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The Cubicle to the Corner Office

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
6:00 pm
Gore Place - The Carriage House
52 Gore Street
Waltham, MA
United States

Do you have what it takes to get to the corner office? Do you want or need some advice on how to get there? Join us for this latest installment of “The Cubicle to the Corner Office” to learn from a panel of alumni speakers who have been there.

During this event, our panelists will talk about their personal experiences and answer questions about the skills and steps that can help you fast track your career.


  • Paul Gaynor ’87 – CEO & Co-Founder of Longroad Energy
  • Melissa Besse ’91 – Managing Director, Accenture Technology, Global HP Alliance Lead at Accenture
  • Paul Liberman ’05 – COO of DraftKings

Our panelists will discuss navigating corporate culture, building a network of contacts and allies, developing a personal brand, leading and succeeding, and much more. The program will be moderated by Steve Taylor, dean of WPI's acclaimed Foisie Business School.


Space is limited. Advanced registration is requested and encouraged.



About the Panelists

Paul Gaynor ’87, Mechanical Engineering
Paul Gaynor has more than 25 years of experience in the energy field, encompassing leadership and finance roles in the energy, power, pipeline, and renewable energy sectors.  In addition, he has been engaged in several landmark energy and power transactions and financings across the globe. Paul co-founded Longroad Energy with his former First Wind colleagues.  At Longroad, he is responsible for the strategic direction and overall management of Longroad’s businesses.

Prior to co-founding Longroad, Paul was the CEO, an investor, and on the board of directors of First Wind – he co-founded First Wind in 2004 and grew the company from a clean sheet of paper to $1.5 billion equity value at sale. When First Wind was acquired by SunEdison and an affiliate in 2015, Paul became the EVP of SunEdison, responsible for its Global Utility scale development business. He has also held senior roles at Noble Power Assets, LLC, Singapore Power Group, PSG International, and in GE Capital’s Structured Finance Group.

Melissa Besse ’91, Management Engineering
Melissa Besse is a Managing Director in Accenture Technology responsible for the Intelligent Cloud and Infrastructure Ecosystem Partners. In this role she develops end-to-end high value precision plays with partners addressing the hybrid cloud, network and digital workplace market. She is also the lead for the Accenture HPE Business Group responsible for growth of a new hybrid cloud play worldwide. 

With over 25 years of experience in building differentiated end-to-end solutions, Melissa brings both sales and business process outsourcing depth specifically in the cloud, procurement, and learning areas. Previous to her current role, she was responsible for accelerating the growth of large transformational sales in NA. Melissa resides in Longmeadow, Massachusetts with her husband and three kids.

Paul Liberman ’05, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Paul Liberman is Chief Operations Officer of DraftKings, the innovative sports-tech media entertainment platform that is changing the way consumers around the world engage with and consume sports. Liberman co-founded DraftKings in 2012 and oversees all of the company’s product development while leading efforts in maintaining the company’s current product set. Liberman has acted as both CTO and CMO before moving into his current position as COO, and currently leads a team of 150+ people.

Paul’s work has been recognized by the media and his peers, both nationally and locally in the Boston region. Among his recent accolades, he was named to Boston Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list of the most influential people in Boston and under his leadership, DraftKings has been named to CNBC’s “Disruptor 50,” is a three-time winner of Bostinno’s “50 On Fire” award, has won “Best Daily Fantasy Sports Mobile App” and “Best Mobile App-Service or Tool (DK Live)” by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and “Best Mobile Website & App” by the American Business Association. He resides with his wife and twin sons in the Boston area.

Steven Taylor, Dean ad Interim, Foisie Business School (Moderator)
Steve Taylor is a professor of leadership and creativity and the interim dean at the WPI Foisie Business School. His research is focused in two areas: organizational aesthetics and reflective practice. The former applies art-based scholarship and practice to management and organizations. The latter focuses on the ability to analyze our own actions and learn how to be more effective, ethical, and artful as managers and leaders.

His research has been published in academic journals including Organization Studies, Leadership Quarterly, Leadership, Academy of Management Learning and Education, and the Journal of Management Studies. Taylor is the author of the books: Leadership Craft, Leadership Art; You’re a Genius: Using Reflective Practice to Master the Craft of Leadership; and Staging Organization: Plays as Critical Commentaries on Workplace Life. He is also the founding editor of the journal Organizational Aesthetics.

Steve is also a playwright, whose plays have been performed in England, France, Poland, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Italy, Australia, and the United States. He received a PhD in management from Boston College; an MA in performing arts from Emerson College; and a BS in humanities from MIT.

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