Happy Valentines Day Stern Sweethearts!
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Updated: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 11:09
In the Office of Alumni Affairs & Annual Giving, we often talk to alumni who met their valentines at Stern. After hearing countless Stern love stories from our alumni, we thought it was time to celebrate all of the Stern Sweethearts out there. Therefore, we are pleased to present this year's installment of "Stern Sweethearts," couples who met their someone special right here at Stern. As you'll see, whether at a beer blast, orientation, study abroad or spring break - you never know when or where Cupid's arrow will strike! David Berenger (MBA '01) and Lise Bardin (MBA '98) As told by David: Lise's and my story could have started a very long time ago, way back in the late 1970s when she and her family began spending summers in Cannes, on the French Riviera. At the time I was living less than 10 miles away with my parents in Valbonne, and over the decade of our adolescence we surely came within a sandy beach of each other many times…but we never met.
From 1996 to 1998, while I embarked on the Langone program and Lise completed the full-time MBA, we surely came even closer on many occasions in the KMC, but there again, we never met!
Life took us on our still separate paths to live in Paris in 2002 and 2003. I thought it would pay off to remain involved as a Stern alumnus (not imagining how well!), and in October 2004 I signed up for the global alumni conference held there. Alumni Affairs helpfully seated me at the same table as Lise, who was and remains the regional alumni leader in France. That dinner is where we met and hit it off. I am forever grateful to another attendee - name unknown - who was sitting between us but left early, allowing us to move one seat closer and become better acquainted!
Our path to becoming a Stern couple was not a smooth one immediately. The next afternoon, I received a sarcastic SMS "especially appreciating my willingness to get up early" - for the regional alumni meeting that Sunday morning. Oops! Nonetheless Lise agreed to a lunch date a week later. Dinner à deux followed, then our first kiss under the moonlight, on a bridge overlooking the Seine; and we went on to move in together the following year, then to our engagement on a beach in Grand Cayman on Valentine's Day 2007. It was at Florence 2007 - so again with a little help from Stern - that we began planning our February 2008 wedding in earnest.
We are expecting over 20 Stern alumni to fly over from around the globe to join us in our celebration.
Justin (BS '02) and Sarah (Berreby) Breiner (BS '04) As told by Justin: Sarah and I first met during the summer of 2001. It was the summer before Sarah's sophomore year and before my senior year. A mutual friend and fellow Stern alumnus, Justin Goldberg, was throwing a summer barbeque at his home in Connecticut. I arrived late to the BBQ and met Sarah for no more than a minute or two while she was on her way out. It was a quick conversation, but even back then I knew a good acquisition when I saw one. Later that night, a friend of mine asked how the BBQ was and I said, "Great! I actually met the girl that I am going to marry."
Several months went by after our brief introduction until I decided to reconnect with the woman that I knew I was destined to marry. Amazingly, during this time our schedules didn't permit us to cross paths at Stern. I prodded our mutual friend from the BBQ to give me Sarah's phone number. He declined the request (rumor has it that he had some takeover plans of his own!). I took matters into my own hands and managed to gain access to his PDA with Sarah's phone number. On January 21, 2002, Sarah and I went on our first date to a nice restaurant on the Upper East Side.
By coincidence, the semester we started dating we had both signed up for private piano lessons with the same instructor. Our instructor was a great enthusiast of astrology. She would always ask her students detailed questions in an effort to ascertain their detailed astrological signs and horoscope. Not knowing that Sarah and I were already dating, she asked if I knew Sarah. I said yes, but did not tell her of our newfound relationship. She proclaimed, "Well, you two should really get to know each other. Astrologically, you are a perfect match!" Apparently, my initial intuition was correct - we were destined by the stars to be together. On November 24, 2004, we were married.
Stern helped Sarah and I shape our professional lives and personal interests. We both share a passion for business and capitalism. Sarah chose to pursue the corporate world and now works at Goldman Sachs in their Real Estate Securities division. I pursued my entrepreneurial passion by co-founding The Cure Card, a nationwide consumer loyalty card company that raised over $2 million for breast cancer research. Currently, I am involved in real estate management and development and co-founded Ecologic, an 'eco-friendly' spray foam insulation company based in Connecticut.
William Cox (MBA '98) and Dana Romita Cox (MBA '98) As told by Dana: I spotted Bill across the room the first day of our EMBA experience, August 17, 1996, at Arrowwood, the venue for our week-long orientation, and the rest is history. As I seated myself next to Professor Tennenbein that evening at dinner (thinking it would be strategic to score points with the professor in whose class I was likely to have the most difficulty), Bill came over and asked if the seat next to me was taken. I had already looked him up in the Stern "face book" and still decided to let him sit down!
The next day we were in the same group for an outdoor team building exercise, and I was exceedingly impressed at how adept he was at scaling that wall. That afternoon I invited him to go for a walk at the Pepsi Corporate Park. My grandfather lives right down the road, and, now, whenever we are visiting, we point out to our children, Sofia and Alexander, the site of Mommy and Daddy's first date.