Kristen Bunnell

What did you appreciate most about your time at SMC? 

What stands out the most for me from my time at Saint Michael’s was the opportunity for personal growth in a nurturing environment. Saint Michael’s is a close-knit community and this allowed me to develop close relationships with my professors as well as my fellow students. One of the many benefits of attending a smaller college is that you don’t get lost in the crowd and aren’t just a number. Professors know who you are and are able to support you in your college journey.

What are you doing now? 

I am the CEO of RiverRoad Waste Solutions, a technology-enabled provider of comprehensive waste management programs for large scale distributed real estate portfolios. I started this company in 2010 and have overseen its continuous growth with a dedicated team of industry experts. We have won multiple awards including being named to Inc. 5000 for the past three years and also being named to New Jersey’s Top 250 for the past two years, rising in ranking each year.

How have you applied what you learned at SMC to your professional life? 

My course of study at Saint Michael’s was Business Management and these skills have been utilized throughout my career and enabled me to pursue multiple entrepreneurial endeavors. As a CEO, it is critical to understand all facets of an organization. Having obtained comprehensive business skills at Saint Michael’s enabled me to successfully lead my team and company through periods of strategic, continual growth.

Did you have a favorite class or professor? 

The class I enjoyed the most was Organizational Management. With its focus on the importance of relationships in business, it enabled me to build and lead highly productive teams that collaborate efficiently and effectively.

What advice do you have for incoming students?

My advice to incoming students is to cast a wide net both academically and socially. Step outside of your comfort zone frequently and pursue classes that challenge you. When it comes to choosing courses, don’t be afraid to take a one that’s a bit outside the box. You never know where a new passion may arise. Join clubs and other organizations that provide you the opportunity to grow your social networks. These will be incredibly important to you during your career. Build relationships with professors, students, and other administrative personnel as well.

What would you like for fellow alumni to know? 

I’d like my fellow alumni to know how grateful I am for the time we spent together at Saint Michael’s. Those days helped me to build my academic and social skills and more importantly to push myself to follow my dreams. Each of us has had many successes and failures, but never giving up is the key. As CEO of RiverRoad Waste Solutions, I am able to provide engaging work for my team as well as give back to my community. This is what brings me the most happiness.