Alumni Spotlight

 

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Ameet Kallarackal '14 Posted July 29, 2021

Blessed Trinity alum, Ameet Kallarackal '14, shares some insights into his journey and career path as an entrepreneur.  When we learned about Ameet's most recent startup - Fisherman - we were thrilled at the opportunity for a brief Q&A with the CEO & Co-founder of Fisherman himself, Ameet Kallarackal. 

Q:  What did you major in at Boston College?
A:  I majored in Computer Science and Management, and I minored in Philosophy. 

Q:  What inspired you to start/launch Fisherman?  What was your career path like leading up to this? 
A:  When I was a sophomore in college, a classmate proposed that we start a business called Campus Insights together.  At the time, I barely knew about startups, but I was intrigued by the idea of collaborating to create something from scratch.  We ended up building a team, working with companies like Venmo, Airbnb, and GoFundMe, and selling the company during our senior year.  At this point, I had fallen in love with startups and immediately wanted to start something new.  I had some freelance web design and development experience, and after watching traditional small business owners consistently become frustrated trying to use tools like SquareSpace and Wix, I knew we needed to build a better solution to help folks like these transition to the digital era.  I’ve had internships as a developer and product manager, but Fisherman has been my only full-time job since we started the company as seniors in college.

Q:  Where did the Fisherman name come from?
A:  The name Fisherman comes from the quote, “Give someone a fish and they eat for a day, but teach them to fish and they’ll eat for a lifetime.”  We wanted to empower small business owners by building them a solution that would sustainably help them prosper online. 

Q:  How long were you working behind the scenes during the start up phase of Fisherman before going "public"? What was that process like? 
A:  My cofounder and I moved into his parents’ house after graduation and never stopped working. We spent 1.5 years hacking away on the early versions of the product and networking as much as possible to find our first customers, advisors, partners, and investors.  In the early days, we “bootstrapped” the business by doing freelance custom development and design work for other startups we met at conferences and coworking spaces.  Finally, with less than $100 in our bank account, we had a working product and enough early traction to raise our first round of funding. 

Q:  What sets Fisherman apart from other similar companies? 
A:  Most companies in our space either sell a Do It Yourself (DIY) product where a user can drag and drop to build their own website, or they have an agency model with custom development.  Fisherman is unique in the way that our software fully automates the process, so someone with no technical ability can have a complete website without any effort in just a couple minutes.

Q:  What growth have you seen since founding Fisherman?  How did you take the company from just you and Nick (as co-founders), to hiring additional employees?  
A:  In late 2019, Nick and I launched the first version of our core product and we raised a small round of funding from a few angel investors who believed that we were on to something.  We used that capital to make our first two hires at the start of 2020, right before COVID hit.  Our target customers were facing an existential threat with COVID, so we decided to make our product completely free for 6 months for restaurants who needed to get online, a risk that ultimately paid off and accelerated our growth.  As we grew, we hired more employees and contractors (at the peak of COVID there were over 20 people working at Fisherman) and raised a seed round

Q:  How many clients does Fisherman have now? And across how many states/countries? 
A:  Fisherman now serves over 1,000 restaurants across all 50 U.S. states and Canada.

Q:  How did Blessed Trinity help prepare you for success? 
A:  BT provided me with leadership opportunities in a variety of organizations, including student council, soccer, and Habitat for Humanity. These experiences taught me valuable lessons and validated my desire to lead. Like many of my classmates, I was balancing classes and clubs with extra curricular activities and a part-time job, which forced me to learn how to prioritize and manage a demanding set of activities. I also met many of my closest friends who continue to challenge and support me today.

Q:  What is some advice that you would offer to younger folks pursuing a career or passion in the tech industry?  Advice for young entrepreneurs? 
A:  In our early days as founders, we constantly faced problems we didn’t feel experienced enough to solve, but we were forced to solve them and ended up learning new skills as a result.  More important than the solutions themselves was the understanding that these problems could be solved and the confidence that we could solve them with the right mindset, effort, and support.  In my opinion, there’s no better way to learn than trial by fire.  Reach for something big, work  passionately towards it, and humbly seek help along the way. 

 

Catherine Friedline '21 Posted July 22, 2021

Congratulations to recent graduate, Catherine Friedline ‘21, a long-time Girl Scout who created Troop Hope!  Catherine’s passion for young children, especially those undergoing long-term medical treatments who often miss out on fun activities with their friends, inspired her creation of the program.  

With Troop Hope, Catherine earned her Gold Award and received the Scouts' highest honor as "Woman of Distinction." This is the highest achievement in Girl Scouts, completed by only 6% of all Scouts.  Click HERE to read the full article! 

 

 

 

 

 

K.J. Lemoine '16 Posted July 14, 2021

Congratulations to K.J. Lemoine ‘16 who has been nominated by the Atlanta Braves as a Diamond Honoree of the Month. He will be honored at Truist Park before the start of the game on July 19! K.J. works for the organization as a member of their Market Research Team. He works every home game, observing and recording data, to help enhance and provide fans with the best game day experience possible.

It has been a lifelong dream of K.J.'s to work in the sports industry. An added bonus is having the opportunity to work for his home team - the Atlanta Braves.

Fun fact: If you stay until the end of a game, you may catch K.J. on the video board wishing fans a safe trip home after a Braves win!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garrett Casale '08 Posted June 7, 2021

Congratulations to Garrett Casale '08 who will be completing his ear, nose, and throat (ENT) residency at the University of Virginia later this month! Garrett has accepted a fellowship position at the Michigan Ear Institute for neurotology/skull base surgery starting in July 2021.

In addition, Garrett and his wife are expecting their first child in August!

 

 

 

 

 

Nikulaus Pujals '17 Posted June 1, 2021

Nikulaus Pujals, Blessed Trinity Class of 2017, was recently named as a Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG) at The University of North Georgia (UNG).  Distinguished Military Graduates finish in the top 20% of Army graduates on the national Order of Merit List by achieving superior grade-point averages, demonstrating strong performances in the Army Combat Fitness Test, and proving their worth as exceptional leaders in their college ROTC training program.  Congratulations, Nikulaus! 

 

 

 

Katie Warner '07 Posted May 12, 2021

Katie (Peterson) Warner '07 is the author of a Catholic children’s book line.  Her newest title, Listening for God: Silence Practice for Little Ones, has been a #1 new release on Amazon for several weeks!  To read more about Katie’s published book collection, called The Catholic Child’s First Faith Treasury, and/or to shop all of the books in the collection, click here!  

Katie is author of the book, Head & Heart: Becoming Spiritual Leaders for Your Family, and a popular prayer journal series, the most well-known being A Parent Who Prays: A Journal to Guide You in Praying for Your Children (there are also versions for grandparents, godparents, and confirmation sponsors). She holds a graduate degree in Catholic Theology from the Augustine Institute, is a correspondent for the National Catholic Register, as well as a national Catholic speaker and TV segment host. Katie is the Communication Manager for a Catholics Come Home, an international media apostolate that invites fallen-away Catholics and others home to the Church.

 

 

Ted Williams '17 Posted March 29, 2021

Ted Williams, Blessed Trinity Class of 2017, will graduate Summa Cum Laude from the University of Georgia (UGA) this May with three (3) BA degrees!  The degrees are in History, Political Science, and International Affairs.  His time as an undergraduate at UGA included: Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, Order of Omega Greek Honor Society, Interned at War Room Strategies (a campaign consulting firm), Student Assistant for facilities at the Terry College of Business, and IM sports. 

Ted is honored to have received and has accepted a full scholarship to attend the University of Georgia School of Law!  Ted intends to go into Sports Law with a focus on contracts.  Congratulations, Ted, on all of your accomplishments thus far!

 

 

 

 

 

Ryan Vassil '16 Posted March 1, 2021

 Ryan Vassil ‘16, currently works as a Financial Professional for 49 Financial, based in Atlanta, Georgia.  After what seemed like endless job searching, Ryan discovered 49 Financial. 49 Financial has a huge faith component built into its culture, which was a big deciding factor for Ryan when interviewing for jobs.  For the longest time, Ryan always dreamt of doing big things in the business/financial world, but he had no idea that he would be able to find a company that allowed him to pursue his dream while also allowing him to grow in his faith.  Ryan attributes Blessed Trinity to helping him build a solid faith foundation.  He says “To be given an opportunity to accomplish big things while also helping and serving people that I truly love and care about is literally a dream come true for me. Thank you BT for helping me become who I am today”. 

The company’s name, 49 Financial, stems from a Bible verse.  Ecclesiastes 4:9: Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.  This verse from Ecclesiastes embodies the core of what 49 Financial stands for, and is also one of its biggest differentiators, working and serving their clients as a team to provide the best client experience possible.  Ryan is beyond excited to build his career with 49 Financial, all while serving his community! 

 

 

Will Benham '05 Posted February 3, 2021 

Blessed Trinity alum, Will Benham ‘05, works as Executive Creative Director at Chemistry, an award-winning, full-service Marketing and Communications Agency. This week, Chemistry worked in partnership with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Orthopedics and Sports Medicine to film an integrated campaign on Blessed Trinity’s campus!  

The overall concept for the campaign, Teen Athletes vs. Pro Athletes, is to showcase how teenagers are different from pro athletes in that they need special/different sports medicine care than pro athletes.  The agency is using humorous matchups between pro athletes, like Atlanta Falcon Grady Jarrett, and teen athletes!     

Will and his team shot video footage that will be used for four video spots to air on TV during Braves, Falcons, and Atlanta United Games this year, as well as on social and digital channels!  Chemistry also captured some still photography shots of the teenagers and pro athletes that will go into print, billboard, social, and digital marketing channels. 

 

 

Peyton O'Malley '18 Posted January 6, 2021 

While COVID-19 continues to be ever present amongst our society, Peyton O’Malley ‘18, took matters into her own hands when her initial internship was suddenly called off due to the pandemic.  Peyton took to LinkedIn to secure not one, but two, internships!  This past summer, Peyton secured an internship with Truist Bank here in Atlanta. Already looking ahead to summer 2021, Peyton accepted her second internship with JP Morgan in New York City.  Peyton is currently a junior in Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business, majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Law, Science, & Technology. 

 

 

 

Huiet V. Joseph '16 Posted December 14, 2020 

On December 13, Blessed Trinity alum, Huiet Joseph ‘16, received a plaque during Morehouse College’s 136th Commencement Ceremony honoring his achievement as salutatorian of the Class of 2020. Huiet was a chemistry major at Morehouse, where he earned a 3.99 GPA following the completion of his academic program in June.  Huiet is now attending the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine where he is studying to earn his MD, pursuing a career as an orthopedic surgeon. 

Huiet remained focused on academic excellence throughout his time at Morehouse, though he said maintaining straight A’s at Morehouse was a test of mettle, surviving tough professors, demanding workloads, labs, and project schedules, as well as the challenges of online learning during a global pandemic. He said, "“If you can survive a huge transition in your type of learning, you can survive anything. It’s another way to prepare you for the real world.”

 

 

Dr. Carlos Montalvo '05 Posted September 23, 2020

Blessed Trinity Catholic High School alum, Dr. Carlos Montalvo ‘05, currently works as a Professor in the William B. Burnsed Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of South Alabama (USA) in Mobile. 

Dr. Montalvo was recently promoted from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor. In addition, after a rigorous eight month process and unanimous approval from the school’s Dean, the Provost, the President, and Board of Trustees, Carlos Montalvo received his tenure! Academic tenure is a highly sought after accomplishment and a crown jewel achievement in academia that guarantees job security for life. 

Dr. Montalvo attended Georgia Tech where he graduated in 2009 with his Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering. Montalvo decided to further his education at Georgia Tech earning his Masters in 2010 and then his PhD in 2014. 

 

 

Brianna Yates '16 Posted June 18, 2020

Blessed Trinity Catholic High School alum, Brianna Yates ‘16, gave an inspirational TEDx Talk on The Magic of Human Connection. While she was a student at Syracuse University, Brianna made a brave decision to take a break from modern technology to begin focusing on and prioritizing face-to-face interactions. Letting go of the comfort and safety-net that can oftentimes be found when communicating behind a phone screen or a computer screen, Brianna reflects on her experience of using a flip phone, packing up and moving to Orlando, beginning a new job at Walt Disney World, and learning the value of personal interactions—an eye-opening experience, especially in today’s heavily digital world. 

Click here to watch the Brianna's full TEDx Talk! 

 

 

 

 

Vincent Baker '19  Posted May 27, 2020

Four members of the Duke wrestling team were recently named to the All-ACC Academic Team, and  Blessed Trinity Catholic High School alum, Vincent Baker ‘19, was one of two true freshmen voted to the 19-man squad. Minimum academic requirements for selection to the All-ACC Academic Team require a 3.0 GPA for the previous semester and a 3.0 cumulative average during one's academic career. Athletic achievements during the most recent season are also considered in selecting the All-ACC Academic Team.

Now wrestling at 197 pounds, Vincent Baker finished strong during his rookie season as a Blue Devil. He registered two of his six wins in back-to-back outings against No. 3 NC State (dual) and No. 9 Virginia Tech (ACC Championships)....Read more.

 

 

 

 

Sarah Kathryn Lasseigne '16  Posted April 8, 2020

Each week, the University of Georgia features a student who has gone above and beyond the normal expectations of a UGA college student. This week was BT's own Sarah Kathryn "SK" Lasseigne '16. In addition to being a tour leader at the UGA Visitors Center, SK will also graduate with three majors (international affairs, history, and religion)! Sarah Kathryn developed her appreciation and passion for foreign affairs during study abroad trips to both Russia and Oxford University. She hopes to pursue a career within the national security and foreign policy sectors. On campus, SK serves as president of the Dean Tate Honor Society, is a member of Alpha Chi Omega, the Palladia Women's Honor Society, Order of the Omega Honor Society, and Blue Key Honor Society...Read SK's full article here

 

 

Colleen Walter '10  Posted March 31, 2020

Photography has been a huge part of her life from a young age, but it wasn't until her first photography class at Blessed Trinity that Colleen Walter '10 discovered her natural eye behind the lens. After graduating from Auburn University with a degree in Communications, Colleen moved back home to Atlanta. That's when XXIII Photo Studio was born. From families, weddings, senior portraits, and brand photography, Colleen has been capturing special moments ever since! 

 

 

 

 

 

Gia Mongell Binner '10  Posted February 28, 2020

Dancer and newlywed, Gia Mongell Binner ‘10, said “I Do” in her “something blue”. After graduating from Blessed Trinity in 2010, Gia attended Juilliard to pursue her career in dance. Since her debut in “An American in Paris” on Broadway, Gia went on to travel and perform internationally, perform for the Metropolitan Opera, and perform at the Tony Awards..​.Read More