Ronald M. Mankoff Alumni Panel

Ronald M. Mankoff, Beta Iota (Minnesota) '54, is the co-founder, along with his wife, Joy, of the Mankoff Family Foundation. A retired Dallas attorney, Ronald M. Mankoff was active in the Dallas legal community for more than 45 years and served in senior leadership positions in many local and national organizations.

The Ronald M. Mankoff Alumni Panel is a leadership program set in a talk show-style format which engages both ZBT undergraduate and alumni attendees as the panelists share career and life stories and advice. Attendees are able to interact with the panelists through a question and answer dialogue.

2016 International Convention panelists include:

Jon K. Hirschtick, Xi (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) '83

Jon_Hirschtick_125Brother Hirschtick is Founder and Chairman of the Board of Onshape, a startup company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that offers the world’s first professional 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) system that runs entirely in Web browsers and on phones and tablets.

Prior to Onshape, Brother Hirschtick was Founder of SolidWorks, where he served as CEO, Board Member, and Group Executive from 1993 until 2011.  SolidWorks is the world’s most widely used Windows-based 3D CAD system, with over 2 million users worldwide.

Brother Hirschtick is a board member and advisor at many other startup companies in 3D printing, augmented reality, and CAD including Magic Leap, Mark Forged, Z Corp, Revit, Liquid Machines, Express3D, and Vela.

He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from MIT, where he was initiated as a brother of Zeta Beta Tau's Xi Chapter (MIT, Psi class) and served as kitchen steward and Chapter President.  He was also a member of the MIT Blackjack Team profiled in books, TV shows and the movie “21”.

Jon is also the proud father of William H. Hirschtick '17, a brother of Zeta Beta Tau's Delta Eta Chapter at Lynn University.


Walter L. Sutton, Jr., Ph.D., Iota (University of Denver) '67

Walter_Sutton125Brother Sutton has had a distinguished legal career which has span over 46 years.  He retired from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in December 2015, where he served as Associate General Counsel – Legal Administration & External Relations. In that position, Dr. Sutton was an internal advocate and external voice for Wal-Mart’s diversity initiatives, and represented the company in many public forums.               

Dr. Sutton’s parents were educators who instilled in him the belief that education was the key to his future success. In addition to his law degree, Dr. Sutton has earned a B.S. in Business Administration, Masters in Business Administration, and Ph.D. in Management Science.  In 1989, he became the first African American to receive a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas.

After graduation from the University of Denver in 1967, Dr. Sutton accepted a position with Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, MI.  He worked full-time at Ford while attending evening classes at Wayne State University School of Law in Detroit.  After his first year of law school, he received a full scholarship to the University of Michigan Law School where he was one of 5 African American students in the second year class.  He participated in Black Action Movement (BAM) demonstrations on campus to demand the admission of more students of color, and worked in the Legal Aid Clinic representing diverse citizens in Ann Arbor.  After graduation from law school in 1970, Dr. Sutton returned to Ford’s Office of General Counsel where he practiced corporate and product liability law.      

Dr. Sutton returned to his native Texas in 1972 to become the first African American attorney at Tenneco Oil Company in Houston.  He later became the first African American attorney at Texas Instruments Incorporated in Dallas.  He was also the first African American to head the Office of Regional Counsel, U.S. EPA (Region 6) in Dallas.  Dr. Sutton always used his positions and influence to advance opportunities for other diverse lawyers.

Dr. Sutton served as President of the National Bar Association (NBA) in 1987.  He also served as a member of the Boards of Directors of the State Bar of Texas, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, North Texas Legal Aid Society, and Dallas Legal Services Foundation.  Dr. Sutton is a past Chair of the State Bar of Texas Minority Counsel Program which seeks to expand and increase opportunities for minority and women attorneys who provide legal services to corporate and government clients.  Ebony Magazine has recognized him as one of “The 100 Most Influential Black Americans”.

Dr. Sutton has represented the State Bar of Texas in the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates, served as a Council member and Section Officer in the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, served as a member of the Standing Committee on Membership and the Standing Committee on Public Education, the Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice, and the Commission on Second Season of Service. Dr. Sutton currently serves as a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Government Relations, and the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the American Bar Foundation.  He also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) at the University of Denver, and on the Board of Directors of the National Judicial College in Reno, NV.    

President Bill Clinton appointed Dr. Sutton as Associate Administrator for Policy and Deputy Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, D. C.  In those positions, he traveled across America and around the world representing President Clinton and Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater to assist in the development, improvement and expansion of highways and infrastructure. 

Dr. Sutton serves as a mentor to many diverse law students and lawyers across the country, and continues to work to provide opportunities for racially and ethnically diverse students.  He currently serves on the NBA Board of Governors, and as Chair of the National Bar Institute, a 501 (c) (3) organization.  He also serves as Chairman of the Wiley College Board of Trustees, a historically Black college in Marshall, TX.

Dr. Sutton has received many honors and awards.  The NBA has awarded him the C. Francis Stratford Award, the Gertrude E. Rush Award, and has inducted him into its Hall of Fame.  The ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession awarded him the Spirit of Excellence Award in 2013, and ABA President Bill Robinson awarded him the Presidential Citation in recognition of his exemplary commitment to the value of diversity and his efforts to strengthen diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.  The Dallas Bar Association awarded Dr. Sutton the 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Justice Award in recognition of his leadership and demonstrated values and ideals of Dr. King.

Dr. Sutton and his wife, Beverly, reside in Dallas, Texas.  The have one son and two grandchildren.


Dr. Robert (Bob) E. Fischell, Alpha Upsilon (Duke University) ’51

FISCHELLrobert125Brother Fischell received his BSME degree from Duke University and MS and ScD (honorary) degrees from the University of Maryland. Dr. Fischell was employed at the Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory for 25 years where he actively developed more than 50 spacecraft for the US Navy and for NASA. Starting in 1969, Dr. Fischell began the formation of 15 private companies that licensed his patents on medical devices including heart pacemakers, defibrillators, coronary stents and devices to treat epilepsy and migraine headaches. Dr. Fischell is a prolific inventor with over 200 issued U.S. and foreign patents that have been the basis for medical devices that have been implanted in more than 10 million patients on a worldwide basis. Dr. Fischell’s honors include Inventor of the Year for the USA in 1984, election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1996, and several medals for distinguished accomplishments in science, engineering and innovation. In 2004 Discover magazine gave Dr. Fischell their annual award for Technology for Humanity. In 2005 he received the TED award (with a $100,000 prize) for contributions to medical technology. Also in 2005 Dr. Fischell provided a philanthropic gift of $30M to create and fund the Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland. In 2007 he received the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Prize for Public Service from the Woodrow Wilson Society for Scholars. In May 2008 he received an honorary degree as Doctor of Humane Letters from the Johns Hopkins University in recognition of his many contributions for the betterment of mankind. In the first half of the year 2016 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Technical Council of Maryland, election as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, and on May 17 at the White House, he received from President Obama the National Medal for Technology and Innovation.

Former Mankoff Alumni Panel panelists have included Congressman Martin Frost, Omega (University of Missouri) '64; Craig S. Chanoff, Beta Zeta Epsilon (University of Maryland – College Park) '97, a Vice President at Blackboard, Inc.; John E. Mitchell, Gamma (Northwestern University) '84, executive coach and consultant; Doug Maine, Alpha Beta (Temple University) '70, former CFO of IBM Corporation and MCI; Howard Pizer, Alpha Kappa (University of Wisconsin) '63, Executive Vice President of the Chicago White Sox; Sam Massell, Mu (University of Georgia) '48, former Mayor of the City of Atlanta; Steve Cooley, Gamma Nu (Cal State – Los Angeles) '70, former District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles; Jeff Sloan, Theta (University of Pennsylvania) '89, President of Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN); Mark Itkin, Alpha Rho (UCLA) '74, Vice President of the William Morris Agency; Steve Gold, Alpha Omega (University of Miami) '00, Senior Vice President – Wealth Management at UBS; Adam D. Isrow, Alpha Omicron (University of Arizona) '92, Co-Founder & Executive Vice President of; Joel M. Epstein, Sigma (Tulane University) ’87, founder and CEO of Friction Factor; and Lawrence A. Klatzkin, Theta (University of Pennsylvania) '79, Managing Director with Rice, Voelker, LLC.