Berkeley Today Stories
Alumnus of the Year Makes Lifetime Commitment to Giving Back at Starwood Capital Group
Katherine Conits had been working her way up the ranks at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide for over 28 years before becoming the Director of Community Relations & Charitable Giving at the global real estate investment firm, Starwood Capital Group. She credits her time at Berkeley College for helping kick-start her successful career in management and corporate philanthropy.
A resident of Yonkers, NY, Ms. Conits graduated from Berkeley College’s Executive Secretarial Program in 1983, taking courses in Midtown Manhattan. “Berkeley’s curriculum provided me with the confidence and ability to hone business and leadership skills to seamlessly blend in the professional marketplace,” she said. “The mentoring I received from faculty, and company executives through Berkeley’s internship program made for an enriching experience.”
Berkeley College helped arrange Ms. Conits’ first internship with conglomerate ITT Corporation, which led to a full-time position in the Shareholder Investor Relations division upon graduating. When ITT Corporation was acquired by Starwood in 1998, Ms. Conits stayed on for a position in the hotel company’s public affairs department. In 2013, she became the Director of Community Relations & Charitable Giving at Starwood Capital Group, overseeing the investment firm’s community involvement and philanthropy. Ms. Conits also manages private Foundation giving, and mega fundraiser projects for charity events, raising millions of dollars for worthy non-profit causes.
Ms. Conits’ corporate achievements and charitable work in the non-profit community has led to her receiving 2009 New York Alumnus of the Year award from Berkeley College, as well as the “Good Gal” Award from the New York Press Photographers Association in 2010 in recognition for her community work. She also received proclamations from the Mayors of Yonkers, White Plains, Greenwich, and New York City, as well as the New York governor and other government officials, in recognition of receiving the “Good Gal” Award.