The SUNY New Paltz School of Business Hall of Fame Selection Committee for 2007 is pleased to announce the inductees to this year's inductees: Albert & Nina Smiley as Business People of the Year, Deborah Wilkins Flippin ’74 as Alumnus of the Year, Cari Rabinowitz as Student of the Year and Gerard “Ozzie” Beichert will receive the Dean's Award of Excellence.
Business People of the Year
Mr. Smiley is President and CEO of Mohonk Mountain House and Ms. Smiley is Director of Marketing at Mohonk. After 137 years, Mohonk remains a family-owned business, founded by Mr. Smiley’s great-grand-uncle in 1869.
Mr. Smiley spent his early years developing his talents at the resort. He worked as a member of the garden crew. His ambitions took him away to New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse, where he first pursued a degree in land management, but decided to study mathematics and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Syracuse University. He worked as a research scientist at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University and later earned a Ph.D. in Economics at Princeton University, where he was awarded the Harold W. Dodds Fellowship in recognition of distinguished work in economics, and was appointed to a post-doctoral fellowship at the Princeton Center for Energy and Environmental Studies. Mr. Smiley served as Director of Research for the Economic Analysis Group at the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice before finding his way home to Mohonk Mountain House, where he had served on the board of directors since 1969. He was named President and CEO of Mohonk in 1990. Currently, Mr. Smiley serves on the SUNY New Paltz Business Advisory Council, the M&T Bank Hudson Valley Division Advisory Board, and The Mohonk Preserve Board of Directors. In addition, he is a Director of the New York State Hospitality and Tourism Association, a member of the Resort Committee of the American Hospitality and Lodging Association, and a Fellow of the Culinary Institute of America.
Ms. Smiley’s expertise comes from many years in the marketing and tourism industry. In addition, her training in psychology is invaluable to the continuous development of Mohonk’s unique focus on renewal of the mind and spirit as well as its recreational value. Ms. Smiley is a graduate of Vassar College with honors in psychology, and earned a Ph.D. from Princeton University in social/developmental psychology. She taught at the University of Maryland, served as an Administrative Officer for Public Affairs at the American Psychological Association in Washington, DC, and was Associate Director of Research at Porter/Novelli, a marketing communications and public relations firm in DC. She also worked for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) before bringing her unique skill set to Mohonk Mountain House. Ms. Smiley has served as Chairperson of the Executive Committee of Historic Hotels of America and on the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association of Vassar College.
Dean’s Award of Excellence
Ozzie Beichert is President of Timely Signs of Kingston, Inc., a full service sign manufacturing company he founded in 1964. He has worked full time at the company since 1988, moving from the Town of Ulster into a 20,000 square foot facility in the City of Kingston in 1995, and currently employing 18 people.
Mr. Beichert graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes High School, and attended Marist College and several U.S. Navy Schools. He served with the U.S. Naval Security Group from 1968 to 1972, as Training Officer for the Naval Communications Station in Honolulu. He was employed as Sales Manager for DUSO Chemical Co., Inc. from 1973 to 1988, specializing in the electronics and semiconductor industries.
Mr. Beichert is an active member of the community, currently serving on the Ulster County Planning Board, Town of Ulster Planning Board, Ulster County Workforce Investment Board, and the Hurley Lions Club. He has served on the Boards of the Chamber of Commerce of Ulster County, Hidden Harbor Yacht Club, White Eagle Benevolent Society, St. Joseph’s Parents Association, John A. Coleman Parents Association and Booster Club, Hurley Little League, Kingston Babe Ruth League, and American Legion Post 150.
A lifelong resident of Ulster County, Mr. Beichert currently resides in Saugerties with his wife, Kathleen. They have two sons, Paul and Joe (both active in Timely Signs), and three grandchildren.
Alumna of the Year
Deborah Wilkins Flippin serves as Vice President/Marketing Manager for KeyBank’s Hudson Valley District. Ms. Wilkins-Flippin oversees marketing and advertising in the seven-county district (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester). In addition to her marketing responsibilities, Ms. Wilkins Flippin previously oversaw community relations and contributions for Orange County.
Prior to joining KeyBank, Ms. Wilkins Flippin worked Pepsico Inc., and for Congressman Maurice Hinchey on a part-time basis, acting as federal liaison for Newburgh and Beacon. Ms. Wilkins Flippin joined KeyBank in 1997 as assistant vice president and marketing manager and after 18 months was promoted to vice president overseeing the community relations manager in addition to her marketing duties. She also was chair of KeyBank’s Diversity Council from 1998-2002. She was in charge of revitalizing the council and continues to support the council in a consultative role. Through her and her peers’ efforts, KeyBank received the Poughkeepsie Journal’s 2005 Diversity in the Workplace Award.
Wilkins Flippin earned her undergraduate degree in Sociology from SUNY New Paltz. In 2001 she received the Inaugural Harriet Tubman Humanitarian Achievement Award, the first to be issued in New York State and in November 2006, received the “Pillars of the Community” Award from the Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and commendations, and was recently appointed to represent Newburgh, NY in the Empire Who’s Who among Executives and Professionals, and for inclusion in the “Honors Edition” of the registry.
Ms. Wilkins Flippin currently resides in Newburgh. She is active in numerous community organizations and is currently a board member of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, SUNY New Paltz Foundation Board, and the Orange County United Way. She is a past board member of the Family Health Center, The Community Foundation of Orange County and the Glenn Hines Boys & Girls Club where she served as president.
Student of the Year
Cari Rabinowitz is an undergraduate student majoring in Accounting. She has a 3.39 GPA and plans to graduate in May 2007. She accepted an offer to work in the Core Assurance department of Ernst & Young's financial services office in New York City after graduation.
Ms. Rabinowitz is currently the President of the Accounting and Finance Association (AFA). Under her leadership, the association brought in many speakers and sponsored numerous workshops. She oversaw the organization of the 7th Annual Career Symposium, which was held on October 25, 2006. This event was very successful, attracting 14 different companies and over 60 students.
Ms. Rabinowitz is also Vice President and Senior Social Chairperson of the Dean's Student Advisory Board (DSAB), on which she has been a member for a year and a half. She successfully assisted in the creation the CD Yearbook, fundraising, coordination the Business Student Association BBQ, initiation and implementation of the alumni networking survey, and organization of the Senior Social.
In addition to AFA and DSAB, Ms. Rabinowitz is Vice President of the honor society, Phi Eta Sigma. She helped bring Phi Eta Sigma to campus, and organized their first induction ceremony.
This past summer, Ms. Rabinowitz worked as a Treasury Operations Support Analyst at Citigroup in Long Island City, N.Y. She was also chosen out of 20,000 applications to be one of 3,000 students to participate in the Monster's Diversity Leadership Program. In addition, during the summer of 2005, Ms. Rabinowitz was selected to study abroad with Know Europe, during which she attended classes at business schools in four countries. Her team won the best marketing project award during this program.
Ms. Rabinowitz was the recipient of the Dr. Edwin A. Ulrich Business Scholarship and Alumni Association Scholarship in 2006. She also received the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants 2006 Scholarship.