Robinson College Honors Five Business Leaders at Alumni Awards Celebration

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business honored three alumni, an honorary alumna and a distinguished alumna at its 2024 Alumni Awards celebration on May 9.

“These impressive changemakers inspire us through their passion and the impact they make in business, the community and the next generation of business leaders,” said Richard Phillips, dean of the Robinson College. “They are exemplary of the dynamic leaders our students strive to be.”

Meet the 2024 Robinson College Alumni Award recipients.

GROW(Globally Responsible Organization and Work) Alumna Award
Melanie Larkins (PMBA ’14)

Melanie Larkins is director of sustainability services at Accenture and has focused most of her professional career on global ESG and sustainability. She drives revenue growth while mitigating risks by reshaping organizations across diverse sectors using innovative approaches at the intersection of sustainability and technology. With deep expertise in navigating complex regulatory landscapes, working on global teams, and her language proficiency, Larkins connects with stakeholders worldwide. Apart from work, Larkins has served on the LEED advisory board and the Indoor Environmental Quality advisory board for the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and currently serves on Georgia State’s Institute of International Business CIBER advisory board. She is a thought leader who contributes to advancing global sustainability efforts through various channels and speaks to groups within Georgia State, USGBC, and the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council.

Robinson Young Alumna Award
Victoria Wallace (B.B.A. ‘15)

Victoria is IT product owner at Sundial Labs, LLC. She has established herself as a respected speaker and leader in the field of IT and innovation. Victoria’s innate curiosity and energy are apparent in every endeavor she undertakes, her impressive range of experience extends across various industries, including insurance, international business development, manufacturing, and more. Victoria is deeply committed to making a positive impact on her community. She is a Girl Scout gold award recipient and AmeriCoprs alumna. Victoria is an advocate for woman and proud to be a founding board member of WomenLead, a Robinson College of Business signature experience dedicated to advancing women’s leadership. Through her involvement in Atlanta-based organizations such as the IT Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) and Women in Technology (WIT), she has provided a platform for young women to develop essential skills and make a significant impact in the world.

Service to Robinson Award
Mike Toran (MBA ’01)

Michael Toran is a seasoned technology executive with a rich background in both domestic and international insurance sectors. With over 30 years of experience, he has held various senior financial and operational roles, offering a holistic, business-focused approach to technology management and strategic decision-making. Currently serving as the chief information officer at Relation Insurance Services, he oversees all aspects of planning, managing, and securing corporate and business-unit IT operations, software development, and infrastructure. Mike’s academic credentials include a Bachelor of Science from the Florida Institute of Technology and an MBA from Georgia State University. He actively contributes to academia as a member of the Robinson College of Business Board of Advisors and as an adjunct professor with Georgia State University teaching graduate level students about new technologies in insurance markets.

Robinson Honorary Alumna Award
Sophia W. Williams (B.A. ’78)

Sophia Williams is executive vice-President, customer services management (CSM) and general manager, telecom and technology (T&T) at NCR Atleos. As CSM leader, she is responsible for customer service management and managed services operations for the company’s global ATM banking business. For telecom and technology, she has full profit and loss responsibility for all aspects of this division’s performance in providing network solutions for the world’s top service providers and technology original equipment manufacturers in support of their enterprise clients. Previously, Sophia served as global services sales vice-president for NCR and worldwide vice-president for services sales and chief marketing officer for Avaya Global Services. She has held sales, services and customer care leadership positions at Lucent Technologies and AT&T. Sophia currently serves on the Board of Advisors at Robinson College of Business, where she works to support the growth of the university and the realization of key initiatives. Sophia is also on the Advisory Board of the Service Council, a network of executives overseeing functions of service and customer management.

Distinguished Alumna Award
Beth Finnerty (MBA/MHA ’86)

Beth Finnerty is the president and chief executive officer at Skyland Trail, a nonprofit mental health treatment organization based in Atlanta, Georgia. During her 35-year tenure, Beth has grown Skyland Trail from a start-up nonprofit serving a handful of clients to a nationally recognized psychiatric treatment organization serving hundreds of clients and their families each year. She has led the development and implementation of five strategic plans, the completion of five capital campaigns totaling more than $65M, and the development and construction of new treatment facilities across six campuses. She has also overseen a significant expansion of clinical services and programs.

Beth received her bachelor’s degree from Davidson College and a dual MBA/MHA from Robinson College of Business. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Institute of Health Administration (Georgia State University), the Advisory Group for the Center for Behavioral and Mental Health at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and is a current member of Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS). She is a past member of the boards of the Fuqua Center for Late Life Depression (past president), the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Metro Atlanta Chapter (past president), the Board of Mental Health America – Georgia (chair), the Emory Board of Visitors, the Georgia Community Trust, the Atlanta Business Leaders Initiative, and the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships (Atlanta region). She is a diplomate in the American College of Healthcare Executives and is a 2006 graduate of Leadership Georgia and a 2009 graduate of Leadership Atlanta. Beth was a Woman of the Year honoree in 2007 by Atlanta Woman magazine and received the 2006 Leadership Award from the Georgia Psychiatric Physician’s Association. In 2014, she was selected as a YWCA Woman of Achievement and was recognized with a Womenetics POW! Award.

Learn more about Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business..