SOM networking event connects alumni to school and their peersTweet
As a young attorney, Terry Bienstock ’75 lucked into having Ted Williams as a client, and was star-struck at the prospect of working with the legendary baseball player. Unsure if asking for an autograph was a good move, he consulted a senior partner at his law firm, which led to a teaching moment that stayed with him through his career.
Bienstock shared that story and others with fellow alumni on April 4, when he was the featured speaker at the School of Management’s annual networking event at the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan. Bienstock is CEO of the Miami-based software firm World Extend Holdings, LLC. He was previously executive vice president and general counsel for cable giant Comcast. He told the group of nearly 150 alumni that the senior partner talked him out of asking for the autograph.
“There has to be a distance between a professional and a client,” Bienstock said. “Once you break that distance by asking for an autograph, you can never go back.”
Bienstock said he was later surprised to see a colleague with a case full of baseballs bearing Williams’ signature. The autograph-seeking lawyer, not wanting to be discouraged, didn’t seek the advice of an elder professional as Bienstock did.
“[I also learned] never ask a question you don’t want to know the answer to. And as a trial lawyer, it was an important lesson,” Bienstock said.
In his remarks, University President Harvey Stenger said the School of Management is in high demand and alumni should feel very proud as a result.
“Binghamton University is an extraordinarily competitive place these days,” Stenger said. “For our undergraduate class, we have more than 11 applications for every position. And, it’s even more competitive for the School of Management. Applications were up 15 percent this year. We had 4,900 applicants for about 400 positions.”
“Because of the support of our alumni, we are able to offer a high-quality education to our students and be a premier business school,” said Upinder Dhillon, School of Management Dean and Koffman Scholar.
Gary Kibel ’90, MBA ’92, a partner at the New York law firm Davis & Gilbert, LLP and member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, encouraged alumni to be involved with the University as volunteers.
“I hope to see everyone here at future alumni events. Making connections is what we’re all about – connecting alumni to the University and to each other,” Kibel said.
The event was sponsored by Robert Eicher ’81, the School of Management and the Binghamton University Alumni Association.