Isenberg Graduates Earn BusinessWest 40 Under Forty Honors
June 03, 2015
Four Isenberg MBA graduates and an Isenberg BBA graduate are among this year’s BusinessWest 40 Under Forty honorees. Announced in the April 21st issue of the magazine, the Class of 2015—all under age 40—are exceptional movers and shakers in key areas of the economy, including manufacturing, financial services, retail, healthcare, technology, nonprofit management, education, and law. Chosen by a panel of five judges from the Pioneer Valley region, the honorees also earned kudos for their exceptional civic involvement. They will receive formal recognition at a gala networking event on June 18 at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke.
Read about the Isenberg honorees—MBA graduates Lindsay Doak ’04, Jennifer Gallant ’13, Marcelia Muehlke ’12, Patrick Roach ’11, and BBA graduate Joseph Ruggeri ’00—below.
Lindsay Doak ’04 MBA is director of marketing and education with Fazzi Associates, a home-healthcare and hospice consulting and research firm in Northampton. A graduate of Isenberg’s Part-time MBA program, Lindsay oversaw the design of her employer’s National Healthcare Learning Center, an online educational delivery system that serves a global market. (It receives more than 50,000 log-ins each month.) Her latest initiative involves working with community colleges and other institutions on training that leads to certification of much-valued medical coders. Lindsay volunteers with the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts and is on the boards of the Hampshire Regional YMCA, and Whole Children, which offers enrichment programs, especially to special needs recipients.
As CFO of Polish National Credit Union in Chicopee (it has branches in seven communities), Jennifer Gallant ’13 MBA wears many hats. ”I do asset and liability analysis, I oversee the budget, I approve and monitor all expenses, I do investing, I analyze rates, and I supervise the accounting department,” she told BusinessWest. A graduate of Isenberg’s Part-time MBA program, Jennifer mentors high-school and college students who have an interest in finance. That includes students at Chicopee Comprehensive High School, where the credit union runs a branch that employs student tellers, some of whom intern during the summer. Apart from her employer, Jennifer gives back to her community as a board and committee member with Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen in Chicopee.
Entrepreneur Marcelia Muehlke ’12 MBA, MPP describes her start-up, Celia Grace, as “a fast-growing, for-profit social enterprise (a triple bottom-line business that considers people, planet and profit in every decision we make.” Celia Grace sells wedding dresses across the U.S. and in Europe, observing Marcelia’s scrupulous fair trade and sustainability standards, which empower the women who make her dresses overseas. Her business idea was a response to her own frustration six years ago in obtaining her own wedding dress—a dress that met her own high standards of social responsibility. “We enjoyed some really exciting growth last year, and this year is off to a great start,” she told BusinessWest. A dual business and public policy major in Isenberg’s Full-time MBA program, Marcelia pursued socially progressive initiatives at Isenberg through the student group Net Impact and in an MBA consulting practicum for her team’s client, Verite, which helps its corporate clients to improve social responsibility in their supply chains.
Springfield Public Schools CFO Patrick Roach ’11 MBA is passionate about marshaling his financial prowess to improve the city’s school system. “. . . I want to make sure that every resource is allocated appropriately so that students get the services that will give them the best chance to succeed,” he told BusinessWest. Working with a $16.8 million budget deficit, the Isenberg Part-time MBA graduate submitted a balanced budget to the School Committee for 2014-15. Streamlining procurement, reorganizing the finance and accounting departments, and other cost-saving measures helped tame the budget, which allowed for new initiatives on behalf of students, he observed. Patrick also serves on Springfield’s Parking Authority Board. Parking, he says is critical for economic development and infrastructure. “. . . I never pictured myself in government,” he told BusinessWest. “[But] I really enjoy this. I care about public service, this city, and its schools.”
The owner since 2005 of Ruggeri Real Estate in Greenfield--his family’s 80+-year-old business—Joe Ruggeri ’00 majored in marketing as an undergraduate at Isenberg. (He was student speaker in Isenberg’s school-wide graduation ceremony.) Apart from five years after graduation, when he worked for a marketing agency in New Orleans and lived briefly in Dallas, Joe has lived, worked, and practiced exceptional civic involvement in Greenfield and its surrounding towns. That includes finding homes for customers that strengthen their roots in the community. And it involves Joe’s active participation on the Greenfield Community College Foundation, the board of the Greenfield Public Library, and Friends of the Greenfield Public Library.