News, Notes, and Nods: Graduates
Mark Ahern MBA’85 joined Wexford Capital as managing director of investor relations. He is based in the firm’s West Palm Beach office and lives in Jupiter, Florida. He writes that his eldest daughter is a sophomore at UMass Boston, another daughter is a freshman in high school, and his son is in seventh grade. “We will continue to spend the summer on Cape Cod,” he writes.
Deborah A. Bitsoli MBA’98 was named to the board of trustees of the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA), a nonprofit that works with hospitals and other providers to promote high-quality, affordable, accessible care in Massachusetts. Bitsoli has more than 25 years of experience in health care and has spent the past 19 years in leadership roles, including as president of Morton Hospital in Taunton and as CEO and vice president at Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester.
Connie Askin MBA’99 was appointed CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Massachusetts and Metrowest. Askin has held senior-level positions in both business and nonprofit organizations, including City Year and Year Up. “The past year and a half has been so challenging for children and families,” she writes. “As a relentless believer in silver linings, I am excited to be part of a team that is actively helping alleviate some of that stress by matching caring adults and children in our communities who will benefit from this kind of actionable optimism.”
Mike Schultz MBA’02 coauthored Not Today: The 9 Habits of Extreme Productivity with his wife, Erica. The book is about their son, Ari, who was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect and underwent two heart surgeries in utero and multiple operations after birth. At age 5, Ari’s body rejected his heart transplant, and he passed away. In their book, the couple shares the techniques that allowed them to get work done and keep their business afloat during the most difficult time of their lives.
Michael Budd MBA’03 writes that he and Bonnie Greer Anderson, former Blended Learning manager at Babson Executive Education, “met as colleagues and started dating shortly after she left to run her own company. A year later, we moved in together, and a year after that we got engaged, and a year after that we got married. This September, we celebrate our fifth anniversary.”
Heidy Frank MS’03 joined the Coral Gables, Florida, office of Morgan Stanley in 2020. She writes that, in her new role, she helps “financially successful individuals and families create, implement, and monitor a personalized plan to help them meet their goals,” setting up future generations for success through a long-term partnership with her clients. She focuses on business owners, entrepreneurs, retirees, and executives.
Brian Mottola MBA’03 was appointed president of Abbott Medical Japan, a subsidiary of Abbott Laboratories. Abbott Medical Japan is one of the largest medical device companies in Japan, with more than 800 employees focused on improving the quality of life of Japanese patients with cardiovascular disease and chronic pain.
Andrew Musingo MBA’03 was named chief integration officer at Coca-Cola Beverages Africa.
Paras Patani MBA’03 was recruited from more than 25,000 applicants for his LEGO teaching expertise to participate in the worldwide TV phenomenon “LEGO Masters,” the Olympics of LEGO. Called “Mr. LEGO” by his students, Patani founded NextGen SmartyPants using LEGO bricks for STEAM education to make learning fun in classes on robotics, coding, and engineering. About 4,000 students across New England have implemented the NextGen SmartyPants curriculum.
Bradley (BJ) Nichols MBA’04 has taken on the role of leader for EY’s insurance and federal claims services practice. “It’s an honor to lead this incredibly talented team that is helping so many state and local governments, nonprofits, and companies recover financially from COVID-19 and many other disasters here in the U.S. and around the world,” he writes.
Carlos Espinal MBA’06 is a managing partner at Seedcamp, a European seed-stage venture capital fund headquartered in London. He recently published the second edition of his book on fundraising for startups, Fundraising Field Guide: A Startup Founder’s Handbook for Venture Capital. He also recently was awarded Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II “for services to the British Technology Entrepreneurship Ecosystem.”
Sal Rodas MBA’11 is executive director of the Foundation for Airway Health, a nonprofit that raises awareness about issues related to lung health and their impact on other major medical issues. Rodas also founded, launched, and raised funds for a company, Sleep Architects, that helps healthcare providers learn how to identify and treat patients who suffer from sleep apnea.
Henrique Duarte MBA’12 is a director at Karaíba, a single-family office based in Brazil that has developed an investment strategy focused on search funds, both in Brazil and abroad. Duarte writes that it has participated in the acquisition of two companies, including “the first acquisition by a traditional search fund on the African continent.”
Cameron McKenzie ’07, MBA’12: See Undergraduates, 2007.
Jessica Lynch ’13, MS’13, MBA’18: See Undergraduates, 2013.
Kaine Lowell Nicholas MBA’13 has been named executive director of the Black Cooperative Investment Fund, which raises money through community donations and reinvests the funds in small Black-owned businesses. According to a press release, the fund “was founded in 2016 to address financial issues that have plagued Black communities for several decades.”
Oriana Torres MBA’13 became director of partnerships and sustainability at Aprende Institute, a leading startup in vocational training, in September. “Aprende’s mission is to empower Spanish speakers so that through education and entrepreneurship they can generate higher income and progress economically,” she writes. Aprende Institute is on the 2021 LATAM Edtech 100, HolonIQ’s annual list of most promising edtech startups in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Melis Dural MBA’15 is the founder and CEO of EKOS, an AI-driven audio and video platform that allows users to interact, engage, and grow their business networks.
Daniel Sarao MBA’15 writes that he has moved on from his role as vice president of marketing and product management at IdeaPaint, a Babson-founded company, to launch Macaw Digital Marketing, a boutique digital marketing agency that he is actively growing. He also co-founded a real estate investment business and says he is “a pretty well-known real estate investor. I was just featured on a podcast episode with Joe Fairless on ‘The Best Ever Real Estate Investing’ show.”
Jen Sorenson MBA’15 was named vice president at Highwire PR, a modern communications agency specializing in technology, health care, and consumer public relations and digital offerings.
Jessica Lynch ’13, MS’13, MBA’18: See Undergraduates, 2013.
Angela Castillo MBA’19, former chief of staff at Drift, writes that she “recently took the plunge into entrepreneurship” with Pipe Abello and co-founded HelloGuru, “a no-code tool for citizen developers to build internal tools. Companies need custom apps, dashboards, admin panels and other internal tools to run their critical operations. Rather than building from scratch, any employee can use the HelloTool to build powerful tools by dragging and dropping UI elements.” Castillo is COO of the company, and Abello is CEO.
Jacob Fohtung MBA’19, MSEL’20 recently joined the Clayton Christensen Institute as a research associate, researching how individuals, businesses, governments, and nonprofits “can leverage innovation to create prosperity in emerging markets and under-resourced communities.” The Clayton Christensen Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that seeks to create and drive new market growth through a concept known as “Disruptive Innovation.”
Elizabeth Atwater Pawlicki MBA’19 and Patrick Pawlicki MBA’19 welcomed their daughter, Eve Alexandria, on February 13, to the delight of big brother Julian, 2. Becoming a family of four was just the first milestone change of the year; both Patrick and Elizabeth also recently began new jobs. Patrick is now a senior manager with private equity advisory E78 Partners, and Elizabeth joined the editorial team at Boston Consulting Group.
Neritti Lakshman MBA’20 writes, “Richard O’Brien MBA’20 and I met on the very first day of orientation, as we embarked on the journey of pursuing the two-year, full-time MBA at Babson. Turned out that we happened to live just 10 minutes from each other and have been inseparable throughout our two years at Babson. One year after we graduated in 2020, and after weathering a pandemic together, we decided to get married on June 1, 2021. During our time at Babson, we founded a tech startup together, formed our relationship, and now, we cannot wait to see what the future holds! Thank you, Babson, for bringing us together from entirely different sides of the world.”
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