Karen Kaplan, chairman & chief executive officer of Hill Holliday, one of the country’s top advertising agencies, will deliver the commencement address to approximately 1,000 students at Bentley’s 97th annual undergraduate ceremony. The event takes place at 10:00 a.m. on the south campus, with an expected 7,000 in attendance. Kaplan will receive an honorary doctor of commercial science degree at the ceremony.
Corey Thomas, president and CEO of Rapid7, one of Boston’s leading security software firms, will deliver the keynote address at the Bentley University McCallum Graduate School of Business 41st annual commencement ceremony at 3:00 p.m. Thomas will receive an honorary doctor of commercial science degree.
Kaplan joined Hill Holliday as a receptionist, hoping to save enough money for law school. Three decades later, she’s had just about every job there is to have at an agency, gaining valuable insight into how to approach each business challenge with a fresh perspective. A key player in Hill Holliday’s significant growth as a national powerhouse with over $1 billion in annual billings, Kaplan is now chairman & CEO overseeing the network of three agency brands: Hill Holliday, Erwin Penland, and Trilia Media. With an executive team composed of over half women, Kaplan is also one of the few female agency chairmen in the country and has been recognized by several trade publications as one of the most influential women in advertising.
Kaplan’s leadership has helped build an impressive list of premier clients including Bank of America, Chili’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Johnson & Johnson, John Hancock, LG Home Appliances, Liberty Mutual, Merrill Lynch, Novartis, (RED), Smucker’s, Tempur-Sealy, and TJX. Kaplan has been a contributor to and featured in numerous publications including Ad Age, AdWeek, Forbes, Fortune, Huffington Post, and Inc. She serves on the board of directors for the Ad Council and numerous other civic and professional organizations; is a trustee of Fidelity Investments’ Strategic Advisers Funds and a director of Michaels Stores. Kaplan received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
In the last year Thomas, CEO and president of Rapid7 (NASDAQ: RPD), has led his company through two acquisitions and an Initial Public Offering (IPO). He encourages a culture at Rapid7 that supports growth and innovation, and instills a strong focus on listening to customers, taking disciplined risks, and collaborating across the community to advance security awareness and impact. He believes Rapid7 and other security companies have a mission beyond simply selling security products -- to contribute in earnest to making the internet a safer place to do business and engage as consumers. Thomas brings more than 16 years of experience in growing technology businesses, including leading consumer sales, marketing and business development as vice president at Parallels, a global leader in virtualization and automation solutions. He also held a number of leadership positions in the Microsoft Server and Tools division, launching the worldwide availability of SQL Server 2005 and steering product planning for Microsoft's data platform and storage strategy. Prior to that, he was a consultant at Deloitte Consulting focusing on internet technology strategy and operations for large multinational banks. Thomas holds a bachelor of engineering in electrical engineering and computer science from Vanderbilt University, magna cum laude, and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School (Baker Scholar).
Commencement 2016 takes place on the south campus at Bentley University. Both ceremonies are held under the tent on the football field. Indoor viewing on a large monitor is available in the Dana Athletic Center. The event is held rain or shine. Buses will run from the parking lots on the main campus to the south campus. Further details on Commencement 2016 can be found on the Bentley University commencement web site:http://www.bentley.edu/events/commencement