01 Sep 2014


Alumni Achievement Awards 2014

Meet the recipients of the School's highest honor

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There’s a common thread among the stories of this year’s recipients of the School’s highest honor: every one of them answered a daunting challenge with an entrepreneurial solution. Whether finding dependable care for loved ones, improving the job prospects of disadvantaged young people, or enabling us to communicate in new ways, the successful enterprises built and led by the 2014 awardees have had a deep impact on business and society.

 

Gerald Chertavian, MBA 1992

Founder and CEO, Year Up

Chertavian at home in Cambridge

“I believe that after achieving financial success, most people want to have an impact on society. That’s what brings meaning and purpose to my life.”

Having built and sold an Internet company in the 1990s, Chertavian launched Year Up to help close the “opportunity divide” between low-income youth and companies needing skilled labor. His yearlong training program offers 18 through 24-year-olds the technical, professional, and communications skills needed to transition into careers and college. The award-winning nonprofit has partnered with 250 corporations to break the cycle of poverty for some 10,000 young people—and counting.

Chertavian visiting a Year Up grad at HBS

Chertavian visiting a Year Up grad at HBS

Chertavian playing ping pong with one of his three children

Chertavian playing ping pong with one of his three children

 

Ashraf M. Dahod, MBA 1981

President and CEO, Altiostar Networks, Inc.

Dahod outside his Tewksbury, MA, office

“The best way to deliver on shareholder value is not to focus on shareholder value. Focus on meeting customer needs and taking care of employees. That leads to success.”

A serial entrepreneur with an uncanny ability to place winning bets on the next big thing, Dahod marries technological understanding with management expertise to solve high-tech problems and build cutting-edge companies. With five advanced degrees and five successful startups under his belt, Dahod channels his energy into transforming health care, educational, and spiritual organizations in the Boston area as well as in his native India.

Dahod at Altiostar’s data center

Dahod at Altiostar’s data center

Dahod at home with his wife, Shamim

Dahod at home with his wife, Shamim

 

Sheila Lirio Marcelo, MBA 1998/JD 1999

Founder, Chairwoman, and CEO, Care.com

Marcelo at home in Weston, MA

“I knew that law was great training for logic, but I fell in love with business. I was passionate about starting my own company.”

Inspired by her own frustration finding care for her sons and parents, Marcelo built the world’s largest online marketplace for family care. The entrepreneur, who grew up in the Philippines, offers a successful model for balancing work and life. When she rang the bell at the NYSE earlier this year, launching Care.com’s initial public offering, she was surrounded by her family and an enthusiastic cadre of mentees and mentors.

Marcelo at her desk at Care.com

Marcelo at her desk at Care.com

Marcelo with her younger son

Marcelo with her younger son

 

Jonathan M. Nelson, MBA 1983

Founder and CEO, Providence Equity Partners, LLC

Nelson in his Providence office

“You partner with talented, trustworthy people and do your best to help them succeed. That’s the essence of the formula.”

For a man with a global track record of winning investments, Nelson has not strayed far from his Rhode Island roots. After graduating from Brown, working in China, and earning his MBA, he returned to Providence and eventually launched his own firm. For 25 years, he’s been building companies in the media, communications, education, and information industries. A proud father of three, Nelson supports education, arts, and health endeavors, and he has agreed to give away half his net worth by committing to the Giving Pledge.

Nelson working at his desk

Nelson working at his desk

Nelson with two of his three daughters

Nelson with two of his three daughters

 

Wendell P. Weeks, MBA 1987

Chairman and CEO, Corning Incorporated

Weeks at Corning headquarters in Corning, NY

“Our past gives us the confidence to tackle problems that are meaningful. Because they are meaningful, they are by definition hard.”

Weeks has led Corning through some of the brightest and darkest times in the company’s 163-year history. After investing heavily in fiber optics, Corning’s stock plummeted when the telecommunications bubble burst. Weeks’s solution was to diversify product lines and double-down on innovation—resulting in record financial performance; leadership in industries such as display technology; and new products like Corning Gorilla Glass, now used in some 3 billion devices.

Weeks honoring employees at an awards lunch

Weeks honoring employees at an awards lunch

Weeks with his wife, Kim Frock (MBA 1987)

Weeks with his wife, Kim Frock (MBA 1987)

 
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Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 1992, Section B
follow @GChert
Class of MBA 1981, Section D
Class of MBA 1998, Section A
follow @smarcelo
Class of MBA 1983, Section F
Class of MBA 1987, Section I

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