Drexel Business Leader of the Year: Betsy Z. Cohen

Drexel Business Leader of the Year: Betsy Z. Cohen

Betsy Z. Cohen, founder, CEO and chair of RAIT Investment Trust and The Bancorp Bank, two major public companies, will receive Drexel’s 51st Business Leader of the Year award at a luncheon on December 9 at the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue.

Established in 1998, RAIT Investment Trust is the leading U.S. provider of real-estate mezzanine loans for the middle market, with a portfolio of almost $1 billion. Headquartered in Philadelphia, RAIT is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The Bancorp Bank, which was created in 2000, is a pioneer in electronic banking and has experienced unprecedented growth and success without a single physical branch. Headquartered in Wilmington, Del., Bancorp is traded on the Nasdaq National Market.

Cohen also founded Jefferson Bank in 1974. Under Cohen’s leadership as CEO and major shareholder, Jefferson was the largest bank headquartered in Philadelphia at the time of its sale in 1999.

Cohen’s international business ventures include founding a shipping business in Hong Kong, a leasing company in Brazil and a joint venture with a bank in Spain—all before the age of 30. She is a director of Aetna, Inc. and Maine Merchant Bank, LLC; a trustee of Corporate Office Properties Trust, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Farnsworth Art Museum and Jewish Theological Seminary; vice chair of the Bryn Mawr College Board of Trustees; and chair of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s audit and executive committees.

The Business Leader of the Year luncheon benefits Drexel’s LeBow College of Business. The 2003 event, honoring Independence Blue Cross President and CEO G. Fred DiBona, raised $500,000 in scholarships and capital support for LeBow College in DiBona’s name. For more information on the Business Leader of the Year luncheon, contact Carol McCormick at 215-895-1526 or carol.mccormick@drexel.edu

Award Recipients 1954-2004
1954  Earl D. Johnson
1955  Edward R. Murrow
1956  Henry R. Luce
1957  General Douglas MacArthur
1958  Edward T. McCormick Jr.
1959  George W. Romney
1960  Dr. Thomas J. Watson
1961  Walter Reuther
1962  The Honorable Luther Hodges
1963  The Honorable Estes Kefauver
1964  Carl E. Reistle
1965  Charles H. Percy
1966  Harrison F. Dunning
1967  Sir Paul Chambers
1968  Dr. David Sarnoff
1969  John R. Bunting Jr.
1970  Meshulam Riklis
1971  John P. Bracken
1972  J. Willard Marriott Jr.
1973  Harold A. Shaub
1974  William T. Beebe
1975  John T. Connor
1976  Helen Honig Meyer
1977  Edward R. Kane
1978  William P. Tavoulareas
1979  James L. Ketelsen
1980  J. Donald Rauth
1981  Robert F. Dee
1982  M. Todd Cooke
1983  John J. Byrne
1984  William W. Hagerty
1985  Philip E. Lippincott
1986  Norman Braman
1987  Willard G. Rouse III
1988  Reverend Leon H. Sullivan
1989  George M. Ross
1990  James A. Hagen
1991  Dr. Harold A. Sorgenti
1992  Robert McClements Jr.
1993  Warren V. Musser
1994  John F. McCaughan
1995  Dennis J. Alter
1996  The Honorable Edward G. Rendell
1997  William J. Avery
1998  Nicholas DeBenedictis
1999  Lawrence A. Weinbach, C.P.A.
2000  Dr. Corbin A. McNeill Jr.
2001  The Honorable Thomas J. Ridge
2002  Joseph E. Neubauer
2003  G. Fred DiBona Jr.
2004 Betsy Z. Cohen