Alumni Spotlight

How His Mother’s Advice Helped Orlando Esposito ’80 Get Ahead in Business

Orlando Esposito ’80

Alumni Spotlight

As a young man, Orlando Esposito ’80 knew he wanted a career in business. He was a first-generation student commuting to Philadelphia University and working part-time jobs at M.A.B. Paints stores and as an accounting tutor.  According to Esposito, PhilaU has a great blend of academics, strong focus on developing practical skills, real-world insight from faculty and small classes, which enables more interaction. These factors are what made PhilaU the place for Esposito to succeed and earn his degree in Accounting.    

Esposito identifies Stuart Borowsky, CPA, Associate Professor of Accounting, and James Solano, CPA, Associate Professor of Accounting, as playing important roles during his studies at PhilaU.  They combined academics with practical experience and made it easy for him to understand how the curriculum being taught in the classroom would materialize in the real world. Esposito was a teaching assistant for Solano. “He was an outstanding student and great teaching assistant,” noted Solano.  “More important, a better person; I miss him.” Borowsky also has fond memories of Esposito.  Borowsky recalls the days when Esposito joined the PhilaU Accounting Society and played softball in the summers with the big accounting firms.  “He was a super student, but needs to learn how to hit better in softball,” teased Borowsky.

After he graduated from PhilaU, Esposito went to work with Deloitte, which provides audit, financial advisory, tax and consulting services to its clients.  “What I learned was that accounting was the language of business,” said Esposito.  He wanted to be more than an auditor and that led him to use his accounting background to help companies grow, which is what led him to banking.  Esposito also earned an MBA in Finance from Villanova University.

Today, Esposito is executive vice president of PNC Financial Services Group, one of the nation’s largest financial services corporations. He has held numerous positions during his 25 years at PNC.  Until very recently, the positions were on the corporate banking side, helping businesses finance their growth.  His responsibly was running the Northeast region which stretched from New England to Cleveland.  While running this region, Esposito was assisting the middle market and large corporate customers in both their domestic and international needs.  Esposito led Sales Force Effectiveness, an initiative to increase the effectiveness in growing their business force. He recently switched from corporate to being the leader of the asset management group, on the consumer banking side, which works with individuals to manage their wealth. 

Esposito has faced various challenges throughout his career, including the economic downturn that occurred after 9/11 and the economic collapse in 2007 and 2008. Regardless of the business, size of a company or market locations, he believes success always boils down to trust and the respect people have for one another.  “Trust and respect were the core components incorporated in to the PhilaU education, as well as the complexity of the business world, which is that you need to be able to think outside of your stated discipline,” explained Esposito. Focus, urgency and inclusion, are the three words Esposito emphasizes on his team so their goals are met in time and with clarity, while incorporating diversity, in terms of bringing people with different skills and disciplines together to find the right solution.

Esposito finds it genuinely rewarding to help customers, whether it is an individual or a business, achieve their goals especially when he and his team can provide them with innovative solutions to their problems.  As a leader, he enjoys helping his team achieve more than they thought they were capable of accomplishing.  He oversees about 3,400 people in 87 offices located in 17 states.

Esposito is an active volunteer in his community, and serves as the co-chair of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Corporate Executive Board. In addition, for the last 20 years, he has held various leadership roles with the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, and currently serves on the Resource Development Strategy Committee.

When Esposito was younger, his mother told him, “Success is defined by what you do next.”  The idea is to not let one get consumed by what has occurred; the real question is what one is prepared to do with it, what was learned and how one will adapt.  “The focus is on what you’re prepared to do next, you live in the moment, you don’t live in the past,” advised Esposito.  “It’s really critical to maintain that.”  He also values a quote from his son, “People need to know you care before they care what you know,” and stresses the importance of relationships and demonstrating it to people.  Esposito concludes, “Don’t lose sight of how critically important it is to build relationships.”