Crandall Challenge

The Crandall Challenge to WGES Members

The 2018 Crandall Challenge Citation
This citation is in recognition of the large number of members who draw upon their Wharton Graduate acquired knowledge, talents, and experience to make a significant contribution to the improvement of community and national socio-economic quality of life through continuous and significant volunteer endeavors.

The 2017 and 2018 Nominees for the WGES Crandall Challenge Citation

Alan Ahrens, WG’63 (Lynchburg, VA)
Alan has devoted himself to being a “Business Mentor” for SCORE (a nonprofit dedicated to providing experienced ‘retired’ business executives to provide face-to-face help for new businesses as business counselors and mentors.) The Lynchburg SCORE chapter has provided business counseling to over 600 clients from several large counties in Central Virginia.

Alan was also a founding director of the central Virginia Academy for Nonprofit Excellence (CVANE), which is affiliated with the Central Virginia Community College and has established a Certification in Non-Profit Management.

Jon Brumley, WG’63 (Fort Worth, TX)
Jon has provided a wide range of scholarships for business and Hi-tech students and funded the Texas Venture Labs, a startup accelerator at the University of Texas, Austin (known as the Jon & Rebecca Bromley Business Accelerator.) He has also funded the Bromley Next Generation Graduate Fellows at the Robert Strauss Center at the University of Texas.

He was appointed Chair of the Texas State Board of Education in 1984. Together with his wife, he founded the Red Oak Foundation that in addition to providing scholarships for students planning to become public school teachers in Texas as well a funding books and programs focused on reading readiness, has been devoted to a large number of nonprofit human services and education nonprofit organizations.

Jon was inducted into the Petroleum Hall of Fame and recognized by Forbes Magazine in 2005 as “Entrepreneur of the Year.”

Mary Frances Davis, WG’70 (Greater Philadelphia)
Mary Frances is responsible for the rejuvenation of the Philadelphia Mortgage Plan which made tens of thousands mortgages to stabilize housing in North-Central Philadelphia. Her focus has been, and continues to be corporate-community initiatives, which focuses on renovating low-income apartments and houses. For example, in Bristol County, she help set up Better Homes, Inc. for fund raising, construction management training and homebuyer training.

*Charles Decker, WG ‘64 (New York City and Dominican Republic)
Received the 2017 Crandall Challenge Citation
Charlie Decker had a notable career in advertising and marketing with BBDO Advertising, Quaker Oats and Warner Brothers. He started living in the Dominican Republic half time in 2004 and noted many indigent, often abandoned young children in the streets. First volunteering at an orphanage near his home, he eventually started a foundation to help care for them.

From the beginning, The Decker Foundation supports more than 1,000 children in three orphanages and a children’s activity center and mini school. They range in age from six months to 18 years and the results ae encouraging. Four students are in medical school, two are studying la, two in civil engineering and on in the arts. Charlie’s foundation is now developing a college scholarship program and starting job training opportunities.
Gordon Dowsley, WG’69 (Oshawa, Ontario)
Gordon’s career was in Financial Reinsurance for Crown Life Insurance of Canada. During his work years, he (A) held a number of positions in a Canadian political party, which brought business and government closer together to understand each other’s views, and (B) volunteered for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and “Eva’s Place”, a homeless shelter for teenagers. He also was active in the Quebec separatist referendum focused on keeping Quebec in the Canadian government. Other volunteer efforts led to appointments in the Board of Canada’s Council for the Arts and the Ontario College of Art and Design.

His professional work involved international assignment, which led to his being a founding member of the Japan society, working with orphans & homeless children in Mongolia and Afghanistan, as well as organizing programs to build and support artists in both countries. His assignment in Moscow led to the creation of a Rotarian Club which provided advanced hearing aids for children.

In his ‘retirement” he remains active in the Rotary Clubs of Canada which provide books for children in the of ‘aboriginal peoples’ of northern Ontario which had to be delivered by ‘aid drops.” He is also on the National Board of the Canadian Landmines Foundation and active for the past few years as a delegate to several international conferences celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Oxford Manifesto devoted to the abolishing human rights abuses worldwide.

Anthony (Tony) Gallo, WG’63 (Washington, DC)
Received the 2018 Crandall Challenge Citation
Following a 40-year careers a federal research economist, Tony re-invented himself as a playwright, a lyricist, book writer, director, predictor, odor, screenwriter, publisher and theatre owner. The “Seventh Street Playhouse” that he established in Washington, Dc has had over 160 performances in 45 venues in Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York City. He has written and produced 24 dramas. He is also a librettist and lyricist for several musicals on musicals and has produced motion pictures. 17 of his drama publications are available from Amazon. He is known as the “Wharton School Playwright” and is active professionally in a number of dramatic associations. The vast majority of this effort is devoted to the message of religious tolerance and upholding basic Judeo-Christian ethics.

Tony’s second public service focus is that of a journalist and his made contributions to the National Press Club for the past 15 years.

Harold (Hal) Kurfehs, WG’64 (Brookfield, CT)
Both during his career as a banker and in “retirement”, Hal has devoted his professional talents and experience, time and energy into the economic and community development of the fastest growing region of Connecticut – southwestern Connecticut. He is Chair of WCEDA (Western Connecticut Economic Development Alliance) — a partnership between public and private leaders seeking to expand the economy of Western Connecticut. This includes a large number of municipalities in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties. He is active in his community, as Chair of the Brookfield (CT) Economic Development Commission, his region (WCEDA) and the Cultural Alliance of Western CT and for the State of Connecticut as creator of the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, which promotes CT as an economic basis for a large number of corporations.

Hal is listed in Marquis Who’s Who and contributes regularly to professional journals and newspapers on economic and community development. He is also a lecturer for the Ancell School of Business for Western CT State University.

Campbell Johnson, WG’73 (Washington, DC)
Both during his professional career as a senior management consultant and during “retirement Campbell has devoted himself to fighting displacement of low and moderate income residents from being forced our o their homes due to gentrification of their established neighborhoods. Starting a Tenant Association Director and then as Executive Director of the Urban Housing Alliance(UHA), he has created a wide range of programs to expand affordable housing options for low and moderate income residents of the District of Columbia. UHA is incorporated under Collaborative Alliances of America, which also focuses on sharing their expertise to split disadvantaged communities in other countries. Due to Campbell’s efforts, the Housing production Trust Fund was created as major tool to produce and preserve affordable housing in the District. He focusses all of his talent, experience and energy to make Washington, DC a better place to work and live.

Avrum Marks WG’58 (Burke, VA)
Following 22 years with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and 16 years in the private sector, Arum began devoting his time, energy and experience in the community in the following ways:
* Circulation desk of his local library
* Docent at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum. Visitors also include members of Congress and business executives.
* As an Usher at the Wolf Trap Farm entertainment National Park
* Welcoming International arrivals at Dulles International Airport. Monthly this includes WWII and Korean War Veterans for a tour of Washington, DC.

Rick Moore, WG’70 (Memphis, TN)
During his career with Lehman Roberts, and in retirement, Rick Moore, together with wife Cary, ha devoted their talents, time and energy in improving the social, economic and spiritual lives of underprivileged Memphis residents. Their vehicle has been unusual, My Cup of Tea, (MCOT) which they now own and operate, is a small nonprofit business of tea packaging and distribution of 30 varieties of teas that funds the operation of the Center’s programs and activities. However, it operates out of a Center in Memphis’s “Orange Mound” where it houses a number of women who are escaping poverty and neglect. A large number of women work for My Cup of Tea and others use it as a center for vocational training, computer literacy, financial planning, GED preparation and life recovery.

Rick, together with his wife, work closely with a large number of programs and activities of Memphis’s Neighborhood Christian Centers and with Advance Memphis, and organization devoted to economic advancement of the low income residents and families.

Jerome F. (Rick) Peck, WG’68 (Lovettsville, VA)
Following a 30-year career with Price Waterhouse, where he was a Partner, and as CFO for the Army Times Publishing company, Rick made a major career change, and became a Science Teacher in a Sterling, VA Middle School. In addition to teach, he has author professional articles on science & climate for educational journals and website.

Rick summarizes his response to the Crandall Challenge in the following way: “Impact is what motivates me. As it will you. Whether it’s gardening, or being a chef, or music — and whether it’s a few hours here and there, or getting submerged big time, as I have, I go for it – where “it” is a vital part of the person you are, and the “it” improves the lives of others, our environment, just about anything that we care about. Bring the you you’ve become to make a difference.”

Richard (Dick) Rappleye, WG’65 (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
Upon retirement from a stellar career, Dick continued having an impact statewide by working to improve Michigan Nonprofit organizations and serving as a business mentor. He served on the Michigan Nonprofit Associations (MNA) Technology Services Advisory Board to provide “realistic technology solutions that allow nonprofits to be stable, secure and able to plan for the future.”

He also serves on the Michigan State’s Bar Foundation that supports civil legal aid to the poor, law relate education and conflict resolution. His also on the University of Michigan-Flint Citizens Advisory Committee to advise the Board and Chancellor on the effectiveness of University services. He participates in business mentoring in both Detroit SCORE ( ), DEC (Detroit Executive Service Corps) and the Collaborative of CEOS Detroit.

Dick acquired an additional degree that led to academic teaching in Miami (Ohio) University where he also sits on the Comparative Religion Alumni Advisory Board. He and his wife established a Scholarship for Miami (OH) students. He draws upon his teaching and training experience to provide transition coaching for seniors in his community. Dick is the WG’65 Class Correspondent for the Wharton Magazine.

Jerry Rothstein, WG’65 (New York City)
Personally involved in a number diverse community and international efforts that utilize his professional talents and energies. They include: American Red Cross of Greater New York, CCNY Student Mentor, United Jewish Appeal (Finance/ Soviet Committee), National School Climate Center, PennPac, CFA Institute, Big Apple Greeter

William G (Bill) Staton, WG’71 (Charlotte, NC)
Bill has focused his professional knowledge and experience in two major ways:
1. Impart financial planning for life to teens by teaching them in local schools for over 25 years.
2. Teaching inmates skills to be entrepreneurs in the business community —VERY UNIQUE: preparing prison inmates (male & female) for the transition back to domestic life. This is a very critical area. His work was written up in a Wall Street Journal article on August 23, 2012. (“On Financial Literacy for Inmates”)Bill has authored a number of books on money matters for the average person. They are available on Amazon.

*John (Jack) Smith, WG’52 ( Lafayette Hill, PA)
Received the 2018 Crandall Challenge Citation
When attending a Wharton Graduate Reunion Luncheon between 1998 and 2002, you would undoubtedly find Jack Smith meeting informally with the 50 year Class. He loved a good time, but also had something on his mind — spreading the world about the ‘tea’ principle.

His focus: MBA’s 50 years out have acquired so much talent, experience and accomplishment, it is a terrible waste to put them “out to pasture.’” Both Wharton and Senior Alumni could benefit by creating a vehicle to increase contact and turn close relationships into good works. Thanks to Jack, the result was the Wharton Graduate Emeritus Society (WGES), established in 2003. As our initial Chair of the WGES Steering committee, Jack helped shaped and guide the Society as it grew in programs, activities and membership.

Jack was dedicated and caring, full of good ideas, and had a love of Penn and Wharton. He was a strong mentor and contributor. Everyone involved in WGES had the good fortunate to work with Jack in building the unique Society and strengthening Wharton continually.

Robert Swartz, WG’67 (Reston, VA)
Bob has focused volunteer activities in six areas:
1. As a NPS (National Park Service) Volunteer for the National Mall & Memorial Parks in DC, primarily the Vietnam Veterans and the WWII Memorials.
2. As a Hospitality Group volunteer for the Wolf Trap Performing Arts concerts and programs.
3. A Member of the Reston (VA) Association’s Fiscal Committee
4. Financial Advisor Board of VHB that provides linguists to the Federal government particular for the Middle East (e.g. Afghanistan.).
5. He is also a Financial Advisor for Quest Digital Interactive which is developing a software game: “Saving the Planet.”
6. Collaboration with Tony Gallo on a play about Robert Morris, Financier of the American Revolution.

*Richard Tecca, WG’58 (Hebron, CT)
Received the 2018 Crandall Challenge Citation
Richard’s volunteer work devoted to strengthen the arts and culture of his community began early in his professional career (1965) when he organized and directed a 70 voice volunteer ‘Collegiate Choir’ at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul in Philadelphia, where he was served a Director of Music. This choir, now renamed The Adult Cathedral Choir, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014.

Later in his career, when he worked in Connecticut and on into his ‘retirement’, he was a participant and active in two well-known and established choral groups:
* The Hartford Chorale: Founded in 1972, the Hartford Chorale is a volunteer not-for-profit organization that presents masterpieces of great choral art on a symphonic scale for listeners throughout Southern New England. in addition singing with the chorale, Dick has served as Vice-President and a Member of the Governance Committee for several years
* Connecticut Gilbert & Sullivan Society which has present annual shows of Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic operates in Connecticut since 1981. In addition to be a member of the cast each year in their performances, Dick served on the Society’s board and managed their Marketing program

Richard Veith, WG’65 (Devon, PA)
Early his career, and on into his “retirement” Dick and his wife Carolyn have been very active in the International House of Philadelphia (IHP), which houses foreign students for Penn and other Philadelphia colleges and universities. This involved being a volunteer for the AFS exchange student Chapter in Philadelphia. After years of ‘hosting’ students, Dick was recruited to be a member of the IHP’s Board of Trustees where he served as Board Treasurer for many years.

Dick’s first experience with a being a Board member of a nonprofit in the Philadelphia area was the Boys & Girls Club of Philadelphia (BGCP). Initially, he served on the Financial Committee but subsequently he was BGCP’s Board Chair from which he spearheaded several successful capital gifting campaigns. Under his leadership, the Jeremiah Milbank Society, which enrolls individuals making contributions of $10,000 for BGCP. Jeremiah Milbank was one of the founder of the Boys & Girls Club in America.

Since the early 1080s, Dick has been active with Tredyffrin Township where he lives. He was Elected Township Auditor, which he serves for several years. He has been a volunteer in a fiduciary capacity since 2000 and currently chairs the Trustees of the Tredyffrin Township Police Pension Fund. Dick is active with the Wharton Alumni in many capacities.

*Mike Wallace, WG’65 (Paris and Laos)
Received the 2017 Crandall Challenge Citation
Mike created a Foundation that funds scholarships to students for Laos-American College; mentors graduates and supports their career development; innovates with startups and business plans — international. Since 2010, lives in Laos 10 months a year, running a nonprofit that helps educate children and encourages would be entrepreneurs to develop small businesses

Sponsoring students from poor rural areas includes school fees, books, food, health-care and even sleeping accommodations to Lao-American College in Vietnam.

Mike meets the criteria for a Crandall Challenge — high level of commitment and personal involvement. Translates into involving any others and focuses on impacting the business economy and community in Laos. Provides tangible results in terms of students who are involved, graduate and become an important element of the development of Laos a part of the wide world economy.

Harvey Jay Zukerman, WG’63 (Los Angeles, CA)
Harvey is a volunteer docent for the Getty Center in Lo Angeles. He primarily leads students, Kindergarten thru Grade 12. It was a natural devotion on his part since his wife is an artist. He reflects the traditional way in which most WGES members participate in the “Geezer Crusade.” Following ‘retirement”, they select on institution and devote their time and energy to that institution: it generally is a cultural, medical, sports, religious institution in their community and region. These volunteers are vital for all of these institutions.

2018 Challenge Citation

This citation is in recognition of the large number of members who draw upon their Wharton Graduate acquired knowledge, talents,and experience to make a significant contribution to the improvement of community and national socio-economic quality of life through continuous and significant volunteer endeavors.

Whether your efforts or projects involve a single community, your state, nationally or internationally, each submission will be equally considered and judged objectively on the basis of their creativity, operation, appeal and impact.

Nominate one of your Wharton Graduate classmates, or yourself, for this recognition that will be given at the May 2018 WGES Reunion Luncheon.

Submissions should describe the volunteer activities and endeavors of the Wharton Grad nominee focusing on:

* goals, performance and achievement of civic engagement

* continuity and extent of the volunteer’s involvement

* significance of their socio-economic impacts

* their innovative and creative nature

In addition to the Citation, all nominees will be recognized and acknowledged to their Wharton Graduate classmates and the Wharton Family for their continued contribution to the socio-economic fabric nationally and internationally.

Nominations can be submitted anytime between December 2017 and February 15, 2018, and should be emailed to the

2017 Challenge Citation

Beginning in 2017, WGES will make Citation Awards to members for the “Crandall Challenge: Members who continue to make contributions to their communities.” Details for submitting applications to receive this Citation will be provided in the coming year. Click here for more information.


The Crandall Challenge Committee is committed to the principle of active involvement by WGES members in business and community affairs at whatever level to effect change where change is needed and to support the next generation of leaders where such support is needed to keep our institutions strong and viable.

We believe that active involvement is good for each WGES member; it is good for the Wharton School community; it is good for our country and it is good for the international community.

Our message is clear: Stay involved!

After collecting input from all members of the Steering Committee, The Crandall Challenge Committee will develop a set of action steps to encourage all WGES members to spread our message of active involvement.

Thomas O. Jones, CE’54,WG’58
Kevin Woeflein, WG’58

December 2012 Letter from Bob Crandall

May 15, 2010 WGES Reunion Luncheon speech by Bob Crandall

For becoming active in terms of Crandall’s Challenge, there are two appropriate websites: