Five individuals representing Rochester Institute of Technology were recognized as part of the Rochester Business Journal’s 2013 40 Under 40 at its annual luncheon on Nov. 21. The prestigious designation is given to the region’s top 40 men and women, under the age of 40, who have achieved professional success and made significant civic contributions in the local area.
New to the RBJ list are Kanika Wright ’01, an alumna from RIT’s industrial and systems engineering program and the equipment-manufacturing manager for Carestream Health; Meredith Smith, associate vice president of the university’s Government and Community Relations Division; Timothy Hern ’00, partner at Rizzo, DiGiacco, Hern and Baniewicz, certified public accountants; Gerald Furciniti ’01, portfolio manager/senior equity analyst at QCI Asset Management Inc.; and Lomax Campbell ’09, assistant to the vice president, Division of Economic Development and Innovative Workforce Services at Monroe Community College. The latter three are all graduates of RIT’s Saunders College of Business.
Kanika Wright manages more than 100 employees at the company’s Rochester plant and reports to the worldwide director of manufacturing operations. She has held several key positions within the company, always seeking to incorporate engineering and process management skills with close ties to both customers and co-workers, Wright says.
“I selected industrial engineering because I knew that I wanted to work with people, and I just always had this quest for wanting to know why things are done,” she says.
She began as an undeclared student in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. When she graduated from the program in 2001, Wright began work at Eastman Kodak Co. as a project excellence engineer for its health imaging division. In the next several years, this division would transition out of Kodak and become Carestream Health. Wright remained with this group and has since held positions as computer-radiography transition manager, operational excellence and manufacturing product transition manager, and early on as purchasing manager with the company. The changes within the company were an impetus for her to seek out not only opportunities in the workplace, but skills in strategic leadership to supplement her abilities.
Wright is seen as a role model of professional and civic leadership, according to her supervisor Diana Nole, president of Carestream’s Digital Medical Solutions.
“She has continued to have success in her roles within Carestream due to her ability to listen, learn and challenge those around her,” Noles says. “She is viewed as an empathetic individual while aggressively setting goals and objectives for her group that allow them to stretch and grow themselves while achieving more for the business.”
Meredith Smith is responsible for developing and implementing strategies that will build and enhance RIT’s relationships with government officials and community partners. During her time at RIT, she has played a key role in the university’s legislative advocacy efforts at both the federal and state levels and also serves as the RIT staff liaison for the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities.
As part of MCC’s Division of Economic Development, Lomax Campbell is a liaison for business and community initiatives and manages career exploration and labor market information programs. He has long been a mentor for African American teens in the community and is a charter member of the Rotary Club of Monroe. He is active on several community boards including Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Rochester and the Genesee Center for the Arts and Education. He remains connected to RIT serving as a board member on its Alumni Association.
As portfolio manager/senior equity analyst at QCI Asset Management Inc., Gerald Furciniti leads the equity research team and oversees analyst development. In this capacity, he works closely with a variety of clients on portfolio development. Outside of the workplace, he is active in the Rochester Rotary Club, and serves as director, of the Friendship Children’s Center.
As one of the partners at Rizzo, DiGiacco, Hern and Baniewicz, Timothy Hern leads the audit division. His role includes preparation of corporate and individual client financial statement audits and reviews, returns and provides consultation on tax matters. Outside of the workplace he is active on several community boards including Melissa’s Living Legacy Teen Cancer Foundation/Teens Living With Cancer; the Genesee Country Village & Museum. He also participated in Flower City Habitat for Humanity “Leaders Build” and held several leadership positions with Mercy Residential Service.
Note: RIT has had numerous representatives from its faculty, staff and alumni on the RBJ 40 Under 40 list in the past several years. More information about this year’s honorees and the program can be found at: http://www.rbj.net/article.asp?aID=202674.