Engineering & Applied Sciences

Distinguished Alumni

Richard Palermo

palermoWhen Xerox transformed itself with a commitment to Total Quality Management, Richard C. Palermo played a key role as vice president of quality and customer satisfaction, implementing changes that enabled the company to increase profitability and reclaim market share in the face of fierce global competition.

He later co-edited A World of Quality: The Timeless Passport, which chronicled the 15-year quality journey that helped Xerox become the first company to win all three major quality awards -- the Baldrige Award, the European Quality Award and the Deming Prize in Japan.

 In addition to a 30-year career with Xerox, Palermo later worked as an international business consultant, and was involved in numerous charitable and not-for-profit projects. In all of his endeavors, Palermo "displayed his ability to achieve world-class results," noted St. Bonaventure University when it awarded him its Gaudete Medal in 2003.

Palermo, recipient of the University of Rochester's Distinguished Alumnus Award the following year, graduated from UR with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and master's degree in materials science.

He was initially hired and trained as a materials engineer by Xerox, but became a top product development manager, marketer, international strategist, general manager and corporate officer.

After retiring from Xerox in 1993, Palermo commenced a 10-year tenure as the executive vice president, Senior Partner and Chief Consulting Officer of Strategic Triangle, Inc., a Pittsford, NY – based management consulting firm. His second book, Doing the Right Things . . . Right: A Leader's Guide to World-Class Performance was published in 2002.

Palermo was a board member and coach for a multitude of community interests. He was president of the board of St. Joseph's Villa, a residential facility for at-risk teens. He was honored with the Rochester Area Community Foundation's Philanthropist of the Year Award in 2000, the United Cerebral Palsy of Rochester's Richard Heveron Community Partner Award in 2001, and, with his wife Mary Anne, the Catholic Charities Fr. Trott Memorial Award in 2002.