Having worked in an array of prominent executive management roles for nearly 30 years, Fabrizio Balestri has garnered extensive experience as a leader. Through his decades of directing and overseeing business operations and employees, Mr. Balestri has learned firsthand that, “Leadership is a virtue, not a title”, and his commitment to being a commendable leader is evidenced by his successful management of seven different corporations in a variety of industries.
Fabrizio Balestri was formerly the Assistant Vice President of Sallie Mae (1980-1994), the Senior Vice President and Cofounder of Education Funding Company (1994-96), the Head of Sales for the student lending division at American Express Company (1996-2001), and the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Student Loan Xpress (2002-05).
As CEO of Student Loan Xpress, Fabrizio Balestri managed all aspects of the startup, which grew to become one of the top 12 national lenders and marketers in the national student-lending sector. For the 2003/2004 year, Student Loan Xpress was designated the fastest growing student lending firm, and in February 2005, the company was successfully sold to CIT, Inc., an international finance company, for 400 million dollars. Fabrizio Balestri then became President of the acquired Student Loan division at CIT Inc. (2005-07), responsible for sales, product development, client services, and marketing. By 2007, Fabrizio Balestri had increased the company’s sales from $3 billion to $7 billion.
Currently, Fabrizio Balestri is the Chief Operating Officer at Lorica International Corporation, an Encinitas, California-based textile company, and the Managing Director of Blue Sky Initiatives, an active financial consulting institution committed to advising management, startups, and the Student Lending market.
Before beginning his career, Italian-born Fabrizio Balestri attended Frostburg State University in Maryland, graduating in three years with a B.S. in Social Sciences. While a student, Balestri belonged to Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity and the college’s Soccer team and was named to the First Team All South in 1975 and the Second Team All America in 1976. In the midst of managing sales, product development, client services, and marketing at CIT Inc., Fabrizio Balestri decided to pursue additional education from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in 2006.
Fabrizio Balestri, his wife, and two young sons reside in Cardiff by the Sea, California, where Mr. Balestri enjoys road cycling, golf, hiking, and reading books by Nelson DeMille and Michael Crichton in his time away from the office.
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