Business Alumni Garner UAlbany Honors

Three School of Business graduates were honored with University at Albany Alumni Association Excellence Awards on April 16, 2016.

Frederick ErlichExcellence in Public Service
Fredrick Erlich, B.A. ’69, M.S.W. ’72,
M.B.A. ’94
Founder and CEO, Living Resources

Fred Erlich brings the “social” to social enterprise. He and his nonprofit Living Resources is collaborating with the newly created School of Business Center for Advancement & Understanding of Social Enterprises to assist startups interested in developing new assistive living technologies. Management professor Paul Miesing, the director of CAUSE, said “He possesses the refreshing combination of being a person who not only loves his career, but has the knowledge, skills and leadership to excel at it.” 

Erlich co-founded Living Resources in 1974 and became the CEO in 1981. He has seen Living Resources grow from residential to full-range community, clinical, educational and care-at-home services and expand to include survivors of  brain injury, veterans and the elderly. He oversees Living Resources Corporation, Living Resources Certified Home Health and Licensed Home Care Agencies, and the Living Resources Foundation.

Erlich teaches management, organizational behavior and social welfare courses at UAlbany and Hudson Valley Community College. Erlich has presented at more than 50 conferences, and his work has been published in several national magazines.

Erlich’s work has been described as “historic” by colleagues such as Dr. Katharine Briar-Lawson, former dean of the University at Albany’s School of Social Welfare. From providing a means for thousands of individuals with disabilities to grow and flourish, to inspiring students and lending his voice across multiple community organizations, Erlich’s service has had a tremendous impact on the welfare of the Capital Region and beyond.

Michael NashExcellence in Business
Michael Nash, B.S. ’83
Senior Managing Director, The Blackstone Group

Mike Nash is considered one of the world’s leading experts on real estate investment. His career started with an accounting degree. 

Nash was hired by Deloitte straight out of school. He said, “The Big Eight was a good experience and a wonderful first job. You start with like-minded people. There is no better place for accounting than Deloitte. UAlbany provided that opportunity.” His career took him to the Bank of Nova Scotia, Barclays Bank and Merrill Lynch, where he ran the firm’s Real Estate Principal Investment Group-Americas. At Merrill Lynch he established a relationship with The Blackstone Group that ultimately led him to join the private investment company in 2007. Nash was recruited by Blackstone as a senior managing director and co-founded a new investment platform, a testament to his talent, experience and track record of success in the real estate investment arena. The firm was supportive of his ideas and actions from the very start, and Nash didn’t disappoint. With enormous support from the firm, he built the Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies Group (BREDS) into a business that manages $11 billion of investor capital through a public company mortgage REIT called Blackstone Mortgage Trust (BXMT), a series of commingled investment funds and a hedge fund complex that invests in commercial mortgage backed securities. Nash is currently senior managing director of Blackstone and serves as the global chairman of BREDS. Throughout his career, Nash has always tried to learn something new and has always strived to work for the top companies. He said, “It is important to work for the very best regardless of what you do.” 

He and his wife recently established the Michael B. ’83 and Lori M. Nash ’83 endowed scholarship. Nash regularly mentors UAlbany students. 

John StevensExcellence in Entrepreneurship
John Stevens, M.B.A. ’95
Founder and CEO, Infinigy

In 1996, the wireless industry was brand new. Cell phones were shaped like bricks and used mostly in cars. As John Stevens, an engineer, considered career options, he was told, “Wireless is a fad,” and knew instantly that the evolving field was where he wanted to be.  Stevens said, “I liked it because it was new. We had no idea what would happen.”

As director of engineering and operations, Stevens designed and built the Sprint PCS network in Upstate New York in 1996, Connecticut in 1997, and Atlanta in 1998. He began to struggle with the idea of working in a corporate setting, and the entrepreneurial skills he acquired from the School of Business came into play. 

In 2002, Stevens founded Infinigy, a technical services company that has provided design-driven solutions to wireless communication networks throughout the country. “We design and build the ugly towers,” Stevens once said. Infinigy was recognized as an Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Company in 2006 with a three-year sales growth of 581.4 percent. Stevens recently spent six months in Myanmar creating the country’s first commercial wireless network and has sought investment opportunities all over the world. He recently sold 70 percent of Infinigy to a public company.

Stevens plans to be a venture coach for the UAlbany Blackstone Launchpad program. In addition to his commitment to Blackstone, Stevens is a mentor for MBA students. He has spoken to students in the Introduction to Entrepreneurship course, and recently hired a number of students to help him write a business plan for one of his new ventures.