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Dr. Memo Diriker at Icon Honors award reception
From left: BridgeTower Media managing director Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, Dr. Memo Diriker and "Daily Record" editor Thomas Baden Jr.

SU's Diriker Earns 'Daily Record' Icon Honors

By SU Public Relations

SALISBURY, MD---As founding director of the Business, Economic and Community Outreach Network (BEACON) at Salisbury University’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, Dr. Memo Diriker has worked with entities from local governments to Fortune 500 companies and helped shape the lives of countless alumni.

Recognizing his impact in Maryland and beyond, the Baltimore-based Daily Record and BridgeTower Media recently named Diriker among its 2023 Icon Honors recipients. The award salutes Maryland business leaders over age 60 who have demonstrated success and strong leadership within and outside of their careers.

This year’s honorees “have left an indelible mark on their chosen fields,” said Daily Record editor Tom Baden. “They have displayed sustained leadership and integrity. They have withstood the whims and caprices of the moment to build what is lasting and durable. They have the vision to see what is meaningful and the drive and determination to achieve those goals. They have lifted up their colleagues and displayed selfless community service.”

Diriker was hired by SU in 1989, charged with creating a center — which eventually became BEACON — to provide applied business and economic research support for public and private entities on the Eastern Shore and beyond, as well as experiential learning opportunities for Perdue School students.

He spent the next 32 years building BEACON from a non-existent concept into one of the region’s leading business outreach programs, paving the way for hundreds of projects and launching the careers of hundreds of SU students before stepping down in 2021. He was named president and CEO of the business and economic development consulting group StratACUMEN in 2022.

During his time at BEACON, Diriker served as the principal investigator for more than 500 externally funded applied research projects, totaling over $16 million. He also mentored more than 100 Perdue School students while championing them to the community in the form of the center’s services. (Students conduct up to 85 percent of BEACON’s applied research work, under faculty supervision.) He continues to teach at SU as an associate professor of marketing.

The center continues to specialize in economic impact, feasibility and efficiency studies using public data and primary research such as surveys of more than 2,500 economic and business leaders through BEACON’s ShoreTrends initiative. Additional regional initiatives created under Diriker include GraySHORE, focusing on opportunities and challenges created by Delmarva’s aging population, and Bienvenidos a Delmarva, better preparing local leaders and businesses to work with the peninsula’s growing immigrant communities.

In addition to his duties at SU, Diriker has served in leadership positions with TidalHealth (for which he currently is board of directors chairperson), Leadership Maryland, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce, the Salisbury Sunrise Rotary Club, United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore, PAC-14, and Diakonia, Inc.

Diriker is among 27 recipients of this year’s Icon Honors. For more information, visit the Daily Record website.

Learn more about opportunities to Make Tomorrow Yours at the SU website.