Five Alumni Awarded The Pinnacle by Fairleigh Dickinson University

MADISON, N.J. (June 9, 2010) — In ceremonies on June 4 at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham, five outstanding alumni were inducted into The Pinnacle, the highest award the University bestows upon its alumni.

Pinnacle recipients are chosen on the basis of success or distinction in their chosen fields; significant contributions to society and humanity through public or humanitarian service; and outstanding service to the University, or reflection of the unique character of Fairleigh Dickinson in their lives.

Broadcast Journalist Brenda Blackmon

Brenda Blackmon, New Jersey’s own four-time Emmy-winning journalist, is co-anchor of My9 News for WWOR-TV’s 11 p.m. newscast. This year, she won her fourth Emmy Award for Best Single Newscast and has been nominated for 15 additional Emmy Awards. Blackmon is also the recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award for Broadcast Excellence and she has won more than a dozen Associated Press Awards.

Blackmon received a 2010 “Inspiration Through a Legendary Lifetime in Broadcasting” award from the McDonalds Corp. WWOR presented a special salute in honor of her career that began in her hometown of Columbus, Ga., where she was recognized as “One of the Century’s Most Influential.”


During her broadcast career, she has covered Ku Klux Klan rallies and presidential inaugurations, the funeral of Pope John Paul and the 9/11 terror attacks. Blackmon has conducted exclusive interviews with Jack Kevorkian and a highly coveted one-on-one with former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, in Palin’s only New York-area interview. Blackmon has covered politics and personal tragedies, breaking news and public affairs.


Her community involvement dates back to her early days in television with the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon and the Lou Rawls Telethon. Today she continues to volunteer for special events with SHARE: Self-Help for Women with Breast or Ovarian Cancer and the Bergen Volunteers. This year, she was selected Woman of the Year by the Queens Courier newspaper and by New Jersey’s speaker of the House to receive the Shirley Chisholm Award in Public Service. She is an active participant in the national campaign to find a cure for Lupus through the Alliance for Lupus Research and The Kelly Fund for Lupus Inc.


Blackmon graduated magna cum laude from Fairleigh Dickinson University and has received two honorary doctorates of humane letters from Caldwell College and FDU. She is also an adjunct professor at FDU.

In presenting the award, Bernard Dick, FDU professor of English and communications, said, “As an FDU alumna, you believe in the practice of ‘giving back,’ and for that we are forever grateful. Each year, you invite qualified communication seniors to come to WWOR in Secaucus for the day, where they learn the nuts and bolts of the business. You give these students an experience they cannot get from a classroom.  … We are honored by your willingness to share your expertise with our students.

“You live by a simple but profound motto: Be just and fair to all and do what’s right and good. For your selflessness, devotion to your family, profession and community, the University takes great pride in awarding you with The Pinnacle.”

Architecture and Design Entrepreneur Rosemary Español

Español is president of IEI Group, a Philadelphia-based firm that provides design, architectural and project management services to corporations, educational institutions, government agencies, health care, retail and residential clients. Founded by Español in 1991, IEI has been ranked for the past 13 years among the top 200 U.S. design firms by Interior Design magazine.

Recently, the firm completed project management and design consulting on the installation of the “Crown Lights” rooftop LED-messaging system atop PECO Headquarters in Philadelphia. A rooftop icon since 1976, the new display now includes more than 2 million light-emitting diodes, resulting in a messaging system that can be seen across the city, yet reduces energy consumption by 40 percent compared to the old system.

In addition to PECO, IEI’s clients include Aramark, MetLife, Citizens Bank, ING Direct and Temple University.

Español has taught courses at Philadelphia’s Moore College of Art and Design, as well as Philadelphia University. She was named a Woman of Distinction by the Philadelphia Business Journal for her achievements. She is a past president of the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks, and the Society of Marketing Professional Services, and was a board member of the International Facility Management Association. She is also on the board of trustees of the Gesu School, an independent elementary school serving at-risk youth in North Philadelphia. 

Español has a bachelor’s degree from FDU’s College at Florham (1970) and a master’s from the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. She and her husband, Samuel Limor, live in Philadelphia with their two sons, Ryan and Jordan.

In presenting the award, Karen Lewis, FDU’s senior director of principal gifts, said, “When you entered the workforce, it was difficult for most women to have it all — a career and family. But you balanced both gracefully. Outside of the office, you’re devoted to your husband, Sam, and your two sons.

“For your outstanding achievements, enthusiastic drive and endless devotion to your work, to your family and to your community, Fairleigh Dickinson salutes you with The Pinnacle.”

Commercial Real Estate Executive David E. Knee

Knee has completed more than 40 million square feet of sales and lease transactions valued at over $1 billion during his career. As managing director at Jones Lang LaSalle in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., he is responsible for overseeing the growth of the global supply-chain practice, tenant representation practice and the institutional agency practice in New Jersey. Jones Lang LaSalle is a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate services and investment management.

Before joining Jones Lang LaSalle in 2007, Knee was a principal and executive vice president at Klatskin Associates, which was later sold to Jones Lang LaSalle. Under his leadership, Klatskin grew from five brokers to 25 while managing more than 6 million square feet of industrial property.

Knee has played a key role in some of the largest real estate deals in the state. With more than 20 years of industry experience, he has extensive knowledge in supply chain and logistics, tenant representation and agency sides of the business. 

Knee was named CoStar Power Broker in New Jersey for five years in a row, Broker of the Year in New Jersey by Prologis four times and Broker of the Year by Klatskin Associates twice. He was recognized as one of NJBIZ magazine’s “40 under 40” top executives in 2004.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson’s College at Florham (1988) and is a member of FDU’s Global Advisory Board. He has also served as co-chair of the Fund for FDU Committee.  Knee is an officer and member of the Industrial and Office Real Estate Brokers Association of the New York Metropolitan Area Inc.

In presenting the award, his friend Richard Reiss, FDU’s senior vice president for University advancement, said, “You have always been a planner. You have always had an eye on the future, on family, on being grounded. You planned the perfect date for your wife, Barrie, more than 12 years ago. You planned the purchase of a beach home for you and your family to enjoy with friends and loved ones. You planned your career path after leaving your University.

Given your life plans, we are so fortunate to have your support over the years as a member of FDU’s Global Advisory Board. With everlasting admiration of your wide range of achievements, Fairleigh Dickinson University honors you with induction into The Pinnacle.”

Attorney Myles H. Malman

Malman is the managing director of Malman, Malman & Rosenthal in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He specializes in criminal and civil litigation, and maintains an extensive national white-collar criminal practice including securities and health-care fraud.


Malman served as Deputy First Assistant and Special Counsel to the United States Attorney of the Southern District of Florida during his lengthy career as a federal prosecutor, managing a 200-lawyer office. He was co-lead counsel in the successful prosecution of Gen. Manuel Noriega on drug and money-laundering charges. In 1992, he received the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in recognition of his litigation skills. Malman handled the only successful federal Civil Rights Act prosecution in the Southern District of Florida and is the recipient of six Department of Justice Superior Achievement Awards for Outstanding Performance.


Over the years, he has also led and participated in high-profile civil cases including class-action litigations against manufacturers of silicone breast implants, tobacco, General Motors pickup trucks and others. He has also represented and negotiated contracts and business deals for professional players in the National Hockey League and the National Football League.


Malman has served on the faculty of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy at Hofstra University Law School and has taught in the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program at Widener University Law School. He has lectured in criminal and civil trial practice and Florida criminal procedure for the WestBar Review Course. Malman has also appeared on national television as an expert in legal matters, consulted on major Hollywood motion picture projects and testified before Congress on criminal justice matters.


Malman was born in New York City and served as an Assistant District Attorney for 10 years as well as Senior Trial Counsel and adviser to longtime Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau. In the 1960s, he served in the U.S Army Military Police Corps in Vietnam.


Malman has a bachelor’s degree from FDU’s Metropolitan Campus (1967). Malman played varsity baseball at FDU for three years and is active in the baseball alumni program. His law degree (1974) is from New York Law School, New York, N.Y.

Malman and his wife, Jill, who is his law partner, have two children, Parker and Mallory. They live in Hollywood, Fla.

In presenting the award, his longtime friend and colleague Robert H. Silbering said, “You have been a dear friend to FDU over the years. As a former member of FDU’s baseball team, you generously support a scholarship established in honor of the late baseball coach Harvey Woods. You also give back your time and energy through lectures and mentoring.

“For your outstanding achievements, commitment to your profession, family and school, your University takes great pride in awarding you with The Pinnacle.”

Minnesota Vikings Owner Zygi Wilf

A New Jersey attorney and real-estate developer, Wilf became principal owner of the Minnesota Vikings NFL franchise in 2005. Football is a family affair for the Wilfs — the family has had Giants season tickets since 1960.

Wilf is a partner in the Wilf Law Firm, with offices in New York City and New Jersey. He also joined the family business and became president of Short Hills-based Garden Homes, one of the largest real-estate development firms in the United States.

Wilf serves on the boards of numerous organizations, including Yeshiva University and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The son of Holocaust survivors, Wilf actively supports the work of the Shoah Foundation, Holocaust education programs and Yad Vashem in Israel.

Wilf has a bachelor’s degree in economics from FDU’s College at Florham (1971) and a law degree from New York Law School, New York, N.Y. (1974).

Wilf and his wife, Audrey, have four children.

In presenting the award, Audrey Wilf said, “A philanthropist at heart, your kindness goes beyond your actions. I know that firsthand. Our Zygmunt and Audrey Wilf Foundation supports higher education, human services and Jewish agencies and temples in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. In addition, the Wilf Family Foundation focuses on Jewish welfare funds, including education programs and temple support.

“For all your professional achievements and humanitarian efforts, your University takes great pride in awarding you with The Pinnacle.”

Pictured below are, from left, Zygi Wilf, Rosemary Español, David E. Knee, President J. Michael Adams, Brenda Blackmon and Myles H. Malman.

For Immediate Release

FDU Public Relations
   (Metropolitan Campus Office)
Fairleigh Dickinson University
1000 River Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666

Dina Schipper
Director, University Public Relations

Melissa Payton

FDU Public Relations
   (College at Florham Office)
Fairleigh Dickinson University
285 Madison Avenue
Madison, NJ 07940

Scott Giglio
Assistant Director, Public Relations

Lillian Lukac