BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Fifty-one experienced regional entrepreneurs are poised to move their businesses forward after graduating from the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) Core program in the University at Buffalo School of Management.
For the first time, on June 5 at UB’s Center for the Arts, the CEL hosted one joint graduation ceremony for four of its programs.
Arjang Assad, dean of the UB School of Management, delivered opening remarks and introduced the keynote speaker, Tilmon Brown, president and chief operating officer at New Horizons Baking Co. Thomas Ulbrich, executive director of the CEL, served as master of ceremonies.
The Western New York business leaders who graduated from the Core program completed a 10-month, peer-driven, mentor-based course of study to help grow, refocus or better manage their businesses. They performed an in-depth analysis of their own businesses while developing expertise in key areas such as strategic planning, employee relations, capital acquisition and marketing.
“For 26 years, the Core program has empowered entrepreneurs to overcome business challenges and develop meaningful connections within the business community,” says Ulbrich. “The 51 entrepreneurs in this year’s class play a vital role in our community by creating jobs and invigorating the local economy through entrepreneurial development. We are proud to be able to support them through this program.”
The CEL Core graduates are:
Stefan Balint, Sampla Belting NA LLC, Lackawanna; Allie Balling, Allieway Marketing Services, Buffalo; Charles Barrett, Quad-B Systems LLC, Tonawanda; John Becker Jr., HB&O Funding Co., Orchard Park; William Benedict, NE Business Systems Inc., Eden; Kathy Benzinger, Benzinger’s Dry Cleaning, Hamburg; Kevin Bieler, Bieler Janitorial, Orchard Park; Timothy Boling, Cradle Beach, Angola; John Bradley, Alcott HR Group, Williamsville; Renee Cerullo, RLComputing LLC, Cheektowaga; Russell Cirino, Bison City Truck Parts Inc., Buffalo.
Also, Nicholas Cortese, Cortese Construction Services, Depew; Dmitry Dedovets, Dalex Construction Inc., North Tonawanda; Frank DiMaria, Frank’s Commercial and Home Services, Tonawanda; Vincent DiStefano, Merrill Lynch, Buffalo; Sean Dwyer, Health Force, Cheektowaga; Jason Fedus, Online Auto Connection & WNY Dream Cars, West Seneca; Rosanne Frandina, Frandina Engineering and Land Surveying PC, Buffalo; Sandra Grunzweig, Marilla Country Store Inc., Marilla; Daniel Hawrylczak, Dan Hawrylczak State Farm Agency, Buffalo; William Hibbard, Engineered Facility Solutions Inc., Buffalo.
Also, Dan Hughes, Image Supply Source Inc., Tonawanda; Jonathan Kaye, Wilmack Media LLC, Williamsville; Steven Kempf, Davis-Ulmer Sprinkler Co. Inc., Amherst; Konstantinos Kentros, The Barrel Restaurant, Fort Erie, Ontario; Keith Krollman, Intense Industries Inc., Buffalo; Joy Kuebler, Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect PC, North Tonawanda; Douglas Levere, Print Collection, Buffalo; Anthony Mangano, Vin-Chet Bakery, Snyder; Sean McGinley, Envisions, Clarence; Todd Miller, DataSol Inc., Clarence.
Also, Mary Murphy, M. F. Murphy Insurance Agency Inc., Lockport; Christopher Naugle, ROI Financial Group, Williamsville; Lisa Nowakowski, Turning Point Behavior, Springville; Thecly Ortolani, Ted’s Jumbo Red Hots Inc., Amherst; Sherry Preziuso, Fierce Fitness LLC, Buffalo; Jeffrey Price, Price Trucking Corp., Buffalo; Jeffrey Reed, Mount Calvary Cemetery Group, Cheektowaga; Brian Ritter, Zenner & Ritter Inc., Buffalo; Kevin Scherf, Habitat for Humanity, Buffalo; LaMont Singletary, ABC Cleaning Services Inc., Buffalo.
Also, Mark Subjeck, Online Auto Connection, West Seneca; Tami Treutlein, Speech Language & Communication Associates, Williamsville; Frank Vacanti Jr., Weatherpanel Inc., Buffalo; Joseph Vanderbosch, On Call Computer Solutions Inc., Williamsville; Robert Vezina Jr., Life Safety, Buffalo; Richard Williams, Image Supply Source Inc., Tonawanda; Walter Wolanske, Walter Medical Inc., Buffalo; Richard Workman Jr., Southside Precast Products, Buffalo; Gregory Young, Performance Advantage Co., Lancaster; and Michael Young, Empire Building Diagnostics, Depew.
In addition, Keith Krollman, owner of Intense Industries Inc., received the Taylor Kew Award, which recognizes a graduating student for entrepreneurial excellence and exemplifying the principles for which the late Kew stood. An energetic advocate for the CEL, Kew created and operated several companies and donated his time to several civic organizations before his tragic death in a seaplane crash in 1992.
Applications are now open for the next CEL Core program, set to begin this fall. The CEL also is accepting applications for the next Advanced Core program, a 10-month, mentor-based forum slated to begin this fall that helps Core graduates implement and execute the plans they developed during the Core program. For more information or to apply, contact the CEL at 716-885-5715 or email@example.com.
Established in 1987, the CEL provides participants with individualized and interactive education in entrepreneurship. More than 1,200 CEL alumni employ more than 22,000 Western New Yorkers, and their businesses are worth more than $2 billion to the local economy. For more information, visit mgt.buffalo.edu/cel.
The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit mgt.buffalo.edu.
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB’s more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.
Photo: The CEL Core Class of 2014. (Photo by Nancy J. Parisi)