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All Alumni Profiles

A Vow to Give Back: Mark '85 and Vicki (Vassalotti) '86 Semanie

Bentley University is not just where Mark ’85 and Vicki (Vassalotti) ’86 Semanie discovered their love of business. It’s where they discovered their love for each other.

Twenty-four years of marriage and two children later, the couple — who also went to high school together in Enfield, Conn. — stay connected to their college alma mater for reasons of head and heart.

Business Lessons in Malawi: Prashanth Gubbala '08

Prashanth Gubbala ’08 grew up giving back. Raised in a family that stressed the importance of helping others, he is applying these lessons as a Peace Corps volunteer in the southeast African country of Malawi.

The former Finance major had always planned to work in international development, but wanted to approach the field from a business standpoint. He spent two years as an investment banking analyst before the Peace Corps beckoned with its global focus, two-year term and business program.

Ayo Haynes '90, MBA '92: A Life Well Improvised

One could argue that Ayo Haynes ’90, MBA ’92 is the embodiment of Bentley's liberal-arts-meets-business philosophy..

Growing up in East Harlem, N.Y., the natural beauty and gifted athlete dreamed of becoming an actress one day. Her mother imagined a path that started with a college degree.

“We made a deal," remembers Haynes. "I would get a degree, then take five years to see if my acting career took off."

Challenging Perceptions

Academics, proximity to home, and a full scholarship brought Haynes to Bentley in 1986, eager to pursue her varied interests.

Marcelo Sa '01: Olympic Expectations

As the clock ticks down to the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, one of that country’s own is keeping fellow planners focused and inspired. Marcelo Sa ’01 is assistant to the CEO of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee.

“Being part of a project that will mold the city I live in for generations to come is a unique opportunity,” says Sa, who lives in Rio de Janeiro with his wife, Clara, and daughter, Helena. “Two words best describe what the Rio 2016 Games will be about: passion and transformation.”

Ernest Washington '73: Giving Others a Fighting Chance

As a combat infantry Marine in the Vietnam War, Ernest Washington ’73 fought to clear a safe path for others to follow. As a mentor, advocate and entrepreneur, he’s still at it.

"In combat, you make a lot of promises to yourself,” says Washington, a native of Roxbury, Mass., and owner of Vanguard Parking Services. “Mine was, ‘If I'm lucky enough to get out of here alive, I'll do whatever I can to help my community.’”

Dan Keshian '79, MSF '88: Breakthrough Performer

Dan Keshian ’79, MSF ’88 is a serial startup starter. The Bentley trustee and Massachusetts native has made a career of turning the inspirations of local scientists and engineers into successful, industry-changing enterprises. His specialty: building companies around technology breakthroughs.

His own professional path started with a breakthrough of sorts. The son of a teacher and a policeman, Keshian arrived at Bentley after one year at a local technical college – prompted by a question from his economics teacher.

Channeling Cool: Alexandra Wyman '09

For Alexandra Wyman ’09, staying cool and collected is all in a day’s work. In fact, when guests of The Martha Stewart Show recall interacting with the production assistant, Wyman’s composure under pressure gets mentioned time and again.

“The recurring theme is, ‘I was so nervous, and you just calmed me right down,” Wyman says of e-mails she collects from past guests such as Lynda Resnick, the entrepreneur behind POM Wonderful, Fiji Water and Teleflora, among other notable brands. “They’re always impressed by how calm my team and I can be in what seems like this world of chaos.”

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.


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