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2021 president's gala Honorees

Vinny Tedesco   Murray Pasternack   Allison Puff   Don Mahalli

An Evening to Honor

The Ram’s Horn Award for Corporate Leadership 
Vincent Tedesco, Total Technology Solutions

The President’s Award for Alumni Leadership
Murray Pasternack ’60

The President’s Award for Faculty Leadership
Professor Allison Puff

The President’s Award for Student Leadership
Don Mahalli ’21

 


 

Vinny Tedesco

Vincent Tedesco

The Ram's Horn Award for Corporate Leadership

President and CEO

Total Technology Solutions

An industry leader and 33-year IT veteran, Vincent Tedesco founded Total Technology Solutions in 1988 in Melville, New York. He transformed a computer VAR into a leading full-service Information Technology solutions provider. With vision and leadership, the organization evolved with the changing IT industry to provide innovative solutions for business continuity and cybersecurity. Total Technology Solutions offers a broad range of IT services from ensuring day-to-day business continuity to diagnosing and defusing potentially hazardous IT threats.

In an initiative to combat cybersecurity threats, Mr. Tedesco formed an internal Security-as-a-Service Committee. The committee reviews cybersecurity tools and services and researches newly reported vulnerabilities issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) National Vulnerability Database (NVD).

Mr. Tedesco was instrumental in the development of a public safety software application that has since been acquired by two industry leading public safety software vendors, Tiburon, Inc. then TriTech Software Systems. He was also named COO at Tiburon, Inc.

Today, Mr. Tedesco is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). In addition, he is a Farmingdale College Foundation Board Member and his son is a senior and soccer player at Farmingdale State College. A true family man, Mr. Tedesco enjoys spending quality time with his wife and three college-aged children.


 

Murray Pasternack

Murray Pasternack ’60

The President's Award for Alumni Leadership

Founder and CEO (retired)

Pasternack Enterprises

Even before enrolling at FSC, Murray Pasternack ’60 had developed a keen interest in radio frequency (RF) components — the modules that transmit signals and are most often used in everyday consumer products such as microwaves, garage door openers, and wireless alarm systems. That passion propelled him to spectacular success in the RF industry and, most recently, to the status of one of Farmingdale’s largest alumni benefactors.

Fast forward, Mr. Pasternack is now a retired Attorney, Engineer, Banker, Entrepreneur and Private Equity Investor. His first career was an electronic engineer where he spent ten years working for world class aerospace companies designing complex microwave receiver components. In 1962 he founded Electro-Physics Corporation of America, aka EPCOA, and has operated it & its successors ever since. Among his designs were the mono-pulse radar receiver for the Gemini space program used in 1965 to accomplish the very first rendezvous in orbit and a transceiver used by downed US Navy pilots to communicate with rescuers during the Vietnam War. In 1970, he founded Southwest Microwave Company (not related to the current company of the same name), a microwave components manufacturer and co-founded Environmental Communications, Inc. a company that developed one of the earliest cable television audience response systems.

In 1972, after selling his interest in both companies, he founded Pasternack Enterprises (see www.pasternack.com ). Under his leadership, Pasternack Enterprises became a world class supplier of radio frequency and microwave components. Mr. Pasternack studied law while also managing Pasternack Enterprises and in 1976 passed the California Bar Exam. Mr. Pasternack practiced law from 1976 until 2020. His law practice was limited to business related law. Mr. Pasternack managed Pasternack Enterprises as President and sole owner for more than twenty years before turning the company over to his son.  Mr. Pasternack has in addition to practicing law, consulted to and/or invested in dozens of small and medium size businesses. Mr. Pasternack was, for 10 years, a founder, director & the controlling stockholder of Capital Bank, now a part of Enterprise Financial Services Corporation, with bank branches in 6 states. Mr. Pasternack received his Associates Degree at Farmingdale where he studied Electrical Technology, followed by his Bachelors and Juris Doctor degrees at the American College of Law.

Since re-connecting with FSC, recently Mr. Pasternack has committed a total 1 Million Dollars to fund the Murray Pasternack Endowed Scholarship in Engineering.


 

Allison Puff

Professor Allison Puff

 

The President's Award for Faculty Leadership

Professor, Visual Communications Department

Farmingdale State College

An educator, administrator, and accomplished freelance designer, illustrator, and entrepreneur, Allison Puff has contributed a great deal to Farmingdale State College and to the community at large.  Currently the Academic Program Manager, she has helped faculty across the College develop sixteen new programs and revise fourteen. She has also served as Associate Provost, Associate Dean of the School of Business, and Chair of the Visual Communications Department. Highlights of her time in administration include working with faculty to implement an Applied Learning graduation requirement, spearheading the College’s successful Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement award, and supporting the development of the first fully online programs at FSC. 

A staunch proponent for the arts across the campus, Puff was the founding member of FSC’s Public Art Committee and has long served on the Artists and Lecturers Program Board and the Writing in the Disciplines Committee. Her teaching is equally outstanding, earning her both the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Farmingdale Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching. 

Puff has also co-chaired the American Institute of Graphic Design’s National Design Educators Steering Committee and served on the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Education Board.

She received her MFA in “Illustration as Visual Essay” from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2000 and earned two BAs, one in English and Communications and one in Illustration. She is a Full Professor of Visual Communications.


 

Don Mahalli

Don Mahalli '21

 

The President's Award for Student Leadership

Valedictorian for the Class of 2021

Farmingdale State College

Don Mahalli graduated Summa Cum Laude from Farmingdale State College with a Bachelor's degree in Business Management and minors in Politics and Legal Studies. Achieving a perfect GPA, Don was named Valedictorian for the Class of 2021 and received the Student Award for Academic Excellence, the TRIO Director’s Award, and the State University of New York Association of Council Members and College Trustees Excellence and Student Initiative Award. On campus, Don was the President and Founder of the Law Club, the Secretary for the Art and Design Club, a tutor in the Math Center, a Senator for the School of Business, and a member of TRIO. In the future, Don hopes to create a non-profit Vineyard in Israel that employs both Israelis and Palestinians. Lastly, Don enjoys baking bagels, making wine, and ghost hunting.

 

Development & Alumni Engagement

The Office for Development and Alumni Engagement works closely with the Farmingdale College Foundation – raising and managing critical philanthropic dollars for the College, cultivating meaningful relationships with donors, corporate partners and community friends – and the Farmingdale Alumni Association, keeping our 100,000 alumni informed, engaged, proud, and supportive of the College, strengthening their lifelong connection to FSC students and each other.

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