Bill Ackerman ’88 epitomizes how the Amherst College liberal arts education prepares you to think innovatively, constantly seek new opportunities and explore different career paths. He will be speaking at the Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning Food for Thought Lunch. Come learn more about his career and how his liberal arts education at Amherst College led to his unique career path in business including roles in financial management, journalism, corporate audit, sales, strategy, investment advice, and now as the head of human resources at Fidelity Investments.
Ackerman is passionate about identifying and solving business opportunities and problems in unique ways rather than the easy way. He believes that an organization’s strongest assets are often their people and that for an organization to thrive, it is important that every person in the organization feels valued. He has brought this philosophy to his latest opportunity, and his first stint in HR, as the head of human resources at Fidelity Investments. He is eager to share his insights and perspectives on how your liberal arts education can lead you on a path not only of self-discovery, but also a constant weaving path of learning and new opportunities (in and out of business). His full biography is below.
Full biography for Bill Ackerman ’88:
Bill Ackerman is head of human resources (HR) for Fidelity Investments, a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and other financial products and services to more than 26 million individuals, institutions and financial intermediaries. During his tenure with the firm, Ackerman has held a variety of leadership positions across several of the company’s divisions. He was named head of human resources in 2014 and currently oversees the HR function, the Fidelity Real Estate Company, and Enterprise Events & Corporate Sponsorships. Prior to this role, he led the firm’s Strategy and Planning Office.
Ackerman has acted in strategic operating roles in various parts of Fidelity, including the company’s Personal Investing and Workplace Solutions divisions. In addition, he held several leadership positions within Fidelity’s COLT Telecom Group in London, including COLT Finance & Planning, COLT Marketing Development and COLT eBusiness. He also held the roles of senior vice president, business development and chief financial officer for Fidelity Ventures Telecom Group in Boston and Tokyo.
Prior to joining Fidelity, Ackerman worked at General Electric (GE) where he held a number of business and finance-related roles at GE business units around the world. He is a graduate of GE’s Financial Management Program and Corporate Audit Staff. Ackerman was a journalist in California and a freelance writer for other publications.
Ackerman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College where he majored in economics. He earned his master’s degree in Communications from Stanford University.
Lunch will be served. Please register in advance through Handshake. Space is limited and a waiting list will begin once the seats are filled.
Startup studio Loeb.NYC is continuing its commitment to entrepreneurial internships in NYC. Michael Loeb ’77, P’21 (serial entrepreneur, founder of Loeb Enterprises/Loeb.NYC, and co-founder of Priceline), along with Nicole Williams (founder of portfolio company ‘WORKS’, three-time bestselling author and regular talk show guest), have collaborated to bring you the Loeb.NYC Summer Internship Program for the fourth year in a row.
Loeb.NYC’s 10-week internship program provides training and first-hand NYC startup experience to approximately 40 bright undergraduate students with an enthusiasm for business and innovation. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for students to learn about entrepreneurship and make a difference at a startup. Attend this information session to learn more about the internship program and how to successfully apply to be part of the Summer 2020 cohort!
The internship kicks off in early June, when interns join Michael and Nicole at Michael’s Southampton house (if you’ve seen Billions on Showtime, it’s that Hampton house), where they are immersed in a one-day training program. The next day, the CEOs of the startup companies selected for the summer program pitch their businesses and summer projects to the interns. After individual meetings between the startups and the students, each intern is matched with a company that closely fits their skills and interests. To ensure this program is a success for interns and companies, company CEOs create defined assignments with meaningful work and oversight.
The internship program is supportive and comprehensive. Each intern receives a subject matter introduction to business and entrepreneurship, obtains support throughout the ten weeks, and is provided with resources enabling them to succeed. Every week, interns visit the Loeb.NYC home office for our version of an evening ‘Ted Talk’ featuring world class entrepreneurs discussing, well, just about anything they want to. In addition, interns participate in a weekly roundtable where progress is reviewed and concerns discussed.
Students who are selected for this internship will receive a stipend from the college to facilitate their participation.
*This internship is a part of the Charles Hamilton Houston Internship Program. Students must enroll in the Houston Program first before applying. Visit the Loeb Center website to learn more about applying to the Houston Program or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the Black Student Union for a special live edition of The New York Times’ award-winning culture podcast Still Processing. Hosted by Jenna Wortham, a spectacular culture writer at the NYT Magazine, and Wesley Morris, the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning critic at large, Still Processing is, in the words of The Atlantic, “vital, mandatory listening.”
Always compelling and sometimes goofy, the podcast is a discussion between two ridiculously intelligent people about culture, pop culture and current events.
We’re looking forward to what will surely be an incredible evening.
Mark your calendars! Next month we are having our fall community event, “The Entrepreneurial Spirit: An Amherst Alum’s Roadmap to Success.” This event is open to all students, faculty, staff and local Amherst community members.
The first portion of this event will be a panel-style Q&A with all of the alums, then for the second half of the evening, each attendee will be able to pick from three workshop options each one facilitated by a pair of alums. Each workshop will have a theme and the alums will cover that topic as it relates to their specific business. This will be a great way to ensure people get to hear more from any alum they choose and learn about aspects of their businesses that may not have been covered in the Q&A.
We are thrilled to have these well-established Amherst alums join us for this event! Below is a list of each alum who will be joining us, and a brief description of them and their business.
Cait Scudder, business coach and success catalyst
“My mission is to equip ambitious, visionary women with the structure, systems and support you need to launch and lead a wildly profitable business and have a good time doing it. I’ve taught hundreds of women and counting how to leverage their unique gifts and boldly rise into next level, pack-leading entrepreneurs from self doubt and burnout straight into boss babes earning between $10K-$50K in a matter of months.”
Brendan McKee, Silver Therapeutics
Brendan McKee ’07 is the co-founder and CFO of Silver Therapeutics, a vertically integrated cannabis company with locations in Boston, Orange and Williamstown. Our mission is to provide enjoyment and wellness through our locally curated craft cannabis products. ST opened the second stand alone adult use retail on the East Coast and is the only group in the city of Boston with a vertically integrated Host Community Agreement. As a company, ST continues to embrace the #ILOVESOCIALEQUITY campaign and exceed the states expectations to be inclusive and provide opportunities to groups that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs. ST is one of the few locally owned and operated cannabis groups in MA with plans to expand their repeatable model to contiguous states and beyond.
Carlissa & Laken King, Worldgirls
Inspired by their upbringing in Brooklyn, New York, twin sisters Laken and Carlissa King sought to create dolls that spark creativity and celebrate togetherness. With rich storytelling that’s aspirational and engaging, each Worldgirls doll embodies a specific archetypal trait—Warrior, Healer, Explorer, Rebel, and Scholar—so that children can identify with the dolls unique passions rather than their looks. More than just dolls, Worldgirls is the ultimate team representing girls from different countries and backgrounds who come together to learn, break down barriers, and have fun while doing it!
Parker Holcomb, CoLane
CoLane is a truckload broker automating time-consuming tasks with AI and robotic process automation with a superpowered coworker we call Archie. The more information Archie processes, the more patterns and behaviors he can identify and respond to. This includes information with drivers and dispatch, track & trace, driver empty updates, and handing many of the other endless communications taking place in truck brokerage.
Chloe McKenzie, BlackFem, Inc.
Chloe McKenzie is creating a new reality. And she is starting where it matters most, the financial institutions that typically overlook financially disadvantaged population and school districts with high concentrations of girls of color. Chloe is revolutionizing the financial services industry and education system by offering integrated, culturally-responsive financial and wealth literacy programs and interventions so that we can break the cycle of poverty. Armed with the skills, resources, and most importantly, confidence they need to succeed, our communities will be empowered to articulate and assert their worth.