Steven M. Berwick (BACC ’74), Kaufman, Rossin & Co.
College of Business Administration alumni at Kaufman, Rossin & Co., one of Florida’s largest independent accounting firms, and at IKON Office Solutions, Florida International University’s office solutions partner, have shown their commitment to the College by securing gifts for the Building for Business Campaign.The generous donations—when matched by the state—will yield $200,000 for the Building Complex Fund in the Campaign.
Alumni at Kaufman, Rossin & Co. joined together to raise $50,000. Steven M. Berwick (BACC ’74), CPA, a Kaufman, Rossin & Co. principal and College alumnus, led the effort. He raised $25,000 in personal contributions from other College alumni—of whom there are more than forty—for the Campaign. He also arranged a $25,000 match from the firm.
Under the terms of the donation, the State of Florida Capital Facilities Trust Fund must match Kaufman, Rossin & Co.’s gift, bringing the total value of the contribution to $100,000. A large room on the new building’complex’s ground floor will be named “The Kaufman, Rossin & Co. Study Room” in recognition of the contribution.
“When I saw a presentation about the building and the menu of items that we could fund, I got very interested,” said Berwick, who is a member of the University’s Council of 100 and of the School of Accounting’s advisory board.
Berwick worked with the firm’s marketing director on an e-mail message to the company’s known alumni that generated an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response.
“People really value the resource of having Florida International University in the community and wanted to demonstrate that,” Berwick said. “Also, leaders within the firm contributed, and that spurred others to do the same.”
Elizabeth Cameron Parnes
alumnae Elizabeth Cameron Parnes (BBA ’77), regional vice president of IKON, added a new element to the company’s partnership with the University by securing a $50,000 gift from IKON (totaling $100,000 with the state match) to support the Campaign. A large study room off the main lobby of Commons Hall will carry the name “IKON Office Solutions Study Room” in acknowledgment of the donation.
“IKON was already an important University partner,” said George Corton, director of development, College of Law. “They recruit our students and they provide us with copying and printing services.”
“Being in a partnership isn’t always about receiving. It’s also about giving,” said Parnes, who holds a degree in business administration with a marketing major. “Creating a legacy is an important way to give back to the University and to the community.”
In addition to the business partnership, IKON links tightly to the University because of a shared commitment to diversity.
“IKON has been recognized nationally for its diversity, and diversity is also key at Florida International University and in the College,” Parnes said. “Our donation is a way to support the University in this important area.”
As a proud alumnae, Parnes also is eager to see that the College has support for student programs and initiatives and that its reputation continues to grow.
“The College is a fine place for learning,” she said, “but there also is the matter of prestige and image, both of which an endowment helps build.”