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Profiles in Success

Many of our students go on to highly successful careers in accounting. They can be found in a broad variety of fields, from entertainment to technology and from government to education. We are most proud of our alumni. Check back frequently to learn more about them and all that they do. Their success is the greatest testament to the value of earning your accounting degree at LIU Brooklyn.

Joel Press, Class of 1968, B.S. in Accounting, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley-Prime BrokerageJoel Press

Class of 1968
B.S. in Accounting
Managing Director, Morgan Stanley-Prime Brokerage

The son of a seltzer distributor, Joel Press enrolled at LIU Brooklyn as a pre-med major. Joel found pre-med more difficult than he had expected and he struggled to keep his grades up. Several conversations with his parents and administrators later, he changed his major to accounting. The rest is history. He thrived in the program, graduating second in his class. His highly successful career in finance has included senior management positions at Festina Lente Investment Management, LP; Ernst & Young’s Global Hedge Fund Practice; and Spicer & Oppenheim. Today, he is a managing director at Morgan Stanley-Prime Brokerage. In 2007, he was appointed to serve as chancellor of LIU Brooklyn, a responsibility he has undertaken with great enthusiasm. “LIU Brooklyn gave me a second chance and it paid off. Its mission of providing access to higher education for people from all walks of life is one that I hold close to my heart. Earning my degree served as a springboard to success. I was able to take what I learned in the classroom and to apply it throughout my career. My education helped me to establish a solid foundation in business, one that I have been able to build upon over the years. As chancellor, I will dedicate myself to ensuring that LIU Brooklyn students have that same opportunity.”

Sandra Albo

Class of 1981
B.S. in Accounting
Founder and President, Pro Advantage Executive Search

Sandra Albo, CPA, President of Pro Advantage Executive Search and former "Big 8" accountant, has been working in the financial services recruiting industry for over 18 years. As a graduate of LIU Brooklyn, with a B.S. in Accounting, Sandra started her career as an auditor for Ernst & Whinney, now Ernst & Young.

Sandra later moved to Paramount Pictures where she was a manager of financial reporting. She brings her extensive networking contacts from major financial firms to the table. Since Pro Advantage Executive Search has emerged in Midtown Manhattan, it has catered to a variety of divisions within the financial services industry. Its clientele includes some of the major investment banks, brokerage firms and insurance companies.

Sandra takes pride in the contacts that she formed through her years as an executive recruiter. She has become a leader in the search profession, given her ability to start up two successful companies. Sandra founded Pro Advantage after she left G.A.C. Associates in 1997, where she was a partner and co-founder. She is a true generalist in terms of her ability to identify, recruit and procure senior-level executives across a very broad range of industries. Sandra has a real passion for the search profession. She is affiliated with the New York State Society of CPA’s (NYSSCPA), as well as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Michael Bivona, CPA , Class of 1960, B.S. in Accounting; Retired, Part Owner, C.F.O., C.O.O., Manchester Technologies, Inc.Michael Bivona, CPA

Class of 1960
B.S. in Accounting
Retired, Part Owner, C.F.O., C.O.O., Manchester Technologies, Inc.

Born and raised in the East New York section of Brooklyn, Michael Bivona dropped out of school at the age of 16 and joined the United States Air Force in 1952. He obtained his G.E.D. and served as a communications specialist in Japan before completing his service in 1956. Once home, Michael excelled personally and professionally, immersing himself in accounting studies at LIU Brooklyn. He became president of the Accounting Society and the Veteran’s Club and worked in the Accounting Department. He was granted a CPA license following his graduation with a bachelor of science in 1960.

After a number of years in private practice, he expanded his accounting firm, partnering with LIU Post alumnus, Louis M. Ambrico ’73. He next invested in Manchester Technologies, Inc., becoming part owner, C.F.O. and C.O.O. His combined expertise in the areas of technology and finance helped to fuel the computer supplier’s rapid growth by the time the company went public in 1996.

Today, Michael and his wife, Barbara, devote their time and financial resources to a broad array of philanthropic causes. They are generous supporters of LIU. Mrs. Bivona is a member of the Tilles Center council of overseers. Michael funded the LIU Post Bivona Graduate Student Center and is an executive member of the College of Management board of advisors. He also donated the 300-volume “Michael Bivona Collection: Columbus, the Age of Discovery and Related Books,” to the Columbus Citizens Foundation, an organization dedicated to preserving Italian-American heritage.

A man of diverse interests and talents, Michael is the author of “Dancing Around the World with Mike and Barbara Bivona” and “Business Infrastructure: in a Computer Environment.” He is an avid boater and a ballroom dancing aficionado who loves to perform with his wife.