On Stage at the President's Dinner


Meet our Dinner Chairs

E-Journal Cochairs

Catherine Verrelli '00CBA, '01MBA and Jason Verrelli

Catherine Verrelli '00 CBA, '01 MBA and Jason Verrelli

Catherine M. Verrelli ’00CBA, ’01MS is the Office Managing Partner for the Jericho, NY, office of Ernst & Young (EY), LLP, and serves as a Tax Partner within the firm’s Global Compliance and Reporting Practice. She was hired by EY on the St. John’s campus through University Career Services and has been with the firm for more than 20 years. She primarily serves multinational clients in the manufacturing, consumer products, and technology industries, coordinating all aspects of tax services, and has extensive experience with US corporate tax compliance and reporting.

Ms. Verrelli earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree, both in Accounting, from The Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John’s, as well as a Master of Science degree in Taxation from LIU Post. She is a current member of the St. John’s Board of Trustees and the Vice Chair of the Audit Committee. Prior to that, Ms. Verrelli served on the University’s Board of Governors from 2016 to 2019. She has also been on the President’s Dinner Committee since 2014 and is an active supporter of the dinner with her husband, Jay.

Mr. Verrelli is a Master Electrician, currently leading the electric shop at the United Nations Headquarters. Prior to that, he operated his own electrical contracting firm. Mr. Verrelli learned the electric trade from his father, along with two of his brothers, and worked in the family business before going out on his own.

The couple have been married for 19 years and reside in Floral Park, NY, with their two children, Jason and Samantha. They are active in their community, with Mr. Verrelli volunteering his time as an assistant football coach for his son Jason’s team and as a scoutmaster for his son’s Boy Scout troop. Ms. Verrelli is a Girl Scout leader for their daughter Samantha’s troop and a softball coach for her team. The couple are members of The Loughlin Society, St. John’s leadership giving society, and are active supporters of The INN, serving hungry and homeless Long Islanders. 

Dinner Cochairs

Celeste and Thomas J. Cox ’82CBA

Celeste Megliola Cox and Thomas J. Cox ’82CBA

Thomas J. Cox ’82CBA is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of OnPoint Group, LLC, part of Harvest Partners, a New York-based private equity firm. He was previously CEO of FCX Performance, another Harvest company. 

He also spent 17 years as an executive of MSC Industrial Supply, Inc., a New York-based public company. Prior to joining MSC, he was President of MailNet, his own worldwide transportation business. He also spent a decade with TNT Express (now FedEx), an international transportation company, where he was based in the US and Europe. He is currently on the Board of Directors for UCBM, Priority Sign and Road Safety. 

Mr. Cox earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from St. John’s in 1982. He was Captain of the University’s first National Collegiate Athletics Association Division I Men’s Lacrosse team for three years and is now a major supporter of the program.

Mr. Cox has been a member of the University’s Board of Governors, Red White Committee, and The Peter J. Tobin College of Business Board of Advisors, and he now sits on the St. John’s Board of Trustees. He is a major contributor to the Thomas J. Cox, Jr. Honors Program for high-achieving, undergraduate, business students, which is named in honor of his father.

Celeste Megliola Cox was raised in a traditional Italian Catholic home in Franklin Square, NY. Immediately after marrying Tom in 1989, the couple moved abroad to England and the Netherlands. While in Amsterdam, their son Tommy was born. When they moved back to Long Island in 1994, she had their second child, Danielle.

Celeste has also recently joined the Advisory Board for the Institute for Catholic Schools. ICS’s mission is to foster long-term sustainability and the growth and excellence of Catholic education.

Last year, Celeste, along with Tom, became involved in a Catholic Engineering and Medical Center in Rome, Italy, visiting once a year to assist with their expansion plans.

In addition to raising their two children, Mrs. Cox was very active, serving on school committees, fundraising, and teaching catechism. She also had a career working in the real estate industry as a paralegal, residential sales, and commercial leasing/development.

Tommy attended St. John’s, so Mrs. Cox has been very involved with the University for the last 30 years. He played lacrosse and graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations from the College of Professional Studies (now The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies).  

Dinner Committee

  • Robert J. Adams ’84CBA, ’88MBA
  • Jeffrey D. Alter ’84CBA, ’88MBA
  • Paige F. Band ’16CPS, ’18GCPS
  • John P. Clarke ’55CBA, ’57L
  • William Collins ’76C, ’12HON
  • Thomas J. Cox ’82CBA
  • Steven Farella ’77SVC
  • James J. Finnegan ’12TCB, ’13MS
  • Carolina B. Hojaij ’16C, ’19MBA
  • William J. Janetschek ’84CBA, ’17HON
  • Joan Lacagnina ’88CBA
  • Rebecca Malizia ’15C
  • Charles Piluso ’76SVC, ’78G, ’86MBA
  • Spencer L. Reames, Esq. ’99C, ’02L
  • Brian T. Shea ’83CBA, ’16HON
  • Jeffrey Wengroff ’73CBA
  • Salvatore J. Zizza ’67UC, ’72MBA, ’07HON

Master of Ceremonies

Gloria Pazmino

Gloria Pazmino ’10CPS

Gloria Pazmino is a correspondent for CNN based in New York City.

Before joining CNN, Gloria extensively covered politics in New York for Spectrum News NY1 and POLITICO. She provided daily coverage of Mayor Eric Adams’ campaign and his new term in office, the administration of former Mayor Bill de Blasio, the resignation of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the election of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. While at NY1, Gloria covered politics, criminal justice reform, and the push to close Rikers Island, detailing detainees' lack of access to medical care. 

Gloria earned her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from St. John’s University. She is bilingual in English and Spanish. 

Born in Colombia, she moved to Queens as a child, and has been a proud New Yorker ever since.