The 2007 Awardees
Coral Gables, FL
Maria Teresa ("Tere") Alvarez Canida, a Miami based investment executive, received the John Carroll Award in ceremonies held at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Ft. Lauderdale, FL on April 14, 2007.
The awards release on Canida noted the following: "She is president and managing principal of Taplin, Canida, & Habacht - a Miami investment advisory firm. Her work has earned her the honor of being named one of the most influential Hispanics in the U.S. by Hispanic Business and induction into the National Association of Securities Professionals Hall of Fame. Canida's civic work includes membership in the University of Miami Citizens Board Trustees, the College Assistance Program Inc., and The New American Alliance.
"[Teresa] comes from a big family of Hoyas, starting with her uncle Gonzalo (B'65), and including her siblings Maria Luisa (I'73), Pedro Antonio (B'78), Ignacio (F'80), and sister-in-law, as well as her two nieces and her son Brian (F'07). That tradition, in fact, led Canida and her siblings to show their gratitude to Georgetown University and to their father, who brought the family to Florida from Cuba, by creating the Alvarez Memorial Scholarship.
"Her enthusiasm for Georgetown has helped persuade alumni to contribute generously to Georgetown University in support of its opportunities. In addition, she supports the SFS Dean's Leadership Annual Fund, the Luis Aguilar Endowed Scholarship for Hispanic Students, the Latin American Alliance, mission and ministry programs, and athletics.
"She is a member of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service's Board of Visitors and the Board of Regents as well as founder of Georgetown's Latin American Alliance and a member of its leadership council.
Dr. Anne E. O'Donnell
Physician, Professor, Alumni Volunteer
Dr. Anne O'Donnell, a professor of medicine and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Georgetown University Hospital, received the John Carroll Award in ceremonies held at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Ft. Lauderdale, FL on April 14, 2007.
The awards release on Canida noted the following: " Since arriving as a medical student in 1978, O'Donnell has been a presence at Georgetown University for most of the last 30 years. During her career she has served not only Georgetown students and alumni, but also her community and her country.
"After completing her medical school at Georgetown, O'Donnell served four years as a major in the U.S. Air Force Medical Corps before returning to Georgetown in 1991 as a professor. Today, she serves as chief of the division of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine.
"O'Donnell's generous gifts of time and support have greatly benefited the medical school's Board of Governors, executive committee, Board of Visitors, and the Georgetown University Alumni Association's Board of Governors. Most notably, she has served on Georgetown's Medical Alumni Board since 1992, and has been chair since 2001. Colleagues and alumni credit O'Donnell's service on the Medical Alumni Board with improving outreach between medical students and alumni, and between alumni and the university by initiating such programs as Medical Center on the Road and Medical Student Alumni Ambassadors. For her part, O'Donnell, a 1997 Founders Award recipient, sees her service as a way to give back to Georgetown.
"I feel a tremendous debt of gratitude, and I've had great opportunities in my career because of my education at Georgetown," she says. "I got to follow in the path of those that taught me, and can help get the word out about the successes of the medical school."
Attorney, Alumni Volunteer
Lawrence Okinaga, a Honolulu-based attorney and longtime chairman of the Hawaii committee of the Alumni Admissions program, received the John Carroll Award in ceremonies held at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Ft. Lauderdale, FL on April 14, 2007.
The awards release on Okinaga noted the following: " Okinaga is a partner at Carlsmith Ball LLP in Honolulu and is a member of its executive committee. Previously, he clerked for U.S. District Court Chief Judge Martin Pence, was an assistant to U.S. Rep. Spark M. Matsunaga, and served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
"Following graduation from Georgetown Law, Okinaga founded the Georgetown Club of Hawaii, serving as its first president, including the time when the club hosted the 1997 John Carroll Weekend in Honolulu. He continues his leadership by raising funds, including periodic golf tournaments for the Georgetown Scholarship and the Students of Hawaii Scholarships programs. He has hosted visits and receptions for President DeGioia, Dean Aleinikoff and various Law Center professors and University athletic teams. He and his wife, Carolyn, annually host a reception for Georgetown students and their parents. Okinaga also played a significant role in creating Georgetown Law's Morita Chair in Asian Legal Studies and the Takada International & Graduate Programs Suites. He is and has been the chair for 17 years of the Alumni Admissions Program, as well as a member of the Law Center's Board of Visitors. He has served on the Law Center's National Law Alumni Board and Leadership Council, and as a reunion volunteer.
"In Hawaii, Okinaga has worked with regional and national boards and organizations spanning law, community affairs, business, finance, government, health, and education. In recognition of his service, he has received the American Judicature Society's highest award, its Justice Award, and the Law Center's Paul R. Dean Alumni Award."
Brian J. Tart
Business Executive, Alumni Volunteer
Coral Gables, FL
Brian Tart, former CEO of the Unisa apparel company, received the John Carroll Award in ceremonies held at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Ft. Lauderdale, FL on April 14, 2007.
The awards release on Tart noted the following: "[Brian] has worked in the apparel industry for nearly 40 years, getting his start in sales and marketing positions before becoming president and CEO of three different companies, the current being Unisa, a worldwide women's shoe company.
"His time at Georgetown also inspired him to give back and get involved, where his support has been significant and enthusiastic. Tart serves on the Board of Governors, Hoyas Unlimited Board and was a member of the Board of Regents and Georgetown College Board of Advisors. A 2000 winner of the William Gaston Award, he and his wife also have established a scholarship fund for undergraduates in Georgetown College and the School of Nursing & Health Studies. Tart is an active interviewer for the Alumni Admissions Program (AAP) and also supports the Miami Club and the Latin American Alliance."
Philip A. Vasta
Attorney, Alumni Volunteer
Santa Fe, NM
Philip A. ("Phil") Vasta, a retired venture capitalist, received the John Carroll Award in ceremonies held at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Ft. Lauderdale, FL on April 14, 2007.
The awards release on Vasta noted the following: " His love of finance began in his undergraduate years. He served as class treasurer, treasurer of The Yard (former Georgetown College student council), and as business manager of The HOYA. These opportunities were further enhanced by his acceptance to the honors program, Phi Beta Kappa, and membership in the Philodemic Society, Georgetown's oldest organization.
"After a career in Connecticut in securities law and in real estate and venture capital investments, he moved back to Washington, D.C., where, according to his colleagues, he was a prodigious fundraiser for the McDonough School of Business building and was a mentor to his junior colleagues.
"As an alumnus, Vasta has served the Georgetown University Alumni Association as a governor and senator, and as an interviewer and Northern Connecticut committee chair for the Alumni Admissions Program. Maintaining connections with classmates and regularly participating in reunions are important to him, particularly his 25th reunion for which he was a co-chair and fundraiser. His alumni activities helped earn him the William Gaston Alumni Award. But most importantly, his belief in the Jesuit ideal of service to others has been a constant. He established the Mary Vasta/John Carroll Scholarship, was one of five Hoyas who dedicated the Alumni House [kitchen] to their others, and supports the Georgetown Scholarship Program."