BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Samuel Bodapaty has been named "Protege 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.
Bodapaty received a $1,500 prize for the honor. He is president
of Indus1 Inc., a Buffalo-based firm that specializes in helping
small and medium firms to enter, establish and expand trade with
Laura Reed of Buffalo Bites Food Tours in Orchard Park was
awarded the second-place prize of $1,000. Roxanne Button of Design
Synergies Architecture P.C. in Buffalo, and Alisha Taggart-Powell
of Janie's Emporium in Buffalo tied for third place and will each
The Allstate Foundation, a charitable organization funded by
subsidiaries of Allstate Insurance Corporation, sponsored the
program and presented the awards at a banquet on Nov. 7 in the
Center for Tomorrow on UB's North Campus.
Eighteen participants completed the program after entering as
proteges last March. In addition to the award winners, the
graduates were: Melissa Babiarz, Melissa Babiarz, LMHC,
Williamsville; Michelle Boudreaux-Dhanoa, Gala Parties Inc.,
Lancaster; Laurie Brinkerhoff, Benefits Brokers of WNY, Amherst;
Melissa Fayson, Mobile Soles, Buffalo; P. Anne Gaspar, Ciredon
Group LLC, Hamburg; Stacy Green, S.E.G. Construction Inc.,
Williamsville; Mary Pat Maloney, Overdorf Associates Agency Inc.,
Hamburg; Kristen Martin, Eco Posh Events and Décor, Buffalo;
Kate Moody, YourTroubadour Inc., Springville; Amy Polowy, Gross
Polowy Orlans LLC, Amherst; Hatsutaro Ramadhan, HAZ Financial
Solutions LLC, Cheektowaga; Bridget Reid, Overdorf Associates
Agency Inc., Hamburg; Clare Root, CR Home Renewed, Buffalo; and
Julianne Wells, JPW Supply LLC, Buffalo.
"Our goal is to help minority and women entrepreneurs take their
companies to the next level," said Thomas Ulbrich, executive
director of the CEL. "These graduates can use their newly developed
skills to achieve their business and personal goals, while also
contributing to our local economy."
Donna Scalfaro, owner of Carpet Care Services Inc. and a 2010
MWEE graduate, delivered the keynote address. She also served as a
mentor in this year's program and is enrolled in the CEL's Core
Each participant was assigned a mentor from the local business
community to help formulate realistic business goals and develop
timetables and strategies for achieving them.
Mentors met regularly with participants, providing advice in
strategic and tactical thinking, marketing, long-range financial
planning and more. The capstone project in the program was creation
of a new or revised business plan.
The "Mentor of the Year" award was given to David Berghash, CEO
of Shield Manufacturing Inc.
This year's class brings the total number of Allstate Minority
and Women Emerging Entrepreneurs program graduates to 171.
The CEL is now accepting applications for the 2013 MWEE program.
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, call the CEL at 716-885-5715 or visit
The Allstate Foundation, established in 1952, is an independent,
charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The
Allstate Corporation. Through partnerships with nonprofit
organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings
the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support
innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people's well-being
and prosperity. With a focus on teen safe driving and building
financial independence for domestic violence survivors, The
Allstate Foundation also promotes safe and vital communities;
tolerance, inclusion, and diversity; and economic empowerment. For
more information, visit http://www.allstate.com/foundation.
Since 1987, the CEL has been providing participants with
individualized and interactive education in entrepreneurship. More
than 900 CEL alumni employ more than 22,000 Western New Yorkers,
and their businesses are worth more than $2 billion to the local
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 http://mgt.buffalo.edu.