PHILADELPHIA, March 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Philadelphia University will present four outstanding individuals with the Leader of Innovation Medal at the Verizon Philadelphia University Celebration of Innovation on May 7 at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia.
In a special presentation, Philadelphia University will honor visionary and benefactor Maurice Kanbar '52 H'03 with the first Lifetime Impact Award.
"These leaders have made significant contributions across many fields that benefit society and shine a light on the importance of innovation," said Philadelphia University President Stephen Spinelli Jr. "Philadelphia University's 132-year history reflects the great value we place on innovation in higher education, which enables us to provide our students with the best-possible professional education to meet 21st-century needs."
The four Leader of Innovation Medal recipients include:
- Orlando Esposito '80, head of the asset management group for PNC Financial Services Group, is responsible for leading all of PNC's wealth management, institutional investments and ultra-high net worth business segments and activities. At PNC, Esposito also led Sales Force Effectiveness, an initiative to increase the effectiveness in growing their business force. After graduating from PhilaU with a degree in accounting, Esposito worked for the international powerhouse Deloitte, which provides audit, financial advisory, tax and consulting services. He attributes much of his success to PhilaU's blend of academics, strong focus on developing practical skills and real-world insight from exceptional faculty members and small classes.
- Bryant M. Greene M'96 is founder and owner of Always Best Care Senior Services of Philadelphia, Bucks and Delaware counties, which specializes in non-medical in-home care and assisted-living placement. Greene was selected as the 2015 Franchisee of the Year by the Always Best Care national organization for his achievements in caregiver relationships, support of fellow franchisees, sales, participation on company-wide programs and giving back to the community. A member of PhilaU's Board of Trustees, Greene earned the 2016 Community Leadership Award from RSVP Philadelphia for his longstanding commitment and dedication to public service and volunteerism. "My PhilaU experience definitely ignited an ambition to be in senior leadership and ultimately a business entrepreneur," he said.
- Bridget Lombard, an award-winning business leader and former CEO of Penguin Brands Inc., is a pioneering agent of vision, change and growth. She has specialized in building, driving and selling high-growth mid-market consumer goods brands. Her career includes leading companies such as Deloitte, MetLife, Clear Channel Communications and the Tenaga Group. As CEO of Nathan Sports and its parent company Penguin Brands, Lombard was responsible for business operations in 47 countries, transforming the firm's businesses into credible and meaningful brands, driving long-term organizational and shareholder value and delivering dramatic growth, increasing overall revenue by 389 percent.
- C.R. "Chuck" Pennoni, PE, Pennoni's founder and chairman, has more than 60 years of experience in civil engineering, planning and related disciplines, with particular interest in municipal and land planning, design and construction. He has served as vice chair of the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, as an interim university president and as president of the American Society of Civil Engineering. Pennoni was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2000.
The work, influence and life of Maurice Kanbar—entrepreneur, inventor, Hollywood producer and philanthropist—will be highlighted at the Celebration of Innovation with the first-ever Lifetime Impact Award. PhilaU's most generous benefactor, he has committed $30 million to date to his alma mater, including the single largest gift in University history—$15 million in support of the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce. Kanbar College's innovative transdisciplinary curriculum led the way for the University's signature Nexus Learning approach across all disciplines: active, collaborative, real-world learning infused with the liberal arts. It's the core value a PhilaU education.
His support of the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce ties closely to his beliefs about giving students the ability to succeed and lead interesting lives. "The college is a tremendous benefit to students," said Kanbar, who studied engineering and chemistry at PhilaU. "It gives them a worthwhile career and makes it easier for them to succeed in life. Without an education a person is lost. With an education a person has a chance. With a good education a person has a better chance."
To further help PhilaU become the model for professional education, he donated $6 million for the Kanbar Campus Center, which opened in 2006, $1 million for student scholarships in 2013 and supports innovative student work with the Kanbar Design Awards presented at the Annual Senior Design Show.
Kanbar has made his mark on society for his diverse set of ideas and inventions that stretch back decades, including the first multiplex theater on the East Coast, SKYY Vodka, the D-Fuzz It Sweater and Fabric Comb and dozens of patented devices. He also produced the animated movie "Hoodwinked."
"Maurice Kanbar is a model entrepreneur with a career that demonstrates what a curious and informed mind can achieve," Spinelli said. "Philosophically he is the godfather of our Nexus Learning approach.
Spinelli added, "Mr. Kanbar's vision, commitment and generosity help to make this University the leading institution it is today. He understands our history, but looks to the future."
With proceeds providing scholarship support, the University's annual Celebration of Innovation pays tribute to students, faculty, alumni and friends who contribute their talent, creativity and determination to meeting current and emerging social needs through innovation.
The 2016 Celebration of Innovation will be held Saturday, May 7, at 6 p.m., at the Hyatt at The Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia. For tickets and more information, visit http://www.philau.edu/celebrationofinnovation/2016.
Philadelphia University, founded in 1884, is a private university with 3,600 students enrolled in more than 70 undergraduate and graduate programs. As the model for professional university education, the University, through its award-winning Nexus Learning approach, prepares students to be leaders in their professions in an active, collaborative and real-world learning environment infused with the liberal arts. Philadelphia University includes the innovative Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce; the College of Architecture and the Built Environment; and the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts. For more information, go to www.PhilaU.edu.
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SOURCE Philadelphia University