2019 Inductees

Congratulations to the 2019 inductees into the

second annual UNH Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame! 






Christine Dodson '88
Co-founder & CEO
Mamava, Inc

Christine Dodson is the co-founder and COO of Mamava, Inc., the leading expert in lactation space design. From the beginning, Mamava’s approach to innovation has been about not only doing well, but doing the right thing. As Christine explains, “Mamava was created by two moms from a place of experience and empathy.”

Since its inception, it has grown into not only a successful business comprised of lactation pods and a locator app, but an engaged digital community dedicated to transforming the culture of breastfeeding for the 21st century mom-on-the-go. Based in Burlington, VT, Mamava now has over 900 lactation suites in locations as diverse as airports, hospitals, sports stadiums, automobile factories, military bases, and even the Statue of Liberty. Mamava is not only answering an urgent need for nursing mothers, but simultaneously empowering a cultural shift to celebrate breastfeeding and supporting maternal and infant health and wellbeing.

In 2015, Mamava won the InnovateHER VT Challenge, hosted by the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies. In 2018, Christine and her co-founder, Sascha Mayer, were named Vermont Small Business Persons of the Year. And in 2019, Christine and Sascha were recognized as finalists for the Ernst & Young New England Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Christine has also been active in the Vermont start-up scene, participating in panel discussions, guest speaking at Pitch, and guest lecturing at Champlain College and the UVM Sustainable Innovation MBA program. She is heavily involved in her community, participating in various committees with the Burlington School District, and is the founder and former president of the VT Chapter of Hands & Voices, a parent-driven organization supporting families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing.



Joe Faro '91
Chief Food Taster
Tuscan Brands, LLC

Joe Faro is the Chief Food Taster and founder for Tuscan Brands, LLC, a multifaceted venture encompassing both food and beverage operations as well as large scale real estate development.Based out of Salem, NH, Tuscan Brands includes four Tuscan Kitchen locations; in Salem and Portsmouth, NH, Burlington and Boston, MA and two Tuscan Market locations; also in Salem, and the newly opened Tuscan Market in beautiful Market Square in Portsmouth, NH. Tuscan Brands also boasts the new Tuscan Village, a 3 million square foot mixed use development. With a projected grand opening in 2022, Joe’s vision is to put New Hampshire – and New England – on the map by redesigning the former historic Rockingham Park Horse Race Track into a mixed use culinary, retail and lifestyle mega destination where people can live, work, stay, and play right here at the Gateway to New Hampshire.

Prior to Tuscan Brands, Joe launched his entrepreneurial career with Joseph’s Gourmet Pasta and Sauces in Haverhill, MA, via a business plan which he wrote and entered into the Holloway Competition as a senior at UNH in 1991. Joe grew Joseph’s Gourmet Pasta and Sauces into the largest specialty pasta and sauce producer in the nation. In 2006, he sold his company to Nestlé and reinvested the proceeds into thanking his employees and also into his next venture. Taking care of the 675 employees that comprise his team is paramount to Joe’s business model.

The success Joe enjoys today hardly belies his rocky beginnings. After not being voted “most likely to succeed” by his high school classmates, and nearly failing out of UNH with a 1.7 GPA, Joe found himself the architect of his own future. After fighting for a second chance at UNH, taking summer classes and working two jobs to support himself, he now returns to campus as a lauded success story. Speaking at the UNH CEO Forum, he shared the three P’s with students: passion, patience, and perseverance. He has been actively engaged in supporting the UNH Seacoast and Boston Alumni Networks, and for many years, has served as a championship round judge at the Holloway Prize Competition, hosted by the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics.

Joe tried his hand at retirement once. It was, perhaps, his only failed venture. It didn’t take him long to realize that the golf course is no match for the passion, drive, and creativity that rocketed him to his current position. Instead, he spends his time outside of work reinvesting in his community. Whether it be supporting the relief effort of the recent Columbia Gas Crisis, or partnering with organizations like Lazarus House Homeless Shelter and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Salem, Lawrence, and Boston, for Joe, being able to lift up underprivileged families, often immigrants like his own family, is the best part of his success so far.



Thomas Hazel '95 
Founder, CTO & Chief Scientist

Thomas is the founder, CTO, and Chief Scientist at CHAOSSEARCH, a big data analytics company founded on the innovative and mathematical insights Thomas has gleaned through his career in the technology sector. Over the past 25 years, Thomas has held a number of leadership positions, starting at Cabletron while he was attending UNH as an undergraduate, and including roles at Integral Access, Equipe, Oracle, Virtual Iron, and Deep Information Sciences.

Thomas’ passion for innovation is not strictly limited to his professional roles, and he has steered many successful projects to acquisition over the years. These include Yakkle, acquired by CloudTree, txObject and Stratusware, both acquired by Deep Information Sciences, and MyOODB, acquired by Oracle.

His entrepreneurial drive is complimented by his community-minded desire to give back. He is currently a member of the Forbes Technology Council and sits on the board of Deep Software Foundation. He is the founder of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and a member of the Mortar Board National Honor Society, as well as a member of the Emanuel/Andover Board of Governors. Thomas is a past member of the Board of Advisors for Spatter, Inc., and an active mentor and champion of UNH students and alumni. He is currently a mentor and member of the Board of Advisors for ecoText, Inc., a digital textbook subscription company founded by UNH alumnus Joel Nkounkou ’18.

Not surprisingly, Thomas has been the recipient of several awards over the years, in addition to holding a number of patents in data and technology. His accolades include Top Innovator – Database Technology (Data Week, 2013), Best New Product of the Year (Best in Biz, 2015), MITX Best New Technology (Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange, 2016), TiE Top Startups (TiE Silicon Valley, 2016), and InfoWorld’s 2017 Technology of the Year.


Les Hiscoe '87
Shawmut Design and Construction

Les Hiscoe is the CEO of Shawmut Design and Construction, a company to which he has dedicated the past 20 years. His resume charts a meteoric rise through the ranks of construction management, from project manager, to vice president, to president and COO, finally arriving at CEO. During this time, revenue grew from $100M to $1.5B, elevating Shawmut from a Boston firm to a leading national player with nine offices nationwide, currently ranking 52 on Engineering News Record’s Top 400 Construction Firms.

Shawmut’s growth is impressive, and so too is the innovative course Les chartered to achieve it. Since taking office as CEO, he embarked on a complete enterprise transformation. Shawmut became 100% employee-owned in 2005, and currently has 1,400 employees managing a robust client portfolio.

As part of this cultural transformation, Les invested in creating a diverse environment where great ideas flourish. In an industry where women represent only 9% of the workforce, Les recognized the importance of partnering with experts to develop an effective and equitable structure, and as a result, women represent 35% of Shawmut’s workforce demographic, more than triple the industry standard. Les also drove exponential growth across the company and increase revenue by 168%.

As a result of his leadership and vision, Shawmut has been named one of Mogul’s “175 Top Companies for Female Leaders,” “Diversity Champion” by Providence Business News, “Diversity and Inclusion Citizen of the Year,” by Procore, and “Top Employer to Work for All,” by Great Places to Work. He is a frequent business expert contributor to a number of media outlets, and a guest lecturer at MIT.

Les is an avid cycler and leverages his passion – and his team – to raise funds for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Shawmut’s Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) team has contributed over $1.4M to date. He also sits on the Board of Directors for Rebuilding Together, a non-profit focused on improving the safety and health of low-income communities and was named the national 2015 Board Member of the Year. Staying true to his construction roots, Les regularly volunteers his time and skills to rebuilding homes and community spaces throughout the five boroughs. Les also sits on the ACE Mentor Board of Directors with the goal of inspiring high school students to pursue careers in the architecture, construction, and engineering industries.



Harry S. Patten '58
CEO & Chairman of the Board
National Land Partners, LLC

Harry Patten is the Chairman of the Board and CEO of National Land Partners, LLC. His storied rise from Kirby vacuum cleaner salesman to CEO has the makings of an American legend. After leaving UNH to work at Kirby, he quickly rose to the top of his company. Realizing he had an aptitude for sales, Harry turned his talents toward land deals. The success that followed saw Harry become one of the foremost buyers and sellers of rural and recreational land in America. Between 1980 and 1984, Harry grew the Patten Corporation from $3M in revenue to $11M. When he took the company public in 1985, the Patten Corporation stock outperformed all expectations. Over the past 40 years, he has generated more than $1B in sales.
Harry’s forte and success has been in acquiring undeveloped rural properties and subdividing them into parcels sold mainly to residents of metropolitan areas for recreational, retirement, or investment purposes. In 1987, he was selected by Fortune Magazine as one of the year’s 50 Most Fascinating Business People. In 1988, he was featured in a front page article of The Wall Street Journal. In 1992, he was included in the official registry of the Who’s Who of American Business Leaders.  

 Harry’s success in business is matched only by his philanthropic drive. In 2011, Harry was honored with the Horatio Alger Association’s Distinguished American Award and over the years has mentored scholars selected by the organization. He is heavily engaged with his alma mater, being a supporter of the UNH Entrepreneurship Center since its inception and serving on the UNH Foundation Board of Directors. In 2018, he fulfilled his life-long interest in service dogs and through his generosity became a member of the Cornerstone Society of Southeastern Guide Dogs. His passion for supporting youth education resulted in the publication of the book What Kids Need to Succeed, which he co-authored with his daughter, Andrea. His other areas of philanthropy include High Hopes for Haiti, Junior Achievement, and the Massachusetts General Hospital.


UNH Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Inductee Student Panel 2019
UNH Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony 2019