Alumni Impact

Mission possible

By Kevin Manne

Each May, School of Management professional staff gather for a day of learning and networking at an all-hands retreat.

For 2017, the planning committee devised a day in the style of the Emmy-winning TV show, “The Amazing Race.”

Dubbed “Mission Possible,” our version sent staff into the community to meet with organizations owned or impacted by School of Management alumni so they could see, firsthand, the impact the school has on these organizations and how the work of our alumni benefits Western New York. 

In all, staff members visited 34 area businesses and organizations. This page features just a few highlights from Twitter posts shared during the retreat.

Michael Weiner, MBA ’90, president and CEO; Rema Hanash, EMBA ’16, director of resource development; and Andy Lashua, EMBA ’15, program director – financial stability; at the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County. The organization invests more than $19 million annually in local organizations and programs related to literacy and education, health and wellness, and financial stability.

School of Management staff at the Olmsted Center for Sight. Led by Tamara Owen, EMBA ’02, Olmsted is a Center of Excellence for blind and visually impaired children and adults. Currently, 4.2 million Americans ages 40 and older are visually impaired. By 2030, when the last baby boomers turn 65, this number is projected to reach 7.2 million.    

Michelle Bulan, BS ’91, MBA ’92, executive director of marketing and corporate communications for Perry’s Ice Cream, at the company’s headquarters in Akron. Led by Robert Denning, EMBA ’00, Perry’s many partnerships with the School of Management include the Corporate Champions program and efforts to recruit students for internships and full-time positions.

Joe Nardecchia, BS ’03, was a longtime homebrewer before opening Niagara Craft Spirits with fellow UB alumni Todd Snyder and Keith Curtachio. As a New York State Farm Distillery, Niagara Craft Spirits sources at least 75 percent of the ingredients for each product from within New York State. For example, the 1808 Silver Corn Whiskey is made with 81 percent local corn, sourced from a farm within 10 miles of the distillery.

School of Management staffers pose outside beHealthy Institute, a health and wellness facility in Hamburg. Jill Chiacchia, MBA ’94, is the founder and director of the company and a certified health coach. At beHealthy Institute, she works with individuals, families and groups to guide them toward a healthy lifestyle.

Pancho, guide dog for Chris Salem, undergraduate advisement associate, relaxes with a new toy he received at their group’s stop at Target. In addition to hiring many School of Management grads for internships and full-time positions, Target also sponsors the annual On Target Undergraduate Club Case Competition, which helps undergrads hone their analytical, communication, presentation and teamwork skills.

One of the groups stopped to make cupcakes at Rich Products, a leading supplier and solutions provider to the food service, in-store bakery and retail marketplaces. The company has 11,000 associates worldwide (including many School of Management alumni like Rich Ferranti, EMBA ’97, executive vice president and COO). William Gisel, president and CEO, is a former Dean’s Advisory Council member and our 2014 Buffalo Niagara Executive of the Year.

Thank you to the 34 businesses and organizations that participated in Mission Possible:
  • Bak USA
  • Bear Metal Works
  • beHealthy Institute
  • Blue Sky Design Supply
  • Buffalo Water Bikes
  • Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner
  • Citi
  • Delaware North
  • Employer Services Corporation
  • Fisher-Price
  • Food Bank of WNY
  • Fresenius Kabi
  • Independent Health
  • KPMG
  • M&T Bank
  • Merchants Insurance Group
  • Monkey See, Monkey Do… Children’s Bookstore
  • Niagara Craft Spirits and Distillery
  • Olmsted Center for Sight
  • Perry’s Ice Cream
  • PwC
  • Red Siren
  • Rich Products
  • SoPark
  • Target
  • Ten Thousand Vines Winery
  • The Screening Room
  • Tops Markets
  • Twin City Ambulance
  • Uniland Development
  • United Way of Buffalo and Erie County
  • West Side Bazaar
  • Zandra Beauty