Kellogg Magazine  |  Spring/Summer 2015



In Focus

Paving new pathways for women

There are more than 2.6 million women in the United States with an undergraduate, master’s degree or PhD who are currently not working. Addie Swartz ’87 has built her business to change this math and help women reach their full professional potential.

Swartz is the founder and CEO of reacHIRE, a career re-entry solution she founded in Boston in 2013 that enables accomplished women who have taken a career break to successfully re-launch their careers at leading companies. The organization provides tech training, career coaching and work assignments for its candidates. In December 2015 Ms. Swartz was selected by the Boston Business Journal to receive the WomenUp: Women of Influence Award for her work in bringing together talented women seeking to re-enter the Boston market and innovative companies looking to hire them.

“Historically, there has been no systematic pathway for women returning to work and innovative companies looking to find each other,” explains Swartz. This inspired her to create the business, which already has partnerships with Fidelity, Panera Bread Company, Akamai, Boston Scientific Corporation and IPREO, among many others.

“Returning women are highly motivated to contribute and also enable companies to achieve diversity goals and better understand an important segment for many of their customer bases,” added Swartz.

The concept of distribution left an “indelible mark” on Swartz during her days at Kellogg. She learned about distribution in Professor Louis Stern’s class, Policies and Marketing Channels, after which Swartz became enamored with this as a key lever in building a successful enterprise.

Distribution came into play with reacHIRE, as well as her first two businesses, BrightIdeas and the Beacon Street Girls. With BrightIdeas, Swartz used a network of moms to sell educational software to schools, teachers and parents. For the Beacon Street Girls, she bundled the eponymous-named book series with bags, backpacks and sleepover sets so they would be stocked in gift stores instead of bookstores.

“In real estate, they say, ‘location, location, location.’ As an entrepreneur, my motto is channels, channels, channels,” Swartz said. “It’s all about solving customers’ needs and leveraging unique distribution channels to deliver solutions. Growing reacHIRE has been incredibly rewarding, especially seeing women reconnect with their professional selves and companies successfully tap into a new talent pool. The entrepreneurial fire was ignited in me during my time studying at Kellogg.”

Physician, heal thyself

When Craig Knoche was diagnosed with cancer 20 years ago, he didn’t go through the classic stages of denial and grief. “I decided to completely reorient my life,” Knoche said.

So he left his job to focus on doing something that would make a big difference — a system to improve medical diagnostic skills that could scale to the world.

“According to the U.S. Institute of Medicine, the best estimates indicate that all of us will likely experience a meaningful diagnostic error in our lifetime resulting in approximately 40,000 to 80,000 avoidable deaths each year,” Knoche said.
i-Human Patients is a revolutionary cloud-based training program that simulates all the cognitive activities involved in a patient encounter — from taking a patient history, assessing vital signs, performing physical exams, to ordering and evaluating tests. Along the way, it provides individualized evidence-based feedback and coaching to help improve and assess diagnostic competencies.

More than 10,000 clinical students in the United States now use i-Human. With the support of former Kellogg Dean Dipak Jain, i-Human will be distributed by the Reliance Foundation throughout India, where there is presently a shortage of 1.6 million physicians and 2 million nurses, and the diagnostic error rates are significantly higher than in the United States.
“Kellogg didn’t just broaden my horizons,” Knoche said. “It also gave me the confidence to build a company and to interact with people who’ve made a huge impact on the world.”

Advanced protection for the entire business world

After becoming a publicly traded company in November 2015, Ed Jennings ’99 and Bernard Dalle ’96 have even bigger ambitions for Mimecast.

The London-based company boasts a comprehensive, cloud-based email risk management system that manages and protects the email accounts of more than 4 million business email users across its 16,000 customers. But Jennings and Dalle want more.

“Ninety-five percent of last year’s cyber breaches originated with an email phishing attack and there are over 112 billion business email sent daily. This is a massive business risk,” said Jennings, the company’s COO. “Our ambition is to provide advanced threat protection for the vast majority of business email users globally.”

When Mimecast launched on NASDAQ, Fortune said its 7.8 million shares priced at $10 each. The company has reached a 52-week high of nearly $12, according to Marketwatch. Jennings said it has been an “absolute thrill” to see his team get to enjoy the fruit of their labor. 

While at Kellogg, Jennings learned to appreciate the power of teams and how a good team could make a company great.
“Now building, managing and motivating teams is what I love most about my work,” he said.

Jennings has spent his career working in technology companies, such as Veracode and ADP. He understands that success takes not only a cohesive team, but also the combination of an outstanding brand, a great product and disruptive business model.

At Kellogg, he learned how to facilitate the growth of the team, as well as how to undertake marketing and strategy efforts.

“I saw these as necessary capabilities to lead in the technology industry,” he said.