Three alumni from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) have been recognised with RSM Distinguished Alumni Awards at the Alumni Recognition Dinner on Thursday 7 April at the Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam. The annual RSM Alumni Achievement Awards acknowledge alumni who are a force for positive change in business or society as part of a corporate community, entrepreneurs, or as individuals whose life’s mission is to improve the lives of others or to protect or improve the environment. The 2021 Awards, for June Ip, Philip Lloyd and Teodor Cătăniciu, recognise efforts in volunteering, in tackling biases, and in improving the lives of others. The presentation of the 2021 awards at the celebration dinner took place in April 2022 after the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

The three alumni join RSM’s previous award recipients in a roll of honour of alumni who have been similarly recognised for their achievements.

Tackling biases head-on

June Ip (MBA 2012) received the Force for Positive Change Award for the many ways she is tackling biases head-on through giving a voice to marginalised people. June combines her job as Vice President of Marketing at the Lenbrook Group, an audio technology company in Ontario, with roles that directly support others. She writes for the YWCA blog on important policy issues behind topics such as combatting anti-Asian racism and the impact of Covid-19 on women care-givers. The rights of women from minority communities are always at the forefront of her activities. She also teaches innovation at the University of Toronto. During the pandemic, June graduated with a Masters of Laws in Innovation Law and Technology to help her understand how this sector is likely to develop.

Gathering the Italian network

Philip Lloyd (MBA 2011) received the Alumni Volunteering Award for supporting fellow graduates to network productively and keep in touch with each other and their business schools. Philip is a Principal for entrepreneurial advisory firm Goetz partners in Milan, and was keen to start an RSM Alumni Local Chapter there to bring together professionals who had studied in Rotterdam and also at other leading business schools across the region. He knew this would help everyone build valuable connections and learn from each other. As each business school only had a few alumni in the city, it made sense to get together to host events. The network began with social events such as visits to wineries and Christmas gatherings and soon began to flourish.

Entrepreneurship and improving lives

Teodor Nicolae Cătăniciu (IBA, 2017) received an Alumni Achievement Award for improving the lives of others. During his studies, he co-founded the Turing Society to promote coding and tech skills. It continues today as Turing Students Rotterdam. Community service was a theme throughout his time at Rotterdam; when thousands of refugees from Syria and other war-torn countries arrived in the city, Teodor and Frederick Rustler (IBA 2016, BIM 2018) harnessed the refugees’ motivation and enthusiasm by encouraging them to reskill for the tech industry. The resulting Restart Network was a successful three-year non-profit organisation that brought together more than 100 people from 32 countries, and donated €15,000 to the RSM Hummingbird Fund to support current students with their positive impact initiatives.

Teodor was named one of the Best Entrepreneurs Under 35 by the Dutch Financial Times, featured on Voice of America and TEDx and was chosen by Forbes Magazine as one of Romania’s 30 Under 30.He now has a sustainable real-estate development company, OVO Europa in Bucharest, Romania’s busy capital.

RSM’s Distinguished Alumni are chosen from more than 40,000 alumni who have been nominated by their peers and colleagues. Since 2009 the annual awards have recognised individuals for their achievements in business or society, for their contributions to alumni volunteering and for being a force for positive change.

Shortlisted nominees

In addition to the three award recipients, nominees for the 2021 Distinguished Volunteer Award included:

Putukwane Madisha (MBA, 2016) for helping South Africa’s ‘missing middle’ with housing through business.

Rigo Selassa (OneMBA, 2019) for boosting collaboration and growth through technological innovation.

Ryan Holowka (MSc Strategic Management, 2017) for implementing sustainability strategies for multinationals.

Pak Schreurs (CEMS, 2008) for mentoring change-makers to accelerate and thrive.

Jara Pascual (Executive MBA, 2017) for empowering women to innovate through investments and collaboration mechanisms.

Adrian Gunadi (MBA, 2003) for contributing to economic prosperity through financial inclusion.

Read more about our Distinguished Alumni and their achievements on our Think. Do. alumni webpages.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren,communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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