Lynn alums discover a world of creativity

Meet four Lynn alumni who created successful businesses using creative tendencies and Lynn degrees

Published Sep. 30, 2008

Lynn boasts a diverse population representing students from more than 80 nations and 40 states, but Lynn’s diversity goes beyond students’ backgrounds and includes their interests, passions and future careers. Instead of asking “What can I do with a degree from Lynn?,” the better question might be, “What can’t I do with a Lynn degree?”

Lynn is a young institution, but our alums are out there – all over the world – making their mark by leading successful businesses, anchoring nightly newscasts, managing top hotels and, like the four Lynn alums featured below, designing flourishing careers using their natural creative abilities.

Roger Stighall’s advertising agency, North Kingdom, in Skelleftea, Sweden

North Kingdom office

Roger Sighall (right) and Robert Lindstrom work with one if the “great designers,” Charlotta Havh.

Roger Stighall graduated from Lynn in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration. Coming to Lynn from Skelleftea, Sweden was a big change for Stighall, but Lynn generated a passion that led to his now successful advertising agency, North Kingdom. “From the start we got big accounts,” said Stighall who has created interactive web-based campaigns for clients including “Got Milk,” “Toyota Sweden” and “Cola-Cola Germany.”

During his last semester at Lynn, Stighall did an internship at Dean Witter and realized the future is in the Internet and that type of communication. After graduation he worked for Worldwide Internet Co., and in 2000, went back to Sweden, but “still had that kind of energy you get from the U.S., that incentive to promote yourself and start your own business. I owe that to the experience I had here.”

Stighall (and his childhood friend, Robert Lindstrom who studied graphic design at Lynn for one year (‘95-‘96)) spearheaded the creation of North Kingdom in 2003. Five years after the agency’s inception, they were chosen as one of the 50 hottest, creative people in the world by a leading advertising magazine, Creativity. According to Stighall, “On the list, you have the founder of Facebook, Google and other hotshots, along with these Swedish guys.”

Among their creations: The “wee people” featured at the top of this story. The four are actually the “Adachi family” created by Stighall and North Kingdom, for Got Milk’s “Get the Glass” campaign.

Anny Stern’s jewelry making company, Anny Stern, in Boca Raton, Fla.

Anny Stern portrait

Jewelry designer, Anny Stern

Anny Stern, who was born in Peru and raised in Brazil, earned her Master of Business Administration in international business from Lynn in 2001. After graduation, she landed a job that she “hated” and found herself making jewelry (a long-time hobby) to relax. “I didn’t plan to be in the jewelry business,” said Stern, who later found herself at Saks Fifth Avenue in Palm Beach negotiating an event with the jewelry manager there who admired her necklace. Thus was the creation of Anny Stern jewelry.

When Stern saw people paying “big prices” for her custom fashion jewelry that she painstakingly and lovingly creates from semi-precious stones, 14 karat gold filled and sterling silver, she knew jewelry making was no longer a hobby, but a business. And lest her creativity be compromised, she readily admits that “business is part of me, too.” With her creative juices flowing and her business acumen, Stern has built a viable and successful business.

Jonathan Nimerfroh's freelance photography company,  JDN Photography, in Philadelphia, Pa.

Jonathan Nimerfroh portrait

Jonathan Nimerfroh

Jonathan Nimerfroh, originally from Chester Springs, Pa., graduated from Lynn in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in communications and journalism. "I never dreamed I'd be making a living from my hobby," said Nimerfroh, an award-winning freelance photographer (JDN Photography) who has shot big-name musicians including Mick Jagger, Coldplay and Dave Matthews Band.

Nimerfroh took his first photography class at Lynn "just for fun." The individual attention and small classes helped him hone his craft and develop his photography skills. "I got an honest opinion, which improved my journalistic eye," said Nimerfroh. The idea of a career in photography didn't solidify for Nimerfroh until his senior year while working as an intern for Endless Mountain Entertainment photographing events – specifically concerts. "I took some great shots at concerts," said Nimerfroh, "which got my name out there and helped me get a good portfolio."

Selene (van Beverhoudt) Bowlby's company, iDesign Studios, in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Selene Bowlby portrait

Selene (van Beverhoudt) Bowlby

Selene Bowlby, originally from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in graphic design. With an interest in art and exposure to her first computer at age 3, it's not surprising that today Bowlby is a Web designer and front-end Web developer with 10 years of professional experience in the design industry.

"I learned so much from my design classes," said Bowlby. "Some of it's instinct, but education pulls it all together and helps you fine-tune it." During her senior year, Bowlby began working for an Internet development and graphic design company based in Coral Springs, Florida, and she continued there until 2001 when she launched her own company, iDesign Studios. According to Bowlby, iDesign Studios, a Web design and development company that specializes in creating custom Web sites, helps their clients stand out from the crowd with uniquely styled and well-coded designs.

This story was excerpted from a longer piece by Debbie Stern that appeared in the Summer 2008 edition of Lynn Magazine.