Edward A. Romano ’63CBA, ’08HON
Edward A. Romano ’63CBA, ’08HON is a Star in the Business Of Entertainment
When Edward A. Romano ’63CBA, ’08HON decided to major in Accounting at St. John’s University, he did so for a very practical reason. He knew that he wanted a career in business after graduation, and felt that a degree in Accounting would offer the most opportunities to establish his niche in the corporate world.
“Accounting really serves as the foundation of business,” he noted, “and I figured that it would make the most sense for me to have a degree in Accounting when I went out to look for a job after graduation.”
Romano’s perceptions were right on target. During his Senior year he secured a place in a program with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. that employed college students for their final six months of school. The company was impressed with his intelligence and work ethic, and after graduation offered him a permanent position as an Auditor.
Spending five years in that first job allowed him to become adept at all aspects of corporate accounting, and when an opportunity arose at the New York office of Warner-Seven Arts, the predecessor to Warner Brothers Entertainment, Inc., he was well prepared to make a move into the entertainment industry. Two years later, the New York office closed, and Romano found himself in California.
“In the beginning, I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to stay,” he recalled. “It was difficult to leave family and friends, and California was a bit of a culture shock.”
Romano came to enjoy working at Warner Brothers, and during the past 45 years has held a variety of senior executive positions, including Assistant Treasurer and Senior Vice President and Controller. Since 1994 he has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, with responsibility for all financial activities of the company, including financial reporting, budgeting, real estate and studio facility operations. During his tenure he has helped the company grow its annual revenue from $200 million to more than $12.5 billion.
Justifiably proud of his outstanding career, he is quick to acknowledge the role that St. John’s played in his success.
“St. John’s helped me to become whoever I am today,” he said. “I grew up in Brooklyn and went to St. John the Baptist Elementary School and St. John’s Prep High School, so I guess you can say that I have St. John’s in my blood. The University had, and still has, a great Business major, and really prepared me well for what I was able to accomplish after graduation. My years at St. John’s were some of the best years of my life.”
Having been educated by the Vincentians at every level, it comes as no surprise that the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul is reflected in Romano’s commitment to making a difference for others. He gives back to his community as a Trustee and member of the Board of Directors of the Providence Health System Foundation, as a Trustee and member of the Board of Governors of the Providence St. Joseph’s Foundation and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Literacy Network of Greater Los Angeles. For years he has shown his appreciation to St. John’s as a member of The Loughlin Society and The McCallen Society.
In 2008 the University recognized the achievements of this loyal and successful alumnus with an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree. At the annual Alumni Convocation this past May, he was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest award that St. John’s confers upon a graduate.
“Receiving the Medal of Honor means so much to me,” he said. “To be recognized by the University is something wonderful and special, and I’m proud that my family has the ability to see me receiving this honor. Going to St. John’s was a great experience for me and I’d like to see it as a great experience for all of the students who are going there now and for those who will be going in the future. I believe in making a difference for those who come after us, which is why I’ll always be proud to be a member of the St. John’s community.”