Class Notes

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Class Notes

Keep up-to-date with friends, classmates and other alumni through our Class Notes.

Alumni Class Notes updated through March 5, 2020.

1986

Lawrence “Micha” Ordway lives in central New York with his wife and children. He works as an attorney and is one of the managing partners of his firm. Lawrence writes, “Many years have passed since my days at WMA. I think of my time at the Academy fondly. Life has provided me with many wonderful opportunities and the academy provided a great foundation for it all.” 

1996

Beni Okwenje was appointed to general manager for Financial Markets at Centenary Bank in Kampala, Uganda. In this position, Okwenje will champion the development and implementation of the bank’s financial markets strategic plans; manage, promote, control and coordinate its financial markets business. Okwenje previously served as a Fixed Income Trader at Stanbic Bank Uganda. 

1999

Edward Han-Burgess is a biopharmaceutical researcher based in Atlanta and London. He recently designed and led a clinical trial aimed at getting epilepsy patients at high risk of drug resistance matched to experts and the right treatment, sooner. His project was included as partner content in the May 2019 issue of National Geographic magazine. You can read more about his research online here.

2000

After years of working as a production sound mixer for advertising and films, Aldo Carrizales is in the process of opening Cubush Music Academy near Monterrey, Mexico. The academy is based on Edgar Willem’s pedagogical system and their mission is to give children the tools to discover a new and exciting world through their senses. Aldo writes, “My main objective is not only for the children to become great musicians, but most importantly for them to become great human beings.”

Aldo has been married to photographer Pamela Baxter for 10 years. They have a 3-year-old daughter Nina and are currently expecting a baby boy named Noah. 

2001

Charles “Chuck” Bridge married Erica Hollot on December 21, 2019, in Hampden, Massachusetts. The couple resides in Springfield, where Chuck works as a sourcing recruiter for Amazon Web Services and Erica serves as an Assistant Athletic Director at Springfield College. 

2004

Stephanie (LaRiviere) Hodges and her husband, Alan, welcomed son Lenox into their family on Nov. 28, 2019 (Thanksgiving Day!). Lenox joins big sister Salem, 2, and big brother Quincy, 4. 

2005

Alexander Ely and his wife, Neha Ansari, welcomed their first child, Samina Elizabeth Ely, on May 5, 2019. The three recently relocated from Boston to Washington, D.C., where Alex is practicing law and Neha is completing a predoctoral research fellowship at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. They plan to raise Sam as a Red Sox fan. 

2006

Anna (Hart) Owen visited WMA in January 2020 to meet with the Office of Advancement about bringing her new mobile bar business, Good Time Tap, LLC, to the Alumni Reunion Games this June. Be sure to attend to check it out! She was also able to surprise former coach Don Nicholson ’79.

2007

Ali Mapplethorpe Balicki and Greg Balicki were married on Nov. 8, 2019, in Woodstock, Connecticut. The couple met while students at WMA and their wedding was attended by many WMA classmates, friends and faculty. Pictured in the wedding party: Chris Antonacci ’06, Pat Pio ’06, Nick Clement ’05, Carolyn (Weeks) Balicki ’05, Rob Balicki ’04, Ali and Greg, Mark Mitchell ’07 and Jonathan Kalmakis ’04. WMA faculty members Gary Cook and Christa Robinson also attended the wedding. In January 2020, Ali and Greg purchased their first home in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. 

Josh Binney and Sarah Palmer were married on Oct. 5, 2019 at Eastward Ho! country club in Chatham, Massachusetts. The couple resides in Boston, where Josh works for Raytheon Company and Sarah is an attorney. 

2012

Will Awad and Katie Boynton were married on Sept. 22, 2019 in Sharon, Massachusetts. They reside in Lowell, Massachusetts. 

Veronika “Nika” Hickson welcomed a baby boy Babak Joseph Rabi on Sept. 28, 2019. 

2013

In January, Kelsey Gomes started a new job with the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Florida. As Account Manager for Corporate Sponsorship Activation and Sales, she develops relationships and maintains day-to-day contact with 35 to 40 Tampa Bay Rays corporate partners. Kelsey oversees advertising, hospitality and experiential assets such as ballpark signage, in-game promotions, media elements, in-market retail programs, community events, premium tickets and client entertainment.

2015

John Tierney presented to Mr. Irzyk’s Portfolio Management class on Jan. 30. John is a financial advisor with Charter Oak Financial and focuses his practice on student debt refinancing, wealth accumulation, investment strategies and income strategies with young employees, parents and professional athletes. He provided students with real world case studies to walk them through financial management best practices and decision-making processes.

2017

Emily Dromgold is in her junior year at Wellesley College. She is studying Chinese and Music, working as a teaching assistant in writing, and is a published poet! Her most recent works have been published in Massachusetts Best Emerging Poets 2019 (from Z Publishing), Lily Poetry Review, Paragon Press and Otherwise Engaged Journal.

Jordana Irzyk is spending the year studying French Literature at St. Edmund Hall at the University of Oxford. Jordana (right) and a friend are pictured in front of the “RadCam” (Radcliffe Camera building), one of the University’s libraries. 

Kiana Smith is spending the spring semester studying in Malaga, Spain. After participating in a five-week immersion program there last summer, Kiana loved it so much she decided to return for a full semester. She will continue her Spanish studies and will challenge herself with history and international studies courses in Spanish.