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Spotlight: Alumni Award Winners
This article originally appeared in the Bentley Magazine.
Congratulations to recipients of the inaugural Harry C. Bentley Alumni Achievement Award. The new honor goes to graduates, chosen by the Global Alumni Board, who embody the founder’s commitment to excellence on behalf of their profession, community and alma mater.
CLOSE TO HOME
As co-managing partner at Alexander, Aronson, Finning CPAs (AAFCPAs), Carla (Stella) McCall ’89 leads by example. Her work spearheading the Women’s Opportunity Network grew the firm’s number of female managers by 566 percent. McCall and her team also led a rebranding initiative, which conveys the company’s commitment — and her own — to support the community. AAFCPAs gives 10 percent of every dollar earned to organizations in need. In 2016, AAFCPAs was named among the Top Places to Work by The Boston Globe and in the Top 200 Accounting Firms by INSIDE Public Accounting.
Another issue close to her heart emerged from a family tragedy. McCall is an active board member for the Jordan Porco Foundation, a suicide prevention, awareness and education program.
McCall’s leadership has earned her many awards, though the total is far eclipsed by the number of organizations with which she volunteers — which includes Bentley. A Bentley Executive Club member, former mentor in the Center for Women and Business and dedicated Sigma Iota Sigma alumna, McCall regularly hires fellow alumni and current students.
ONE TRUE VOICE
“The power of the individual to do good and to make changes ... to help and to heal, is the most unrealized, unexploited, unrecognized power on earth.”
As keynote speaker at Bentley’s 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, Darryl Vernon Poole ’68 might well have been describing his own legacy. The trustee emeritus has helped shape Bentley since his student days. The alumni award celebrates his decades-long career as a mentor, business leader, educator, writer and private adviser on critical change management, governance, ethics and executive self-leadership.
As an accountant, MIT Sloan School of Management alumnus, Certified Internal Auditor, retired CFO,CEO, board member, researcher and lecturer, Poole has supported efforts spanning four continents.His clients range from senior executives, boards, corporations, institutions and individuals to the federal government. Now facing the transference of more than four decades of global professional and advisory work to others, Poole regards his ongoing work with students worldwide as his most important professional and personal accomplishment.
Classmate Bernard Fellner ’68 speaks for many in describing Poole as a true messenger of Harry Bentley’s promise: “I can teach you everything about accounting, but accounting isn’t everything.”
It’s hard to believe that the CEO and president of Sprint, Marcelo Claure ’93, began his career by selling frequent-flyer miles from his Bentley dorm room and, later, mobile phones from the trunk of his car. But the Bolivian-born entrepreneur’s legacy is built on hard work from the ground up. He bought a failing cellphone shop and turned it into Brightstar — a multibillion-dollar corporation based in Florida that became the country’s largest owned by a Latino. His leadership of Sprint has reversed the firm’s decline in three short years.
Claure has taken similar strides toward another passion: lifting children out of poverty. His decade-old nonprofit, One Laptop PerChild (OLPC), provides technology to youth in developing countries. Praised by former president Barack Obama, OLPC has aided some 2 million children and teachers in Latin America, and another 500,000 around the world. At Sprint, Claure leads efforts to address a “homework gap” in the U.S. The company’s 1Million Project connects underprivileged high school students to the Internet for free. He also quietly champions other initiatives such as Best Buddies and Kansas City’s Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault.
The former Bentley trustee has earned Entrepreneur of the Year and CEO of the Year honors from numerous organizations. Most recently, he was selected by the Carnegie Corporation of New York for its Great Immigrants: The Pride of America initiative.
U.S. News & World Report ranked Bentley No. 2 among regional universities in New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, up from No. 3 last year, highlighting Bentley’s high-quality faculty and academic programs along with the strong value that students receive from a Bentley education.