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Greg Wilcox

Vice President, Client Services, BNY Mellon
Melrose, Mass.

On the always changing world of business . . .
There is one constant in both business and in life: change. During my 20 years in the financial services sector, the business environment has shifted dramatically, especially due to geo-political factors and emerging technologies. A business education from Bentley prepared me for the ever-changing world of finance and helped me develop a successful career in the process.

Finding the Perfect Fit: Kristen LaFontaine '03

Kristen LaFontaine ’03 has taken her passion and run with it. A former Bentley soccer player and member of the track team, she found her niche in a sports-related field.

In 2004, the Marketing major joined athletics wear maker Saucony as a product testing coordinator. Charged with ensuring fit and comfort of running shoes, she gathered feedback from testers and worked closely with brand partners in design, development and marketing.

Click, Click: Avon Calling: Annemarie Frank '88

Say goodbye to the same old Avon lady. The 125-year-old firm is promoting and selling Mark, its latest brand of beauty and fashion products, almost exclusively through digital storefronts, Facebook and other social media.

The strategy is the brainchild of Bentley graduate Annemarie Frank ’88, who joined the company in April 2009. Her charge: a makeover for Avon’s direct-marketing model, which for years had relied on door-to-door sales and house parties. Frank knew the way to a Gen Y girl’s heart — and pocketbook — was through cyberspace.

Kevin Bower '80: Home Team Advantage

Like many a Midwestern son, Kevin Bower ’80 has basketball in his blood. The former star forward for Bentley is now on the senior management team of his hometown NBA franchise: the Indiana Pacers. His love of the game and dedication to the local community make the current post a dream job.

“Basketball has always been an important part of my life,” says Bower, whose success on the high school court netted him a scholarship at Bentley. He credits his run as a Falcon for “teaching me how to win and lose gracefully, sacrifice for the good of the team, and manage my time.”

Doug VanOort '78: Acing the Skills Test

“What do you do?” seems like a simple question. But if you put the query to Doug VanOort ’78, don’t expect a simple answer.

He would describe a career that started in accounting and branched out to executive roles in technology, health care, and private equity firms. His work has benefited leading Fortune 500 companies and emerging entrepreneurial ventures alike. Digging deeper, you would find that all the roles have a common denominator.

Joe Antonellis MBA ’82: London Calling

It’s one thing to say you have a global business perspective. It’s quite another to test that perspective by actually working in a different country and culture.

This lesson has hit home for Joe Antonellis MBA ’82, vice chairman of State Street Corporation, who headed to the U.K. in 2010 for a two-year assignment. From his London office, he leads all Europe and Asia-Pacific global services for the firm.

Fitness Meets Family: Julie Marina Ross '00

Seven years out of Bentley, Julie Marina Ross ’00 (far left) had a successful career at PricewaterhouseCoopers – and an entrepreneurial spirit she was keen to exercise. 

“I was constantly thinking of business ideas,” says Ross, whose gym workouts with a personal trainer, Lauren Hendry (right), would often turn into brainstorming sessions.  One idea: opening a fitness facility of her own.

Double Vision: Bill Kracunas MBA '11

Bill Kracunas MBA ’11 spends a large part of his today looking at tomorrow. The IT and business advisory consultant helps companies see past their daily operations to focus on plans for growth and strategy that are often not visible to the naked eye.

“Consultants are problem solvers,” observes Kracunas, who holds two executive posts at McGladrey & Pullen. “You have to imagine a future where technology enables companies to operate and collaborate in new ways, to more effectively deliver products and services.”

Hot Property: Ken Shuman '97

You might not know Ken Shuman’s name. But if you’ve been searching for the perfect 3 br/2.5 ba w/fpl , you probably know his work. The 1997 alumnus – and third generation Falcon – is head of communication for real estate search site Trulia. 

“Working in PR is like being a hunter-gatherer,” observes the former Business Communication major and 15-year veteran of the field. “If you don’t go out and find your dinner, you won’t eat. I get a rush every time we land a big interview or speaking gig for one of our executives.”

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