Trustee Leatherberry Receives Top School of Business Administration Honor

Trustee Tonie Leatherberry at School of Business Administration Banquet
Trustee Tonie Leatherberry, a principal in Deloitte’s Risk and Financial Advisory practice, received the School of Business Administration’s top honor on April 4.

Speaking at the School of Business Administration awards banquet on April 4, Trustee Antoinette (Tonie) Leatherberry, a principal in Deloitte’s Risk and Financial Advisory practice, said that Widener’s core values – competency, character and courage – can serve future graduates as they embark on their careers.

“Widener lives its core values with purpose each and every day,” Leatherberry said. “When I think about the values of competency, character and courage, they all resonate with me because they align very closely to my life.”

At the banquet, held at the Springhaven Club in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, Leatherberry accepted the School of Business Administration’s Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society Distinguished Performance in Management Award.

“The Distinguished Performance in Management Award is the highest honor the School of Business Administration bestows,” said Dean Jayati Ghosh. “Trustee Leatherberry was an excellent choice for this award. Her commitment to leadership serves as a powerful inspiration to Widener students as they learn to lead in their chosen professions.”

President Julie E. Wollman also praised Leatherberry, whose daughter is a sophomore at Widener, for her commitment to the university.

“We were honored to recognize Trustee Leatherberry for her strong leadership – both in business and as a trustee,” Wollman said. “She is respected for her exceptional ability to build relationships, lead innovative business strategies, and help others succeed in their goals. She brings tremendous value to Widener's Board of Trustees.”

Students at School of Business Administration Awards Banquet
Award recipients in the School of Business Administration were honored at the annual banquet at the Springhaven Club.

During the keynote address, Leatherberry encouraged the students to forge their own paths. She started by discussing the importance of competency and describing how at Deloitte they use the phrase ‘painting the art of the possible.’

“If one does not see opportunity, one may not reach their greatest potential,” she said. “Many people painted the art of the possible for me, and what I would challenge you with is consider: who will advise you, who will be your role models and who will help you paint the art of the possible?”

As president of Deloitte Foundation, Leatherberry is serving as that role model to high school students in underserved communities.

“We are piloting programs and trying innovation that aims to help students have better understanding of technical, behavioral, leadership, and other experiences that future employers may be looking for,” she explained.

Then, touching on character, Leatherberry encouraged the Widener students to align their career choices to their values.

“When you join an organization, make sure your core values are aligning with the values and the culture and mission of that organization,” Leatherberry said.

Finally, speaking about the principle of courage, she told the students to never let a role or a title define their leadership attributes or contributions.

“You are defined as an individual and your most powerful gift is your character,” Leatherberry said. “That is the only thing you can control, and in any situation, it is about how you behave, engage and act – and not anything or anyone else.”

Leatherberry’s final words of advice – have fun.

“I wish for you to have an amazing journey,” she said. “The future is bright, and I look forward to witnessing your success.”

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