Student and Alumni Recognition

Entrepreneur of the yearEntrepreneur of the Year: A passion for innovation.

Established in 1990, this award salutes successful entrepreneurs who, in turn, are important role models for the students of Rensselaer. Those honored with the award bring the world of entrepreneurship into the classrooms and laboratories at Rensselaer, sharing their experience and wisdom with all students. Given the importance of the entrepreneurial spirit in the past, present, and future of Rensselaer, it is indeed a singular honor Rensselaer bestows in selecting the Entrepreneur of the Year.

The award is named for William F. (“Bill”) Glaser ’53, founder and President (retired) of Com Mar, Inc., a wholesaler of communication, navigation, and marine accessory products. Bill was active in Navy ROTC and the IFC. He is a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. Bill created the entrepreneur of the year concept with Lally School Associate Dean Mark Rice ’71 in 1989, and the Award was launched in 1990.

Criteria for nominees:

  • Must be a Rensselaer graduate who has achieved great success in his/her industry.
  • For the purposes of this award, success means having built an enterprise or series of enterprises that have brought value to the marketplace, through either technical or social change.


Award Recipients
Mark Bernstein 94, Degerhan Usluel '94, Mark Wilson Ph.D.  Watch the video Founders of Interactive Learning International Corp. (ILINC) 2019
Tobi Saulnier 84, 89, 94 Watch the video Founder and CEO, 1st Playable Productions 2018
Jayant Kadambi 85, 86  Watch the video Founder, YuMe 2017
Robert L. Godgart 82  Watch the video Serial Entrepreneur, Founder of Autotask 2016
Paul Bleicher 76 Watch the video CEO, OptumLabs 2015
John Delbridge 91
Jeffrey Stewart 91
David Uyttendaele 91 Watch the video
Founding Members of 2014
Karthik Bala 97
and Guha Bala Watch the video
Founders, Vicarious Visions 2013
Harry Ruda 68, 69G Watch the video CEO, Wing Power Energy 2012
Sean O'Sullivan 85 Watch the video Co-founder and Managing Director, Avego Ltd
Founder and Managing Director, SOS Ventures
Jacqueline Novogratz Watch the video
Watch the interview
Founder and CEO, Acumen Fund 2010
A.P. Parigi Watch the video Managing Director, Entertainment Network (India) Limited (ENIL)
Managing Director and CEO, Times Infotainment Media Limited
William G. Pomeroy 66 Founder and CEO, CXtec 2008
Brendan L. McKernan 00 Co-founder and VP of Operations, Agencourt Biosciences Corp. 2006
Frederick W. Smith Chairman, President and CEO, FedEx Corp. 2004
James Q. Crowe 72 CEO, Level 3 Communications 2003
John J. McDonnell Jr. 61 Founder, Chairman and CEO, Transaction Network Services Inc. 2002
Mukesh Chatter 82 Founder, President and CEO, Axiowave 2001
Curtis Priem 82 Co-founder and CTO, NVIDIA Corp. 2000
Nancy S. Mueller Founder and President, Nancy's Specialty Foods 1999
Arthur L. Goldstein 57 Chairman, President and CEO, Ionics Inc. 1997
John H. Broadbent Jr. 59 Co-founder, CFO, VP Finance and Treasurer, Arrow International Inc. 1995
Paul J. Severino 69 Founder and Chairman, Bay Networks 1994
Warren Bruggeman 46 VP and General Manager, General Electric's Nuclear Business Operations 1993
Salvator Alfiero 64 Founder, Chairman and CEO, Protective Industries LLC 1992
Thomas LeFevre 71 Co-founder, Intuit 1991
William Mow 59 Founder, Bugle Boy Industries 1990
Titles and affiliations listed are representative of the positions held at the time the award was given.

View photos of past Entrepreneur of the Year award ceremonies. 


Women in Entrepreneurship

women in entrepreneurship

New networks and better access.

The Severino Center’s “Women in Entrepreneurship” programs encompass several initiatives designed to communicate the unique experiences of successful women entrepreneurs and to encourage and support entrepreneurial initiatives among women of all ages.


Herman Family FellowshipHerman Family Fellowship For Women In Entrepreneurship

Established by Michael ’62 and Karen Herman to advance the interests of women in entrepreneurship, The Herman Family Fellowship for Women in Entrepreneurship is awarded to women enrolled in Rensselaer’s Lally School MBA program.

The fellowship supports women in pursuing their entrepreneurial interests with a tuition scholarship. Recipients also join the Herman Family Fellows, a network of professional women entrepreneurs, and have an opportunity to participate in yearly reunions with the Herman Family.

Past Fellows Include:

1996 - 1998 Ms. Elena Quiroz
1997 - 1999 Ms. Mary-Hrachoo Boghosian
1998 - 2000 Ms. Suzanne Callander & Ms. Raona Roy
1999 - 2001 Ms. Carla Chiaro
2000 - 2002 Ms. Renee Rosen Rey
2001 - 2003 Ms. Elizabeth Doran
2002 - 2004 Ms. Elizabeth Allerton
2003 - 2005 Ms. Azmat Ahmad
2004 - 2006 Ms. Jennifer Sins
2005 - 2007 Ms. Heather Johnston
2006 - 2008 Ms. Suzanne Delaney
2007 - 2009 Ms. Cara Jones
2008 - 2010 Ms. Sarah DiNovo
2009 - 2011 Ms. Maile Victoria Kruse
2010 - 2012 Ms. Sandy Johnson
2011 - 2013 Ms. Cathy Wheelock
2012 - 2014 Ms. Virginia Lai
2013 - 2015 Ms. Kimberly Cupicha
2014 - 2016 Ms. Nika Ogievetsky
2015 - 2016 Ms. Andrea Scott
2016 - 2017 Ms. De Andra Salley
2018 - 2019 Ms. Bridget Barrett and Ms. Pinar Gular
2019 - 2020 Ms. Savannah Whitney



Lally School of Management
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street, Pittsburgh Building, Troy, NY 12180
(518) 276-2812

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