Alumni Achievement - 4
Michael Oliveri '08 and Bruce Messier '14
Michael Oliveri ’08 and Bruce Messier ’14: Two emerging leaders making their mark
Apr 09, 2024, by Danny Lamere
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Michael Oliveri ’08 and Bruce Messier ’14 will both receive the Emerging Leader Award on Friday, April 12, at the Alumni Achievement Awards Dinner. Other award winners include Asli Ascioglu, Ph.D., Lisa Waynelovich McCarthy ’01, Amanda Dunne ’07, Todd Gustafson ’86, and Eric Emerson ’91MBA.

Michael Oliveri ’08 - For Michael Oliveri ’08, receiving the Emerging Leader Award from Bryant University is a full-circle moment. “As president of the Student Alumni Association, we would go to these dinners often, and I remember thinking about how special it was to receive these awards,” says Oliveri. In the 14 years since he graduated from Bryant, Oliveri, now a partner at PwC, has amassed an impressive resume of accomplishments that places him alongside the very alumni he once admired. He says a key to his success has been the support of his partner, Eric. “Having someone who supports the craziness of my career, who can understand and be adaptable along with me, is really important.”

During his years as a Bryant student, Michael developed a view that has informed the path of his life and career. “If you understand finance and you understand politics,” he says, “you really understand how the world works.” He majored in Finance and minored in Political Science, and, in addition to serving as Student Alumni Association president, he helped co-found the official Bryant chapter of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO). 

After interning with PwC the summer before his senior year, Oliveri began his career with the firm right after graduating from Bryant. In 2012, he seized an opportunity to work in the firm’s mergers and acquisitions division. “I get energized doing deals,” he says. “When I started, there wasn’t really a team focused on M&A in the financial services sector. We formed that practice over several years, and I was on the ground floor. Back then, there were 10 of us, and now we’re over 100 people.”

Oliveri is also passionate about the arts. He has served on the board of the Handel and Haydn Society, a Boston-based Baroque and Classical orchestra, for nearly a decade, and he and Eric visit the New York Metropolitan Opera frequently. “Without art, there is nothing,” he says. “Finance and politics, that’s how the world operates. But how people live and enjoy and have satisfaction is through art.”

Bruce Messier ’14 - “My end goal was always to join my family business,” says Bruce Messier ’14, president of Butler and Messier, Inc., a fourth-generation, family-owned insurance agency based in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Now that he’s at the helm, he says he puts everything into helping it grow. “I’m so entwined with the business that I feel like we’re one and the same.”

Messier took over Butler and Messier in 2021 when his father retired, and he says he has enjoyed carrying on his father’s legacy. “I consider this my dad’s baby,” says Messier of the agency. “He’s worked on this his entire life, and he’s gotten it into a really good place.” Messier says he has big goals for the business’s future. “I want to double the size of the agency within the next 10 years. I have a growth plan that we’re aggressively attacking. I want to see how far I can take this.”

Growing up in Warwick, Rhode Island, Messier says his goal as an adolescent was to attend the United States Naval Academy. He was ultimately accepted, but his time in Annapolis was cut short by injury just months short of graduation. He says he then applied to Bryant because he knew it would help him prepare to join the family business. “I wanted to get a solid grasp on business,” he says. “There is so much that I recall from Bryant classes that I use in everyday life.”

Messier's lifelong passion for hockey helped him to break the ice with his wife, Janine, an Austrian native who came to Rhode Island to play ice hockey and earn a master’s degree from Providence College. Messier recalls with pride the nine years he spent watching her play hockey professionally across North America. “Not a lot of people get to follow their spouse around to watch them play,” he says. “It was busy, but it was a lot of fun.”

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