Michael Dane ’21 Interviews Mr. George Mason '80

MD: What was one of your favorite memories at Holy Cross High School?

GM: I was involved in Holy Cross Student Theatre, and I had a lot of fun with that. I made a lot of good friends. I also remember having lot of great history teachers.

MD: Who did you work for in politics? My uncle is a state representative in Watertown, and I work very closely with him. I want to go into that field when I grow up.

GM: I went to Providence College and got my MBA in Finance. I was a History of Russian Language Major and a Spanish Minor, but when I graduated the only jobs for people who were floating around were basically in the NSA or the Army. I worked in corporate planning and finance, and business development and corporate acquisitions. Then, I went into politics. I worked for Daniel P. Connors, who was the Rhode Island state senate majority leader.

MD: What’s your current job? Where are you living now?

GM: I live in Little Compton, Rhode Island, and I am the Deputy Administrator of the state of Rhode Island’s Medical Advisory Board, which is part of the state’s workers compensation board. I coordinate a program for long time injured workers who are addicted to opioids.

I am married. My wife’s first name is Jeanne, her last name is LaFazia. She is the chief judge of the RI district court. We don’t have kids, but we’ve had 24 animal rescue dogs. I worked in business development and corporate acquisitions and spent time at a Fortune 50. I was able to retire at 38 years old and go into government.

I was the Senior Advisor to a governor, Director of Policy and Legislation for an Attorney General, and Chief of Staff for a Senate Majority Leader.

MD: You said you were also a college professor?

GM: Yes. I’ve been teaching at Providence College’s Ryan School of Business. I’ve been doing that for 24 years. I teach Strategic Management, Finance, Investments.

MD: What was your biggest takeaway from Holy Cross?

GM: If you stay focused, work hard and have discipline, you can succeed at just about anything.

MD: What did Holy Cross teach you that helped you in your future?

GM:  It reinforced the fact that hard work, discipline and focus make things very achievable.

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