Alumni Make Connections at the Spring Alumni in Finance Network Event

Whether it’s watching the Peacocks win at Yanitelli or spending time with friends in the Quad, Saint Peter’s College students have so many wonderful experiences, but for many of the students the most enduring benefits are the ones that come after graduation. Leo Moscatelli ’00 adamantly agrees. Moscatelli cancelled his plans for last night so he was able to attend the latest Alumni in Finance Network event at the Columbus Citizens Foundation in New York City, just steps away from Central Park.

The Alumni in Finance Network, now in its second year, unites Saint Peter’s College graduates and friends from all fields of finance. The event sponsors, Robert A. Cutro ’75 and Dyan Cutro invited guests to network and hear from the featured guest speaker, Joseph R. Gromek ’68, recently retired president and chief executive officer of Warnaco Inc.

Gromek’s presence at the event was a key factor in Moscatelli’s decision to attend. “As soon as I received the invitation I cancelled my original plans to be here,” said Moscatelli. In Moscatelli’s sophomore year at Saint Peter’s College, Gromek stopped by his executive seminar class to speak about his position as then president and CEO of Brooks Brothers, Inc. Moscatelli was so impressed by Gromek’s success that he wrote him a letter to express the impact he had made on him. As a result of this letter, Gromek gave Moscatelli an internship that summer, which later led to his first job out of college.

Impressive stories such as these flowed through the conversations at yesterday’s event. The strong alumni network at Saint Peter’s College and the benefits that it offers students and graduates was the exact reason why the Alumni in Finance Network was created.

The Network provides an opportunity for individuals to participate, learn, exchange ideas and explore new professional relationships while connecting and engaging with the College. The host committee includes Robert A. Cutro ’75, managing director (retired) of Barclays Capital; Tom Jordan ’63, president and CEO of Jordan & Jordan; John J. Licata ’95, CEO/chief commodity strategist of Blue Phoenix, Inc.; Justin McKeon, CPA ’97, director, Corporate Audit, of Pfizer, Inc.; and James G. Rizzo ’81, managing director of Dahlman Rose & Co.

Sixty alumni, former classmates, future business partners, potential members and M.B.A. students, gathered at the latest event to hear from Gromek as he was interviewed by Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., president of Saint Peter’s College.

Gromek has served as a leading professional in the fashion industry for more than a quarter century and recently retired from his position as president and chief executive officer of Warnaco Inc. Warnaco owns a portfolio of highly recognized brand names including Calvin Klein Jeans, Speedo and Chaps. Gromek previously served as president and chief executive officer of Brooks Brothers, Inc. and has held senior management positions with Saks Fifth Avenue, Limited Brands, Inc. and Ann Taylor Stores Corporation.

Gromek shared the story of his career path and how his experience at Saint Peter’s College played a role in that path. “When I think about what helped me along the way and what was fundamental for what I was able to achieve it leads back to some of the values that I learned while I was at Saint Peter’s College, particularly over the last ten years with all of the emphasis on financial integrity. Having a Jesuit education and developing a moral consciousness were very instrumental in the things that our business was able to achieve and what I was able to achieve personally.”  

He went on to discuss a number of interesting aspects of finance and business such as his experience with navigating the recession, economic recovery, managing currency fluctuations and more. He left the audience with a few inspirational words when he was asked if he made any mistakes throughout the course of his career. “I made more mistakes than anyone in the business because to become successful you take risks and chances, but when you lead, you lead with optimism and you learn from your mistakes.”

Like many of the attendees, Adenike Oyesile ’12, a graduate student currently enrolled in the M.B.A. program at Saint Peter’s College, found a tremendous amount of value in the event, “I found the event very inspirational and motivational. I met a lot of great people tonight and I hope I can maintain those connections as I make the acquisition into my career.”

Those interested in attending the next event or contacting fellow alumni in the finance industry can join the Saint Peter’s College Alumni in Finance group on LinkedIn.