Judging Panel

IPrize presentations and judging will take place on Monday, May 2 starting at 4 p.m. in Oechsle Hall 224. A panel of three judges will determine winners of the prize. The presentations are open to the public.


Judging Panel:

Makua Rothman


World’s #1 Surfer

Makuakai (Makua) Rothman is a 31-year-old American Big Wave Rider, Professional Surfer and Musician, and is the World’s #1 surfer (named Feb. 2015). Makua was born on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. He began surfing at the unusually early age of two years, and started tow-in surfing at age 13 with his dad, Eddie Rothman, one of the founders of the Hui O He’e Nalu (more commonly known as Da Hui, or “Black Shorts”) surf club, and family-friend Darrick Doerner.

With Doerner, one of the pioneers of tow-in surfing, as his guide, Rothman eventually won the 2002 Billabong XXL Big Wave Challenge Award in a historic big-wave session. His surfing of a 66-foot wave (the largest wave known to be surfed anywhere in the world) earned him the respected award and solidified his place as a serious competitor in the sport, at just 18 years old. It also garnered him one of the biggest prizes in the sport, with a purse of $66,000.

Rothman went on to win the O’Neill World Cup at Sunset and was recently named the “No. 1 Surfer in the World” by the World Surf League (WSL), after winning the 2014 Big Wave Tour, and taking the title by more than 7,000 points.


Lindsay Watson

Co-Founder, FIA NYC Employment Services

Ms. Watson has had over 10 years experience providing Human Resources, Staffing and Relationship Management strategies within several Fortune 500 companies including Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, American Express, and Time Warner. As a Wall Street executive, Ms. Watson was responsible for introducing and managing streamlined staffing processes for New York’s top companies and continues to partner with C-level executives for cost containment & human capital management solutions. As the Co-Founder of FIA NYC Employment Services, Ms. Watson has been responsible for providing strategic staffing solutions to clients, ranging from startup to Fortune 50.

Ms. Watson holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Arts from St. John’s University.

Donald E. Morel, Jr.


Chairman, Board of Trustees, The Franklin Institute

Dr. Donald E. Morel, Jr., PhD joined West Pharmaceutical 1992 as Director of R&D and served as Chief Executive Officer from April 2002 and Chairman of the Board from March 2003 until his retirement in June 2015.During his tenure Dr. Morel and his team delivered significant shareholder value, generating a ten-fold increase in the company’s share price and market capitalization which grew from $380 million at the beginning of 2002 to more than $4.4 billion at his retirement.

Prior to joining West, Dr. Morel developed and managed a broad range of programs involving advanced materials for aerospace and biomedical applications.  He has published more than thirty papers dealing with advanced composites and environmental effects on material performance.  His aerospace work in the 1980’s resulted in his selection as a finalist for assignment as a NASA Mission Specialist in the Astronaut Office in 1989.

Dr. Morel holds a BS degree in Engineering from Lafayette College, an MS in Materials Science and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. He completed The Executive Program at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.


Gerald Gorman

CEO, Lawyer.com and World Media Group

Gerry Gorman has been the CEO of Lawyer.com since 2009. In 2004, he founded World Media Group, the parent of Lawyer.com. Before, World Media Group, Gorman was Chairman and CEO of Mail.com which he founded with Gary Millin in 1995.

By 2000, Mail.com was a billion dollar NASDAQ listed company with 1,400 employees around the world. Prior to founding Mail.com, Gorman was a Managing Director in the investment banking division of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (now CSFB).

He headed Wall Street’s largest Satellite Financing Group and completed pioneering transactions for satellite industry leaders including Dish Network, PanAmSat, and AsiaSat.

Gorman graduated from Melbourne University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and from Columbia University with an MBA. Gerry is a proud father of three, a fan of Australian rules football and an occasional computer programmer (much to the amusement of our tech team).


Salvatore J. Panto, Jr.


Mayor, City of Easton

Unopposed in the 2015 elections Mayor Panto began his third consecutive term in January 2016. In the November 2011 he was re-elected Mayor capturing 80% of the votes and sweeping every ward in the city. He also served two terms as Mayor from 1984-1992 when he was elected at the age of 31, the City’s youngest Mayor. He is recognized as a highly effective local government leader and is credited with making Easton a cleaner and safer city. During his recent tenure, he added 11 police officers to the force; hired 2 additional firefighters and additional code enforcement officers to achieve his goal of a clean and safe city with crime and violence decreasing each year.

Mayor Panto earned his Master’s Degree from Lehigh University and his Bachelor’s Degree from Kutztown University. In May 2011 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Public Service from Lafayette College. As a former teacher in the Easton Area School District he was looked upon as being one of the finest. During his 16 years out of office Mayor Panto served in three senior management positions including Chief Administrative Officer of the Charles Chrin Companies; Senior Vice-President of Coordinated Health and Chief Administrative Officer of Strausser Enterprises, Inc.

Mayor Panto has been recognized on numerous occasions for his leadership and commitment to Easton. He is the recipient of many awards and honors; most recently he received the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Government Official of the Year Award and the UNICO Public Service Award. He also knows first hand the trials and tribulations of owning a small business. With his father, Sal Sr., they opened Sal’s Meat Market on College Hill in 1976 and enjoyed more than 28 years of success.