board member spotlight
James stehli '88
Title: Principal, Securitized Products
Employer: CRT Capital Group
Location: New York
Campus Involvement: Teaching Assistant, Zeta Beta Tau (co-founder)
By Kathleen Rubino '13
"Studying abroad is an amazing experience," says James Stehli '88 (at right of above photo with Jonathan Guerrera '11). "It gives you a new perspective on cultures throughout the world. I wouldn't trade my experience abroad for anything."
That love for international cultures – especially Japan's – carried through his college years and into his career. Stehli worked in the banking industry in Japan for several years before coming back to the United States and eventually moving into his current role as principal of securitized products at CRT Capital Group LLC in New York.
Born and raised in Binghamton, Stehli lives in Manhattan with his wife and their two children. He remains connected to the University as treasurer of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and a member of the University's Presidential Search Committee.
He graduated from Binghamton with a BS in management, with a concentration in finance, as well as a certificate in East Asian Studies and Japanese. While pursuing his degree, he was a teaching assistant for Japanese 101, worked more than 30 hours a week to pay for school, and co-founded the fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau.
If he had a do-over on the college experience, he would take creative writing again because he thoroughly enjoyed it. And, he says he'd take an art history class – which he did not do at Binghamton – just to become more educated on the topic.
Stehli misses his Binghamton University friends. Working a fast-paced job, he appreciates the simplicity of student life on campus and says good friends made his college experience great.
"I wish I could have been even more involved on campus. I was always so busy with work and school," he says.
He feels students should also make the most of their time on campus by getting involved in a sport. Cross country was a big part of his life when he was younger, and he has some regret about not continuing with the sport into his college years.
In sports, academics and a career, Stehli says students should follow their passion and be willing to learn.
"Pursue your interests and get a career in something you love, but don't be afraid to ask for help," he says. "Ask for guidance from those who are already in that field. They could be great mentors who will help you avoid pitfalls."