The University of Maine Graduate School of Business held the first MaineMBA Alumni Awards on Thursday, Jan. 20. Four notable alumni from the UMaine Graduate School of Business were celebrated for their accomplishments. The event was pre-recorded and broadcast virtually due to COVID-19.
Chris Treister won the U40 Award, Ryan Curry won the Distinguished Accountant Award, Josh Rosen won the Dean’s Alumni Award and Michael Kühn won the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Many alumni from UMaine, the University of Southern Maine and the Maine MBA program were nominated. A steering committee composed of professors from UMaine and the University of Southern Maine was responsible for selecting the award recipients from the pool of nominees.
The U40 award, or “Under 40” award, was presented to Treister by Brian Threkeld, the membership and marketing director at Maine Outdoor Brands.
Treister graduated from the MBA program in 2013 with a concentration in management. A former UMaine football player, Treister signed contracts to play professional football in Italy and Germany after graduation. He now lives and works in the Stuttgart region of Germany as a project manager at THOST Projektmanagement GmbH. He also runs a successful football coaching website, d1theory.com.
Trish Brigham, the executive director for the Maine Society of Certified Public Accountants (MECPA), presented the Distinguished Accountant Award to Curry.
Curry graduated from the MBA program in 2012 with a concentration in accounting. He currently works at IDEXX in Gorham, Maine as a financial report manager. He served his country for eight years in the U.S. National Guard and was deployed to Afghanistan during his service. He currently works on the MECPA board and the IDEXX community steering committee. Brigham commended Curry for both his service in the military and his service to the accounting community.
The Dean’s Alumni Award was awarded to Rosen by Jeanine Diddle-Uzzi, the provost and executive vice president of academic and student affairs for the University of Southern Maine.
Rosen was the first student to graduate from the joint MBA and JD program in 2021, and he has secured a job with top Boston law firm Foley & Hoack. Rosen plans to relocate to Boston after passing the bar exam this spring. At Foley & Hoack, he will specialize in energy and climate law and its intersection in business. In his acceptance speech, Rosen stated he is “eternally grateful to the University of Maine.”
The most prestigious award of the night, the Distinguished Alumni Award, was awarded to Kühn by Dianne Watters, a senior product marketing manager at Tyler Technologies and chair of the University of Maine Business School Advisory Board.
After graduating in 2014 with a concentration in management, Kühn helped build the first orthopedic spine robotics organization. The technology he helped build is a surgical guidance software, which is designed to eliminate mistakes during spine and brain surgeries. The software was later sold to Medtronics, where Kühn served as a manager. After leaving Medtronics, Kühn went to work for Johnson & Johnson, where he continues to build the foundation of digital healthcare.
During his acceptance speech, Kühn recalled being recruited from New Jersey to play football at UMaine and thanked a list of colleagues, coaches and professors who helped him during his time as an undergraduate and graduate student. He signed off with a piece of advice: “Believe in yourself, be coachable, push yourself through all your limits and do it with a sense of urgency.”
Portland Mayor Kate Snyder spoke alongside the dean of UMaine’s Graduate School of Business, Dr. Norm O’Reilly, for the event’s keynote address. O’Reilly and Snyder discussed the struggling small business economy in Portland, and spoke to the detrimental effects of COVID-19 on small businesses. Snyder did note that tourism in the summer of 2021 was “pretty good” and that some of the changes due to COVID-19 may be in Portland to stay, such as outdoor dining venues.
UMaine plans to hold this awards ceremony annually in the future.