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Gala2012

Wisconsin School of Business Honored Successful Alumni at Annual Gala

by Lavilla Capener, Staff Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Wisconsin School of Business honored notable alumni Oct. 26 at its annual gala, a celebration that included appearances by Dean François Ortalo-Magné, Bucky Badger, and members of the UW Marching Band.

Award winners included retired Time executive Ruth Nelson; young entrepreneurs Corey Capasso and Andrew Ferenci, who co-founded the social commerce and analytics platform Spinback; Westlake Chemical executive Don Condon, Jr.; Freeflow Technology president John Kenny; and Procter & Gamble executive Ann Schwister.

Nelson was the recipient of the Distinguished Business Alumnus Award, which recognizes graduates of the Wisconsin School of Business who achieve outstanding success in their careers and have given back in meaningful ways to the community and University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. It is the highest honor given by the school.

Capasso and Ferenci both received the Young Business Alumnus Award, which recognizes recent graduates who have achieved early notable success in their careers.

Condon, Kenny, and Schwister earned the Shape the Future Volunteer Award, which recognizes alumni and friends who have given time and expertise to help create transformational experiences for Wisconsin School of Business students.

More information about the winners is listed below:

—Ruth Nelson, a 1948 graduate of the Wisconsin School of Business, is a retired executive of American Family Publishers (AFP), a subsidiary of Time, Inc. At the time of her retirement in 1998, she was the vice president of publisher relations for the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom. Since retiring, she has served as the director of the Center for Christian Studies at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church (FAPC) and a volunteer consultant at National Executive Service Corps (NESC), a non-profit organization that provides professional services to support nonprofit clients.

— Corey Capasso, a 2009 graduate of the Wisconsin School of Business, is originally from Woodcliff Lake, NJ. While in college, he co-founded an online student ticket network called ExchangeHut.com. In 2009, Corey co-founded Spinback, a social commerce and analytics platform for product sharing, with two former UW-Madison classmates, Andrew Ferenci and Daniel Reich. In 2011, Spinback was acquired by Buddy Media, which was later acquired by Salesforce.com. He was also recognized by BusinessWeek as one of America’s best entrepreneurs under 25.

—Andrew Ferenci, a 2009 graduate of the Wisconsin School of Business, is originally from Minneapolis. At the age of 19, he started an ecommerce retailer of collegiate apparel called College Shack. In 2009, Ferenci co-founded Spinback, a social commerce and analytics platform for product sharing, with two former UW-Madison classmates, Corey Capasso and Daniel Reich. In 2011, Spinback was acquired by Buddy Media, which was later acquired by Salesforce.com. In 2009, Ferenci was named by Business Insider as one of the top 25 most influential people in New York Tech.

—Don Condon, Jr., a 1974 graduate of the Wisconsin School of Business, is originally from Brodhead, Wis., and is the vice president for corporate development for Westlake Chemicals Corporation. He has sponsored consulting projects for students with Westlake. Condon also conducts mock interviews with and individually mentors students, meeting with them while on campus and in Houston and conducts mock interviews.

—John Kenny, a 1972 graduate of the Wisconsin School of Business, is the president of Freeflow Technologies. He has helped place Wisconsin School of Business students in internships and full-time positions, guest lectured at the Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management, and has assisted with organizing and financing global trips for students.

—Ann Schwister, a 1989 graduate of the Wisconsin School of Business, is originally from Pewaukee, Wis., and is the CFO for Global Oral Care at Procter & Gamble. Schwister is the P&G university liaison for UW-Madison in Cincinnati. She is also a champion for UW-Madison students at P&G, and has been integral in enhancing the strong allegiance alumni have with the Wisconsin School of Business.