Whitman Voices


February Class Notes

February Class Notes

We welcome announcements of new jobs, promotions, board positions, marriages and family additions. Please visit our online submission form to share your news. You can also use this form to request your copy of the Whitman biannual magazine via email rather than in print. To update your address or contact details, please visit https://securealumni.syr.edu.


Rick Berger ’84: Vice President of Member Engagement, IAB

Ken Podziba ’86: Director, The League of American Bicyclists’ Board

Barry A. Hytinen ’97: CFO, Iron Mountain

Stuart T. Smith ’00: Senior Vice President and Principal, Slayton Search Partners

Todd Burach ’07: Senior Vice President, Sports & Entertainment Banking, City National Bank 

Ujjwal Dhoot ’07 MBA: Chief Digital Officer, Destination XL

Ellen Robinson ’09: Vice President – Group Financial Reporting, Credit Suisse 

Emily Deshaies, CPA ’14 MS: Associate Manager. The Siegfried Group, LLP Greenwich Market 

Sean Brech ’14: Account Executive at Hiltzik Strategies

Mark Delaney ’14: Chief of Staff, Global Supply Chain, Lenovo Data Center Group 

Travis Hunt ’15: Finance Manager – US Development & Unit Economics, Dunkin’ Brands 

Bryan Joachim ’15: Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch 

Jennifer Price ’15 MBA: Data Manager, Montecito Medical Real Estate

Alexis Drickel ’17: Manager, Learning at PetSmart 


Mel Stith ’73 MBA, ’78 Ph.D., former dean of the Whitman School, was honored with the Florida State University Alumni Associations’ Bernard F. Sliger Award.

Kevin Parks ’09, representing his company, Parks Capital Managementattended Hedgeconnection’s Global Fund Forum and participated in its “Shark Tank” style event, Deal Ring. PCM, which celebrated its third anniversary in August of last year, was voted the winner of the Audience Choice Award, which the firm has received both times it has participated in the event. 


Brian McDonald ’03 and his wife welcomed son Joseph in November. He joins three-year-old sister Teagan.

Kyle Finleon ’15 MBA and his wife welcomed son Kannon Krew on Novemer 19, 2019.

Ron Arana ’19 MBA and his wife welcomed daughter Ari Sofia on October 25, 2019.  


Bob Traister ’59 served in the US Army and Department of State for 55 years (Vietnam 1963-75, Thailand 1977 to 1982 and Pakitan 1983 to 2013). He was the keynote speaker for the MACV team 60 and 65 reunions. He is retired and living in Phuket Thailand. 

Gary J. Riley Sr. ’76, president of New York-based W.N. Van Alstine and Sons, has announced that Van Alstine has become an employee-owned ESOP. Founded in 1950, Van Alstine has an industrial distribution business as well as Macaran Printed Products division, a printer of pressure sensitive labels and other packaging mediums. Riley has been with the company since 1979. 

Chris DeVoe ’79 completed climbing all 111 mountains in the Northeast US over 4000′. 

Donald Heywood ’79 has released his first novel on Amazon Books titled “The Needle Shower.” He is currently working on a follow-up story. 

Mark Dodds ’91 recently earned a Doctor of Science in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Jvaskyla in Finland. He is a professor of Sport Law and Sport Marketing at SUNY Cortland. 

Ryan York ’06 has launched York Wealth Management, headquartered in Syracuse, NY, after serving as CEO of Pinnacle Investments, LLC for 3 1/2 years.

Patricia O. Urquiaga ’17 MBA opened a consulting firm in 2018 after 9 years in corporate. Being my “own” employer has given me the opportunity to give back to the community in so many ways. Currently, I’m on consistent crisis relief mission trips to the Bahamas, I serve on the council for Calvary Christian Academy, I mentor students (elementary to college) among others. I’m thankful for SU because it gave me the extra push, confidence and knowledge I needed to pursue my dreams.