University at Albany Alumni Association Excellence Awards

Once again, School of Business alumni have been recognized by the University at Albany Alumni Association. The Excellence Awards recognize outstanding achievements and service. This year, three hail from the financial realm and one is an entrepreneur. The honorees are Bruce Davis ’73, ’75, Grace Barkus Vogel ’77, Dean C. Backer ’88 and Matthew P. Reiner ’93. 

Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award – Bruce Davis ’73, ’75


Inventor and entrepreneur Bruce Davis is CEO of Digimarc, which supplies digital watermarking technologies to national and state governments and to the media industry. Ove the past 27 years he brought the firm through startup, though a highly successful initial public offering to its status as a well-regarded publicly traded company. He began his career as an attorney specializing in intellectual property, later becoming chairman and CEO of Activision. Davis is the founder of TV Guide on Screen and holds over 100 patents. Davis graduated from UAlbany with dual degrees in accounting and psychology and an M.A. in criminal justice.

Excellence in Alumni Service Award – Grace Barkus Vogel ’77


Grace Vogel was integral in bringing the study of financial market regulation to the University at Albany. As a founding member of the University Advisory Council for Financial Market Regulation, she led the design of the curriculum in accounting and financial control for the Institute for Financial Market Regulation academic program and is a mentor, trainer and career adviser to students. Vogel currently serves as managing director at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She previously held the position of executive vice president of member regulation at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Excellence in Business Award – Dean C. Backer ’88


Dean Backer is well-respected for his profound knowledge of the hedge fund industry. He serves as managing director and partner at Goldman Sachs, where he is the global head of sales and capital introduction in the global securities service business and oversees the hedge fund industry group. Backer is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board for the UAlbany School of Business and established the Dean C. Backer Scholarship. He mentors and places UAlbany students at Goldman.

Excellence in Alumni Service Award – Matthew P. Reiner ’93


Dedicated School of Business alumnus Matt Reiner is a founding member of the advisory board of the University at Albany Center for Institutional Investment Management, serves on the advisory board of the student-run University at Albany Student Investment Group, regularly mentors students and frequently visits business classes to share his expertise. Reiner is principal, chief investment officer and co-portfolio manager of the Adirondack Small Cap Fund which has been recognized by Lipper for managing the best small-cap value fund in the United States.