Keith Stolzenburg—a beloved mentor, treasured colleague and dedicated UB School of Management alumnus—died in September. He was 61.
Born in North Tonawanda, the lifelong Western New Yorker earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA from the School of Management and would often jokingly introduce himself as “Keith Stolzenburg, CPA, MBA and all-around good guy”—a testament to his jovial nature and the pride he took in his career.
After a 36-year career with PwC, Stolzenburg was named executive in residence for accounting in the UB School of Management in 2017, teaching in the MS in Accounting program and providing extensive guidance and mentorship to students on the cusp of their own accounting careers.
“He infused a certain sense of humor that I didn’t know was possible in an auditing research class,” recalls Jonathan Berr, BS ’19, MS ’20. “During junior year, he was speaking in a lecture hall to my Career Connections class and stood on the table in front of the room to get our attention. It was definitely unique and worked.”
“The quality that stands out to me most about Keith is that he truly cared about others,” says Kelli West, BS ’19, MS ’20. “Keith was persistent about helping me find my first accounting job, and I will forever be thankful for that.”
Before his retirement from PwC, Stolzenburg specialized in compliance, mergers and acquisitions, financial statements, tax and other accounting issues for the firm. His portfolio consisted of a mix of public and private clients in many sectors, and he served in several leadership positions, most recently as managing partner of the firm’s Buffalo office and Upstate New York market team leader.
“During his years with PwC, Keith was a regular presence on campus, supporting opportunities for UB accounting students with his firm, but also, more broadly, regularly assisting in many capacities and events that created professional development opportunities for our students,” says Ann Cohen, clinical associate professor of accounting and law. “On a personal note, Keith and I started our careers together at PwC. It was a joy to work with him as we were both transitioning into our professional lives and later when he served on the faculty here. He is greatly missed.”
Once he joined the School of Management, Stolzenburg was reunited with former classmates and colleagues—and provided an example for the entire Accounting and Law Department.
“Keith and I had UB and the accounting program in common—graduating, teaching and advocating in support of the university together,” says Kathleen Nesper, clinical assistant professor of accounting and law, who, like Stolzenburg, was part of the School of Management Class of 1981. “He was the consummate professional. However, what I will miss most is sharing stories about our children and family. The university lost a treasure.”
“I was one of the lucky ones who had the chance to work with Keith both at PwC and at UB, and call him my friend,” says Cheryl Hall, clinical assistant professor of accounting and law. “The success and well-being of each of his clients, fellow partners, staff and engagement teams, and of course his students were of the utmost importance. Keith showed us all how to ‘do it right’ in this crazy world.”
Beyond the accounting profession, Stolzenburg was known throughout the community for his dedication to many causes, often called upon by area organizations for his accounting and business expertise. He was a longtime member and chair of the Darwin Martin House Restoration Corp. board, served as a board member and treasurer of the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, and chaired the United Way’s 2018 and 2019 Campaigns for the Community. He also chaired the Shea’s Performing Arts Center board and served on the boards of the UB Foundation, Artpark, the YMCA of Buffalo, Western New York Multiple Sclerosis Society and Trocaire College.
“I met Keith as a fellow member of the Leadership Buffalo Class of 1998,” recalls Martha Salzman, clinical assistant professor of accounting and law. “My friend Keith always had a smile and good word to share. I very much admired his active involvement in so many important community organizations and how dedicated he was to our students—both while he was at PwC and later when he joined us as a colleague. He will be greatly missed.”
Stolzenburg is survived by his wife, Rosanne, and their children, Anna and Eric.
To honor him, his family has created the Keith M. Stolzenburg Endowed Scholarship Fund, enabling his incredible impact on students to carry on through those who benefit from the fund in the future. Donations in Stolzenburg’s memory can be made at buffalo.edu/giving/stolzenburg.