2010 Distinguished Alumni Award Speech given by Tom Nardi

Uploaded by WesternIllinoisU on 29.06.2010

[Presenter] Good Morning and welcome Grads, Dads and Mom's and everybody.
It is my distinct pleasure as president
of the Western Illinois University Alumni Counsel
to present the Spring 2010
Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
please welcome award recipient Thomas A. Nardi.
The Distinguished Alumni Award
given since 1973 recognizes Alumni who have achieved
reached the pinnacle of their careers and have brought credit to the University and
themselves through the professional accomplishments
our community service at local, state and national levels
and extended meritorious service for the advancement
and continued excellence of Western Illinois
Tom A. Nardi a 1976 Accountancy Graduate
has been the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
of Navigant and NYSE Publicly Traded Specialized Global Consulting Firm
since November of 2008
previously Tom Nardi served as President
of Integrys Business Support a unit of
NYSE also Public Utility and Energy Company
Integrys Energy group and from 2001 to 2007 he served as
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Peoples Energy
prior to joining Peoples Tom Nardi spent 19 years
at Nicore serving in a variety of executive level
operating financial and regulatory positions.
Tom Nardi started has career in the
Chicago Auto Practice of Author Anderson
were he worked from 1976 to 1981.
Active in his Alma Mater Tom Nardi received the
College of Business and Technology Distinguished Alumni Award
in 2002 and serves on the
Presidents National Advisory Counsel
for the College of Business and Technology Advisory Counsel
in addition he's done a lot in addition Tom is
an active participant in WIU's Sponsor Alumni Events
and a major donor he established and continues to support
the Thomas A. Nardi Endow Scholarship
in the department of accountancy active
in his community Tom Nardi has also been
a member of the Economic Club of Chicago
the AICPA the city of Naperville Public Utility Advisory Board
and servers on the Board of Trustee
of the Adler Planetarium.
He received an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1990.
It is my distinct honor and pleasure
and yours to present this plaque to Mr. Tom Nardi.
[Tom Nardi] Thanks -APPLAUSE-
[Tom Nardi] Thank you Rodger good morning everybody
President Goldfarb Board of Trustees
distinguished guest and graduates.
You did it way to go
let me add my congratulations to the
Class of 2010 for a job well done
and also congratulations to all those
who raised and supported you who are with you
here today your parents, your grandparents,
your brothers and sisters,
your aunts and uncles and whoever else
might be here with you today.
It's hard to believe how much has changed since I sat out there
getting my degree in accounting thirty-four years ago
could any of my generation have imagined
that 90 percent of you sitting out there
would have an I Pod in your pocket
or that your text messaging each other
during my remarks DON'T DO THAT.
You know what electronic device I was excited
about thirty-four years ago?
It was a cordless calculator that added, subtracted,
multiplied and divided and did square roots
it was about as big as a toaster and it cost seventy dollars.
Yes, a lot has changed since I sat out there
like you are today but the one thing
that has not changed is the pride and joy
and optimism and since of accomplishment and a little bit
of relief that comes with every graduation
and that won't change in thirty-four years
or hopefully in three-hundred years.
Gratitude is the word that comes to mind today.
I'm sure you all are grateful for the love and support
that you received from your family and friends over the past 4 or 5 or 6 years
from family and friends
and I encourage you to make sure you reach out to them today
give them a special thanks
and as Doctor Goldfarb said take the time to also
think about those that can not be here today.
Let me express my gratitude to the Western Illinois University family
as Gordy Taylor a longtime Alumni director would say
during one of his famous alumni pitches.
Some magic truly does happen here at Western Illinois University.
Some magic that brings the Western experience
the melting pot that brings together a diverse group of students
from Chicago from the suburbs and from small
down state towns like Auburn Illinois
the town I came from.
The dorms, the intramurals, the bars, the fraternities
Lake Argyle mix in the great nationally recognized education
and you have a recipe for success.
I loved it, I took to it and embraced the great education
I got here from the College of Business and the Department of Accounting
and there are thousands of examples of other alumni
that have gone on to do the same thing.
Let me thank the Alumni Association an Amy Spelman
especially for this wonderful honor
it is very humbling to be mentioned with the names
of those who received this before me
and I know there are many graduates out there who have
outstanding careers that are very deserving
and I say a sincere thank you again
for this wonderful honor.
I spent some time last night recognizing and thanking
my wonderful family their seated over here today
especially my mom and dad who worked so very hard
to put us to put me and my three sisters through college
my mom's here with us today
and I would like to thank my wife Mary who stood by me
for thirty one years thank you very much
for you're love and support.
Graduates as Doctor Goldfarb said
this is a very challenging time in America
in many ways tougher than when I graduated.
The competition for jobs is fierce
some of you may not have jobs yet and those that do
are a little nervous about starting you're careers.
Let me tell you a little story that I hope will give you a little confidence
as you embark on that and if you don't remember anything
else about my remarks remember this
with the education that you've received here at Western
you can compete out there.
When I first started at one of the largest accounting firms in the world
Author Anderson and Company in Chicago
here I was a small town kid from Auburn Illinois
degree in accounting from Western Illinois in hand
and I was pretty intimidated when I showed up to work my first day of work
and look around and I see graduates from Notre Dame University
University of Michigan, University of Illinois,
Ohio State, North Western, University of Chicago
and I thought what I'm I doing here Western Illinois
their gonna chew me up and spit me out.
But then something amazing happened
that changed my life forever
we all took the CPA exam together in the fall
many of us did any way and a couple month's later the results
come out and somebody from that firm won a national award for taking that test
and getting the highest scores in the country
and guess who that was?
It was not a kid from Notre Dame it was not the kid from Michigan
or Ohio State but it was the kid from Western Illinois University
From that day on I had no fear that I could compete
with anybody and it was one of the proudest moments of my life
and I owe it all to the education that I got right here
in accounting and business and those of you who are here from
from the College of Business you know how tough that curriculum is
but it prepares you well for the world out there.
It was a world-class education and experience
then and I know it still is today.
So have confidence that know matter who you compete against
out there Western has prepared you as well as anybody else
just like it did for me so many years ago.
I want you to know that you are leaving here with the education
you need to succeed and let me say that again
you are leaving here with the education you need to succeed
in this world the rest is up to you.
You have to get that first job
you have to get in the game.
Get in the game that's a famous quote from Teddy Roosevelt
that's one of my favorites and I'll close with this
[The credit belongs to the man whose actually
in the arena whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood
who strives valiantly who spends himself in a worthy cause,
who at the best knows the triumphant of high achievement
and who at the worst if fails at least fails while daring greatly].
Graduates it is time for you to leave the warmth and comfort of
Western Illinois and enter the arena
to get dusty and sweat to fail on occasion to dare greatly
and to reach for the triumph of high achievement
I did it and I know you can too.
Congratulations and good luck and God bless you all.