2023 - 2024 Distinguished Alumni Awardees

College of Art and Design

Head shot Michael Lambert

Michael Lambert BS ’74
Founder & Chairman, Lambert Media Group

Michael spent the last 40 years in public and private companies acquiring, managing, and growing US and international media and technology business, including broadcasting, cable, and channel development, digital spectrum management, film and television production and distribution, music, and cinema.

In 1992, Michael founded Lambert Media Group after roles as President of Domestic Television at 20th Century Fox, Executive Vice President of HBO, and President of Viacom’s domestic television division. Michael also has been an advisor, co-investor, and portfolio company board member for various private equity firms including, but not limited to, Apollo Capital, Boston Ventures, Clarity Partners, Falcon Investments, and TowerBrook Capital.

While earning his BS in photography at RIT, Michael served as GM of the radio station, WITR, and oversaw the station’s transition from AM to FM frequencies. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jackie.

College of Engineering Technology

Head shot of Dan Throop

Dan Throop BS ’73
Owner, Enthusiaser LLC

Dan was part of the first graduating class from RIT’s Engineering Technology program, joining Harris’s RF Communications division upon graduation. Dan quickly moved through the ranks, advancing from the engineering department to become Program Manager for Saudi Arabia in 1983, and finishing as the Vice President for Strategic Business Lines in 1998.

Dan was then named CEO of Atlas Telecommunications in Dubai, providing satellite and radio communication solutions to both government and commercial users. In 2004, he moved back to the US and formed 3Di Technologies. Leveraging Dan’s experience with Atlas, the partners grew 3Di to $45M in sales by 2010. The leadership team made the decision to sell 3Di Technologies to L3 Communications, one of the largest government contractors, for $65M. After his first retirement, he invested in New Energy Equity (NEE), a commercial solar company. With his keen business experience and strong relationships, he led the company’s rapid growth into one of the largest commercial solar services providers in the US.

In 2019, NEE was sold to private equity investors for $21M, at which time Dan, and his loving wife and life-partner of fifty years, Lauran, fully retired. They now split their time between Clayton, NY and Jupiter, FL.

College of Health Sciences and Technology

Head shot Carolyn Khomyak

Carolyn Khomyak BS ’95
Chief Operations Officer, Viason Inc.

Carolyn attributes her success to the opportunity she received at RIT, which changed the trajectory of her life. Upon graduation, she set out to develop her skills using her degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography in multiple imaging specialties. After utilizing the skills she developed at RIT, she met her soon-to-be husband, Sergio Khomyak, at her first job.

Together, Carolyn and Sergio co-founded Image Staffing, Inc. in 1998. Carolyn worked at many healthcare facilities through their new company, then after hiring additional technical staff, brought the company nationwide, staffing many prestigious hospital systems with highly trained sonographers. Later, they enhanced their services to include on-site mobile ultrasound services. Currently, Carolyn is the Chief Operating Officer for Viason Inc., located in Charlotte, NC.

Carolyn and her husband will be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary in 2024. Carolyn is a proud mother of two children, who are both considering a career in healthcare to keep the family spirit of entrepreneurship alive.

Head shot Sergio Khomyak

Sergio Khomyak BS ’94
CEO & Co-Founder, Viason Inc.

Sergio oversees business development and operations for Viason Inc., a growing business providing diagnostic ultrasound services in the Carolinas. His previous work includes being the CEO of Connect Health Partners, Inc., President of Image Staffing, Inc., and Vice President of Insight Imaging, LLC. Prior to managing startup companies, Sergio was in a leadership role as Technical Director at several large healthcare institutions, including UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, NC and Novant Healthcare in Charlotte, NC.

Sergio is a past President of the North Carolina Ultrasound Society (NCUS) and board member/Treasurer for the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (SDMS). He is also credentialed with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) and specializes in general, vascular, and cardiac imaging.

Sergio and his wife of 25 years, Carolyn Khomyak, are both spirited entrepreneurs and have been managing startup companies together since 1998. He and Carolyn have lived in Charlotte, NC since 2003 and are raising two children, who are both considering a career in healthcare to follow in Mom and Dad’s footsteps.

College of Liberal Arts

Head shot Adam Histed

Adam Histed BS ’00
Vice President of Total Rewards & HR Systems, BWX Technologies

Adam is responsible for Diversey’s global executive and non-executive compensation and benefits programs, employee data systems and tools, global mobility, and rewards and recognition.

Prior to joining Diversey in early 2022, Adam led the Total Rewards and HR Systems organization for L3Harris Technologies, a $20B defense firm with 45,000 employees in over thirty countries where he was responsible for developing and executing the strategy for, and service provision of, L3Harris’ executive and non-executive compensation programs; global benefits design and compliance; global mobility initiatives and services; human resources information systems; and mergers and acquisition stewardship as related to the human resources function.

Adam joined L3Harris Technologies in 2013 from United Technologies Corporation where he was director of Human Resources Operations for the United Technologies Aerospace Systems division, overseeing the provision of executive and non-executive compensation, global benefits, learning and development, and human resources information systems services and solutions to more than 30,000 employees globally. Previously, he held roles of increasing responsibility at United Technologies in compensation, mergers, acquisitions, business integration, learning and development and various human resources generalist roles in the United States and abroad.

Adam is a member of the RIT College of Liberal Arts National Council. He holds a BS in criminal justice from the Rochester Institute of Technology and MS degrees in both criminal justice and human resources from Michigan State University. In 2006, Adam completed the HR Executive Program at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and in 2008 he completed the UTC Emerging Leaders Program at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

College of Science

Head shot Breeann Wilson

Breeann Wilson BS ’02
Podiatrist, Pure Podiatry of WNY PLLC

Breeann arrived at RIT as an undeclared major and chose biochemistry after her first year simply because she loved biology and chemistry. Her rigorous biochemistry training at RIT prepared her well for medical school and today she runs a private podiatry practice in Buffalo, NY. Breeann participated in the Minorities in Medicine Education Program (MMEP) at Duke University after her junior year, introducing her to the field. She was accepted into The Dr. William M. School College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University in Chicago, one of the top podiatry schools in the country, then completed her residency in Buffalo and Los Angeles.

After working in a group practice for six years, Breeann opened Pure Podiatry of WNY, PLLC, and treats patients of all ages. She sits on the RIT Alumni Association Board of Directors and has traveled to more than twenty countries, including spending time in South Africa teaching children about proper bone health. She is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, and serves as the Chair for the YMCA Buffalo/Niagara Board of Directors.

Golisano College of Computing & Information Sciences

Head shot Roth Karen

Karen E. Roth BS ’06
Chief Engineer, Air Force Research Laboratory’s Information Directorate

Karen is the Deputy Director of AFWERX, the innovation arm of the Department of the Air Force. She leads strategy and execution across a $1.3 billion portfolio which serves to expand the defense industrial base for advanced technologies, empower Airmen and Guardian talent, and drive faster technology transfer to operational capability.

Karen was previously a Chief Engineer for the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate, ensuring technical excellence on the international stage. She directed programming and focused on strategic external partnerships to accelerate change and technical impact to the Air Force, which resulted in the creation of the Innovare Alliance. Innovare is an impact driven global community of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs converging on Air Force technology interests via specialized facilities and programming for technology transfer and open innovation.

Her passion and advocacy for women in STEM led to her participation in the Society of Women Engineers, where she is the FY25 Society President and past Treasurer and Director of Professional Excellence of the international organization. She has brought this passion to other organizations like the Girls Scouts and the RIT Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences National Council. Karen holds an Executive MBA from Indiana University Kelley School of Business, a master’s degree in Systems Engineering from Cornell University and a BS in Software Engineering from RIT. She is currently pursuing an Executive Certificate in Public Leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Karen Roth participates in the Golisano College of Computing & Information Sciences National Council in her personal capacity and does not represent the Department of the Air Force in this capacity.

Graduate School – Doctoral Alumni Award

Head shot Nick Conn

Nicholas Conn BS ’11, MS ’13, PhD ’16
Founder & Chief Scientific Officer, Casana

Nick is the founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Casana. Nick is trailblazing in the world of medical devices with his toilet seat-based cardiovascular monitoring system. Nick's passion for innovation and commitment to improving patient outcomes drove him to complete his PhD in Microsystems Engineering, where he first developed the technology that would ultimately become the backbone of Casana's transformative platform. His innovative approach to medical device development, combined with his extensive knowledge of IoT and wearable technologies, has positioned Casana as a key player in the rapidly-evolving healthcare landscape.

Nick specializes in custom algorithm development, ultra-low power embedded system and instrumentation design, signal processing, cardiovascular anatomy and physiology, cloud infrastructure, business development, and leadership.

Kate Gleason College of Engineering

Head shot Scott Reardon

Scott Reardon BS ’96
CEO, D3 Engineering

Scott is a member of RIT’s KGCOE National Council to advise the Dean on strategic issues and initiatives of major significance to the College, while also shaping visionary plans for the future. He has also served as a member of the Biomedical Engineering Advisory Board.

While working full-time and attending RIT as a graduate student, Scott started D3 Engineering in 1999, and he has led the company through growth and challenges over the past 24 years. D3 partners with major semiconductor companies to provide product development and manufacturing for performance-critical embedded systems across industrial, medical, and automotive applications. D3 currently employs over 70 people in Rochester, New York. Over half the staff are RIT alumni and D3 has employed nearly 100 co-op students over the past 20 years. D3 is an engaged member of the RIT community, supporting multidisciplinary senior design projects, various clubs and other activities across the campus.

Scott lives in the Rochester region with his wife, Liz, and their two kiddos.

National Technical Institute for the Deaf

Head shot Rosa Lee

Rosa Lee Timm BS ’00
Division President at CSD Social Venture Fund

Rosa Lee is a biracial Deaf woman, known for her versatility as an executive leader, entrepreneur, and a performance artist. Her achievements include the creation of American Sign Language music videos, the establishment of a Deaf music camp, her starring role in the feature film Versa Effect, and captivating audiences with her one-woman show for nearly two decades. Rosa Lee earned her BS in Social Work from RIT and a MS in Rehabilitation Counseling on Deafness from Western Oregon University.

Her unwavering dedication to marketing, creativity, and entrepreneurship paved the way for her current role as Division President at CSD Social Venture Fund, a division of Communication Service for the Deaf, one of the nation’s largest Deaf-run nonprofit organizations.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Rosa Lee is a loving partner and a devoted mother to two children.

Saunders College of Business

Head shot Jim Salzano

Jim Salzano BS ’87
CEO & President of Jones & Vining, Inc

Jim is the CEO of Jones & Vining, Inc., a global manufacturer of footwear components supplied to over 500 of the best footwear brands including Nike, Adidas, New Balance, On and Under Armour.

In 1995, Jim joined Clarks Shoes as an Executive Vice President, becoming President in 2010 and setting Clarks on a path to achieve over $1 billion in revenue by 2013. During his time there, Jim was recognized as one of industry’s “Footwear News Power 100”. In 2015, he took over as CEO of Easy Spirit, a NYC-based women’s footwear brand. Over an 18-month period, product, marketing, and distribution underwent a complete transformation, and was instrumental in the sale of the business to Marc Fisher in December 2016.

Jim has chaired the board for the Two Ten Footwear Foundation and was awarded the AA Bloom Award, which recognizes an individual in the industry for outstanding volunteerism. At Clarks, he co-founded the First Step Program, which provided internship opportunities to people with disabilities. He is a member of the RIT President’s Roundtable and Chair of the Saunders College of Business National Council. He resides in Boston with his wife Shana and four children, Nathaniel, Luca, Caden, and Ryker.

School of Individualized Study

Head shot Mona Harrington

Mona M. Harrington MS ’07
Assistant Director, National Risk Management Center

Mona Harrington was selected to lead the National Risk Management Center (NRMC) at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in September of 2022. As Assistant Director, she collaborates with public-private partners to identify, analyze, and mitigate risk from cyber and physical threats to critical infrastructure. Under her leadership, the NRMC is advancing its integrated analytic capabilities to support how government and industry share information, manage risk, and prepare and respond to threats.

Through the facilitation of strategic, cross-sector risk management efforts, Harrington oversees some of CISA’s key initiatives to include the securing of elections, emerging technologies, and supply chains. She is the governmental co-chair for the Information and Communications Technology Supply Chain Risk Management Task Force.

Assistant Director Harrington is an accomplished executive with over 20 years of Federal Government experience. She has worked in a variety of leadership roles requiring the direction of multi-million-dollar budgets. Prior to joining CISA, Assistant Director Harrington served in several positions for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), including as the Executive Director and the Chief Information and Security Officer. Before joining the EAC, Harrington spent 17 years in cybersecurity and information technology leadership roles in the Judiciary, including as the Assistant Circuit Executive for IT and Security, overseeing multiple divisions responsible for all aspects of safeguarding software, data, and systems.

Assistant Director Harrington holds a Master of Science from the College of Applied Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology with a concentration in cyber and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear warfare. She also holds a Senior Managers in Government Executive Certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School.

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