AU Press Releases

Alumni to discuss paths they took to business success

Two Alfred University (AU) alumni, Mark Mertel and Russ Cesari, will be presenting “What Worked for Us – Our Ten Principles of Business Success” on Thursday, Oct. 11 from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Holmes Auditorium, located in AU’s Harder Hall. All are welcome.

Mertel and Cesari will be sharing insights and inspiration with tomorrow’s business leaders, faculty, and students. As successful businessmen, they have been guided by timeless and invaluable principles which they are now offering to attendees.

Mertel, class of 1967, earned a bachelor of arts degree in business-economics. During his time at AU, he was a member of Klan Alpine Fraternity and was an active athlete, participating in football, outdoor track, and wrestling.

After graduation, he served as a first lieutenant in the Army. In 1994, he founded Diversified Healthcare Services (DHS), the parent company of Partners RX Management, LLC. Mertel “leads the senior management team and is responsible for the strategic planning and development of industry partner relationships.”

Partners RX, of which Mertel is currently the chairman, was founded in 2001 by Mertel and Bob Field. Partners RX has the mission to “provide the most clinically appropriate medications at the lowest possible cost.” It is only one company on the long list of holdings of DHS; others include Tactical-NYU, a marketing company for excess loss insurance; Wholesale Benefits Club, a consumer card company supplying discounts on health care products and services; and Agency Resource Group, Inc., which provides resources for health insurance agencies.

Mertel and his wife, Mimi, also founded All0Star Kids Tutoring, a non-profit which works with second and third graders to improve reading skills.

Cesari also graduated in 1967 with a bachelor of arts degree in business-economics. He was a member of Klan Alpine Fraternity and a member of the football and track teams, earning a letter in each; he was also actively involved with student government.

After graduating from Alfred University, Cesari attended Army Officer Candidate School, graduating with honors, and served as a first lieutenant. He then earned an MBA degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Cesari spent 31 years working as an executive with IBM. During his time at the company, he held various positions, including manager of health industry marketing, regional manager of federal systems, and manager of technical education. After leaving IBM, he served as an estate planner for McNair & Company, Inc. based in McLean, VA. He currently serves as principal and financial consultant for Northwest Services Corp., a financial services company in Herndon, VA which is responsible for approximately 1,200 clients, most of whom are government workers.