Ocean Bank comes to campus for alumni day event.

Ocean Bank employees and college alumni enjoy reception at Modesto A. Maidique Campus.

One of the largest independent commercial banks headquartered in Florida, Ocean Bank also is one of the staunchest, most generous supporters of the College of Business Administration.

The bank recently demonstrated that support yet again, putting a different twist on a traditional alumni day event by requesting it be hosted on the college’s campus rather than at its headquarters.

That’s why, on February 22, 2007, nearly seventy Ocean Bank employees, who also are alumni of the college as well as of other Florida International University colleges and schools, convened at Modesto A. Maidique Campus for some refreshments, some networking opportunities, and the chance to see firsthand how the new business building project is progressing—including a preview of the state-of-the-art, 300-seat auditorium which will bear the Ocean Bank name.

Ocean Bank employees and college alumni tour the new business building complex.

Event provides alumni with the chance to reconnect with the college.

Bill Draughon, the university’s associate vice president, alumni relations, welcomed the group to campus. Other speakers included Joyce J. Elam, executive dean, and Benigno Aguirre, senior vice president and human resources director for Ocean Bank. Then José de la Torre, dean of the Chapman School, and Elam led groups on tours of the new building site.

“The hard-hat tour was definitely the highlight of the day,” said Monique Catoggio (EMBA ’03), director of alumni and partner relations for the college. “Many of these alumni had not been on campus for awhile. They were impressed with the positive changes that are underway here and excited to see the investment Ocean Bank is making in their school.”

From left, Ocean Bank’s Walter Devilliers, Alfonso Macedo, Chapman Dean José de la Torre, Ocean Bank’s Danilo Perez, college Executive Dean Joyce J. Elam, and Ocean Bank’s Cheryl Rees, Luis Consuegra, Benigno Aguirre, and Ricardo Gonzalez

Ocean Bank raises the bar.

Annabelle Rojas (MBA ’98, BBA ’87), director of external relations and resource development for the college, is quick to emphasize how much the college appreciates the tremendous support that Ocean Bank gives the business school and the university community as a whole.

“Ocean Bank is not only our most significant corporate donor, but also, it offers unwavering support when it comes to generating enthusiasm and strengthening our alumni community,” Rojas said.

From left, Ileana Portal, Armando Rodríguez, and Benigno Aguirre representing Ocean Bank.

Catoggio added to that sentiment, pointing out that Ocean Bank spearheaded and funded the alumni day’s activities.

“By sponsoring events like these and by supporting the school in countless ways—from funding the auditorium to paying for its employees’ alumni memberships, Ocean Bank sets an incredible example of the type of relationship we hope to build with other companies,” Catoggio said.

Speaking for Ocean Bank, Aguirre said that the bank’s leaders were delighted to host this event.

“From Ocean Bank’s perspective—and certainly from a human resources perspective, the college is one of our biggest allies.”
Benigno Aguirre, senior vice president and human resources director, Ocean Bank

“From Ocean Bank’s perspective—and certainly from a human resources perspective, the college is one of our biggest allies,” Aguirre said. “We recruit and hire a number of graduates from the college every year. We view them as the future leaders of our institution. We feel it’s important for them to build connections with one another and to see what resources the college offers its alumni. The alumni day event helped us achieve both of these goals.”

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