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11-18-2004

Three Clarkson University Alumni Receive "40 Under 40" Honors In Syracuse

Three Clarkson University graduates were among those honored in Syracuse, November 18, for their accomplishments in business and their involvement in the community. 

Peter J. Radosta, a 1988 Clarkson graduate is a partner at Koester Associates Inc., a leading water and wastewater equipment manufacturer. Radosta recently finished serving a term as president of the Clarkson Alumni Association. He is also a past recipient of the Woodstock Award. Given each year during Reunion Weekend, the Woodstock Award honors young alumni who have demonstrated outstanding loyalty and service to Clarkson and the Alumni Association, and who have used their Clarkson experience to make a notable contribution to their careers.

Michael L. Wetzel also graduated from Clarkson in 1988, receiving a Mechanical Engineering degree.  Wetzel gained engineering and management experience working at companies in Albany, New York, and Stromberg, France, before buying a small environmental controls company in Syracuse in 1996.   The five-person company specialized in refrigerated display cases. Wetzel has grown the scope and the size of the company. He formed Air Innovations as the parent company for his many enterprises. Today, his company employs 50 people and manufactures niche air-conditioning products in a 40,000-foot facility.

Victor W. Vaccaro Jr. graduated from Clarkson University with great distinction and received a bachelor of science degree in Accounting and Finance in 1990. That fall, Vacarro joined Dannible & McKee LLP, a top accounting firm in downtown Syracuse. He has steadily risen through the accounting ranks and became an audit partner with the firm in July 2001. 

This is the seventh year that the Central New York business community has gathered to honor the rising starts who are making both their professional and personal mark in the community.   The 40 Under 40 recipients are nominated by their work colleagues, professional acquaintances and /or community leaders. During the two-hour program, the honorees accomplishments are highlighted individually. Each of the 40 honorees receives a 40 Under 40 Syracuse plaque commemorating the occasion.

“It is rewarding, and not at all unexpected, to see Clarkson graduates achieving in their chosen professions and giving back to the community,” remarked Clarkson University President Tony Collins.  “Our students work very hard while they are here and leave with the work ethic and the educational tools that will help them succeed. In addition, community involvement has long been a hallmark at Clarkson.” 

Clarkson has strong ties to Central New York. Collins serves on the steering committee of the Essential New York Initiative (an activity of the Syracuse Metropolitan Development Authority) and has been active in commercial research partnerships and turning discoveries and intellectual property opportunities into business and jobs in Central and upstate New York. Many area high school seniors considering careers in business, engineering, arts and sciences, or physical therapy look at Clarkson’s national ranking and excellent placement rate for its graduates and decide that the upstate University is for them. Like the three students being honored in Syracuse, many of these graduates return to their hometowns and become business and civic leaders.
[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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