For the type of person who exemplifies the Carey Business School’s Dean’s Alumni Advisory Board, look no further than Jeri Fellerman (MS, Business ’99).
After more than 30 years in commercial banking and now a senior vice president managing a team of commercial bankers at Eagle Bank in Virginia, Fellerman is quick to acknowledge that the skills and relationships she developed at Carey have helped lead to her success. Her work with the DAAB is one way she is repaying that debt.
“I’ve been able to use my Carey education to advance my career. I believe that it is my responsibility to give back so that others have the opportunity to take advantage of the education offered by Carey,” Fellerman says. “Increased giving will help attract qualified students, which will ultimately improve the Carey brand.”
Fellerman is not alone in her beliefs. In fact, she’s one of two dozen like-minded Carey Business School alumni from different industries and backgrounds who make up the DAAB.
The board was formed in 2008 and serves in an advisory role to Dean Bernard Ferrari on key alumni issues.
“The DAAB’s purpose is to provide connectivity between the school and our alumni,” says Fellerman, who has served as chair for the past three years. “I think people are very proud they graduated from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, so our mission is to reach out to all of those alumni and get them engaged.”
The DAAB is in the process of implementing a new strategic plan, which outlines the goals and measures by which the board members will help support the school’s highest priorities. The key to the plan is upping the level of engagement among Carey alumni with the school.
The board has made strides in recent years, including the establishment of regional alumni clubs in Beijing, Shanghai, San Francisco, and New York City.
“Forming regional clubs and gaining a nucleus of people that want to maintain their identity with Johns Hopkins and Carey furthers that mission of engagement,” says Andrew Klein (MBA ’02), who will be taking over from Fellerman as DAAB chair. Klein serves as vice chairman of the department of surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Herbert Strauss (MBA ’00; MS, Information and Telecommunication Systems ’02) is a longtime DAAB member who works as an assistant deputy commissioner for systems and deputy chief information officer for the Social Security Administration. He believes establishing the alumni clubs will help connect Carey alumni around the world.
“We think that every alum always wants to connect with the place that they went to school and the students that share the experience they shared,” Strauss says. “We have folks all around the world, and it is our job as an alumni association to find ways to be relevant to them.”
Another example of the DAAB engagement mission is the mentorship program in which students are partnered with board members whom they can lean on for advice while beginning their careers.
There is also a new DAAB-endowed scholarship fund spearheaded by Fellerman and DAAB member Charles Constable (MBA ’05). Also included in this engagement strategy is recruitment.
“We are looking for alumni who are leaders with vision, passion, and commitment, people who embrace the mantra of business with humanity in mind. We want them to engage with students, to network with them, to mentor them,” says Strauss.
Klein adds: “We are developing opportunities for alumni to give back to the school in some way, and that might be giving back in terms of mentoring people in the school, it might be giving back in terms of financial contributions.”
– Luke Lavoie