October 01, 2018
John Rendina ’86, a business administration and marketing major, initially intended to sponsor two Susquehanna student interns this past summer at Seneca Insurance Companies, the Manhattan-based insurer where he is the senior vice president in charge of U.S. operations.
But after he and his CEO, Marc Wolin, met the potential candidates, they agreed to do more. “They were so impressive we had to have three,” Rendina says of the trio of seniors -finance majors Brittny Evangelista of Brooklyn and Jeanmarie Myer of Ronkonkoma, N.Y., and business data science major Kristopher West of Roselle, N.J.
“And every day they made me proud to be working with them,” Rendina adds.
“Mr. Rendina really took us under his wing and made sure we got everything we wanted out of our internships,” says Myer.
The internships were just the latest example of Rendina giving back to SU and the Sigmund Weis School of Business -a practice that began soon after he graduated, with his participation in college recruiting nights.
Explains Rendina, who transferred from Fairleigh Dickinson University to Susquehanna prior to his junior year: “Susquehanna quickly became a second home, a second family that I can always depend upon for guidance, jobs, recommendations and second opinions. It gave me the academic, personal and professional skills to succeed in life.”
Among his strongest influences were the Phi Mu Delta service fraternity, whose members are still “incredibly good friends,” and his mentor, the late Larry Isaacs ’43, retired business executive, former business school professor and vice chair emeritus of Susquehanna’s Board of Trustees.
After graduation, the insurance industry was a natural career goal for Rendina. His mother, Nancy, was a writer/editor for A.M. Best, the insurance-rating agency, and his godfather was an executive vice president for Traveler’s Insurance. Besides Seneca, he has worked for and held leadership positions with several insurance firms during the past 32 years.
This past February, Rendina spent a week at Susquehanna as a guest lecturer teaching various business classes and meeting with students. He also set up a web visit from a venture capital executive to talk to entrepreneurship students.
Rendina credits his desire to give back to Susquehanna to Isaacs. “Not only was Larry Isaacs my academic advisor, but he was my career and life coach who was instrumental in getting me internships and landing some of my earlier jobs,” he says. “Without his guidance, friendship and support, I don’t think I’d be where I am today.”