Saint Michael’s team captures first place in Free Enterprise Olympics

February and March of this year saw some of our BU students participate in a wonderful event, organized by our friends and neighbors at State University of New York Plattsburgh:  the first annual Free Enterprise Olympics .  This was a multi-round event involving  students from Saint Michael’s, University of Vermont, Clarkson University,  and five SUNY campuses.

For the first stage of the event, each participating campus held its own “Free Enterprise Speak Off” where students gave 3-5 minute speeches on the theme “Free Enterprise + Entrepreneurship:  The formula for a stronger economy”.  Our Free Enterprise Speak Off was held on Friday February 8.  The winner was BU major Alexandra N. Brenock ’15, who won the first round prize of $150.00.  (BU major Parker LeClerc ’14 won the 2nd place prize of $75.00).

Alexandra then joined a team of  BU seniors (Michelle M. McGuinness, Thomas W. Fergus and Patrick S. McFetridge), accompanied by Prof. Robert Letovsky, as they travelled to SUNY Plattsburgh on Friday March 1 for the final events of the Free Enterprise Olympics.  In the morning, the winners of each of the eight  participating institutions gave their speeches to a panel of judges, competing for cash prizes for the top three speakers.  Alexandra won the 3rd place prize of $250!

Then, in late morning, all eight student teams listened to a presentation from the representative of a local manufacturer, Smart Cart Enterprises LLC.  The company challenged the student teams to develop new designs of its main product that would enable it to enter new markets and grow the business.  Following the presentation, each student team was taken to a separate classroom where they were “locked up” for an hour before lunch, and then for another two hours after lunch, in order to prepare a 5 minute pitch to the company’s owner/CEO and a panel of judges.

The Saint Michael’s team focused its presentation on a new version of the company’s basic cart which would allow gardeners, farmers and athletic field operators to spread seeds, fertilizer, or sand across a wide area.  The presentation offered a design for the new model, as well as a pricing and distribution strategy and a brief comparison with current competing products.

Based on the deliberation of the judges and the company’s owner/CEO, the Saint Michael’s team was awarded first prize and won the $1,000 cash prize.  SUNY Albany and Clarkson finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.

We’ve attached a photo of the team posing with company CEO Martin Drolet, and one of the team “in action” as it presented to the judges.

               

Business competition winners 3-13 (2)

 Saint Michael’s winning team, l. to r., Alexandra N. Brenock, Thomas W. Fergus, Michelle M. McGuinness, Patrick S. McFetridge; Muller’s Carts CEO Martin Drolet, and SMC Business Department Chair Robert Letovsky.

DSCF2454

SMC Business students presenting their design and marketing plan to the judges at the SUNY Plattsburgh Free Enterprise Olympics, March 1, 2013.

 

 

BU 209 Legal Environment of Business – SKYPE conversation with author Johnathan Harr (A Civil Action)

Prof. Bill Wargo brought Jonathan Harr, author of A Civil Action, into his Legal Environment of Business course using SKYPE, on March 5, 2013.  The book, published in 1995, describes a lawsuit in which two of the country’s largest corporations were accused of contaminating the water supply in Woburn, MA, resulting in the deaths of several children.  It won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction in 1995, and was later made into a movie starring John Travolta and Robert Duvall.

Bill and retired Professor Norm Walker were instrumental in bringing Mr. Harr to speak on campus in October, 1998. His talk focused on how he got involved in this project and what impact it had on his life.

Prof. Wargo reports that the SKYPE discussion with Jonathan Harr gave students new perspectives on the book and the events it described, and as well as on the issues of environmental impacts and litigation.

Irene Bishay ’10/New England Excess Exchange

Irene Bishay ’10 recently accepted a position as an underwriter for New England Excess Exchange (www.neee.com or Facebook), based in Montpelier, VT.  The firm is an insurance broker specializing in surplus and excess lines of insurance for commercial and personal properties.  It works with insurance agents across New England to provide coverage for homes and businesses  considered too risky in the standard market.  Renee’s role as an underwriter is to assess client risk and write a policy that is suitable for both the client and NEEE.   She reports that she has passed her state exams and is now working to be licensed in more concentrated fields.

 

Luke Lombardi ’08/Lombardi & Son Masonary

Luke Lombardi ’08 is a co-owner of  Lombardi & Son Masonry (lombardimasonry.com) based in Manchester, MA.  The company specializes in brick and stone restoration and repairs.

In 2007, Luke’s father invented and patented an aerial work platform which couild  revolutionize the construction industry with its innovative approach
to access elevated structures such as chimneys.  Luke has been attending the World of Concrete convention in Las Vegas since he started working at the company following graduation, to help promote this aerial work platform and to educate himself on new equipment and products in the industry.  By the end of 2013, the company plans on having a prototype built (go to lombardilift.com for more information).   The product has already received national attention in trade publications.

In addition to his work in the company,  Luke became an NASM certified personal trainer earlier in 2013.  He says that the certification process has been “… a great way to stay in shape and keep busy during the winter months because business slows down.”

Luke reports that he’s looking forward to the warmer weather so the company can resume operations for the season.  He’s very upbeat about the coming year, noting that “the phones have been ringing, we just need the snow to melt!”

Owen Glubiak ’08/EnerNoc

Owen Glubiak joined EnerNOC of Boston, MA (NASDAQ: ENOC) in November 2013 as an energy procurement consultant in the SupplySMART group.  His primary role is to help an organization with the energy price and risk management process by demystifying the competitive energy market.  He works with his clients to help them measure, manage, and mitigate the risks associated with energy purchases to create an energy strategy tailored to their specific needs.  Once this strategy has been developed, Owen then guides his clients through the steps necessary to choose the right energy supplier with the most favorable contract terms.

As part of this position, Owen also provides guidance and assistance with EnerNOC’s other services in Demand Response, energy efficiency, and utility bill management.  He reports tthat “I love the multifaceted aspect of the role as I am tasked to provide total energy management solutions to companies from all walks of life.”  Though Owen has been in the energy business for several years, he reports that he’s still learning, and that the position with EnerNOC “… has opened my eyes to the incredible complexity of the energy markets, ….and what the driving forces are in the space. ”  An added bonus, he adds, is that the position taps into his interest in and commitment to clean tech and a more sustainable energy future.

 

 

Matthew Stillman’11/MVP Health Care

Since November of 2012 Matt has been working in Williston, VT for MVP Health Care as an Account Coordinator, focusing on the renewal side of business.  Matt helps coordinate marketing material, fields group and broker questions about health care plans and processes renewals and plan changes.  He reports that “with health care reform looming large on the national and state horizon it’s been a great learning experience…. as we continue to find out more about the requirements of the reform and what it means for providers, members and employers”