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JWU Alumni Ryan Lester 230x160

Ryan Lester ’05
Ryan Lester ’05 is advertising and promotions manager for the U.S. Soccer Federation. He oversees marketing for the men’s and women’s national teams, constructing media campaigns and directing creative design and ad placement — a “dream job.” An internship with the National Lacrosse League’s Philadelphia Wings led to fulltime work with parent company Comcast-Spectacor. Promoted to marketing manager for its subsidiary, Global Spectrum, Ryan coordinated events for San José State University’s Spartan Stadium.

Outsider, rebel, entrepreneur or team player A bit of a rebel-team player. I like to think outside of the box, love brainstorming activities and I’m a go-getter. I find that including other members within my department definitely makes it easier to accomplish the object or goal.

Favorite quote “Pain is temporary. It may last for a minute, an hour, a day or a week. If I quit however, that lasts for a lifetime.” — Lance Armstrong

Career satisfaction I am very happy with how I have progressed through the sports world. I’m 26 [and] have had the chance to live across the U.S., gain a ton of knowledge on running sports teams and managing stadiums and arenas. I couldn’t be happier.

Industry future I see soccer in the U.S. continuing to grow. The team is primed for a great run in the 2010 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup in South Africa. We also are bidding on hosting the World Cup here in the states.

JWU alumni Profile Athlet John RussoJohn Russo ’00
John Russo ’00 is a vice president for Fidelity Advisor Funds through Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Co. Inc. (FIIS), in Smithfield, R.I. He sells mutual fund products through financial institutions, planners, insurance and wire house firms throughout southern Ohio and northern Kentucky. Before working for Fidelity, he was a sales representative for MBNA America Bank of Wilmington, Del.

Role JWU played in your career It was JWU that first set up an interview for me with a senior sales executive at Fidelity Investments. This eventually led to an internship and then to a full-time job. Had I not been introduced to Fidelity through JWU, I might be in a very different place today.

Impact of participation in sports Men’s soccer allowed me to build great relationships and work in a team. Teamwork and relationships are crucial to my current role and career in general at Fidelity Investments.

Best advice Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth ... originally from Mark Twain, but I first heard it during one of my classes with the late Prof. Frank Tomassi, DBA I can still visualize him saying this today.

Formula for work-life balance I make a conscious effort to work while I’m working and to be with family while I’m with family. Having the support of loved ones is very comforting both personally and professionally.

Favorite quote “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” — Thomas A. Edison

JWU alumni Profile Athlet Jacky Kelly 170x150Jacqueline Kelly ’93
Jacqueline Kelly ’93 is executive chef at Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar & Grill in Boston, Mass. Her culinary talents have been on display at Bravo restaurant in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, The Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Jacqueline has appeared on NBC’s “TODAY” show and catered the Ryder Cup, Wachovia Golf Championships and the U.S. Open.

Lessons learned at JWU Everyone has the same degree in culinary. It’s the hard work, dedication and commitment that will set you apart from others.

Memorable JWU experience Being a member of the JWU culinary team. It taught me about teamwork, being able to take constructive criticism and learn from it. Dedication will pay off.

Career advice for new alumni I can only speak for young chefs, but I would say stop wanting to be the next “Top Chef” or Food Network star. Be a cook first.

Favorite professional websites,,

Career satisfaction I am lucky that I was a cook for many years in some great restaurants. I also worked in Italy, which was a great experience for a young cook and gave me great insight on food.

Books on your nightstand “The Yankee Years” by Joe Torre and “The Foie Gras Wars” by by Mark Caro

JWU alumni Profile Athlet James Norton 170x70James B. Norton IV, MBA, ’00
James Norton IV, MBA, ’00 is senior vice president of Branch Banking & Trust Co. (BB&T) Commercial Real Estate Lending in Atlanta, Ga. He manages a commercial loan portfolio with assets in excess of $1.3 billion, and banking relationships with large commercial developers of hotels, shopping centers, office buildings and industrial complexes across the nation. James is a member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) and was a guest panelist and moderator for the 2010 Databank Inc. Real Estate Symposium.

Role JWU played in your career I have financed several hotel projects across the country and find that my hospitality management education brings added value to my client relationships within the hospitality sector.

Career satisfaction Absolutely. If somebody would have told me 10 years ago that I would hold a senior-level position with one of the nation’s largest financial institutions before I turned 30 years old, I’m pretty sure I would have told them that they were crazy.

Formula for work-life balance I personally struggle with it daily, but I have picked up several hobbies — golf, travel, fly-fishing — which help me maintain my sanity.

Future vision Today’s forecast for the banking industry is partly cloudy. In my opinion, there is nothing but an up side in my business at this point.

Rebel, entrepreneur or dedicated team player All of the above.

Qualities most admired in others Honest, dependable and driven individuals. I am also intrigued by people who possess excellent public speaking abilities.