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Absolutely FABS

Absolutely FABS

Sarina Tacovic July 25, 2022

Representation matters to Sue Guinan Griffith ’80. She had a flourishing finance career with several leadership positions at JP Morgan Chase. But through those years, especially in her earlier days, she had to fight for a seat at the table.

“It’s important for everyone,” Griffith said. “I was the youngest person in the room, and I was the only woman in the room, for quite a few years throughout my career. It was hard. You really had to be tough.” 

Three professors in the School of Business Administration stand at the front of a classroom at UD.
Three professors in the School of Business Administration provided lessons — and served as role models — for high school students.


Griffith built an unfaltering confidence in herself on top of continuing her education at UD to earn her MBA. These became the core elements that led to her successful 25-year career holding CFO positions and leading mergers and acquisitions.

Now she is translating those elements as a donor to a new mission, one that serves young women in the Dayton area through the University’s new Female Aspiring Business Scholars program. 

“I have to credit UD for my education and I thought that would be a good way — a great way — to pay back and help the next generation of young ladies trying to get started in business,” Griffith said. “I know what my experience was like, I know what the possibilities are and I’m trying to help the next group of women to do the same.”

For one week in July, the FABS program hosted rising female high school juniors and seniors on campus to live and learn in community. The students earned three hours of college credit, participated in seminars with UD faculty and business professionals, networked with alumni and business leaders, and gained professional skills. Nancy Haskell, economics assistant professor; Erica Neuman, accounting assistant professor; and Kathrin Hanek, management assistant professor led the program.

“The vision behind this is to increase the number of women who are interested in professional careers in business,” said Marsha Keune, associate professor and associate dean of undergraduate programs. “We are providing them exposure to the many opportunities that are available through careers in business. And because of the generosity of the donors, we are able to provide an accessible experience.”

This year FABS is funded thanks to Griffith and another alumna, Jessica Holscott ’97, executive vice president and CFO for the studio and content creation at Warner Bros. Discovery. Unlike Griffith, Holscott began her college career as a pre-med student before transitioning to business.

“Providing this business experience at an earlier stage in these students’ lives can be incredibly valuable.”

“This foundation was not something I had going into my freshman year. I can only imagine how this would have shaped my career aspirations earlier on,” Holscott said. “Providing this business experience at an earlier stage in these students’ lives can be incredibly valuable.”

It’s anyone’s guess where any of the FABS students will land in their careers, but Griffith expects big things for them.

“I hope it affects one, two, as many young women who want to get a good education and learn some skills to go be the president of a bank or a CFO of some organization or a good leader or
manager,” Griffith said. “That’s what I hope comes from it. That’s what I believe will happen.”

For business and pleasure?