Whitman Hosts Event to Recognize Contributions of Alumni, Corporate Partners, Friends

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Whitman Hosts Event to Recognize Contributions of Alumni, Corporate Partners, Friends

In May, Whitman hosted an evening of appreciation and recognition for our most dedicated and engaged alumni, corporate partners and friends. These supporters play a vital role in our school’s legacy of excellence and impact every aspect of the student experience — from their recruitment to Whitman and Syracuse University to their preparation for a career after Commencement.

This inaugural event also included the presentation of our annual awards for exemplary service and professional achievement. The 2019 honorees were:
• Donald P. Favre ’80: Jonathan J. Holtz Alumnus of the Year
• Tracy Barash ’89 and Michael Blackshear ’81: Dean’s Citation for Exceptional Service
• Christopher Grant ’12, G’13: Whitman Young Alumnus of the Year

As we celebrate Whitman’s 100th anniversary and look ahead to our second century, the engagement of alumni and friends will be integral to enduring excellence. To learn how you can help Whitman achieve sustained success, contact Alison Kessler, director of alumni engagement, at ahkessle@syr.edu. Together, with the support of our Whitman family, the future of business truly is Orange.

headshot of DONALD P. FAVRE

Jonathan J. Holtz Alumnus of the Year:

The Jonathan J. Holtz Alumnus of the Year Award is the highest honor given to graduates of the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. Established in 1986 by Jonathan J. Holtz ’78, the award recognizes an outstanding alumnus/alumna each year for his/her professional accomplishments and service to Syracuse University. The 2019 Holtz award honoree is Donald P. Favre ’80.

Favre graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Whitman School in 1980. After nearly four decades with PricewaterhouseCoopers, he recently retired as tax partner in the Metro New York banking and capital markets tax practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers and the firm’s global risk and quality leader for tax and legal services.

During his tenure at PwC, he spent several years as the global leader of tax quality and risk management for the PwC Network and also served as the firm’s relationship partner for Syracuse University for a number of years. In that time, he positively impacted hundreds of students through the sharing of his professional perspective and mentorship. He is a long-stand- ing member and past chair of Whitman’s Joseph I. Lubin School of Accounting Advisory Board.

Professor of Accounting Practice Joyce Zadzilka is one of so many at Whitman who feel Favre is exceedingly deserving of the Holtz award. “Over the years, Don has visited campus countless times for interviews, case competition judging, classroom visits and other accounting and career center-sponsored events,” she said. “He has been an excellent mentor to numerous students and served as chair of our accounting advisory board for at least 10 years. His commitment to this University is extremely strong.”

photo of alumni awardees

Dean’s Citation for Exceptional Service:

The Whitman Dean’s Citation is given to Whitman alumni and friends who exemplify a commitment to Syracuse University through direct engagement, efforts to position students for professional success, volunteer leadership and/or programmatic support. Tracy Barash ’89 and Michael Blackshear ’91 are the 2019 recipients.

headshot of Tracy Barash

TRACY BARASH earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing management from Whitman and holds an MBA from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. She is vice president of global franchise management for Warner Media’s Cartoon Network, where she develops long-term strategic plans for brands such as Ben 10 and The Powerpuff Girls. Prior to this role, she was vice president of brand development for Cartoon Network and Boomerang. Previously, she served as director of marketing and global themed entertainment at Warner Bros. Consumer Products, where she oversaw strategy for Harry Potter and other theatrical brands.

A new member of the Whitman Advisory Council and co-chair of the Syracuse University Atlanta Regional Council, Barash is an exemplary alumna. She recently completed a two-year term as president of the Syracuse University Alumni Association Board and member of the Board of Trustees. She has been engaged with the Whitman School as an alumni mentor and an IMPRESS Program Current Challenges speaker and is an avid supporter of scholarships and programming for female student-athletes at Syracuse University.

headshot of Michael Blackshear

MICHAEL BLACKSHEAR is the senior vice president and global compliance officer for Ryan Specialty Group. Previously, he served as senior vice president and North America chief compliance officer for Chubb Insurance Group and held various leadership and advisory roles for Marsh & McLennan Companies, KPMG and PwC. He earned a degree in finance from Whitman and also holds a juris doctorate from Fordham Law School, an MBA from St. John’s University School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science and a certification in managing ethics in organizations from Bentley College.

In 2017, Blackshear was honored for his long-standing and far-reaching dedication to Syracuse University with the Chancellor’s Citation. He was an inaugural and longtime member of the Whitman Management Department Advisory Board and has twice chaired Whitman’s Coming Back Together reunion program. He recently joined the advisory council of the Syracuse University Office of Multicultural Advancement and, along with fellow Syracuse University alumnus and Omega Psi Phi fraternity member Derrick Hostler, launched the Omega Fund campaign to establish an endowed Our Time Has Come scholarship to support African American and Latino students pursuing their undergraduate or graduate degrees.

headshot of Chris Grant

2019 Young Alumnus of the Year:

The Young Alumnus/Alumna of the Year Award recognizes a Whitman graduate who sets a positive example to our students and greater Whitman community through his/her professional excellence and service to the school. Honorees are awarded this distinction within 10 years of earning their degrees. The 2019 Young Alumnus of the Year is Chris Grant ’12, G’13.

Grant is an acquisitions and development associate at Fetner Properties. He joined the firm in 2013, after earning a master’s degree in entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises from the Whitman School, where he also earned a bachelor's degree in finance in 2012. At Fetner Properties, he is responsible for sourcing and evaluating new acquisition and development opportunities, as well as development and asset management activities.

A member of the Young Whitman Alumni Advisory Council, Grant is a highly engaged alumnus of Syracuse University and is committed to helping students in any way he is asked. He is a dedicated supporter of Whitman’s real estate program through participation in speaking engagements, mentorship, job shadowing and experiential learning. Grant regularly answers the call to attend networking events, speak to classes, serve on panels, work with students on case projects and talk to students who are interested in a career in real estate.