For Immediate Release — Monday, April 24, 2006


Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516

SUNY Geneseo's Pamela York Klainer Center for Women and Business announces winners of student competition

GENESEO, N.Y. — The Pamela York Klainer Center for Women and Business in the State University of New York at Geneseo's Jones School of Business has announced the winners of its annual student marketing competition.

Klainer, a Rochester resident who received her master's degree in elementary education from Geneseo in 1971 and founded the Klainer Consulting Group, LLC, donated $125,000 to the college in 2004 to establish the center. Of that, $25,000 was earmarked as prize money for a student marketing plan competition.

This year, Klainer contributed $10,000, while M&T Bank donated $5,000 to support the competition, said Jones School of Business Dean Mary Ellen Zuckerman. In addition, Steven C. Phillips, branch manager of M&T's Greece branch, served as a volunteer consultant for the student teams.

This year's challenge was to write business plans for Lifespan of Greater Rochester so the not-for-profit agency could market a set of underutilized fee-based financial services geared toward older adults. A total of 21 students on five teams who have taken specific business and communication courses competed for the top three spots.

The winners will receive cash prizes of $8,000, $5,000 and $2,000, respectively. An awards dinner was held on, Wednesday, April 19, and a feedback session with the participants will take place May 2.

First place went to Business Plan Professionals, with team members Michaela Alissandrello, of Skaneateles, N.Y.; David Gascon, of Skaneateles, N.Y.; Kate Hennigan, of Liverpool, N.Y.; and Brian Murray, of Binghamton, N.Y.

Second place went to Team Start-Up, with team members Shaun Walker, of Webster, N.Y.; Justin Zacharias, of Canandaigua, N.Y.; Riley Fitzgerald, of Geneva, N.Y.; Cynthia Chen, of Penfield, N.Y.; and Paul Bolotovsky, of Staten Island, N.Y.

Third place went to Team Redeemed, with team members Casey Teal, of Williamsville, N.Y.; Stephanie Buonomo, of Rochester, N.Y.; Philip Banks, of Burt, N.Y.; and Dave Rose, of Farmington, N.Y.

Alissandrello, 21, was on the winning team last year, too, helping to devise a marketing plan to sell Klainer's book geared toward baby boomers.

"The business plan competition offers an exceptional opportunity for students to maximize the application of their undergraduate knowledge," said the senior business administration major. "There are no other circumstances that I can think of where you have complete control over how you want to resolve a proposed issue. You are given a real world business problem and can come to a conclusion however your group finds necessary.

"The problems have been intriguing and mentally engaging. The competition is a great outlet for students who want to apply their knowledge to a real world case/problem," she said. "I feel lucky to be presented with the opportunity to participate in this type of event. It is rare that students, especially undergraduate students, are trusted enough to sufficiently tackle a current business problem and formulate a polished resolution."

Bolotovsky, a junior double major in economics and international relations, said participating in the competition has brought together students from a variety of disciplines in the business school, including economics and business administration.

"One interesting thing that I've learned or noticed is the different ways in which the business majors think and tackle problems," said the 21-year-old. "It was my first time working with the group and I found that everyone had a unique perspective dependent on their major."

The center's mission is threefold: to better prepare Geneseo students to be dynamic leaders and citizens through a better understanding of gender issues; to serve as a resource for the Rochester and Livingston County communities; and to earn a national reputation for research on issues related to gender and the workplace.