From a successful career in the paper industry to running a family winery, Joe Donelan ’76MBA says it’s the people he has met and the relationships he’s formed on his journey that he loves most about his work. “Life is about solving problems, creating happiness and spreading joy,” he remarked.
Category: Alumni Magazine
Maria Valente ’84 always thought she was destined to do something unconventional. But something in her fought that urge, and after she graduated from Iona with a major in English, she went on to law school.
“Red, white or pink,” says Suzie Kukaj-Curovic ’07 of her favorite wine. “As long as it has bubbles, I like it.” What a fitting statement for the newly promoted associate director of Public Relations at Mionetto USA, a producer of highly rated prosecco, a sparkling Italian white wine.
The Japanese philosophy of Kaizen is a guiding force for Tom Baldwin ’78, ’84MBA, CEO and president of Benihana Inc. “Kaizen emphasizes continuous incremental improvement,” explained Tom, “and that’s what we do at Benihana. We strive to improve every single day.”
When Anne Marie Harrison ’80 first started working in the wine industry, she knew very little about wine. “I didn’t even know how to pull a cork out of a bottle,” she laughed.
The journey to shared success for Ned (Edward) Morris ’93 and Ben Von Doussa ’93 began in the Iona College pool. Recruited to play water polo, they became co-captains, roommates and good friends. After graduation, Ben returned to his hometown of Adelaide, Australia, and Ned went along for the adventure. There they discovered another shared interest — wine.
“Iona made me who I am,” says Steve Buero ’88 (Mass Communication), president of 101 Concepts in Atlanta, a successful restaurant conglomerate. “When I was at Iona, the motto was ‘the proof is in the people,’ and that’s still true.”