People in Business: July 5, 2021 issue


American International College announces the following leadership team promotions and additions.

Nicolle Cestero has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President and retains her title of Chief of Staff. Cestero joined the college in 2011 as deputy vice president of human resources and has assumed increasing responsibility and scope.

Cestero will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the College and will continue to act as an advisor to the President. Cestero will oversee the college’s legal affairs and support presidential and institutional initiatives to ensure project deadlines are met and desired results are achieved.

Cestero holds a master’s degree in organizational organizational psychology from the University of West Florida and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mount Holyoke College. She is a certified specialist for human resources and has been appointed as a specialist by the company for personnel management. Cestero is currently working on a master’s degree in business administration at the AIC.

Velmer S. Burton Jr. joins the college as executive vice president of academic affairs. He will oversee bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the School of Business, Arts and Sciences, School of Education and School of Health Sciences.

Most recently, he was Vice Chancellor of University Strategy and Performance and Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He also served as the university’s chief academic officer, overseeing 164 academic programs supported by 500 full-time faculty.

Burton received a certificate from Harvard University, Graduate School of Education, 2004 Harvard Seminar for New Presidents, a Ph.D. in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003, a Ph.D. in Sociology and Masters and Bachelors degrees in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati in 1991, 1986 and 1985, with more than 60 articles and publications in crime and justice.

Jennifer McDonough joins the college as vice president of institutional development. McDonough brings nearly 40 years of funding experience, including institutional leadership roles and philanthropic advisory services.

As a former executive associate at Bentz Whaley Flessner, a national and international fundraising consultancy and service company, McDonough has worked for a variety of private and public higher education institutions across the country, including American International.

She holds a master’s degree in multidisciplinary studies majoring in art management and a bachelor’s degree in art education, both from the State University of New York College in Buffalo.

Matthew Scott has been Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Studies since July 2020. He will expand his remit to include the Title IX Coordinator. With this addition, Scott will be the designated officer of AIC with primary responsibility for coordinating Title IX compliance, including leading Title IX activities; Advice, training and further education.

Scott joined the college in 2013 as Director of Residence Life and Assistant Title IX Coordinator. Scott holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Springfield College and a master’s degree in university administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Louis R. Izzi joins the college as vice president of athletics and comes from the University of Bridgeport, where he served as vice president of athletics and enrollment management since 2019. While at Bridgeport, Izzi was responsible for the strategic planning, leadership, development, operations and human resource management of the university’s NCAA Division II athletics program.

Prior to joining the University of Bridgeport, Izzi was the director of athletics at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire, a Division III institution with 18 varsity, club, and junior varsity teams, as well as in-school and recreational programs. Prior to that, he was Associate Director of Athletics Administration at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island for 17 years, while also serving as the men’s ice hockey coach at Johnson & Wales and Nichols College for 15 years. Izzi holds a master’s degree in sports administration from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York and a bachelor’s degree in English from Providence College.

Jessica Chapin was promoted to sports director. She joined the college in 2014 as a compliance coordinator. Among her responsibilities, Chapin is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Athletics Department, including overseeing compliance with NCAA Division I and Division II rules and bylaws, retention, financial support, and recruiting new students in collaboration with offices across campus. She is the Assistant Coordinator of Title IX for Athletics.

Chapin currently serves on the NCAA’s Regional Women’s Volleyball Advisory Committee and was appointed to the NCAA’s Violation Committee for a four-year term in May. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Atlantic Hockey Association and the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association. Chapin received a master’s degree in sports administration from Springfield College and a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University in psychology and health sciences, society and politics.

Michael Eriquezzo has been promoted to Director of Marketing and Communications. He will oversee all aspects of institutional digital and traditional marketing, the web, and public relations for the college, including the semi-annual Lucent magazine, which has a circulation of more than 30,000 alumni. Eriquezzo joined Go Graphix College in East Longmeadow as Art Director and Senior Designer in 2017, where he served as Project Manager and Creative Director and the Children’s Study Home as External Communications Manager. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


Hampshire Power Corp. was recently welcomed Patrick Quinlan as a technical account manager.

Quinlan holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin and has over 30 years of experience in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Quinlan will be responsible for supporting and growing the Hampshire Power Renewable Energy Certificate products and services, engaging installers and homeowners alike.

Quinlan comes from Solablock Corp. and Black Island Wind Turbines, which he co-founded, to Hampshire Power. Quinlan previously served as a Congressional Technology Fellow, White House Technology Fellow, and Senior Analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Quinlan was a human resources engineer at AeroVironment for the famous inventor Paul MacCready. He holds multiple patents and now has three projects at the Smithsonian Institution.


Called Friendly’s Restaurants and BRIX Holdings David Ellis as Chief Marketing Officer for all brands and promoted Sylvia Becker as Vice President of Marketing at Friendly’s Restaurants. Both people bring more than 20 years of marketing experience to their roles.

Ellis will lead brand strategy, marketing, public relations and digital initiatives for Friendly’s Restaurants, as well as for all BRIX Holdings brands: Orange Leaf; Smoothie factory; Red mango; Soup salad; Red brick pizza; and humble donuts. He will also lead the development of loyalty programs, online ordering and virtual brands.

Becker will develop integrated marketing plans to support brand strategy that leverages the use of traditional and digital media, loyalty programs, off-premise, social media engagement, influencer partnerships and public relations to drive overall brand reputation, awareness and traffic via the Friendly’s Boost Restaurant System.

Prior to joining Friendly’s Restaurants and BRIX Holdings, Ellis was the Chief Marketing Officer for Uncle Julio’s, responsible for launching a new advertising campaign, developing new products, introducing third-party delivery and growing the loyalty program. He was also vice president of marketing for O’Charley’s Restaurants and held executive positions at KFC and Darden Restaurants for both Olive Garden and Red Lobster, including brand management, national advertising and menu strategy.

Becker has been with Friendly’s for eight years, previously as Senior Director Media Services. Prior to joining the Friendly team, Becker served as Senior Director of Media Services at Johnny Rockets and Marketing Manager at McDonald’s restaurants across New England and Albany, New York.


Cornerstone Bank celebrates Jennifer Anderson for # 5 on Banker & Tradesman’s list of Top Lenders in Central and Western Massachusetts. Anderson, vice president and mortgage loan officer at Cornerstone Bank, made 155 mortgage loans to help secure her place on the list.

A longtime employee of Cornerstone Bank, Anderson has 17 years of experience as a mortgage loan officer. She lives in Spencer and is a graduate of Babson College, where she studied finance.

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