Boston CDC Panel Shines Light on Mindset of Entrepreneurial CEOs

On October 20, Rivers’ Career Development Committee hosted an interactive panel discussion on “Managing Established Companies with an Entrepreneurial Mindset” at the offices of Bain Capital. Moderated by Committee Chair Gregory Stoller ’87, and featuring three speakers each with a Rivers connection, it was the latest in an ongoing series of themed panels.

“Our momentum with these events continues to build,” explained Stoller. “With each one our attendance seems to increase, and this latest panel did not disappoint, in terms of delivering another record number of attendees. More importantly, the panelists were great and it was nice to see so many different people attend. We had young alums, lots of men and women and even a few non-Rivers folks.”

The planning efforts were spearheaded by the team in the Rivers Advancement Office.

“I consider an event to be successful when people want to ask questions, and stick around after 9:00 a.m.,” said Director of Alumni Engagement Marc Stroum ’98. “Greg kept us on schedule by finishing at 9:00 sharp but the panelists hung out for another 30 minutes. Also, lots of people followed up with me after the fact. It’s great to see so much energy from our alumni and we look forward to the next panel in April 2017.”

A 20-minute breakfast reception was held as an icebreaker, with the panel itself beginning shortly thereafter. Jared Perry ’95 was the host at Bain Capital’s John Hancock Tower offices. Head of School Ned Parsons first welcomed everyone to the event. Then, panelists Julie Bradley P’17,’18, the former CFO of TripAdvisor; Susie Mulder P’18,’19,’22, the CEO of Nick and Zoe Co.; and Barry Sloane ’73, CEO and President of Century Bank each gave a 1-minute overview of their backgrounds. Stoller then posed questions to each panelist regarding how to keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive, even while running large companies, followed by audience Q&A.

“I continue to enjoy the fast paced nature of these panels,” commented Roger Tackeff ’72. “Things are kept moving along and I enjoy seeing the energy in the room. It’s a great format.”

Panelist Susie Mulder offered a similar review: “I didn’t know how much people could learn in only 30 minutes, but several people commented they walked away with some solid suggestions from us.”

Rivers’ Director of Advancement Krissie Kelleher sees even more future potential. “I think the next innovation for our panels is to involve our current students. Let’s leverage our technology and invite them to ask questions directly to the panelists via Skype.”

The Career Development Committee’s charter is to attract Rivers alumni from any era who are looking to re-connect with one another and the school. It holds events throughout the academic year in Boston, New York, California, and DC. The committee publicizes its events on the Rivers website through interactive media, and pushes them out to the alumni network and business community by leveraging social media.

If you have questions about the next event in April, or have other event or speaker ideas, please contact Marc Stroum '98 at

Click here for a video of excerpts from the panel discussion.