In Memory of MBA CSEA Founder, Peter Veruki
A tribute to one of our founding members.It is with great sadness that we share that one of MBA CSEA's founders, Peter Veruki, passed away last week. Peter was one of the original 14 school volunteers who lent their time, energy, experience and will to creating our amazing association.
In the early days of MBA CSEA (MBA CSC at the time), Peter was an active member of the Standards Committee, providing ideas and feedback that were critical to the creation of the Standards for Reporting MBA Employment Data (still in existence today). Peter secured the support of his dean, the late Marty Geisel at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management, in having Owen become the first school in the U.S. to publicly pilot the Standards. Peter was also a strong ambassador to the business school rankings media, providing a voice to the need for consistent, comparable employment data. His efforts eventually led to the adoption of the Standards by U.S. News & World Report and the Financial Times.
Peter also secured the support of his dean in helping MBA CSEA become an independent organization with a distinct and focused purpose, which allows us to serve our members in the best way.
Peter's contributions were not only professional, but personal as well. His kind and warm demeanor had an impact on establishing the early culture of the organization. Peter encouraged the group to be inclusive, collegial, positive and professional, focusing on helping all member schools succeed. He was a superb relationship builder, continually demonstrating this through external relationships, as well as student and alumni coaching. He also informally mentored many in our profession, lending his expertise to encouraging new professionals.
Jackie Wilbur, MBA CSEA founder and co-chair of the original Standards Committee, had the following to say about Peter: "Without his encouragement I would never have volunteered at that first organizing meeting, co-chaired the Standards Committee with Pete League, become President of CSC, and been in the position to lead the effort to create this association. How did he do this? By being a great mentor, colleague and friend. Peter provided a personal safe harbor, wise counsel, and a generous sense of humor when I needed it most. Rest in peace my dear friend. So many of us owe so much to you."
Jamie Belinne, fellow MBA CSEA founder, remembers: “Peter knew how to make everyone feel special and loved. He knew everyone and enjoyed every person he met. It was impossible not to enjoy being around him. I always wanted to grow up to be Peter. He will definitely be missed."
Joan Craig, one of MBA CSEA's early leaders, remembers Peter fondly as well: "Peter to me exemplified generosity. He shared his experience, ideas and contacts, and empowered colleagues to use any or all. He had a knack for bringing out the best in people and then cheered from the sidelines when they were successful. He did that for me as a new person in the profession, and his friendship and generosity is a gift I've treasured throughout my career."
Karen Dowd, one of MBA CSEA's early leaders, has this to say: "When Peter spoke, people listened. He was always warm, caring, supportive, and full of encouragement. We owe Peter a lot. He demonstrated many of the qualities that helped the MBA CSEA build a culture that today is collaborative, supportive, and professional, and an organization that is respected as a thought leader.”
Peter was well-respected among peers within his school in addition to the industry. Owen Graduate School of Management remembers his contributions: “Peter was a huge part of our life and history at Owen at Vanderbilt. He is remembered fondly by so many Owen graduates, especially in the 1990s, for his guidance, mentorship and help in launching their careers. Peter loved connecting people and building relationships, so we were so fortunate to have him back with us in the 2000s to re-engage with our alumni. We were fortunate to have him at Owen and will miss him dearly.” Read more about his legacy at Vanderbilt.
MBA CSEA wishes the best to Peter's family and expresses our sincere appreciation and admiration for his outstanding leadership to our organization and our industry.
Thanks to Emily Anderson, Jamie Belinne, Joan Craig, Karen Dowd and Jackie Wilbur for their contributions to this memorial.