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Business Day XXXVII a Huge Success

Posted on 5/6/2015 11:46:20 AM

More than 700 students, faculty, staff, alumni, and business partners of the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology enjoyed the 37th annual Business Day on April 16, 2015.

Business Day 2015 - Students GatheringBusiness Day is the premier professional development and networking event for the college each year. Morning panel sessions for each of the departments included sessions for students in accounting, management, marketing, finance and legal studies, and information systems and decision sciences. Over 50 alumni and business partners shared information with students covering topics such as career placement, strategies for success, key issues in each discipline, and global business trends.

Diana Cesar, a junior majoring in information systems and decision sciences, appreciated the panel session that she attended, indicating, “The alumni and business partners were enthusiastic about their industry and about providing advice to students. Having so many professionals attending Business Day provides students with access to a wide range of individuals with varied experiences and skills to learn from.”

Business Day 2015 Hall of Distinction Recipients
From left: Allen Childs, Dave Williams, Dean Robert Camp, George Braunegg, Lorna Abernathy, Bill Speidel, and Cyndy Strittmatter

The event, held at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex, featured the induction of four alumni into the 2015 Business Hall of Distinction. Honorees included:

  • Lorna Abernathy, graduated from IUP in 1983 with a degree in finance. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Robert Morris College. Abernathy formerly worked for America Online (AOL) and Time Life, Inc. (a division of Time Warner), two of the world’s largest direct marketing companies. In addition she held previous positions at Chevy Chase Savings Bank and Mellon Bank, N.A. Currently, Abernathy is the visionary and dreator of a future apparel brand, House of Sia, which develops clothing for women 35–65 years of age. She is also president of LMMA, Inc., a marketing consulting agency. Abernathy is a dedicated philanthropist, fundraising for organizations such as the Alzheimers Association, People Animals Love, and Jot of Sports. In 2005, Lorna and her husband established the Abernathy Scholars Program at IUP that provides four yearly scholarships so that she may provide first-generation college attendees the same quality education that her parents were able to give her.
  • George Braunegg graduated with an accounting degree from IUP in 1979. After receiving his MBA from the University of South Carolina, he worked at KPMG’s Management Consulting Group until 1986 when he founded CAST (Center for Applied Strategy) Management Consultants, Inc. CAST is now a highly regarded boutique management consulting firm that serves the Financial Services Industry. CAST’s primary market focus is in the United States and Canada and was listed by ConsultantNews as one of the 100 Leading Consulting firms in North America. Braunegg is a CPA in California and Pennsylvania and earned the Certified Treasury Professional designation. He is involved in Eagle Scouts, Theta Xi Fraternity, and Board of Volunteers of America (Los Angeles).
  • Allen Childs graduated from IUP in 1981 with a double major in marketing and journalism. He completed INSEAD University’s Executive Training Program in 2007. Childs worked for 33 years in the corporate automotive industry, working the last 12 years in executive positions at Nissan North America where he headed six different business units over that time in United States and Canada. In February 2014, he was appointed as the executive director and CEO of the Bucks County Opportunity Council, fulfilling his goal of using his work experience to give back to his community. Childs is an active member of the Doylestown Presbyterian Church, Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, the Doylestown Rotary, the Central Bucks YMCA, and the Americans for Native Americans. 
  • David Williams graduated from IUP in 1979 with a degree in business administration and a concentration in accounting. He earned a CPA from Pennsylvania. Williams worked for nine years at Pricewaterhouse in both Pittsburgh and London. He joined PNC in1989 as manager of international accounting. He has been responsible for various financial departments at PNC, including chief financial officer of PNC Mortgage and assistant controller. He was promoted to senior vice president in November 2005, and in 2010 was named executive vice president of PNC Bank, National Association. In addition to serving as executive vice president, Dave is also the senior vice president and director of mergers and acquisitions of the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. Williams has served two terms as a board member for the Foundation for IUP and its investment committee. He also participated on the committee to replace university housing on campus.  

Hall of Distinction honorees are recognized for their success and stature in the business world, along with the high level of integrity that they have demonstrated during their business career. There are more than 25,000 IUP business alumni and now 42 members in the Eberly Business Hall of Distinction.

Business Day 2015 - StudentsRudy de Costa, an MBA student, was impressed with the Hall of Distinction Program. “It is so awesome to see what Eberly graduates have accomplished. I am grateful to know that they are willing to come back to our campus to share their stories with us and to provide useful advice for students. I am committed to doing the same one day, knowing the impact that programs like these have had on me and my classmates.”

During the luncheon program, Eberly students were then recognized for their achievements during the year. Students involved in the 15 professional business student organizations were also recognized.