“At the end of the day, our weight loss device is life changing,” Allurion Technologies cofounder and chief scientific officer Shantanu Gaur told students in Charlie Johnson’s Isenberg course, New Ventures. Gaur was describing his company’s Elipse intragastric balloon, which he advised, “can be placed in a lunch break without anesthesia or endoscopy.” With the [essentially] procedureless Elipse, “you lose 15 to 20% of your body weight in four months,” he said. You should view the Elipse, he added, as the centerpiece in a lifestyle strategy that emphasizes more mindful eating and exercise.
In an event brimming with emotion, friends and colleagues came together on Saturday night to celebrate the life of Isenberg’s David Lepak, who died suddenly on Thursday, December 7, at the age of 46. Lepak, the Berthiaume Endowed Chair of Business Leadership & Professor of Management, and the Management department chair, was a popular professor who had been part of the Isenberg family since 2016. Married and the father of 4 children, he was also active in the community, coaching youth soccer, and volunteering at his kids’ schools.
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Road-tested advice for women contemplating financial careers and networking opportunities with their peers and Boston area employers were highlights at Isenberg’s first Women in Finance Luncheon. Presented by State Street and coordinated by Isenberg’s MBA program and the school’s (undergraduate) Women in Business student group, the event at the UMass Club in downtown Boston attracted 51 students from Isenberg and five other area universities: Boston College, Brandeis, Northeastern, Suffolk, and Worcester Polytech.
“My brother excelled in operations; marketing always came easily for me,” remarked Marty Jacobson ’68 in Matthew Glennon’s course, Fundamentals of Marketing. The Isenberg marketing grad’s prowess was a critical ingredient in the innovation and success of Nutmeg Industries, the brothers’ upscale sportswear company. The Tampa-based company succeeded spectacularly throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s, when Vanity Fair Corporation bought it for $325.5M in cash.
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“In loaning money to a prospective buyer of property, I’m not giving advice; I’m negotiating,” emphasized PeoplesBank CEO Tom Senecal ’88 in a visit to HTM professor Bob Wilson’s course, Real Estate Finance, Analysis, and Investments. “I’m not in the business of owning property; I’m in the business of loaning money,” added Senecal, whose network of community-focused banks rule as the largest mutual bank business in western Massachusetts. The Isenberg accounting graduate revealed a banker’s perspective that shed light on a case study recently tackled by the students.
Now in it's fifth year, the Women of Isenberg Conference brings together over 300 students, faculty and alumni. The conference is organized by the Isenberg Women in Business student organization. Learn more about what it took to create this highly successful event.
Hosted by the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship, the four-part Innovation Challenge continued with The Seed Pitch on Wednesday, November 29. In front of a panel of three judges, 13 teams gave five-minute pitches of their venture ideas and participated in Q&A with the panel. With assistance from the sponsors, EY and Bud Robertson (Isenberg ’72), $15,000 in prize money was awarded to four ventures.
Gail Cruise, a senior lecturer in Isenberg’s Channing L. Bete Business Communications Program, recently excelled as co-chair of the Association for Business Communication’s (ABC) 82nd annual conference. On the gathering’s final night, Gail received the Association’s Spirit of ABC Award, which recognizes “members who exemplify friendliness and openness to both newcomers and current members [of the organization].”
“Remember, it’s all about journeys. Be patient!” HTM graduate and high-profile Manhattan-based chef Marc Forgione ’01 advised his mostly student audience in the Campus Center Auditorium in late October. Since its debut in 2008, Marc’s establishment, Restaurant Marc Forgione, has earned coveted Michelin stars and review kudos from the New York Times, Forbes magazine, and the Zagat Guide. In 2012, Marc won the Food Network’s Next Iron Chef competition, instantly gaining international “chef” celebrity status. So why did Chef Forgione regale his student audience with the good, the bad, and the nitty gritty details of his notable ascent?
On November 1, Bjarke Ingels and John Fish shared insights in the third installment of Isenberg’s Boston-based Driven conversation series. In a wide-ranging, hour-long discussion at the Aloft Seaport Hotel, Fish and Ingels dissected trends in building and design technology, holistic urban design and infrastructure, transportation networks, sustainability, and other issues of the day.
Can this marketing miracle worker really get Inuits (a.k.a. Eskimo) to swap their hard-earned pelts for ice? You be the judge. For sports marketing legend Jon Spoelstra, “borderline outrageous” and nonstop innovation are road-tested enablers of business success. On October 23 and 24, Spoelstra, this fall’s Mark H. McCormack Executive in Residence, shared insights in classes, met one-on-one with students and faculty, and lectured to a packed auditorium of mostly sport management faculty and students.
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Victoria Vega '88 Accepts Presidency of the Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management
October 27, 2017
Victoria Vega, Vice President of Operations for Unidine Corporation’s Corporate Culinary Group and Senior Living Culinary Group, recently assumed the presidency of the Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management (SHFM) at the association’s annual conference in October. This is one of the highest accolades in the industry. Vega currently serves as president-elect of the organization’s board of directors. “I’m proud to have been selected to serve the association that represents the interests of so many of my peers and colleagues,” said Vega. “I look forward to advancing the organization’s agenda over the next year and outlining my goals for my brief time as president at the upcoming conference.”
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Since the 1970s, innovation—conceptual and technological—has transformed the practice of finance. But “innovation itself doesn’t create growth” it must be “translated into the general economy,” insisted MIT finance professor Robert C. Merton in his keynote presentation at Isenberg’s Center for International Securities and Derivatives Markets’ (CISDM) annual research conference on October 6. Professor Merton—a 1997 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics—headlined an ambitious program devoted to diverse aspects of digitally enabled financial innovation, including cryptocurrencies, algorithmic trading, and other advances on the financial landscape. Attended by a packed house of 125 academics and practitioners, the daylong event took place at Boston’s Aloft Boston Seaport Hotel.
In August, Professor Bradley Bennett began a prestigious three-month residency with KPMG’s James Marwick Professor in Residence Program. Based at KPMG’s Department of Professional Practice in Manhattan, Bennett is working with the firm’s Audit Innovation Group.