Zeta Beta Tau Foundation

Ronald M. Mankoff Alumni Panel

By Faron A. Lewitt —

Ronald M. Mankoff, Beta Iota (University of Minnesota) 1954, is the co-founder, along with his wife, Joy, of the Mankoff Family Foundation. A retired Dallas attorney, Ronald M. Mankoff was active in the Dallas legal community for more than 45 years and served in senior leadership positions in many local and national organizations.

The Ronald M. Mankoff Alumni Panel is a leadership program set in a talk show-style format which engages both ZBT undergraduate and alumni attendees as the panelists share career and life stories and advice. Attendees at the Zeta Beta Tau 2017 International Convention interacted with the panelists through a question and answer dialogue.

Here is some of the feedback provided by our undergraduate brothers who attended and completed the program evaluation:

  • 94% indicated they would recommend the Ronald M. Mankoff Alumni Panel to future Convention delegates.
  • 76% indicated the program inspired them to become more involved in their chapter.
  • 73% indicated the program helped them to understand what it takes to be successful in life and how their ZBT chapter experience can be a platform for accelerated development of life skills.
  • 82% indicated the program helped them to understand that ZBT is a fraternity for a lifetime and not just an undergraduate experience.
  • 74% indicated the program helped them understand the value of engaging alumni.

Undergraduate attendees referenced asking questions, connecting with alumni, hearing ZBT stories, learning about successful alumni and their professional experience as their favorite part of the program.

When asked what they believe to be the value/benefit of participating in the program, undergraduates indicated the program was inspirational and motivating, provided guidance and advice, increased their commitment to ZBT and provided a better appreciation for philanthropy.

The 2017 Ronald M. Mankoff Alumni Panel was moderated by Immediate Past Zeta Beta Tau Foundation President Barry M. Aarons, Gamma Tau (Arizona State University) 1971.  The panelists included:

Dr. Robert (Bob) E. Fischell, Alpha Upsilon (Duke University) 1951

Brother Fischell received his BSME degree from Duke University and MS and ScD (honorary) degrees from the University of Maryland. Dr. Fischell was employed at the Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory for 25 years where he actively developed more than 50 spacecraft for the US Navy and for NASA. Starting in 1969, Dr. Fischell began the formation of 15 private companies that licensed his patents on medical devices including heart pacemakers, defibrillators, coronary stents and devices to treat epilepsy and migraine headaches. Dr. Fischell is a prolific inventor with over 200 issued U.S. and foreign patents that have been the basis for medical devices that have been implanted in more than 10 million patients on a worldwide basis. Dr. Fischell’s honors include Inventor of the Year for the USA in 1984, election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1996, and several medals for distinguished accomplishments in science, engineering and innovation. In 2004 Discover magazine gave Dr. Fischell their annual award for Technology for Humanity. In 2005 he received the TED award (with a $100,000 prize) for contributions to medical technology. Also in 2005 Dr. Fischell provided a philanthropic gift of $30M to create and fund the Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland. In 2007 he received the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Prize for Public Service from the Woodrow Wilson Society for Scholars. In May 2008 he received an honorary degree as Doctor of Humane Letters from the Johns Hopkins University in recognition of his many contributions for the betterment of mankind. In the first half of the year 2016 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Technical Council of Maryland, election as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, and on May 17 at the White House, he received from President Obama the National Medal for Technology and Innovation.

Samuel H. Rudman, Epsilon Delta (SUNY-Binghamton) 1983

Brother Rudman has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for shareholders and is an active speaker and writer on securities law matters.

Rudman is a founding member of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, a member of the executive and Management Committees, and manages the firm’s New York offices. His 22-year securities practice focuses on recognizing and investigating securities fraud, and initiating securities and shareholder class actions to vindicate shareholder rights and recover shareholder losses.

Rudman graduated from Binghamton University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School, where he was a Dean’s Merit Scholar, a member of the Moot Court Honor Society and the Brooklyn Journal of International Law. Upon graduation from law school, Rudman joined the Enforcement Division of the SEC in its New York Regional Office as a staff attorney, where he was responsible for numerous investigations and prosecutions of violations of the federal securities laws. Thereafter, Rudman joined one of the largest corporate law firms in the country, where he represented public companies in the defense of securities class actions and also handled white-collar criminal defense matters.

Rudman is an active speaker on securities law matters. He has spoken at programs sponsored by the Practicing Law Institute, including: Securities Litigation & Enforcement Institute and Response to Ponzi and Other Schemes: Alternative Investment Funds under Scrutiny. He has also spoken at the D&O Symposium organized by the Professional Liability Underwriting Society. Additionally, Rudman has published articles including: “Meaning of Second Circuit’s ‘W.R. Huff’ for Investment Advisors,” New York Law Journal; “Back to ‘Novak’: Confidential Witnesses in Fraud Actions,” New York Law Journal; and “‘Oscar’: Misinterpretation of Fraud-on-the-Market Theory,” New York Law Journal.

Eli R. Seidman, Epsilon Mu (University of Kansas) 2015

Eli R. Seidman was initiated into the Epsilon Mu Chapter at the University of Kansas in the fall of 2011. Over the next four years, Eli held such positions as chapter president, treasurer, and chief justice. In addition, he served as an undergraduate member of the Supreme Council from 2013-2015. Upon graduating with a business degree in 2015, he began working on a plan to open a restaurant. Less than one year later Eli opened the doors to Eli’s Sandwich Shoppe in Bloomington, Indiana. He now oversees close to 20 employees and is enjoying the challenges of being a young entrepreneur.

Former Mankoff Alumni Panel panelists have included Congressman Martin Frost, Omega (University of Missouri) 1964; Craig S. Chanoff, Beta Zeta Epsilon (University of Maryland – College Park) 1997, a Vice President at Blackboard, Inc.; John E. Mitchell, Gamma (Northwestern University) 1984, executive coach and consultant; Doug Maine, Alpha Beta (Temple University) 1970, former CFO of IBM Corporation and MCI; Howard Pizer, Alpha Kappa (University of Wisconsin) 1963, Executive Vice President of the Chicago White Sox; Sam Massell, Mu (University of Georgia) 1948, former Mayor of the City of Atlanta; Steve Cooley, Gamma Nu (Cal State – Los Angeles) 1970, former District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles; Jeff Sloan, Theta (University of Pennsylvania) 1989, President of Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN); Mark Itkin, Alpha Rho (University of California at Los Angeles) 1974, Vice President of the William Morris Agency; Steve Gold, Alpha Omega (University of Miami) 2000, Senior Vice President – Wealth Management at UBS; Adam D. Isrow, Alpha Omicron (University of Arizona) 1992, Co-Founder & Executive Vice President of GoConcierge.net; Joel M. Epstein, Sigma (Tulane University) 1987, founder and CEO of Friction Factor; Lawrence A. Klatzkin, Theta (University of Pennsylvania) 1979, Managing Director with Rice, Voelker, LLC; Walter L. Sutton, Jr., Ph.D., Iota (University of Denver) 1967, Associate General Counsel for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; and Jon K. Hirschtick, Xi (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) 1983, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Onshape.