Having a child diagnosed with epilepsy can devastate a family. For Heather Plotkin ’00, her son’s experience with the disease was an inspiration to help others. She and her husband, Erik, created the nonprofit Tyler Foundation — named for their son — to support other families coping with the condition.
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Students who study abroad often distill lasting insights. The experience inspired distilling of a different sort for Phil Mastroianni ’05 (far left) and Brett Bell ’05, who have launched their own brand of a traditional Italian liqueur.
The two former Accountancy majors, friends since day one at Bentley, studied in Florence, Italy, during their junior year.
Hiep Nguyen knew it was time to go home.
The double Falcon (’05 BSA, ’07 MST) was working at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Boston when his father died in 2007. Leaving his mother alone in the family’s home neighborhood of Dorchester was not a viable option. Drawn both by family obligation and business opportunity, Nguyen moved back home and hung out a shingle. His accounting firm opened on Dorchester Ave. in December 2008.
The move quickly yielded positive results.
On Thursday nights last fall, Woody Benson ’80 couldn’t sleep. But it wasn’t new investments or business ideas stealing shuteye from the award-winning venture capitalist. It was residual energy from teaching Bentley MBA students in the Corporate Immersion program.
“Being in front of a class is really invigorating,” says Benson, an investor with Prism VentureWorks and high-tech industry veteran of 30 years. “To see the students who are the next generation is inspiring.”
Thanks to a generous $1.125 million gift to Bentley, undergraduate women will be able to prepare for some of the toughest issues facing them in the workplace. Parent donors Pam and Jack Cumming have earmarked their support for pioneering programs to develop leadership skills in young women.
Janice DiPietro ’79 isn’t happy doing a single thing — only several at a time will do.
After two decades as a Fortune 500 executive, Sue Burton '89 made a leap: The funny professional turned professionally funny. A new portfolio career as a fun-trepreneur™ (her trademarked term) combines stand-up comedy and business consulting. One day may find the Massachusetts native coaching corporate types on how to separate the “im” from “possible.” The next, she’s mining laughs in the touring production “Women in Comedy.”
In 1990, Paul Grassia was a rising corporate executive with a corner office when tragedy struck: A massive stroke left the 43-year-old paralyzed on one side. Instead of conceding defeat, Grassia turned his energies to regaining basic skills and pursuing a longtime dream. Today, the alumnus known professionally as Paul G. has found success as a Neil Diamond tribute singer and author of the book A Stroke of Luck.
Arik Levy’s unique business grew from a pretty typical problem: Long hours at the office were making personal errands difficult to accomplish. Finding time to retrieve his dry cleaning was a particular chore.
“It drove me nuts,” he says. “Dry cleaners were out of the way, never open, and only took cash or check. I knew there had to be a better way.”
The Class of 1996 alumnus envisioned a service that would allow people to drop off and pick up laundry at their convenience. His entrepreneurial venture – Laundry Locker – debuted in 2005.
At business solutions powerhouse Hewlett-Packard (HP), Joseph Batista ’82 slices and dices his accounting, operations and technology know-how to create opportunities that clients might never have imagined. He calls his work understanding “business physics.”
“Every company is composed of a suite of assets, which I examine from a unique point of view focused on innovation. Then I combine services and products from HP’s rich portfolio to create new value for clients.”