The 2012 honorees were recognized on Friday, October 19, 2012

Jeffrey BrownJeffrey Brown
Founder, President and CEO
Brown's Super Stores, Inc.

Jeffrey Brown ’86 is the founder, president, and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores Inc., a 10-store supermarket chain trading under the ShopRite banner. Brown’s Super Stores was recognized as one of “The Best Places to Work” multiple years in a row by the Philadelphia Business Journal and has received recognition as a top employer in the region from The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and NJBIZ.

Brown is an officer and director of Wakefern Food Corporation, the marketing and distribution arm for ShopRite, as well as the chairman of Wakefern’s strategic planning capitalization effort and insurance committee. He also is an officer and member of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Food Merchants, a director of the New Jersey Food Council, and an adviser to the chancellor of Rutgers University (Camden).

Brown was recognized by the National Grocers Association as the 2010 recipient of the Thomas K. Zaucha Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, a top national honor in the grocery industry. He was chosen as a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama at President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union address, and he also is interviewed frequently by the media for his expertise in solving the food desert crisis.

Additionally, he is the founder and chairman of UpLift Solutions, a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit organization that supports food businesses, government, and nonprofits to create sustainable environments for underserved communities.

Brown earned his Bachelor of Science degree in entrepreneurial studies from Babson College in 1986. He is married to Sandy Brown, and is the father of four sons.


Alberto PerlmanAlberto Perlman '98
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Zumba Fitness LLC

Alberto Perlman ’98 is the chief executive officer and co-founder of Zumba Fitness, LLC, the largest branded fitness program in the world. The global lifestyle brand fuses fitness, entertainment, and culture into a dance-party experience and has more than 14 million weekly participants in 150 countries. Perlman oversees day-to-day operations, manages brand and product development, and negotiates strategic partnerships with fitness clubs and organizations around the world.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2011, the Zumba® program has grown from a single class taught in a Miami gym into a global movement. Under Perlman’s leadership, the company has experienced a tenfold growth rate in the past three years, developing into a multifaceted brand that offers a unique and popular fitness program and continuing education program allowing fitness instructors to deliver Zumba to the widest possible audience. The Zumba Fitness business model includes an education and membership program (ZIN™), an extensive clothing line, DVDs (with more than 12 million copies sold), video games (8 million sold), Fitness-Concert™ events and a lifestyle magazine.

Previously, Perlman was founder and CEO of Spydre Labs, an Internet incubator. Perlman also worked as a consultant for the Mitchell Madison Group. His commitment to community service spans the world. His Zumbathon charity campaigns have raised more than $3 million globally. He also serves on the board of the Soccer for Peace Foundation.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in business from Babson College, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Originally from Bogota, Colombia, he now resides with his family in Miami.

2012 Rising Stars

Amal Oils - Jalila Bouchareb '08 
Celtra - Miha Mikek M'06 
Cocomama Foods - Sara Gragnolati M'10 
CustomMade - Michael Salguero M'09 
Dream Water - Joseph Lekach '09 
Emma Graham Designs - Jacquelyn Graham '09 
InnerCity Weightlifting - Jonathan Feinman M'10 
Rhoost - Tavinder Phull M'06