Rider University’s Accounting Advisory Council welcomed and honored its inaugural class at its Accounting Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony on May 11 at Pines Manor Restaurant in Edison, N.J. More than 160 attendees attended the evening event, which honored Rider alumni who have distinguished themselves in the accounting profession. Proceeds from the dinner will help fund student scholarships.
Howard Cohen ’71, chair of EisnerAmper LLP and chair of the Accounting Advisory Council, welcomed the honorees and guests.
“The significance and purpose of tonight’s event and future evenings include raising the profile of what we believe is the premier accounting program in New Jersey and among the top programs in the Northeast,” Cohen explained. “It is also to annually honor just a few of the many distinguished alumni who have risen to the top of our profession, and to create an annual event at which alumni can network with old and new friends, and reminisce about their special times that happened at Rider,”
Dr. Margaret O’Reilly-Allen, chair of the Department of Accounting, presented John Layton ’66 with the Achievement in Governmental or Not-for-Profit Accounting award.
After receiving a degree in Accounting from Rider in 1966, Layton was hired by Litton Industries as an internal auditor. This brief auditing career was interrupted when he was drafted into the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Finance Corps. Following his service, Layton returned to Litton Industries, where he remained until 1972, when he became a special agent for the FBI.
Prior to being nominated by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed as the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Energy, Layton served as director of investigations for NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center, deputy inspector general for NASA and inspector general of the Department of Treasury. As inspector general, he served three presidents, testified extensively before the U.S. Congress on management issues, including the administration of $16 billion in government contracts, and served as the vice chair of the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency. Layton retired as inspector general in 1998.
Timothy Tracy ’90, a partner at Ernst & Young LLP and assistant chair of the Accounting Advisory Council, presented Donald Richards ’70 with the Achievement in Public Accounting award. Richards recently retired from Ernst & Young LLP after 39 years of service to the firm. While there, he served many large multinational companies, providing auditing and accounting, tax advisory and other business related services.
In addition to his direct client service responsibilities, Richards served as the industry segment leader for the Automotive and Industrial products portion of the firm’s practice in the New York metropolitan area, where he was responsible for developing and implementing client service strategy for the area’s client base. Following his assignment as industry segment leader, Richards was the managing partner for the firm’s practice in Princeton, N.J. for five years before transferring to the Metropark office in Woodbridge, N.J.
Donald Wygal, associate professor of Accounting, presented Stephen J. Cosgrove M.B.A. ’77 with the Achievement in Corporate Accounting/Finance award. Cosgrove is the vice president, corporate controller and chief accounting officer of Johnson & Johnson. He was appointed to this position in October 2001.
Cosgrove joined J&J in 1974 as an undergraduate recruit and has worked at multiple companies within J&J. He has served as finance director of J&J affiliates in Belgium, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom, as well as vice president of finance and information management with J&J Consumer Products, Inc., in the United States. Prior to his current position, he was the vice president of finance for the Consumer & Personal Care Group and a member of the Consumer & Personal Care Operating Committee, responsible for the worldwide management of the Consumer and Vision Care franchise of J&J.
Lawrence N. Frankel ’79, member of the Accounting Advisory Council, presented Frank Sonnenberg ’77 with the Achievement for Service to the Community award. A marketing strategist, Sonnenberg has written three books and published more than 300 articles. He has appeared on CNN as “a nationally recognized expert in the field of marketing,” and served as the National Director of Marketing for Ernst & Young’s Management Consulting Group for more than a decade.
Sonnenberg is the author of the best-selling book Marketing to Win (Harper & Row, 1990), Managing With a Conscience (McGraw-Hill, 1994) and It’s the Thought that Counts (Executive Excellence 2001). Sonnenberg has served as an expert panelist for Bottom Line Business, the marketing columnist for The Journal of Business Strategy and on the editorial board of The Journal of Training and Development. He has consulted extensively in strategy, sales promotion and marketing communications.
Cohen presented Clair Raubenstine ’63 with the Lifetime Achievement award. Raubenstine stepped down in 2008 from his position as executive vice president and chief financial officer of PHH Corporation, a private label mortgage originator and servicer and fleet leasing and Management Company, a position he held since February 2006. A retired former assurance and business advisory services partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Raubenstine had been associated with the firm for 39 years.
In addition to having served six years in the U.S. Army Reserves, Raubenstine is an active community member, serving in leadership capacities for more than 20 years on the Special Gifts Committee for the Catholic Charities Appeals for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and previously as chairman of the Warminster Municipal Authority and director of the Pennsylvania Council on Economic Education.
During the evening’s awards program, Alan Sumutka ’72, associate professor of Accounting, presented the Faculty Lifetime Achievement award in honor of the late Professor John Gorman ’59, who passed away in October 2008. Prior to attending Rider, Gorman served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He worked both for a CPA firm and in private industry before becoming a full-time Accounting professor at Rider in 1962. Family and teaching were his real passions in life, and Gorman was instrumental in taking the Accounting Internship Program to new heights during his tenure. He received the Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1979.
University President Mordechai Rozanski said the success of the inductees is testimony to the dedication of Rider’s talented faculty and the high quality of our academic programs.
“Tonight, we honor the first six alumni inducted into the Accounting Advisory Council Hall of Fame. I have every confidence that their accomplishments will inspire our current students as they complete their studies and become leaders in their own professions,” Rozanski said. “While tonight’s honorees’ respective paths to professional achievement may vary, they share one very important common experience: that is that they have benefited from a relevant and high-quality education at Rider. What makes this common experience particularly distinctive is the special bond that the Accounting and graduate Business programs promote between their students and faculty. This emphasis on personal attention has set our graduates on the road to significant success in their careers and their lives.”