UNH Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over 10,000 UNH alumni have founded, co-founded, or run their own business. The Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame celebrates not only the significant success of our UNH alumni in their ventures, but the values of public service and community that set them apart from their peers.

 

Nominations for the 2022 induction will be open until June 1, 2022.

Award Criteria

The Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame selection is based upon the following criteria:
 

Alumni who have achieved entrepreneurial success with ventures as a founder, co-founder, or owner, while giving back to the community in a meaningful way.

 

The definition of “ventures” includes economic or social value in for-profit and non-profit entities.

The inductee must be present to accept the award and is also expected to engage with students at the ECenter.

The selection process is managed by Ian Grant, Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Center (ECenter).

Self-nominations are encouraged in addition to nominations made by Alumni HOF committee members.

 

About the Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

In 2018, a generous gift from an anonymous donor was received “to create a UNH Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, within UNH’s Entrepreneurship Center, to celebrate the innovation and entrepreneurship that has been in the DNA of UNH students and alumni since the beginning.”

The UNH Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame selection is based upon alumni who (a) have achieved entrepreneurial success with ventures as a founder, co-founder, or owner, and (b) have given back to the community in a meaningful way. The definition of “ventures” includes economic or social value in for-profit and non-profit entities. The inductee must be present to accept the award and is also expected to engage with students at the ECenter. The selection process is managed by Ian Grant, Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Center (ECenter).

The ECenter currently shows some 600+ of the companies on its alumni wall at the ECenter. With the increased success of student entrepreneurs utilizing the ECenter, the Hall of Fame will help inspire students and others to see what is possible when you have an idea and take the steps to move it forward into a successful venture.  Email any questions to ian.grant@unh.edu

2021 Inductees

Kirstan Barnett is the founder and managing partner of KBB Capital LLC, which has made over 50 pre-seed investments into early-stage tech companies. In addition to KBB Capital, she was co-founder of the Element Group, a fintech startup in the digital asset space. It had revenues of $10mm in its first 12 months of operation, before the founders pivoted to take advantage of other market opportunities. Before that, she was a partner in the world’s leading hedge fund focused on fixed income arbitrage, where as an early member of the executive team she played key strategic roles on distressed debt governance and cybersecurity, and directed everything from investor negotiations to investment transactions, and handled high stakes litigation to media affairs.

In addition to her professional work, Kirstan founded SheGives. Names a #SOGOOD Award Finalist by BostInno and featured in the Boston Globe for its innovative philanthropic model, SheGives is a platform to introduce donors to a portfolio of highly vetted, high impact nonprofits. SheGives has made grants of almost $1mm to Boston-area nonprofits. Kirstan graduated from UNH is 1986 with a BA in English Literature.

Joel Berman founded Iatric Systems in 1990 after working in the healthcare software field for 11 years. Iatric Systems provides software, both administrative and clinical, to hospitals in the US, Canada, and UK. When Joel founded the company he was the only employee, and he has since grown it to 330 employees. “What made us unique was that we were a remote office environment from the beginning,” he explains of his 330 employees working in approximately 40 different states and three countries. In 2010, Iatric Systems was named one of the top 100 healthcare companies to work at in the country, in addition to having some of the top-rated software products in the industry.

Joel sold Iatric Systems in 2018 in a cash deal. Joel graduated from UNH with a BA in Earth Science and a BS in Physics in 1976. In 1979, he received his masters in Earth and Planetary Science from MIT. His passion for entrepreneurship grew from the belief that solving business problems can be as challenging and rewarding as solving scientific ones.

Following the death of his wife Sandy, Joel fulfilled her dream to establish a $5 million scholarship fund in her mother’s name for school of social work students at the University of Wisconsin Madison as both Sandy and her mother went to college there. In the years that followed, he reconnected with UNH and visited the Entrepreneurship Center. Wishing he had had the programs, resources, and experiences available to him as a student,  he saw the ECenter as was a great way today for UNH to distinguish itself from other area universities. He supports and joined the ECenter board and serves as a student entrepreneur mentor. 

David Ferran is the CEO of Torrey Project, a non-profit organization that is educating and empowering a new breed of conscious entrepreneurs who are committed to building sustainable businesses while simultaneously creating value for all stakeholders. David launched his entrepreneurial career immediately after graduating from UNH in 1978, with the launch of Vacuum General, a technology startup based in Framingham, MA. In the following years, David grew Vacuum General organically and acquisitively until renaming it Tylan General and taking it public on the NASDAQ in 1995 (DASDAQ:TYGN).

After a hostile takeover attempt forced the sale of Tylan General, David went on to execute two more public company turnarounds before establishing Noblemen Group, a global M+A advisory firm focused on the technology sector. After a decade of transactional work, he decided to return to his roots with the formation of two more semiconductor sector startups, Reno Sub-Systems and Ferran Technology. The sale of Ferran Technology to Sumitomo Heavy Industries of Japan in 2016 opened the door for his transition out of an operating capacity and into his new role as leader of Torrey Project.

Since 2007, David has been an active board member and supporter of the Outreach Project, a non-profit organization based in Des Moines, Iowa that provides food, water, education and medical services to some of the world’s poorest people. He also serves as a member of the advisory board for the UNH Sustainability Institute. David and his wife, Paula, have five children, four grandchildren, and a little dog named Smudge.

Kash Kapadia is an entrepreneurial leader who focuses on building and scaling global digital businesses. As Founder and CEO of Anchor Health, he built an AI platform that champions individuals in navigating the complex and fragmented health care industry. Andreessen Horowitz recognized the company as part of the new technology stack for virtual first health care. Before Anchor Health, Kash launched new businesses inside companies. As Vice President and General Manager of Digital Health at Stanford Health Care, he built the health system’s digital health unit and spear headed telehealth legislative reform in California.

Previously, as Vice President and Worldwide Business Line Leader for Next Wave Industry Solutions at HP, Kash focused on creating new digital businesses across seven industries globally. Earlier in his career, he held leadership roles at McKinsey & Company, Booz & Company, and Sun Microsystems.

An active supporter of innovation ecosystems, Kash serves on Blumberg Capital’s CIO Advisory Board and was a judge for Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year award. He has also contributed to the Walgreens Innovation Advisory Board, the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, Stanford MedX, and the UNH Department of Computer Science Industrial Advisory Board.

Kash obtained an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School, where he graduated on the Dean's List, and a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of New Hampshire, where he graduated with Honors. He was born and raised in Mumbai, India and now lives with his family in Palo Alto, California.

Stephen A. Singlar is co-founder and board member of Single Digits, Inc. He is an uber competitor with over two decades of experience in many aspects of technology, including sales, marketing, support and management, all the while leveraging a complementary blend of hardware and software expertise. Frustrated by the complexity of network configurations and limited options for people to connect online, in 2003 Steve Co-Founded Single Digits from his garage in Exeter, NH. 

The vision for Single Digits was to partner with property owners, primarily in the apartment, student housing, senior living and hospitality sectors, to design, build and support property wide networks which allow consumers to connect seamlessly and for the owners to maximize the benefits of the network through enhanced customer engagement.     Single Digits’ propriety software was named NH High Tech Council Product of the Year in 2012. The company now services over five thousand venues and one million rooms throughout Mexico, Canada and the US, generating $120M in revenue. It has become a trusted partner to some of the largest multi-dwelling unit (MDU) and hospitality brands and has over 455 employees across six office locations including its HQ in Bedford, NH. 

Like many startup businesses, success took a while and when it came, it often created more challenging times for the business. In 2009 the company completed its first acquisition of a local competitor and has since completed fourteen others, contributing revenue, EBITDA, customers, technology and the critical employees needed to continue its growth. In 2012 Steve and his team partnered with Tudor Growth Equities from Boston, MA, who’s investment helped build the needed infrastructure to complete the next set of M&A opportunities. Single Digits has had three successful investment relationships over the years dating back to 2012, it later partnered with Bregal Sagemount in 2016 and GI Partners in 2018, a private investment firm in San Francisco with over $28B in capital, who today owns the company.      

Steve earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire in 1994 where he was also President of his Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. His accolades including being named Co-Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015 by the NH High Tech Council. He enjoys spending time with his wife and three children and has been involved in a variety of local projects including The Key Collective’s #areyouin program, Exeter Hospital’s Center for Cancer Care, The Moore Center and Friends of Exeter Parks and Rec.  Steve is also an avid runner, a Boston sports enthusiast, and enjoys playing the harmonica and guitar. 

2020 INDUCTEES

Tim Collins is the Founder and President of EBSCO Information Services (EIS), an internal business with more than 3,000 employees and over $2B in sales. In 1983, while attending the University of New Hampshire, he co-founded a company, Data Base Communications Corp., specializing in summarizing articles in popular magazines, which was later purchased by EBSCO Industries, Inc. and became EBSCO Information Services.   Tim has overseen very strong organic growth as well as a steady stream of 60+ strategic acquisitions. EIS is now the leading online research service serving educational institutions and public libraries, offering the most-used databases, in the world. In 2015, he was recognized for his contributions to the information industry by the National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS) as the recipient of its Miles Conrad Award. He is a Founder of the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. The Collins Career and Resource Center at the Peter T. Paul School of Business and Economics at his alma mater, UNH, bears his name.  Tim has long been a proponent of alternative energy and had donated solar arrays to several local non-profit and educational institutions. He graduated UNH in 1985 and lives on a solar powered farm on the North Shore of Boston with his wife Emily, UNH ’89. They have two children.

Andrea “Andy” Coville is CEO of Brodeur Partners, a global communications agency. She was named CEO in 2000, the year of the dot-com crash and 9/11. Despite the challenges facing her company, she diversified and restructured Brodeur Partners from its core foundation in technology to business-to-business, consumer products, and healthcare markets. She is recognized for her innovation in bringing science and sensory-based insight to the creative process. Specifically, she developed and refined the concept of Relevance, a strategic platform for helping organizations and their brands go beyond the immediate and link communications to behavioral change. She is the author of two books on the subject, the latest “Creating Relevance in a Time of Uncertainty,” released in February 2021. Her philanthropic and board work has included the New England Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, the Verde Valley School, and work for non-profits such as Children’s Hospital Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, the Grayken Center for Addition, the Jimmy Fund, and the National Colorectal Cancer Foundation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalist and English Literature from the University of New Hampshire, class of 1982. She is married to John Brodeur, is a mother of four and an avid outdoor and endurance sports enthusiast.

Rick is a serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years of operating and investing experience in the technology space. He founded, grew and successfully sold 3 companies. He is an active angel investor in 55 tech start-ups including 8 companies now valued at $1 billion or more. In 2018, Rick was named a "Top 50 Angel Investor" by Forbes. Rick is the Co-founder & Managing Partner of Catapult Capital - a private equity firm that focuses on transactions in the technology space. The firm's most recent buyout was Grindr for $620 million. Rick currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Grindr. His numerous professional successes include founding BranchOut, raising $49 million before being acquired by a publicly traded recruiting company; co-founding Tickle.com in 1999, which won the “Rising Star” Webby Award, before being acquired by Monster Worldwide for $100 million. Rick graduated from UNH, magna cum laude, in 1994, and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1999. He is regularly featured in national press as a thought leader on entrepreneurship and early-stage investing. He was National Co-Chair of Technology for Obama. Rick grew up in Merrimack, NH and has lived in San Francisco for the past 20 years with his wife, Naitry, and 2 children.

John Morison III is the Chairman and CEO of Hitchiner Mfg. Co., Inc., which produces intricate steel and super alloy castings using enhanced versions of the millennia old “lost wax” or investment casting process. He joined Hitchiner in 1983 as Production Control Manager of the Ferrous Division. In the mid ‘80s, he was part of a team that managed a $10 million investment in new plant and equipment in Mexico, positioning the company to defend and grow its offerings in the golf market, even as US golf brands began to “offshore” their supply base. Hitchiner’s golf business grew to over $50 million a year in annual sales with over 1,500 employees. In the mid ‘90s, he led the team that identified a new market for automotive parts, converted to investment castings from another manufacturing process, creating a business with up to $100 million in annual sales, just as the supply of golf clubs transitioned completely to Asia-based suppliers. In February 1995, he was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer, and in May 2002, he was appointed Chairman. Hitchiner has a long history of commitment to community service and support for local not for profit organizations, including scholarships for students enrolled in the high schools in Wilton and Amherst, dream sponsors of the Boys and Girls Club of the Souhegan Valley, and a scholarship for students at CEPS and Paul College at UNH. John is a member of the UNH Foundation Board, the Currier Museum Board of Trustees, and a member of the Board of Trustees for the not for profit RiverMead Retirement Community. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1976 with a B.A. in economics.

Matthew Robinson is co-founder and VP of Engineering for MMS Analytics, Inc. that markets its product and services under the brand Talon. He co-founded MyMedicalShopper (now Talon) in 2014, which began with a mission to provide price transparency amidst a health care landscape. Thanks to his company’s developments and advocacy at the federal level, this initial concept of shopping for medical care has grown to a nationwide, comprehensive suite of products to help employers, their employees, advisors, and TPAs drive consumerism throughout the healthcare purchase and has led to substantial federal policies to enable this transition. Matthew was one of six co-inventors who were recently granted a U.S. Patent for “Methods and systems for managing healthcare costs.” In 2019, the Company was valued at just under $20 million and based on current growth, projected revenue to be over $100 million by 2026. Matthew co-founded his first company, Regaalo, while completing his master’s at UNH, and was runner-up at the 2011 UNH Holloway Competition. He is an active supporter of NH startup companies and the community, donating his time to local organizations like the Great Bay Stewards. He graduated from UNH with a bachelor’s in computer science in 2009 and earned his master’s in computer science from UNH in 2011.

2019 INDUCTEES

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 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 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 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 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.

2018 INDUCTEES

Katie is founder and CEO of Koya Leadership Partners. Koya is a nationally recognized executive search firm that is dedicated to placing exceptionally talented leaders at mission-driven organizations and institutions of higher education. She started the company on a single belief: "The right person in the right place can change the world." That belief has evolved over time into the guiding principles for her firm. In 2018, Koya was named number 14 on Forbes’ “America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms,” the Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Private Businesses, and the Boston Business Journal’s Fast 50 Award.

With a strong commitment to civic and women’s leadership, Katie serves on numerous boards. She is Board Chair of IGNITE, the bipartisan initiative committed to building the next generation of female political leaders. Katie also sits on the boards of The Home for Little Wanderers and her alma mater, the College of Liberal Arts at the University of New Hampshire, and serves as a corporator of the Newburyport Five Cent Savings Bank. Katie is a Fellow at Pipeline Angels, a network of new and seasoned women investors that is changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women social entrepreneurs. Katie was also named as a finalist for EY's prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year® New England program. Katie was previously named a Boston Brava Award Winner by SmartCEO, which recognizes high-impact women business leaders.

Chris is co-owner of RMC Research Corporation. RMC is a national firm engaged in research and consultation in areas related to the well-being of families, children, and communities, specifically education, the arts, literacy, media, and health care and prevention. Her current work involves support for state and federal early childhood policy, student-centered learning and community engagement, and evaluation of theater and dance programs. Dwyer spent a decade developing media and print tools for evidence-based strategies in reading and mathematics and two decades providing technical assistance for the federal government and state agencies in the implementation of family literacy programs, focusing on early childhood and parent development. Throughout her career, Dwyer has conducted evaluations of arts and culture initiatives for national foundations. Earlier in her career, she and RMC colleagues worked with children’s public television programs such as Reading Rainbow, Arthur, Puzzle Place.

Chris's work as a Portsmouth City Councilor, founding board member of the Portsmouth Music Hall, former chair of the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, trustee of the Currier Museum of Art, board member of the UNH Foundation, New Hampshire Business Committee for the Arts, and the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits have all made these organizations stronger and more relevant.

In 2018, Chris received the Eileen D. Foley Award, and was a recipient of the 2010 Granite State Award from the University of New Hampshire.

Peter T. Paul is the chairman of Headlands Asset Management LLC, an investment management company he founded in 2008. He is also the owner of West Biofuels, a research and development venture and Peter Paul Wines. He is chairman of The Headlands Foundation, a nonprofit organization he founded in 1995.

In 1986, Peter founded Headlands Mortgage Company, which became one of the premier wholesale lending institutions in the country, specializing in originating, selling, securitizing and servicing residential mortgage loans. After leading Headlands through a successful IPO (NASDAQ-HDLD) in February 1998, he negotiated its merger with GreenPoint Financial in 1999.

Peter became vice chairman of GreenPoint Financial (NYSE-GPT) and president and CEO of GreenPoint Mortgage. In 2003, he opened Paul Financial LLC, a mortgage loan banking company from 2003 to 2007.

He has served on the following public boards: Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corp (1998-2004), Sequoia National Bank (2001-2005) and JMP Securities (2006-2009).

In 1999, he was the recipient of the Ernst and Young entrepreneur of the Year award in financial services. In 2003, he received an Alumni Award for Distinguished Service from The Graduate School of Management at Boston University. Five years later, he received the inaugural Achievement in Business Award from the Whittemore School of Business and Economics. He received the Pettee Medal, in 2009, from the University of New Hampshire Alumni Association.  In 2017 he received the Hubbard Award. Peter has been an important philanthropist to UNH providing over $40 million of support to the university.

Peter earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from UNH in 1967. In 1971, he earned an MBA from Boston University, where he currently serves as a trustee.

Chris has worked at Planet Fitness for 25 years and was elevated to CEO in January 2013 after working his way through the ranks over the years and being named one of the initial partners of the company. Planet Fitness is a franchising powerhouse with more than 12 million members and over 1,600 locations in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, Dominican Republic, Panama, and Mexico. The company successfully completed its initial public offering in August 2015 under his leadership, and trades under the ticker symbol PLNT on the New York Stock Exchange.

Chris’ passion for giving back to the community evolved into the creation of the company’s national philanthropic initiative, The Judgement Free Generation, aimed at combating the judgement and bullying faced by today’s teens by creating a culture of kindness and encouragement. Over $3mm of funding has provided critical anti-bullying training and resources to youth nationwide.

Chris was awarded the 2015 Leader of Innovation Medal by Philadelphia University (now Thomas Jefferson University), which is awarded to innovative entrepreneurs who have made significant contributions to their industry to better society and the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award in New England in 2016.

David has founded or co-founded numerous business and social ventures. He founded IDEXX Laboratories in 1984 and served as CEO and Chair until 2002. IDEXX is a publicly-traded leading animal health diagnostics company with revenues of $2B. David co-founded Vets First Choice in 2010 and serves as Chair. Vets First Choice will be a publicly-traded $4B animal publicly-traded software services and specialty pharma company via a transaction scheduled to close later this year.  He is also the founding CEO and Chair of Ikaria Holdings, a human pharmaceutical company.

David served as chair of The Jackson Laboratory (ME), Treasurer of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and Trustee of the National Parks Foundation, among others. Among his notable work is a leadership role in the US National Park Centennial and in protecting the Earth’s high seas for conservation, via the Sargasso Sea Alliance and the ongoing Aspen High Seas Initiative.  He has received numerous national and international awards for his social and business entrepreneurship.

HALL OF FAME EVENT VIDEO

2020 and 2021 Induction acceptance speeches. 

3 minutes to state a problem they see in the world and how UNH can help solve it.

Joel Berman '76: 2021 Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
David Ferran '78: 2021 Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Kash Kapadia '99: 2021 Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Steve Singlar '94: 2021 Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Tim Collins '85: 2021 Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Matthew Robinson '09 & '11G: 2021 Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Andrea Coville '82: 2021 Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
John Morison III '76: 2021 Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Rick Marini '94: 2021 Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Did You Know?

Entrepreneurship is in Wildcat DNA!

Over 10,000 UNH alums have founded, co-founded, or owned a business or venture.

 

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