This is the obituary for Colonel Gerald Russell who passed away at Mount Nittany Medical Center on February 24, 2014 . He was 97 years old.
Colonel Gerald Russell, MBA’62, was a true American Hero who devoted his life to his family, his country and to his community.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island, he was one of five sons and one daughter of the late Ellen and Thomas Russell. His sister Eileen survives in Massachusetts.
The Colonel grew up in a family surrounded by love and encouragement, the seeds planted for a life spent giving and serving others. He graduated from La Salle Academy in Providence, excelling in both academics and athletics. He was the National Schoolboy Miler winner in his senior year and was awarded a Track scholarship to attend Boston College.
A graduate of Boston College with a degree in history, the Colonel was the first alternate for the 1940 US Olympic Team in the 800 meters. Athletics and track were a lifelong passion and he later served as Military representative to the 1968 (Mexico) US Olympic team and on the US Olympic site selection committee. He was the United States representative to the Conseil International du Sports Militaire in 1967. As a USA Track and Field Master level certified Finish Judge, he officiated at the Millrose Games in Madison Square Garden and at the Penn Relays, Colonel Russell remained connected to the track community well into his retirement. The Colonel was instrumental in starting and eventually coaching the United States Marine Corps (USMC) track team.
Immediately upon graduation from Boston College, the Colonel enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was commissioned 2nd Lt. as a member of the first Officer Candidate Course offered by the USMC. His remarkable and unparalleled military career included deployments on Guadalcanal where he was wounded and contracted malaria and at Iwo Jima, where he fought for all 36 days in one of the most horrific battles in American history.
As Battalion Commander, the Colonel was responsible for leading 1,000 troops and was one of the youngest Battalion Commanders in World War II at age 27 at Guadalcanal and age 29 on Iwo Jima. He was wounded on Iwo Jima and witnessed the historical raising of the American flag on Mount Suribachi.
He commanded one of the first units to land in Japan and provided protection for the U.S. technical teams covering the atomic bomb site in Nagasaki. He accepted surrender of the Tushima Islands off the coast of Japan. A career Marine with promotions and assignments taking him to, among other places, Quantico, Camp LeJeune and to the U.S. European Command in Paris, the Colonel served in the Korean War where he was once again wounded.
He served as Commander of the U. S. Ground Level Defense Forces at Guantanamo Bay during the Cuban Missile crisis. Throughout his military career, he served in a variety of leadership roles with diversity in service including instructor for Officers Basic School in Quantico; NROTC staff at the University of Oklahoma; Marine Corps Research and Development Staff; Director of Amphibious Warfare School and as Commanding Officer 8th Marine Infantry Regiment – Camp LeJeune.
He retired from the Marine Corps in 1968 during the Viet Nam conflict. In addition to being promoted to the rank of Colonel, he was one of the highest decorated Marines in World War II. Colonel Russell was awarded the Republic of Korea Distinguished Service Medal, Bronze Star with ”V” for Valor, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, Purple Heart Medal with two gold stars, U.S. Presidential Citation with four stars, Korean Presidential Unit Citation with three stars, Navy Meritorious Unit Citation, the Defense Medal, Asiatic Pacific Medal with three stars, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Medal, World War II Japan Occupation Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, among others.
At the time of his death, he was one of only two surviving Battalion Commanders from Iwo Jima.
The complete obituary can be found here.
Posted by gwsb on March 7, 2014 | Filed under: Alumni News,Classnotes.
Marion Woodfork Simmons, BBA ’83, received the 2013 Caroline Historical Society Award in recognition for her tremendous efforts to research, document, promote, and preserve the history of Caroline County, Virginia. She is the owner of Woodfork Genealogy LLC in Burtonsville, Maryland whose mission is to empower ordinary people to take an active role in preserving family and community history. In 2009, she initiated the Union High History Project to preserve the history of Caroline County Virginia’s only high school for Negroes during segregation. The final result of the project was a self-published book titled Memories of Union High: An Oasis in Caroline County, Virginia 1903 to 1969. Ms. Simmons has been recognized for her outstanding achievements by the Caroline County Board of Supervisor’s and the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. Her book, Memories of Union High, has received the USA Best Book Award and the National Indie Excellence Books Award.
Posted by gwsb on February 3, 2014 | Filed under: Alumni News,Classnotes.
Ira L. Gleser, MBA ’83
Ira Gleser, MBA ’83, has a proven track record of building and activating brands by connecting them to B2B and B2C audiences in an engaging, meaningful way. He possesses a broad perspective gained from working in management and leadership roles in the beverage, foodservice, hospitality, financial services, consumer durables and retail industries.
Having worked on both the agency and client side, Ira has extensive experience in creating integrated marketing communications programs and campaigns to grow brands and businesses, and developing robust relationships with clients/customers, key stakeholders, and agency partners.
In his most recent role as Vice President, Industry Communications at Coca-Cola, Ira led the strategic planning, creation and execution of B2B communications programs and industry engagement initiatives in North America supporting Coca-Cola’s value proposition and creating thought leadership presence in the retail and foodservice/on-premise industries. In addition to his sixteen-plus years at Coca-Cola serving in a variety of marketing and customer management roles, Ira has worked with a number of industry leaders over the course of his career including Marriott Hotels, Charles Schwab, MGM Mirage, Tyson Foods, Burger King, Newell Rubbermaid and Lowe’s.
In 2013 Ira launched Amplify Marketing Communications, a firm focused on helping brands and organizations connect more effectively with B2B audiences by “amplifying” their value proposition and key brand messages through the development and execution of impactful marketing communications.
Posted by gwsb on January 6, 2014 | Filed under: Alumni News,Classnotes.
Grant Thornton LLP has expanded the role of Detroit-based Philip Gaglio, MBA ’87 within its Midwest Valuation Services practice. In addition to his current responsibilities as the Valuation Services practice leader in Detroit, Gaglio will play a larger role in further growing the firm’s Midwest valuation practices in Chicago, Cincinnati, Minneapolis and Milwaukee. He will also assist by expanding the group’s valuation-related service offerings while helping to address any risk issues. “With more companies being bought and sold as a result of the strengthening economy, demand for our services has increased,” said Mark Sullivan, leader of Grant Thornton’s Midwest Forensic and Valuation Services practice. “As our Valuation practices continue to grow, Phil’s expertise in mergers and acquisitions, tax matters, financial reporting, Employee Stock Ownership Plans and litigation support will be invaluable. I appreciate his taking on this expanded role.”
Gaglio has more than 25 years of valuation, financial analysis and litigation support experience. He has been a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) since 1993 and has valued numerous public and private companies as well as intangible assets across a wide variety of industry sectors such as manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, retail and technology. In addition to his considerable valuation experience, Gaglio has done work in connection with quantifying economic damages in litigated matters such as breach of contract cases, shareholder disputes, labor matters and marital dissolutions. He has qualified and testified as an expert witness on numerous occasions in U.S. district court and various state circuit courts. Gaglio is a past president and former board member of the CFA Society of Detroit. He is also a member of the Institute of Business Appraisers and the American Society of Appraisers (Candidate Member). Gaglio serves on the Healthcare Committee of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants and is part of the Michigan ESOP Association’s Executive Committee. He is past president of the Grosse Pointe, Mich., Sunrise Rotary. Gaglio received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in business administration from The George Washington University.
About Grant Thornton LLP Grant Thornton LLP is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd. Grant Thornton International Ltd and its member firms are not a worldwide partnership, as each member firm is a separate and distinct legal entity. In the United States, visit Grant Thornton LLP at www.GrantThornton.com.
Posted by gwsb on December 16, 2013 | Filed under: Alumni News,Classnotes.
440 First Street NW
Evan Weisman, MBA ’07, Director of Development at First Potomac Realty Trust in Washington, DC, along with his team, recently received LEED Platinum Certification for 440 First Street, NW, a newly redeveloped office building located in the prominent Capitol Hill submarket. The project is only the ninth LEED CS Platinum certified building in Washington, DC.
The LEED Platinum designation recognizes a building’s sustainable design and construction practices, which increase profitability while reducing a building’s negative environmental impact. The 140,000-square-foot, Class A redeveloped building boasts a glass curtain wall design that allows an abundance of natural light into the space and provides views of the Capitol and the Washington Monument. 440 First Street also features two rooftop terraces, a conference center/boardroom, a state-of-the-art fitness center and underground parking, as well as ground floor retail and restaurant space. 440 First Street utilizes the first ever DOAS HVAC system in Washington, DC. The installation makes use of an innovative HVAC system that provides a superior level of air quality for tenants and uses far less energy than a traditional HVAC system.
Posted by gwsb on December 9, 2013 | Filed under: Alumni News,Classnotes.
Asha Aravindakshan, BBA ’02 and Shejal Desai Carpenter, BBA ’98 are bringing a sustainable clean water solution to 231+ villagers in Orissa, India through their “Get Moving. Get Thirsty. Get Charitable” fundraising campaign for charity: water.
Shejal and Asha were inspired to conduct this original campaign following a GWSB Conversations on Creative Leadership series event featuring charity: water’s Paull Young. They dedicated September to appreciate water – by promoting health and wellness – Get Moving to Get Thirsty. With their integrated fundraising campaign, they shared this journey daily via social media to inspire their community to Get Charitable. The original goal to raise $7,000 in donations was surpassed within 3 weeks, and currently, nearly 100 family and friends donated $10,000+ to help half a village and sponsors contributed $3000. They hosted five events to engage donors, culminating in a Donor Appreciation Party at The Graham Hotel. To learn more about charity: water and this innovative campaign, please visit http://my.charitywater.org/gethirsty.
Posted by gwsb on December 2, 2013 | Filed under: Alumni News,Classnotes.
Chris Atkinson, CCAS BA ’98, GWSB MPA ’00, recently published his first book, Toward Resilient Communities: Examining the Impacts of Local Governments in Disasters(Routledge).
The book examines how local government institutions affect pre-and post-disaster community and business resilience. Utilizing both survey methods and interviews, Atkinson analyzes the disasters that occurred in New Orleans, LA, Palm Beach County, FL, and Minot, ND.
Atkinson has taught courses in the School of Public Administration at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL. In addition to a BA and MPA from GW, he received a PhD from Florida Atlantic University.
Posted by gwsb on November 25, 2013 | Filed under: Alumni News,Classnotes.
Gary N. Aiken, MBA ’08, was recently promoted to Chief Analyst and Risk Management Officer at the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA). Mr. Aiken is a former President of the Professional MBA Student Association.
Posted by gwsb on October 16, 2013 | Filed under: Alumni News,Classnotes.
Brad Berman, BBA ’78, is the new shipping finance partner in Norton Rose Fulbright’s New York office. Norton Rose Fulbright is a global legal practice with more than 3800 lawyers based in 50+ cities across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.
Berman focuses his practice on maritime and corporate finance, offshore incorporation, including Marshall Islands and Liberian law, and private wealth planning. He has represented ship owners, operators, investors and lenders in transactional ship finance matters, including capital markets, debt and equity, and mergers and acquisitions.
Previously, Berman served as executive director at the Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry, the second-largest in the world with nearly 4,000 ships, where he managed the corporate and shipping program.
Berman is chairman of INTERTANKO’s Associate Members Committee, president of the Connecticut Maritime Association’s 501 (c) (3) Education Foundation and a past chair of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York Admiralty Committee. He received his JD from New York Law School, his MBA from City University of New York Baruch College and his BBA from GW. Berman is admitted to practice law in New York, Connecticut and Florida.
Posted by gwsb on October 16, 2013 | Filed under: Alumni News,Classnotes.
Sarah Woodall, MTA, ’13, promotes Greenland through her work with Visit Greenland, the country’s national tourism board, where she has worked since May 2012.
Woodall works on the organization’s mapping project, which focuses on tourism market segmentation. On Sept. 21, Woodall presented “Greenland in Facts, Figures, and Segments,” at the Vestnorden Travel Mart 2013 in Nuuk, Greenland, a trade show for the three countries in the North Atlantic Tourism Association: Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Iceland.
Posted by gwsb on October 1, 2013 | Filed under: Classnotes,GWSB News.