Four Alumni to be Recognized for Business Achievements, Community Service at Business School’s Premier Event
Four outstanding business leaders will be inducted in the UConn School of Business Hall of Fame on March 24. This year’s ceremony, at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, marks the 25th anniversary of the School’s recognition of remarkable alumni.
The four inductees include:
David Acampora ’79 is a CPA and a senior partner with Deloitte Tax. He has more than 36 years of public accounting experience, including serving as Deloitte’s managing Partner for Tax in Connecticut. His leadership has helped the company grow into one of the state’s dominant tax practices, counseling Fortune 500 companies and private and middle-market firms on tax matters and their implications for events such as international expansion, mergers and acquisitions and IPOs. Acampora’s current role at Deloitte is in the Quality Assurance and Risk Management area.
“What I love about my role and profession is that we have such a direct and constant impact on the effectiveness and viability of a business,” Acampora said. “In today’s environment, tax is more front-and-center than ever.”
Raised in Hamden, Conn., Acampora graduated from UConn in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He went on to earn a master’s degree in tax from the University of New Haven. Before joining Deloitte, he worked in corporate accounting at Warnaco Group and then at Arthur Young in New York. “My UConn experience helped build a foundation that has remained with me throughout my career,” he said.
He has served on boards of directors for the New Haven Boys & Girls Club and the Stamford YMCA. Acampora and his wife Meg reside in Fairfield, Conn., and have two adult children, Joe and Lauren.
Timothy J. Curt ’84 is a managing director at Warburg Pincus, a global private equity investment firm, which has supported the IPOs of more than 140 companies on 13 global stock exchanges. Curt joined Warburg Pincus in 1998 and served as its chief financial officer from 2003 to 2014. During that time, the company expanded its footprint to include China, India and Brazil. His current responsibilities include administration of global investment structures and consultation on firm policy and regulatory compliance.
Curt earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting, cum laude, from UConn in December 1984. He then joined Ernst & Whinney, where he had previously interned, as a tax professional. After passing the CPA exam the following spring, Curt began night school at Pace University to pursue a master’s degree in taxation. Prior to graduation in 1989, he received the Lubin School Award for Academic Excellence in the Field of Taxation. He transferred to the New York office of Ernst & Young, where he spent the next nine years there as a tax adviser.
Curt has been a member of the Dean’s Advisory Cabinet at the School of Business since 2016. He currently serves as a board member and treasurer of the National Venture Capital Association. In November he received the NVCA’s Industry Impact Award which recognized his contributions to the industry.
Curt lives in New Canaan with his wife Dona Bissonnette. They have three adult daughters, Samantha, Jennifer and Sarah.
Christopher J. Lafond ’87 is an experienced executive and business leader who has spent the past 15 years as the chief financial officer at three industry leading, multinational companies. Lafond is presently CFO and member of the Board of Directors at Hartford-based Insurity, a leading provider of software and services to property and casualty insurance companies in the U.S. Canada and Europe.
Previously, Lafond served on the executive leadership team as CFO at Stamford-based Gartner, the world’s leading IT research and advisory company, where he led a turnaround and developed a financial strategy that resulted in a seven-time increase in market cap through the delivery of consistent growth. He has also worked at Intralinks.
He is passionate about affordable housing and education. He has served on the boards of Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County and the Childcare Learning Centers. He has also served as an advisory board member at the University of Florida MBA program and UConn’s graduate program in Financial Risk Management.
Lafond lives in Niantic, Conn., and has two young-adult children, Brian and Megan.
Gayle Russell ’88 MBA, ’95 Ph.D., is a financial adviser, a first-generation college graduate and a proud supporter of women scholars at UConn.
Russell grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and earned her bachelor of science in accounting and finance from Miami (Ohio) University. After 10 years in accounting she decided to pursue an MBA in finance at UConn. While in the MBA program, finance professor Tom O’Brien suggested she consider pursuing a Ph.D. Russell, who loved learning, decided to do so and earned her Ph.D. from UConn in 1995.
She accepted a job as a professor at Eastern Connecticut State University while completing her dissertation. After earning tenure and promotion, she applied for an unpaid leave of absence to teach for two years at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, which she described as transformative experience.
Upon returning to the U.S., she opted to pursue a career as a financial advisor and joined Merrill Lynch. After seven years, she joined TIAA-CREF as a financial adviser to individuals who work in the education and medical fields.
“My teaching experience has served me well as I am able to explain difficult concepts using simple, everyday language,” she said. “Helping people with their money gives me the opportunity to take the mystery out of planning for their future.”
She has served in various volunteer positions with her church and is on the board of the Connecticut Women’s Council, a professional organization in Greater Hartford. Russell was one of the first 100 people to support the Women in Philanthropy initiative, which provides scholarships to women students at UConn.
“My two brothers and I were the first in our family to earn college degrees, so I know first-hand what a difference education makes in the opportunities available to people, especially women,” she said. “Education and money give you choices.”
For more information or tickets to the Hall of Fame event, please contact Amanda Spada at 860-486-5498 or firstname.lastname@example.org.