Alumni Awards Dinner
Thursday, September 27, 2018
The Garden City Hotel
PRESENTING THE 2018 HONOREES:
ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR
JULIO A. PORTALATIN, BBA, '81
President and Chief Executive Officer, Mercer
Julio A. Portalatin is president and chief executive officer of Mercer, a leading global consulting firm that delivers advice and technology-driven solutions that help organizations meet the health, wealth, and career needs of a changing workforce. Mr. Portalatin leads more than 22,000 employees who support clients in over 140 countries.
Under his leadership, Mercer has demonstrated growth through expansion into emerging markets, transformative acquisitions including Thomsons Online Benefits, growing assets under delegated management to over $200 billion, leading the health and benefits industry in creating regionally powerful marketplace solutions, and powering a unique set of solutions focused on preparing companies for the workforce of the future. Vault.com has ranked Mercer the #1 human resources consultancy every year under Mr. Portalatin's leadership. Forbes magazine designated Mercer as one of the top consulting firms in the U.S.
As a thought leader and speaker on the changing workforce, Mr. Portalatin has been a leading contributor to the dialogue on the future of work, human capital, global economic trends, health care, financial wellness, pension systems, and diversity. He is a steward of the World Economic Forum and has shared insights in international media, including The Economist, CBS, CNBC, and CEO Magazine, and has written op-eds in The Wall Street Journal and Fortune magazine.
Before joining Mercer in 2012, Mr. Portalatin spent 20 years at AIG, where he held many senior positions. Since 2017, Mr. Portalatin has been on the Board of DXC Technologies, a leading global technology company. He actively supports several nonprofit organizations and currently sits on the board of Covenant House International, which works with homeless youth.
Mr. Portalatin received a Bachelor of Science degree in business management and an honorary doctorate from Hofstra University, and is a member of the University's Board of Trustees.
TRACEY ANT, BBA, '87
Senior Vice President and Head of Field Sales & Execution, The Hartford
As senior vice president of field sales & execution at The Hartford, Tracey Ant has profit and loss responsibilities for The Hartford's middle market core business segments. This commercial property and casualty portfolio serves the mid-sized business client across many industries. Ms. Ant is responsible for the field underwriting teams and leads The Hartford's distribution strategy nationally across these businesses.
Ms. Ant joined The Hartford from Marsh & McLennan, where she most recently served as managing director and the primary casualty placement leader for the U.S. In this role, she was responsible for leading and coordinating the placement operations for Marsh's U.S. primary casualty business, including all global risk management and middle market clients. In the 20 years that Ms. Ant spent at Marsh & McLennan, she held many roles with increasing responsibility. She began her career as an underwriter at ITT Hartford.
Ms. Ant earned a bachelor's degree in finance from Hofstra University and a master's degree in business administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is a member of the Hofstra Women's Leadership Group, is involved as an active alumna with the Hofstra Women's Basketball Team, and is a member of the board of Freedom House, a nonprofit organization that focuses on services for men and women seeking recovery from addiction and mental health disorders. Ms. Ant lives with her husband and two children in Gillette, New Jersey.
MICHELE L. CUSACK, BBA, '93; MBA, '01
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Northwell Health
Michele Cusack is a senior health care executive with more than 20 years of experience. As Northwell Health's chief financial officer, she manages the health system's day-to-day finance operations. She also oversees all financial reporting, financial planning, overall budgeting, treasury services, as well as internal audits.
As senior vice president, Ms. Cusack manages various corporate financial operations, including financial reporting, budgeting, cash management, tax management, and other financial functions that collaborate with revenue cycle, managed care and operational teams across the organization.
Previously, she was deputy chief financial officer, finance, a role in which she was responsible for developing and executing tax strategies, arranging for debt financing, monitoring and optimizing revenue cycle functions and operations, overseeing financial reporting and planning, monitoring legal issues impacting the organization and the industry, maintaining relationships with external auditors and government agencies, and developing the financial sophistication needed to manage population health and risk-based contracts.
Ms. Cusack, a certified public accountant, has an administrative role on the finance and audit committees of Northwell's board of trustees, and is a member of the dean's advisory board of Hofstra University's Frank G. Zarb School of Business.
Prior to Northwell, Ms. Cusack worked at Deloitte & Touche. She holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Hofstra University.
EUGENE T. MACCARRONE, BBA, '76; JD, '81; CPA Professor of Legal Studies in Business and Accounting, Hofstra University
Mr. Maccarrone earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in public accounting, magna cum laude, from Hofstra in 1976, and a Juris Doctor degree from its School of Law in 1981. He is licensed in New York state as a certified public accountant and admitted to practice as an attorney at law in New York and the United States Tax Court.
Mr. Maccarrone is a charter member of Hofstra's Delta Pi Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, the national professional organization for accounting and financial professionals, which he helped found during his undergraduate time at Hofstra. He was named the chapter's Outstanding Alumnus for 1993. He is also a member of Theta of New York, Hofstra's chapter of the Beta Gamma Sigma honorary business society. During law school, he was actively involved in Hofstra's Tax Clinic, a free clinic aiding taxpayers who needed but could not afford legal counsel for tax matters.
As a member of Hofstra's faculty, Mr. Maccarrone served as advisor to the University's chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants for 20 years, and was named Faculty Advisor of the Year for 2007 by the association's New York chapter. He also served for 15 years as co-chair of the New York State Society's Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession program for 11th-grade minority students at Hofstra, and continues to serve as Hofstra's liaison with the Nassau County chapter of the State Society for student club activities. He has taught legal studies in business and accounting courses at Hofstra since 1980, and was awarded Hofstra's Distinguished Teacher of the Year in 1990.
Mr. Maccarrone has also served in a number of administrative capacities in the School of Business dean's and accounting offices, and on many departmental, school, and university-wide committees.
Mr. Maccarrone began his professional career as an accountant with Ernst & Ernst, now known as EY. Prior to attending law school, he served as manager of internal audit at Applied Devices Corporation. While in law school, he began a solo practice as a CPA, and then merged that practice into the accounting firm Vogel & Rutledge, in which he was a partner.
A proud and loyal “legacy” member of the Hofstra family, Mr. Maccarrone and his family have collectively earned 17 Hofstra degrees. Three members of his family, including his daughter, are presently working toward Hofstra degrees. Each of his former business partners have earned at least one Hofstra degree as well. And, of course, he is very proud of the many successful Hofstra alumni he has had the privilege to help educate over the years.
MIGUEL ALEXANDER POZO, BA, '94
Partner, Cozen O'Connor
Miguel Alexander Pozo is an accomplished business lawyer adept at marshaling resources and motivating cross-functional teams to create innovative business solutions.
With 20 years of litigation and business experience, Mr. Pozo has worked for three national law firms (including one for 17 years), served as in-house counsel for an iconic automotive luxury brand, and led the largest national organization of Hispanic lawyers and legal professionals in the United States.
The son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Mr. Pozo has come a long way from his humble beginnings in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. Indeed, thanks to Hofstra University's NOAH Program, he was able to achieve his dream of higher education.
While on campus, Mr. Pozo excelled both academically and socially, becoming president of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity chapter at Hofstra, serving as a member of the University's judiciary board, and taking advantage of a semester abroad in Albany at the New York State Assembly, an opportunity afforded to him through the Political Science department.
Today, he lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife, Julia (a Minnesota native), and two sons, Alexander and Nico, having relocated there this summer from Atlanta, Georgia.
Mr. Pozo is currently a partner at Cozen O'Connor, a law firm with more than 700 lawyers and 26 offices in the U.S., Canada, and London. As a member of the firm's commercial litigation department, he practices in the area of business litigation, with an emphasis on employment law, internal investigations, and trademark/intellectual property matters.
A proven leader with a wealth of experience, Mr. Pozo has had several high-profile leadership roles, including as national president of the Hispanic National Bar Association and president of the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey.
Mr. Pozo is a 1994 graduate of Hofstra University and a 1998 graduate of Rutgers University School of Law–Newark. He has remained involved in Hofstra's alumni community and has been recognized for his efforts, receiving the 2007 Black Hispanic Alumni Association Recognition Award.
MATTHEW SCHRIER, BA, '01
Professional Speaker, Author
Matthew Schrier is a Jewish-American former freelance photographer and the first person to ever have escaped from al-Qaida after seven months of captivity in Aleppo, Syria. To survive, he hid his Jewish roots, used humor to win over his captors, and applied himself to gather as much intelligence as possible. Since his return home, Mr. Schrier has spoken to the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Defense Logistics Agency, and the LAPD Counterterrorism Unit to help use his unique insight to give perspective on what it's like to be held by Islamic extremists.
His story of abduction, torture, and survival has been documented by worldwide media, including the opening segment of 60 Minutes, the front page of The New York Times, and on Fox News, CNN, and National Geographic. He has also written a memoir, The Dawn Prayer (or How to Survive in a Secret Syrian Terrorist Prison.
JOHN T. SANTUCCI, BA, '11
Senior Editorial Producer, ABC News
Emmy award-winning producer John T. Santucci serves as a senior editorial producer for ABC News based in Washington, D.C. In this role, Mr. Santucci manages all ABC News relationships with the White House, broader Trump administration, and government agencies as the network's senior politics booker.
Mr. Santucci also leads the Washington Task Force – a group of reporters from across the network's political teams responsible for all investigative projects related to the government, with specific attention to the investigation led by the special counsel into Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential election.
Prior to this role, Mr. Santucci spent two years covering Donald Trump's presidential campaign for ABC. He was the only network reporter to be at Trump Tower the day Donald Trump kicked off his campaign to see it through to the President’s victory in November 2016, and negotiated Trump's first interview as a candidate with George Stephanopoulos and the first interview the President gave upon assuming office.
Before jumping into the political beat, Mr. Santucci served in multiple roles as a producer with Good Morning America and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. His career with ABC began during his senior year at Hofstra, when he worked the weekend overnights as an associate producer for GMA.
At Hofstra, he served as a rare two-term program director of WRHU-FM, managing all news, sports, and informational programming across the station. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science.
A New York native, Mr. Santucci is married to his college sweetheart, Maria, whom he met during their freshman year at Hofstra. The couple resides in Arlington, Virginia.
HONORARY ALUMNA OF THE YEAR
Philanthropist, Robert and Florence Kaufman Foundation Inc.
Florence Kaufman graduated from Erasmus Hall in Brooklyn and Elmira College in upstate New York. She worked in promotions and advertising for a fashion house in New York City. Ms. Kaufman also attended the New York School of Interior Design and was fundamental in private interior design projects.
In addition to her work in fashion and design, Ms. Kaufman is involved in her community. She has been an associate trustee at North Shore University Hospital for over 35 years, and headed the Interior Planning and Design Committee for 10 years at the hospital. Ms. Kaufman has been a trustee at Hofstra University for 26 years and was also elected to be a trustee emeritus at the University.
Ms. Kaufman is honored to be given the Honorary Alumna of the Year award at Hofstra. She and her late husband, Robert, have three daughters and eight grandchildren. Her passion used to be golf and now it is bridge – in addition to all activities at Lincoln Center, especially theater and film.