For Kasemsit “Kas” Pathomsak ’97 MSF, professional and personal paths are shaped by a single philosophy. “It’s easy to go along and conform to what’s been done,” he says. “But the easiest thing is never the best thing.”
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All Alumni Profiles
Every so often, a classic made-for-the-movies American success story unfolds in real life. Someone takes a chance on a spirited kid who hasn’t had a lot of breaks. The hunch proves correct, as hard work and talent open doors to previously unimagined opportunity. That’s the story of Bentley University and BNY Mellon senior executive Lawrence Hughes ’80.
Hughes’s story began in Somerville, Mass. His mother was a waitress. His father, a truck driver, died when Hughes was 15.
“I had to grow up kind of fast,” he says. “I‘ve had a job since I was 10 years old.”
Raymer Maguire ’10 (right) and Joe Stokes ’09 have made it their business to keep drunk drivers off the road. Their entrepreneurial venture is called Boston’s Designated Driver (BDD).
Upon request, the company sends a primary driver to meet clients at an appointed location and take them home in their own car. A second driver follows to retrieve the BDD colleague after the drop-off. Prices are based on distance and start at $30 for trips under five miles.
CPA Linda (Leggett) Smith ’86 (far left) has never spent a day in a corporate accounting office. Instead, her 9-to-5 time unfolds in church basements, orphanages and catering kitchens, balancing the books of nonprofits, small businesses and individuals. She and Maureen (Igo) Sullivan ’85 run a nine-person, all-female accounting firm in Westborough, Mass.
Smith launched the venture in 1993, upon leaving a small CPA practice whose owner was retiring. She ran a solo office in Framingham for four years before hiring her first employee.
Rebecca (Roseme) Obounou ’06 knew even as a young girl that her mission would be to help those less fortunate. That commitment recently helped to earn the alumna a 2010 Achievers Award from the YMCA of Greater Boston.
“I am humbled,” Obounou says of the honor. “I felt like I must be dreaming. This is a big deal.”
Gary Druckenmiller ’95 has two loves: boating and creating websites. So when he began to consider possibilities for launching a business in 2007, inspiration struck quickly.
His venture – TheOpenSea.com – offers online social networking exclusively for the marine community, from weekend sailors to boat builders, suppliers and other industry professionals. Druckenmiller describes the web site as a hybrid of Facebook and LinkedIn, incorporating the best features of each.
Tracy Taback was on top of the world in 2003. The summa cum laude graduate had a great apartment in Waltham, a rewarding job at a Westborough marketing firm, and plenty of friends.
Then, one October morning, misfortune struck. Taback parked her car at the office and found she could not move.
“I looked from my knees to the steering wheel, from the steering wheel to my knees,” recalls the alumna, who placed a panicked phone call to her mother, two hours away in Connecticut. So began a grueling five years of doctor visits, misdiagnoses, and a life on hold.
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.
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.