New Penn State Smeal Finance Advisory Board to hold inaugural meeting in NYC

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Smeal Department of Finance identified the formation of a formal advisory board in developing its strategic plan. That goal will be met Tuesday, May 9, when the inaugural meeting of the Smeal Finance Advisory Board is held in New York City.

“Finance is the largest major in the Smeal College and is highly competitive in terms of entrance-to-major requirements. The formation of this board is an important step toward enhancing and developing the programs and activities that make Smeal a target school for students and recruiters,” said Charles H. Whiteman, John and Becky Surma Dean of the Smeal College of Business.

The board, which includes prominent members of the finance and investment communities, will work with faculty and the administration to help ensure that Smeal’s finance program continues to meet the educational needs of the next generation of business leaders in an increasingly complex world.

Board members are expected to provide critical insight and perspective on the overall strategic direction of the department and advise and assist faculty and administrators on matters relating to academic programs, academic stature, and the college’s reputation among members of the finance profession. Board members will work with alumni and friends of the college to advance the department’s mission, facilitate internship opportunities, and encourage research and collaboration between faculty and students. They will also meet with students in the classroom and through mentoring roles.

“Education needs to continue to evolve and do so in a way that opens doors for people of all backgrounds,” said David Marcinek, a 1993 Penn State alumnus and co-chair and founding member of the board. “It’s imperative that faculty and students be actively engaged with successful and dedicated alumni in order to improve and enhance the academic offerings of the college and to provide the types of transformative experiences that will ensure students’ success.”

Marcinek is joined by Craig Chobor, a 1994 alumnus, who will also serve as co-chair of the Finance Advisory Board.

Recognizing the importance of dialogue with the business community, the college is looking to fill an active roster of 10 to 15 board members who have experience in the following fields: financial services and advising, corporate finance and treasury, investment and commercial banking, government, private capital and investment management, nonprofit and academia.

The seven founding board members, all graduates of the Smeal College of Business, are:

  • Marcinek (co-chair) earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and was most recently a partner at Goldman Sachs, having retired as co-head of the insurance sector within investment banking after a nearly 20-year career with the firm in various roles.
  • Chobor (co-chair) graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics and international business. He is managing director and director of research at Solus Alternative Asset Management in New York.
  • Lara Warner earned a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1988 and is currently the chief compliance and regulatory affairs officer and a member of the executive boards of Credit Suisse Group and Credit Suisse, based in Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Jeff Gido graduated with a degree in economics and international business in 1994. He is a partner at Goldman Sachs and is currently the global head of Fintech in the investment banking division.
  • Ken Kulju earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1980. He is a managing director at Livingston Securities.
  • Matt Curtin earned a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1998 and is currently a managing director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
  • Jeff Norris graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1982. He is senior vice president, global finance with Capital One.

Board members are each appointed to a three-year term. The board will meet twice each year — one time on the University Park campus and one time in New York City.

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Last Updated May 09, 2017