2020 Special Recognition Awards

Although the awards ceremony planned for May 7 in New York was canceled, the Alumni Association intends to recognize the 2020 honorees through a virtual awards presentation. Plans for this will be annnounced later in the summer. We invite you to read about the 16 special alumni nominated by peers and campus partners, and selected for recognition.


Mitchell S. Goldstein '89

Mitchell S. Goldstein '89
Glenn G. Bartle Distinguished Alumnus/a Award
The Bartle Award recognizes and honors graduates who have rendered outstanding voluntary service to the Binghamton University community, while also serving their communities, their careers and their country.

Mitchell Goldstein is a partner and co-head of the Ares Credit Group and a member of the Management Committee of Ares Management. He additionally serves as co-president of ARCC and vice president and interested trustee of CION Ares Diversified Credit Fund. He is a member of the Ares Credit Group's U.S. Direct Lending and Commercial Finance Investment Committees and the Ivy Hill Asset Management Investment Committee.

Prior to joining Ares Management in May 2005, Goldstein worked at Credit Suisse First Boston, where he was a managing director in the Financial Sponsors Group. At CSFB, Goldstein was responsible for providing investment banking services to private equity funds and hedge funds with a focus on M&A and restructurings as well as capital raisings, including high yield, bank debt, mezzanine debt and IPOs. Goldstein joined CSFB in 2000 at the completion of the merger with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. From 1998 to 2000, Goldstein was at Indosuez Capital, where he was a member of the Investment Committee and a principal responsible for originating, structuring and executing leveraged transactions across a broad range of products and asset classes. From 1993 to 1998, Goldstein worked at Bankers Trust. He also serves on the Board of Managers of Ivy Hill Asset Management GP, LLC.

Goldstein graduated summa cum laude from Binghamton University with a bachelor of science degree in accounting, received an MBA from Columbia University's Graduate School of Business and is a Certified Public Accountant.

William H. Groner '77William H. Groner '77
Alumni Achievement Award
This award honors a highly distinguished alumnus or alumna who, over the course of a decade or more, has exemplified outstanding, significant professional achievement.

William Groner is founder/CEO of SSAM Alternative Dispute Resolution which embodies a holistic approach to litigation resolution. Prior, he had more than 35 years of experience as a trial lawyer with verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 billion, and numerous leadership positions including the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and founder/president of the organization’s Westchester chapter.

Groner was a lead attorney in the decade-long 9/11 mass tort litigation, representing more than 10,000 Ground Zero responders exposed to toxins and contaminants in the post 9/11 cleanup. The case was the most complex mass tort in U.S. History, resulting in a settlement in excess of $800 million. He co-authored the Amazon best-seller 9/12: The Epic Battle of the Ground Zero Responders (Potomac Books, 2019) and is donating all his net proceeds from book sales and creating a national educational program that will focus on empathy, respect, communication, compromise and fostering a greater sense of community.

Groner has lectured extensively on topics ranging from the mysterious medical consequences of Ground Zero dust to proper safety techniques for environmental catastrophes, and recently had been an adjunct faculty member at Boston University School of Law.

His connection to Binghamton is longstanding and diverse; his oldest fondest memories are being the hockey team’s goaltender, Cayuga Hall president, College-in-the-Woods social affairs chairperson and creating Casino in the Woods in 1977. More recently, he was the alumni speaker at CIW Commencement ceremonies, sat on the Alumni Association Board of Directors for six years and was a founder of the association’s landmark program TIER Talks®.

David R. Goldberg '02David R. Goldberg '02  
Edward Weisband Distinguished Alumnus/a Award for Public Service or Contribution to Public Affairs
The Weisband Award recognizes one alumnus or alumna each year whose life, work, career and contributions exemplify the highest standards of service and deepest dedication to the sustenance of the common good.

David R. Goldberg is an accomplished academic, business leader and educator. He is an expert in genocide studies and international affairs, and continues to teach both. He is particularly focused on expanding educational and economic opportunities to those most in need. He serves as a special advisor for NGO Sustainability, an organization in consultative status with the United Nations. He currently serves as the board vice president of Peace Education Initiative Rwanda and advises Leaf Global FinTech in its aim to provide affordable financial services to refugees worldwide. He is chairman emeritus of Lensdrop, Inc., where he oversaw a massive expansion in the company’s global presence and product value. His work on global social issues and improving education has taken him to more than 175 countries.

Previously, he has advised the Institute for Human and Community Development in Haiti and has led roundtable discussions in Afghanistan. He has been a Fulbright recipient of the German-American Fulbright Commission, and has been awarded fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities in Turkey, the Goethe Institute in Germany, and The Korean Studies Foundation in South Korea. He has also served on the Columbia University Global Education and Leadership Foundation grant from The Nand and Jeet Khemka Foundation in India.

Goldberg received his bachelor of arts degree summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Binghamton University, his master of science from Hofstra University, and his PhD from Columbia University. During his time at Binghamton, he was a White House Intern.

Amanda Casares '10, MA '12Amanda Casares '10, MA '12
Lois B. DeFleur Distinguished Young Alumnus/a Award
The DeFleur Award recognizes alumni who graduated within the last 10 years or are 35 years of age or under, and who are established or demonstrate potential to become future leaders. Criteria includes demonstrated leadership capability, substantial commitment to service of others, demonstration of potential for leadership in the long term, and substantial commitment to the University and Alumni Association.

Amanda Casares has been a proud Binghamton alumna, serving as chair of the Bearcats of the Last Decade Washington, D.C., chapter since 2015. She graduated with a double major in geography and philosophy, politics and law in 2010. Casares, in addition, was captain of the Binghamton women’s soccer team and received numerous honors including Dean’s List, NSCAA All-Region, All-Conference Player in the America East, NCAA Woman of the Year Nominee, America East Fan’s Choice Player of the Year, and Binghamton University’s John Bilos Award recipient for outstanding career achievement. Casares represented the women’s soccer team on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and participated in Peer Pride. She also obtained her master’s degree at Binghamton, while serving as a graduate assistant and teaching assistant in the geography department and volunteering as an assistant coach with the women’s soccer team.

Currently, she is a project manager at StraitSys, a Certified Woman Owned Small Business supporting the U.S. Department of Justice. She also serves as age group director and head soccer coach of the u13-14 girls DC Stoddert Blue Metros, as well as an assistant coach for Metro United DA, part of U.S. Soccer's Development Academy league. Amanda mentors for AE (America East) Connects, an online mentoring platform for the conference’s alumni athletes.


In recognition of alumni contributions to specific areas on campus (e.g., schools, Admissions, Fleishman Center), we are pleased to present Medals of Distinguished Service to the following alumni, who have been tireless volunteers to the University while excelling in their respective career endeavors.

Timothy W. Borshoff '76Timothy W. Borshoff '76 founded his company, Tim Borshoff Realty, Inc., in 1984. Since then, he and his team of real estate agents and staff have provided housing to thousands of people through home sales and rentals. Borshoff’s firm is located in Pittsford, N.Y., just outside Rochester, and has roughly 150 units under management.

Borshoff is a licensed insurance broker in New York state, and handles homeowner’s, business, health, life and auto insurance for his clients. In addition, his firm handles the management of a full scope of properties from single-family homes to commercial properties and manufactured home lots. He has been a longtime trusted small business owner in upstate New York where he raised three sons and continues to give back to youth wrestling, Pittsford schools, and many other organizations in his hometown.

Wayne G. Brown '86Wayne G. Brown '86 – After graduating from Binghamton University with a degree in history and deferring admission to law school, Wayne Brown became the proud owner of a marketing and advertising company based in Rockland County, N.Y. WOW Creative Group acts as a marketing department for companies that don’t have one. As an Admissions Alumni Volunteer, when students ask Brown what they can do with a history degree from Binghamton, his response is, “anything you want!” In addition to catching Wayne at college fairs representing Bing pride, he and his wife Ellen Cohen-Brown ’87, along with their son, Russ ’18, can be found at every Homecoming, including the men’s lacrosse alumni game. Brown is also a founding father of Sigma Nu fraternity, which was on campus for 16 years. He says his top two endeavors were appearing on the Home Shopping Network selling his fitness product and graduating from Binghamton University. The Browns have three sons and live in New City, N.Y.

George W. Curth Jr. '90George W. "Skip" Curth Jr. '90 graduated from Binghamton University with with a bachelor of science in accounting in 1990. He played four years on the varsity soccer team earning accolades including Binghamton University Athlete of the Year and the John Bilos Award for Outstanding Athletic Achievement. After graduation, Curth joined the structured finance practice at Arthur Andersen. During his time at the firm, Curth earned his CPA and also received an MBA from Columbia University, graduating with honors. He also rose through the ranks in the 1990s to ultimately reach the partner level and run the structured finance practice at Andersen. In 2002, Curth and his team moved the practice to EY where he runs structured finance, a team with more than 250 professionals across multiple locations. Curth helps manage the financial services risk management practice at EY where he helps supervise more than 1,000 professionals. He is also the senior client service partner for HSBC and Sumitomo Bank as well as the senior advisory partner at Fannie Mae. He's a member of the School of Management New York Metro Advisory Board, which provides input on strategic initiatives and works to broaden and enhance the reputation of the school.

John Martin Darcy II, MS '07, MA '10, PhD '14John Martin Darcy II, MS '07, MA '10, PhD '14 is a triple graduate degree recipient of Binghamton University in biomedical and biological anthropology with research interests in infectious and chronic diseases in human populations. His 2014 dissertation, "Quaternary Lyme Disease: Symptomatology, Epidemiology and Anthropology of an Emerging Disease," investigated chronic aspects of Lyme disease in a cohort of patients mostly concentrated in New York and Pennsylvania. He also participated in animal vaccine research with the University of Pennsylvania Department of Biology during his doctoral training.

Darcy has more than 14 years of experience working in the biopharmaceutical industry and is currently employed in the U.S. Clinical Development and Medical Affairs Division at Novartis as an associate director medical science liaison. He covers Pennsylvania, Delaware and Southern New Jersey where he lends nonpromotional medical and scientific support to the rheumatology and immunology communities.

Darcy also holds an undergraduate degree from Penn State University and has many personal and professional ties to the Greater Binghamton region and Binghamton University. He worked as a staff assistant in the Dean's Office of the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, and served as a volunteer at both United Health Services' Department of Pathology and the Garabed A. Fattal Community Free Clinic of the Binghamton Clinical Campus of Upstate Medical University.

He resides in Northeastern Pennsylvania and spends as much time as he can in Cape May, N.J., where he gained his love of the ocean. His interests include medicine, geology, ocean issues, travel, all things aviation and spending time with family and friends.

Allison Nowotnik Fisher '08

Allison Nowotnik Fisher '08 is a management consulting senior manager within the Human Capital practice at Accenture Federal Services in Washington. She has spent the majority of her 11-year career developing and implementing adult learning and job skilling programs, workforce development initiatives, and change management transformation services for public, private and non-profit organizations, delivering solutions to help workers adapt and develop their skills to respond to the digital revolution. For the past several years, Fisher has proudly supported Accenture’s work with the Veterans Benefit Administration at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), leading modernization initiatives with the VA’s home loan program and expansion of GI Bill benefits through the Forever GI Bill legislation. Keeping with the theme of “serving those who served”, Allison also co-leads Accenture’s corporate citizenship partnership with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, helping to design, digitize and scale employment transition programs and services for thousands of transitioning military service members, veterans and military spouses.

Fisher was born and raised in Port Chester, N.Y., and is a 2008 graduate of Binghamton University where she received a bachelor’s degree in English, general literature and rhetoric, and economics. While at Binghamton, she was active in the tour guide program and co-recreational sports. Following graduation, she moved to Washington, where she lives with her husband, Trevor Fisher ’07, and hound dog, Goose. In January 2020, the Fishers will welcome their first baby Bearcat into the family.

Satyanarayan S. Iyer, MS '03, PhD '08Satyanarayan S. Iyer, MS '03, PhD '08 serves as general manager of Specialty Memory Products at SMART Modular Technologies Inc. He leads a $300 million business unit with cross-functional teams across different geographical locations worldwide. Iyer has more than 15 years of leadership experience and brings a strong blend of engineering and business acumen with a proven ability to formulate direction and strategy. Iyer holds master’s and doctoral degrees from the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science at Binghamton University. He has authored more than 20 journal and conference publications, and has eight patents to his credit. He is actively engaged with the Watson School.

Molly Peacock '69Molly Peacock '69 is a distinguished poet and biographer who co-created “Poetry in Motion” on New York City’s subways. Her seven volumes of poetry include The Analyst and Cornucopia: New and Selected Poems. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Danforth, Ingram Merrill, Woodrow Wilson and Leon Levy foundations as well as the National Endowment for the Arts. Peacock is the author of The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life’s Work at 72 and The Shimmering Verge, an Off-Broadway show based on her memoir Paradise, Piece by Piece. Peacock is a subject in A Life Outside Convention and My So-Called Selfish Life, documentaries about women’s choices not to have children.

Marcia J. Steinbrecher '90Marcia J. Steinbrecher '90 is a lifelong resident of Broome County and a 1990 graduate of the former School of Education and Human Development (SEHD). As a student, she was a peer counselor and served as a Commencement marshal. Steinbrecher continued her connection to the University as chair of the local SEHD alumni group and later as co-chair of the Alumni Association’s Greater Binghamton Chapter, a position she continues to hold. Additionally, she was proud to serve on the association’s board.

Steinbrecher feels her Binghamton education helped develop her sense of community service and she has served as a director on numerous local boards over the last 25 years. Professionally, she was director of development for the Anderson Center and University Art Museum, retiring in 2006 after a successful career raising funds that included naming the Osterhout Concert Theater, the School of Management Osterhout Distinguished Professorship in Entrepreneurship, and the museum’s Stanley and Susan Reifer Gallery.

Before starting her career at Binghamton, she was owner and president of Steinbrecher Steel Services, Inc. She and her husband started the firm in 1978, and it was a certified Woman’s Business Enterprise contractor. She is the proud mother of three sons, Earl, Kirk and Eric, MA ’94, and seven grandchildren including Cole Steinbrecher, MBA ’98.

James A. Warner '60James A. Warner '60 graduated from Union-Endicott High School in 1955, and enrolled in Harpur College (then located in Endicott) in the fall. His class was the first to graduate in the newly built East Gym on the Vestal campus. Warner voluntarily enlisted in the United States Air Force as a 2nd lieutenant in December 1960 to avoid being drafted. A series of challenging jobs, outstanding supervisors and mentors led to retirement as a lieutenant colonel in Washington, D.C., in December 1984 with 24 years of service and several commendations and distinguished service awards. He was also a distinguished graduate and class leader at the Naval Postgraduate School in the Washington area and an honor graduate of several other professional military service schools.

Warner moved back to San Antonio, Texas in late 1986 and became active in real estate and as a director on his condominium board and later as an officer on a homeowners association board. He also became a silent partner to a Texas builder of small residential communities and custom homes and became a corporate vice president — a position he held for 15 years. Warner relocated to Naples, Fla., in 2011 for a change of scenery and to be close to his sister, Judia. He continues his involvement with his current homeowners association and various volunteer committees. In March 2017, he and his sister made a $1 million gift to the University to establish the Warner Memorial Family Scholarship as a permanent and substantial legacy to Binghamton University in memory of their parents.

In honor of the Harpur College 70th birthday milestone, we will also present the following awards:

Denise Cox '80Denise M. Cox ’80
Harpur College’s 70th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni Award for the Division of Math and Science

Denise Cox is president of Storm Energy, Ltd., where she is responsible for evaluating projects and partnerships for the company’s oil and gas portfolio. Cox began her petroleum geoscience career with Marathon Oil Company at the Denver Research Center. During her 20-year career in Marathon’s research, production and exploration offices, she specialized in the application of new technology to maximize recovery from petroleum reservoirs and later the evaluation and development of unconventional reservoirs. She is focused on the role of geoscience in sustainable energy development including carbon capture, use and storage.

Cox received her bachelor of science degree with honors from Harpur College of Arts and Sciences, and a master of science from the University of Colorado. She is an American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Certified Petroleum Geologist and licensed geologist in the state of Wyoming. Cox is past president of AAPG and past president of the Association for Women Geoscientists.  She has held leadership positions in numerous geological and civic organizations where she is best known as a “connector” and for her outreach activities with students, young professionals and women.

Keith Hurd '88Keith A. Hurd ’88
Harpur College’s 70th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni Award for the Division of Fine Arts and Humanities  

Keith Hurd graduated from Harpur College in 1988 with a double major in music and French romance languages and literature. He is president of Marketing Entertainment Group in New York City, producer of the Emmy-nominated TV series Broadway Profiles with Tamsen Fadal, and is producer/co-booker of concerts at The Green Room 42 in New York. He has had a successful career marketing and promoting live entertainment on Broadway, most recently The Illusionists, Rock of Ages, Bat Out of Hell and Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark. Other Broadway productions include: Liza Minnelli at the Palace, Billy Joel's Movin' Out, The Producers, Fosse, Ragtime, Kiss Me Kate, Swing, Proof, Jackie Mason, Jekyll & Hyde, Noises Off, The Allergist's Wife, Edward Albee's The Goat, Fuerza Bruta, Take Me Out, Victor/Victoria with Julie Andrews and Damn Yankees with Jerry Lewis. He was also responsible for marketing the STAR WARS film concerts for the New York Philharmonic, The Lord of The Rings Trilogy Concerts at Lincoln Center and pianist Lang Lang at Carnegie Hall.

Hurd is a longtime volunteer and supporter of both Harpur College and Binghamton University, and frequently returns to campus to speak with students interested in theatre and the entertainment business. He has hosted several interns and continues to assist with theatre events and panels for alumni. He is a member of the Harpur College Advocacy Council and a board member for the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center.

Kelli Valade '91Kelli Valade ’91
Harpur College’s 70th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni Award for the Division of Social Sciences  

“Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your vocation.” Aristotle’s wisdom has guided Kelli Valade’s career since the tender age of 16, when she landed her first restaurant job as a hostess. It was there she found the same hospitality, the same love of great food and the same connection around the table she had experienced her entire childhood, cooking and eating Italian food around her grandmother’s kitchen table in New York.

Valade discovered early where her passion for life intersected with work. She was hooked and she has built a career living out that passion, working her way up through operations, then human resources, where she led human resources, recruiting and compensation for national chains such as TGI Friday’s and On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina.

Valade joined TDn2K as president and CEO in early 2019. Prior to TDn2K, she spent more than 20 years at Brinker International in various roles including leading human resources then serving as chief operating officer for Chili’s Grill & Bar. As the first female president in the brand’s history, she was responsible for more than 80,000 ChiliHeads, and more than 1,600 restaurants across 31 countries and two territories.

To give back to the industry, she has served on the boards of TDn2K, the Multicultural Food & Hospitality Alliance, the National Restaurant Association and currently serves on the board of Women’s Foodservice Forum. A compelling and passionate keynote speaker, she frequently speaks to students and professionals across the industry, sharing best practices and lessons from her lifelong journey.

And the industry she loves, loves her back. Nation’s Restaurant News added Valade to its Top 50 Power List in 2017, The Western Foodservice and Hospitality Expo gave her the Beacon Award in 2016 and Dallas Business Journal named her a Woman Worth Watching in 2013.

Together with her husband, Don, and their two beautiful children, Morgan and Christian, she has lived in Texas long enough to be called a native, but her heart (and her accent) remain firmly rooted in New York. You can connect with her on Twitter @kvpalooza, find her on Facebook or just follow the scent of homemade meatballs. They’re worth the trip.