Aafke Loney didn’t plan for her family’s lifelong involvement in hockey to blend seamlessly with her passion for business; it just happened that way. Aafke, who earned her MBA from Chatham in 2011, along with her husband Troy Loney, are now the proud co-owners of the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League. This acquisition marries the couple’s backgrounds, and Aafke has big plans for developing not only the Phantom’s players – but also the team’s fans and sponsors – so that “everyone invested receives a complete experience, a value in supporting the team.”
Aafke’s connection to Chatham exists both on and off the ice. She raves about her experience in the MBA program and asserts she was challenged beyond how she thought she could be challenged. “My classmates were remarkable, I learned so much from them,” she says. “I gained valuable tools and the confidence to take risks.” Upon graduation, she partnered with Chatham Business Administration Faculty member, Christine Ricci, to launch Business & Education Connected, LLC, a service that helps high school and college students match their strengths to career paths and then tie those career paths to class selection. The pair benefited much from Chatham’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship in the development of their company. It is quite remarkable that Aafke is now the proud owner of two businesses in less than three years after earning her MBA degree from Chatham University.