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Raymer Maguire ’10 and Joe Stokes ’09: Keys of Success

Written by: 
Kristen L. Walsh

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.

“I know people who have been in trouble for drinking and driving, and it’s something I’ve taken very seriously since high school,” says Maguire, an Economics-Finance major. “I’ve spent many nights making sure friends had a sober ride home.”

The course Entrepreneurial Thinking steered him in a professional direction. Adjunct Lecturer in Management Gennady Shterenberg urged Maguire to execute the business plan he had written for a designated driving company. Maguire set the wheels in motion by reaching out to a few Bentley cohorts, Stokes among them.

“It was an opportunity to run a company from the very beginning and build on a brilliant idea,” says Stokes, who majored in Management and Ethics and Social Responsibility. "I’m part of a business that does a tremendous amount of good every single time we pick up the phone.”

As co-founder and general manager, Stokes oversees marketing and daily operations such as scheduling and finances. The two have struck a happy professional balance.

“He’s the visionary, with the foresight to know where the business needs to go,” Stokes says of Maguire. “My role is to help keep us on a successful path toward that big picture.”

Other team members are Tyler Carr ’10, logo designer; Dan Tietleman ’09, accountant; and Pat Collins ’11, secondary driver. The Bentley Microfinance Group has provided consulting services.

As Maguire puts it: “There’s hardly an aspect of the company without a Bentley connection.”

It has been a winning strategy. The first BDD pickup was in January 2010 from Tommy Doyle’s Irish Pub & Restaurant in Cambridge. The company has since partnered with a dozen Boston-area nightspots, and garnered attention from the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, WCVB Channel 5, WJMN Jam’n 94.5, and Thrillist.com.

To Maguire, the success proves that a simple idea can have major impact. “We’re working with bar owners and the community to set a standard for saving lives.”

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