10 Under 10 - 2014

Meet the 2014 honorees.

Geronimo Martinez BSBA '06 MSA '08

Undergraduate Major: Accounting
Graduate Program: Accounting
Hometown: Lawrence, MA
Lives In: Hyde Park, MA
Current Position: Manager of internal audit, iRobot Corporation

Geronimo Martinez, when did you first develop your interest in accounting?
As a freshman, Suffolk gave me the opportunity to try several degree options prior to finally settling on accounting. I then got an internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers during my junior year and that opened my eyes to the accounting/audit field areas beyond just the numbers. I worked at PwC for five years after graduating Suffolk.

How has your Suffolk education helped you get where you are today?
The academics were very helpful, especially as your career becomes more technical. In addition, there are some intangibles I learned in college that not only helped me during my early years, but that I still use today. Some of those include planning and managing my time, teamwork, and presentation and communication skills that become even more critical as you get further into your career.

What is your most memorable Suffolk moment?
There are many, but graduating was the most memorable moment. I was the first to graduate college from my family so that will always ring in my mind.

What is the coolest perk about your job?
You are free to ask questions of anyone about anything and generally they have to answer.

What is your ideal breakfast to start the workday?
Oatmeal, yogurt, banana and coffee.

What do you enjoy doing when not working?
I’m a huge sports fan, so cheering on all of the Boston teams. We are the best.

Issam Chleuh BSBA '09

Major: Business Administration
Hometown: Timbuktu, Mali
Lives In: Boston, MA
Current Position: Founder & CEO, Africa Impact Group (impact investing group, focusing on innovative business models that solve the most pressing social and environmental issues in Francophone Africa and beyond)

Why did you attend Suffolk?
I loved the fact that Suffolk was located in Boston, the number one city for higher education globally.

How did Suffolk help you decide your career path?
Due to its connections with companies in the Financial District only a few blocks away from campus, Suffolk helped me get internships at Ernst & Young, Putnam Investments, and HarbourVest Partners – all really big names! I am so grateful to the University for that.

What is your most memorable Suffolk moment?
I have so many good memories, but my best moment was the weekly meetings with my fellow Sawyer Ambassadors. We felt empowered and in charge of building a community at Suffolk, innovating projects and programs that addressed unmet needs.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
I love every aspect of my job. Launching the Africa Impact Group has been the greatest blessing that could have happened to me. As Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

What are the words that you live by?
“Live in the faith that the whole word is on your side as long as you are true to the best that is in you.” – Christian D. Larson

What is the last book you have read?
“Impact Investing: Transforming How We Make Money While Making a Difference” by Anthony Bugg-Levine and Jed Emerson.

Megan Costello BS '09

Major: Sociology: Health and Human Services
Hometown: Reading, MA
Lives In: Boston, MA
Current Position: Executive Director, The Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement; previously, campaign manager for Marty Walsh's 2013 Boston mayoral campaign.

Why did you attend Suffolk?
I didn’t want to be in a classroom with over 100 students, so the small classes and individual attention Suffolk gave to each student was very appealing to me.

How did Suffolk help you decide your career path?
Being in the heart of Boston, Suffolk provided a fantastic network for me to meet people in politics. I also became close with a few professors that were great mentors to me. They encouraged me to pursue my passion and opened many doors for me.

Describe the most rewarding aspect of your job?
I love my job. There are so many rewarding moments in a day. But if I had to choose one thing, I would say it is being able to create and advocate for policy that really impacts and transforms people’s lives.

What is the coolest perk about what you do?
I’ve been lucky to meet some of the people I admire most in this business, like President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden. My favorite perk, however, is spending time with my current boss, Mayor Marty Walsh. He is the most down-to-earth person you will ever meet and a very funny guy.

What do you enjoy doing when not working?
Kayaking, biking, and I am just starting to get into cooking.

What is your favorite meal?
I am a big fish lover so probably maple salmon with rice and Brussels sprouts.

Steve Douillette BSBA '08

Major: Business Administration
Hometown: Lakeville, MA
Lives In: Cambridge, MA
Current Position: Senior Infrastructure Architect, The Hanover Insurance Group

How did Suffolk help you decide your career path?
The connections I made at Suffolk provided multiple opportunities in the non-profit and private sectors. Having experience across many different types of organizations helped me to understand what path I wanted to take.

How has your Suffolk education helped you get where you are today?
Working on project teams prepared me well for my current job. Most of my assignments today are also project-based, so the skills I acquired in both leadership and collaboration are used every day.

What is your most memorable Suffolk moment?
Senior Week was an awesome way to celebrate the end of a difficult but rewarding journey. I remember going on most of the trips, everything from whitewater rafting in Maine to a trip to Mohegan Sun. Fun times!

Describe the coolest perk about your job?

Travel, hands down. I work closely with our international office in London, and also attend the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas every year.

What are your future goals?
Travel to the six continents (sorry, Antarctica). Run a marathon. Never stop learning and never let work become “just a job.”

What is your favorite meal?
Mom’s roast beef dinner. She only makes it for holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, but I am always sure to take home plenty of leftovers.

Cecilia Chung BA '10

Major: Communication and Journalism
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Lives In: Boston, MA
Current Position: Executive Director, Chung Changing Lives, Inc. (non-profit agency dedicated to improving the personal and academic development of boys and girls by providing access to enrichment and educational programs)

How did Suffolk help you decide your career path?
It was a combination of the professors, the assignments they gave me, and working in group, team-building activities. I also volunteered for several organizations during my time outside the classroom, which I think molded me for my career path as well.

When did you first develop your interest in helping others?
When I met my husband [New England Patriots’ safety Patrick Chung], we both found out that we had a passion to help children and our community. He and I always celebrated volunteerism and felt it would be the perfect fit to start our own foundation together.

What is your most memorable Suffolk moment?
Going to Madrid, Spain and learning how to Flamenco dance. I was surrounded by a group of wonderful ladies and the experience is a lifetime memory.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Helping families and providing opportunities to youth and seeing how much they appreciate everything by the smiles on their faces.

What is the last book you have read?
“The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin.

What are the words that you live by?
“Live the life you love, love the life you live.”

Matthew Dindio BS'04 MPA '06

Undergraduate Major: Communication
Graduate Program: Public Administration
Hometown: South Hadley, MA
Lives In: South Hadley, MA
Current Position: Pursuing a Master of Arts in teaching; most recently, rural health center administrator for the United States Peace Corps (volunteer)

Why did you attend Suffolk?
I fell in love with the location of Suffolk as soon as I saw it. There is not a college that is more in the heart of Boston than Suffolk.

What is your most memorable Suffolk moment?
My most memorable moment was the senior breakfast right before the commencement ceremony. As class president, I had to give a speech to all the seniors and their families that morning. Four years of memories flooded into my head and I knew what I had to say. I spoke of all the great things that happened to us and we all stood and toasted each other. It was a bittersweet day.

How did Suffolk help prepare you for the real world?
With its diverse student body and the various programs offered, Suffolk gave me the opportunity to learn and grow. It prepared me not for a career, but for life. It instilled in me the importance of community and working hard to achieve the best.

How did you first develop an interest in helping others?
I have always had a passion for helping people, and I will drop whatever I’m doing to help someone else. Each job I have had involved helping others and I will continue doing so in everything I do.

What are your future goals?

Right now, my goal is to complete my master’s degree in teaching and go on to become an elementary school teacher. Once I meet that goal, I will set a new one.

What are the words that you live by?
“Take the path less traveled.” It’s a lot harder, but so much more rewarding.

Matthew James Thompson BA'08

Major: Communication and Journalism
Hometown: Simsbury, CT
Lives In: New York, NY
Current Position: Founder/Director, North of New York (a full service creative production company based in Manhattan)

What is your most memorable Suffolk moment?
I always loved the WSUB showcases, walking to class on Beacon Hill, and eating cannolis in the North End. But my most memorable moment was meeting my future wife (Kara Buckley, BS ’08). We met in our sophomore year, both lived at 150 Tremont Street, and we’re getting married in July 2014.

How has your Suffolk education helped you get where you are today?
At Suffolk, I had my first experiences with looking deeply into the meaning of media, how media affects society, and the importance of storytelling. All of these experiences helped build who I am and how I approach a project now. It’s hard to give one specific example because what I learned at Suffolk in and out of the classroom had such a holistic effect on me.

Describe the most rewarding aspect of your job?
The most rewarding part for me is the creative development. It’s really fun to come up with ideas and see what’s possible, uninhibited by the realities of budget and clients.

What are your future goals?
I’d like to keep making commercials and work with bigger brands. Eventually, I’d like to make feature films and work in television. I’ve been in awe of movies my entire life and the current era of television we’re in, with shows like “Mad Men” and “True Detective,” is storytelling at an amazing level.

What do you enjoy doing when not working?
Skateboarding and traveling – sometimes at the same time. One of my favorite things about traveling is spending time without a cellphone and the internet. It’s incredible how much you can experience when you’re not distracted.

What is your favorite meal?
Lobster roll from this place in Oakland, Maine. My grandma would take me on my birthdays growing up. It has one and a half lobsters in it.

Matthew Wilder BS'05

Major: Communication and Journalism
Hometown: Tyngsborough, MA
Lives In: Boston, MA
Current Position: Chief of Staff, Executive Office of Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Why did you attend Suffolk?
Suffolk had a uniquely welcoming feeling from the moment I stepped on campus as a high school student. I was also enticed by the diversity of the Suffolk community, something that I knew would make for a richer college experience.

What is your most memorable Suffolk moment?
Some of my fondest memories were the times with my fellow resident assistants at 150 Tremont Street. We bonded like brothers and sisters and I still remain friends with many of them, despite everyone being spread all across the country. Those are friendships that will last a lifetime.

How has your Suffolk education helped you get where you are today?
I had extraordinary professors who were established practicing journalists. They taught me the basic principles of journalism, which I still use in my work today. I also know that my internship at WCVB-TV opened doors for me, and I was able to do that because my professors prioritized that type of hands-on learning.

Describe the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Knowing that the work we do is helping people who otherwise would be forgotten. I also enjoy visiting the best schools in Massachusetts and meet the amazing teachers and school leaders who run them.

What are your future goals?

To help make my community become better and stronger than it was yesterday.

What are the words that you live by?

“If you don’t like what is being said, change the conversation.” – Don Draper (Mad Men)

Tara Lachapelle BA'09

Major: Communication and Journalism
Hometown: Westport, MA
Lives in: New York, NY
Current Position: Mergers & Acquisitions Reporter, Bloomberg News

Why did you attend Suffolk?
It has small classes, friendly and accessible faculty, and the best campus location in the entire country. How many kids get to say they go to college on Beacon Hill?

When did you first develop an interest in writing?
When I was five or six years old, my mom enrolled me in the “Young Author’s Workshop.” That’s where I – technically – wrote my first book. It was a biography of my dog, Pebbles.

How has your Suffolk education helped you get where you are today?
Suffolk is one of those schools where the professors don’t hold your hand. They expect you to work hard and keep up. That helped me grow even more independent and learn to take initiative, which has paid off in the “real world.”

Describe the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Because I write about all sorts of companies across every industry, it would have to be learning something new each day. I also enjoy getting to interview a lot of interesting people on a daily basis.

What is your ideal breakfast to start the work day?
A fruity, energizing shake: blueberries, banana, coconut milk, maca powder and cacao powder. Just add ice and blend.

What is the last book you have read?
“Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell.