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In honor of Valentine’s Day 2013, the Office of Development & Alumni Relations presented the eighth annual installment of “Stern Sweethearts”—a profile of couples who met, or whose relationships solidified, during their time here at Stern.

Julia Hoagland (MBA '05) and Eduardo Aguayo (MBA '97)

Stern Sweethearts 2014 - Julia and Ed 475 x 356

As told by Ed: The Stern MBA provided both an excellent education and the environment in which I met my future wife. Though I was a part-time student, I felt it was important to explore everything Stern had to offer. One event I never failed to attend was the Thursday night beer blast held in the student lounge of the MEC.

As told by Julia: I also believed in full participation in the Stern experience, and as Student Government vice president I organized the bar blasts after the Thursday beer blasts. In my opinion, these activities made more sense for the full-time students, but I had the utmost respect for people, like Ed, who found time to work, go to school, and attend parties late into the night.

Ed: At one beer blast, I met my friend, Pierre, and entered the crowded MEC lobby. As I entered the room, I immediately noticed a great looking woman across the floor who was holding court over a popular keg. I was impressed by the engaged conversation she was having with 8-10 people. She was vividly talking, laughing, and gesturing with her hands to explain some issue, while still properly paying attention to the serious services she was providing to the thirsty. Pierre knew this woman, Julia, and happily introduced me to her.

I suddenly felt like I was under a hot spotlight—she focused her full attention on me, and I was bathed in her bright energy, her friendly smile, and inquisitive, penetrating eyes. I tried my best to hold her interest, but after about five minutes, she was summoned by the group that had been at the keg and off she went. I observed Julia throughout the evening, noticing how she was like a bumble bee. She had this incredible energy, and kept moving around the room, pollinating conversations. We didn't reconnect that evening, but she left a lasting impression.

Julia: I still don't remember that first conversation, and often remind Ed that he did not initially remember meeting me at the beer blast when we met again (almost 15 months later at a party held by mutual friends). At this second party, I remember that Ed was the engaging, and captivating conversationalist, capturing my attention for almost three hours.

Ed: The second party proved to be a perfect occasion to discover our shared interests. We discovered we enjoyed travel, the outdoors, and adventure. I was hooked when Julia offered me a ride on her Harley.

Julia: I remember how riding on the Harley intrigued Ed, and that it scared the daylights out of him.

Ed and Julia: In the years since we met, we traveled the world, and Ed got his own motorcycle license. We look forward to our retirement trip touring India. We are happy to have met at Stern—not only a great education, but also true love!

Ed: Happy Valentine's Day, my dear sweet Julia.

Rachel Baron (MBA '06) and Lior Baron (MBA '05)

Stern Sweethearts 2014 - Alexandra and Mihail 475 x 356

As told by Rachel: Lior and I both attended Stern at the same time, but in different programs. I was in the full-time program and Lior was in the part-time program. Though we had friends in common, walked at the same graduation, and lived one avenue away from each other, we didn't meet until after graduation at a Thanksgiving dinner thrown by our mutual Stern friends. I first had Thanksgiving dinner with my family, however, the event was next to my apartment, so I went. As the resident Upper West Siders, it fell upon Lior and I to pick the after-dinner bar, giving us an opportunity to talk. By the third time we met, something clicked between us and in true Stern fashion, Lior gave me his business card.

Since Lior was traveling to Brazil on a consulting engagement at the time, it took a couple of weeks for us to connect. Once he returned to New York, Lior emailed me to meet for drinks, thinking I was a good contact. Drinks became dinner and a “networking event” became a date. By our third date, I knew this was the man I was going to marry.

For the year we dated, Lior traveled extensively in his job as a consultant during the week. Every Thursday night, I would track his flights and wait as weekends were our only time to spend together. However, traveling also had its benefits, as we traveled to new cities and countries together with elite frequent flier perks, something we both enjoy. We got in engaged in May 2008 under the Brooklyn Bridge and married in September that year.

Since our initial meeting more than seven years ago, our lives have changed dramatically. We moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn Heights. We are also very proud parents of two children, a boy and girl, Yaniv (2 years old) and Galit (3 months old). We recently revisited the site of the first Alumni Ball Lior and I attended, the Museum of Natural History, this time for a family excursion.

Arathi Krishnamurthy Cole (MBA '08) and Charles Cole (MBA '09)

Stern Sweethearts 2014 - Arathi and Charles 475 x 356

As told by Arathi and Charlie: Ours is a classic Stern story—we met at Bar Blast in the West Village. It was our second year of the full-time program, yet somehow we had gone the entire first year without meeting. Soon we were enjoying everything Stern and NYC offered together—East Village restaurants, lots of travel, and of course, more Beer and Bar Blasts.

In the summer after graduation, Charlie moved to Los Angeles for his job offer at Sony Pictures, while Arathi stayed in Manhattan to begin her career at American Express. Many airline miles were logged as a bicoastal relationship commenced. A year later, Charlie (with the help of some fellow Sternies) executed a well-orchestrated surprise by showing up in New York and proposing to Arathi on the Hudson River.

We were married in June of 2010 shortly after Arathi moved to Los Angeles. We've been enjoying LA life, and love being active in the “Stern in LA” alumni community. In December 2013, we welcomed into the world our beautiful baby boy, Arjun William Cole (Stern MBA class of 2043!).

Dale Dreps (BS '78, MBA '79) and James Markowski (BS '78)

Stern Sweethearts 2014 - Dale and Jim 475 x 356

As told by Dale: We have a bit of a fairy tale love story, and it all started at NYU. Jim and I met as undergraduates at Stern, although the business school was then known as BPA. We had noticed each other in a class or two, but didn't actually go out on a date until after Jim's graduation in June of 1978. We enjoyed the time we had together and were inseparable for many months. Somehow we ended up going our separate ways. It took me another year to complete my MBA at NYU and Jim headed off to law school at Georgetown.

Twenty years after that first date, Jim called me after looking for me for months online (this was long before Google made such searches easy). Both divorced, we picked up where we left off. We became a part of each other's lives: meeting and helping each other's children, introducing each other to our friends and communities, and discovering our mutual passion for golf. Seven years ago (and 28 years after that first date!), Jim and I were married at a beautiful little church in Westchester with more than 100 friends and family members in attendance. The church is just a few miles south of the restaurant we enjoyed on that first date. We so fondly remember our time at NYU BPA/Stern, where our love story began.

Alexandra Lutoshkina (MBA '09) and Mihail Nikolov (MBA '09)

Stern Sweethearts 2014 - Alexandra and Mihail 475 x 356

As told by Alexandra: Mihail and I met in 2006 when we both enrolled in the Langone program at NYU and ended up in the same Blue Core group together (the best core group I might add) taking evening classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It developed as a friendship at first, as we had a lot of friends in common, and met frequently at after class happy hours at the Apple Bar. Mihail was always very generous and frequently bought trays of tequila for the group. Ironically, he doesn't even like to drink, but disguised this rather well to everyone (including me). During one rainy evening, we ended up late to class and I was hesitant to go inside. Assuring me there is power in numbers, we went in together and he secured two seats side by side. That evening he drove me home to Brooklyn, far away from his home in Connecticut. And that was the beginning of our fairy tale. We got to know each other very well during those long rides home and learned that we shared a lot in common. He turned out to be the ying to my yang, and still is to this day. We were married in 2010, after graduating in 2009. And we have Stern to thank for it all.

P.S. Legend has it that Mihail told a classmate of ours—on the first day of class—that we would end up together one day.

Jeanann Suter (MBA '90) and Mark Suter (MBA '90)

Stern Sweethearts 2014 - Mark and Jeanne 475 x 356

As told by Mark and Jeanann: We met at a “mixer” at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in the spring of 1980 when Mark—a Cincinnati, Ohio, native—was a plebe (a new cadet) and Jeanann, a Long Island high school senior. We fell in love and dated throughout his four years at the academy. We were married in the fall of 1984 at the Mariners Chapel and embarked upon our business careers in NYC.

We jointly decided that an MBA was the road for us and applied to NYU. We literally held our breath and opened the two acceptance letters with huge relief. What would we have done if only one of us had been accepted? Attending NYU Graduate School while working full-time jobs was quite a stress-filled beginning to married life, but it taught us early on how to build a partnership and support one another, even if we disagreed about the solution to a case study! Initially, we didn't own our own pc until we saved enough money to purchase one so we either stayed late at one of our offices or used an electric typewriter! Looking back though, having a partner with whom to share the challenges and successes of business school made the whole experience more complete, and some would say that it is easier than putting up wallpaper together.

One of our favorite courses was “Views from the Top,” where different CEOs would visit class each week and lecture on their business and market strategies. Hands down, Bob Shoemaker was our favorite professor and we especially loved his new product development class. In our final semester, Mark talked Jeanann into taking a Portfolio Management class that he anticipated would be fun. Unfortunately, it was particularly challenging and we were at the end of our ropes after four and a half years. We still laugh about standing outside the old business school on the sidewalk at Trinity Place where having just completed the final, Jeanann thought she had aced it but Mark really thought he had bombed it; at some point while going back over the exam in our minds we suddenly realized that we had finally finished our degrees and decided to really splurge by treating ourselves to a memorable dinner at the World Trade Center's Windows on the World.

We both benefited in many ways from our NYU experience and today are huge NYU fans. We are blessed with a family of three boys, a son who is a junior in CAS and member of the NYU Men's Soccer team, another who will be entering Stern in the fall, and a 13 year old. Yes, we're deep into the purple, but do you know of a better color?

Charmaine Tang (BS '96) and George Tang (BS '96)

Stern Sweethearts 2014 - Charmaine and George 475 x 356

As told by Charmaine and George: We liken our story to the movie "When Harry Met Sally." We don't remember the exact first time we met, but we do remember that we didn't like each other. George was a bright-eyed Dallas boy excited to be in the Big Apple, while Charmaine was a native New Yorker who already knew her way around the city. The irony was that we were so intertwined at Stern that there was no way we could avoid one another. We were both in the Stern Scholars Program, involved in Student Council, and were Finance & Accounting majors. After semi-annual trips abroad through the Scholars program, we became good friends and were in each others' pictures from our Freshman to Senior year. On separate occasions, our respective parents would point us out in the pictures and say, "Why don't you go out with him/her?” And we would retort, "He/she is my good friend!"

By our Junior year, we had the same circle of friends and at the end of the year, George asked Charmaine to be his running mate for the President/Vice President ticket at Stern. After winning the election, we spent much of our senior year together working on Student Council and talking about our future careers. However, we didn't fall in love until after graduating from Stern in 1996 when we drove cross-country with a group of friends for a month. On that magical trip, we realized we had so much in common, had the same outlook on life, and sought the same things for our futures. The rest is history.

We have been married since July 2001 and had the quintessential NYC wedding at St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Rainbow Room. We are the super-proud parents of Tyler (7-years-old) and Charlotte (5-years-old), both NYC-born, but Dallas-bred. Following our 12+ years in management consulting and investment banking, we decided to raise our kids in Dallas (George's hometown). We also chose to pursue different careers: George is now the Chief Operating Officer of Educate Texas and Charmaine is an entrepreneur.