Developing Leaders

Submitted by Chris Kelly R

During their senior year at Villanova, Chris Kelly '04 VSB and Ryan Simonetti '04 VSB competed in the entrepreneurial challenge to help a struggling company gain success with a long term plan. The former roommates won the competition and proved that they were developing the skills to run a successful company. Chris and Ryan leveraged this experience years later when they teamed up to found Sentry Centers a firm that provides conference space to companies in the New York area.

Drawn to the values they cultivated at Villanova, Chris and Ryan have made Sentry Centers a welcoming community where employees not only have a voice, but the ability to develop their knowledge base.

Chris and Ryan implemented professional development programs to help employees grow their skills. Sentry Centers also sends their chefs to the French Culinary Institute and offers English as a second language courses for employees. Chris stated, "We believe that the best route for our company to achieve a net positive impact in the world is to first treat our employees with respect".

Additionally, employees at Sentry Centers directly contribute their time and resources to various charities, including Nourishing USA, City Harvest and DoSomething.org. As a company, they collect turkeys every Thanksgiving season and create Thanksgiving meals to distribute to shelters across New York City.