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Schottland Scholars Meet with Seven CEOs During New York Trip

Sandra Krezmien-Funk —  Posted on 4 September 2013 | 10:32 am
Schottland Scholars 2013

Schottland Scholars tour American Packaging Company in Rochester, NY.

Success in the business world can be elusive, so ensuring College of Charleston students are exposed to a variety of companies and industries is key. This is the concept behind the Schottland Scholars’ trip to Rochester, N.Y. in mid-August.  Schottland Scholars is a leader development program for exceptional College of Charleston School of Business undergraduate seniors.

“Our trip really opened my eyes to how the top of a corporation operates,” says Matt Mintz, a business administration major from Santa Barbara, CA. “I learned so much about the decision-making process and strategies that a CEO uses to keep their business running effectively.” Watch a video of Mintz talking about the School of Business.

Finding your passion was one of the major themes of the week, exemplified when the group met with Efrin Rivera, the CFO of Paychex. His words of wisdom were, “Each of us does one or two things better than anyone else in the world. Find out what those things are and go after them with gusto.”

Trip Highlights

In addition to the visit at Paychex, the Scholars also met several other C-level executives and toured facilities based in Western New York including:

  • Lauren Dixon, CEO and Mike Schwabl, president, Dixon-Schwabl, a marketing and advertising firm that consistently ranks among the top 25 Best Small Companies to Work For in America
  • Dave Geier, operations manager, American Packaging Corporation
  • Ed Pettinella, president and CEO of Home Properties, who shared his “Fast Eddy’s Top Ten Tips for Business Success” over lunch
  • Danny Wegman, CEO, and Mike DeCory, vice president, Wegmans, one of the nation’s largest retail grocers, on issues of sustainability and diversity
  • Rob Sands, president and CEO, and Richard Sands, Chairman of the Board, Constellation Brands, to learn the history behind their multi-billion dollar wine production company
  • Dan Burns, regional president, and Phil Smith, senior vice president, M&T Bank, who gave the Scholars an insider’s look at the banking industry and how financial institutions assess risk
  • Burt August, founder, and John Van Heel, CEO and president, Monro Muffler, who discussed organic growth and the importance of giving back to the community

“I am struck by the profound sense of community present among all the business leaders of Rochester,” says Amy Kubie, an economics major from Norwalk, Conn. “The passion, respect, and hospitality we observed were astounding and we deeply appreciate it.  After this incredible week the Schottland Scholars are ready to bring together their diverse talents and channel that energy and dedication towards becoming true ambassadors of the Charleston business community.”

About Schottland Scholars

Schottland Scholars is a leader development program for exceptional College of Charleston School of Business undergraduate seniors. Over the course of their senior year, the Scholars are challenged to develop their professional skills in a series of stimulating extracurricular opportunities in the business community. The program was launched five years ago and is made possible through the generous support of Peter and Susan Schottland of Rochester. Bill Finn, chairman of Asten Johnson, serves as the group’s local business advisor, alongside Carrie Messal, director of the program and associate professor of management and leadership.

About the School of Business

College of Charleston’s School of Business offers seven undergraduate majors and several interdisciplinary concentrations, an honors program in business, an M.S. in Accountancy and an MBA.  Approximately 1900 undergraduate and graduate students attend from as far away as China, Germany and Brazil. The faculty has research expertise in areas such as global logistics, hospitality and tourism, political economics, financial investment, bankruptcy, business intelligence, real estate, and sustainable business practices. Visit http://sb.cofc.edu/to learn more about our students’ achievements, undergraduate and graduate programs, faculty and Centers of Excellence.