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Monmouth University Leon Hess Business Council Names New Chair and Vice Chair

The Monmouth University Business School Business Council welcomed new chair, Deb Mannix ‘83, and new vice chair, William MacDonald ‘81, at their monthly meeting on October 16.

“I’m looking forward to the exciting year ahead and building on the Business Council’s already strong foundation,” said Mannix who has worked in the financial industry for more than 30 years. “By connecting with new strategic partnerships, we’ll be able to boost the Council’s visibility and offer more opportunities to our amazing students to ensure their success after they graduate.”

Mannix replaces the former chair, Richard Ricciardi ‘86M, after serving with him as vice chair for the past two years. A financial advisor and financial planning specialist for Morgan Stanley in Red Bank, Mannix added that she hopes to foster more interaction with students by organizing an event each semester and urging students to start developing their professional networks in their junior year to better impact their initial job search.

“These interactions will help them successfully navigate in the business world and in their careers going forward.”

Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Mannix worked at both Ziff Brothers Investment and Risk Enterprise Management, Ltd. in New York City. She is a graduate of Monmouth University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics, was a resident assistant and served as vice president of Gamma Sigma Sigma service sorority. Outside of her professional career, Mannix donates her time to the American Cancer Society and the Spring Lake Historical Society.

In accepting his appointment as vice chair, William MacDonald, who is the Central New Jersey Group Manager for PNC Bank’s Commercial Banking Segment, said, “I am honored to be chosen as the vice chair of the Business Council and look forward to continuing the great work that has been accomplished.”

He added, “We will continue to build on the Council’s success in promoting educational excellence, as well as bring together the business community and Monmouth students to help enhance their future professional growth and career development.”

In his senior vice president role at PNC, MacDonald also oversees the team’s community and volunteer-based activities in the marketplace and serves as its representative in the Monmouth/Ocean Development Council. He also chairs their newest business group, the Jersey Shore Coalition, aimed at improving the bank’s brand and its involvement in the communities hit by superstorm Sandy. MacDonald received a bachelor’s degree in business finance from Monmouth University in 1981.

Also at the morning ceremony where Senior Gianna Cusanelli sang a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem, was a presentation to honor veterans. History Specialist Professor Melissa Ziobro ’04 ‘07M, who is former command historian at Fort Monmouth, presented the deserving men with certificates.

Among those veterans in attendance was Monmouth University’s new coordinator of veterans services, Lieutenant Colonel Dennis Owens ‘15M and Brigadier General John DiNapoli, who was the event’s guest speaker.

“I am humbled to be here,” said DiNapoli, who chronicled his pathway into the military and encouraged others to remember our military service people throughout the year and especially this Veterans Day.

The Business Council, formed in 1984, is charged to advise the School and to help develop mutually supportive relationships between the School and the business community.