"The time is right to showcase Isenberg's fantastic alumni in a stylish annual event like the school's Business Leadership Awards Dinner (IBLA)," observes Isenberg alumna and IBLA host committee member Beth Gamel '78 MSBA. Now in its second year, the annual gathering on June 18th at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston had a spectacular launch last June with its principal honoree and keynote speaker, Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington '97 M.S.
That's a hard act to follow, admits Gamel, but "we know we've succeeded again with this year's chief honoree and keynoter, David Fubini '76. "Some Isenberg alumni may be surprised to learn that one of our own has led McKinsey's New England office, its North American Organization Practice, and its Worldwide Merger Integration Practice," she continues. "With his laser-sharp intellect, David has been a brilliant and creative advisor to businesses globally and charitable and educational institutions locally. He is passionately committed to UMass and Isenberg, with deep roots in the Amherst campus where his grandfather was a dean (Machmer Hall was named in his honor). In other words, David is a terrific touchstone for Isenberg pride."
Gamel herself is an accomplished leader and innovator. In 1996, she cofounded Pillar Financial Advisors, a leading wealth management firm in Waltham. Last November, Pillar merged with Argen Wealth Management, taking its name. As Pillar's executive vice president, Gamel gained national visibility as an authority on personal financial planning, receiving honors from Worth Magazine for seven consecutive years as one of the nation's best in her profession. In 2010, she was the Boston Estate Planning Council's Estate Planner of the Year.
Engagement in philanthropic causes-including UMass Amherst and Isenberg-has always been essential to Gamel's identity as a leader. In 2010 she created an annual scholarship for a female Isenberg student in good academic standing and financial need. As a member of the UMass Amherst Foundation Board, she has encouraged alumnae generosity. "At Isenberg and UMass, we have to build a culture of generosity-in both service and financial support-that involves students from day one; a culture that builds on consistency," she emphasizes.
"I will always be grateful to Isenberg for its role in helping me gain a pathway for my career," observes Gamel. "My master's degree in business gave me an entry into business and finance just as the doors were opening for women." Gamel added that as an Isenberg student she received consistent encouragement from a community that valued her strengths and helped her to acquire new, marketable skills. "With that said, I am especially pleased that Christina Calvaneso '03, will receive the IBLA event's Young Alumni Award. Christina, I'm sure, will be the first of many female honorees to come."