by Jennifer Oliver
Eight business executives honored at 14th Annual Robinson College Alumni Awards
ATLANTA – Healthcare executive Kevin E. Lofton was honored by the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University with the college’s highest honor, the Hall of Fame Award, during the 14th Annual Robinson College Alumni Awards. Lofton, who earned his master of science in health administration from the Robinson College in 1979, serves as chief executive officer of Englewood, Colorado-based Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the largest healthcare systems in the country.
In presenting the award to Lofton, Robinson College Dean Richard Phillips said, “Kevin Lofton is one of the most innovative and respected healthcare executives on the planet. We’re proud to call him one of our own and we’re prouder still to present him with the 2016 Robinson Hall of Fame Award.”
The Robinson Hall of Fame Award is reserved for alumni and non-alumni who have made sustained and meritorious contributions to business during their careers and who serve as a role model to Robinson College students.
Lofton currently serves on the boards of Gilead Sciences Inc. and Rite Aid Corp., and the board of visitors at the UAB School of Medicine. He previously served on the Robinson College of Business advisory board (2005-11). In recognition of his outstanding leadership, innovation, and management accomplishments, Lofton has been included in Modern Healthcare magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” for 12 consecutive years.
Seven other business executives also were honored at the Alumni Awards.
The Robinson Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Joy Atkinson, president of Firmenich’s Body & Home Care Division of North America. Firmenich is a privately owned company in the perfume and flavor business.
Today, Atkinson and her body home care team hold the leadership position in the fragrance industry in the U.S. She graduated from the Robinson College in 1983 with a B.A. in business management.
Regynald G. Washington, CEO of Hojeij Branded Foods, was presented with the Robinson Honorary Alumnus Award. The award honors individuals for their unique contributions that singularly qualify them for special recognition as a member of the Robinson College community and family. In 2015, Washington gifted a one-million-dollar endowment to support Robinson’s Master of Global Hospitality Management program, which is now named the Regynald G. Washington Master of Global Hospitality Management in recognition of his impact.
The Robinson Outstanding Young Alumna Award was presented to Eleanor Fulton, vice president of risk management for Purchasing Power, a fast-growing company that created a unique and innovative employee purchase program. The Outstanding Young Alumna Award honors alumni who have graduated from the Robinson College within the last 15 years for outstanding contributions to the fields of business or public service. Fulton earned a master of international business in 2004.
Four individuals were recognized for playing instrumental roles in the success of Robinson’s signature program, Panthers on Wall Street. Now recruiting for its 10th cohort, Panthers on Wall Street is a highly selective, multi-faceted program for Robinson’s best and brightest students that culminates in a four-day experience visiting some of the top financial firms in New York.
The Alumni Awards for Service to the Robinson College went to Jefferson Harralson, Michael Ivie, Thor O’Connell and Travis Steed. The award honors alumni whose dedication and volunteer service have significantly enriched the substance of the Robinson College.
Jefferson L. Harralson earned his MBA in finance from the Robinson College as well as his chartered financial analyst designation in 1991. He joined Keefe, Bruyette & Woods in 2002 and is responsible for its small and mid-cap bank research groups. Harralson was instrumental in the launch of the Panthers on Wall Street program and has personally hosted the group annually since its inception. He also regularly serves as a coach and mentor to program participants.
Michael J. Ivie received a master of science in finance and an MBA in risk management & insurance from the Robinson College. He runs the risk & finance consulting practice for Linium in New York City. Ivie is an alum of the Panthers on Wall Street program and supports the annual selection and preparation process each class engages in by returning to Atlanta to attend recruiting events and deliver presentations. He also is a founding member of the Panthers on Wall Street advisory board.
A 2007 graduate of the Robinson College with an MBA in finance, Thor O’Connell is employed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch as a credit analyst in the Global Loan Portfolio Management group. O’Connell played a key role in the development of the Panthers on Wall Street program by providing lodging for the participants through his involvement in the New York Athletic Club. In addition, he has regularly hosted the group and served as a resource to students since the program’s inception.
Travis L. Steed earned a master of science in finance from the Robinson College in 2011 and is currently a vice president at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in equity research on the Institutional Investor (II) ranked medical technology team. Steed participated in the first class of Panthers on Wall Street and has been actively involved in the program since 2008. He is a founding member and serves on the Panthers on Wall Street advisory board.
The Robinson College of Business is a community of students, educators, and professionals who specialize in discovering insights that drive smarter business decisions. Home to more Georgia executives than any other school, our programs are designed to push beyond the classroom and offer experiences that bridge the gap between business education and the business world.