Ronald M. Defeo, '74
Chairman and CEO, the Terex Corporation
2013 Graduate Commencement Speaker
Ronald M. DeFeo '74 has served since March 1998 as the chairman of the board of Terex Corporation -- based in Westport, Conn., one of the world's leading manufacturers of construction equipment -- and, since March 1995, also as chief executive officer. In addition, from October 1993 through December 2006, Mr. DeFeo was president and chief operating officer. He joined Terex in 1992 as president of the Heavy Equipment Group and later assumed responsibility for the company's former Clark Material Handling Company subsidiary.
Before joining Terex, Mr. DeFeo was a senior vice president of J.I. Case Company, the former Tenneco farm and construction equipment division, and was a managing director of Case Construction Equipment throughout Europe. While at J.I. Case, Mr. DeFeo was also a vice president of North American Construction Equipment Sales and general manager of Retail Operations. A 1974 graduate of Iona College, Mr. DeFeo holds a B.A. in economics and philosophy.
A generous Iona College benefactor and Trustee and philanthropist, Mr. DeFeo established the DeFeo Family Endowed Scholarship in 2004 in memory of a deceased family member, Noah DeFeo '68. The DeFeo Family Endowed Scholarship Fund was created to support and advance the careers of students. Mr. DeFeo also has been active in encouraging philanthropy through the organizations he's led.
Mr. DeFeo has also been active in civic causes, including improving U.S. infrastructure. In 2008, he spearheaded with Iona three national conferences on the subject that brought together leaders in government, business, organized labor and industry, underlining the importance of infrastructure maintenance and helping elected officials see the issue in nonpartisan terms.
For his visionary leadership of international corporations; for advocating increased industry involvement in educating the public on the need for investment in U.S. infrastructure; and for serving as an example of how one Iona graduate has moved the world through his leadership in business, philanthropy and service to his community, Iona College hereby confers on RONALD M. DEFEO the degree of Doctor of Business Administration, honoris causa.