News, Notes, and Nods: Graduates

Benjamín Valdés and Francesca Bencini pose for a wedding photo with friends
Benjamín Valdés MBA’22 married Francesca Bencini on January 15, 2022, in Santiago, Chile. Read more under 2022 below.
Babson Magazine

Summer 2022

1970

Bruce Share MBA’70 published his first book, Maximizing Cash Flow—The Path to Prosperity. It is available as an e-book and also in paperback. “The book is targeted primarily to entrepreneurs, small business owners, and owners who want to grow their businesses the right way,” he wrote.


1976

Carlos M. Echeverría ’74, MBA’76Carlos M. Echeverría ’74, MBA’76 is enjoying semi-retired life with his family in Costa Rica. He has a weekly press column, participates in politics and sports, and occasionally offers his consulting services in Central America.


1986

Greg Faulkner MBA’86 with friends at his party

Greg Faulkner MBA’86 hosted a November gathering in Naples, Florida, for his 60th birthday. Babson undergraduate and MBA alumni were well-represented at the fun and festive event. Guests included (from left to right): Doug Waggener MBA’85, Frank Davis MBA’86, Roxane Van Hove MBA’88, Jimmy O’Donnell MBA’86, Johann Saurbier ’87, Faulkner, Bernardo Perez ’88, David Smith MBA’86, and Robert Pierce MBA’86. Also in attendance but not pictured: Kathy Noonan Faulkner ’87, Neal Faulkner MBA’96, and Professor Joel Shulman P’12 ’14 ’20.


1987

Walter Dillingham MBA’87Walter Dillingham MBA’87 has been named director of endowments and foundations for Wilmington Trust’s wealth markets, a leader in wealth management and corporate and institutional services. Dillingham has over 20 years of experience working with endowments, foundations, and nonprofit organizations nationally.


1988

Tom Raffio MBA’88Tom Raffio MBA’88, president and CEO of Northeast Delta Dental, published his third book, Prepare for Crisis—Plan to Thrive: The Inside Story of How One Company Did It Right. “Thanks in part to my Babson MBA, the company I’ve been blessed to lead since 1995, Northeast Delta Dental, was prepared for the pandemic,” Raffio wrote. “So much so, I was urged to write a book mapping our experiences during the crisis in hopes that other business leaders in companies of all sizes could learn from our journey.”


1991

Book cover for Hear Us FadeDavid Hogan MBA’91 published his second novel, Hear Us Fade. Set against a backdrop of climatic catastrophe and technological evolution, Hear Us Fade is an entertaining, moving, and thought-provoking black comedy that presents a haunting view of the near future. His previous novel with Betimes Books, The Last Island, was an Amazon literary bestseller in the United Kingdom and reached No. 1 in fiction at Amazon Australia.


1992

Thomas Pistorino MBA’92 has joined CBIZ, the nation’s 10th-largest accounting and tax provider, as the director of higher education and not-for-profit consulting in the Not-For-Profit & Education Practice, working out of the Boston and Providence, Rhode Island, offices. Prior to joining CBIZ, Pistorino held senior management roles at Lesley University, Regis College, and other institutions. He began his career as an accountant for a small computer company installing client accounting systems.


1994

John Walker MBA’94 is a partner in the defense practice at Guidehouse, a $2.5 billion consultancy company. “I have been fortunate to enjoy and prosper in my career—I owe that to Babson, which was a formative experience for me,” he wrote. “Thank you, Babson, for providing the tools to flourish in my profession.”


Richard Howell MBA’94Richard Howell MBA’94 has been designated a Five Star Wealth Manager by the Bulfinch Group. The award is given annually to an elite group of wealth managers who are selected from a pool of up to 3,000 registered financial services professionals.


1996

Alicia Castillo Holley MBA’96 two years ago founded the Wealthing Group, an investment club that she said, “brings the best of an angel group and a venture capital fund. With over $1 million invested in 24 companies, from Seed to Series E, our members enjoy access to unique vetted deals, in-depth analysis, and candid conversations with seasoned Silicon Valley investors.”


Steve Lesnard MBA’96 recently started as the global chief brand officer at Sephora, where he’s expected to leverage his global experience to boost Sephora’s international exposure as a cosmetics omni-retailer. Lesnard’s new post comes after he worked as the CMO and global VP of product creation for North Face for two years and worked at Nike for more than a decade, holding several positions that increased customer engagement. Lesnard lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and three children.


1997

Edward Nilsson MBA’97Edward Nilsson MBA’97 has published a chapter titled “History, Memory, and Narratives of the Past and Future: The New Souks in Kuwait” included in a recently published book, Urban Modernity in the Contemporary Gulf: Obsolescence and Opportunities. The book discusses urban design in the Arabian Peninsula as it relates to heritage studies, post-colonial urbanism, and architecture in the non-West. Babson College is cited in the chapter as an example of a college offering “front on the street” locations throughout the United States and in the Middle East.


2000

Yoon-Hi King MBA’00Yoon-Hi King MBA’00 has been named a Leaders Club qualifier by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. Leaders Club is one of the highest honors annually awarded by Guardian to financial professionals who demonstrate outstanding service and dedication to their clients. King works at The Bulfinch Group, a personal wealth management firm in Needham, Massachusetts.


2003

Heidy Frank MS’03, a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, has been named to the company’s prestigious Pacesetter’s Club. “I am honored to reach this milestone in my career and want to thank all those who have entrusted me to be part of their financial life.”


Havell Rodrigues MBA’03 and Kris Schumacher MBA’04 launched New Majority Capital, a diversity, equity, and inclusion platform that provides underrepresented entrepreneurs, including people of color and women, the knowledge and financial capital needed to acquire and run an existing small business, ideally one whose owners are retiring. “The impact is around closing the racial and gender wealth gap via small business ‘asset’ ownership and by converting new owners into (limited partnerships) in an evergreen pay-it-forward fund,” Rodrigues said.


2004

Akihiro Nakamura MBA’04Akihiro Nakamura MBA’04 started a job as senior director of strategy at M_Service JSC, which oversees Vietnam’s top mobile payment app, MoMo. Nakamura said he is thrilled to be working at the rapidly expanding company, adding that it’s the perfect place to apply the entrepreneurial skills he learned at Babson.


Kris Schumacher MBA’04: See 2003, above.


2008

Siddharth Mehra MBA’08 was awarded India’s Young Disruptors: 40 Under 40 title by BW Businessworld magazine, which recognizes entrepreneurs who are revamping the sector they operate in. Mehra founded Viviid Renewables, the largest developer for wind energy projects in India.


Ronald Sakaguchi MBA’08 DDS, PhDRonald Sakaguchi MBA’08 DDS, PhD, has been named dean of the Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry. Sakaguchi is a widely published dental researcher with an extensive history of grant funding from the National Institutes of Health and from industry. He also was recently named an American College of Dentists fellow.


Art Trapotsis MBA’08 published a book, The Everyday Athlete: How to Balance Work, Family and Fitness for Life, which was released this spring. The book details the benefits of fitness and explores how regular exercise can be key to finding balance. Trapotsis is founder and president of Keep It Tight Athletics, a Boston-based cycling club.


2010

Mariana Cogan MBA’10Mariana Cogan MBA’10 was promoted to chief marketing officer at People.ai. She also won the Forrester Program of the Year award, which recognizes outstanding achievements in sales, marketing, and product functions, for leveraging People.ai to build the most advanced revenue operations and intelligence engine for go-to-market leaders.


2014

Debra Swersky MBA’14 receives the winning checkDebra Swersky MBA’14 (right) and her venture, Stemwear, won $1,500 at the 2022 Fast Track Showcase, which highlights the work of the Butler Launch Pad’s Fast Track Cohort. Stemwear is a brand of one-legged leggings “aimed at normalizing our differences in a way that celebrates them,” said Swersky, who worked on the venture among a dozen other founders in the Fast Track Cohort. “I created them when I was diagnosed with (primary) lymphedema, a chronic swelling condition that affects my right leg only. Stemwear resulted from a spirit of ‘joyful defiance’ toward my blah, beige compression garment.”


2020

Kevin Ly MSBA’20Kevin Ly MSBA’20 is the founding partner of Golden Wat cognac, a multinational liquor company launched in 2020. The company donated 100% of its first-year profits to Full Plates, Full Potential, a Maine-based group fighting child hunger. Ly, whose family emigrated from Cambodia, grew up in a low-income neighborhood in Portland, Maine, and experienced food insecurity as a child—a motivating factor, he wrote, to make the donation.


2022

Benjamín Valdés MBA’22 and Francesca Bencini pose for a wedding photo with family and friends

Benjamín Valdés MBA’22 married Francesca Bencini on January 15, 2022, in Santiago, Chile, with four Babson classmates in attendance. Pictured (left to right): Scott Tashjian MBA’22, Brian Zhao MBA’22, Valdés and Bencini, Exequiel Figueroa MBA’21, Constanza Rojas, and Constanza Leiva MBA’21.


MORE NEWS, NOTES, AND NODS FROM THE SUMMER 2022 ISSUE:
Undergraduates »     In Memoriam
 »


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