School of Business announces 2012 Hall of Fame inductees

NEW PALTZ –The School of Business at the State University of New York at New Paltz is pleased to announce the 2012 Hall of Fame inductees. The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held on May 10, 2012 at the Wiltwyck Country Club in Kingston, NY from 5 – 7:30 p.m.

The inductees will be: Thomas G. Struzzieri as Business Person of the Year; Francoise Dunefsky for Dean’s Award of Excellence; Richard Torres ‘88 as Alumnus of the Year; and Fiona Lee as Student Leader of the Year.

Thomas G. Struzzieri founded what became the largest equine show jumping production company in the world in 1977. Known for its innovative leadership, Horse Shows In The Sun (HITS), Inc. organizes, staffs and manages 37 weeks of horse shows with more than 50 Grand Prix events per year throughout the United States. Struzzieri has been the president and chief executive officer of HITS since its inception. Since relocating HITS headquarters to Saugerties, Struzzieri has been tireless in promoting and improving the community in which he lives and works. His most recent venture is the redevelopment of the former Cantine Paper Mill property into Diamond Mills, a 30-room, boutique hotel, 400-seat banquet facility and 150-seat restaurant.

Françoise Dunefsky has been the president and chief executive officer of Gateway Community Industries (GCI), Inc. since February 2004. GCI, Inc. provides services to individuals with mental, developmental, physical, and other disabilities in both Ulster and Dutchess counties. Prior to coming to GCI, Inc., Dunefsky had a 30-year career in hospital based healthcare ranging from staff nurse to vice president overseeing acute care and mental health services. She has taught administration and leadership and healthcare finance at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at SUNY New Paltz and Mount Saint Mary College.

Richard Torres retired from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in December 2011 after almost 35 years of service. He began at the IRS as a mail clerk and worked his way up to the senior stakeholder liaison. In this position, he was instrumental in educating the Latino and minority business community about their rights and obligations under the federal tax law.

Torres was the IRS liaison for the Chambers of Commerce, Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, New York Business Development Corporation, financial and educational institutions, and the payroll and tax practitioner community in upstate New York. In addition, by partnering with several colleges in upstate New York, including New Paltz, he scheduled and organized tax seminars and tax institutes on federal tax law topics for the payroll and tax practitioner community.

Fiona Lee is a marketing major who plans to graduate in May 2012. As president of the American Marketing Association, she has assisted with the coordination of the Business Day Conference, development of the annual report, organization of speakers, and attendance at professional development conferences. In addition, she is the president of Dean’s Student Advisory Board and, as such, she works with the board to brainstorm solutions for student concerns and encourages students to attend activities that provide hands on experiences. From fall 2010-fall 2011, Lee was the president of Jam Asia and was instrumental in securing a business sponsorship, the first ever for Jam Asia, for a performance show that highlights the culture and talents of the students. She developed a marketing plan that raised money for the Red Cross to help those in Japan impacted by the earthquake and tsunami.