Dinner to Honor Alumni and Honorary Alumni
The Old Dominion University Alumni Association will present Distinguished Alumni, Outstanding Achievement, Alumni Service and Honorary Alumni awards Thursday, Oct. 11, at the 4th Annual Alumni Honors Dinner.
The Alumni Association will also recognize the Class of 1962 during the dinner program at the Sheraton Waterside.
The following ODU graduates will receive Distinguished Alumni Awards:
Derrick Borte '91, who received a bachelor of fine arts degree, is the writer, director and producer of the critically acclaimed feature film, "The Joneses," which was presented at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. The film was also shown at festivals in Deauville, France; Zurich, Switzerland; Sarasota, Fla.; and Sedona, Ariz. It is currently in development as a TV series with ABC Studios and Bravo. His feature film, "Stars," will be released in 2013.
Borte, who lives in Virginia Beach, began his career as a painter and printmaker, showing his work in Los Angeles and fulfilling commissions from such surf apparel companies as Billabong and Gotcha.
After receiving a master's in media studies at The New School in New York, Borte joined the production staff at Sony Music Studios, where his interests moved to film and video. Along with directing the short film "One on One" and the documentary "A Life in Art in a Time of Change," he has also directed hundreds of commercials for clients such as Jaguar, Volkswagen, Afrin and Betty Crocker.
Laurel Harris '89, who received a bachelor's degree in communication, is the executive creative director of Stellarhead, where she directs projects for some of the world's leading brands in entertainment, fashion, technology, hospitality and politics. The services of Stellarhead, which is based in New York City and Venice, Calif., include content creation, site design, communication, and such strategy as audience analysis and brand identification.
Typical of Stellarhead's work is a video production that captures behind-the-scenes footage of the search for the next Material Girl and features Madonna, Lola and Kelly Osbourne. Another video for the Venetian in Las Vegas announced its biggest musical event ever - Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's "Soul2Soul." Harris and Stellarhead's work extends beyond entertainment and fashion into the corporate world with video, live streaming, online and mobile apps and copywriting.
Harris has been producing content for marketing in the digital realm for well over a decade, applying her extensive knowledge across varied platforms. Stellarhead is Harris' second digital company, following Dogmatic, Inc., where she was president and creative director for 11 years. Her early career was in the film business, working in development and production under several well-known filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, Sydney Lumet and John Sayles.
In addition to her bachelor's degree from ODU, Harris received a master's in production design from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and a master's in communication from the University of Miami.
Michael Jones '95, who received a bachelor's degree in human services and counseling, has compiled a 271-67 record in his 10 years as head varsity basketball coach at his nationally acclaimed alma mater, DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md. His squads have won one national title and six conference titles, playing in possibly the most competitive high school conference in the nation, the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. Before becoming head coach, Jones was an assistant to the legendary Morgan Wootten for four seasons.
Honored as the 2005 Washington Post All-Met Coach of the Year, Jones also helped DeMatha earn national recognition as the No. 2-ranked high school athletic program in the United States by Sports Illustrated in 2005 and 2007. Jones has coached at the Jordan Classic and is now coaching the USA Men's National U16 and U17 teams.
Prior to coaching, Jones enjoyed a successful playing career. In 1995, he signed as a free agent with the Indiana Pacers and later played professionally in the United States, Europe and Asia. At ODU, he was an all-conference performer, leading the Monarchs to four postseason tournaments, including two NCAA appearances.
A well-known teacher and clinician, Jones is now an administrator and faculty member at DeMatha, directing admissions, teaching a course in public speaking, coordinating the NCAA Clearinghouse and running popular summer basketball camps.
Zelda Lockhart (M.A. '93), who received a master's degree in English, is recognized throughout the United States and abroad as a writer of fiction, poetry and essays, as well as a lecturer and workshop facilitator. Her novel "Fifth Born" was a 2001 Barnes & Noble Discovery selection and winner of a finalist award for debut fiction from the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy Foundation. Her second novel, "Cold Running Creek," published in 2007, was favorably received by the Historical Novel Society, won a 2008 Honor Fiction Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, and was the 2008-09 "Text in Community" read for all incoming students at North Carolina A&T State University.
In 2010, Lockhart was the Piedmont Laureate for Literature in North Carolina. That same year, she released her third novel, "Fifth Born II: The Hundredth Turtle," excerpts from which appear in the 2010 issue of Chautauqua Literary Journal and the 2011 issue of Obsidian II. Her other works can be found in numerous anthologies, journals and magazines.
Lockhart, who lives in Raleigh, N.C., holds a bachelor's degree from Norfolk State University and a certificate in writing, directing and editing film from the New York Film Academy. More about the writing workshops she facilitates can be found at www.zeldalockhart.com.
Maj. Gen. Mark Perrin '79, who received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, is deputy director of the Signals Intelligence Directorate within the National Security Agency, headquartered at Fort Meade, Md. He was in the Army ROTC program at ODU and had a distinguished career as an Army aviator, specializing in military intelligence and security and holding significant leadership assignments at home and abroad.
Perrin was assigned to numerous company and battalion tours with increasing levels of responsibility in Army operations and intelligence in Germany, El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Panama, Japan, Hawaii, Texas and Washington, D.C. Following his selection as a brigadier general in May 2008, Perrin served as assistant chief of staff (intelligence) with the U.S. Army Pacific in Hawaii. He recently returned to the United States after a two-year assignment as director (intelligence) for the U.S. forces in Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn. Throughout his career, Perrin has received numerous military awards, some multiple times. They include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal and Army Achievement Medal.
He also holds master's degrees from Central Michigan University and the National Defense University. Further, he graduated from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the National War College.
Michael Santorelli '91, who has a bachelor's degree in marketing/communication, has produced and directed high-profile promotional campaigns for many of the world's leading brands, studios and artists over his 18-year career. He is a principal at Stellarhead, a digital storytelling agency founded in 2009 and based in New York City and Venice, Calif. Stellarhead produces video for marketing through convergent technologies of broadcast and social media platforms.
Santorelli is in demand by film studios, fashion and beauty houses, Fortune 100 companies, and top recording artists for multi-camera events and entertainment campaigns. His client list has included the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Live Nation, PepsiCo, Sara Lee, Diageo, ABC, PBS, VH1, FX, Columbia Tri-Star, Sony, Warner Bros., MySpace, MSN, Victoria's Secret, Estée Lauder, Coty, L'Oréal, Coach, Giorgio Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Rogers & Cowan and political candidates.
Forbes magazine has recognized Santorelli as a pioneer in creating content for marketing and advertising in the digital market. His first major client was Pepsi. He created a corporate marketing video for the launch of Pepsi's partnership with the movie Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Today, Pepsi accounts for 25 percent of the Stellarhead revenues.
Santorelli is on the board of advisers for Stay-Focused Inc., a New York nonprofit organization that offers scuba-diving experiences to teens and young adults with various levels of disabilities.
Drew Ungvarsky '02, who received a bachelor's degree in computer science, is president, owner and creative director for Grow Interactive, a Norfolk-based digital and interactive design company that provides creative graphic design and flash concepts for clients. Grow Interactive was officially established in 2006 after Ungvarsky rebranded Drewmedia Studios, his 2003 startup company.
After graduating from ODU, Ungvarsky freelanced interactive graphic design for a year, employing friends, advertising through word-of-mouth and, above all, never saying no.
After rapidly outgrowing its original office space, Grow Interactive purchased property at its current location, 427 Granby St. in Norfolk. The privately held company now has 20 full-time employees.
Grow Interactive seeks to transform the digital experience across multiple platforms - in websites, online ads, viral marketing, social networking and device applications, among other areas. Grow Interactive's work has been recognized by many of the industry's top award shows and publications, including the One Show, the Webbys, the FWA (Favorite Website Awards), Communication Arts, and Creativity.
At a festival and awards event in Cannes, France, in June 2012, Grow Interactive picked up six Cannes Lions, including the event's inaugural Mobile Lions Grand Prix. The winning execution was a creative smartphone app that re-imagined a 1971 Coke commercial by allowing consumers to send Cokes to strangers around the globe as part of Google's Project Rebrief.
Dr. Amir Vokshoor '92, who received a bachelor's degree in biology, has been a partner at Diagnostic and Interventional Spinal Care (DISC) in Marina Del Ray, Calif., since 2007. Often cited as the gold standard of medicine, DISC Sports and Spine Center is one of the country's leading facilities specializing in spine, orthopedics and sports medicine. DISC is an official medical services provider of the U.S. Olympic team. Vokshoor is also founder and CEO of the Institute of Neurosurgical Innovation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the science of aging and awareness. Board certified in neurosurgery, Vokshoor was formerly chief of neurosurgery at Kaiser Permanente.
Vokshoor trained additionally in minimally invasive and microscopic surgery and complex multilevel spinal reconstructions, engaging with other specialists and therapists in a multidisciplinary approach to spinal problems. Because of his pioneering interest in these innovative techniques, Vokshoor's patients typically recover and rehabilitate rapidly.
A member of a number of professional associations, Vokshoor has contributed to 18 journals and book chapters regarding the surgical treatment algorithms for specific degenerative spinal disorders. He graduated cum laude from ODU and received his medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1996. After an internship and residency at Ohio State University Hospitals and a spine fellowship at the University of South Florida, he began to practice in Los Angeles.
The 2012 Outstanding Achievement Award goes to:
Donna Dabney (M.S. Ed. '74), who joined The Conference Board as executive director, Governance Center, in August 2012. The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working to provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society.
Previously, Dabney was vice president, secretary and corporate governance counsel of Alcoa, the world's largest producer of aluminum. An expert in corporate governance and securities matters, She was the point of communications with the Alcoa board of directors, senior management and company shareholders. She handled essential corporate matters, provided corporate governance advice to the board and legal advice on executive compensation, and managed the Office of the Corporate Secretary.
In 1983, Dabney joined Reynolds Metals and in 1986, became secretary and general counsel. The first female officer elected in the company, she oversaw mergers and acquisitions and corporate and securities matters. Prior to working with Reynolds, she practiced law with McGuire Woods in Richmond.
After receiving a master's degree in guidance and counseling from ODU's Darden College of Education in 1974, she remained at the university as an adviser to undergraduates and was a key player in the formation of the Women's Center. In 1980, she received a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.
A powerful advocate for women, Dabney has been co-leader of the board of the Alcoa Women's Network. In 2012, the New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women honored her as one of six Women of Power and Influence.
Alumni Service Awards go to Kim and Keith Curtis:
Kim Curtis '82 has three decades of mortgage and management experience. Since July 2008, she has been president/CEO of Tidewater Home Funding LLC, where she is committed to strategic company growth while improving community relations throughout Hampton Roads. Since her arrival, Tidewater Home Funding has doubled mortgage loan volume and expanded market share within the company's footprint.
After graduating from ODU with a bachelor's degree in business administration, Curtis worked as a loan officer before becoming branch manager for RIHT Mortgage Corp. She soon advanced to vice president for BancBoston Mortgage Corp. and subsequently served a term as president of Tidewater Mortgage Bankers Association. In 1988, she was one of three founding and managing members of Southern Trust Mortgage, which became one of the mid-Atlantic's largest multistate mortgage banking organizations. As executive vice president and COO, Curtis oversaw daily operations and served on the senior management committee, advising on all aspects of the company's operation and production.
Curtis has been a generous supporter of scholarships in the College of Business and Public Administration at ODU and in athletics. She currently lends her time to the ODU Educational Foundation's executive committee, the Cavalier Golf and Yacht Club board of directors, ODU CREED (Center for Real Estate and Economic Development), the YWCA of South Hampton Roads, and Marian Manor. Curtis received the 2009 Women in Business Achievement Award, presented by Inside Business, and the 2012 Minerva Award, presented by Small Business Insight.
Keith Curtis '83, is president and CEO of the Curtis Group, a Norfolk company founded to provide personalized development services to nonprofits. Curtis has nearly 30 years experience in every aspect of nonprofit management - fundraising, board training, planned giving, guidance, strategic planning and more.
Along with raising hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients, he has increased awareness of their causes, advanced their standards of operation and elevated their expectations of their own accomplishments.
The Curtis Group has assisted more than 100 clients throughout the mid-Atlantic. Those include such large and visible ones as the YMCA of South Hampton Roads, Hampton Roads Community Foundation, Riverside Health System, and major arts and cultural organizations, as well as smaller, but equally worthy, free clinics, hospices, homeless shelters and other entities that impact the lives of less fortunate citizens every day.
Curtis is treasurer of the Giving USA Foundation, past president of the Hampton Roads Gift Planning Council and a board member of the Giving Institute. He has also been a member of the Executive Advisory Council of the College of Business and Public Administration at ODU. He co-chaired Giving USA Foundation's Resource Development Committee and, at the request of his Giving Institute colleagues, co-chaired the organization's 2011 Summer Symposium.
A 1983 graduate of ODU's College of Business and Public Administration, Curtis has provided generous scholarship support for the college and for athletics.
The 2012 Honorary Alumni Awards go to Kate Broderick and Robin Ray:
Kate Broderick has been employed in Old Dominion University's Office of Educational Accessibility (OEA) since 2005 as director, assistant director and learning coordinator. Currently, she is liaison for external and faculty relations, advocating for and providing direct support to students with disabilities.
Each year the OEA ensures that more than 700 students with disabilities have access to all campus facilities and activities. The office empowers students to self-advocate in order to find success not only at ODU, but in their future endeavors.
Along with her professional responsibilities, Broderick, the wife of President John R. Broderick, serves as the first lady of ODU, working closely with students, alumni, donors and community leaders. The Brodericks host frequent events, this past year, welcoming more than 1,500 visitors to their university home.
Kate Broderick holds bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Saint Bonaventure University and has done post-master's study in higher education administration at ODU. She was an award-winning elementary school special education teacher and a nurse in Virginia, Massachusetts and New York.
An experienced presenter and author of several articles, Broderick is collaborating on a book chapter with an attorney with the U.S. Office of Civil Rights. She is on boards of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, the Association for Higher Education and Disabilities, Achievable Dream and the Up Center. She received the 2012 Humanitarian Award from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, Tidewater chapter.
Robin Ray is the president and CEO of Atlantic Dominion Distributors in Virginia Beach. She is also the great-granddaughter of Leroy W. Davis, who, in 1875, founded her company's predecessor, Old Dominion Tobacco Co., a manufacturing establishment that supplied retail tobacco stores with handmade cigars.
The L.W. Davis Tobacco Co. was formed after Leroy Davis acquired several local tobacco jobbers, bought out some other tobacco companies and began the distribution of multiple tobacco products.
Today, Atlantic Dominion Distributors supplies more than 10,000 different products to all classes of the retail trade. With more than 500 employees, the company is now one of the largest private firms, by revenues, in Virginia, and the 22nd largest convenience store distributor in the United States. Ray also owns Hoffman Beverage Co., a local Anheuser-Busch distributor.
Ray has a bachelor's degree in history and political science from the University of Georgia at Athens and a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, from Eastern Virginia Medical School.
Ray's service to the community and to regional higher education is extensive. She has generously supported numerous civic, arts and cultural organizations and has served on boards at ODU, Norfolk State, Virginia Wesleyan and EVMS. At ODU, she established two scholarships, one in memory of her brother, and on Founders' Day 2002, she received the Tim Miller Philanthropic Award.