Entrepreneurs in Residence
Sara Gragnolati M’10 has been an executive in residence with the Center for Women’s Leadership after graduating magna cum laude from Babson’s MBA program in 2010, allowing her to be a mentor and resource for students who are exploring new ventures and are seeking advice from a fellow alumnus. Gragnolati is a 12-year veteran in the natural products industry (NPI), with an established expertise in organic, health, sustainability, and consumer trends. Gragnolati launched Cocomama after she was diagnosed with food allergies and saw a huge opportunity to fill needs within the fast-growing gluten-free market. She has worked with many of the leading brands in the NPI. She started her career with two marketing firms focused on representing organic and green clients. She oversaw marketing programs, PR campaigns, PR/marketing budget planning, sales development and packaging, website, and ad design.
Leonard C. Green
Leonard C. Green is a CPA, MBA, entrepreneur, and an entrepreneur in residence at Babson College. He is the founder of The Green Group, an accounting, tax, consulting, and advisory firm, and also is involved in 14 businesses in diverse markets. Green is one of the founders of the NASDAQ publicly traded Blue Buffalo pet food company that is the fifth-largest company in the United States in this category. His other business ventures include commercial and residential real estate, thoroughbred horses, sports teams, other publicly held companies, and several charities. Green also sits on the board of directors and board of advisors for a number of companies and foundations, and was elected a trustee at Babson College in 2013. In the past 15 years, Green has taught two of the most highly rated entrepreneurial courses at Babson College, including The Ultimate Entrepreneurial Challenge. His classes have been featured on CNBC Squawk Box and on ABC networks. In 2001, Green received the Edwin M. and Gloria W. Appel Award for outstanding contributions to the entrepreneurial spirit of academia at Babson College.
As a graduate of the MBA program, Blair Heavey M’89, P’14 is not new to Babson, but he joined the community in a different role as an entrepreneur in residence in 2014, where he is an advisor for the
Butler Venture Accelerator and available to meet with participants by appointment. He also is a guest speaker in entrepreneurship classes. Heavey has 20 years of experience in building and leading innovative high-growth technology companies, two of which went from raw startup to public companies and many others that were acquired. Heavey has worked with social, mobile, e-commerce, and online marketing ventures, creating significant investor value. Presently, he assists growing startups with their go-to-market plans. He also sits on the board of a venture-backed startup, Marlin Mobile. He has been CEO of multiple startups, and has extensive experience in helping to raise venture capital, growing from nothing to a scalable product, and reinventing strategy. He hopes to support aspiring entrepreneurs in their strategic vision and creative ideas. Heavey earned his undergraduate degree from Boston College, and his MBA from Babson College in 1989.
Stephen Martiros ’83, M’85 is an Entrepreneur in Residence with the Babson Institute of Family Entrepreneurship within
The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship. Martiros focuses on helping the institute develop its family business network, drawing on both his experience in launching businesses and his deep understanding of the family enterprise. Martiros is the founder of Financial Building Blocks®, a modular education system that helps people learn about personal finance. Previously, he founded and served as CEO of Summitas, an award-winning cloud application that provides family offices and investment advisors with a secure client portal, for which he was awarded multiple patents. Martiros also served as the managing partner of CCC Alliance, where he helped build America’s largest private network of single-family offices, and led CCC Alliance to the Family Office of the Year award, presented by
Institutional Investor’s Private Asset Management magazine. Martiros earned his BS and MBA from Babson College, where he serves on the Board of Overseers, and is a recipient of the College’s Snyder Award for Distinguished Service.
Gail Simmons joined Babson in 2013 to work directly with the
Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership and the
Lewis Institute to mentor and guide Babson entrepreneurs, especially in designing strategic marketing and communications approaches to their enterprises. Simmons is a trained culinary expert, food writer, and dynamic television personality. Since the show’s inception in 2006, she has lent her extensive expertise as a permanent judge on Bravo’s Emmy Award-winning series
Top Chef. Now in its 10th successful season,
Top Chef is rated the No. 1 food show on cable television. Simmons also is host of
Top Chef: Just Desserts, Bravo’s pastry-focused spinoff of the Top Chef franchise, which aired its second season in the fall of 2011. She joined
Food & Wine in 2004 and directs special projects for the magazine, acting as liaison between the marketing and editorial teams on magazine events and chef-related initiatives, working closely with the country’s top culinary talent.
Fran Slutsky joined Babson as an entrepreneur in residence in 2014 as an advisor for the Butler Venture Accelerator and is available to meet with participants by appointment. She also serves as a guest speaker in entrepreneurship classes. Slutsky is a product developer and innovator, having successfully launched new products, marketing programs, and businesses in both the consumer and commercial markets for more than 20 years. Her products have been branded and marketed by organizations such as Safety First, Schering Plough, Eli Lilly, Kitchen-Aid, Maytag, and more, and she has been honored with awards such as a 2010 Spark Award and a 2012 International Housewares New Product Award, among others. Prior to launching her businesses, she worked for both Textron Inc. and Textron Financial Corporation (TFC) in marketing and communications roles. Slutsky earned her bachelor of science from University of Missouri-Columbia and her master’s degree from the School of Engineering at Tufts University.
Andrew Zimmern joined Babson in 2012 to share his experiences and mentorship with Babson students, and play a role in Babson Food Days through a partnership with
The Lewis Institute’s Social Innovation Lab to further innovation in the food system. As the co-creator, host, and co-executive producer of Travel Channel’s hit series,
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, he travels the world, exploring food in its own terroir. From world-class restaurants to street carts and jungle markets, it’s all about discovering and sharing the authentic experience. To date, Zimmern has explored food cultures in more than 32 countries, including hands-on experience working with food innovators and food entrepreneurs.