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Loyola recognizes outstanding alumni, hosts banking panel

Loyola press release - March 27, 2009

The Loyola University New Orleans College of Business Alumni Board honored two distinguished alumni and hosted a lively panel discussion on the state of the banking system in southeast Louisiana Friday at its 24th annual College of Business Alumni Luncheon at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel.

Mary Jo Jacobi, B’73, Civil Service Commissioner appointed by Queen Elizabeth II, was awarded the 2009 Alumna of the Year Award by board president Olivia Ventola, B’99. A former senior executive at Royal Dutch Shell, Leman Brothers and HSBC holdings, Jacobi has a wealth of business experience. She also served as a senior adviser to Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan and was the first female to chair the board of the Ladies Professional Golf Association.

Jacobi credited her parents’ devotion to education and Loyola’s rigorous course of study for preparing her for an exciting career.

"Not many people can say they started out in a small town in Mississippi and went on to advise two presidents and the Queen of England," Jacobi said. "Loyola has served me well through a variety of jobs."

Ventola also recognized Kyle Berner, B’03, founder of Feelgoodz eco-friendly flip flops, as 2009 Young Alumnus of the Year.

College of Business Dean William Locander spoke briefly on the status of the college and the new academic programs and publications he has instituted, before turning the program over to WDSU anchor Travers Mackel, A’98.

Mackel led a frank and provocative discussion with a spectacular panel of local, regional and national banking practitioners, including:

· Barry Bleakley - Chief Financial Officer, Omni Bank

· J. Michael "Mickey" Brown, C’91 - President and CEO, First Bank and Trust

· Karl Hoefer - Market President, IberiaBank

· Joseph S. Exnicios, L’90 – Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer, Whitney Bank

· Scott Howard - Commercial Banking Executive, Regions Bank

· John Kallenborn - President, Chase Louisiana.

More than 250 people attended the luncheon and panel discussion.

The mission of the College of Business is to provide a superior values-laden education that motivates and enables students to become effective and socially responsible business leaders. For more information on the College of Business, contact Catherine Koppel in the Office of Public Affairs at ckoppel@loyno.edu or 504-861-5448.