Staff and Faculty
Tyler Geertsen MBA’08 is the program director for the National Blended Cohort of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Babson College. Geertsen has been a part of the 10,000 Small Businesses program since April 2011. His role as the launch manager for three years was standardizing the training of and preparation processes for new community college teams that were chosen to deliver the program. Geertsen also owns an artisan confections company that sells throughout the U.S. These experiences have provided Geertsen with unique qualifications to quickly scale the 10,000 Small Businesses blended program at Babson College.
Kathy provides administrative support for the national academic director of the Goldman Sachs 10KSB initiatives, and the measurement and evaluation director. Kathy has spent a good part of her professional career working in the field of human resources at John Hancock Financial Services in Boston. Most recently as an HR assistant supporting the Global Investment Division HR team. Kathy holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an associate’s degree in human resources.
Susan Kern, BS' 87 is the national program manager for the blended program of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. Her role is to lead and manage the coordination between Goldman Sachs, Babson College, ICIC and the 13 sites across the United States. Susan started out at Coopers & Lybrand. She has spent the majority of her professional career however working in the energy industry on both the physical and financial sides for a variety of firms including Vitol Gas & Electric, LLC, Xpress Natural Gas, LLC and most recently Global Partners, LP. Susan earned her MBA from the University of Vermont with a concentration in Finance and completed course work in the MSF program at Boston College.
Shakenna K. Williams ’94 is the deputy academic director and interim national alumni director of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program at Babson College. She has more than 10 years of experience as owner and planner of two entrepreneurial ventures and over 15 years of experience in conducting master’s and undergraduate-level courses and adult educational training programs. In addition, she offers guidance to business owners regarding entrepreneurship and community development. Williams has an extensive work background, including development officer at Smith College, sales representative at Pfizer, and a program manager for grandparents raising their grandchildren with cognitive disabilities. Williams is an active community member who volunteers with many organizations promoting women and young girls to pursue higher education. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.; The Links, Incorporated; The Academy of Management; the Council for Independent Colleges; and the Institute of Management Consultants.
Williams earned her PhD from Capella University, her MBA from Oklahoma City University, and her BS in finance and investments from Babson College.
Andris Zimelis, national director of measurements and evaluation, has a background in leading the design, development, and implementation of various measurement and evaluation systems as well as in conducting practical data analysis and interpretation. Prior to joining Babson College and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative, Zimelis designed and managed a range of global program evaluations and impact assessments for the Rotary Foundation. Zimelis has an academic background in statistics and research methodology.
Richard Bliss is a professor of finance at Babson College and a member of the Babson team helping to develop and deliver the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, a US$500 million initiative designed to create jobs and spur economic activity through greater access to business education, mentors, networks, and financial capital. Bliss has been involved in corporate and entrepreneurial finance since 1987, with industry experience that includes time at Touche Ross & Company in New York as a consultant, and senior financial positions at Van Camp Seafood Company and Safety One Inc., a specialty chemicals startup. He teaches at the undergraduate, MBA, and executive education levels, specializing in the areas of corporate financial strategy, sustainability, risk management, and entrepreneurial finance.
Prior to coming to Babson, Bliss taught extensively in Central and Eastern Europe, including at the Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw University, and the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. He is a visiting faculty for the Technical University of Denmark’s Certificate in Entrepreneurial Leadership Program in Copenhagen. With publications in the areas of corporate finance, entrepreneurship, and banking, Bliss has an active research agenda. His current research considers the impact of gender teamwork on mutual fund manager investment decisions. His work has been published in the Journal of Financial Economics, Derivatives Quarterly, and The Journal of Small Business Management, among others. He also has written numerous book chapters and case studies in the areas of corporate financial strategy, risk management, entrepreneurial finance, and emerging markets. His book, Entrepreneurial Finance: Strategy, Valuation & Deal Structure, co-authored with Janet Kiholm-Smith and Richard L. Smith, was published in April 2011 by the Stanford University Press.
Bliss earned his PhD in finance and his MA in economics from Indiana University. He also earned his MBA in finance/real estate from Indiana University, and graduated with honors from Rutgers University, earning his BS degree in engineering and his BA degree in economics.
Anne Donnellon is Associate Professor of Management at Babson College in Wellesley, MA where she has served as the Faculty Director for Babson's Fast Track MBA for executives. Currently, Dr. Donnellon is a member of the National Curriculum Design and Site Launch Team for the Goldman Sachs 10, 000 Small Businesses Program serving as Launch Faculty for the Houston, Cleveland, Miami and Baltimore sites. She teaches leadership, negotiation, and organizational change in the MBA and executive education programs there. The author of Team Talk: The Power of Language in Team Dynamics, published by Harvard Business School Press, Dr. Donnellon has also developed two books in the Harvard ManageMentor series: Keeping Teams on Target and Leading Teams. She has published numerous journal articles, book chapters, and teaching cases.
Dr. Donnellon has taught in numerous executive education programs in both the U.S. and abroad, and has consulted to numerous large companies. More recently, she has worked with several small entrepreneurial firms and led management development seminars for entrepreneurs through the Small Business Association of New England, the Center for Women and Enterprise, ICIC, the International Fund for Ireland, and Invest Northern Ireland. She is currently on the SBDC National Advisory Board.
Dr. Donnellon has taught at Harvard Business School and the University of Colorado. Dr. Donnellon earned her B.A. at the University of Cincinnati, her M.A. at Columbia University, and her Ph.D. at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Donnellon's areas of expertise include corporate entrepreneurship, teams, negotiation, organizational change, and women's leadership.
Michael L. Fetters is a professor of accounting at Babson College and the director on Babson’s National Curriculum Design and Launch team for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative as well as on the Curriculum Design and Launch team for the second version of the international, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Program. Fetters was Babson’s first provost and served as chairperson of the Accounting and Law Division. He was on the faculty team that designed and launched the innovative, integrated entrepreneurial MBA program, and on the design and launch team for the integrated undergraduate program. In addition, he designed and directed the MS in Strategic Cost Accounting Program for Lucent Technologies and designed and is teaching in Babson’s Blended Learning MBA program. He has been selected twice by the graduate students as the Thomas Kennedy Professor of the Year. He also has won the College’s prestigious Walter H. Carpenter Award for Exceptional Contributions to Babson College.
Fetters has published numerous articles and book chapters as well as presented nationally and internationally on such topics as entrepreneurship ecosystems, financial statement analysis, women in professions, curriculum innovation, technology-enhanced learning, and pedagogical research. The Development of University-Based Entrepreneurship Ecosystems: Global Studies with Rice, Greene & Butler was published in September 2010. The textbook Financial Statements: Construction, Analysis and Forecasts, 2e with Halsey & Soybel was published in August 2015. Currently, Fetters serves on several advisory boards for new ventures as well as on the Academic Advisory Board of Shanghai Tech University, School of Entrepreneurship and Management, Shanghai, China.
Fetters earned his PhD in business and his MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned his BS from The Ohio State University and is a CPA.
Victoria Sassine is the lead faculty director for the blended program of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. She has taught entrepreneurship, marketing, and finance to hundreds of small business owners throughout the world. Sassine serves on the board of several nonprofit organizations, including the Center of Women and Enterprise in Boston. Her philanthropic interests focus on entrepreneurship and women economic empowerment. Sassine has worked in strategic financial and marketing management positions in a variety of industries, including biotechnology (Biogen), consumer products (Phillip Morris, Kraft Foods), and petrochemical (Royal Dutch Shell Oil). She serves as a mutual fund trustee for numerous investment management firms, including Pantheon, and AMG Funds for the AMG Funds (NYSE: AMG). As a trustee, she provides oversight for 50 mutual fund products, comprised of $100 Billion of Assets under Management (AUM). She also serves as an advisor for several growing med-tech and CPG enterprises.
Sassine earned her MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, and her BSc in business administration in accounting. She is a certified public accountant.