Business Leaders Panel:

From Queens College to Executive Officers


Robert Aquilina, ’72, is a distinguished global executive whose career spans over 35 years of experience in general management, international business expansion, financial leadership, transformational change management and negotiating / dealmaking at the Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (ELC) – the world leader in prestige beauty with over $10.0 billion in sales.

An effective cross-cultural communicator, savvy negotiator and pioneering dealmaker, Mr. Aquilina helped increase ELC’s sales, market share and profit worldwide – while strengthening brand equity and preserving the culture and values of a family-led company.

As Executive vice President of Estee Lauder International Inc., from 1993-2009, he had business responsibility for multiple regions of the world – first overseeing markets and manufacturing operations in the Asia Pacific region, Latin America, Russia and the Middle East, then as Corporate Regional Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMA) and ultimately as Chief Operating Officer directing business operations in over 120 countries.

Since 2009, Mr. Aquilina has served as Executive Vice President of Global Initiatives spearheading the company’s historic enterprise-wide transformation and cost efficiency portfolio delivering record breaking savings.

Previously, he served as Chief Financial Officer from 1987-1993, helping transform ELC from a high-energy sales andmarketing company into the focused, disciplined global growth enterprise it is today.

Mr. Aquilina enjoys applying his general management, international and financial expertise in board and advisory roles for mission driven businesses and nonprofit organizations.


John Costanzo, ’74, has served since 2001 as president of Purolator International, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Purolator Inc. John is a member of Purolator’s Senior Executive Team, reporting directly to the President and Chief Executive Officer of the company. He leads the company’s $200 million Third Party Logistics business and the development and execution of Purolator’s strategic growth plan for markets outside of Canada.

John has extensive experience in the logistics industry. He began his career with the Emery Air Freight Corporation, where he initially served in the company’s sales and marketing division. He was later promoted to senior vice president of Emery’s eastern division, which was the company’s largest and most profitable business unit.

Following Emery, John held several positions with the TNT Post Group - a provider of global express, mail and logistics services. He began his career with TNT as a senior vice president of the Express Products Division, and was later named president of the company’s International Mail Division, Americas Region.

An active member of his industry community, John served as president of the Express Delivery & Logistics Association from 2008 - 2011, a leading trade organization for the express delivery, postal and logistics industry. He is also currently serving as a member of the boards of the Long Island Association and the UnitedWay of Long Island.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queens College, NY. He and his wife have three children, and reside on Long Island, NY.


Spencer Davidson, ’65, joined General American Investors Company, Inc. as a Senior Investment Counselor in 1994, served as its President from August 1995 through January 2012, and Chief Executive Officer and Portfolio Manager through December 2012. He was named a Director of the Company in September 1995 and elected Chairman of the Board of Directors in April 2007.

Spencer began his Wall Street career at Brown Brothers Harriman in 1966. He worked at Beck, Mack & Oliver (1972-86) where he became a General Partner and at Odyssey Partners (1986-89) where he served as a Fund Manager. Spencer's eleemosynary interests include the Innisfree Foundation, Inc., Millbrook, New York, for which he has served as a Trustee since 1986, and the Neuroscience Research Foundation, Inc., San Diego, California, for which he has served as a Trustee since 1992. Spencer is a graduate of Queens College and received his M.B.A. degree in Finance from Columbia University. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation and is a Certified Investment Counselor.

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