Two business leaders, investors, entrepreneurs, who have made an impact on a wide range of companies and industries in their careers, will serve as speakers at Babson College’s 2022 Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 14. Each also will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Laws.
Joanna Berwind—co-chair of the board for the Berwind Corporation, a fifth-generation, family-owned investment management company, and director of the social impact organization Spring Point Partners LLC—will speak at the undergraduate ceremony. At Babson, Berwind serves as a Disruptor-in-Residence at the College’s Institute for Family Entrepreneurship.
Marcelo Claure—chairman and CEO of Claure Capital, a newly founded global investment firm—will speak at the graduate ceremony. Previously, Claure was the CEO of SoftBank Group International and COO of SoftBank Group, the world’s largest technology investment company, and the chairman and CEO of Sprint. He is a past speaker at Babson Connect: Worldwide, an entrepreneurship summit that is a signature event for the College.
READ MORE: Babson’s 2022 Commencement ceremonies on May 14.
“I am pleased to announce the exceptional entrepreneurial leaders who will share their wisdom and insights with our graduates this spring,” says Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD, the president of Babson. “We look forward to welcoming them to campus and honoring their tremendous accomplishments.”
Undergraduate Commencement Speaker
Being the leader of a multinational, cross-sector enterprise, Joanna Berwind occupies many roles at the intersection of business, impact, social work, and youth development. As co-chair of the board for the family-owned Berwind Corporation, she has contributed to the company’s growth for more than 20 years through positions in corporate development, marketing, and sales. She also directs Spring Point Partners LLC, a Philadelphia-based social impact organization that invests in the transformative leaders, networks, and solutions that power community change.
Upon realizing that Berwind Corporation’s understanding of leadership needed to expand to recognize their generation’s unique contributions, she and her siblings established Spring Point Partners in 2017 and began investing in such areas as human-centered learning, animal welfare, and water sustainability. Through Spring Point, the Berwinds are advancing their family’s entrepreneurial legacy to center equity and achieve justice.
For Berwind, this takes place notably by amplifying voice, choice, and opportunity for young people through the signature program, The Hive. After reflecting on her upbringing and the tremendous pressure that stifled her ability to find her own voice, she developed The Hive as a space and tool kit for fostering strengths-based youth development.
In addition to her service on several youth development nonprofit boards, she is a Disruptor-in-Residence at Babson College and often engages in public speaking. Her role at Babson sits at the nexus of her passions: entrepreneurship, family business, and support for young people. Having blossomed from people pleaser to “disruptive” public speaker, she enjoys counseling others on self-awareness, leadership development, and family business dynamics.
Prior to her tenure at Berwind Corporation, she worked in research at Scudder, Stevens & Clark. A writer, reader, runner, and lifelong learner, Berwind practices kindness and gratitude daily. She keenly believes in the nurturing power of meeting everyone where they are without an agenda—and seeing where they lead. Measurable impact, she knows, is not incongruous with a human touch.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Wesleyan University, her MSS from Bryn Mawr College’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, and her MBA from Villanova University.
Graduate Commencement Speaker
Marcelo Claure is an entrepreneur and investor who has founded and led some of the world’s most iconic businesses. He is currently the chairman and CEO of Claure Capital, a newly founded multibillion-dollar global investment firm focused on public and private companies in technology, media, telecommunications, crypto, sports, real estate, and other high-growth sectors.
Previously, from 2018 until January 2022, Claure was the CEO of SoftBank Group International and COO of SoftBank Group, the world’s largest technology investment company. He was part of the team that launched the $100 billion Vision Fund, the largest venture capital fund ever focused on technology disruptors, and had direct oversight for SoftBank’s operating companies. Claure founded the $8 billion SoftBank Latin America Fund, the largest VC fund in Latin America, and is credited with massively transforming the region’s entrepreneurship and technology landscape. He also founded and led the $100 million SoftBank Opportunity Fund, which was dedicated to underrepresented Black and Hispanic founders.
During his tenure at SoftBank, Claure was appointed in 2019 as executive chairman of WeWork, where he is recognized for turning the company around and taking it public alongside CEO Sandeep Mathrani in October 2021.
From 2014 to 2020, Claure served as chairman and CEO of Sprint, leading the company through one of the most iconic corporate turnarounds, delivering the best financial results in Sprint’s 120-year history. Claure led the $195 billion merger with T-Mobile, creating one of the largest telecommunications companies and the world’s leader in 5G.
Prior to Sprint, Claure was chairman and CEO of Brightstar, a company he founded in 1997. Starting with selling phones from the back of his car, he built Brightstar into the world’s largest global wireless distribution and services company, making it the largest Hispanic-owned business in U.S. history with revenues in excess of $10 billion. Brightstar was sold to SoftBank in 2014.
Claure serves as vice chairman of the board of TelevisaUnivision and is a member of the boards of T-Mobile, Likewize, and Carnegie Hall. He is the president of Club Bolívar, Bolivia’s largest professional soccer team, and a co-owner of Girona FC, a Spanish soccer team.
Claure immigrated to the U.S. from Bolivia and is recognized by the Carnegie Corporation as a Great Immigrants Recipient for his notable contributions to the progress of American society. He earned his bachelor of science degree in economics and finance and an honorary Doctorate of Commercial Science from Bentley University. He is married with six children.
Additional Honorary Degrees
In addition to its Commencement speakers, Babson will bestow two additional honorary degrees during May’s graduation ceremonies.
Joyce Mandell, vice chairman of Data Mail Inc., will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws during the undergraduate ceremony. An accomplished business leader, Mandell also is a passionate documentary filmmaker and philanthropist. Mandell and her family are longtime Babson supporters and namesakes of Babson’s Mandell Family Residence Hall. They also created a chair in the English Department.
Ron Weiner ’66, chairman and president of Perelson Weiner LLP, Certified Public Accountants, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Laws during the graduate ceremony. Weiner’s firm is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs, their families, and their businesses. Weiner is active in his communities, which include Babson. He is a graduate of the College, trustee emeritus, and currently serves as chairman of Babson Global.
For more information about Babson’s graduation ceremonies, visit the College’s Commencement site.