BA Recipients

Business Achievement Award Recipients - 2018

The Business Achievement Award honors individuals for significant achievement in business through the traditional corporate route. The achievement may be demonstrated over a career or by a singular achievement that has advanced the field of business and contributed to a community and to humankind.Business_Achievement_Award_2018.png

Help us congratulate this year's recipients:


Abraham A. Mitchell

Owner, Mitchell Brothers, Inc.

Nominated by The University of South Alabama


In the 1950’s, Abraham “Abe” Mitchell and his late brother Mayer built the Mitchell Company
into one of the largest real estate firms in the southeast -- and one of Mobile’s largest employers. Currently, Mr. Mitchell is the owner of Mitchell Brothers, Inc., focusing on investments and philanthropic activities.  

Recognized by Forbes Magazine in 2014 as a Top 15 Entrepreneur in Philanthropy, Abe’s selflessness has been extraordinary.  To the University of South Alabama, he endowed the Mitchell College of Business and funded capital improvement projects such as the Joseph and Rebecca Mitchell Learning Resource Center, as well as classroom renovations.  With his late brother Mayer Mitchell, and Mayer’s wife (Arlene) he also helped to build both the Mitchell Center Arena and the Mitchell Cancer Institute. 

Mr. Mitchell’s generosity extends to scholarship funding:   The Mitchell Scholars program is the largest privately funded scholarship program at the University of South Alabama and is the most generous business scholarship in the state.  In addition, multiple academic scholarships have been awarded to outstanding business students in his name -- many of whom are BGS students.    Additionally, the Mitchell Moulton Scholarship Initiative is his pledge to match every new dollar invested in undergraduate scholarship endowments at the university, up to $25 million.

Mr. Mitchell’s educational background includes the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania; LL.B. degree in law from the University of Alabama; and an LL.M. (taxation) degree from the New York University School of Law.

Jan Singer

CEO, Victoria’s Secret

Nominated by Ithaca College


Jan Singer is a 1986 Ithaca College graduate who has always been fascinated by human motivation. In fact, she credits it with helping in her advance from secretary to the helm of Victoria’s Secret.  

Falling in love with New York City at the age of eight, Jan’s resolve to live there some day was so strong that she opted to spend her college years in Ithaca.  As Jan put it, “If I was going to spend a long time in New York City, I wanted to be on the opposite side of that spectrum before I got there ...”

At Ithaca, Jan’s major combined the study of psychology and business – two fields of study that have given her keen insights throughout her business career.  After graduation from Ithaca, taking up residence in New York -- and the secretarial job -- she was tapped for a position in public relations.  Quickly, she learned that teen magazine YM was looking for a beauty and fitness editor.  She made the leap.

The YM experience gave her a solid insider view of the industry, later landing her at Calvin Klein where she learned the ins and outs of consumer behavior.  Constantly learning from prior experiences, Jan kept climbing – and leading -- with additional moves to Chanel, Prada, Reebok, Nike, and Spanx.  At the latter, she served as CEO until 2016.  

All told, Jan Singer has more than two decades of leadership and marketing experience with brands across the apparel, footwear and cosmetics product categories, domestically and internationally.

Kathy J. Warden

Corporate President and Chief Operating Officer, Northrop Grumman

Nominated by James Madison University


Kathy Warden is president and chief operating officer of Northrop Grumman, where she oversees the company’s three operating sectors, as well as the integration of the Orbital ATK business.  Kathy also serves on the company’s Corporate Policy Council.

Kathy’s experience in operational leadership and business development in government and commercial markets is extensive.  She joined Northrop Grumman in 2008 after leadership roles at General Dynamics and the Veridian Corporation; earlier, she was a principal in a venture internet firm and spent nearly a decade with General Electric.

Before taking the helm at Northrop Grumman, Kathy served as corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman’s Mission Systems sector, a leading global provider of advanced solutions for defense and intelligence customers.  Prior to that role, she served as corporate vice president and president of the former Information Systems sector.  

Ms. Warden earned a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and a master’s degree in business administration from George Washington University. She served on the Clinton administration’s Internet Advisory Council and is now a member of the Aspen Cyber Strategy Group.  Additionally, Ms. Warden is on the board of directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and the Wolf Trap Foundation.