Business leaders Alan Trefler, Diane Hessan, and Graham Weston are the Academy’s newest members

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Three celebrated business leaders will be inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs at Babson College on November 13, 2014.

Alan Trefler, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pegasystems, Diane Hessan, Founder and Chairman of Communispace, and Graham Weston, Founder, Chairman of the Board, and CEO of Rackspace, will be recognized for their accomplishments and contributions to the business community.

The Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs, established in 1978, is the world’s first entrepreneurship hall of fame. It includes 98 notable business figures such as Ray A. Kroc, former CEO of McDonalds, Richard Branson, Chairman of the Virgin Group, and Kay Koplovitz, Founder of USA Networks and CEO, Working Woman Network, Inc.

“The remarkable accomplishments of our newest inductees illustrate what we believe here at Babson: there are many pathways to entrepreneurship. We are privileged to recognize Diane, Alan, and Graham with this honor,” said Janet Strimaitis, Executive Director of the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship.

Trefler is the founder, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board at Pegasystems. His work centers on the use of advanced technologies and work automation, and he has received five patents. An avid chess fanatic, Trefler was co-champion of the 1975 World Open Chess Championship and credits his love of the game with inspiring an early interest in computers.  

Hessan helped found Communispace in 1999, growing the company into a successful social marketing engine that helps companies listen to and engage with their consumers. As Chairman, she leads Communispace’s 500+ employees in building and managing the nearly 700 private communities the company has created for more than 200 global corporations.  

Weston is the founder, chairman of the board, and CEO of Rackspace, a managed cloud company that serves over 60% of the Fortune 100 companies. By the time he graduated from college, Weston had run three businesses and developed a keen interest in the possibilities of the Internet. He joined Rackspace as CEO in 1998, and is active in the San Antonio community where he lives.

While at Babson, Hessan, Trefler, and Weston will also take part in Global Entrepreneurship Week activities, presenting an opening keynote at the Babson Entrepreneurship Forum on November 14, 2014.

The Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs ceremony will be held at Knight Auditorium on Babson College’s Wellesley campus on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $35 per person. Register to attend and join Babson in honoring these distinguished entrepreneurs.

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds™. The College is a dynamic living and learning laboratory, where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society—while at the same time evolving our methods and advancing our programs. We shape the leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to create economic and social value. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

By Elizabeth Atwater,, 781-239-6392 | 10/10/2014 06:00