While pundits hold forth on the global implications of the credit crisis, New Hampshire State Treasurer Catherine (Laffin) Provencher ’85 is using her office to build a better financial future – one saver at a time.
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All Alumni Profiles
There’s a window on the second floor of the Bentley Library that overlooks the Waltham neighborhood where Joseph Romanowski ’87 grew up, and where his parents still reside. That happy fact was the final inspiration for Joe and his wife, Renee (Dugas) ’87, to choose the conference room as the focus of their recent gift to Bentley.
What Lies Beneath
You won’t see fashions by Kerry O’Brien ’93 on a runway in Paris. In fact, you aren’t supposed to see them at all. Her six-year-old company is aiming to reinvent the world of women’s undergarments.
The alumna didn’t set out to pioneer a line of mention-worthy unmentionables. After earning her BS in Business Communication, she fixed her sights on corporate public relations and accepted a position at Edelman Communications in New York City. By age 25, she had earned the title of vice president.
Alumna is Front and Center in Washington, D.C.
In January 1997, as a Bentley freshman, Kate Cyrul ’00 took a bus from campus to Washington, D.C., to stand in the crowd for President Bill Clinton’s second inauguration. She was on hand again for Barack Obama’s swearing-in, admittedly with better seats.
Cyrul arrived at the history-making occasion by way of Ohio. Last fall, the nine-year veteran of Washington politics took a leave from her job with Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin to manage an Obama field office in Cleveland.
In May 2009, Kwadwo “Kojo” Asare made history as the first recipient of a doctoral degree from Bentley University. In addition to the PhD in Accountancy, he holds an MS in Computer Information Systems (earned in 1994, also from Bentley), an MBA from Cornell University, and a BS in Accounting from St. Francis College. The native of Ghana, West Africa, is also a CPA with years of business experience. This fall he took up duties as an assistant professor of accountancy at Bryant University.
It takes nerve to open a high-end restaurant on the cusp of a financial meltdown. Even in the best of times, the dining scene is littered with might-have-beens. Wioletta Zywina ’02, ’03 MSIAM and her partner, Shingara “Peppino” Singh, have mixed nerve with marketing smarts and fabulous food to prosper in Boston’s South End. They opened Da Vinci in November 2007.
Zywina’s story is a classic American archetype. She came to the United States from her native Poland at age 18, barely speaking English. After a stint at the University of Southern Maine, she transferred to Bentley.
Subscribing, perhaps, to the Mary Poppins school of medicine, Jonathan Gilinski ’02 has created a more palatable pill. His Florida-based company, Capsuline, produces gelatin capsules in a variety of flavors and colors.
Upon earning his BS in Marketing, the alumnus trained an entrepreneurial eye on an industry where his family has considerable history. He spotted an opportunity to create a business around a common problem.
While on a business trip in 2006, Juan Yepez ’95 got some news no entrepreneur wants to hear: A local river was rising, threatening to spill over into the city that serves as home base for his young company.
It was the worst flooding the Merrimack Valley had seen since March 1936. Yepez’s independent distribution company, Mainstream Global, lost a large portion
of inventory and sustained damage to its newly purchased office and warehouse building in Lawrence, Mass.
Sometimes imagination is all it takes to turn disaster into opportunity. Just ask Doug Bard ’94, who launched a new career in the wake of an all-too-familiar desktop mishap.
On April Fool’s Day 2004, Bard was busily making real estate deals at his home office, when he reached for a cup of coffee. He missed the mark and knocked hot java all over his work. The result was a blown computer, ruined notes, and a dead phone — a few thousand dollars’ worth of trouble from a momentary distraction.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” The words of Mohandas Gandhi came to life for Elba Valerio ’05 through a commitment to the national youth service organization City Year.