2014 Awards & Recipients

Leaders in Management (LIM) Award:
Joseph R. Ficalora '79
President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director
New York Community Bancorp, Inc.

Joseph R. Ficalora is the President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of New York Community Bancorp, Inc., the 20th largest bank holding company in the nation, with assets of $46.7 billion, and of its two primary subsidiaries, New York Community Bank and New York Commercial Bank. Under Mr. Ficalora’s leadership, the Company has evolved from a mutual savings bank with seven branches in Queens and Nassau Counties to a publicly traded multi-bank holding company with 272 branch offices serving consumers and businesses throughout Metro New York, New Jersey, Florida, Ohio, and Arizona. Established in 1859, New York Community Bank is one of the largest thrift depositories in the nation.

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Since 1965, when he joined the CSince 1965, when he joined the Community Bank, Mr. Ficalora has been instrumental in its evolution, holding various positions of increasing responsibility across all lines of operations. Named President and Chief Operating Officer of the Community Bank in 1989, he spearheaded the establishment of New York Community Bancorp four years later, and has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company since its inception on July 20, 1993. From January 2007 through December 2010, Mr. Ficalora also served as Chairman of the Company, a position he had held previously, from July 1993 through July 2001.
 
A graduate of Pace University wiA graduate of Pace University with a degree in business and finance, Mr. Ficalora provides leadership to several professional banking organizations. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Bankers Association (ABA), currently serves as a member of the ABA’s Government Relations Council Administrative Committee, and is a director of the New York Bankers Association (NYBA), also serving as Chairman of its Metropolitan Area Division. Mr. Ficalora serves as Vice Chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, as well as on the Boards of Directors of RSI Retirement Trust and Peter B. Cannell & Co., Inc., an investment advisory firm. In addition, he is a member of the PSI Board of Pentegra Retirement Services, Inc. Mr. Ficalora is a former member of the Thrift Institutions Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington as well as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Thrift Institutions Advisory Panel.
 
Mr. Ficalora also is an active participant in community affairs. A member of the Board of Directors of the Queens Chamber of Commerce since 1990, Mr. Ficalora has served on its Executive Committee since April 1992. He is President of the Queens Library Foundation and past Chairman of the Board and the Administrative Committee of the Queens Borough Public Library. In addition, Mr. Ficalora serves on the boards of directors of the New York Hall of Science, New York Hospital-Queens, and Flushing Cemetery, the Board of Trustees of the Museum of the Moving Image, and the Advisory Council of the Queens Museum of Art.

Homer and Charles Pace Faculty Award:
Joseph C. DiBenedetto, JD, CPA, CMA

Joseph DiBenedetto

In 1971, after four years of working as a public accountant, a then 24-year-old Joseph C. DiBenedetto came to Pace University with the intention of earning a law degree while doing the less stressful" job of teaching. While he may have intended to return to the corporate world after completing his JD, it was a boon to the many students whose lives he would go on to change that he chose to stay.

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For the first 35 years of his career at Pace, he was a member of the Westchester faculty and in 2006 transferred to the New York City Campus, where he taught until January 2014 and has now returned to the Pleasantville campus. During his more than 40 years at the University, he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses, courses at Pace Law School, and at Pace-sponsored off-site programs for companies like IBM, The Salvation Army, Corning Inc., and NYNEX. During the ten years he served as the Department Chair, Pace's accounting students continually finished in the first and second spots on the New York CPA exam. Dozens of his former students have gone on to become partners in leading accounting firms and some of them now sit on the Lubin Advisory Board. He says of his time at Pace: "The idea of Pace as a training ground for future professions was, is and will be the thing that draws students here and makes being at Pace a lifelong love affair for the faculty and the staff. It was never a "job" always a joy."

Innovator Award:
Carll Tucker
Founder, Chairman, and CEO
Daily Voice, LLC

Carl Tucker

Carll Tucker is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Daily Voice, LLC., an online community communications company. Daily Voice publishes 41 community news sites in Westchester (NY) and Fairfield (CT) counties. Read regularly by more than half the adult populations of these communities, Daily Voice enjoys market penetration unprecedented for any news medium.

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Tucker founded Daily Voice in 2010. From 1981-1999, he was Editor and Publisher of Trader Publications, which published The Patent Trader newspaper and a dozen other local publications in Westchester and Fairfield. In 1999, Tucker sold Trader Publications to Gannett Company.

From 1977-1980, Tucker served as Editor and Publisher of Saturday Review magazine. From 1973-1977, he was a staff writer and theater critic for the Village Voice newspaper in New York City. He graduated from Yale in 1973 (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Scholar of the House). He is the author of The Bear Went Over the Mountain (2005) and countless columns and articles.

A native of Bedford, NY, Tucker has three children – Peter, Rebecca, and David – and a granddaughter, the irresistible Kai. He is joyfully married to Jane Bryant Quinn, the noted financial writer. They make their home in Manhattan and Dutchess County, NY.