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55th Annual Business Alumni Association Award Winners - 2019

Blanca Shulan Huang and Somphote Ahunai, International Distinguished Alumni Honorees

Blanca Shulan Huang (MBA ’92) is a former executive at Energy Absolute Public Company Ltd. She specialized in information systems technology and systems development. Prior to Energy Absolute, she worked at Electrolux Taiwan, General Motors Taiwan, and NCR.

Somphote Ahunai (MBA ’92) is CEO of Energy Absolute Public Company Ltd. He previously worked as a securities trader and held the certification of Chartered Financial Analyst. Later he became a venture capitalist, before founding Energy Absolute with Blanca Shulan Huang and several partners.

Based in Bangkok, Thailand, Energy Absolute Public Company Ltd. is an energy company engaged in the renewable energy business. The company manufactures and distributes biodiesel products, generates electricity from solar and wind power, and invests in energy storage units.

Mary Mancini Hartner, Distinguished Alumna Honoree

Mary Mancini Hartner (MBA ‘75) is the president of Mancini’s Bakery, a family-owned and -operated Italian bakery in McKees Rocks, Pa. As a true Pittsburgh staple, Mancini’s has been baking its finer Italian bread since 1926. Hartner began working at the bakery in 1977 and became president after her father retired. With her son and co-owner, Nick, Mancini’s Bakery opened another location in the Strip District. The bakery still churns out all of the old favorites the old fashioned way, baking over 10,000 loaves of bread per day with an amazing team of 48 Pittsburghers. Through Mancini’s Bakery, Hartner has helped provide support for countless organizations, such as food pantries, church programs, youth sports, and local schools in the Pittsburgh area.

Jerry J. Fedele, Distinguished Alumnus Honoree

Under Jerry J. Fedele’s (MBA ‘86) leadership, Boca Raton Regional Hospital has soared to become the #1 hospital in Palm Beach County, #3 in south Florida, and #13 in Florida according to U.S. News and World Report. Prior to his role at Boca Regional, Fedele served as president and CEO of West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS), now named Allegheny Health Network. He designed and implemented a plan to form WPAHS through the removal of Allegheny General and three community hospitals from the largest health system failure in U.S. history. The years Fedele led WPAHS were the only years of organizational profitability. Fedele serves on the Board of Visitors at Pitt Business and as a frequent lecturer at Florida Atlantic University.

Ira J. Gumberg, H.J. Zoffer Medal for Meritorious Service Award Honoree

Ira J. Gumberg (A&S ‘75) is the chairman and CEO of J. J. Gumberg Co., a leading real estate development company that maintains a portfolio of numerous shopping centers throughout the U.S. and the subcontinent of India. He launched Gumberg Global, where he engages in international real estate development with a focus on emerging markets. As a third-generation leader, he has been instrumental in growing the company through the analysis of retail trends, recruitment and development of his executive team, and the ability to act decisively to maximize new opportunities. In addition to a number of board appointments, he serves on the Board of Directors at UPMC, as a Trustee of the University of Pittsburgh, and as chairman of the Pitt Business Board of Visitors.

Robert J. Gilbert, Distinguished Service Award Honoree

Distinguished Service Award Honoree Robert J. Gilbert (PhD ‘97) is a clinical associate professor at Katz/CBA, where he teaches marketing, advertising, and promotions. His research mainly focuses on the areas of branding and brand management. He also consults with firms across a number of industries, including international trade and advertising, as well as with a number of not-forprofit organizations. In his most recent nonacademic position, he served as the director of marketing for Bell Atlantic’s Directory Publishing Division. He serves on the Undergraduate Programs Committee for CBA and as the Secretary to the University of Pittsburgh Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma. Gilbert is a recipient of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award and a six-time winner of the CBA Teacher of the Year Award.

Kirsten R. Albert, CBA Outstanding Alumna Honoree

Kirsten R. Albert (BSBA ‘01) is an assurance partner at PwC in Pittsburgh, and has over 17 years of experience serving a broad range of clients covering a variety of industries. Kirsten’s client and firm roles have provided her with deep technical accounting and reporting experience, as well as an extensive global network of contacts needed to help solve the complicated issues faced by her clients. Kirsten also serves as a leader in PwC’s Midwest Market for Audit Innovation and PwC Pittsburgh’s Diversity and Inclusion Network. In these roles, she champions the digital upskilling of her team to drive accelerated innovation, and focuses on developing and mentoring diverse business professionals. Kirsten serves on the Board of Directors of The Neighborhood Academy.

EATON CORPORATION: Corporate Appreciation Award Honoree 

Eaton, a power management company, is dedicated to improving people’s lives and the environment with power management technologies that are reliable, efficient, safe, and sustainable. Eaton is made up of more than 98,000 employees and conducts business in more than 175 countries. Its energy-efficient products and services help customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical power. Consistent with their values and desire to improve the quality of life for people and the environment, Eaton’s brand promises to “make what matters work.” Award was accepted by Craig Gob, VP/GM Electrical Engineering Services and Systems, Eaton.