Salute to Business Achievement awardees

UMSL’s College of Business Administration recently honored alumni (from left) Tom Migneron, Steve Finkelstein, Julie Hiblovic, Jason Bockman and Aaron Golchert with Salute to Business Achievement Awards. George Paz also received an award but was not present at the April 21 ceremony. (Photo by August Jennewein)

It’s not as well known as Cooperstown – but membership into the University of Missouri–St. Louis Accounting Hall of Fame carries similar prestige as it represents acceptance into a select club of successful business professionals. Just ask George Paz, chairman and CEO of Express Scripts.

“It’s truly an honor to be recognized by my peers and alumni of the University of Missouri–St. Louis,” Paz, BSBA 1982, said via video. “There have been so many great achievers [graduating from UMSL], which is a testament to its faculty and staff.”

Paz said he was “very poor” and never thought growing up he would have the opportunity of a college education. But, he said, UMSL gave him that opportunity and a “solid foundation” to succeed.

And succeed he did. Paz joined Express Scripts in 1998 as senior vice president and chief financial officer. He was named president in 2003 and became CEO and chairman two years later. The company has experienced rapid growth and is today the largest pharmacy benefit management company in the world.

Paz’s induction came last week during the College of Business Administration’s annual year-end reception and awards ceremony. Five other alumni received Salute to Business Achievement Awards. They are Aaron Golchert, Julie Hiblovic, Jason Bockman, Tom Migneron and Steve Finkelstein.

The annual event spotlights alumni who have accomplished career and personal achievements. Nominations are made to the college by alumni, friends, businesses and organizations throughout the area. A selection committee chooses award recipients for each of the five categories: Entrepreneurial Spirit, Outstanding Volunteer, Rising Star, Outstanding Leader and Distinguished Career Achievement.

Golchert, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2007, received the Rising Star Award. He is the St. Louis-area director for N2 Publishing, a national firm that produces customized publications, filled with news and special events that take place throughout the month. Golchert also is president of the Eureka Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and a director on the UMSL Alumni Association Governing Board.

Hiblovic, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1995, received the Outstanding Volunteer Award. She is a CPA and audit partner at Anders CPAs + Advisors, which works primarily with privately held companies in manufacturing, distribution, construction and gaming. Hiblovic volunteers to help numerous local and statewide organizations, including the Professional Women’s Alliance, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants, Downtown St. Louis Community Improvement District and UMSL Accounting Advisory Board.

Bockman, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2007, received the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award – which only makes sense for someone who operated a hotdog stand to help pay for his college education. Today, he is co-founder of Strange Donuts and a budding philanthropist. The first Strange Donuts outlet opened in 2013 in Maplewood, Mo., with a blend of traditional and unique flavor choices. It has since expanded into Kirkwood and Columbia, Mo. Bockman and his partner also have formed a 501[c] nonprofit, Strange Cares, which focuses on empowering kids.

Migneron, who earned a bachelor’s in business administration in 1982, received the Outstanding Leader Award. He is a principal at Edward Jones, currently a member of the firm’s management committee and overseeing its Operations Division. Migneron also is a member of the UMSL Accounting Advisory Board and active recruiter of UMSL graduates to Edward Jones.

Finkelstein, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1972, received the Distinguished Career Achievement Award. He is co-founder of Experience on Demand – a St. Louis-based management consulting firm. Small Business Monthly voted Experience on Demand the best consulting firm for 2014 and 2015. No stranger to the campus, Finkelstein is a donor and volunteer to UMSL and has co-instructed a business course with former business dean Keith Womer.

This year’s reception and awards ceremony was underwritten by the Business Chapter of the UMSL Alumni Association in conjunction with a generous sponsorship by Anders CPAs + Advisors.

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Bob Samples

Bob Samples

Bob Samples is associate vice chancellor for university communications at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
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