For Immediate Release
July 6, 2015

Contact: Tara Payne
(603) 227-5318
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College Equals Opportunity Offers Inspiration and $25,000 in Scholarships to NH College Students

Concord, NH — The NHHEAF Network Organizations recognized New Hampshire college student leaders at its College Equals Opportunity (CEO) scholarship recognition breakfast on June 11. In partnership with outstanding business leaders from New Hampshire companies, the CEO scholarship program awarded $2,500 scholarships to ten rising college juniors and seniors all of whom demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities, commitment to service and academic excellence. Since its inception in 2004, the CEO program has awarded $320,000 in scholarships.

The CEO celebration involved a dynamic panel of business leaders including: Tom Raffio, Northeast Delta Dental, Heidi Copeland, Business NH Magazine, Jason Alexander, Alexander Technology Group, and recent Endicott College graduate and former CEO scholar, Luke Somers. Chuck Lloyd, NHTI Associate Vice President, moderated the event. Panelists shared words of wisdom with the attendees. Alexander described that his success ultimately derived from “Failing miserably over and over again, but trying not to make the same mistake twice”. Copeland encouraged the students to “Set fire to your insecurities and recognize that no matter how junior or senior you are, there is always someone in the room that can learn from you”. Raffio reinforced the importance of local service, “The great thing about New Hampshire is that you can choose to follow your passion and make a positive difference for your neighbors and the causes you care most about”. Somers offered his peers advice about setting not holding back. “Be bold. Don’t be intimidated to meet successful people. We’re self-limiting sometimes, but those successful people were once in your shoes and will appreciate your questions and will try to help you.”

The 2015 CEO Business Leaders include:

  • Alexander Technology Group, Jason Alexander
  • Birch Hill Terrace, Gary Zabierek
  • Business NH Magazine, Heidi Copeland
  • Campus Compact for NH, Debby Scire
  • Catholic Medical Center, Dr. Joseph Pepe
  • Eastern Bank, Joe Reilly
  • Hoyle, Tanner and Associates, Chris Mulleavey
  • McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, Cathleen Schmidt
  • New Hampshire Business Review, Jeff Feingold
  • NH Charitable Foundation, Richard Ober
  • Cookson Strategies, Matt Cookson
  • Northeast Delta Dental, Tom Raffio
  • The Harbor Group, Marc Hebert
  • Verizon Wireless Arena, Tim Bechert
  • Windham Professionals, Christine Barry

For more information about the CEO Program or to nominate a business leader to participate, visit or visit The NHHEAF Network Organizations online at

CEO Scholars 2015

Photo 1: The 2015 College Equals Opportunity Scholars posed for a photo with Organizations’ President & CEO René Drouin. Scholarship recipients included: Sara Clark — UNH — Manchester, Manchester, NH, Sara Akramy — Granite State College, Concord, NH, Felin Hernández — Franklin Pierce University, Pittsfield, NH, Teagan Atwater — Connecticut College, Plainfield, NH, Stephanie Fulton — UNH, Newport, NH, Stephanie Yee — UNH, Manchester, NH, Heidi Wells Goyette — Granite State College, Thornton, NH, Chris Irish — Granite State College, Claremont, NH, Kevin Hardt — NHTI/Plymouth State University, Loudon, NH, and Annette Cate — Granite State College, Gilmanton Iron Works, NH (not pictured).

CEO Scholar Stephanie Yee UNH

Photo 2: CEO Supporter and Scholarship Committee Member, Chris Mulleavey, UNH Student Stephanie Yee, NHHEAF President & CEO René Drouin.