Andrea Jung, Avon CEO, to speak at Fairfield Awards Dinner that honors Jesuit and two alumni


Andrea Jung, the CEO who successfully transformed Avon Products, Inc., by defining its vision as the company for women, will receive the Fairfield University Distinguished Leadership Award and give the keynote address at the Fairfield Awards Dinner on Wednesday, April 3 at 6 p.m. Held at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in New York City, the dinner benefits the Multicultural Scholarship Fund at Fairfield University.

Also honored at the dinner will be Rev. Thomas J. Regan, S.J., associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and associate professor of philosophy; and two alumni, the Honorable William J. Lavery, Chief Judge of the Appellate Court for the State of Connecticut, and Laura Incerto, former president of the Alumni Association.

Since taking over Avon in November 1999, Andrea Jung has given Avon products a more sophisticated look. New blockbuster products have been launched with amazing speed, including a new line called "Wellness," which brought items such as aromatic therapy oils and vitamins to market.

In a bold move she introduced Avon products to retail stores where sales are expected to reach $300 million in five years. She revitalized the Avon Lady concept, developing a leadership program that rewards representatives for recruiting other Avon Ladies.

Avon is now the world's leading direct seller of beauty and related products with $5.7 billion in annual revenues. In the little over two years that Ms. Jung has been CEO, annual sales have climbed from 1.5 percent to 6 percent and Avon's stock rose over 70 percent.

In 1997 Ms. Jung received the National Outstanding Mother Award and was identified as one of the "25 Women to Watch" by Advertising Age magazine. Fluent in Chinese (Mandarin), she is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University with a bachelor's degree in English literature. She serves on the Board of Directors of General Electric Company and is a member of the International Advisory Board of Salomon Smith Barney.

Rev. Thomas J. Regan, S.J., associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and associate professor of philosophy, will receive the Distinguished Faculty Award. An inspiring teacher who challenges his students to expand their horizons, Father Regan had just finished his doctorate and moved into a full-time teaching position in 1984 when students of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit honor society, selected him Teacher of the Year.

The key to his effectiveness as a teacher is that he truly loves to be in a classroom with young people and his enthusiasm for his subject is contagious. A double major in history and philosophy at Boston College, he says, "I still love history, but what could be more fascinating than philosophy?"

Ultimately students come to college, "not to get a degree, but to get a life," he has said, and life is what students discuss in Fr. Regan's class. "The kinds of questions we're asking help students develop their critical thinking and self identity."

Currently he is finishing a two-year appointment as associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. This fall he will return to teaching and become co-director of Fairfield's new Ignatian Residential College. Funded by the Lilly Endowment, he says the College will "give students thoughtful, reflective support on their journey to becoming whole persons."

In addition to his degree from Boston College, Fr. Regan earned a master's degree and doctorate in philosophy from Fordham University, a master's of divinity with distinction from Weston School of Theology, and a post graduate diploma from Heythrop College at the University of London in pastoral theology.

He has served as president and secretary of the Jesuit Philosophical Association of the United States and Canada and was national president for six years of Alpha Sigma Nu. He has also published extensively.

The Honorable William J. Lavery '59, Chief Judge of the Appellate Court for the State of Connecticut, is being honored with the Alumni Professional Achievement Award.

Throughout his 21-year tenure on the bench, Judge Lavery has earned the respect and admiration of Connecticut's legal community for his scholarship, fairness and independence. Attorneys who have worked with him or appeared in his court, describe him as being an independent thinker who is committed to Connecticut's residents, "particularly the disadvantaged and the disabled," while maintaining a "dominant concern with procedural fairness balanced by a deference to the fact-finders in a case."

Judge Lavery served from 1991 to 2000 on the Judicial Evaluation Advisory Panel and from 2000-2001 on the Chief Justice's Committee to Revise Grievance Rules.

A graduate of Fordham Law School, he served in the United States Army Reserve, where he was assigned to two tours of active duty during1960 through 1962.

While in private practice, Judge Lavery was elected to the Bridgeport Board of Alderman (1963-1967) and the Connecticut House of Representatives (1967-1971). Throughout the 1970s, he served as counsel for the Bridgeport Housing Authority, the Majority Party in the Connecticut House of Representatives, and the Town of Newtown. He was vice-chairman of the Connecticut Commission on Hospitals and Healthcare and a member of the State's Council on Environmental Quality.

He is a director of the Pope John Paul II Center for Health Care in Danbury and the Aids Project Greater Danbury, and a trustee of the Cyrenius H. Booth Library in Newtown. He has also served on the advisory committee of the Mercy Learning Center and on the board of the Newtown Scholarship Association and the Family Counseling Center.

Judge Lavery lives in Newtown with his wife, the former Joan Murcko. Between them they are the parents of eight children and have one granddaughter.

Laura Incerto, class of 1981 and a resident of Fairfield, Conn., will receive the Alumni Service Award. A past president of the Fairfield University Alumni Association, where she has been a member of the Board of Directors since 1984, Laura has been a member of the Fairfield University Trustees Advisory Council since 1998 and a long-time member of the university's President's Circle.

Elected president of the Alumni Association in 1998, Laura helped bring to completion the building project for the new Alumni House, which is located at the entrance to Fairfield University. In addition, she initiated a revision of the bylaws for the Alumni Association.

As a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, Laura served on several committees, including the Alumnae Forum, Undergraduate and Graduate Relations, the Fairfield Awards Dinner, Sons and Daughters Scholarship and Golf. As vice president, she helped plan events for the celebrations of the University's 50th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of co-education.

Active in the community as well, Laura serves as Development Committee Co-chair for the All Saints Catholic Regional Grammar School in Norwalk and is a member of the Legal Advisory Board for Norwalk Community Technical College.

Dow Chemical recruited her for its management training program in Atlanta, Ga. She has since worked as a trade show marketing manager with Reed in Stamford, Conn., and an account executive with International Paper Company. Earlier this year she joined Bridgeport Metal Goods in Stratford, Conn., as a sales manager.

Tickets to the Dinner are available through the University's Office of Special Events: (203) 254-4000, ext. 2660.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 11, 2002

Vol. 34, No. 19