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Management Alumni Honored during Awards Dinner

December 5, 2018

The St. John Fisher College School of Business honored alumni, community members, and faculty during the Excellence in Management Awards Dinner, held on Tuesday, Dec. 4.

The School of Business honored alumni, community members, and faculty during the Excellence in Management Awards Dinner.

During the dinner, Dr. Rama Yelkur, dean of the School, presented Mark Dailey ’80 with the Excellence in Management Award, the preeminent honor bestowed by the School. The award recognizes alumni who demonstrate leadership and managerial accomplishments in business, academia, or community-based organizations as well as dedication to the College.

Dailey serves as CEO of OpenConnect Systems, a leading software company based in Dallas, Texas, that delivers Robotic Process Automation, also known as digital labor, for the health care industry. Before taking the helm as CEO, Dailey was a member of the company’s Board of Directors.

Mark Dailey ’80, President Gerard J. Rooney, and Dean Rama Yelkur at the 2018 Excellence in Management Awards.

Mark Dailey ’80, President Gerard J. Rooney, and Dean Rama Yelkur at the 2018 Excellence in Management Awards.

Throughout his career, Dailey has specialized in international growth-stage information technology companies where he has held senior executive management positions at venture-capital backed companies including Intralinks, Inc., LexiQuest, Inc., and Medcast Networks. Prior to that, he held various senior level positions with Bloomberg Financial Markets, a global leader in the delivery of international real-time financial information,  where he reported to Michael Bloomberg for nearly 14 years, spending 11 years in Tokyo, Singapore, and Hong Kong opening operations in a dozen countries.

He has served on the Board of Directors on three public companies, five private companies, and was the lead director of Catholic Charities of Fairfield County.  He currently serves on the Boards of OpenConnect Systems and Xamax Industries and the National Association of Corporate Directors.

Dailey’s successful career has allowed him to volunteer and assume leadership positions with social services agencies, local government where he served as a town representative, and a variety of sporting clubs.

“Mark believes that ‘luck is being prepared when opportunity presents itself,’ and says that he has been very fortunate to be lucky, while noting that his education at both McQuaid Jesuit High School and Fisher taught him to be well-prepared and open-minded,” Dr. Yelkur said. “He has contributed much to the field of management, and is an excellent role model to Fisher students.”

Dean Rama Yelkur, Dan Burns, Lori Hollenbeck

Dean Rama Yelkur, Dan Burns, Lori Hollenbeck

Dan Burns, president of the Rochester division and senior vice president of M&T Bank Corporation, and member of the College’s Board of Trustees, was given the Dean’s Medal for Outstanding Service. The award honors the exemplary and sustained contributions of individuals in service to the College and the School of Business.

This year, he is celebrating his 33rd year with M&T Bank. He was hired into the bank’s training program directly from college in 1986.

After M&T’s first bank acquisition in Rochester in 1990, Burns relocated to this community, where he worked his way up from branch manager to business banker to business banking manager.  For the last 13 years, he has been regional president responsible for large corporate clients, commercial real estate clients, and oversees the bank’s charitable foundation. He has played a crucial role in implementing the successful execution of the vision of the late Bob Wilmers, M&T’s longtime CEO, helping to grow the institution from the 4th largest bank in Buffalo to the 12th largest bank in the country while maintaining  a long standing commitment to their communities. 

An active member of the community, Burns’ current board service includes the United Way, YMCA, Monroe Community College Foundation, University of Rochester Medical Center, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, and Oak Hill Country Club. In addition, he serves as the board chair for Greater Rochester Enterprise and is the 2019 American Heart Association Walk/Run Co-Chair.

A member of the College’s Board of Trustees, he is the Development Committee Chair and is also a member of the School of Business Dean’s Leadership Circle. 

“Dan said that his own volunteerism has helped him be a better banker while at the same time helping M&T to play a significant role in helping our community thrive,” said Yelkur. “He is passionate about working to reduce generational poverty and the challenges faced by our city school system.  Both M&T Bank, and Dan personally, are continually working to find ways to help those in our community that are simply fighting to live day to day.  He would like to see Rochester become a place where new approaches are put into action to address age-old problems.”

Burns is a 1986 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, where he majored in finance. In 2011, he earned his MBA from the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester.

Christopher Palinski ’07, ’14 (MBA), Vic Salerno ’66, and Dean Rama Yelkur.

Christopher Palinski ’07, ’14 (MBA), Vic Salerno ’66, and Dean Rama Yelkur.

The School of Business presented Christopher Palinski ’07, ’14 (MBA) with the Victor E. Salerno Award for American Enterprise. Created in 2013, the award honors Fisher graduates for their early career achievements, involvement in the community and the College, and potential for even greater success as their management careers mature.

Palinski grew up in Rome, New York, and came to Rochester in 2003 as an undergrad student at Fisher. During this time, he served as vice president of his class and was a Service Scholar. Through his involvement as a Service Scholar, he volunteered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and continues to serve as a board member today.

Upon graduation, Palinski found a passion for working in the health care industry and with people’s careers. In 2010, he founded recruitment and staffing firm One Path Career Partners and currently serves as its president and CEO. Today, the company serves a diverse set of clients across several states.

Never one to slow down, after his company experienced stellar growth, Palinksi continued his education with Fisher, earning his MBA.

“Chris finds a great deal of satisfaction in helping providers and professionals find a position where they are able to utilize their skills to help others,” said Yelkur. “New careers and job transitions are life changing events that affect everyone on a deep level. Having the opportunity to be part of that transformation and guide individuals through the process is what drives him.”

Dean Rama Yelkur, Kathleen Whelehan, and Lori Hollenbeck

Dean Rama Yelkur, Kathleen Whelehan, and Lori Hollenbeck

Kathleen Whelehan, president and CEO of Upstate New York Bank, was recognized as the School’s Beta Gama Sigma Honoree, which acknowledges her outstanding commitment to the international honor society’s values of honor and integrity, pursuit of wisdom, and earnestness.

Whelehan joined Upstate Bank in 2011. Prior to this position, she held executive roles at the United Way of Greater Rochester, Bank of America, and HSBC, where she was Rochester regional president and consumer finance executive vice president.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in business and economics from Nazareth College and an MBA from the Rochester Institute of Technology.  Whelehan has been an Athena Award recipient and was honored by RIT’s School of Business as a distinguished alumna. 

Currently, Whelehan serves on the Saunders School Dean’s Advisory Council for RIT, and holds board positions for Highland Hospital, Al Sigl Foundation, Stella Matutina Foundation, Episcopal Senior Life Communities, Geva Theatre, Independent Bankers Association of NY, Genesee Valley Club, Visiting Nurse Services, and serves on the advisory group for Monroe Community Hospital.

She is also an active and long-term volunteer for Meals on Wheels, Isaiah Home for the Dying, and the Rochester Psychiatric Center, work she has found to be very satisfying.

During the dinner, the School also recognized five faculty members. Dr. Carolina Saffie Robertson, assistant professor of human resource management, was given the Faculty Excellence in Service Award; Dr. Jason Berman, professor of management, was given the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award for Full-Time Faculty; Laurie Valentino, internship coordinator and part-time faculty member, was given Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award for Part-Time Faculty; Dr. Laurel Parrilli, visiting assistant professor of accounting practice, was given the Faculty Excellence in Advising Award; and Dr. Thomas Tyson, professor of accounting, was the recipient of the Faculty Excellence in Research Award.