Richard Resnick ’98 (Co-Chair) is a serial CEO who recently led the VC-backed GQ Life Sciences to a successful exit in Q3 of 2016. He has extensive experience building and growing innovative technology companies in the life sciences and beyond and presently is an advisor to many early stage companies in the Boston and New York areas. He was previously CEO of Harmony Line, Inc., an MIT Media Lab company, where he partnered with the famous composer/technologist Tod Machover to develop and commercialize Hyperscore, a unique software tool to enable anyone to compose music. Prior to Harmony Line, Mr. Resnick was the CEO of Mosaic Bioinformatics which he sold to NetGenics in 2000. He was the global bioinformatics software head for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, and got his start in genomics working on the Human Genome Project under Eric Lander at the MIT Whitehead Institute, authoring software applications like Primer3, still widely in use some 20 years later. Mr. Resnick frequently gives talks to the public on the implications of cheap genome sequencing. Mr. Resnick holds an M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management, an M.S. in Computer Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and a B.S in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Sergio Salvatore ’02 (Co-Chair) is Director of Technology for Steinway & Sons. An accomplished pianist who recorded two albums by the time he was thirteen, Mr. Salvatore is an entertainment and information industry executive who has loaned his musical talents to WPI for past events. Mr. Salvatore was lead architect of a start-up while still at WPI; upon graduating, he joined Sony Music’s Mobile Technology efforts, moving to Direct To Consumer engineering, and then moved rapidly to a senior executive position. Before joining Steinway, he also led engineering teams at Barnes & Noble’s Nook Media division. Mr. Salvatore received his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from WPI.
Douglas Borden III ’96 is a Lead Program Analyst in the Office of Workers Compensation Programs, Branch of Planning, Policy, and Performance, at the US Department of Labor in Washington, DC. Before beginning at the Department, Mr. Borden was a Lead Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton, providing program management and quality management consulting services to US Government agencies. Prior to joining Booz Allen Hamilton, Mr. Borden was a program manager for STG International and for InfoPro, Inc., where he supported the US Coast Guard. He previously served honorably in the US Coast Guard and retired with nearly 23 years’ service. Mr. Borden received his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics from Wentworth Institute of Technology, a Master of Science degree in Mathematics for Educators from WPI, a Master of Science in Quality Systems Management from the National Graduate School, and a Graduate Certificate in Change Management from Georgetown University. In 2011, he served as a member of the WPI Provost’s Global Task Force and in 2012 joined the WPI Arts and Sciences Advisory Board.
Lauren Baker ’82 serves as Chief Executive Officer and President of Boston Biomedical Associates (BBA), where she directs all aspects of the company’s clinical research practice and a team of consultants who assist clients with regulatory strategy, clinical trial development and implementation. Prior to founding BBA, Dr. Baker had a distinguished career in academia and industry, including positions of Director of International Clinical Research and Director of Corporate Clinical Affairs at Boston Scientific Corporation (BSC). Prior to joining BSC, she was employed as a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School where she worked in the Cardiac and Vascular Surgery Departments. She has served as a Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and has established herself as a leader in clinical research in a variety of medical areas including cardiovascular, neurovascular, orthopedics, GI and GU. Dr. Baker is a licensed Professional Engineer and holds a BS in Chemistry and a Masters and PhD in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in Biomedical Engineering. She has received her degrees from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and her research was performed in the Vascular Surgery Department at UMASS Medical School.
Ron Cortese ’81 is IT Program Director for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). He has worked as an IT consultant for more than 30 years, providing consulting services in software strategy, design, development and implementation. He has experience working with major corporations such as IBM and Oracle, as well as top universities including Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Dartmouth, UCLA, and NYU. Mr. Cortese has extensive experience consulting in IT for Federal agencies including: ODNI, CIA, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), US Coast Guard, Defense Logistics Agency, USPS, General Services Administration (GSA), and Goddard Space Flight Center. In addition to his career in IT, Mr. Cortese is Founder and President of Legends Sports Leagues, Inc. He founded Legends with 45 players and 6 teams in 2006, and has grown the league to more than 3,000 active adults and youth in 300 teams. Mr. Cortese received his B.S in Computer Science (1981) from WPI, and his MBA (1995) from George Washington University. While at WPI, he was co-captain of the Tennis Team in 1980 and 1981.
Steven Davi ’85 is Senior Vice President at Synacor, Inc. which provides a technology platform to telecom companies that allows end-users to receive digital entertainment services and apps. He was formerly Senior Vice President of Advanced Technology and CTO at SeaChange International, a global multi-screen video software company. Mr. Davi received an Emmy for his work in video software while at SeaChange. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from WPI and his Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Northeastern University. Mr. Davi previously served as a member of the WPI Provost’s Global Task Force. In 2013, Mr. Davi established the Steven M. Davi ’85 Endowed Scholarship to help provide promising students the opportunity to attend WPI.
John Gabranski ’75 is a private consultant who provides guidance to clients in the areas of financial analysis, accounting, contracting, internal controls, external reporting, and financial integrity. Mr. Gabranski recently retired from PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he was an Assurance Partner. He led the Hartford office assurance practice as well as served clients including Yale, UMass Memorial Health Care, and WPI. He graduated from WPI with a degree in computer science and went on to complete his MBA at the Columbia Business School. Mr. Gabranski joined legacy Coopers & Lybrand in 1978 and was admitted to the partnership in 1985. A CPA and member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), John is also a member of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. With his sister, Mr. Gabranski established the Adam and Agnes Gabranski Memorial Scholarship Fund in 1990; the Fund has assisted WPI to attract and graduate bright, promising students ever since.
Arjan “Ari” Giaya, PhD ’01 is the President of LaunchBay LLC, which takes innovative ideas through the development stages into the successful commercial launch. Ari has a diverse business and technical experience in leading teams through challenges of product development and commercialization. Prior to founding LaunchBay, he was Vice President at Triton Systems, Inc., a full service product venturing company. Dr. Giaya received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Tirana University, his MBA from the University of Wales, and his PhD in Chemical Engineering from WPI. Ari is an active member of TAN (Tech Advisory Network) providing advice and networking services to WPI entrepreneurial community.
Maryann Goebel ’73 is a member of the Board of Directors, the Enterprise Risk Management Committee, and Audit Committee for Seacoast National Bank, providing business and technology expertise and insight. She is also an IT Management Consultant who provides insights, assessments, and recommendations regarding IT management issues to senior level company management. In July 2012, Ms. Goebel retired from Fiserv, Inc. where she had served as executive vice president and chief information officer. In this role, she was responsible for all internal Fiserv IT systems, as well as IT infrastructure, operations, engineering, and middleware services for Fiserv clients who chose to outsource the processing of their Fiserv applications. Prior to Fiserv, Ms. Goebel served in the role of CIO for DHL Express (2006 to 2009), General Motors North America (2003 to 2006), General Motors Europe (1999 to 2001), General Motors Truck Group (1997 to 1999), Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile (1995 to 1997), and Frito-Lay (2001 to 2002). She has also held senior leadership positions at Texas Instruments, Aérospatiale Helicopter Corporation, and the Southland Corporation, among others. In recognition of her distinguished career, WPI awarded Ms. Goebel with the Robert H. Goddard Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement in 2008. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from WPI.
Nancy Gray, PhD is the current President and CEO of the Gordon Research Conferences. Prior to joining GRC, Dr. Gray served as the Director of Membership at the American Chemical Society (ACS). The Membership Division included the Departments of Career Services, Membership Activities, Meetings and Expositions, Awards and Divisional Activities, Local Section and Community Activities, and Industry Member Programs. Prior to joining the ACS, Dr. Gray spent nine years working as an industrial research chemist at Exxon Production Research Company in Houston, Texas. She served as Research Specialist in Organic Chemistry working in the Environmental Conservation Section where she was responsible for communicating chemical data and technical results to operations and field management personnel at Exxon as well as to environmental compliance regulators and government representatives. Dr. Gray is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Chemical Society. She received her B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame in 1981 and her Ph.D. in Fuel Chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University in 1985. She was a Scientific Fellow at the Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, during 1984.
Kenneth I. Maynard is a Senior Director at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Inc., with 18 years pharmaceutical industry experience. Dr.Maynard was formerly an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital. His doctorate in neurobiology is from University College, London, U.K., and he is a Fellow of the American Heart Association, and a member of the John Maxwell Team. Dr. Maynard formerly served on the Executive Committee of the International Dose-Response Society, the External Scientific Panel of the NIH Director’s program on Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training and more recently on the committee on the Next Generation Initiative Board on Higher Education and Workforce Policy and Global Affairs, which published a recent National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine sponsored report titled, The Next Generation of Biomedical and Behavioral Researchers: Breaking Through. Dr. Maynard’s leadership experience positions him to combine academic and pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) and business knowledge. He previously led a research laboratory centered on cerebral ischemia and stroke as an Assistant Professor in Surgery (Neurosurgery) at Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School.
Linda McGoldrick is a global business strategy leader and policy expert in the health care and life sciences industries. She has spent her career working at the CEO team level, in senior executive and advisory roles – as a consultant and independent board member – for numerous European and North American companies. She brings to her board and advisory assignments broad-based industry knowledge and strategic acumen in building and restructuring multi-country organizations; as well as global business and product development; marketing and new venture promotion; financial and turn-around management; and mergers, acquisitions and both private and public partnerships and alliances. Ms. McGoldrick is currently a senior advisor and consultant with The Cambridge Management Group (CMG). In addition, with over two decades as Chairman of Financial Health Associates International (FHAI), a global strategy and board advisory firm, she built a business that consults at the highest levels for health care provider, pharmaceutical and medical devices, insurance, biotechnology, government and nonprofit organizations. Ms. McGoldrick holds a Management MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; a MSW in Health Care from the University of Pennsylvania; and a BA in Sociology from Ohio Wesleyan University. She holds Masters Professional Director certification from the American College of Corporate Directors; she is a faculty member for the National Association of Corporate Directors and a member of the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN). Ms. McGoldrick has been named a “Top 100 Board Director” by the Financial Times, and is currently a member of the WPI Board of Trustees.
Craig C. Mello, PhD is the Blais University Chair in Molecular Medicine and co-director of the RNA Therapeutics Institute at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) in Worcester, Massachusetts. He was also designated an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2000, the third HHMI researcher selected at UMMS. HHMI is a $13 billion medical research organization that employs more than 350 eminent researchers at 72 medical schools, universities and research institutes worldwide. Dr. Mello holds his B.S. in biochemistry from Brown University and his Ph.D. in Cellular and Developmental Biology from Harvard University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center before coming to UMMS in 1994. He was also a 1995 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Mello and his colleague Andrew Fire, PhD, of Stanford University, received the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries related to RNA interference (RNAi). Dr. Mello and Dr. Fire, formerly of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, demonstrated that a certain form of RNA had the unanticipated property of silencing—or interfering with—the expression of a gene whose coding sequence of DNA was similar to that of the RNA they tested. The RNAi mechanism—a natural response of an organism to double-stranded RNA, of which many viruses are comprised—destroys the gene products that a virus needs to replicate itself, essentially halting the progression of the invading viral infection.
Marilyn Pifer, PhD is Director of Capacity Building Programs at CRDF Global, an NGO promoting science cooperation in developing and transitioning countries in Eurasia, the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. She oversees programs to increase research in higher education, provide training in technical and professional skills, and promote chemical, biological and nuclear security culture. In 2006, she served as the education expert on a National Research Council committee studying the scientific status and potential of Kazakhstan. Prior to joining CRDF Global in 2001, Dr. Pifer served in the US Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs with responsibilities involving cooperation in Russia, South Asia and the Middle East. As a Research Fellow in Policy Research in Engineering, Science & Technology (PREST, University of Manchester, UK), she studied the influence of EU Framework programs on science cooperation with the U.S. She holds BS and MS degrees in Biology from Stanford University and a PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics from The Johns Hopkins University Medical School. Dr. Pifer previously served as a member of the WPI Provost’s Global Task Force.
Chad Pytel ’02 is the founder and CEO of thoughtbot, a web and mobile product design and development firm with small teams of developers and designers in 9 cities around the world. thoughtbot has launched hundreds of new products, and works with organizations of all sizes, from startups to multinational corporations, to design, build, and grow great products. They are also the creators of many popular open source projects, books, and several of their own products. Chad leads the day-to-day operations of thoughtbot, including human resources, hiring, and growth, and is responsible for overall strategy for the company. He has fifteen years of experience in software development and services, and has co-authored two books: “Rails AntiPatterns” and “Pro ActiveRecord for Ruby”. Chad graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) with bachelor of science degrees in both Computer Science and Humanities & Arts (Drama/Theatre).
Eliza Jane Reilly is Director of Programs at the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement. She is the former Director of the Phillips Museum of Art at Franklin & Marshall College where she also served as adjunct faculty in the American Studies program. Previously she was Director of Programs in the Office of Science, Health, and Student Engagement at the Association of American Colleges and Universities. From 1998 to 2003 she also served as the Executive Director of the American Conference of Academic Deans, a national organization of chief academic officers and other academic administrators committed to improving undergraduate liberal education. Dr. Reilly received an MA in the History of Art and a PhD in US History from Rutgers University. Dr. Reilly has been a Senior Scholar with the NSF funded project Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER) since 2001 and is the general editor of the SENCER Models series and Co-Editor of the journal Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International Journal.
Joseph Rock ’90 serves as Clinical Innovation Scientist in Philips’ Patient Care and Monitoring Systems Medical Affairs office. Mr. Rock started his career at Hewlett-Packard Medical Products Group, then moving to Philips as part of their acquisition of Agilent Technologies. He has spent more than 28 years in the medical device and informatics industries, working across a wide range of technologies and solutions, in a variety of engineering and management roles. Mr. Rock holds a number of U.S. and worldwide patents, and had his work published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at major cardiology conferences. His primary interests are in clinical decision support and big data analytics. Mr. Rock holds a B.S. in Computer Science with interests in Biomedical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and is currently pursuing his masters in healthcare informatics.
Sharon A. Savage, M.D. ’91 is the Chief of the Clinical Genetics Branch in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). She joined the Clinical Genetics Branch, DCEG, NCI in 2006 as a tenure-track investigator and was awarded scientific tenure by the NIH and appointed senior investigator in 2012 and subsequently became branch chief. Dr. Savage received her B.S. in Biochemistry from WPI and her M.D. from the University of Vermont College of Medicine. She completed residency training in Pediatrics at Children’s National Medical Center, in Washington DC, and a fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the NCI Pediatric Oncology Branch and Johns Hopkins University. She is board-certified in both Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology-Oncology. Dr. Savage is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. Her current research is focused on the genetic and molecular epidemiology of telomere biology, pediatric cancer etiology, and inherited cancer predisposition syndromes. She leads clinical, genetic, and epidemiologic studies of individuals at high risk of cancer to improve understanding of cancer etiology and advance clinical care.
Naveen Selvadurai ’02 is Co-founder, Director and Advisor of Foursquare Labs, Inc. He stepped down from day to day operations in March 2012. Founded in 2009, Foursquare is a venture funded smart telephone applications company. The company’s product is a social network friend-finder, social city guide and a game that challenges users to experience new things, and rewards them for doing so. Mr. Selvadurai is now a Partner at Expa, a startup studio working on launching new products. He has also been an Adjunct Professor at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art since 2009. Prior to founding Foursquare, he was Lead Architect and VP of Engineering at Socialight located in New York, NY. Founded in 2005, Socialight is a location-based social media platform for smart phone and web based applications. Previously he was a Senior Software Architect with the Global Digital Business group at Sony Music Entertainment. In this role, he oversaw and developed various applications that dealt with content management and distribution of mobile products and was the lead developer of Sony's Music Box mobile application. Before Sony, he consulted for New York-based Run Tones which was later acquired by Sony in 2002 and worked at Sun Microsystems and Lucent Technologies while at WPI.
Kimberly Warren is a Portfolio Director at MITRE. In her role as portfolio director, Ms. Warren leads MITRE’s strategy to identify, shape, accelerate, and implement research, development, and critical program work for the Department of Health and Human Services. She advises leaders across government, academia, and private industry to bring strategic and practical solutions to meet our nation’s goals to transform health and healthcare. Having worked across multiple federally funded research centers (FFRDCs) at MITRE over the last 25 years, Ms. Warren brings that expertise to bear for the health domain. Earlier, Ms. Warren was the director of MITRE’s health-related research and technical capability development. She was responsible for broad academic, industry, and sponsor stakeholder partnerships to accelerate innovation in health and healthcare. She served as chief technologist of the Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute FFRDC, developing independent and sponsor-directed research program to advance the homeland security enterprise. As chief architect for MITRE’s Center for Advanced Aviation System Development, she played a key role in evolving software processes and establishing strategic directions for software modeling, simulation, and laboratory assets that still serve the Federal Aviation Administration and the aviation community. Ms. Warren spent several years in industry as a software product development lead for Fortune 500 and international clients. She was the global director for Electronic Product Development at General Motors. Ms. Warren earned her B.S. in computer science from Syracuse University in New York and a M.Sc. in artificial intelligence from Edinburgh University in Scotland.
Michael Wallent ’91 works at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington and is a Director of Program Management in the Cloud + Enterprise division. His team develops services to help companies manage employee use of mobile devices. Mr. Wallent joined Microsoft in 1996 and worked on Internet Explorer, Windows and Windows Server. In 2001, he testified in front of Congress (commerce subcommittee) for Microsoft regarding Internet privacy issues. He lives in Seattle with his wife Anh, and kids Peri, John and Daniel. Even though he's been in Seattle for almost 20 years now, he's a die-hard Pats and Sox fan (root for where you are from!). Mr. Wallent grew up mostly in Rhode Island, where his parents taught him about east coast perseverance and how to quickly clean lobsters. He's often found in the mountains, spending time with skis and friends. He graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1991 with a B.S. in Computer Science.
Kristin Deming Wheeler ’93 currently manages the enforcement activities and golf ball patent development for the Acushnet Company, a Fairhaven, Massachusetts manufacturer of golf equipment, shoes and apparel. Prior to her current assignment with Acushnet she managed the golf club patent portfolio for over 5 years, working with the Carlsbad, California office and working extensively with the R&D organization. Ms. Wheeler joined the Acushnet Company in 2004 after 4 years at the Boston IP specialty law firm Wolf Greenfield PC. Her principle work was writing and prosecuting patent applications and clearing new products across several industries including kitchen products, medical devices and sporting goods. Ms. Wheeler started her legal career at Pennie and Edmonds’ Washington, D.C. office working with clients on patent prosecution, clearances and litigation. She has a BS degree in mechanical engineering from WPI as well as a JD from Franklin Pierce Law Center, which has recently merged into the University of New Hampshire system. She also holds a LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law from Franklin Pierce. Ms. Wheeler is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office as well as various federal and state courts.
David Johnson ’82 is CEO and President of Jenne Distributors, a leading value-added distributor of business telephony, data, audio and video conferencing, and security technology products, including equipment and software for the SMB and Enterprise markets. He previously held many senior executive positions at Avaya, with his most recent role as Senior Vice President of Global Alliances and Channel. Before his work with Avaya, Mr. Johnson was Senior Vice President, International Sales and Service for Lucent Technologies' Enterprise Networks business, where he was responsible for all sales and service operations outside the United States. Mr. Johnson also served as Lucent's Business Communications Systems (BCS) Regional President for the Asia/Pacific region, residing in Hong Kong for three years. Before his assignment in Hong Kong, Mr. Johnson was Strategic Marketing Director for BCS. Mr. Johnson began his communications career in 1982 with New England Telephone, where he worked in the Field Services Organization supporting business customers. Mr. Johnson earned his bachelor's degree in Engineering from WPI in 1982. He previously served as a member of the WPI Provost’s Global Task Force. In 2013, Mr. Johnson established the David P. Johnson ’82 Global Fund to support WPI’s strategic initiatives in Asia.
Emeritus Members (Life Sciences Advisory Board)
Marni Hall ’97 serves as Director of Regulatory Science, Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration. In this role, Dr. Hall leads post-market drug safety activities focused on adverse event signal detection and characterization. Dr. Hall leads pharmacoepidemiology research programs, pharmacovigilance innovative tool development efforts, and regulatory science policy initiatives to support post-market drug safety. Prior to being selected as Director of Regulatory Science, Dr. Hall served as Program Director for Regulatory Research in the Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology, and as Senior Analyst conducting strategic planning for translational sciences and for data standards in the Office of Planning and Informatics. Before joining FDA in 2008, Dr. Hall was a Program Director at Pfizer, in the Public Health Group of External Medical Affairs. Dr. Hall continues to lecture at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where she has been an adjunct professor since 2007. Dr. Hall holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and in society, technology, and policy from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a master’s of public health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, and a master’s in biochemistry and Ph.D. in toxicology from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
David LaPré ’74 is currently Head of Pharma Global Technical Operations at Roche. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company and the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics. Technical Operations at Roche is a global organization tasked with ensuring the availability of Roche medicines worldwide. This involves activities ranging from the scale-up of production processes for new molecules from lab to commercial scale; to manufacturing; and, ultimately to the delivery of medicines to more than 150 countries around the world. Mr. LaPré joined Roche in 1997 as Vice President of Materials Management for the Pharmaceuticals division in the US. He moved to Basel in 2002 where he led a major supply chain initiative and subsequently became Head of Global Supply Chain. Mr. LaPré returned to the US in 2007 to head Technical Operations for North America. After a special assignment as program leader for the Roche-Genentech integration, he moved to the Diagnostics division to run Global Operations in 2010. Mr. LaPré moved back to Switzerland in 2013 to assume his current role heading Pharma Global Technical Operations. Prior to joining Roche, he held various operations, supply chain and general management roles with Proctor & Gamble and other consumer packaged goods companies. Mr. LaPré received a Bachelor of Science degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts and an MBA from New York University.