Brittany Polanco ’12 on Culture Fit

“I think it’s important to build a culture where people feel valued as individuals, supported in their values and able to control whatever balance looks like to them.” — Brittany Polanco ‘12

Brittany Polanco ’12, current Marketing Manager at PepsiCo, was interviewed by Women in Business committee member Margaret Anderson ‘21.  She shared her path from Mount St. James to the world of business, holding prominent roles in Frontier Communications, Hilton Worldwide, and PepsiCo.

The Holy Cross PepsiCo community, from left to right: Jessica Vona ’08, Kristen Buonassisi ’12, Robert Santariello ’16, Anne Fink ’85 P17, Alexandra Schiffmann ’15 and Brittany Polanco ’12.


Why did you choose Holy Cross? Going to an all girls, Catholic high school (Mercy High School in Middletown, CT) had a huge impact on my perspective and growth as a female leader.  At my high school, you were popular if you were smart, funny and kind rather than based on looks or social status. We were still teenagers so we had our fair share of drama, but the unique environment allowed me to grow and thrive.  It was a supportive community that cultivated ambition, collaboration and academic achievement. When I visited HC, it was clear that there was something special about the school and that it was a similarly tight-knit, high achieving community.  I immediately felt at home at Holy Cross and knew it would be a place I could build strong relationships while continuing to learn and grow at a new level. Continue reading “Brittany Polanco ’12 on Culture Fit”

Ciocca Center Intern to Interview Anne Fink ’85, P17

 

Anne Fink ’85, P17
President of Global Foodservice, PepsiCo

“One of my mentors has been a real model for servant leadership. This notion of putting others first stands out to me: just because you’re at the top of the organization, doesn’t mean that people are serving you.”

On April 1, 2019, Ciocca Center Student Intern Sarah Anderson ’20 interviewed Anne to learn about her journey in the food and beverage industry.  Anne is the President of Global Foodservice at PepsiCo and is a member of the Holy Cross Board of Trustees.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you always know you wanted to work in the food and beverage industry?  I grew up in a business family.  My father and mother started a business when I was in grade school and it ended up being a family affair.  It was a company called Mats Incorporated, a commercial floor matting business. My father started it from the trunk of his car selling doormats to businesses.  Little by little, he grew the business into a pretty large and successful entity. Actually, my three brothers own the business and run it today and they have hundreds of employees.  My mother would type the invoices at night and I used to help her. So, it was very much a family business. I grew up interested in business, curious and involved. I knew I liked business and was interested in pursuing a career in it.  I had a good feeling for that pretty early on in life. Continue reading “Ciocca Center Intern to Interview Anne Fink ’85, P17”

The Holy Cross Magazine Highlights the Ciocca Center

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOTTLE starts the Holy Cross Magazine article highlighting Art Ciocca ’59 as he pours a glass from the iconic, innovative box of Franzia.  His mindset, which led to that revolutionary box, is one he wants to encourage in future generations of transformative business leaders through the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society at the College of the Holy Cross.

“Based upon my experience, I think Holy Cross-educated people have the potential to become highly successful leaders in business and many other areas of life, and that’s why I think it is invaluable to help those students get their careers off to a smart start,” Mr. Ciocca says. “That’s why one of the biggest focuses of our foundation is principled entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs who take their satisfaction on the basis of merit — I believe those people create real, long-term, sustainable value for society and for others.”

Read the spring 2019 Holy Cross magazine article.

Thanks for reading! Cassie

Cassie Gevry, Associate Director of Student Engagement
Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society

Ciocca Center Intern Interviews Bill Abbott ’84

Bill Abbott ’84
President & CEO of Crown Media Family Networks

“This is where being a major in English really comes in handy.  I feel like I learned story, characters, and emotion and all the things that comprise great storytelling at Holy Cross.”

Bill Abbot Headshot

On March 29, 2019, Ciocca Center Student Intern Sarah Anderson ’20 interviewed Bill to learn about how he turned his English Major into a career in the entertainment industry.  Bill is the President and CEO of Crown Media Family Networks.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you always know you wanted to work in the entertainment industry?  No, not at all. I was an English major, with a lot of political science classes mixed in there.  I was really focused more either on law school or teaching when I was at school. But, after college I felt like more school wasn’t really where I wanted to be my first year out.  So, I was fortunate enough to get a job in the media world, loved it from the beginning, and decided that’s what I would focus on. Entertainment is not something I intended on, but the liberal arts education provided me with a great backdrop for really anything I wanted to do because it teaches you and gives you a good sense of how to communicate and critically think and write.  All of those are crucial aspects to any job. Continue reading “Ciocca Center Intern Interviews Bill Abbott ’84”

Ciocca Center Intern Interviews Bob Guillocheau ’82

Bob Guillocheau ’82
Chairman & CEO of Ascensus

“We are very much a mission based company, values driven, and a lot of that came from my learnings at Holy Cross.  The ‘men and women for others’ very much resonated with me and it’s something I bring with me everyday when I go to work.”

Bob Guillocheau headshotOn March 22, 2019, Ciocca Center Student Intern Sarah Anderson ’20 interviewed Bob Guillocheau ’82 to learn about his journey from HC into the financial services industry.  Bob was an economics and accounting major and currently serves as the Chairman & CEO of Ascensus.

Who/What inspired you to enter the business world?  I graduated Holy Cross with an economics accounting degree and, typically if you have a accounting degree, you get recruited by what was back then the big eight accounting firms.  There have been mergers and today it is the big four accounting firms. The world has changed a lot from 1982 when I graduated, but getting recruited is what got me into financial services and the business world.  I took an accounting class in high school, taught by a woman by the name of Mrs. Ellis. She made it really fun and interesting and she was a businesswoman who explained to us how the world works and how accounting and finance plays into any aspect of company. Continue reading “Ciocca Center Intern Interviews Bob Guillocheau ’82”

First HC Entrepreneurship Week Ends With the Annual Shark Tank Competition

Through the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society, the College held its annual Shark Tank Competition on Thursday, March 28.   Entrepreneurship Week ended with a bang as the six competing teams went all-in asking for the big cash prize: Bidly, Equanimity Project, Feel Good Dog Food, Pledger, Sanctuary, and Wilox.

Thank you to our judges for making the tough decisions!

    • Mary Moran ‘77, CEO at MCM Financial Consulting
    • PJ Sansonetti ’93, General Manager, Carole Kitchen and Bath Design
    • Roy Vella ‘90, Business Development, Ripple
    • Daniel Klinghard, Director of JD Power Center at Holy Cross
      ›Judging for the Ignite Fund Recipient

In-Kind Services Awards:

  • Matt Campbell ‘14 at Neurala will advise Bidly on sales and business development.
  • Diego Mas Gonzalez ‘12 at General Assembly will advise Sanctuary on user experience.
  • Bill Kelly ‘92 at Exosome Diagnostics will advise Feel Good Dog Food on scaling the business.
  • John Loughnane ‘87 at Nutter will provide Wilox with a Power Legal Lunch.


Cash Prize Awards: A tie for first place!

  • Feel Good Dog Food: $3,000
  • Wilox: $3,000
  • Sanctuary won $2,600
    • the “People’s Choice” award: $100
    • the Ignite Fund: $2,600

Curious what these student-run businesses are all about? Continue reading “First HC Entrepreneurship Week Ends With the Annual Shark Tank Competition”

The Holy Cross Student Investment Fund Wins First Prize

On March 28, 2019 the Holy Cross Student Investment Fund competed in the  UMASS Minuteman Equity Fund.  With twelve teams competing, including MIT, Harvard, Columbia, Georgetown, Penn State, UConn, Northeastern and Babson, Holy Cross won $3,000 for first prize!  Four students (pictured below) pitched CVS. Congratulations!

HC Student Investment Fund Left to right: Hayden Ivatts ‘21, Jack Boyd ‘21, Jack McConville ‘20, Hannah Callaghan ‘20

The HC Student Investment Club, now in its second year through the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society, is a group of 37 students from all class years and majors.  After a competitive application process, students work in teams to gain experience in the fields of asset valuation, equity research and portfolio management with the Bloomberg Terminal on campus.  The students work closely with alumni and have scheduled site visits in NYC and Boston, MA.

“On our recent trip to New York, we showcased this feat and the work of our club to key alumni in the financial services industry.” comments Jack Boyd ’21. “There, the Industrials and Technology Group showcased their pitch-decks on United Rentals (URI) and Square, (SQ) respectively. The rigor and quality of these presentations were amplified with the use of our Bloomberg Terminal and strengthened after weeks of hard work within their coverage groups.”

Thanks for reading! Cassie

Cassie Gevry, Associate Director of Student Engagement
Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society

Ciocca Center Intern Interviews John Andreoli ’82

 

John Andreoli ’82
President & CEO of Sullivan Group Insurance

“With an economics background, I knew I wanted to be in business for myself at some point, so this opportunity gave me the chance to build a business from the ground up and join a firm that had already been in existence, and then have built that for the past 35 years.” 

Andreoli Headshot
On February 25, 2019, Ciocca Center Student Intern Sarah Anderson ’20 visited John’s Worcester office for an interview and to learn about his journey from HC into the insurance industry.  John was an economics major and currently serves as the President & CEO of Sullivan Insurance.

Who/What inspired you to enter the business world?  My path was a little unconventional.  My dad was in the business on the life insurance side for 56 years. And I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do. I wanted to play football when I got out of HC, which I did.  For 2 ½ years I played professionally with the USFL (a league that’s not around anymore). I spent a little bit of time with the Patriots on injured reserve. So, I knew I wanted to get involved in the business world at some point, but I wasn’t sure exactly where.  And I had my insurance licenses, and I decided that while I was playing, I would get into this business on a part-time basis in the off-season, which I did in 1983. It’s been continuous since then. With an economics background, I knew I wanted to be in business for myself at some point, so this opportunity gave me the chance to build a business from the ground up and join a firm that had already been in existence, and then have built that for the past 35 years. Continue reading “Ciocca Center Intern Interviews John Andreoli ’82”

Ciocca Center Intern Interviews Rick Patterson ’80

Rick Patterson ’80
Founder of Coniston Capital

Rick Patterson ’80 was an economics major and currently serves as the chair of the Holy Cross board of trustees and is a director of Global Weather Corporation and RedShelf Inc.  Rick has been a trustee on the Holy Cross Board since 2011 and became chair in Aug 2018. As a first generation student, Rick’s time on the hill was dedicated to working hard and knowing he wanted a career in business.  After Holy Cross, Rick went on to earn his M.B.A in finance and international business from Columbia University.  Rick began his career in 1982 as a banking officer at Mellon Bank, where his first assignment was actually as a driver for a corporate golf event!  Before founding Coniston Capital, Rick was a founding partner of Spire Capital (1999-2015) and previously a partner at Waller Capital Corporation (1986-1999).  As founder of Coniston Capital, Rick drove investment opportunities within the media and communications sectors. Based in New Jersey, Rick dedicates much of his time to the Holy Cross community.  Since becoming chair of the board in September 2018, Rick’s visit to Worcester in February 2019 marks his 8th trip back to the hill.

Most important qualities of CEO/President:

Rick values natural leaders with a vision and the ability to express that vision.  The best CEOs are people who “can select and motivate talent.”
Continue reading “Ciocca Center Intern Interviews Rick Patterson ’80”

Ciocca Center Intern to Interview Alumni for Class

Business on campus at College of the Holy Cross is developing as the newly named Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society expands its offerings to students eager to learn about the industry.  The business program at HC includes the following: Certificate in Business Fundamentals (with an optional track in finance and banking), Certificate in Entrepreneurship, and a minor in Business Ethics, and Society.

My name is Sarah Anderson ’20.  I’m a junior at Holy Cross, majoring in English with a Religious Studies minor working towards my Certificate in Business Fundamentals.  As the current chair of the annual Women in Business Conference, I am interested in learning more about different leadership styles and company dynamics within the workplace.  For the Academic Internship Program, I am taking a seminar called “Boards and CEOs: Governing America’s Businesses” with Professor Dan Riccardi and interning at the Ciocca Center.  My main project is crafting a blog featuring my research and interviews with HC alums that highlight current CEOs and board members of a variety of companies with a liberal arts education.

Check out the following blog posts to learn from HC alum CEOs and board members about their roles and how they got there!