Jacqueline Molik Ghosen
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Felecia Doctor has been named “Protégé of the Year” by the Allstate Minority and Women Emerging Entrepreneurs Program, a joint venture by the University at Buffalo School of Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) and the UB Center for Urban Studies.
Doctor, owner of My Precious Angels Daycare, Buffalo, received a $1,500 prize for the honor.
Donna Scalfaro, owner of Carpet Care Services, Williamsville, was awarded the second-place prize of $1,000. Additionally, Kim Cox, owner of Secret Valley Media Labs, Hamburg, and Shandra Roberson, owner of S&W Contracting of WNY, Buffalo, were awarded third-place prizes, receiving $500.
The Allstate Foundation, a charitable organization funded by subsidiaries of Allstate Insurance Corporation, sponsored the program and presented the awards at a banquet held on Dec. 8 in the Center for Tomorrow on UB’s North Campus.
Sixteen participants completed the program after entering as protégés last January. In addition to the award winners, the participants were:
Mokita Baskerville, Maven Management Services, Buffalo; Wendy Brabon, Ignite Worldwide Inc., Rochester; Lynn Clark Home Solutions of WNY, Inc., Buffalo; Everette Myrick, Helping Hands, Buffalo; Nancy Parisi, Nancy Parisi Photography, Buffalo; Beverly Robinson-Smith, Shifting Gears Unlimited, Buffalo; Jamie Shaner, Home Solutions of WNY, Inc., Williamsville; Laythanette Shine, Sunshine Drug Testing, Getzville; Sarah St. John, Alliance Innovative Mfg., Inc., Lackawanna; Mattie Stevenson, Above & Beyond Event Planners, LLC, Tonawanda; Teresa Tramposch, Core Environmental, Inc., Buffalo; and Sandra White, Mustard Seed Consulting Service, Buffalo.
“Our mission is to create a pathway that enables minority and women emerging entrepreneurs to move their companies to the next stage of development,” said Thomas Ulbrich, executive director of the CEL. “As a result of this program, these 16 graduates can foster their economic independence, advance their families’ future and strengthen the economic health of our community.”
Each participant was assigned two mentors who are successful entrepreneurs from the local business community and who met regularly with their protégés to help them evaluate and improve their business plans.
Mentors provided protégés with technical advice on varied aspects of running a small business. This includes strategic and tactical thinking, marketing, long-range financial planning and basic legal advice to help protégés formulate realistic business goals and to develop timetables and strategies for achieving them.
“Mentor of the Year” awards were given to Doctor’s mentors, Larry Mietus of Speaking of Strategy and Sandy Coon of Peerless Air Conditioning & Heating Co.
The culminating activity in the program was creation of a new or revised business plan. One year after completing the program, protégés will be invited back to assess the program’s impact on the development of their businesses.
The Allstate Foundation also presented a special plaque to Shandra Roberson, a 2010 graduate and owner of S&W Contracting of WNY, in recognition of being named Region II Minority Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Roberson received this honor at a White House reception in August.
In addition, graduates Wendy Brabon of Ignite Worldwide Inc. and Teresa Tramposch of Core Environmental Inc. were each awarded $1,500 scholarships to attend the CEL’s 10-month Core program, which is for experienced entrepreneurs and business leaders who wish to grow, refocus or better manage their businesses.
This year’s class brings the total number of Allstate Minority and Women Emerging Entrepreneurs Program graduates to more than 100.
Applications for the 2011 program are due by Jan. 7. To be eligible, an entrepreneur must be a woman or a member of a recognized minority group (African American, Latino, Native American or Asian) and must own a business in the Buffalo-Niagara region. For more information on the Allstate Minority and Women Emerging Entrepreneurs Program, call the CEL at 716-885-5715 or visit mgt.buffalo.edu/ced/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 has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report and The Wall Street Journal 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.