University Announces Honorees for PBC 20th Annual Award Dinner

PBC to present President's Medals Oct. 7.
University Announces Honorees for PBC 20th Annual Award Dinner

The President’s Business Council (PBC) will present President’s Medals to John E. (Jack) Brennan ’68, P’06 (in memoriam), Patricia A. Byrnes Clarke ’86, P17,’19, and Thomas P. O’Brien ’86, P’19 at its 20th Annual Award Dinner on Thursday, Oct. 7, at Gotham Hall in New York City.

“We are all excited by the prospects of gathering together in person to celebrate our Honorees, the University, our students, and the PBC’s 20th anniversary,” said Timothy J. Pryle ’89, executive director of the PBC. “We are also mindful of the ebb and flow of the state of today’s world with COVID-19 and will continue to monitor all of the current health guidelines to prepare for a safe in-person event for our expected attendees. Given the viewership success of last year’s virtual celebration, we will also provide a livestream link for remote viewing on October seventh.

“A delay in the remodeling of the ballroom at The Pierre Hotel, our host for all of the previous dinners, necessitated a move to a new venue this year. We are looking forward to welcoming our attendees to Gotham Hall.”

John E. (Jack) Brennan ’68, P’06 received a bachelor’s degree in management from the University in 1968. A veteran of the Vietnam War, he served as a 1st lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corp. in Thailand. Following his years of service, Mr. Brennan joined Motorola as a salesman. He later co-founded Metro Mobile CTS, Inc., and served as the president and chief operating officer. Metro Mobile was later sold to Bell Atlantic, which would eventually become Verizon Communications. He was also president of Activated Communications and a member of the board of directors at Spectrum Signal Processing. At the time of his retirement, he was the vice chairman of the board of Southern Union Co. (later acquired by Energy Transfer LP).

During his professional career, Mr. Brennan was an active member of his community, serving as president of the Radio Club of America, as president of the Old Tappan Board of Education, as a member of the Old Tappan Planning Board, and as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. In support of his passion for furthering the education of young minds, Mr. Brennan was a long-time member of the Board of Trustees at Christ the King School (Cristo Rey) in Newark, N.J., and at the University, where he was also a founding member of the Kania School of Management Advisory Board. He was also among the inaugural inductees to the Business Leader Hall of Fame. In Oct. 2000, the University named Brennan Hall, the home of the Kania School of Management, in his honor.

Mr. Brennan passed away in Sept. 2020 after battling cancer. He is survived by his wife, Cindy, their two children and their grandchildren.

Patricia A. Byrnes Clarke ’86, P’17,’19 is the global chief talent officer for the Havas Group, one of the world's largest global communications groups founded in 1835 in Paris and part of the Vivendi Group. Ms. Clarke is responsible for leading all aspects of global human resources as well as talent and cultural strategy for the group’s 20,000+ employees in over 100 countries. During her time at Havas, she has built a talent management approach that includes initiatives on network mobility, high-potential leadership development, women’s leadership advancement, global employee engagement, employer branding, and global diversity, equity and inclusion.

Prior to joining Havas, Ms. Clarke ran her own consulting business with a focus on helping private equity-backed companies develop their talent management capabilities. She also had a 20-year stint at Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), where she was chief human resources officer for 9 years and also ran global internal communications. She led D&B to industry honors as one of Fortune Magazine’s “Most Admired Companies.”

Ms. Clarke earned a bachelor’s degree in management from the University in 1986. She is a current member of the University’s Board of Trustees and a former member of the Kania School of Management Advisory Board and the Parents’ Executive Council (PEC). She is also a former chair of the PBC and created the PBC/Kania School of Management Career Coaches Program, in which she remains a mentor to current University students. She and her husband, David, reside in Atlantic Highlands, N.J., and have five children.

Thomas P. O’Brien ’86, P’19 is a co-founder and the current chief executive officer and president of SumRidge Partners, LLC, based in Jersey City, N.J. Formed in 2010, SumRidge Partners is a top-ranked, electronic fixed income market maker specializing in high-yield, investment-grade corporate bonds, municipal bonds, institutional preferred securities, and emerging market bonds.

Prior to launching SumRidge Partners, Mr. O’Brien was co-head of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s Capital Markets division and was also a member of the firm’s management and risk committees. He was instrumental in building and developing the retail capital markets division into an industry leader. Previously, he was head of Morgan Stanley’s retail fixed income trading, which included U.S. credit, rates and municipal bond trading. He began his career with Dean Witter as an institutional MBS trader and subsequently traded various fixed income products; later, he took responsibility for risk management oversight of several product lines.

Mr. O’Brien earned a bachelor’s degree of economics/finance from the University in 1986 and a master of business administration from Fordham University. He is a former member of the University’s Board of Trustees, where he served as vice chairman, and a former chair of the PBC. Today, he acts as a mentor to current University students and frequently teaches in the fixed income securities and markets course, which he co-developed with the late Frank Corcione, Ph.D. Mr. O’Brien resides in Basking Ridge, N.J., with his wife, Denise, and their three sons.

In presenting the President’s Medal, the University and the PBC recognize individuals who have achieved excellence in their fields, who have demonstrated extraordinary compassion for others, and who personify the University’s mission of Catholic and Jesuit excellence and service. Since its inaugural dinner in 2002, the PBC has generated more than $18 million for the Presidential Scholarship Endowment Fund.

Planning for this year’s dinner, including a virtual Honorees Announcement, is ongoing, so please visit our website at For more information on this year’s event or the PBC, please contact Tim Pryle at (570) 941-5837 or

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