Posts Tagged ‘Marywood University’

Marywood University: An Evening of Celebration

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Marywood University: An Evening of Celebration and Community

Written by Tony Mussari, Sr.
Edited by Kitch Loftus-Mussari
Photographs by Tony Mussari, Sr.
Copyright 2015
Mussari-Loftus Associates
The Face of America Project

Freedom Lies in Being Bold. Robert Frost

Our Face of America Journey took us to Marywood University in Scranton for a wonderful evening of celebration, and MU ApEvent 1 community. On this cold April evening, while snow flurries filled the air outside the Nazareth Student Center, the atmosphere inside the building was warm and welcoming.

More than 150 students, teachers, board members, advisory council members and guests came together to celebrate the creation of Marywood’s School of Business and Global Innovation. This is a bold initiative designed to attract students and provide them with unique opportunities that will serve them well when they graduate.

MU ApEvent 2

The event was organized by Dr. Christopher Speicher who was assisted by students, staff and other faculty members. From the informative student displays strategically positioned along the parameter of the room to the delightful array of appetizing hors’doeuvres thoughtfully located in a place where everyone had easy access to the food, it was a top shelf event, and that was obvious to everyone who attended.


These are a few of the things we learned about this major development in the School of Business at Marywood:

The president of Marywood University, Sister Ann Munley,MU ApEvent 3 believes that it takes a village to educate a student. In her remarks, she thanked all the members of the Marywood Village including members of the board of trustees, the administration, the Marywood Corporation and cabinet members. members of the Business Advisory Committee, the faculty, staff and community leaders.

She made it very clear that at Marywood University it is all about the students. They are our future she told the audience, and this initiative is designed to create new and meaningful opportunities for them.

Quoting Dr. Art Comstock, Executive Director of The School of Business and Global Innovation, Sister Ann identified three pillars of excellence: to instruct, to instill and to MU ApEvent 4inspire. She said the Marywood University students who placed first in the 2015 DeSales University Fleming Ethics Bowl Competition reflect these pillars of excellence.

She also complimented faculty members who exemplify the pillars of excellence. Every day, she said, they model accountability, integrity and ethical leadership.

She defined the ultimate goal of the School of Business and Global Innovation with these words: “We want to create servant leaders who will make positive contributions to the communities in which they live and work.”

She ended her presentation with this thought: “Effective teaching is about transforming lives one at a time. It is about helping students to be their best self, and it is about motivating students to aspire to greater things.”

The Question

When Dr. Art Comstock returned to the podium, he askedMU ApEvent 6 this question:

Why are you here this evening?

His answer was simple and direct. Tonight is about celebrating accomplishments. You are here because you care about Marywood. You want this program to grow and succeed. We are looking back in order to move forward, and we are motivated by the maxim of Dr. Rex Dumdum: “I don’t like students. I love students.”

He spoke about the eight colorful display tables that highlighted what students are doing to make the most of their education.

He encouraged everyone to engage with the students. Let them tell you about their aspirations. Help them with suggestions that will enable them to get better.

He reminded everyone that it will take a village to reach our goals, and he urged everyone in the room to celebrate all that is and all that could be.

A Quiet Hero

Chris DiMattio is a quiet hero in every sense of the word. MU ApEvent 8He was born and raised in Dunmore, PA. In 1988, he received a degree from Marywood College. For more than 25 years he has been an accredited investment fiduciary, a retirement plan advisor and a respected officer at FNCB Wealth Management Services. If you are looking for a living example of success, the life of Chris DiMattio has all the moving parts.

Yes, his business resume is impressive. Yes, his awards for community service at the local, regional and nationalMU ApEvent 9 levels are equally impressive. For Kitch and me, the most attractive quality of this extraordinary person is his kind and welcoming way. In short, Chris DiMattio is a nice person. There is a fundamental goodness about him that is reflected in the way he treats people. He is an affirmer, an encourager and a helper. He enjoys what he does. There are no histrionics, no pretentions, no uncomfortable moments when you are with Chris DiMattio. He has mastered one of the main precepts of leadership:

A good leader takes a little more of his share of the blame, and a little less than his share of the credit. Arnold H. Glasow

For this reason and many more, Chris DiMattio was an excellent choice for the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Deep Roots

John Lawless is a big man with a great smile and important MU ApEvent 10responsibilities. He is the chairman of the Business Advisory Council.

His roots run deep into the soil at Marywood. He met his wife at Marywood. His sister graduated from Marywood. His daughter is an adjunct teacher at Marywood. His oldest son was an accounting major and his youngest son is a marketing major. It is fair to say that the Lawless family is Marywood Proud.
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On this special evening Lawless was entertaining, interesting and informative.

He wants to expand the Business Advisory Council and use it as a resource to provide opportunities for students in the School of Business and Global Innovation. He is interested in the executive in residence program. In his mind, an old pro is someone who has been around the block and can show young people the way.

For Lawless, great leaders begin as great followers who follow great leaders.

A Common Purpose

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While I was taking pictures for this article, I thought about something H. Jackson Brown, Jr. wrote about community:

Remember the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.

Whenever I looked through the viewfinder of my camera, I saw people giving more. I saw what Alice Waters called the essence of education, people teaching kids by example how to live in a community in a responsible way.
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On this special night at Marywood University, I saw a living mosaic of the words of John Winthrop: people delighting in each other, making others’conditions their own, rejoicing together, keeping the unity of spirit in the bond of peace.

Quite frankly, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Thank you, Dr. Rex Dundum for inviting us to this event. It is an experience we will never forget.

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Marywood University: Business as a Force for Good

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Marywood University: Teaching Business as a Force for Good

Starred Thoughts from the 13th Annual Conference on Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility

Written by Tony Mussari
Edited by Kitch Loftus-Mussari
Copyright 2015 All rights reserved
The Face of America Project
Mussari-Loftus Associates, LTD

A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be. Rosalynn Carter

On March 23rd our Face of America Journey took us to IMG_0702 Con LogoMarywood University for the 13th Annual Conference on Ethics, Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility. The theme of the conference was Business as a Force for Good. As always, the setting was pleasant. The participants were friendly, and the presenters provided a treasure trove of information about the ways business can make our communities and our world a better place for everyone.

The featured speakers included Lauren Walters, Co-Founder and CEO of 2 Degrees Food, James Brogna, Assistant Vice President Advancement, Allied Services Integrated Health System, Joyce Fasula, CEO, and Joseph Fasula, Vice President, of Gerrity’s Supermarkets.

Student participants included Grace Morrissey, Ellen Clauss, Meryl Fioriti, Jin Tan and Caroline Andrews. They are members of the Marywood University Ethics Business Case Competition Team. Matthew Parkyn, Vice President of Net Impact, International Organization of Students for Responsible Business, Marywood Chapter, made a presentation about making responsible judgments.

Three members of the Marywood University faculty, Dr. Arthur Comstock, Sister John Michele, and Dr. Sarah Kenehan participated in a panel discussion with keynote speaker Lauren Walters. Another member of the faculty, Dr. Rex Dumdum, moderated the panel discussion. It was my privilege to work with Rex during the panel discussion.

The conference was organized by Dr. Murray Pyle and his wife Ellen Sherwood. They had help from members of the Marywood community.

Magic Moments

“Do the Right Thing”

Jim Brogna is a personable young man and an enthusiastic speaker. He was a perfect fit for his topic, Creating Corporate Citizenship by Developing Individual Values.

IMG_0330_ JB BW

Twice during his presentation, he used large posters to reinforce his main theme. He told the audience it takes time to build character. In today’s social media world, however, it takes but a few minutes to destroy a reputation. To emphasize this point, he used a picture of Brian Williams, NBC News anchor, inscribed with this quotation from Matthew Josephson:

When credibility is important (and it’s always important). There are no little lies.

To effectively illustrate the definition and nature of business ethics, he used a popular illustration which appearedIMG_0330_ JB2 BW in an article written by Gloria Lewis, a professional staffing expert. It was posted in her blog on May 15, 2013.

Jim wanted to make the point that people in business have an obligation to know the difference between right and wrong, and when faced with decisions, difficult or easy as they may be, they must do the right thing for the right reason.

This important message resonated with everyone in the room.

“A Case Study and Its Challenges”

Shortly after 1 p.m., a group of students stood next to Dr. IMG_0346_stidents1Murray Pyle when he introduced their topic: Technology and Privacy: A Responsible Corporate Model of Maintaining Individual Privacy in a Data Rich World.

As I looked through the viewfinder of my camera to focus their picture, I thought to myself this is similar to a number of scenes Kitch and I observed during our experience in the corporate world. Then and now, the individuals were dressed for success. They were enthusiastic about their discoveries and realistic about their challenges. They had developed an interesting product, and they were anxious to share what they had learned.

This classic example of student-centeredness sheds light on what is happening at Marywood University in the School of Business. Earlier in the day, Sister Cathy Luxner made this important point, “The privilege of education means IMG_0346_stidents2
we have a responsibility to use what we learn for the common good.”

Each of the students who explained the “Future of Fourcircle” was disciplined, earnest and receptive to feedback.

An “Ah Ha” moment for the students happened during the Q&A session when Dr. Rex Dumdum called upon his life experience and deep insights to point out how the marketing of the product and the student presentation could be refined to address important issues of privacy. During Dr. Dumdum’s conversation with the students, the words of Robert Frost came to mind: I am not a teacher, but an awakener.

Two days after their presentation at the conference, the Marywood University Ethics Team won the 2015 DeSales University Fleming Ethics Bowl Competition.

“Making Judgments”

Matthew Parkyn is a senior in the School of Business and Global Innovation. Like most college students he wants to be IMG_0386_ Matthewhappy and successful in life. High on his bucket list is a desire to travel the world. He also wants to make his mother’s life more comfortable.

In the conversations Kitch and I have had with Matthew, he has substantiated the insightful words of Alice Wellington Rollins:

The task of a good teacher is not how many questions he can ask of his students that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him which he finds it hard to answer.

During his presentation, Matthew shared the meanings of several words including judge, judgment, judgmental, opinion and service.

He identified his sources, and he provided a variety of definitions and grammatical applications of the words. He also introduced the normative and subjective process.

To summarize the point he was trying to make, he offered a famous quote from Walt Whitman:

Be curious not judgmental.

A conversation with Dr. Gale Jaeger, the woman who created the ethics conference at Marywood in 2002 when she was a member of the faculty, helped Matthew develop a broader perspective of his topic and his definition. Dr. Jaeger’s question and her conversation with Matthew gave meaning to Robert Hutchins definition of educaton:

It is to unsettle their minds, widen their horizons, inflame their intellects, teach them to think straight, if possible.

“An Hour with Mom and Her Son”

Joyce Fasula is the CEO of Gerrity’s Supermarkets. She IMG_0395_Mom 1is better known as “Mom” to her customers. Her son Joseph is the Vice President of the corporation. On this day, they became teachers. Equipped with an effective PowerPoint presentation that included priceless archival photographs, they told their story of Gerrity’s interpretation of Corporate Social Responsibility.

They believe that ethics has made their stores profitable. They made the case that making a profit is not unethical. It’s how you make and spend the profit that answers the ethics question.

Their philosophy is very straightforward. To the owners ofIMG_0400_mom 2 the company, the employees are most important. To the employees of the company, the customers are most important. For Mom and her son this creates a win-win situation.

Fasula told the audience:


We give our customers the benefit of the doubt, and we give our community a substantial part of our profit. We celebrate being fair and honest. We buy local. We negotiate with our suppliers in good faith. We support local charities and we embrace environmentally sound practices.

For the executives of Gerrity’s, the most ethical use of profit involves:
1. Providing for your family;
2. Reinvesting in your business;
3. Providing goods and services;
4. Providing jobs and opportunities.

“Ripples and Dots”

To set the tone for his keynote address, Lauren Walters selected quotations from President John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address:
IMG_0428_lauren 2

“Ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country.”

“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

Lauren Walters was nine-years-old when he heard those magical words. They made an indelible mark on his heart and his soul. More than half a century later, he is applying them in a compassionate and caring way.

IMG_0480_lauren 4

He is the cofounder and CEO of 2 Degrees Food. His goal is to reduce hunger and malnutrition. His company produces healthy snack bars. For every bar sold, the company provides a packaged healthy meal to a hungry child. The concept is modeled after Tom’s Shoes…Buy one. Give one.

He personifies the purpose and spirit of ethics and corporate social responsibility.

He is a leader with a conscience, and a man who has successfully navigated what some have called the most difficult journey in life, the challenging 18 inch journey from the head to the heart.

During his speech, he connected the dots and the ripples, and he answered the fundamental question, “Why.”
IMG_0464_Lauren 3

He did not sugar coat his story. He freely admitted that what he is doing is hard.

He needed to collaborate with others to come up with a name, a product, a package, a story and a strategy.

To effectively do this he enlisted the support of people who were experts in each area, and he hired social media experts for marketing.

2Degrees Health is a for-profit company, but it partners with non-profit companies.

The product can be purchased in 2500 stores and it is available on 500 college campuses. It has provided 2 million meals for malnourished children in the U.S., Columbia, Kenya, India, Malawi, Myanmar and Somalia, but Walters has not yet reached his goal.


These are some of the challenges he and his team face:

It’s not easy to raise money;

Distribution is complicated;

Conveying the social halo while making the consumer happy and positive about helping other people is a necessity;

Creating a movement of enthusiastic supporters;

Developing products that are healthy and good for people;

Pricing and connecting with non-profits.

Lauren Walters describes himself as a optimistic person… a man with a glass half full attitude.
IMG_0454_lauren Final

The best words I can find to accurately describe Lauren Walters were written by President Kennedy:

A man does what he must in spite of personal consequences, in spite of dangers and pressures, and that is the basis of all human mortality.

In my opinion, Lauren Walters is a classic face of America and a radiant example of America at its best. It was an honor and a pleasure to meet him and learn from him and his example.

“Dinner for 40”

One of the highlights of the annual ethics conference is the dinner for participants. It provides everyone who participates in the program an opportunity to relax and enjoy a delicious IMG_0508_dinnermeal. Equally important is the comfortable family atmosphere.

There were eight place settings at each table. Throughout the room, one could hear the quiet sounds of polite conversation occasionally interrupted by joyful sounds of laughter. Everyone needed a break from the fact-filled, intellectually stimulating sessions.

At our table we talked about books, family, connections and students. At one point, Robert Jaeger used his smart phone to obtain a list of books written by an author Sr. John Michele recommended to Kitch.

As one might expect, most of the talking stopped when the food arrived. The presentation of the food was very appealing and everything on the plate was delicious.
The Food Service staff at Marywood University is top shelf.

“Up Close and Personal”

The final event of the conference was a panel discussion. Designed to enable experts and practitioners to share their thoughts in a relaxed and comfortable setting, Dr. Rex DumdumIMG_0562_panel 3 moderated the discussion, and I was given an opportunity to help him.

Together we decided to ask questions that would enable Lauren Walters, Sister John Michele, Dr. Art Comstock, and Dr. Sarah Kenehan to share information and personal experiences that would help the students better understand the rules of the game of life and business.

This is a summary of the starred thoughts from the panel discussion:

1. Live family first;
2. If you are not helping other people, you will not be happy;
3. You have to be passionate about what you do. If not, you have to move on;
4. Good people make good decisions;
IMG_0588-001_panel45. Happiness is an outlook;
6. You can learn more from failure, because it opens your eyes and it creates learning opportunities;
7. Failure does not have to be suffered in silence and alone. It is an opportunity to share frustration and anger. Connections enable a person who has failed to reach out for help;
8. Failure is necessary to growth;
9. Do your best. Be persistent. Move on;
10. There will always be tension in life between what you’re passionate about and making a living. You need to find the balance.

In response to a question about skills needed to be happy and successful in life, the panel members provided thisa Question list:

1. Patience
2. Grit
3. Compassion
4. Integrity
5. Intelligence
6. Energy
7. Initiative
8. Persistence
9. Be gentle
10. Wisdom

When a student asked a question about cheating and the pressures that lead to cheating, three panel members offered this advice:

You only get one reputation. It’s like fine china, expensive but easily broken. Dr. Comstock

If you owned a company, would you hire someone who lied and cheated? Sister John Michele

How would you judge yourself? Lauren Walters.

The panel discussion ended with this question: What word would you like to engrave of the heart of every student in this room?

The responses were heartfelt and poignant:
aa final panelIMG_0599
Compassion, Dr. Sarah Kenehan;
Integrity, Dr. Art Comstock;
Connection, Lauren Walters;
Be kind, Sister John Michele;
Love, Dr. Rex Dumdum;
Care, Dr. Murray Pyle;
Acceptance, Dr. Gale Jaeger;

After the panel discussion, people assembled in little clusters to talk about a number of things. It was a beautiful scene. It validated the purpose of the conference and the words of one of America’s greatest minds. To rephrase the priceless words of Albert Einstein, The 13th Annual Ethics Conference at Marywood University was an opportunity for everyone in attendance to learn how to become a person of value and to better understand business as a force for good.

Thank you, Marywood University.
Thank you, Gale Jaeger.
Thank you, Murray Pyle.
Thank you, Ellen Sherwood.
Thank you, Jim Brogna.
Thank you, Grace Morrissey, Ellen Clauss, Meryl Fioriti, Jin Tan and Caroline Andrews.
Thank you, Matthew Parkyn.
Thank you, Joyce and Joe Fasula.
Thank you, Lauren Walters.
Thank you Rex, Art, Sarah and Sister John Michele.

Kitch and I look forward to our reunion in 2016.

(Digital photographs by Kitch and Tony Mussari)
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An Unforgettable Example of Resilience at Marywood

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

The Face of Resilience At Marywood University

Written by Tony Mussari, Sr.
Edited by Kitch Loftus-Mussari
Photographs by Kitch Loftus-Mussari and
Tony Mussari, Sr.
Copyright Mussari-Loftus Associates, LTD 2015
All Rights Reserved

Great hearts can only be made by great troubles. The spade of trouble digs the reservoir of comfort deeper, and makes more room for consolation. Charles H. Spurgeon


Recently I Googled the word resilience. In 0.27 seconds I had access to 40,200,000 hits.

These are a few of the definitions I found for resilience:

The capacity to recovery quickly from difficulties;

The ability to become strong, healthy or successful after something bad happens (merriam;

Resilience is that ineffable quality that allows some people to beIMG_9088_sm knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes (;

When you have resilience, you harness inner strength that helps you rebound from a setback or a challenge, such as job loss, an illness, a disaster or the death of a loved one. If you lack resilience, you might dwell on problems, feel victimized, become overwhelmed or turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse(;.

Resilience won’t make your problems go away-but resilience can give you the ability to see past them, find enjoyment in life and better handle stress. If you aren’t as resilient as you’d like to be, you can develop skills to become more resilient (;

In short, people who have resilience make the most of their situation. They learn how to navigate the bumps in the road of life. They not only survive. They thrive.


On a cold, February afternoon, Kitch and I had a chance encounter with a Marywood student who left an indelible mark on our souls.

After five weeks of preparation for a keynote address to be delivered IMG_9085_sat Marywood’s first Speed Networking event, the moment was literally minutes away when we met Abo Zahid who, in our opinion, is a classic face of resilience.

Abo Zahid greeted us with a beautiful smile and a kind word. His demeanor set the tone for the evening. As we walked to the Nazareth Student Center, I was taken by his congeniality and determination. He was polite, respectful and a joy to be with.

We talked several times during the evening. He introduced us to his friends, and we introduced him to Matthew Parkyn the student who invited us to speak at the event.

Before he left the venue to visit a friend in the hospital, he made a special effort to tell us he would be in touch.

He kept his promise.

His second note was so powerful, I asked for his permission to include his story in this article.

I slept yesterday in Moses hospital because my friend was desperate. She cried all night… My neck is hurting me, because I slept in the chair until 5 in the morning.

You know my friend, there was a time I wasn’t able to move my head, but I said to myself I have to walk or die so I walked because IIMG_9111_sm wanted to control my life.

I don’t want my family taking care of me. I can’t accept this idea. I want to take care of them.

I feel I’m like water. If you see water it is easy, simple and weak, but in reality nothing can stop water even mountains can’t stop water or a flood.

You know, I feel nothing can stop me. I have three dreams first walking and driving and you saw me driving yesterday; second studying in US; third I will keep it secret until I accomplish it then I will tell you about it.


I believed that if you think about anything and you believe it in your heart you can do it no matter what, because the human brain has strong and strange power… be patient, work on your dreams, smile and be positive all the time and look at the bright side at any problems.

There are people who look at the dark side don’t be like them.

Finally, if we expect the good things, the good thing will happen. If we expect bad things, bad things will happen.

I don’t believe in luck. "I’m the only one who creates my luck." Wish good luck that means expected good luck. AZ_sm

Finally and most importantly is to love all people no matter what their religion, color, race………..etc…

It is an honor to know and a pleasure to celebrate Abo Zahid. His life and his words give truth to Henry Ford’s famous thought about determination, and they compel us to ask ourselves Mr. Ford’s famous question:

“The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right. Which one are you?”

In deeds not words, Abo Zahid answers this question in an inspirational way every day of his life.

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An Evening of Connections at Marywood University

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

An Evening of Connections at Marywood University

Written by Tony Mussari, Sr.
Edited by Kitch Loftus-Mussari
Photographs by Kitch Loftus-Mussari and
Tony Mussari, Sr.
Copyright Mussari-Loftus Associates, LTD 2015
All Rights Reserved

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together
is success. Henry Ford

The Challenge

On a cold February afternoon, Kitch and I drove to the campus of Marywood University to participate in a Speed Networking event.1 Sign_MUSN Planned and organized by a small group of students who are majoring in Business and Managerial Science, it was the first of its kind held at the university.

Speed Networking enables students to connect with a wide range of individuals who can best be described as success stories, role models and mentors. According to those in the know, speed networking is a convenient and quick way to make professional contacts in a relaxed setting.

My assignment was one of the most challenging opportunities I have had 2 Matt _Ann_MUSNduring our Face of America Journey. The coordinator of the event, Matthew Parkyn, needed a keynote speaker. On January 5, he sent a note with this question:

I email you today to ask you if you would like to be my guest speaker for a program that my friends and I are setting up. The program will be on Thursday, February 12th, 5:30pm-7:30pm… As the speaker you will have 20-30 minutes of talking and 10-15 minutes of Q&A. Attached is a rough draft of what the event will entail.

I accepted Matthew’s invitation, and for the next five weeks, I spent most of my time working on a presentation that would encourage,5 AM__MUSN inform, and inspire those in attendance. As I learned more about the event, it became very obvious that to be successful the presentation had to resonate with three different groups: students, teachers and business people.

With a lot of encouragement from Kitch and wonderful cooperation from friends and people we met during our journey across America, I was able to construct a presentation that was designed to give the students an insight into what it means to be successful in business and in life and what constitutes a productive mentoring experience.

First Impressions

The tone for the evening was set by a student who was parking his car when we arrived. A pleasant exchange opened the door to wonderful 1 SAbo_MUSNconversation with Abo Zahid. As we walked to the Nazareth Student Center, I was taken with his resolve and his beautiful smile. He was polite, respectful and a joy to be with. Without knowing much about his background, it was obvious to me that he is a living example of resilience.

The atmosphere inside the student center was festive and1 Registration_MUSN relaxed. The students who worked at the registration desk were pleasant. Dr. Monica Law welcomed everyone she met with a kind word and an infectious smile.

Matthew was preoccupied with many things, but he took the time to help me set up my PowerPoint presentation.

Conversations with Sister Mariam Pfiefer and Dr. Murray Pyle made us feel like we were part of the Marywood family.

3 Kitch _Ann_MUSN

Kitch had a serendipitous reunion with Ann Montoro Williams. In the 80’s, Kitch and Ann covered many of the same news stories for their respective radio stations. Today, Ann is the Director of Alumni Engagement at Marywood.

Dr. Chris Speicher visited with Kitch to update her on the activities of our mutual friend and Marywood graduate, Kirwan Ameen.

3 Kitch _Gale _Sister_MUSN

When our dear friend Dr. Gale Jaeger entered the room, she took a seat next to Sister Mariam. While Gale was a member of the Marywood faculty, she originated the Annual Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility Conference. To this day, the conference is one of the premier events sponsored by the Business and Management division of the university.

The Presentation

4 Matt__MUSN

At the appointed hour, Matthew took his place at the podium. In the tradition of Speed Networking, he made brief remarks about the members of his committee, Katie and John. He welcomed everyone, and he explained the agenda for the evening. Then, he introduced my presentation.

To set the tone for the evening, I asked the students three questions:

Why are you attending this event?

What is your purpose?

What can I do to help you?

The students who responded emphasized their desire to improve themselves. One student put it this way: “I want to become a better person.”

After this exercise, I shared two quotations:

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.
Stephen R. Covey

I followed Dr. Covey’s insightful comment with a quotation from Dr. Dan Kopen, the surgeon who gave Kitch a second chance at life when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. When he started to practice medicine, his mother gave him this advice:

Treat every patient like they are family.

For the next 40 minutes, I followed Mrs. Kopen’s advice.

I shared a number life lessons, a summary of the essentials of mentoring and a list of suggestions for success in business and in life. Obviously, I cannot incorporate all of the material in this article, but I can tell you that the audience was engaged and receptive to the information. These are three ideas that got their attention:

Technology is a great servant, but a bad master.

There are 7 different types of mentors:


1. The wise leader (Senior Executive)
2. The life coach (HR Professional)
3. The teacher (Working with student)
4. Peer mentors (Colleague/friend)
5. The confidante (A sounding board)
6. The self help mentor (Books)
7. The inner mentor (Inner Voice)

Eliminate all or nothing thinking.

The Main Event

8 Table room__MUSN

During the networking session, Kitch and I observed students talking with business professionals and potential mentors. The atmosphere was relaxed and the participants were making the most this unique opportunity. There were 15 tables in the room, and virtually all of the seats were occupied.

9 Table 9__MUSN

At Table 9, Chris DiMattio was surrounded by Finance and Accounting majors who were interested in making contacts in the financial services industry. Chris is a Senior Vice President at FNC Bank. He is a frequent visitor to the Marywood campus. Abo Zahid was one of the students listening to Chris.

9 Table 7__MUSN

At Table 7, Ann Montoro Williams answered questions from four students as she helped them better understand how they could make the right contacts and build their network.

8 Table 4__MUSN

The smiles on the faces of Dr. Murray Pyle and his associates made it very clear that Speed Networking is an enjoyable experience. This message is reinforced by the last picture I 11 final pict_MUSNsnapped for this article. It records the moment just before Michele and Abo left the venue.

On this cold winter evening, the upper main dining room in the Nazareth Student Center at Marywood University was filled with people who were engaged in a wonderful, student organized communal activity. In every respect, it gave truth to the words used by Marywood to attract new students:

Marywood University is about more than higher education. It is about taking your education higher.

Congratulations Matthew, Katie and John. Kitch and I enjoyed the Speed Networking experience, and we think it is fair to say so did everyone who attended the event.

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Marywood University: A Place of Ethical Leadership

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Starred Thoughts about Leadership, Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

Written by Tony Mussari
Edited by Kitch Loftus-Mussari
Copyright 2014 All rights reserved
The Face of America Project
Mussari-Loftus Associates, LTD

Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. Warren Buffett

On a beautiful March day, our Face of America journey took usPgm to Marywood University for the 12th Annual Conference on Ethics, Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility. The theme of the conference was Professional Ethics and the Individual. The setting was pleasant. The participants were welcoming, and the presenters provided a cornucopia of beautiful thoughts about ethical behavior and responsibility.

The featured speakers included Edward K. Krause, Global Manager, External Alliance, Research and Advanced Engineering, Ford Motor Company, Atty. Mark L. Hefter, Vice President, American Technion Society, Dr. Sarah Kenehan, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Marywood University and Dr. Rodica Milena Zaharia, Fulbright Scholar, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania.

Dr. Uldarico Rex Dumdum, a man with a sharp mind, keen instincts and a joyful approach to life moderated the evening panel discussion.


Marywood students told the story about the work of the University’s Net Impact Club and the Fleming Ethics Bowl Team.

Dr. Frances Zauhar, Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Dr. Arthur Comstock, Chairman of the Department of Managerial Science at Marywood, offered warm remarks of welcome. They made everyone feel right at home.

Dr. Murray Pyle chaired the committee that organized the conference, and he did a wonderful job as the MC for the event.

Starred Thoughts

These are some of the transformational thoughts offered by the conference speakers:

1. Virtue ethics is a way of living.

2. Good values contribute to good behavior.

3. There is no dichotomy between being a good person and being a success in business.

4. The rules of ethics do not get in the way of making a profit.

5. We must rethink what a corporation is. It’s not just about maximizing profit. It’s about servicing societal demands and the public good.

6. There is no one approach to doing the right thing.

7. There is no conflict between doing the right thing and being successful.

8. There is no difference between giving your word and signing a contract.

9. If you say you are going to do something, do it.
IMG_4783_Gale Sister

10. You should not quit every time you have two bad days in a row.

11. Determine your ethics before the crisis develops.

12. You are not your job.

13. You can’t be honest without courage.

14. Courage is like muscle. The more you use it the more it develops.

15. You can be ethical and prosper.

Magic Moments

For Kitch and me, there were several magic moments during our 12-hour visit to Marywood. These are but a few:

Dr. Sarah Kenehan brought the concept of Virtue Ethics to life in an impressive and unforgettable way. If truth be told, she brought the teaching of the ancients to life, and she established a philosophical foundation for ethics, character and integrity that all students should be taught.


Listening to Dr. Rodica Zaharia talk about the difference between Romania under Communist rule and after the fall of Communism was interesting, inspiration and thought-provoking. Dr. Zaharia is a soft spoken person of great dignity and class. She has lived the story she told about Romania’s yesterday and today.

Without breaking the rules of confidentiality, Mark Hefter shared anIMG_4789_Mark experience he had as a fundraiser with a major donor. It was a compelling story about a difficult decision he had to make even though his colleagues did not think it necessary. In so doing, he served everyone in the room by introducing the dilemmas professionals face in a real world.

IMG_4844_ Ed Disclaimer

Edward Krause began his presentation with a very clear disclaimer that the story “has nothing to do with his present employer, the Ford Motor Company, and the names have been changed to protect the innocent.” Then he walked us through a case study about a faulty product that presented a number of ethical and legal issues for both the company and its higher level managers including himself. In a thoughtful and effective way, he used the “FluidTech” case study to demonstrate the importance of making the right decisions for the right reasons. In this case, it meant his resignation from a position he enjoyed.

Kitch and I were impressed by the students we met at Marywood. The officers of the Net Impact Club were disciplined, thoughtful and respectful.
IMG_475_net impact students1

IMG_4782_Fleming Ethics Bowl

The members of the Fleming Ethics Bowl Team made a wonderful presentation. In a very professional way, they reached out for feedback to strengthen their case. They wanted to learn and grow. They asked good questions and they listened intently to people who offered suggestions. Their teachers and parents have every reason to be proud of their accomplishments.

During her opening remarks, Dr. Zauhar asked this question: “What does it mean to be a good person in business?” ThanksIMG_4667_dean to the pioneering efforts of Dr. Gale Jaeger that question has become the foundation of the conference. For twelve years the administration, faculty and staff at Marywood University has made an honorable effort to answer that question in a way that will give students a competitive advantage in the workplace while guaranteeing them what Dr. Kenehan calls “a way of living, flourishing and being happy in the act of living well.”


Those of us who have experienced the bumps on the road of life know only too well that sometimes it is difficult to be a good person and do the right thing, but it is the only way to live a life without regrets.

On a cold March day, Kitch and I went to Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and there we found a mosaic of the Face of America on its best day. It is an image we will not soon forget.

Thank you, Gale Jaeger.

Thank you, Murray Pyle.

Thank you Rex, Ed, Mark, Sarah and Rodica.

Thank you Amy, Annette, Diane & Bill, Ellen, Jerry and Sister Mariam.

Thank you Marywood students, Net Impact, Prudential and One Point.

D. H. Lawrence said it best:

Ethics and equity and the principles of justice do not change with the calendar.

Kitch and I look forward to our reunion next year.

(Digital photographs by Kitch and Tony Mussari)

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Marywood University: A Day of Discovery

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

Marywood University: a Beacon of Leadership and Ethical Corporate Social Responsibility

Written by Tony Mussari, Sr.
Edited by Kitch Loftus-Mussari
Digital Photographs Tony Mussari
Copyright 2013
The Face of America Project
Mussari-Loftus Associates, LTD

Our people are paralyzed for want of confidence and leadership, and, unless they can be inspired with hope, we shall fail to do anything worthy of our State or Government.  Abraham Lincoln, June 30, 1863

Our Face of America journey took us to one of ourAnnouncement very favorite places this week, Marywood University. We were there to participate in the 11th Annual Forum and Conference on Ethical Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility.

The theme for this year’s, conference, “Outbehaving Your Competition,” was interesting, informative and very appropriate in this age distractions.

These are but a few of the things we learned from the speakers and participants who gave definition and meaning to this wonderful day of community, fellowship and learning:

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1. Don’t kill the competition. Outbehave the competition. Dr. Gale Jaeger, Forum Coordinator

2. Ethical leadership is positively impacting the people around you.  Dr. Art Comstock, Chairperson, Department of Business and Managerial Science, Marywood University

3. Ethical leadership is guided by values. Ms.PamG_2204 Pamela Genske, Director of Human Resources, Prudential Retirement

4. Effective leaders listen carefully to the opinions of others. Ms. Pamela Genske.


5. Marywood University’s undergraduate NET IMPACT: Students for Responsible Business Club was the first if its kind in the world.  Dr. Murray Pyle, Business faculty Marywood University

6. Corporate social responsibility is a hard-edgedLB_2239-001 business decision. Not because it is a  nice thing to do or because people are forcing us to do it…because it is good for our business. Mr. Lane Bunkers, Catholic Relief Services quoting Niall Fitzgerald, former CEO, Unilever


7. Over 3000 Fortune 100 companies publish Corporate Social Responsibility Reports. Dr. Ann Henry, Vice President Worldwide Operations, Cisco Systems Capital


8. At Marywood, we know how important it is today to demonstrate that responsible leaders exist. Sister Ann Munley, IHM, Ph.D., President, Marywood University

9. It is important for leaders at all levels to inspire and promote right action that determines the performance and culture of the whole group. Atty. Jane Carlonis, Oliver, Price & Rhodes

Ac_sm_c10. In the law, just like other professions, ethics is the core of all activity.  We all know that ethics should prevail on any decisions we make either in business or
professionally.  Atty. Jane Carlonis

11. Nitin Nohria, the new dean of the Harvard Business School, argues that we need leaders who demonstrate moral humility. Patrick McMahon, PresidentOP_2398 of One Point quoting from an article written by Ken Starkey and published in the Economist, 2/12/13.

12.Harvard Business School professor Nancy Koehn’s, statement about “Constant Turbulence” as the new normal certainly hit the nail on the head.  John Hawley, Business faculty, Marywood University

13. This quote from John C. Maxwell, I feel it is appropriate for the ethics forum and the choices we make as humans in our personal and professional lives.  “The choices you make; make you.” John C. Maxwell. Charles Thomas, student Marywood University

14. The presentation really engaged me on so many levels; reminding me to be accountable on a professional level, not so impulsive on a personal level and to be reflective & nurturing of my spiritual level. Jill Schroth, employee Marywood University

15. I’m well aware that work does not come before family or loved ones. Chole Elizabeth Karnick, student Marywood University

16.  You cannot be afraid to fail, because from failing it will lead you to better decisions later in life. Greg Chilson, student Marywood University


Our eleven hour visit to Marywood University was filled with memorable moments of friendship, community and learning. Kitch and I were impressed by the acts of kindness we received from members of the Marywood faculty, staff and students we met during our visit.

The conference and forum helped students better understand how they can outbehave the competition. It underlined the importance of ethics and corporate responsibility as the value added that will help executives and employees build a better society at home and lasting relationships abroad.

Dr. Art Comstock, summarized this wonderful day of collegiality with these words. The message to students is this: we must stay true to values, and that will help us become ethical leaders who are driven by honesty and doing the right thing.

Dr. Ann Henry put it another way, Corporate socialGaleths_2438 responsibility makes good business sense.

Dr. Gale Jaeger was absolutely right when she told the people attending the conference they would leave feeling less cynical knowing that good things are happening behind the scenes.

Thank you Prudential, One Point and Penn Security for sponsoring the 11th Annual Forum and Conference on Ethical Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility. In so doing, you give special meaning to the theme of the conference Outbehaving Your Competition.

Thank you Gale for all that you have done to make this conference one of the premier events at Marywood University. You are a genuine Face of America on its best day, and everyone who visited Marywood University on March 18, is in your debt.

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