Inspiring Words From The 2018 Graduate Alumni Award Winners

Author: Tim Ponisciak

The Mendoza College of Business recognizes alumni each year for their business success, their passion to serve their communities and their involvement with Notre Dame. These alumni show an exemplary commitment to the mission of the College. This year, the College is proud to announce five winners for this year’s awards. The award winners will be honored at the fourth annual Mendoza Graduate Alumni Awards Luncheon, on Friday, October 12, the day before the ND-Pittsburgh football game. The Luncheon will take place in the new Downes Club on the seventh floor of Corbett Family Hall, overlooking the field of Notre Dame Stadium. This year’s award winners come from the MNA, EMBA and MBA programs.

To attend the Luncheon visit our registration site. Cost to attend is just $20 and includes lunch and drinks.

Profile Picture 1

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes an alumnus/na who has demonstrated achievement in business and a commitment to the Mendoza College of Business through leadership and service to the graduate business community. This year’s winner is Rian Gorey ’82, MBA ’84.

Rian is a long-time management consultant and business leader based out of Atlanta. Rian has always made service to Notre Dame a priority in his life. He is currently serving in his final year as a board member for the Mendoza Graduate Alumni Board, providing advice and assisting with projects that help propel the College forward. Rian also serves as Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors for the Notre Dame Club of Atlanta and is a longstanding member of Mendoza’s John Cardinal O’Hara Society. In addition to his volunteer work with Notre Dame, Rian has also contributed to the local community in Georgia through decades of volunteer work as a volunteer supervisor with Atlanta’s Habitat for Humanity chapter. Rian also serves his community through his work with the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta. 

“I am completely humbled and honored,” states Gorey, “In the alumni club, our mission is to help others through our volunteer work and assistance in areas such as scholarships for needy students. We strive to create a large and strong community because many hands make light work and we can accomplish much more for others. I truly believe in Father Sorin’s vision that Notre Dame, and we graduates, must continually strive to be a powerful force for good in the world.”

The Recent Alumni Award recognizes a graduate business alumnus/na who graduated within the past seven years and has demonstrated commitment to the College of Business or to the Mendoza mission of "Ask More of Business" through service to the community. This year, the College recognizes two individuals with this award: Ray Camosy and Jessica (Bonanno) Rose.

Rjc Parkside Portrait

Ray Camosy ’72, MNA ’12 has made service to nonprofits a lifelong commitment. Camosy has served on industry boards, higher education boards and boards for religious institutions. He decided to attend the Master of Nonprofit Administration program at Notre Dame in part to become a better, more qualified board member for these institutions. In 2015, he moved to South Bend simply to be closer to the University he loved. He is now a professor at Notre Dame, teaching construction management, a subject in which he has great expertise from his time serving as President and CEO of his family’s firm, Camosy Construction. Since moving to South Bend, his board service continues, as Ray is now a member of the board for the Forever Learning Institute.

“First of all, I view becoming a recipient of Mendoza’s “Recent Alumni Award” to be a distinct honor,” Camosy stated. “Secondly though, I have to admit that such an honor as this one carries with it a parallel feeling of humility because of the many remarkable accomplishments of my fellow Notre Dame alumni who are past recipients of these awards.” 

Jessica Bonanno Rose

Jessica (Bonanno) Rose is a graduate from the MBA Class of 2014 who has chosen to pursue a career that focuses on building income for low and moderate income families and communities. The focus of her work is on promoting cutting-edge, market-based solutions to poverty such as developing an impact investment fund, whose goal is to create quality jobs with ownership pathways in Cleveland, OH. One of her classmates who nominated her stated “Jessica’s work with the nonprofit Democracy Collaborative has been redefining opportunities for individuals in low income and high risk communities. Jessica has traveled the country to work with individuals and companies to assist them in developing sustainable strategies that bring their products and services to market.  In addition, Jessica is always mindful of social responsibility, and she is a leading example of why a Notre Dame education can be such a powerful complement to the right mindset. I am proud to be a classmate of hers.”

In addition to being nominated for her work professionally, Jessica was also nominated for her ability to keep her classmates connected. “It is an enormous honor to be recognized by a community which exemplifies the excellence, values, and orientation toward service that I want my career to represent,” said Jessica. “When we leave the safety of the University, it becomes more difficult to stay true to these ideals but as alumni we must strive to develop the practices that keep us centered in that mission.  Sometimes it's tempting to feel we are failing, when we fail to be perfect, but as a community we must encourage each other to continue striving.  Receiving this award is such a humbling affirmation for me and provides exactly that kind of encouragement.  It reaffirms my commitment to my own vocation and the mission of our University.”

The Ask More of Business Award recognizes a graduate business alumnus/na who owns or leads a company that is successful in its industry and also has a specific goal of making a positive impact either on its local commmunity or on the globe. The 2018 winner is Jordan Karcher MBA ‘15. 

Jordanmollyoncouchcloseup2

Karcher founded Grounds & Hounds, an online coffee provider that has a strong social mission. 20% of all profits are donated each year to local animal rescue organizations. To date, the company has supported organizations in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Chicago, South Bend, Washington, DC, Dallas, Nashville, Charleston, SC and many more areas. Karcher started his business while in the MBA program at Mendoza.

“Receiving the "Ask More of Business Award" is both exciting and humbling,” Karcher shared. “Five years ago, Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. was nothing more than a dream to make a difference for a few dogs in need of a helping hand. But, with the support of the Mendoza staff and a few passionate classmates, the dream evolved into a fully functioning social impact organization, which has grown to benefit hundreds of organizations and thousands of at-risk dogs throughout the country. Notre Dame's ethos to represent more than a bottom line is inseparable from our brand identity and culture, and I am honored to be an every day advocate to Ask More of Business.” 

The Commitment to Michiana Award recognizes a graduate business alumnus/na who lives in the Michiana area and has made significant contributions to the local community through community service work, civil service work or helping to bring more jobs to this area. This year’s winner is Amish Shah EMBA ’05.

Amish 3

Shah serves as CEO of KemKrest, a supply chain and logistics firm based in Elkhart, IN that primarily services the automotive industry and employs approximately 600 individuals. In addition to his success growing KemKrest, Shah also is involved in a number of ways to help the local community. He brought “Lemonade Day” to Elkhart, which helps young people learn financial literacy through making and selling lemonade. He also currently serves on the Indiana University South Bend Chancellor's Advisory Board, the Beacon Health System Board of Directors and the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Development Authority Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

“I am very excited that Notre Dame is taking the time to recognize graduates that are making an impact on the South Bend – Elkhart Region,” Shah said. “This further shows the commitment that Notre Dame has in investing in our local community. There are so many community champions that are helping to push our region forward. I am certainly honored by this recognition and am inspired by the energy of all those around me, all taking a role in making our community a place that we are proud to live, work and play.”

Congratulations again to this year's winners! Please join us on October 12 to celebrate their achievements.