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Spring 2011

Exciting Changes in Store for Alumni

It comes as no surprise to me: When a challenge is issued to Bentley alumni, you get right down to business.

Thank you to all alumni who participated in focus groups this fall and took time to complete our online survey. We were excited to receive your feedback and learn more about what's important to you. Now, the Center for Alumni, Parents and Friends is prepared to use your responses to guide some big changes. Work is underway to launch programs and services that will better align with your interests and values, and which strengthen your connection with the university.

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.”

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.

Dana Center Notebook

Kudos for Coaches

Assistant athletics director and long-time women’s volleyball coach Sandy Hoffman is among 14 inductees to the New Agenda: Northeast Hall of Fame. The organization is in its 23rd year of honoring women who have been women who have been instrumental in advancing opportunities for girls and women in sport. Mary Kay Samko was named Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year by the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association (NEISDA) championship, for the seventh time in 10 years.

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.


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