Posts Tagged ‘alumni’

Boston Networking Event: 10/7/2015

September 29th, 2015 by cgevry


Mark your calendars: the Holy Cross Entrepreneurs Group’s Alumni Networking Event is on Wednesday, October 7th!

The COES Pre-Business Office is presenting current students the opportunity to connect with alumni who are directly involved in start-ups or are involved with a business looking for start-ups as customers. Held at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, the event will consist of a general networking period, allowing students to speak with alumni about their experiences, and a Q&A session with a panel of four Holy Cross alumni.

The COES Pre-Business Office offers at least one networking event per semester, and has been offering this particular event since 2007. Professor David Chu suggests creating a business card for yourself (including your name, class year, email address, and cell phone number), and that you bring a few copies of your resume. In Prof. Chu’s opinion, “the most important thing for a student to ask is, ‘What do you do, and how did you get there from Holy Cross?’” Take this opportunity to learn from people who were in your shoes not too long ago! This is a great chance for students to make connections with HC alumni and solidify their reception networking skills.

Looking for networking tips?

  1. The HCEG student club will be meeting today, 9/29, for the second time this fall. In honor of this upcoming HCEG Networking Event, they’ll be discussing
    networking etiquette and important DOs and DON’Ts. Again the club meeting is tonight (Tues., Sept. 29) in Hogan 402 at 7pm.
  2. The Center for Career Development has put together a handout outlining networking tips. Access the blog here, and stop by their office (Hogan 203) during drop-in hours M-F 1-4 pm and Wednesday 10-12 pm for resume review and more.

The event, titled Graduate School: Accelerating Your Entrepreneurial Trajectory, will run from 6:30-9:00pm on Wednesday, October 7th at MIT of Cambridge, MA. *Students can register for free! Dress is business casual – no jeans. Full details of the event and descriptions of the panelists can be found here. We hope to see you there!

Feel free to stop by the COES Pre-Business Office in Stein 129E or email with any questions.

— —

Thanks to Catherine Cote ’18, our Career Communications Liason student worker, for her detailed description of this upcoming networking event in Boston. Like she said, hope to see you there! As always – check out the new COES instapage @HCPrebusiness – and watch for future student write-ups of Pre-Business events.

Cassie Gevry
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies


Shark Tank Competition – Student Review

April 1st, 2015 by cgevry

Photo Credit: Chris Christo

For all of the aspiring entrepreneurs out there, last Thursday night’s Shark Tank Competition was one for the books. Twenty-one groups of male and female Crusaders shared their ideas for potential products and businesses, competing for cash prizes and the ultimate reward, being named this year’s Shark Tank winner!

Clever Ideas, the first section of the night, consisted of a two minute verbal pitch without the aid of a powerpoint nor a question and answer session preceding it. The prizes at stake were two amounts of $250, and the pitch had to address these three main questions: What’s the product or service, what’s the value proposition, and who’s the customer? Although six groups competed, only two emerged victorious, and those were the apps Gavel, Michael Carboni ’18, and Tap and Teach, Alex Yeo ’15. Gavel focuses on addressing the lack of political expertise among United State’s citizens by simplifying the presentation and explanation of bills currently on the floor. The app will provide a list of bills per week, a short summary of the bill written at a high-school reading level, definitions of key terms and phrases, and the outcomes of each vote so users can directly see if a bill was passed or not. On the other hand, Tap and Teach is an app that wants to “redefine the world of tutoring.” Essentially, it will provide affordable, accessible tutoring and streamline the process of working with a tutor at Holy Cross. Because the app will feature the tutor’s profiles, all of whom will be Holy Cross students, the connection between the tutor and the student will be that much easier.

Directly following this was presentations for a Serious Start-Up, the main event of the night. Each group completed a five-minute pitch and a subsequent two-minute question and answer session, focusing on questions such as: What’s the product or service and how does it work, why is it necessary, what is your plan to grow your company, and what are the projected cash inflows and outflows for the first three years? All the participants in this section especially felt the pressure as first prize was $7,500 and second prize was $4,000, both amounts designed to help winners make their budding businesses concrete realities. Fifteen teams presented their ideas, ranging from Dmix, a program that provides quality, individualized song edits and mixes for dance performances and fitness classes, to RightOver, a shared-economy, freemium marketplace that matches college chefs with hungry college stomachs. Although each team’s idea was fantastically creative, Studily, Sean Donoghue ’15 & ohn Tabone ’15, and SKRA (pronounced ser-ka), Andrw Valencia ’15 & Michael Casey ’15, were the two concepts that emerged victorious. Studily, a productivity suite that allows students to plan their coursework, track their progress, and collaborate with classmates, took top prize. In addition, this app would allow for real-time, anonymous assessment of the course, an especially useful feature for professors using it to gauge student’s experiences in and reactions to the class. SKRA, which took second prize, is a newsfeed platform that enables recipients of blast emails to manage their responses to these emails. Not only does it allow students to gain control over their email inbox, for once, but it also can be used as event management software for high school student and college student involvement offices to track current and upcoming events.

Of course the judging panel had their work cut out for them, I’m sure it wasn’t easy to pick the winners.   A big thank you to judging panel:

Bob Allard ’91, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, extensionEngine (eE)
Mary Moran ’77, Financial Services Consultant and Contractor
John Calcio, VP, Channel Development, QStream
Ben Kaplan ’16, Co-Founder & CEO, WiGO & 2013 Holy Cross Shark Tank Winner
Tom Flynn ’87, Managing Partner, SV Life Sciences
Davide Marini, Co-Founder & CEO, Firefly BioWorks

Overall, the night was truly a success, leaving its participants confident in their products and businesses and its audience inspired to work towards creating their own company as well. If you did not attend this year, all I can say is to make it a priority on your calendar next year; you will not regret it.

Thanks to Evan Grogan ’17 for this review of the annual Shark Tank Competition!  View photos from the event here.

As always – check out the new COES instapage @HCPrebusiness.

Cassie Gevry
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies


Principled Leadership Workshop – New this May!

March 11th, 2015 by cgevry


WHAT IF? Your boss demands you to falsify accounting records to keep your job.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO? An official in another country expects a bribe to finalize a business contract.


Leadership BannerThe PRINCIPLED LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP is held over two days to guide students in developing leadership skills and explore the intellectual, emotional, and moral qualities of successful business leadership. This will also provide an excellent opportunity for students to learn from and network with alum.

Program Dates: May 14-15, 2015 (Thursday & Friday)
Two Day Workshop After May Finals


Bob Corti P99 P03, Former CFO & EVP, Avon Company
Kendy Hess, Asst. Professor, Philosophy, College of the Holy Cross
Tom Patton ’86, President & CEO, CAS Medical Systems

Info Session: Mon., March 30 at 5P in Hogan 304

Online Application Deadline: Thursday, April 9, 2015 @ 11:59P
Online application includes resume, cover letter and one letter of recommendation (employer preferred).

Have what it takes? APPLY!

The Entrepreneur’s Journey

December 17th, 2014 by cgevry

What 5 traits empower entrepreneurs to create their own luck?

Ray just got off a call from Chennai, India. The call was from a business partner, who now wants to expand Ray’s book of business internationally.  This good news came weeks prior to a different partners’ meeting, a meeting celebrating the past. The three original partners got back their most recent financials, and they blew their year-end goal out of the water.

ray_jorgensen_headshot_tnRay Jorgensen ‘91’s firm, PMG, Inc., is in the business of helping low income communities get access to affordable health care. This mission, inspired by “men and women for others”, has earned PMG the privilege of being a top Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) firm serving the Community Health Center (CHCs) market.  He has written several books and teaches healthcare practitioners about how to maximize their revenue for the healthcare services they provide. And amidst the uncertainty of health care reform, Ray and his two business partners have grown the PMG team from 3 to nearly 300 people to capitalize on an underserved, yet growing, niche market.

This journey supports the modern myth that entrepreneurs can control what goes on around them. It presents a story that Ray knew what he wanted to do after his 1991 graduation.  It conjures a narrative that he knew exactly how to capitalize on the health care overhaul. It creates a belief that he always intended to have a business partner in India.

In fact, the opposite is true.

After Holy Cross, Ray was rejected from every law school he applied to, a non-compete clause challenged his startup’s growth, and his professional musician dreams sank.
As a result of these challenges, Ray is constantly battling an illusion of control. He adapts to uncertainty in an ever-changing market. The first step to battle this illusion is his own awareness that he cannot change things out of his power. The second step is controllable; most importantly, attitude and effort. Ray cannot affect an evolving environment, so he focuses on how to react to change. And with enough perseverance and persistence, he believes he can create his own luck too.
So how has he battled the illusion of control? How has he created his own luck? And what clues can other entrepreneurs follow to improve their chances at success?

The items below outline 5 areas in which entrepreneurs can control and in doing so create their own luck.

1)    Expertise: Be a top authority in your industry
Ray credits PMG’s success in the healthcare industry to focusing on CHCs. Before this commitment, his business was scattered across many medical subspecialties from chiropractors to anesthesiologists. Although the business was diversified, there were many competitors in these subspecialties with more expertise than PMG. By focusing on being a top CHC authority, no competitor knows more than Ray’s team. In fact, as the nation’s leading provider of for CHC’s, PMG’s articles are often the only result to his team’s CHC Google searches. Although this is easy for Ray to realize looking back, how can others identify how to be an authority?

2)    Information Gaps: Fill the information gaps others have missed
In 2006, PMG made the difficult decision to release the two-thirds of their book of business that were not CHCs. Although this decision sounds crazy, Ray applied his Holy Cross history major to research their hypothesis. His team validated that the government hyper funds CHCs at a rate higher than traditional fee-for-service Medicaid. PMG discovered what the competition had not: CHCs are part of the government healthcare safety net with exceptional reimbursement despite typically undesirably elevated percentages of Medicaid patients. This insight allowed Ray’s team to identify an information gap, accessible knowledge that the rest of his competitors didn’t understand. Although their 2006 book of business included many medical subspecialties, this broad knowledge allowed PMG to identify the information imbalance, which ultimately led them to focus on only CHCs. This is easy to identify in hindsight, so how can others identify and bridge the information gap?

3)    Mentorship: Find a mentor to learn from the best
Before Ray started his own firm, he was learning about the entire healthcare billing business while working for a New England start up. The startup, which specialized in the RCM, allowed him to receive first-hand experience from industry experts. This was more than a job; this was a mentorship that allowed him to develop key industry knowledge, while still paying the bills for his growing family. The intellectual capital he gained over this time period served as the foundation to later start PMG with his partners. Identifying information gaps and becoming an authority may appear difficult, but finding a mentorship can significantly reduce this time and effort. While Ray was fortunate to have come across this opportunity, how can others find mentors to learn industry knowledge?

4)    Complex Industry: Enter an industry with growing opportunities
Shortly after graduation, Ray took a job at Blue Cross Blue Shield, before ultimately switching to the provider side to focus on compensation maximization. The healthcare industry, with its growing demand and legal complexities, provided him a fertile environment to develop intellectual capital. The ever-changing market created new problems for established organizations, but Ray saw this adversity as an opportunity. Although Ray and his partners never knew exactly how healthcare reform would affect his business, their ability to identify problems and perceive them as opportunities, has led their team to become a top billing specialist in the CHC space. How should others narrow their search for a growing industry?

5)    Passion: Choose a profession with meaning
Ray believes that everyone, rich and poor, should have access to healthcare. The healthcare industry and the CHC subspecialty, empowers him to create change in the lives of people who need it most. Yes, billing may not sound glamorous, but PMG makes a real impact every day. Although his job hasn’t always been smooth sailing and he hasn’t always had control of the helm, finding a meaningful career has allowed him to weather the storm as he awaits calmer waters.

So how do you create your own luck and start on the path to successful business?

Ray believes the first step to battle the illusion of control is to be aware of it. The second step is to control what is controllable. So create your own luck: choose a career with meaning, identify growth areas, find a mentorship, fill the information gaps, and become a top authority at what you do. It has been a 20+ year journey for Ray, from the midnight shift at Blue Cross Blue Shield to being his own boss. During this journey, he has come to the conclusion, “Life works serendipitously, but the gradual persistent development of expertise is repeatable.”

At his team’s celebratory dinner last month, he made a toast. The toast was simple – “to the complexities of Healthcare.” Although PMG continues to blow their 2014 goals out of the water, it could be said that Ray actually prefers to be in the water. He gave up swimming against the ambiguity; in fact, Ray has grown fond of swimming with it.

Ray Jorgensen ‘91 has been President and CEO of Priority Management Group, Inc. (PMG) since 1998. Responsible for oversight of consulting operations strategic leadership, national speaking, and board work for PMG’s companies, Ray has personally trained thousands from all 50 states on coding, billing, and reimbursement in addition to authoring several books and dozens of articles.

— — —

Thanks to our writer, Andrew Marzo ’14.  He is an aspiring entrepreneur who believes that founders do not find their business, they create opportunities. He suggests that the prevalent entrepreneur narrative is a myth, and believes a new narrative is necessary. Through articles, conversations, and interviews, Andrew hopes to deconstruct this illusion and leave behind breadcrumbs for future entrepreneurs to discover on their own journey.

Check out the new COES instapage and follow us @HCPrebusiness
Watch for our next blog post…

Cassie Gevry
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies


Ninth Annual Women in Business Conference

November 21st, 2014 by cgevry

WIB_2014On November 1, 2014, just under 200 alumnae and students attended the 9th annual Women in Business Conference. This year, Keynote Speaker Anne Fink ’85, COO of PepsiCo North America, talked about “Longevity in the Workplace: The Pursuit of Self Discovery.” This year’s Student Organizers were Patricia Feraud ’15, Brooke Levine ’15, Alexandra Schiffman ’15, Lauren Campson ’16, MaryAnn LaShota ’16, Sydney Pugliares ’16, Lauren Biolsi ’17, and Caroline Keane ’17.

Check out what the Student Organizers for this year’s Women in Business conference have to say about the 2014 WIB event on the HOLY CROSS blog – and browse the photo gallery!

HCEG: Boston Networking Event 10/23/14

November 5th, 2014 by cgevry

photo (7)

The Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies Office worked with the HCEG Alumni Group to host the bi-annual HCEG Boston Networking Event last month on Thursday, October 23rd at the Racepoint Global offices on State Street. It was a fun-filled night with good company, food and drink. Present alumni covered a broad area of careers from commercial real estate to communications to c-level executive at technology companies. The theme of the night was “The Ability to Adapt to an Ever-Changing Market” and this topic was covered by the keynote speaker of the evening, Ray Jorgensen ’91. He is the President and CEO of PMG which specializes in revenue cycle management for community health centers. Ray gave a powerful speech on the art of adaptation in a career.

He broke this concept into three separate ideas to become successful in a perpetually changing career.

1) Find a “Hedgehog Concept”
a. Do what you love
b. How can you be the greatest in the world at what you do?
c. Success is very gradual until you hit a tipping point in which it skyrockets

2) Be Resilient…Persevere!
a. Fail and learn
b. Jim Collin’s Stockade paradox: the resilient and realistic persevere, not the optimists in the world

3) Be “Lucky”
a. Create your own like; be in the right place at the right time and out work everyone
b. Solid support network
c. Good fortune is rarely unplanned
d. Control what you can control: your attitude and effort

Ray’s speech was incredibly informative, entertaining and relevant to his audience. The Holy Cross community is truly fortunate to have such successful and passionate alumni like Ray who are willing to share their advice and story. Next time we hope to have more students in the mix for networking!  Watch for the spring event registration.

Thanks to Matt Campbell ’15, for attending the Boston event and writing this succinct review. Great keynote, great food/drink and great networking! As always, don’t forget to “like” COES on FACEBOOK and follow us @HCPrebusiness

Cassie Gevry
Associate Director
Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies

NEW: Advertising & Communications/PR Workshop

November 3rd, 2014 by cgevry


– three-day intensive workshop

– successful alumni presenters

– career advice for the industry
WORKSHOP DATES: mon. – wed., march 2-4, 2015 (spring break)
two days on campus, one day site visit to Boston, MA
Want to get involved? Email Prof. David Chu at dchu<at>
APPLICATION DEADLINE: thu., november 6, 2014 @ 11:59pm
email your resume & cover letter to prebusiness<at>

HCEG: Leveraging One’s Network Effectively in the Technology Sector

August 4th, 2014 by cgevry


The Holy Cross Entrepreneurs Group of New York City held its second networking event of the year at Bryan Cave on Wednesday evening, July 23.  The evening was a great success, as many alumni and students attended. Professor David Chu, Director of the Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies & Pre-Business Adviser, also attended the event.

Many thanks to those who participated on the panel, including Michael Barrett ’84, CEO of Millenial Media, Chris Nace, ’06 VP Executive Search at Connections NY, Colin Cunningham ’09, Manager at Axial, and moderator Andrew Cialino ’10, Senior Account Executive at Axial.  A hearty thanks goes to Patricia Werner ’97, Counsel at Bryan Cave LLP, who hosted the event at the law firm. Patricia is also a member of the Steering Committee for the Holy Cross Entrepreneurs Group of New York City, along with Daniel Barrett ’93, Andrew Cialino ’10, Colin Cunningham ’09, and Chris Nace ’06.

The alumni panelists focused their insights on leveraging one’s network effectively in the technology sector. With today’s growing tech space, whether pertaining to startups or to the field in general, it is important to understand industry basics. More importantly, both students and alumni should know how to recognize and utilize technology’s benefits in an entrepreneurial way.

The panelists addressed various issues under this umbrella topic, such as how to secure a job in the tech industry, how to reach out and successfully network within the field, and what kinds of tactics both students and alumni may leverage when acclimating themselves to the tech sector.

As always, this networking event successfully fostered that famous Crusader spirit and alliance, as alumni and students were brought together under the same passion for entrepreneurship. The goal of these events is to further the mission of HCEG of creating more entrepreneurial relationships, so that the Holy Cross community is not only a group of “men and women for others,” but also a community of men and women for each other.

– –
Thanks to Sydney Pugliares ’16 for covering this event and to all the alum sharing insights to the tech industry! As always, don’t forget to “like” us on FACEBOOK and follow us @HCPrebusiness

Cassie Gevry
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies


HCEG: Boston Networking Event Summary

June 24th, 2014 by cgevry
HCEG_Allard 61214The Holy Cross Entrepreneurs Group of Boston held its spring networking event at McGladrey on Thursday evening, June 12, 2014.A remarkable number of Boston alumni attended the event, along with the students participating in the Holy Cross Summer Business Program.  This opportunity gave students the opportunity to practice their networking skills and expand their alumni circle in a professional setting. Professor David Chu, Director of the Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies and HC’s Pre-Business Adviser, also attended the event accompanied by several other members of the College administration and the Pre-Business Office.

While the event cultivated that classic Holy Cross spirit, the evening’s host, Bob Allard ’91, proved most energetic of all, with his insights on Servant Entrepreneurship: How to Survive in a Not-Just-for-Profit World. The Managing Partner of ExtensionEngine LLC explained how “Servant Entrepreneurship” is in fact NOT an oxymoron, but rather a strategy that all successful business gurus recognize and utilize.

Allard placed significant focus on the benefits of networking, giving anecdotes and valuable advice that have aided him in the ongoing process of entrepreneurship. He explained how it is often “who you know” along with (and sometimes more important than) “what you know” that will help you succeed in business. However, Allard took this philosophy one step further to note how it is also “who you help” that will lead you to success. He explained how “paying it forward” in the world of networking will come full circle — a sort of entrepreneurial “karma,” per se.

After Allard’s discussion of “Servant Entrepreneurship,” the alumni and students returned to more networking fueled with even more enthusiasm than before, as his insights gave more purpose to the event. Alumni Tom Brennan, CFO of AbilTo, Inc and Ray Jorgensen, Co-Founder & CEO of Priority Management Group, Inc. (PMG), also helped to facilitate discussion regarding these topics of entrepreneurship and networking.

Many thanks to those who helped in organizing this successful event. A big thank you to Bob Allard ’91, Tom Brennan ’86, and Ray Jorgensen ’91 for facilitating such valuable discussion of entrepreneurship during the event.

It is always an honor to host such successful alumni at events that bring together a variety of stories and passions, as each attendee is linked with the same drive of entrepreneurship and Holy Cross identity. The connections made during these events are instrumental in furthering the HCEG mission of creating more entrepreneurial relationships.  Our goal is to foster the Holy Cross community as not only a group of “men and women for others,” but also a community of men and women for each other.

Thanks AGAIN to Sydney Pugliares ’16 for helping to organize, attending and writing this summary of the event!  Be sure to like us on FACEBOOK and follow us @HCPrebusiness!

Cassie Gevry
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

HCEG: NYC Networking Event Summary

May 15th, 2014 by cgevry

HCEG_AlumThe Holy Cross Entrepreneurs Group of NYC hosted its inaugural event on Thursday evening, April 3 at the Time Warner Center Screening Room in midtown Manhattan.

The event was bustling with alumni representing classes from the 1970s to 2013. Also in attendance were members of the College administration, and Professor David Chu, Director of the Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies and HC’s Pre-Business Advisor.

Many thanks to those who helped organize the event, including Kristen O’Hara ’92, CMO of Time Warner Media Group, who generously secured the Screening Room, HCEG-NYC co-founders Andrew Cialino ’10 and Colin Cunningham ’09 who managed marketing and social media outreach along with the Holy Cross Alumni office.  The event was financially supported by a number of individuals and two company sponsors.  Those sponsorships were arranged by J.D. Rehm ’88, co-founder of Mercury Group and Patricia Werner ’97, attorney at Bryan Cave LLP.

HCEG-NYC co-founder and the event’s host, Dan Barrett ’93, opened the event with a question: Why a Holy Cross Entrepreneur’s Group?  In response, he expounded on two points. First, that alumni involved in entrepreneurial activities or servicing entrepreneurs have lacked a networking organization that has so long existed in other fields, such as law and finance. And second, alumni and students would greatly benefit from efforts to raise the profile of the College among entrepreneurial leads in the NY Metro area.  HCEG-NYC would provide a professional networking organization in to help fulfill these goals.

Dan also shared interesting data on entrepreneurship among HC alumni. Using information gathered from the alumni office database, he noted that approximately 200 alumni have ‘founder’ or ‘co-founder’ in their job title. These individuals come from classes as far back as 1945 and as recent as 2013. The majority of these alumni reside in Metro NY, Boston, California, Maryland/DC and Florida as the top five locations. The list also revealed a wide variety of fields in which these alumni worked, including non-profits, finance, and consulting in addition to traditional entrepreneurial fields, such as technology and communications.

The evening culminated in the hour-long discussion with Tom Keirnan ’92, serial entrepreneur and currently co-founder and CEO of ClickPay, and Jack Hanlon ’06, co-founder and VP of Product and Data at Kinetic Social. In January, Jack also received the distinction of being named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 for the Marketing and Advertising industry for his transformational work at Kinetic.

Tom discussed how his early involvement in web development during the early days of the internet played a transformational role in his career and development as an executive or founder of several digital ventures over the past two decades. The concept of working for himself came as a result of advice from his father, as well as the training he received as a student. He stressed the value that a broad-based, liberal arts education provides an entrepreneur not only with the ability to think critically, but also with the skill set to solve problems and learn new tasks quickly. These skills, he claimed, were instrumental to his success thus far.

Jack added that his time at Holy Cross allowed him to explore various avenues which jumpstarted his passion for entrepreneurship. He was one of only four Music majors in his class, and he organized a thriving Ultimate Frisbee club on campus. These activities at Holy Cross required many of the same skills he leverages today at Kinetic.

It was a privilege to host such successful alumni speakers and hear their entrepreneurial stories. It is our hope that they provide an inspiration to all in their efforts, and that HCEG as a community can in the future cultivate even more talent and ideas to further our mission of connecting with each other on a professional, entrepreneurial level.

Thanks to Sydney Pugliares ’16 for attending and adding to this great review of the event!  Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the HCEG: Boston Networking Event  on June 12th, 2014.  Be sure to like us on FACEBOOK and follow us @HCPrebusiness!

Cassie Gevry
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies