Beta Gamma Sigma Chapter Honoree

Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) is the international honor society serving business programs accredited by AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Membership in Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest recognition a business student anywhere in the world can receive in a business program accredited by AACSB International.

The Chapter Honoree award is conferred upon those who have furthered the ideals of the Society through outstanding business and managerial leadership. Any person who has achieved distinction primarily in business and administration who possesses those qualities that Beta Gamma Sigma fosters may be nominated as chapter honoree by the chapter.

2014 Recipient

Mark Peterson with Lori Hollenbeck and David Martin

Mark Peterson ’83

Mark Peterson serves as President and CEO of the Greater Rochester Enterprise and has an outstanding background in regional economic development, financial administration, and high-level fundraising. By positioning the Greater Rochester region as a highly attractive target destination for businesses, continually marketing the region, raising funds, and attracting new business opportunities, he and the GRE team have successfully recruited dozens of new companies to the area, creating thousands of jobs and more than $500 million in new investment into the region.

A certified fundraising executive since 1992, Peterson has an impressive history of garnering more than $120 million at several world-class nonprofit organizations. In 2009, he was honored as the Robert A. Clinger Outstanding Professional Fundraiser by the Genesee Valley Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Peterson is also very dedicated to giving back to his community and serves on a number of non-profit boards. He is currently the Chairman of the Board for CDS Monarch, one of the largest non-profit organizations in the region. And in 2008, he helped found St. John Bosco School, an independent Catholic school in Rochester that has received national recognition.

In 2011, Peterson was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo as a member of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, and he continues to serve on the council’s Executive Committee.


2013 Recipient

Patricia Leva Portrait

Patricia J. Leva

Patricia J. Leva is President & CEO of Junior Achievement of Rochester, New York Area, Inc. (“JA”), a non-profit organization dedicated to delivering financial literacy, workforce preparedness and entrepreneurship programs to youths in grades K-12.

She has led the organization since 2008, delivering student growth of over 8% annually, to a 2012 record of over 14,000 students. She has grown student contact hours, a key measurement of impact of JA programs, by more than 50% from 60,000 hours to over 91,000 hours in 2012. She has reduced the organization’s cost per student to under $35, and created the first Board Restricted Fund to help ensure the perpetuity of JA programs. The organization now boasts over 600 active volunteers in the community. JA of Rochester has received the coveted JA USA Peak Performance Award three times under her leadership, an award provided to only 12 of 123 national offices annually.

She interacts regularly with business, academic and community leaders in a nine-county territory, from Monroe County to the Pennsylvania border, advocating for JA’s critical life skills and mentoring programs. Prior to starting this role in June 2008, Leva was Director of Development for eighteen months.

Leva also has a 15-year history in the for-profit arena, as Vice President of JPMorgan Chase and its predecessors. She has held various positions within the retail, commercial and investment bank, including credit management and commercial lending, with a particular focus on merger and acquisition and leveraged buy-out financing. Prior to her departure in January 2004, she served as Director of Syndications for the national Asset-Based Lending team. She is a graduate of the esteemed Chase MBA Wholesale Finance Program. While at the Bank, she was an active instructor in the Upstate Credit Analyst Program and an instructor of accounting for the American Institute of Banking.

A graduate of Nazareth College of Rochester and Alfred State College, Leva has a degree in Business and was also a NYS certified teacher in Secondary Business Education. She is currently a Board Member of the Monroe County School to Business Partnership, a member of the Monroe County Superintendent’s Public Advisory Committee, a member of the national JA USA Strategic Planning Financial Sustainability Committee, and a Trustee of the Rochester Community Boating Foundation. She was a founding partner of the Greater Rochester Financial Literacy Initiative. She is a former Board Member, Secretary, and Annual Campaign Chair for the Center for Youth Services, as well as a former Board Member of Crestwood Children’s Center/Hillside Family of Agencies and the Rochester Women’s Network. She spends countless hours in local classrooms teaching JA programs, mentoring many young women in their career pursuits, and advising on various fundraising initiatives in the community.

Leva has been recognized for her various accomplishments, including as a JA Worldwide Robert Flemke Award Finalist, an RWN Up and Coming Award recipient, and various financial industry awards, including JPMorgan’s ABL 2002 Deal of the Year Award.

Leva resides in West Irondequoit, with her husband Patrick and their three children, Nicole, Samuel, and Isabella.


Jim Leo at microphone

2012 Recipient

James J. Leo ’71

James Leo is a 1971 graduate of St. John Fisher College with a degree in Accounting. He joined Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. in 1978, and is currently Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

James first held the position of Cash Manager in the Corporate Office and later obtained other titles which included Corporate Controller, Food Division Controller, and Manager of Banking and Insurance.

He continues to remain involved at St. John Fisher College as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council and the Accounting Advisory Board.

James has proven to be both a strong leader and successful businessman and has utilized his vast skills not only in business but to help his community and alma mater as well.


Victor Salerno Portrait

2011 Recipient

Victor E. Salerno ’66

Vic Salerno joined O’Connell Electric in 1971. The company has since become one of the largest electrical and communications contractors in the country, with headquarters in Victor and branch offices in Buffalo and Syracuse, New York.

Mr. Salerno has become a valued contributor to the Fisher campus community as a member and past president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, the Accounting Awards Banquet Committee, and the Fisher Scholarship Golf Tournament Committee. He was also involved in the formation of the DuPlessis/Wolfe Accounting Alumni Society.

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