Bruce Bednarski attributes his career success to having impactful mentors, a strong work ethic and a little bit of luck.
Bednarski spent his youth in Wisconsin, Illinois and Maryland before moving to Ridgefield, Connecticut, during high school. While there he discovered his first passion—soccer—and wound up playing for the best semi-pro team in the state, the New Britain Polish Falcons. A player on that team, John Kowalski, who also was the assistant soccer coach at UNH, recruited Bednarski to UNH and forever changed his life.
A soccer standout, Bednarski captained the UNH team from 1978 to 1980. During that time he made his way through the U.S. Olympic tryouts, only to have that dream quashed by Jimmy Carter’s boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow. Following graduation, Bednarski was drafted by the Hartford Hellions, a Major Indoor Soccer League franchise, but concluded that his career journey should take a different turn. Instead, he remained at UNH and earned his M.B.A. while serving as assistant coach of the soccer team.
With his M.B.A. in hand, Bednarski found his second passion—the telecommunications industry. He joined Nortel Communications as a systems engineer, later became a member of the systems design team for the U.S. Senate and eventually signed on with Verizon. In 1993 he founded Net2000 Communications with three partners. Net2000 grew to more than 1,000 employees and achieved a market capitalization of over $1.6 billion when it successfully executed an IPO in 2000. Following that achievement, Bednarski was part of an executive team that transformed iDirect Technologies into a market leader in the satellite router industry. iDirect’s turnaround led to a successful exit when the company was purchased by Singapore Technologies in 2005.
Today, as senior vice president of business development with XipLink, Bednarski cultivates strategic global relationships for a company that produces software and hardware solutions for wireless networks. Bednarski has found success on the soccer field, in the classroom and in corporate America. He owes much of that success, he says, to UNH.
“I didn’t enter UNH as a particularly good student, but I left as one,” Bednarski says. “The University taught me how to learn, and that ability has helped me throughout my life.”
Posted Spring 2011