UMSL honors 5 alumni with 2021 Salute to Business Achievement Awards

2021 Salute to Business Achievement

UMSL alumni Toni Douaihy (at left) and Stan Anderson (at right) join College of Business Administration Dean Joan Phillips (center) in welcoming the newest honorees into the Salute to Business Circle of Excellence during Thursday’s Salute to Business Achievement Awards Presentation and Reception. The awardees were (from left) Steve O’Loughlin, Kenneth Marx, Christine Figge and John Dohr. Alumna January Realista was also honored but was out of town and unable to attend. (Photo by Phil Shoulberg)

A degree from the College of Business Administration has helped launch the careers of more than 30,000 business professionals in the St. Louis region, including a number of c-level executives and successful entrepreneurs.

The UMSL Alumni Association and UMSL Business Alumni Chapter honored five of those graduates last Thursday evening for their distinguished careers during the annual Salute to Business Achievement Awards Presentation and Reception, sponsored by Cigna and held in Anheuser-Busch Hall.

“Each year, we recognize graduates of UMSL Business who have demonstrated exceptional personal and professional contributions to the university, their professions as well as in the community,” said Jackie Hamilton, the president of the UMSL Business Alumni Chapter. “Our awardees were carefully selected by the leadership of the College of Business and the College of Business Alumni Chapter. Tonight, we honor their success and welcome them into the Salute to Business Circle of Excellence.”

Hamilton shared the career achievements of alumni John Dohr, Christine Figge, Kenneth Marx, Steve O’Loughlin and January Realista with an audience of several dozen people before the honorees took turns sharing their memories of UMSL and the impact their education has had on their careers. Dean Joan Phillips presented them with the awards.

Realista was unable to travel from Florida for the event but shared a recorded video message offering her appreciation.

Read more about this year’s awardees:

John Dohr, Jr., BSBA 1974, MBA 1982, was a commercial banker in St. Louis for 40 years, most recently serving as senior vice president and credit manager of Bank of America before retiring in 2016. He began his career at Mercantile Trust Company, now U.S. Bank, and quickly advanced to vice president and then group manager. In that position, he was responsible for managing the “Fortune 500” customer portfolio and $1.2 billion in loans. Dohr came to Bank of America in 2003, and over the next 12 years, he rose through the ranks while underwriting and managing a $2 billion portfolio of commercial loans. In addition to his work in banking, Dohr has held leadership positions with organizations including the American Lung Association of Eastern Missouri, the Missouri Small Business Development Center and the College of Business Administration Chapter of the UMSL Alumni Association.

Christine Figge, BSAcc 2002, MAcc 2003, is a partner at RubinBrown’s Assurance and Business Advisory Services Groups. Figge started at the firm as an intern in 2002, and she subsequently became a team member, manager and then partner in 2019. During that time, she has served clients with her expertise in system and organization controls, audit and compliance matters related to the mortgage banking industry and internal controls for public and private companies. Figge is also a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Institute of CPAs, the Missouri Society of CPAs, MOCPA Information Technology Committee and the Institute of Internal Auditors.

Kenneth Marx, BSBA 1983, is the CFO of Delmar Gardens Enterprises, which specializes in senior services such as skilled nursing, assisted living services and home health. The company operates in five states and generates approximately $300 million in revenue. Marx started his career with BKD CPAs, becoming a partner within 10 years. Marx worked with a variety of health care clients as an audit partner but also preparing forecasts and feasibility studies on expansions of hospitals and nursing homes. After 30 years with BKD, he left to serve as CFO of Alexian Brothers Senior Services and later as CEO of Washington County Memorial Hospital before moving to Delmar Gardens. Throughout his career, Marx has also served on several boards including the St. Louis Alzheimer’s Association, the UMSL Accounting Advisory Board, the Little Sisters of the Poor Advisory Board and the Ranken Jordan Pediatric Hospital Board.

Steve O’Loughlin, BSBA 1989, is the President and COO of Lodging Hospitality Management and was instrumental in LHM’s redevelopment of St. Louis’ Union Station. Previously, O’Loughlin held positions as housekeeping manager, front desk manager and sales manager at the Marriott Pavilion in St. Louis. His work at Marriott twice earned him the Marriott Living the Vision Award and Marriott Sales Manager of the Quarter for the Midwest Region. O’Loughlin also serves on the Hilton Owners Advisory Committee and is a past president of the St. Louis Area Hotel Association.

January Realista, MBA 2011, is the managing director, care solutions for Evernorth – Cigna’s new health services brand. Realista started her career at General Electric before transitioning to Express Scripts in 2007. She began her tenure there as a finance manager, being promoted four times to senior manager-pharma strategy and product development, director-specialty pharma integration, senior director-strategic planning and vice president-technology delivery and transformation. During that time, she demonstrated continued success in strategy development, financial and market analysis and project management. Additionally, Realista is an active member of UMSL’s Information Systems & Technology Advisory Board and has served as a judge at UMSL|Hack.

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