and completely waterproof headwear, they did research and found that there was nothing else like it on the market.
“We knew that we had a hit after talking through our idea with friends, family and focus groups. It resonated with everyone,” they say. “Not just African American women, but women across all walks of life. When we went to file a patent, even the agent loved the concept for Aqua Waterproof Headwear.”
They note that the key to their success while juggling their own families and careers is to treat Kay & Kay Group not as a side project or hobby, but as a business in its own right. Kiana and Khadijah have weekly meetings to discuss tasks, brainstorm new ideas and ensure that all “i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed when it comes to the quality and legitimacy of their product.
“We work together well,” Kiana says. “I am all business. I take care of the accounting and licensing, and I am very strict. Khadijah is so creative and is great at connecting with people and building relationships. Our skills support and complement each other.”
When it comes to the future of their business, they are tight-lipped about the details but say, “We are going to waterproof everyone’s lives.”
For the first time ever, the Fox School of Business is coming to a city near you! During the 2019-2020 academic year, we are hosting a series of events called Fox on the Road in Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Maryland. The goal of these sessions is to offer professional development and career services and to bring the Fox alumni community together in their own backyards.
The events will feature a keynote speaker to present on a hot industry topic and will focus on providing opportunities for Fox graduates to learn from and connect with their fellow alumni.
If you have any questions or ideas about how to make this event series more valuable for you, email Stephanie Nissen, director of student experience and alumni engagement, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coming soon: Details on speakers, cities and more.
When you graduate, you automatically become a member of the Fox School of Business Alumni Association (FSBAA). This membership means you’re eligible for many benefits, resources, and opportunities at the school. There are also alumni events locally and across the country that bring the Fox community together for professional development, networking and comradery.
Click here to learn more about how to get involved in the Fox alumni network.
A little over a year ago, Joël Da Piedade, Nassera Seghrouchni, and Habibou Djima met as classmates in their Fox Executive MBA program in Paris, France. Today, they are business partners. These three EMBA graduates decided to take the work from their capstone project and create an actual consulting company.
“Our capstone customer was the COO of a French [tourism] organization,” explains Nassera. “We rapidly developed a consulting relationship while doing the strategic audit. We enjoyed the collaboration together, how we managed the challenges constructively to successfully help the COO transform his organization and manage the risks.”
Throughout their experience working on the capstone project, Joël, Nassera, and Habibou soon realized the market need for a dynamic tourism consulting firm. The group researched several existing companies experiencing similar challenges faced by their capstone customer. This demonstrated there was a significant opportunity coming to fruition.
The most impactful part of the group’s capstone experience was the individual relationships they created. Joël quotes the group-spirit, learning from his classmates, and challenging each other as the most memorable part of his capstone experience. “Each of us was engaged to deliver the best [product] and help each other.” The support provided by their teammates gave the group the confidence to take their capstone project to the next level and launch their company.
“Axiom Et Associes is a consulting firm in strategy and transformation,” says Nassera. “The goal is to help organizations such as SMEs [and] non-profits define and implement their strategies and transform by being innovative, ambitious and pragmatic. Axiom Et Associes provides consulting and solutions in transformation (360, digital), customer experience, operation excellence, and business development strategies.”
Learn more about the Fox Executive MBA program.
With his organization Philly Financial Planning, Thomas McDevitt, MBA ’02, has made it his mission to help empower Philadelphia’s most economically disadvantaged citizens. The nonprofit, currently in the startup phase, provides the tools and education necessary to make smart financial decisions over time and across all levels of literacy.
“Right now, we are seeking strategic partnerships with organizations,” McDevitt explains. “Philanthropists, faith-based organizations, local government officials, community and neighborhood leaders, Philadelphia-based corporations, learning institutions, banks and financial services firms can all play a meaningful role in helping us to achieve our long-term strategic goals of closing Philadelphia’s wealth gap.”
As part of Philly Financial Planning, McDevitt also hopes to roll out The Eagle’s Nest, a spin-off idea inspired by popular TV show Shark Tank. Local Philly entrepreneurs will have a chance to pitch for startup or expansion financing. An integral part of this service will be teaching inner-city entrepreneurs how to write a comprehensive business plan. His team is also working to kick off a city-wide Stock Market Challenge, where participants can win cash prizes for selecting top-performing stocks over defined, measured periods.
McDevitt has a rich history of giving back and educating diverse communities. After graduating from the Fox School with an MBA and a concentration in Finance, he co-founded a professional continuing education company, McDevitt & Kline, LLC. The second half of the organization’s namesake, Dr. Bill Kline received his PhD in Strategic Management from the Fox School in 2012. He currently oversees the daily operations at the firm as the business grows on a national scale. Since its inception, the team has provided continuing education courses to over 7,000 attorneys and CPAs.
Last year, McDevitt also became an IRS Enrolled Agent, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and Certified Financial Planner (CFP). During this tax season, he is leveraging his expertise to give back to even more members of his community by providing affordable, low priced tax resolution services and financial literacy training for Philadelphia working families and small business owners.
“The financial literacy programs that exist in Philadelphia today are definitely not addressing the root causes of generational poverty,” McDevitt explains. “In my various roles, I hope to change that by providing transformative, lifelong learning experiences for Philadelphians.”
This Sunday, March 17th is the one day of the year that everyone can experience the Luck of the Irish. Many people celebrate the holiday in different ways, such as cooking up some corned beef and cabbage, going to parades, and playing St. Patrick’s Day themed games.
At the Fox School of Business, we love the opportunity to eat, drink and support alumni at the same time. Create your own “Temple Made Bar Crawl” or pop by any of these alumni-owned businesses this St. Patrick’s Day!
Love City Brewing Company
Melissa Walter, EDU ‘11, met her future husband and business partner over a keg of beer at the friend’s New Year’s Eve party. As their love grew, so did their interest in brewing craft beer. The story of Love City can be summed up in nine simple words: “Love for each other, for craft beer, for Philadelphia.” They have 15+ beers to choose from, as well as a host of signature cocktails, wine and cider. The bar often hosts local food trucks like 2 Street Sammies, Ole Tapas and more.
Charlie was a sinner. & Bar Bombon
If you are looking to spend Paddy’s Day in a classy joint drinking cocktails and munching on vegan food, look no further than Charlie was a sinner. or Bar Bombon, owned by Nicole Marquis, TFMA ’05.
Charlie was a sinner. is an all vegan Midtown Village bar with small plates and strong drinks. The dark, moody bar is great for a date or small get together. This is not your typical bar to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but for some, that could be its allure.
For a bit of holiday cultural fusion, stop by Bar Bombon, a vegan Puerto Rican spot serving arepas, tacos, empanadas and more. Even if the weather is cold, drinking a salted grapefruit margarita or a Hotel Nacional De Cube (white rum, apricot liqueur, pineapple and lemon) you will feel like you could step out of the bar and onto a beach.
Victory Brewing Company
Friends from fifth-grade and beyond, Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski, TYL ‘85, used their shared love of beer to open their own brewery in Downingtown, PA. Victory Brewing can be found at their 300-seat brewery in Downingtown, Parkesburg, Kennett Square and in retail stores across the tri-state area and beyond. So, even if you plan to stay home and hang with friends on Sunday, you can pick up a six-pack of Victory Brewing beer.
No matter what vibe you are going for to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, there is a bar or a beer to fit the bill and support the Temple University community at the same time.