March Class Notes

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Whitman Mourns the Loss of Two Exemplary Alumni

Al Berg ‘73, one of the original co-founders of Marchon Eyewear and the company’s former president and CEO, passed away on March 10, 2019. Berg was known throughout the optical industry as a visionary and influential executive. After the sale of Marchon to Vision Service Plan, Berg continued on with the company in various roles, including president, vice chairman and strategic advisor to the CEO until 2014, when he left to focus on philanthropy, investing, mentoring and lecturing. Berg was a longtime supporter of Whitman and generous with both his time in student engagement and financial support. His monetary gifts enabled valuable experiential learning opportunities for students and the creation of the Al Berg Chair in Entrepreneurship—the inaugural recipient of which is Professor Johan Wiklund. He was recognized as the Orange Entrepreneur of the Year during the 2018 Whitman Alumni Awards Ceremony. Regarding his continued support of the Whitman School, Berg shared, “It is my hope that my financial support helps provide programming, experiences and instruction by accomplished faculty like Professor Wiklund, which I believe are keys to early and sustained business success.”

Peter S. Bliven ’80 passed away on March 10, 2019. He was managing director of Citi’s Municipal Securities Division and captain of Citi’s Syracuse University recruiting team. Bliven was committed to helping the Whitman School prepare future business leaders through direct engagement and was instrumental in significantly strengthening the recruiting partnership between Syracuse and Citi. His dedication was recognized in 2017 with the Whitman Dean’s Citation for Exceptional Service. Giuseppe Castelli ‘16, an associate at Citi, is among many SU alumni who are a part of the Citi family in large part thanks to Bliven. “Peter took a chance on so many of us from Syracuse University,” shares Castelli. “Those whom he helped will never forget him for that. Because of Peter, SU made strides in becoming a target school for front office trading and banking roles, especially at Citi. It is up to us, those he recruited and all other alumni, to carry the mantle forward in his memory. Peter always took time to mentor and share his love of life with those around him. All of us who had the privilege of knowing him are mourning the loss of a bigger than life personality with a contagious laugh and smile. We’ll miss you, Bliv.” Hendrik Hilpert ’19, who will join Citi as a markets analyst after commencement, adds, “As current Whitman students and future Citi employees, we will remember Peter as someone whose support made a big difference in our lives. We looked up to him as someone who genuinely had the professional success and personal growth of his mentees at heart.”


Erin Capoccia ’04: Associate Board Member, Wish of a Lifetime, BBBS mentor2.0

Nick Gustin ’95: Vice President, Digital at One Kings Lane

Jacob Kurosaki ’10: Vice President, CMBS Analyst, JP Morgan

Kevin Stone ’14: Staff Accountant, Mengel Metzger Barr & Co. LLP
Rahul Goyal ’17 MBA: US Operations Integrations Lead, Amazon Web Services, New York


Michael Bock ’17, ’18 MS: Audit Associate, Fust Charles Chambers LLP

Alan Frent: South Florida Regional Director, American Friends of Sheba Medical Center

Delphine Jones, CPA: Managing Director, Client Services group, PEF Services
Ron Leibovici MBA: Private Wealth Advisor, Union Bank
Yvonne Scott-Younis MBA: Marketing Manager, Mohawk Global Logistics



TEDx Syracuse University Conference Announces 2019 Speakers including Brandon Steiner ’81.

John Klein ’13: Entrepreneur gives a fresh look to healthy fast food

Believe in Bambara, co-founded by Tamara Cohen MBA, on its climate-smart, plant-based protein.

FintekNews Celebrates WomenInFintech – Meet Sunaina Swaminathan of M Science


Alex Roberts ’05 and his wife Johanna welcomed their first child, Rory Michelle Roberts, on February 12, 2019.