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Rising to the Top: Theresa Bresten MSF ’87

Theresa Bresten developed a taste for challenge early on. “My parents stressed the importance of learning new things,” says the Master of Science in Finance alumna. “I was taught that I shouldn’t limit myself.”

That nourishing lesson in self-confidence has helped take Bresten to the upper reaches of corporate America, most recently, as vice president and treasurer for HP Hood LLC.

“I have the opportunity to provide leadership when it comes to making business decisions on a multitude of issues,” says the Missouri native. “And I love that no two days are the same.”

Defining Success: William Freda ’74

“The hallmark of accounting achievement is to become a partner in a Big 8 firm.” That proclamation, featured in Bentley marketing materials of 1969, made an impression on the young Bill Freda. After studying at Bentley and completing an internship with one of the “8,” he embraced the definition of success as his own.

Freda’s semester-long accounting internship at the Deloitte predecessor firm Touche Ross was “a wonderful experience,” he says. “I came back to Bentley and said, ‘That’s what I want to be.’”

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.

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