Goizueta held its annual alumni award celebration on Feb. 9 at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. PHOTO: Allison Shirreffs

“Our alums are our advocates,” Larry Benveniste, Dean of Goizueta Business School, told a group of alumni and guests gathered for the 2012 Alumni Awards Celebration, held Feb. 9 at Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

Prior to the event, Steven Greenfeld 04EvMBA, VP of Business Development, AutoTrader.com, the evening’s master of ceremonies, and President of the Goizueta Alumni Board, explained he gives back to the school because of “the value” he has derived from his Goizueta education.

“If I can do my little part to keep the network connected, I can provide value to the individuals and the school as a whole,” Greenfeld said.

The first award of the evening went to Nsombi Ricketts 06MBA, Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. Ricketts is an alumna of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, an organization that awards scholarships to assist underrepresented minority students in earning their MBAs and advancing their careers. For her efforts on behalf of diversity and inclusion, Peter Aranda, Executive Director and CEO of the organization and Alicia Sierra, Director of Diversity and Community Initiatives at Goizueta presented Ricketts with the Consortium Anniversary Award.

Ricketts served as the President of Goizueta’s Black MBA Association and helped launch the school’s Diverse Leadership Conference (now in its seventh year).

“It’s always important to make a difference,” she said. “Figure out what you’re passionate about and use that to make an impact.”

David Tuder 06BBA and Associate—Leveraged Finance at Citigroup was the recipient of the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award for his role in establishing a strong relationship between Goizueta and Citigroup. Tuder explained he’s doing what makes sense: If Citigroup makes great hires, it does well.

That reflects well on Goizueta, and alumni find value in that.

“It’s win-win,” he said.

When Tuder was hired by Citigroup in 2006, Matthew “Matt” Vandivort, a Goizueta alum then working at Citigroup, took Tuder under his wing.

“I’ve tried to do the same type of thing,” said Tuder.

During his tenure as captain of Citigroup’s Emory University campus’ recruiting team, more than 20 Emory students have received internships or full-time positions at Citigroup. For his efforts, the company recently honored Tuder with its Institutional Clients Group Citizenship Award.

Barry Silbert 98BBA and Founder and CEO of SecondMarket, the largest secondary market for alternative investments, can now add Goizueta Alumni Entrepreneurship Award to his list of honors. Named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum in 2011 and one of the “Ten Most Innovative Companies in Finance” by Fast Company, Silbert also made Fortune Magazine’s 2011 “40 Under 40” list.

Via video, Silbert expressed his gratitude for being honored with the award, saying, “the resources the school provided” him have been invaluable.

“It’s wonderful to see the school embracing entrepreneurship,” he said. “I look forward to helping the faculty help create some game-changing businesses.”

The Alumni Service Award went to William “Bill” Brosius 85BBA, who served on the Goizueta Alumni Board from 1998 through 2006 and as President of the board for two years. Brosius, CFO at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston’s Texas Medical Center, also served on the Emory Alumni Board (EAB). Brosius introduced the EAB to alumni engagement metrics and he’s been a Goizueta mentor since 2005.

“I really love giving back to Goizueta,” Brosius told the audience. “For those of you who think you don’t have time, some very small gestures go a long way.”

The evening’s final award went to William Westbrook 61BBA, 63MBA. Westbrook also holds a JD degree from Woodrow Wilson College of Law. His distinguished career with Georgia Power and then Southern Company culminated with his appointment to Southern Company’s CFO in 1986. He retired in 2001. He also served on the Goizueta Advisory Board.

Westbrook attributed the “nuts and bolts” of his Emory University education for helping him in his career.

– Allison Shirreffs