Rena Clark (MBA 1990) found success by following her heart. A managing partner at Laurel Oak Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in the lower-middle industrial market, Clark forged a nonlinear career path that included management consulting, entrepreneurial ventures, academia, philanthropy, and community work.
“I’m not a big fan of connecting the dots. Introspection should include self-criticism, but I don’t think I’ve ever worried about what others think of my decisions,” she observes. “At the core, it’s about knowing yourself. When you do, you will understand what truly satisfies your soul, and decisions will not seem so overwhelming.”
Before founding Laurel Oak in 2015, Clark was a partner with GenNx360 Capital Partners, which specialized in making control investments in middle-market industrial businesses, for nearly a decade. Prior to GenNx, she served as managing director of the HBS MBA Program, was president and CEO of two lower-middle-market industrial companies, and oversaw the New England Patriots Foundation for four years as vice president of corporate philanthropy for the Kraft Group. She has also served as trustee or overseer for several Boston-area nonprofit organizations, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Museum of Science, and the Carroll School, a school for children with language-based disabilities. She is also an active member of Bethel AME Church, for which she is a trustee and on the finance committee.
“Unless you’ve arrived at this stage of your life without any assistance or encouragement, your decisions need to include taking the time to be in service to others,” Clark says.
(Published October 2017)
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