Have You Heard

Tell us about your individual accomplishment, award, or news by contacting the Director of Alumni Engagement at kelby@sam.org or online at sam.org/heard. Sigma Alpha Mu is also posting every day, 7 days a week on social media. We encourage you to find us, friend us, and follow us.

Fra Marino

Chris Marino (Syracuse, ’10) has been named Global Head of Media & Marketing Technology for Bloomberg Media. He holds a B.S. from Syracuse University, where he joined our fraternity, and an MBA from Cornell University. In his role, he drives audience and subscription growth across Bloomberg.com and Quicktake through a multi-million dollar media investment. He is also responsible for advancing the company’s marketing technology stack to enhance the customer experience and maximize revenue. AdWeek recently recognized Chris as one of 50 executives transforming media, marketing, and technology, Business Insider as a rising star of brand marketing, and Brand Innovators as a 40 Under 40. Outside work, he is an avid foodie, traveler, and Syracuse Orange basketball fan residing in New York City.

In an Intelligent Creative Spotlight (ICS) series interview, Chris shared, “Growing up, marketing always intrigued me. I think it taught me to be vulnerable. It showed me the power of a message, as a Storyteller, that was always really compelling to me. I’ve always wanted to use marketing as a force for good, whether working at American Express and helping small businesses to do more business or working at Bloomberg, where I have been committed to helping consumers discover data-driven journalism and how that becomes a catalyst for change. Data is at the core of everything that we do at Bloomberg. The goal of the data we use is to understand our audience because if you can help a consumer fall in love with your brand through data, that will help make a lifetime relationship.” 

Fra Blackburn

The International Softball Congress Sports Hall of Fame inducted David Blackburn (Illinois, ’79) in August 2011, where he brought the game into the 21st century through his use of technology and increasing international awareness of the game. David has competed at six Maccabiah Games and five Pan American Maccabi Games, accumulating five gold, one silver, and one bronze medal along the way, with the most recent gold medal as a member of the USA Masters Men’s Fast Pitch Team at the 18th World Maccabiah Games. David has also played for various leagues as part of the Amateur Softball Association and currently for the Maccabi USA 40+ Men’s team. As part of his athletic career, he has developed lifelong friendships with other softball athletes from the USA and around the world.  

In 2010, David and two teammates drove together to Arizona to meet the other Maccabi USA Men’s Team members to participate in the ASA Over 40 National Fast Pitch Championship. Before they were able to reach their destination, they were involved in a near-fatal car accident. David sustained the worst injuries, with multiple broken and shattered bones. Meanwhile, the other members of the Maccabi USA Team had to decide whether they would move forward with participating in the National Tournament. After hearing that their teammates were stabilized, they chose to participate in the tournament in honor of their friends. 

A 2011 article by the Maccabi Games describes David’s ongoing recovery as “truly a miracle to his family and friends throughout the Maccabi and International fast pitch communities.” A year after, the International Softball Congress Sports Hall of Fame inducted Fra Blackburn. The article concludes, “David is known as a friend to everyone who meets him, and to the people he meets in the softball community, he is family.”

Fra Schoen

Dr. Richard J. Schoen (UCLA, ’64) was named Associate Professor in Residence at UNLV, School of Dental Medicine. Fra Schoen joined the UNLV School of Dental Medicine in 2012 and taught infection control and nitrous oxide sedation within the Clinical Sciences department. Dr. Schoen is a member of the American Dental Association, Nevada Dental Association, and Southern Nevada Dental Society. Dr. Schoen earned his undergraduate degree from UCLA and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Loyola University, Chicago. For 27 years before moving to Las Vegas, Richard was a Dental Director for two Indian Health Centers. 

Richard enjoys music and is the secretary of the Southern Nevada Bluegrass Music Society. He also belongs to the Nevada Old Time Fiddlers Association and the Las Vegas Blues Society. When not teaching, he plays the guitar, banjo, and mandolin and is an avid fly fisherman. He loves to play golf and is a model railroader. 

Fra Wittenberg

Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation is giving Judge Jamie Wittenberg (Indiana, ’93) the Barry Bremen Memorial Inspiration Award posthumously. “Honorable” was more than a title for Judge Jamie Wittenberg; it was his essence. His unsurpassed integrity, steadfastness, and

kind-heartedness permeated every aspect of his life and career. He helped many people who appeared before him to find better solutions to better their lives. Jamie passed away in late 2022, and his brother Robert Wittenberg, Oakland County, Michigan Treasurer, will accept the award in Jamie’s memory.

Fra Zysman

Fra Warren Zysman (Adelphi, ‘00) was named U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Chief of Las Vegas Residential Recovery & Rehabilitation Center which provides inpatient detox, substance abuse, and gambling rehabilitation programs. Fra Zysman is a former Undergraduate Consul of the Octagon and served for nine years on the Board of Directors at the Nassau University Medical Center. 

Fra Schefter

The Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation has named Adam Schefter (Michigan, ’87), a senior NFL Insider at ESPN, the Dick Schaap Media Excellence Honoree. He joined ESPN in August 2009 and now appears on various programs, including NFL Live, Sunday NFL Countdown, Sports Center, and more throughout the year. One of the top sports reporters in the country, Adam has covered the NFL since 1990, and his social media influence is unmatched in the industry.