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Management Program Honors Outstanding Alumni

April 19, 2017

The St. John Fisher College School of Business honored alumni and faculty during the Excellence in Management Awards Dinner, held on Thursday, April 6.

From left to right: Dean Rama Yelkur, John (Jack) Mollen ’72, Fisher President Gerard J. Rooney, and Lori Hollenbeck.

During the dinner, Dr. Rama Yelkur, dean of the School, presented John (Jack) Mollen ’72 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 a commitment to the College.

Mollen, a retired executive vice president for human resources at EMC, earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Fisher, and went on to earn a master’s degree in labor relations from St. Francis College in Loretto, Pennsylvania. 

He served as executive vice president of human resources and special advisor to the president for EMC for more than 15 years.  With revenues of $25 billion in 2014 to more than 70,000 employees worldwide, EMC is a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service.  Mollen led EMC’s global human resource practice to ensure the availability of world-class talent to drive business success.  His responsibilities included executive, leadership, and employee development, compensation and benefits, staffing, and all of the people-related aspects of acquisition integration. 

“Jack led EMC’s global human resource practice to ensure the availability of world-class talent to drive business success,” said Yelkur. “His contributions to the field of management, and his proven track record at EMC Corporation and in the human resources management field, all serve as great examples for future Fisher students.”

In 2006, Mollen was recognized as “HR Executive of the Year” by Human Resource Executive magazine, which cited his role in building “a modern, responsive, strategy-focused HR team that plays an integral role in executing business goals.”  In 2010, he was inducted as a fellow to the National Academy of Human Resources in New York City.  Among his many achievements, he has been an innovator in putting EMC at the forefront of influencing the health care marketplace to help manage employees and company costs.  Through his leadership and inspiration, EMC pioneered employee health initiatives in partnership with Boston University, and introduced online health management tools using leading health education technology.

Prior to joining EMC, Mollen served as vice president of human resources for Citigroup’s 80,000-person Global Operations and Technology organization.  He played a key employee integration role following the 1998 merger of Citicorp and Travelers Group, Inc.  Before joining Citigroup, he held a number of positions with Harris Corporation.

Throughout his career, Mollen has had significant experience in executive compensation policy and administration.  He has been active in advocating for strengthening corporate governance, and the alignment of executive compensation with organizational and shareholder interests.  He is director emeritus of the Washington, D.C.-based HR policy Association, a leading public policy group of senior HR executives of the largest U.S. employers, and is a founding member of the Center on Executive Compensation.

Currently, Mollen serves on the board of Alexion Pharmaceuticals in New Haven, Connecticut, and is chairman of their Leadership and Compensation Committee.  He is also a member of the Audit and Finance, and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committees.  In May 2016, he was elected as the 22nd chairman of the Board of Trustees of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). In this role, he ensures that the board is effective in its tasks of setting and implementing the University’s direction and strategy, and acts as the primary board advisor to the president.  He recently chaired the Presidential Search Committee at the University, and successfully brought in Dr. Laurie Leshin as the new president.

Bianca Calascibetta ’13, ’14 (MBA) poses with Victor E. Salerno ’66, for whom the Award for American Enterprise is named.

Bianca Calascibetta ’13, ’14 (MBA) poses with Victor E. Salerno ’66, for whom the Award for American Enterprise is named.

The School presented Bianca Calascibetta ’13, ’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.

As founder and president of Universal Communication Objective (UCO), Calascibetta is focused on growing the company—which launched in 2015—into a full-service global marketing firm. The firm aims to partner with innovative businesses, and to date, they have worked with more than 50 organizations and charities regionally, nationally, and internationally, including disco queen Gloria Gaynor’s newest venture, I Will Survive. 

In March 2017, UCO partnered with D&C Digital as its official video and website production partner.  This past January, her team traveled to Los Angeles to film academy-award winning actress Marlee Matlin for her extraordinary work and efforts to advance the inclusion of people with disabilities.

After a sales pitch Calascibetta gave in October 2016 on behalf of a UCO client, the United Arab Emirates government has been testing Rochester-based emergency flood lighting units in multiple police and fire stations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The opening video for the pitch was a project for which she provided all art direction and wrote the voiceover copy.

In late 2015, UCO funded and produced a short documentary in association with the foundation called “Three Lives” to provide a tool for the CF community to help spread awareness of this disease.  As of today, “Three Lives” has been requested for screening by educational facilities and various foundations nationally.  In March 2017, the film received an ADDY for video production.  In addition, it has been selected in five film festivals located in Rochester, Hollywood, Atlanta, as well as Sydney, Australia and Barcelona, Spain.

“Bianca is a visionary.  Her highly developed intuition has served and continues to serve as a solid foundation for her current professional and personal relationships as well as all of her accomplishments,” said Yelkur.

Ray Isaac ’88, here with Dr. Rama Yelkur and Lori Hollenbeck, was given the Dean’s Medal for Outstanding Service award.

Ray Isaac ’88, here with Dr. Rama Yelkur and Lori Hollenbeck, was given the Dean’s Medal for Outstanding Service award.

Ray Isaac ’88 was given the Dean’s Medal for Outstanding Service award, which honors the exemplary and sustained contributions of individuals in service to the College and the School of Business.

Isaac, who serves as president of Isaac Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. This June marks his 37th year with the 72-year-old family business.  He began as a helper in the field, working with mechanics and technicians in all areas, and in high school, he and his twin brother, Mike, made up the New Homes Department, installing systems after school.  After graduating from College, Isaac served as the company’s human resources manager, inventory coordinator, and fleet manager.  In 1990, he became the customer service manager and took the department from a loss to the most profitable department in the company.  In 1996, he became vice president and general manager in charge of all day-to-day operations.  And finally, in 2001, he became president.

Under his leadership, Isaac Heating and Air Conditioning has grown from a single location doing $6 million to seven locations grossing $45 million.  Isaac was recognized as the Contracting Business Magazine Contractor of the Year in 2002, was the Rochester Business Ethics Award recipient in 2007, a Better Business Bureau Torch Award Winner in 2014, a Top 25 Business to Work for in New York State, a Rheem Team Top Contractor for over eight years, and is consistently a Rochester Top 100 Company.  Additionally, Isaac was named the Small Business Person of the Year in Rochester in 2012. 

In addition to his contributions to his family’s business, Isaac has been a steadfast community servant. He is currently the 2017 campaign chair of the United Way of Greater Rochester, and the chair of the Small Business Campaign Committee.  He is the incoming president of the Small Business Council and sits on the Business Person of the Year Selection Committee and CARES Committee.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of Rochester Rotary as vice president of membership and is co-chair of the Holiday Pops Committee.  He is treasurer of the Foundation Board for Heritage Christian Services and is co-chair of the Heritage Hero 5K Committee. In addition, he serves on the School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council at St. John Fisher College.

“For those who know Ray, you know he is passionate about creating experiences that improve the quality of life for his team, his clients, and the community,” said Yelkur.

During the dinner, the School also recognized four faculty members. Dr. Mike Fedoryshyn, associate professor of accounting, was given the Faculty Excellence in Service Award; Lynn Mucenski-Keck, associate professor of accounting, was given the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award; Dr. Patricia Wollan, assistant professor of finance, was given the Faculty Excellence in Advising Award; and Dr. Seyda Deligonul, professor of management, was the recipient of the Faculty Excellence in Research Award.