St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute

Alumni Association Events » Signum Fidei Society

Signum Fidei Society

 Every year St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute honors a group of alumni for their distinguished achievements in their career, community involvement and exemplification of the values of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. This is St. Joe's lifetime achievement award and the highest accolade bestowed by the school. The inductees are honored at a banquet each year in the spring. If you wish to nominate an alumnus for this distinguished honor, click on the link below and complete the nomination form.
"Signum Fidei" (sign of faith) is the characteristic spirit of the Christian Brothers, who are founders and the guiding presence of St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute. Theirs is that attitude of faith, which expresses itself in love and zeal for the welfare of others. A member of the Signum Fidei Society is an alumnus of St. Joseph's, distinguished in professional career, community activities and one who shares in the spirit characteristic of the Christian Brothers.
The 2017 Signum Fidei Society Induction will take place on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at the Brookfield Country Club.  Registration for the dinner is now available here.  Individual tickets are $90, and tables of 10 are also available.
The Signum Fidei Class of 2017 is:
Arthur L. Haberman Jr. '56 +
John P. O'Donnell '71
Gregory T. Ivancic '73
Mark S. Zirnheld '78
Timothy P. Noonan '92
Arthur L. Haberman Jr. '56 + was a businessman and community service advocate who dedicated his life to helping others.  He had a distinguished career with American Appraisal Associates, a national corporate merger and acquisition valuation firm where he rose to prominence as Senior Vice-President, and as Director of Corporate Sales Education.  He was named Buffalo Business Man of the Year in 1989.  Parallel to his business achievements, Art was an active volunteer in his church, St. Aloysius Gonzaga in Cheektowaga, NY.  As president of the Holy Name Society, he established and edited a monthly parish newsletter and initiated parish breakfasts.  Along with his wife, Mary, Art was a pillar of leadership for Little Portion Friary, a homeless shelter in Buffalo established and guided by the principles of St. Francis.  Remarkably, Art and Mary personally raised over one hundred thousand dollars for this ministry. They accomplished this by grass roots efforts: personally reaching out to individuals, and organizations, and learning to prepare and successfully submit grant applications. Their 30 year commitment to this facility has also included annually organizing and serving Thanksgiving Dinner at the Main Street house, preparing meals and participating as members of the Core administrative team.


John P. O'Donnell '71 was raised with 6 brothers and sisters in St. Joseph's Parish in North Buffalo.  He earned a BA in History from SUNY Fredonia and worked for 6 years as a Claims Representative for Social Security in Rochester and Portland, Oregon.  After attending Cornell University and earning his Masters degree in Industrial and Labor Relations, he resumed his career and worked for more than 20 years as a Field Examiner with the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C.  After retiring in 2009, John regularly volunteers with an organization called Martha's Table, providing food services to low income residents of the district.  An avid distance runner dating back to his time at St. Joe's, John also helps coach the Wilson High School boys cross country team.


Gregory T. Ivancic '73 is a local attorney.  After graduating from St. Joe's, he attended Notre Dame where he majored in Accounting. In 1977 he joined Price Waterhouse as a junior accountant, and after earning his CPA credential, Greg entered law school at the State University of New York at Buffalo. After graduating in 1982, he joined the firm of Cohen Swados Wright Hanifin Bradford & Brett. During his tenure at the firm Greg worked extensively on matters for the Buffalo Sabres, including the formation of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association where he served with the likes of former NHL players Derek Smith, Gerry Meehan, Rene Robert, Fred Stanfield and Rob Ray.  In 2000 Greg joined his current firm Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP and has been a partner there since that time. Using his background in accounting he has concentrated his practice in the corporate area. He is also a thirty-seven year member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, and is finishing his 28th year as Adjunct Professor at Canisius College in the MBA program.  In addition to his legal and teaching positions Greg has also been active in the community. Some of his contributions include serving on the Board of Directors of Gateway Longview, te Notre Dame Club of Buffalo, and the Cherry Hill Club, Driector of the Town of Tonawanda Business Development Corporation, and serving as a member of the St. Joe's Board of Trustees.


Mark S. Zirnheld '78 graduated from Canisius College, and began his career in the family entertainment industry.  He was initially involved in coordinating site selection, permits, contractor supervision, public relations and staffing and worked at locations in Rochester, NY as well as Jacksonville, Florida.  He was selected to oversee the organization’s flagship location and manage East Coast operations.  in 1986, Mark returned home to take a position as marketing manager for a major petroleum distributor.  In 1989, a family friend on the Board of Directors for the Society of St. Vincent De Paul, asked for his help in the planning process for a concept store for the organization, based on all of his experience in marketing. Before the store opened, Mark was approached to manage the store project as an employee, and a year later was asked to consider becoming the executive director for the Society of St. Vincent De Paul, a position he has held since late 1990. In the fall of 2016, he was named CEO.  Mark's current duties include the management of the entire organization which includes retail stores, a central warehouse, a dining room that is the largest single meal provider in the County of Erie and a children’s summer program. The St. Vincent DePaul Society’s scope takes in the entire Western New area and it is the oldest continuing charitable organization active in Western New York with over 1100 active members.


Timothy P. Noonan '92 is an attorney with Hodgson Russ LLP, the largest firm in Buffalo.  He splits his time between the Buffalo and New York City offices. Tim focuses his practice in the state and local tax area, and his work primarily involves New York State and New York City tax litigation and controversy. Tim heads the firm’s New York Residency Practice, and he is one of the leading practitioners in the State in this area of the law.  He is often quoted by media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Forbes, on residency and other state tax issues. As the “Noonan” in “Noonan’s Notes,” a monthly column in Tax Analysts’ State Tax Notes, Tim is a nationally-recognized author and speaker on state tax issues. Tim has also written more than 100 articles in state and local tax publications around the country over the past several years, and he speaks on state tax issues for audiences around the country on an average of 25 times a year.  Also, as special legal advisor to a company called MONAEO, Tim assisted in the creation of a GPS-powered smartphone application to help taxpayers track their time for tax purposes.


Download and complete the nomination form, and send along with any supporting documents to attention of Alexander J. Eadie '07, Alumni & Foundation Relations Officer, at St. Joe's or by email to