Smith Students: Learn How to Navigate the Financial Storm
Town Hall Meeting - Friday, October 31, 2008
10 a.m. – Noon,
Tyser Auditorium, VMH Room 1212
Questions? Contact the OCM at (301) 405-2301.
President, Financial Advantage Associates
Jonathan Abbett is a UMD Alumni and has been in the financial services industry for over
Abbett began his career with Equitable Financial Services (now known as AXA) and
remained with them for 9 years. In 1997, Abbett left Equitable to open his own firm,
Financial Advantage Associates Inc., in Rockville, MD to specialize in serving the
needs of not-for-profit associations and emerging high net worth individuals.
Abbett has grown Financial Advantage Associates from a two person start up in 1997
to a 17 person professional financial services firm managing over 100 million in
assets under management and investment accounts in addition to managing over 500
million in life insurance. Abbett’s 3 year growth plan sets the firm at 30 full-time
professionals. Currently over 50% of the firms financial professionals and nearly
all of its college interns are UMD students and graduates and they hop to continue
that trend in the future through their efforts at both the College Park and Shady
Managing Director, Aronson & Company
B.S. Accounting 1981
Lisa J. Cines, CPA serves as Aronson & Company’s Managing Officer. She joined
the Firm in 1982 and has spent over 25 years in the industry. Cines earned her Bachelor's
Degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland in 1981.
As the firm's top executive, Cines is responsible for the definition and implementation
of strategic initiatives and operational directives for the entire company. Prior
to being voted in as Managing Officer, she served as an officer in A&C’s Government
& Technology Services Group, specializing in accounting, tax and consulting services
with a special emphasis on implementing high level business plans and strategies.
Because of her reputation within the profession, Cines is frequently asked to
make presentations to banking institutions, government contractors, and executives.
Cines has also provided articles for various trade publications and is sought by
the media to provide expert commentary regarding issues in the accounting field.
In 2008, she served as a panelist at a Treasury Department Subcommittee meeting
in Washington, D.C., created to consider and develop recommendations relating to
the sustainability of the auditing profession
Cines is an active participant in a large number of industry organizations as
well as community groups. In 2006, Cines was named to the Board of Directors of the
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) after previously having
served on the AICPA Council. Her efforts have been recognized by several media and
industry outlets and, in 2005, she was named one of the Washington Business Journal’s
"25 Women Who Mean Business."
Cines currently serves as North American Chairperson of Praxity and she is a member
of the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement, the Greater Washington Board of
Trade, and the Executive Committee of the Greater Washington Initiative. Cines also
lends her expertise and dedication to the MACPA Accounting Education & Career Task
Force and the University of Maryland Accounting Department.
Associate Director of Organization and Leadership Development,
Human Genome Sciences,
Executive MBA 2008
Shiva Gohari Fritsch is the Associate Director of Organization & Leadership Development
at HGS, in Rockville, Maryland. By heading up the OL&D group, Fritsch works closely
within the Talent Management team at HGS to set strategy and optimize current practices
for talent acquisition and talent development for the company, while they plan for
commercialization of their products. Fritsch has been with HGS for 10 years and prior
to leading the OL&D group, Fritsch spent several years in a Business Partner role
where she recruited for functional areas such as R&D, Business Development, IT,
Legal and IP and Engineering. Fritsch has her BA in Biology from Bryn Mawr College
and recently received her MBA from the Smith Executive MBA program.
Senior HR Business Partner, SAIC
Executive MBA 2007
Chris Hiltbrand is a human resources and project management professional with over fifteen years of
experience delivering strategic HR and meaningful solutions across lines of business.
His current role as the Talent Programs Manager involves working with line leadership
to build and implement the overall talent management strategy for SAIC which includes
resource management and succession planning frameworks and systems. He is a recent
MBA graduate of the Smith School of Business and his professional certifications
include Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from SHRM, and Project Management
Professional (PMP) from PMI.
Thomas “Tom” A. Nida
Executive Vice President, United Bank
With more than forty years experience in banking and finance, Tom Nida currently
serves as Executive Vice President for United Bank, directing its community development
activities for the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area. In that capacity, he
focuses on facility financing and investment management for local non-profit organizations
and independent government agencies, providing tax-exempt bond financing, as well
as special revenue and tax increment financing.
Nida also currently serves as Chair of the DC Public Charter School Board, having
been first appointed by former Mayor Anthony Williams in February, 2003, and re-appointed
in August, 2006. This Board is the authorizer for 60 public charter schools, operating
a total of 96 campuses, serving more than 25,000 students throughout the city. An
expert in school finance, he is a frequent speaker at national conferences, and
is the author of several articles published in national banking journals. Nida serves
as a Trustee and member of the Credit Committee of the Charter Schools Development
Corporation, a national non-profit that provides credit enhancement funding for
charter school facility financing, as well as developing charter school facilities
in metropolitan areas across the country. Nida serves on the Board of the DC Students
Construction Trades Foundation, a local non-profit active in the creation of a current
building trades vo-tech program for DC public schools. He has also been appointed
to a Non-Profit Task Force headed by DC Deputy Mayor Neil Albert, focused on recruitment
and retention of DC headquarters facilities for non-profit corporations, as part
of a new DC initiative. Nida has been actively involved in leadership roles with
non-profit Boards for the last 30 years, including local, regional, and national
He is a graduate of the School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin and
an Executive Program at the University of Virginia Graduate School of Business.
He is a guest lecturer at the Law School and the Graduate Business School of Georgetown
University and at the Graduate Business School of the University of Maryland.
also manages United Bank’s Leadership Development Program for the DC Metro region,
developing mid-level bank officers for senior management positions.
John T. Mulligan
Vice President of Underwriting, ICI Mutual Insurance Company
John T. Mulligan is Vice President of Underwriting for ICI Mutual Insurance Company,
the predominant provider of Directors & Officers / Errors & Omissions liability
insurance (“D&O/E&O”) and fidelity bonding for the U.S. mutual fund industry. He
manages risk selection, exposure analysis, terms development, and pricing for ICI
Mutual, which is owned by and operated for its insureds, including T. Rowe Price,
Legg Mason, Vanguard, and Capital Research & Management. Mulligan joined ICI Mutual
in 2002 after receiving an MBA from the University of Maryland. He possesses over
15 years of professional liability management and underwriting experience. From
1994 to 2000, Mulligan held several management and underwriting positions at the Chubb
Group of Insurance Companies. In addition to the MBA, he holds a bachelor's degree
from Villanova University.
Dontá L. Wilson
Executive MBA 2005
Dontá L. Wilson has more than 12 years of banking experience. He joined BB&T
in October 1995 while in college and worked in bank operations. He has served as
a Financial Center Manager, Business Banker and Retail City Executive in Charlotte,
N.C.; as a Regional Business Banking Manager for the Northern Virginia Battlefield
Region; and as an Area Executive/Senior Vice President of Prince William County,
Va. In 2005, at the age of 28, he was appointed a Regional President at BB&T (one
of the top 12 banks in the United States), post a successful tenure of overseeing
several mergers and acquisitions. He currently remains in this role, leading one
of the bank’s largest regions with over $2.5 billion in assets. Wilson leads
corporate banking, commercial banking, retail banking, wealth management, mortgage,
operations, and credit administration within the region.
Wilson has appeared in many publications and will be releasing his new book,
“P3….The Winning Formula for a More Prosperous Life.” This powerful writing, to
be released in early 2009, focuses on understanding and leveraging purpose, passion,
Wilson received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the
University of North Carolina–Charlotte. He is a graduate of the BB&T Banking School
at Wake Forest University and earned an MBA from the University of Maryland. He
is co-founder and CEO of Wilson Capital Management, a multi-million dollar real
estate holding company. He is the President of BB&T’s $2.5 billion Northern Virginia
Battlefield Region. He is a trustee and annual campaign chairman of the Prince William
Health System Foundation, executive committee member of the Prince William Education
Foundation, member and chairman of the My Brothers Keeper mentoring program, member
of Kappa Alpha Psi Inc., and member of Manassas Noon Rotary. Wilson is a member
of the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business Board of Visitors.