Eight alumni honored at Distinguished Alumni Awards Luncheon

Lahey speaks at lunch

Nov. 18, 2013 - Quinnipiac University honored eight of its top graduates at the Distinguished Alumni Awards Luncheon Nov. 16.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented biennially to alumni who: display outstanding leadership and achievement in their professions or careers, which enhances Quinnipiac's reputation; continually serve their local and global community and Quinnipiac through their personal and professional participation in various civic and local affairs; act as a conduit for alumni who are looking to re-connect or further develop their relationship with the institution; and display a continuous philanthropic loyalty and bond with Quinnipiac.

This year's honorees are: Stella (Boni) Cretella, of West Haven; Joel D. Moore, of Ringoes, N.J.; Pamela (Dispoto) Moore, of Ringoes, N.J.; Joseph Natarelli, of Madison; David B. Rusate, of Southbury; and Clifford W. Spelke, of Roslyn Heights, N.Y.

A 1950 graduate of Larson College, Cretella earned a bachelor's degree in medical technology in 1961 and a master's degree of laboratory sciences in 1977 from Quinnipiac. Her early career was spent as a staff technologist in the clinical laboratory at Yale-New Haven Hospital before advancing to the Yale University School of Medicine. She retired in 1997 after 30 years as a research associate in the Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Rheumatology. 

After graduating from Quinnipiac in 1977, Joel Moore began his career as an accountant, opening his own accounting and tax practice in Princeton, N.J. in 1983. He sold his firm in 2012.  For more than a decade, he held two very full-time positions with the dual responsibility of his practice and the creation and management of The Ridge at Back Brook, a private golf club.

Pamela Moore, who is Joel Moore's wife of 35 years, is a 1976 graduate of Quinnipiac's occupational therapy program. She enjoyed a long career in health care as a practitioner, administrator president of the New Jersey Occupational Therapy Association and surveyor for the Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities before retiring in 2000 to devote all of her time to the development of The Ridge at Back Brook.

Natarelli graduated from Quinnipiac in 1986 with a degree in accounting. With more than 20 years of experience with international accounting and consulting firms, Natarelli serves as the partner-in-charge of Marcum LLP's New Haven office, as well as the National Construction Industry group leader. He is a member of Marcum's Management Committee and frequently serves as the lead audit engagement partner for a variety of consulting matters.

Rusate graduated from Quinnipiac in 1979 with a degree in international finance. He spent the first eight years of his career with Union Carbide in various international treasury assignments. He was stationed in Hong Kong and Singapore from 1986 through 1990 as the area finance manager for Union Carbide. In November 1992, he joined the General Electric Company. Rusate has responsibility for foreign exchange and commodity risk management at GE. In addition, he is the global treasurer of GE's largest business, Power & Water.

Spelke graduated from Quinnipiac in 1977 with a degree in accounting and earned a certified public accountant's certificate shortly thereafter. From his junior year until 1979, he worked for the Hamden-based accounting firm, T. M. Byxbee Company. From 1979-2002, he served in various senior management positions in the ownership and management of ocean-going liquid and dry bulk vessels. One of his companies, National Seatreade, Inc., provided the water borne transportation of liquid waste that became the foundation of the land-based liquid waste disposal programs currently in use in New York City and Nassau and Westchester Counties. Since leaving the shipping business, Spelke has invested in and worked with a wide array of companies, including real estate, airports, media technology and other specialty entities in the financial services space. Spelke also is a former member of Quinnipiac's Board of Trustees.

Robert P. Mitchell, of Cambridge, Mass., will receive the Service to Quinnipiac Award. This award is presented biennially to an alumna or alumnus who displays an undying passion for Quinnipiac by generously giving much of their time to the continued excellence of the Alumni Association program; exemplifies Quinnipiac's commitment to excellence and the community to fellow alumni; encourages fellow graduates to be involved and informed about their alma mater; and displays philanthropic loyalty to the university.

Mitchell is the assistant dean for diversity relations and communications, Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. He graduated from Quinnipiac in 1973 with a degree in sociology, then continued on to Syracuse University where he earned a master's degree in journalism. At Quinnipiac, Mitchell has served on the National Board of Governors since 1992: first as Boston Alumni Chapter president (1992-94), as president of the Alumni Association (1994-2000) and currently as a governor emeritus. As president of the Board of Governors, Mitchell represented the interests of Quinnipiac alumni to the University's board of trustees.

Bobak "Bobby" Emamian, of New York, N.Y. and formerly of Cheshire, will be recognized with the Recent Alumni Award. This award is presented biennially to an alumna or alumnus who has graduated within the past 10 years and who has made outstanding contributions to their profession and/or community since graduation. In addition, the honoree exemplifies Quinnipiac's commitment to excellence and community to fellow alumni through their involvement in the Alumni Association; encourages graduates to stay connected to Quinnipiac after graduation; and displays their dedication to the university their meaningful philanthropy.

Emamian graduated from Quinnipiac in 2009 with a degree in entrepreneurship.  As the co-founder and CEO of Prolific Interactive, Emamian leads a team of focused professionals who are the anchor to the company culture, process and products. Since starting Prolific with co-founder and college baseball teammate Eric Weber, the company has grown into a team of 30 spanning from its Brooklyn, N.Y. headquarters to San Francisco. Since 2009, Emamian has created partnerships with companies like lululemon, ModCloth, Rent the Runway and Absolut Vodka, successfully pushing them to think mobile first.

"We are extremely proud of this outstanding group of honorees who embody the ideals of the Quinnipiac Alumni Association," said Donald Weinbach, vice president for development and alumni affairs.

Cretella Joel Moore and Pamela (Dispoto) Moore Joseph Natarelli
Stella (Boni) Cretella
AS '50, BS '61, MHS '77
Joel D. Moore '77 and Pamela (Dispoto) Moore '76 Joseph Natarelli '86

David Rusate Clifford Spelke Robert Mitchell Bobby Emamian
David B. Rusate '79 Clifford W. Spelke '77 Robert P. Mitchell '73 Bobby Emamian '09