Philadelphia University will Honor Five Outstanding Leaders during An Evening of Innovation on Saturday, April 30

Philadelphia University will present four accomplished innovators — José Maria Alapont, Mo Meidar ’70, H’09, Dorothy Roberts and Tomio Taki — with the 2011 Leader of Innovation Medal at the Spirit of Innovation Gala on Saturday, April 30 at the Hyatt at the Bellevue.Earlier that evening, fashion icon Tommy Hilfiger will be honored with the 2011 Spirit of Design Award at Philadelphia University’s Fashion Show, which will take place at 7 p.m. at the Academy of Music.

The Spirit of Innovation Gala and Philadelphia University Fashion Show are part of the Evening of Innovation festivities, which celebrate and honor outstanding leaders across a range of disciplines and the best of this year’s student innovations and fashion designs.

Philadelphia University’s Spirit of Innovation Gala

At the Spirit of Innovation Gala, Philadelphia University will present the Leader of Innovation Medal to José Maria Alapont, president and CEO of Federal-Mogul Corp.; Mo Meidar ’70, H’09, chairman and CEO of MAG IAS; Dorothy Roberts, chairman of The Echo Design Group, Inc.; and Tomio Taki, managing member of Takihyo LLC.The Leader of Innovation Medal honors innovative entrepreneurs who have made significant contributions across many fields that better society and which shine a light on the impact of innovation all around us.“These friends and alumni are world-class leaders and innovators,” said Philadelphia University President Stephen Spinelli Jr. “As a model for professional university education, Philadelphia University is focused on innovation.  The careers and successes of our honorees across a range of disciplines inspire us. They represent the ideals set forth in our bold Strategic Plan and signature approach to teaching and learning that gives our talented students a real competitive advantage. Not only are our honorees accomplished in their fields, they exemplify the University’s mission, sense of purpose and innovative spirit.”

José Maria Alapont, president and CEO, Federal-Mogul Corp., has more than 35 years of global leadership experience with vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. Federal-Mogul’s leading technology and innovation, lean manufacturing expertise, as well as marketing and distribution deliver world-class powertrain and safety technologies to the world’s foremost original equipment manufacturers of automotive, commercial, aerospace, marine, rail and off-road vehicles; industrial, agricultural and power generation equipment; and the worldwide aftermarket. Under Alapont’s leadership, Federal-Mogul operates a successful student internship program in partnership with Philadelphia University, where interns gain valuable, real-world experience in such areas as product development, technical services and project management.

Mo Meidar ’70, H’09, is founder and CEO of MAG IAS, a leading machine tool and systems company with manufacturing and sales operations worldwide. MAG’s composites, CNC machine tools and systems companies serve the aerospace, automotive, mining, heavy equipment, solar and wind-power industries, as well as the general machining industry. With revenues approaching $2 billion, approximately 4,000 employees in 26 facilities and markets in over 80 countries, MAG is one of the world’s biggest machine builders with the most advanced technologies. MAG is a partner in the Philadelphia University MAG Composites Institute, established in January 2011 to support research and development of new textile-based composites that could have wide application in such industries as aerospace, automotive and energy, as well as a new composites engineering concentration, one of the only such programs in the United States. Meidar serves on the University’s Board of Trustees.

Dorothy Roberts is chairman of The Echo Design Group, Inc., a design firm known for its scarfs, wraps, outerwear and beachwear, with licensed products in bedding, decorative fabric and trim, wallpapers and, its latest venture, tabletop. Founded by her parents in 1923, the firm continues today with a third generation of family, including daughter Lynn, son Steven and his wife Meg. For the past 27 years, The Echo Design Group has licensed the Ralph Lauren brand, including Polo, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Chaps and American Living. It also creates custom-designed products for many of the country’s leading museums. Ms. Roberts values “building for the long term, establishing real value, delivering great personal service, working diligently and smartly, and building relationships.”

Tomio Taki, a managing member of Takihyo LLC., is a leader in textile and apparel manufacturing whose company at one time owned designer firms Anne Klein & Company and The Donna Karan Company. At age 26, he became president of Takihyo Co., Ltd., a Japanese textile manufacturer established by his family more than 250 years ago. He remains an advisor to the company, which is now publicly traded and manufactures ready-to-wear apparel lines as well as textiles, and includes 24 subsidiary companies including food processing, real estate and chemical products. Taki will be awarded an honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters as part of Philadelphia University’s Commencement on May 15, 2011.

Philadelphia University’s Annual Fashion Show

The Fashion Show, which will take place Saturday, April 30, at 7 p.m. at the Academy of Music, showcases the best of each year’s fabulous, colorful, creative and innovative student fashion designs. Each year, the show attracts a standing-room-only crowd of some 2,300 students and their families, faculty members, designers and fashion and apparel industry professionals.

This year, American designer Tommy Hilfiger will be honored with the prestigious 2011 Philadelphia University Spirit of Design Award.  For 25 years, Tommy Hilfiger has been at the forefront of the classic, but trendy, all-American preppy look. Hilfiger, known for casual styles and his classic red, white and blue flag logo, oversees a brand that includes men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, sportswear, denim, and a range of licensed products such as accessories, fragrances and home furnishings. There are more than 1,000 Tommy Hilfiger stores worldwide and in 2008 the company announced an exclusive partnership with Macy’s to sell its sportswear in the U.S.“We are thrilled that Tommy Hilfiger is the 2011 recipient of Philadelphia University’s Spirit of Design Award,” said Clara Henry, director of Philadelphia University’s fashion design program.  “He is an international fashion icon who is an advocate for design education and nurturing young talent.”

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