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NYU Stern Alumni Relations is pleased to present the 11th edition of Stern Sweethearts, a collection of couples who met during their time at Stern. If you are interested in sharing your story, send a note to alumni@stern.nyu.edu.

Roshni Amrhein (MBA ’00) and Andrew Amrhein (MBA ’98)

roshniWhere did you first meet and how did it happen?
We met in the elevator of the MEC building!  As it turned out we had a mutual friend from other courses who was chatting with both of us as we headed to our classes. I saw Roshni and she saw me, and there was definitely a spark between us as we rode up the elevator. But it was a bit awkward because we didn’t want to say anything while our friend was standing there between us!  As luck would have it she got out on a floor lower than ours and we continued our chat… and then decided to have lunch together because we both worked downtown… and then decided to go out on a date together… and then another date… and now 20 years later, we’re married with two kids!

What is your favorite date spot/date story in New York?
The downtown seaport was a special spot for us. With both of us working downtown, we ended up meeting there for lunch quite often; it was a great place to get a sandwich and watch the boats go by as seasons passed. Despite New York being such a big city, it is amazing how many spots there are to appreciate the outdoors.

What is your favorite memory of Stern as a couple?
Long before Big Data was fashionable, both of us were the original data scientists, pouring over reviews of the faculty and analyzing teaching skill, outcomes, etc., to figure out which courses we wanted to sign up for in the next semester. Independently, we both had a philosophy of using this data to shape our best possible experience and optimal outcomes at Stern. One day around the time we met in the elevator, we both serendipitously went there at the same time with the same intention – there was no coordination – and as we talked we realized we had the same philosophies and approaches to things. It was one of those moments when you realize you’ve met someone who somehow just seems right, like a key piece of the jigsaw puzzle you suddenly realize fits perfectly into a space.

What are you both up to today, personally and professionally?
Andrew:  I went to work for Pfizer right after graduation, starting off in Corporate Audit traveling all over the world, and ended up in our Worldwide Technology group. I then went to work for the CIO of ThermoFisher Scientific for a number of years assuming a variety of roles, before my current work as a Managing Director in IT at Harvard Business School. I sit on a nonprofit board and have been coaching athletics in my town, and loving it. It has been a great and interesting journey!
Roshni:  After graduation I went to work for Banc of America Securities in Debt Capital Markets where I worked for several years. We then decided to move to New England closer to family and I transitioned to work in Boston at Wellington Management. When our first child arrived, I decided to focus on family for a few years and have been enjoying spending time raising our children and doing nonprofit and community activities. But as the kids are getting older, I have to admit I’m getting restless!

Laurie Ann Donohue (MBA ’95) and Alexandre Rezende (MBA ’95)

laurieWhere did you first meet and how did it happen?
Laurie was in a pre-exam study group for our final accounting examination with Marc Achatz, another Brazilian classmate. Marc invited me to join in their discussions as I was somewhat good in that subject and they had some questions. But I have to confess that I had already spotted Laurie during our first Beer Blast in the first week of classes! She said she did not notice me, but to this day, I doubt it… Of course, Marc ended up being our best man!  

What is your favorite date spot/date story in New York?
With both us short in cash and studying like crazy but already living together in a tiny one bedroom in Chelsea (16th and 6th Ave.), our favorite reward was to stop by the now old-timer French Roast on the corner of 11th Street and 6th Ave. to share a giant burger with a passion fruit tart for dessert. It always felt like we were getting our reward for the week's hard work.

What is your favorite memory of Stern as a couple?
I will mention two: leaving Bobst Library at 4:30am together after staying there for almost 10 hours preparing for our first Financial Instruments & Markets exam in mid-February. We had a big snowstorm and it was -10º outside (windchill -25º!) and needed to get home but could not walk. We then met other desperate people on the street to share a cab, as nobody could walk in that freezing cold. It was a typical NY friendly story we will never forget. Second was our engagement party at a now closed Raffaela Restaurant on Bleeker Street. Seeing all our friends from our '95 Class there was a real blast.

What are you both up to today, personally and professionally?
After marrying 2 days after graduation, we both moved to Brazil, where I come from. (Laurie is from Brooklyn, NY.) Laurie worked in international fund distribution in Latin America for Alliance Berstein and UBS for many years and then finally left to take care of Olivia (now 16) and Antonia (now 12) and also spent 2.5 years to get a culinary degree from Alain Ducasse. As for myself, after heading the corporate and investment banking department for ING Bank in Brazil, I set up an M&A boutique named Inspire Capital in São Paulo which has being going quite well since we began 7 years ago. Now Laurie and the girls are residing in Barcelona and I commute between the two countries on a monthly basis.

Victoria Fudali (MBA ’15) and John Dorost (MBA ’14)

victoriaWhere did you first meet and how did it happen?
We both started our MBA programs at NYU Stern and met briefly at a social event in the fall of 2012. Though we chatted for just a few minutes, we were both left with a lasting impression. Months went by before we ran into each other again and learned that we were both going on the same trek to India in the spring of 2013. Because our last names were next to each other alphabetically, we had been booked in seats next to each other on flights as we traveled throughout India and hit it off.

What is your favorite date spot/date story in New York?
We love going to concerts and music festivals. We just saw Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden, so that would be a recent favorite date of ours! It was such a fun show and has been on our New York bucket list for quite some time.

What is your favorite memory of Stern as a couple?
We both had Global Business as a specialization and the MBA program allowed us to travel around the world and experience once-in-a-lifetime moments together. Through the program, we traveled together to Delhi, Agra, Goa, Jaipur, Mumbai, Sydney, Melbourne, the Whitsundays, Fraser Island, Capetown, throughout Namibia and Amsterdam. Some of our favorite Stern memories from these travels include seeing the Taj Mahal in India, ringing in New Years Eve at the Sydney Opera House, climbing Dune 45 in Namibia and shark diving in South Africa.

What are you both up to today, personally and professionally?
Victoria works in Sales at Google and John works in Investment Banking at Credit Suisse. We got married in 2016, recently moved to Brooklyn from Manhattan and are enjoying exploring our new neighborhood.

Cassandra Henry (MBA ‘13) and Brett Baptist (MBA ‘13)

cassandra and brettWhere did you first meet and how did it happen?
We met one week before our first year of business school at a happy hour coordinated for Block 3. It was at the Blind Tiger on Bleecker and at one point in the evening, we were at the same table, and Cassie offered to buy the next round. She claims her offer was for the full table, but I noticed that she was the only one in need of a refill... After the happy hour, a few of us went to grab pizza from Joe's before heading home. The two of us were the only people going downtown, so we continued to chat on the subway and as we reached my stop, I asked Cassie to join me for a drink at a nearby bar. We talked the rest of the night, hung out again that week and were inseparable throughout business school.

What is your favorite date spot/date story in New York?
Our favorite date story involves me trying to impress Cassie by cooking for her in her West Village apartment. I completely underestimated the challenge of cooking three courses in a small space that can get very warm, but Cassie says she was impressed by my resourcefulness. Thankfully I don't attempt this anymore, and we enjoy going to The Clam and I Sodi.

What is your favorite memory of Stern as a couple?
There are so many great memories from our time at Stern: the trek to Tanzania, DBI in Italy, Cellar Club trips to Napa and obviously Beer Blast. But our favorite was the trip we took with our new friends to Killington during first year, which has since become an annual tradition.

What are you both up to today, personally and professionally?
We live in the West Village and still love walking through Washington Square Park, which always reminds us of Stern. We were bit by the travel bug, after all the trips during our time at Stern, and just returned from the Maldives. Cassandra is a VP of Marketing and Investor Relations at Libremax Capital, and Brett is a management consultant at Parthenon-EY.

Stefanie Kern (BS '11) and Greg Nugent (BS '11)

stef kernWhere did you first meet and how did it happen?
Greg: Our paths crossed for the first time freshman year when I pitched Stef on the benefits of joining the Investment Analysis Group. But it wasn’t until junior year in Argentina through the International Studies Program and talking on Gould Plaza through mutual friends that we really got to know each other. We discovered many similar passions and a compatible quirkiness.

Stef: Most of our dates revolved around food. In some of our first dates, Greg cooked pasta for me, we went to a restaurant called Buenos Aires and reminisced about ISP in Argentina over steak and Malbec, and we went to a hole-in-the-wall spot on St. Marks where I taught Greg how to use chopsticks.

What is your favorite date spot/date story in New York?
Stef: For one of our very first dates, I called the shots. It was at Manhattan's only indoor shooting range. Plus, they make all first-timers consent to a background check. Hey, a Sternie has got to do her due diligence.

Greg: Stef really wanted to go to the Nutcracker ballet at Lincoln Center during our senior year at NYU. It’s a special place for us since we also graduated from Stern at Lincoln Center. We now go back every year as our holiday tradition to see the Nutcracker.

What is your favorite memory of Stern as a couple?
Stef: We spent so many late nights studying in Stevenson or on the second floor of Tisch, so it was fitting that six years later, he popped the question on Gould Plaza. He took me back to the spot where it all started. I guess you can say we took Stern's motto "Explore Collaborate Engage" quite literally.

What are you both up to today, personally and professionally?
Greg: I worked for five years at Peter J. Solomon Company, a boutique investment bank focused on retail, consumer and media companies. I left banking to join the private equity firm Goldpoint Partners. I love to run: I’ve done 50+ races since graduating. I enjoy cooking, trying new restaurants and am involved in intramural sports. Stef and I also love to travel together. A map hangs on our wall, poked with colorful pins marking the countries where we've had adventures... from South Africa to Mexico and Austria to Hong Kong…

Stef: I’ve been working at J.P. Morgan since we graduated. I worked abroad in Hong Kong for a while. I’m really involved in Minds Matter, an academic nonprofit and I'm pursuing the CFA designation. We’re always learning and trying out new things together.

Amanda Miller-Burg (MBA '10) and Jordan Burg (MBA '10)

amandaWhere did you first meet and how did it happen?
Jordan was in the full-time program, and Amanda was in the part-time Langone program. Our paths didn't cross until a Graduation Week party that Jordan helped plan. Kris Ann Brady (MBA '10) introduced us, and the rest is history.

What is your favorite date spot/date story in New York?
Our first date was a wonderful, meandering evening, starting at a West Village wine bar, followed by a walk on the High Line and then dinner at Cookshop. Strolling, sightseeing and eating remain our favorite shared pastimes.

What is your favorite memory of Stern as a couple?
A post-graduation celebration thrown by none other than Kris Ann Brady, further cementing her Alumni Relations cache.

What are you both up to today, personally and professionally?
We live in Brooklyn with our one-year-old son, Judah, and love cooking together.  Amanda is an operations executive, and Jordan is taking time out of his marketing career to turn-around a family-owned real estate enterprise.

Svetlana Nagirner (BS '07) and Eugene Nargirner (BS '07)

svetlanaWhere did you first meet and how did it happen?
We met in Schimmel auditorium for a Russia: World Cultures class in which I was enrolled and Eugene was auditing. A few of his friends were in the class, so he decided to tag along one day about a month into the first semester of our freshman year.

What is your favorite date spot/date story in New York?
Our favorite date story in New York was going to South Street Seaport, which was close to Eugene's Water Street dorm, and seeing a flash mob practicing their routine. It was an eclectic group of people all practicing something they enjoyed doing. It was uplifting to watch something so uniquely "New York."

What is your favorite memory of Stern as a couple?
Our favorite memory was the trip to Santiago, Chile, during our junior year for the international experience. We were lucky to have some of our friends with us on the trip because we got to share the experience of the culture, the food and climbing the Andes.

What are you both up to today, personally and professionally?
We both work for (different) investment banks, where Eugene is a trader and Svetlana is a structurer. Outside of work, we like to travel and spend time with our twin boys who make sure there's never a dull moment for us!

Lisa Sands (MBA ’98) and Barry Sands (MBA ’99)

lisa and barryWhere did you first meet and how did it happen?
We met on a blind date! At the time, Lisa was going to NYU for two degrees: an MBA at Stern and a Master’s in Journalism at NYU Graduate School of Arts and Science. Less than two years later, we were married. Barry was thinking about going to business school, and Lisa talked about how much she enjoyed her Stern experience. So, the day after our honeymoon, Barry started working on his Stern application.   

What is your favorite date spot/date story in New York?
We got engaged at the Five Spot in Midtown. The ring was disguised deep inside a package and when Lisa opened it, it went flying across the table.

What is your favorite memory of Stern as a couple?
We both overlapped at Stern for a year. During that time, we went to a ton of Beer Blasts. Our favorite Stern experience was dressing as Morticia and Gomez from the Addams Family at the Stern MBA Halloween Party.

What are you both up to today, personally and professionally?
We have a 13-year-old daughter who loves oil painting, dance and tennis. Lisa is COO at Capturepoint, a recreation management software company, and serves on the Stern EMT Alumni Committee. Barry is Founder of Hybrid Consulting, which specializes in marketing, media and sales strategies. He was a panelist at the annual Stern EMT Summit.

Victoria Sowa (MBA ’16) and Michael Gordon (MBA ’16)

victoriaWhere did you first meet and how did it happen?
We first met volunteering with the Order of Malta at Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center in New York City in March 2014. We quickly bonded over planning to attend business school. At the time, Victoria had already selected NYU Stern as a Forté Fellow, and Michael was making his final decision. We both entered Stern's full-time MBA program together later in August. We must acknowledge former NYU President John Sexton’s speech during Stern Launch 2014. When discussing how close our class would become, President Sexton stated, “You could very likely marry the person sitting next to you.” This was the only orientation session where we sat next to each other, and President Sexton’s prediction came true!

What is your favorite date spot/date story in New York?
A week before Stern started, we co-led Team USA for Order of Malta's International Holiday Camp for young adults with special needs. It was a week in the Netherlands, where Victoria claims, "How can you not fall in love with someone when you see him helping other people?" However, our first official date was halfway through Stern Launch. Victoria had lost her voice during Launch and almost cancelled the Saturday night date, but Michael had developed a creative solution – a silent date, where Victoria would be able to rest her voice. Our Stern romance began listening to jazz at Blue Note and eating gelato from GROM in Father Demo Square on Sixth Avenue.

What is your favorite memory of Stern as a couple?
Going through the full-time program in the same class gave us several advantages. Most notably, we had the chance to participate in two Doing Business In (DBI) courses: DBI Colombia and DBI Israel. Together, we had formative life experiences, expanded our worldview and perspective and built friendships with classmates. Today, we fondly reminisce and enjoy sharing with friends and family about everything from sipping coffee at Juan Valdez headquarters and touring the Corona ceramic factory in Colombia to speaking with entrepreneurs at The Library Tel Aviv and floating in the Dead Sea with classmates.

These moments “Doing Business In” continue to be our favorite classroom memories, but we most enjoy the memory of celebrating on the day of our engagement with our classmates and professors at Stern’s Charity Ball on November 14, 2015! This celebration continued with fellow Sternies at our wedding on June 11, 2016, in Greenville, Delaware.

What are you both up to today, personally and professionally?
Today, we are living in Philadelphia. We were fortunate enough to find jobs just two blocks from each other, Victoria with Goldman Sachs Investment Management Division as a Private Wealth Advisor and Michael at KPMG in Deal Advisory. We continue to volunteer with the Order of Malta. And, in our free time, Michael enjoys rowing and Victoria enjoys running along the Schuylkill River. Although we have ventured outside NYC, we look forward to staying in touch with our fellow Sternies for many years to come!

Melanie Viloria (MBA ‘12) and Eric Viloria (MBA ‘12)

melanieWhere did you first meet and how did it happen?
We met through mutual friends when we were both in their wedding party. The first time we met was at their engagement party. By the time the wedding came around, we were dating and of course they paired us up to walk down the aisle together since we were the shortest two in the wedding party.

What is your favorite date spot/date story in New York?
Our favorite date story would have to be the day we got engaged. We rode bikes along the Hudson to Central Park where we had a picnic and Eric proposed. After the picnic we rode back downtown and took a helicopter ride around the city. We ended the day with dinner at our favorite restaurant, Buddakan. We then looked at wedding venues the next weekend because it was our only free weekend before we started Saturday class at Stern again.

What is your favorite memory of Stern as a couple?
Eric and I were in the same core group and frequently hosted study sessions and group projects at our apartment. We have lots of fun memories of happy hour with our core group after Saturday classes.

Studying for the GMATs and applying to Stern together was one of the more stressful times in our relationship, even two kids later! We couldn't have been more excited when we both got in!

What are you both up to today, personally and professionally?
We live in the Upper East Side with our 2.5-year-old daughter and 10-month-old son. Eric is a Currency Strategist at Wells Fargo, and Melanie is a Project Manager at Bloomberg.