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$3 million gift to Holy Cross creates J.D. Power Center

J.D. Power founder Dave Power grew up in Worcester and attended Holy Cross.
J.D. Power founder Dave Power grew up in Worcester and attended Holy Cross.Chris Morris for The Boston Globe

You can take the boy out of Worcester, but you can’t take Worcester out of the boy.

J.D. Power founder Dave Power built his eponymous market research firm in California, and that’s where he lives. But his family foundation is making another donation to the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester — $3 million to support its experiential learning program, which will be called the J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World.

Power, who is 86, has fond memories of growing up in a family of modest means in Worcester. His dad and uncle also went to Holy Cross (to be followed by his brother, his daughter, and a grandson). Power attended the school as a “day hop,” meaning he lived at home while going to classes to save money.


“My dad was strapped, from his limited salary [as a teacher], and wanted to make sure that we all got to college,” Power says. “Being a day hop, as they called it, I spent a lot more time going to and from school for classes.”

This donation to Holy Cross is the biggest gift so far from the Kenrose Kitchen Table Foundation. Power’s family started the foundation with the proceeds from the sale of J.D. Power to McGraw-Hill in 2005 — the firm has since been sold again — and has donated to Holy Cross in the past.

Susan Curtin, Power’s daughter, graduated from Holy Cross in 1993 and is now a board member. She says the new gift is meant, in part, to reflect the lessons her dad learned from the Jesuits at Holy Cross, particularly to approach a problem from many different angles.

“We’ve tried to help and honor other local students in the area that might have been in the same situation our family was in,” Curtin says.


“We were really looking for a way to honor our father’s legacy and the impact he’s had . . . and marrying that up with all the great lessons he learned at Holy Cross.”


Graduate, sell firm

It’s hard to forget the harried dash toward college graduation: Prepare for your final, take final exams, start looking for a new place to live . . . sell your startup?

For Boston College senior Riley Soward , the end of the school year includes a milestone that many company founders take years to achieve. He and his brother, Stephen, are cashing out of Campus Insights , the business they started in college to help clients get better feedback from students than the stuffy settings of traditional focus groups might offer.

Harvard Student Agencies , the business run by students at that well-known college across the river from BC, will take over Campus Insights, adding it to its stable of enterprises including the Let’s Go travel guide series.

Soward started the company with his brother, who went to the University of Michigan , to collect input from the coveted millennial demographic at campuses around the country.

Riley Soward, a business major, declined to disclose the terms of the sale, but said he will step down as chief executive as he finishes up school this spring.

Now, like most other people who are completing their undergraduate degrees, he has to get a job.

But he said he’ll bring a lot of what he learned at Campus Insights to whatever he does next. The company said it worked with clients including the payment provider Venmo , and it was featured by Money magazine in 2016 as one of a handful of startups that could be “the next Facebook.”


“We tried as quickly as possible to go from a thought in our minds to actually talking with companies, building out a product, and scaling up on the sales side,” Soward said. “We really saw the importance of just taking the initiative and hustling.”


Envisioning a name

Sometimes it pays to listen to your employees, not just to the outside consultant you hired to solve a problem.

Just ask Jim McDonough, CEO of Randolph Savings Bank.

On Monday, the bank announced that it was changing its name to Envision Bank, a moniker suggested by Donna Thaxter, the bank’s senior vice president of human resources.

McDonough had hired Full Circle, a Michigan agency, to help develop a new brand. But it was difficult to find names that were not already taken.

The idea for the name change was first floated about a year ago by Lou Trubiano, the bank’s board chairman and president of the Braintree ad agency Louis & Co.

The bank at the time was preparing to acquire First Federal Savings Bank of Boston, including its First Eastern Mortgage subsidiary.

An IPO was in the works to help finance the deal.

The bank had previously moved its headquarters from Randolph to Stoughton, and the expansion into the regional mortgage market meant it was time for a new brand.


As the search for a new name continued, McDonough half-jokingly offered one of his own: Bulldog Bank, after his beloved pet, Mack.

“I had agreed to provide him as our mascot, free of charge,” McDonough says of his bulldog. “[But] it didn’t make the cut as we went to the focus groups.”


Doughnut deal

Honey Dew Donuts has a new partnership with Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics. The small forward will represent the New England coffee and doughnut chain in television, radio, and social media advertisements, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The 6-foot-8 Tatum, who’s 19, played for Duke before he was drafted by the Celtics last year.

Honey Dew has 140 locations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.

And with 65 franchisees, it is the region’s largest locally owned coffee-and-doughnut chain.

In the past, Honey Dew has partnered with Isaiah Thomas, formerly of the Celtics, and retired Patriots offensive guard Joe Andruzzi’s cancer foundation.


Can’t keep a secret? Tell us. E-mail Bold Types at boldtypes@globe.com.