Executive MBA alums are thriving throughout the world and prominently in the Philadelphia region. We checked in with Philadelphia alumni Stephen Fean, class of 2017, and William Calderaro, class of 2009, to learn about their recent promotions to President of their organizations.
STEPHEN FEAN’S LEADERSHIP OF THE FIRM
As President of Watchdog Real Estate Project Management, my increased responsibilities include managing day-to-day operations, developing and implementing high-level strategies that align with our mission and vision, and providing our employees the tools they need to be successful.
What I love most about most about this opportunity is that I have the ability to help others reach their career goals and ambitions. This is rewarding on a professional and personal level.
The curriculum and faculty played a significant role in preparing me for this role. If I came across a new idea or strategy in class over the weekend, I could implement it on Monday morning in the office. My peers also played a huge role in getting me to think about the business from a new perspective while providing a powerful network to tap into.
Advice for Future Students or Colleagues
Business, just like the EMBA program, isn’t so much about the right or wrong answer. It is more about the ability to listen to those around you, gather the facts, and execute a planned strategy that will help you accomplish your career goals.
WILLIAM CALEDRARO’S PLANS FOR GROWTH STRATEGY
I’ve been appointed as President of The Safegard Group, an insurance brokerage firm that specializes in commercial property and casualty insurance; life, medical and health benefits; and personal insurance. I am now responsible for directly overseeing our Property and Casualty Division. I’ll help set the overall growth strategy with our two principals and leadership team.
I started the new role with one-on-one employee interviews to gauge their happiness levels, short- and long-term goals, feedback on what we’re doing well, and where we can do better. Their responses, as well as their genuine appreciation and excitement for being asked to voice their opinions, was amazing. It’s important for them to know they are valued and appreciated. Corporately, it’s equally important to make sure we put them in the proper positions to be successful and productive. I expect to pursue the same types of feedback directly from our clients in the coming year as well.
The program itself is a microcosm of the workplace (and life). Teamwork was imperative to manage the course load. Individual accountability was mandatory. Analytical thinking was needed to overcome the academic rigors presented. Most importantly for me, it came down to the people – faculty, staff, and certainly my cohort. Ten years later, close friendships and meaningful relationships still exist from our time together.
Advice for Future Students or Colleagues
- Enjoy what you do. If you don’t enjoy the work, then you’re not going to be fully vested.
- Dedicate yourself to your craft and be the best professional you can be.
- Treat others with respect. The cardinal rule. We may have different opinions, backgrounds, thoughts or beliefs, but treating people respectfully is always appreciated and should be mandatory – in business and in life.
- Be positive – in all aspects of your life. Good things come with positivity. Others are naturally drawn to positive people. There’s enough negativity surrounding us in today’s world. Why not be positive?
The EMBA Alumni Board’s new President, Sidney Johnson, class of 2015, is an accounting executive with extensive leadership experience. Based in Montgomery County, PA, Sid is the Founder/President of NumbersByDesign, LLC, a consulting firm that advises companies on strategies to build sound financial plans and scalable accounting structures for growth. We asked Sid about his goals for the board and his personal experiences as an EMBA student.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO AS PRESIDENT OF THE ALUMNI BOARD?
Giving back to a community of which I am proud to be a member. I am also looking forward to being a conduit for connecting some of our incredibly talented alumni to each other for their future endeavors.
We have so many alumni across various platforms in business leading some of the world’s top companies.
My sincere hope is that our alumni really connect with each other and give back to the Fox EMBA community to foster great business synergies and share their experiences. If you have a desire to start a business, partner with another organization, find experienced professionals for open positions, or transition to a different business space, this alumni base should operate as a resource. Meeting some of our alumni and learning about their backgrounds has been an amazing experience.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE EMBA EXPERIENCE?
The closing ceremony at the completion on our final class day. This was a special time because it caused me to reflect on the entire 16-month experience with such an amazing cohort! This valuable time we spent working together, passionately disagreeing with each other, challenging each other’s theories, as well as our Moroccan immersion with the incredible MB, is an experience I will always cherish.
The members of our 2015 cohort have been a tremendous resource for me regardless of industry. I have immediate access to a network of incredible executives that I can call on for advice or feedback.
To get involved in the EMBA Alumni Board, please contact Sid at firstname.lastname@example.org