|Benjamin R. DeCosta
Aviation General Manager
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
|Benjamin R. DeCosta assumed the leadership of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as aviation general manager in June 1998. Prior to taking this position, Mr. DeCosta worked as the general manager of Newark International Airport.In 1999, Mr. DeCosta and his staff completed the Airport’s first Master Plan in 30 years. He is leading Hartsfield-Jackson’s $5.4 billion-dollar expansion program, called the Hartsfield-Jackson Development Program “Focus On the Future”, which includes a new fifth runway and international terminal. Among other accomplishments, in 2002 Hartsfield-Jackson retained its title as the busiest airport in the world serving over 76 million passengers and in 2001, the airport received the FAA’s top award for airfield operations safety.
A native New Yorker, Ben DeCosta received a BA at Queens College, a JD from New York Law School and has participated in a program for senior government executives Harvard University.
U.S. Regional Services
|James Diffley is Managing Director of Global Insight’s U.S. Regional Services Group. Since 1998, he has supervised the quarterly economic forecast of the 50 states and over 300 MSA’s. He regularly makes presentations of these regional economic forecasts and is also responsible for customized consulting projects.Diffley was supervising tax analyst with the New Jersey Division of Taxation’s Office of Tax Analysis from 1988 to 1996, where he was responsible for developing the state economic forecast for the state executive budget. From 1982 to 1987, he was on the economics faculty at Adelphi University in New York. Diffley did his PhD training in economics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, completing all requirements but the dissertation.
|Conrad S. Ciccotello
Associate Professor and
Director of Graduate Personal Financial Planning Programs
Risk Management and Insurance Department
|Conrad S. Ciccotello is an Associate Professor and Director of Personal Financial Planning (PFP) Programs in the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University. He is a graduate of the Suffolk Law School and a member of the Pennsylvania and Supreme Court Bars. Dr. Ciccotello earned his Ph.D. in Finance at the Pennsylvania State University.Dr. Ciccotello’s primary research interests are in law and finance, with emphasis on financial intermediation, organization, and contracting. He has over 40 publications including articles in the Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Financial Intermediation, Journal of Financial Markets, Journal of Corporation Law, Journal of Corporate Finance, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, and Financial Analysts Journal. Dr. Ciccotello has received research grants from TIAA-CREF Institute, Kauffman Foundation, the Foundation for Financial Planning, and William Davidson Institute. He is the author of the first two chapters in Mutual Funds: The Blackwell Series in Finance. Dr. Ciccotello’s research on the financial planning profession is cited in the Federal Register and his paper on market timing of mutual funds is entered into the Congressional Record as Senate Banking Committee testimony.
Dr. Ciccotello’s currently serves as a Reseach Fellow in the TIAA-CREF Institute. From 2001-2007, he was Editor of Financial Services Review, the premier academic journal dedicated to individual financial management. Well known in the Atlanta area for his appearances on business news programs, Dr. Ciccotello has also provided expert testimony to the Retirement Committee of the Georgia Senate. He currently serves as an investment consultant to the University System of Georgia for the redesign of its defined contribution plan. In the Georgia State University Senate, his efforts helped to bring about a long-term care group benefit. Dr. Ciccotello has been quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, CNNMoney, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Consumer Reports, Investment Advisor, Smart Money, Financial Planning, and Mutual Funds. He has also commented on financial matters on both National Public Radio and on the Weather Channel.
Dr. Ciccotello was voted an “outstanding instructor” by Robinson College students in 2010 and was also recognized by his peers with a faculty teaching award in 2006. As a Program Director, Dr. Ciccotello has built close relationships with the wealth management industry, helping PFP graduates with placement. Prior to his arrival at Georgia State in 1999, Dr. Ciccotello held faculty positions as the Pennsylvania State University and at the US Air Force Academy, where he was named an Outstanding Academy Educator in 1994. An undergraduate engineer (Lehigh University, 1981), Dr. Ciccotello has seven years of professional experience in project engineering and management.
|Debra F. Cannon
Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration
|Cannon specializes in hotel management and human resource management in the hospitality industry. Prior to joining Georgia State University, she worked with the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company and Hyatt Hotels. Her research interests have focused on high performance service organizations, organizational culture, organizational commitment and work teams.Cannon’s research has been published in journals including the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Hospitality and Tourism Educator, and the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. She was the founding Executive Editor of Praxis – The Journal of Applied Hospitality Management, a scholarly research journal formerly published by the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality. She has conducted funded research for hospitality organizations such as the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Georgia Hospitality and Travel Association.