School of Business Taps 17 Students into Beta Gamma Sigma, Honors Birmingham

April 21, 2023

This spring, 17 students and four faculty members in the School of Business were tapped to join St. John Fisher University’s chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, an international honor society for AACSB-accredited schools representing the top five percent of business programs around the world.

Dr. Carol Wittmeyer, Martin K. Birmingham, President Rooney

Every spring, the School of Business taps inductees representing the top 10 percent of undergraduate and MBA students from accounting, finance, human resources management, management, marketing, and master of business administration (MBA) into its BGS chapter. 

The evening began with opening remarks from School of Business Interim Dean Dr. Carol Wittmeyer, President Rooney, and Dr. Hemant Sashital, professor of marketing. The program included a remembrance of Dr. Jason Berman, longtime Fisher faculty member and the original BGS advisor, who passed away earlier this month. 

“This year is especially bittersweet as we celebrate our chapter founder and advisor Dr. Jason Berman. One of the most precious lessons he offered, of many, was to be fully present in each moment. He did that with every interaction he had with each student in his life, each colleague, each alum, and all of his friends,” said Wittmeyer.

Special thanks were also given to the 2023 Chapter Honoree and keynote speaker, Martin K. Birmingham. In her remarks leading up to Birmingham’s speech, Wittmeyer shared her admiration for his instrumental work in the Fisher community with his generous philanthropy,  service as a member of the Board of Trustees, and efforts in reinventing culture in the workplace in the greater Rochester Community. 

Birmingham serves as president, chief executive officer, and director of Five Star Bank and its holding company, Financial Institutions, Inc. As an engaged member of the Rochester community, he sits on several organization boards including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council, AAA of Central and Western New York, Inc., Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, Monroe Community College Foundation, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, and the University of Rochester Medical Center. He is also a member of the University’s Board of Trustees, serving for the past 23 years, and is former chair. 

“It has been a wonderful experience to serve this special institution to ensure that it is a place where our faculty love to teach and our students love to learn, all grounded in a caring and compassionate campus community representing a very valuable asset for greater Rochester and upstate New York,” said Birmingham.

2023 BGS Honorees

Birmingham regularly visits classrooms in the School of Business to speak to students about business and his own career path. He and his wife, Jill, are also the benefactors of a $100,000 scholarship that supports undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need pursuing a degree in business or the liberal arts. 

“As you wrap up the academic year and ultimately graduate from this outstanding institution, never forget the family and friends who have supported your journey. Like you, I am grateful for my family and so many others who have provided support, mentoring, and counsel that has allowed me to succeed personally and professionally,” shared Birmingham in his closing remarks to students. 

Current student leaders for the chapter include Elle McEneany ’24, president, and Alex Martens ’23, vice president. Martens was awarded the Veteran & Active Duty Military Service Recognition Award by Dr. Hugh Lambert, assistant professor. Next year’s student leaders will include Desiree Silver ’24 and Ethan Lowell ’25 as co-presidents and Julia Kellogg ’24 as vice president. 

This year’s inductees include: 


  • Jack Beauchamp 
  • Alexis Emmi
  • Jaiden Jurgensen
  • Ethan Kesserling
  • Ethan Lowell
  • Kathleen Rachwal 


  • Desiree Silver 
  • Meredith Kennedy
  • Hao (Chloe) Wu
  • Nicollette Pallar
  • Julia Kellogg


  • Riley Gardner
  • Kirstin Meyers
  • Joseph Ruggiero
  • Jessica Walker


  • Andi Balland
  • Valerie Kolossovsky 


  • David Kunsch
  • Hugh Lambert 
  • Chantz Miles
  • Raju Vulapalli