2001 Alumni Achievement Award Luncheon

Maria Fiorini Ramirez, '72, The Wall Street Journal's Top Economic Forecaster, Honored

The Lubin School honored Maria Fiorini Ramirez (BBA '72), The Wall Street Journal's top economic forecaster for 2001, at the Ninth Annual Lubin Alumni Achievement Award Luncheon. Ramirez, president and CEO of Maria Fiorini Ramirez, Inc., a global economic and financial consulting firm, graciously accepted this most prestigious award that the Lubin School gives out, while insisting that her contributions to Pace, combined with her successful career, were things she has so thoroughly enjoyed doing, that she really didn't think she should be rewarded for them.

Honoree Maria Fiorini Ramirez, '72, at Lubin Alumni Achievement Award Luncheon.
Ramirez, who has maintained a strong bond with the Lubin School of Business since she graduated 30 years ago and serves on its Advisory Board, was honored on December 7, 2001, at the Chase Manhattan Bank's Executive Dining Room by over 300 colleagues, Lubin faculty, administrators, students, and family and friends for setting a high standard of achievement in the community, with her alma mater, and in the business world.

Well-known in domestic and international financial, banking, and economic circles for her penetrating assessment of the synergy between economic policy and political trends and their effect on investments, Ramirez began her career in 1968 with American Express International Banking Corporation, while attending Lubin at night. She received her BBA in Economics in 1972. Before long she became vice president and senior Money Market Economist for Merrill Lynch. After holding a series of senior Money Market positions at other firms, she finally decided to begin to branch out on her own and founded Maria Ramirez Capital Consultants, Inc., a subsidiary of John Hancock Freedom Securities Corporation, in 1990. In 1992, she made the full entrepreneurial move to form her own consulting firm.

This year's luncheon raised over $100,000 for student scholarships and continues to be the highlight of the fall semester for Lubin, with strong support from sponsors, alumni, and faculty. JPMorganChase sponsored the event for the ninth consecutive year. Tiffany & Co. provided the awards, and Independence Community Bank, American International Group, Inc., Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, Inc., Brookfield Financial Properties, Deloitte & Touche LLP, and KPMG LLP all contributed to the successful running of this year's event.

Honoring Recent Alumni and Scholarship Awardees
John E. Boyd, '76, president and CEO of EUR Systems and the 2001- 02 chair of the Steering Committee, opened the luncheon by welcoming all the guests. He then introduced Lubin Dean Arthur L. Centonze, who recognized the contributions made by recent alumni and awarded the alumni scholarship to Colleen Kirk, '02, MBA Marketing. The Lubin Alumni Scholarship is awarded annually to a student who demonstrates outstanding academic achievement, leadership potential, civic responsibility, and financial need. In addition to her classes, Kirk is a graduate assistant for two faculty and participated recently in the Lubin strategic planning retreat. She is an active member of the Department of Environmental Protection Agency of Connecticut and the American Red Cross.

Dean Centonze also presented the Fifth Annual Recent Alumni Service Award. This award recognizes the significant accomplishments and contributions of Lubin's most recent graduates, their outstanding professional leadership, and service to the University, the School, and the community. Viewed as Lubin's next generation of leaders, this year's recipients were Dannielle Cheung, '94 & '98 and Julie Martin, '91. Cheung received her BBA in Management Science, with a minor in Mathematics in 1994, and earned her MBA in Financial Management in 1998. She is co-chair of the recently formed Lubin Alumni Committee and a member of the Alumni Federation Board. She is vice-president of JPMorganChase Bank's middle market banking, not-for-profit group, where she manages a $5 million client portfolio comprised of health systems and health maintenance organizations.

Martin graduated from the Lubin School in 1991 with a BBA in Finance. Currently she is the Senior Portfolio Administrator at the Ford Foundation. She is responsible for all portfolio performance and asset allocation analysis, as well as money manager relationships. Over the last eight years Martin has been a member of several Pace Alumni Committees including the cultural events and recent alumni recruitment committees.

Ramirez Is "World Class"
Describing Ramirez as "world class," in his introductory remarks, Victor M. Richel, vice chairman of Independence Community Bank, and luncheon chair, went on to praise her as a business leader.

"We are honoring one of the world's best economists and according to The Wall Street Journal she is the number one economic forecaster for 2001," Richel acknowledged of the acclaim that Ramirez has received in recent years. In point of fact, her successful economic forecasts have put her in great demand as a guest speaker on business-related television and radio programs such as CNN, CNBC, ABC, PBS, CBS, Bloomberg Financial News, and Fox NEWS. Her popularity is not limited to a domestic audience, however, and financial news broadcasts from as far away as Japan and as close as Canada regularly seek her economic commentary.

"Get in the Door Whatever Way You Can"
"What would you advise students graduating in these tough economic times?" asked one student of Ramirez during a question and answer period. "Get in the door whatever way you can," she said without skipping a beat. "Sometimes we have a degree in something and we have expectations that things are going to happen immediately. You have to have patience. There is nothing wrong with learning the back office. The back office is a way to the front office and if you know how to do things at the bottom, when you move up, you will be a lot better prepared for the challenges ahead. Stepping down a little bit and taking a job just to get in the door and then exhibiting your skills and moving up the ladder and having a little patience may be the best advice I could give graduating students," she said, much to the delight of many of the executives and managers listening.

Giving Something Back—Pace University and September 11
Before honoring Marie Fiorini Ramirez, Dean Centonze took a moment to respond to the unspoken poignancy of the location of the luncheon, 60 stories up above ground zero. "The energy and resolve of our students, faculty, and staff to return to the business at hand was wonderfully reaffirming and it's this same spirit that drives all of our many activities in the have transpired at Lubin. He then introduced Pace President David A. Caputo, who announced that Pace is establishing 75 four-year, full tuition scholarships for the sons and daughters, partners, and spouses of survivors of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania crashes. "That represents over $1 million of financial aid, and we hope to have the first award this spring. We are going to name the 75 scholarships in company near us, and one each for the mayor and the governor for their efforts and leadership during the crisis," Caputo said. He also introduced a major new University initiative: "The Center for Downtown New York at Pace University." This center is being formed in an effort to reach out to the downtown community by using faculty research expertise as a means of helping to rebuild the downtown area.