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46 Graduate from UB Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership

By Jacqueline Ghosen

Release Date: June 21, 2012

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Forty-six Western New York business owners, operators and high-level managers have graduated from the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) Core program in the University at Buffalo School of Management.

The graduation ceremony was held June 14 at the Center for Tomorrow on the UB North Campus. Speakers included Arjang A. Assad, dean of the School of Management; Marnie LaVigne, UB associate vice president for economic development; Edward Tierney, managing partner, BlackDog Strategy & Brand and chair of the CEL Advisory Board; and Paul Buckley, president of Applied Sciences Group Inc. and chair of the CEL Alumni Association.

Core program graduates completed a 10-month program for experienced entrepreneurs and business leaders who wish to grow, refocus or better manage their businesses. They performed an in-depth analysis of their own businesses while developing expertise in key areas such as strategic planning, employee relations, capital acquisition and marketing.

The CEL graduates are:

Raymond Bednarski, vice president, Kideney Architects P.C.; Frank Cannata, executive director, Riviera Theatre and Organ Preservation Society; Christopher Carpenter, COO, JR Products/Roba & Associates; Carmel Cerullo-Beiter, vice president/partner, J. Fitzgerald Group; Jody Chesko, treasurer/vice president; Niagara County Produce Inc.; Penny Cipolla, president, Innovative Realty Services Inc.; Ethan Cole, rector, Calvary Episcopal Church; Christine Collins, vice president, Collins Advisors LLC; Jennifer Cooper, president, Cooper Sign Co. Inc. and Old Glory Flag & Banner.

Also, James Domres, senior vice president/COO, DIGITS LLC; Nicholas Fasolino, vice president, operations, Alternative Rubber & Plastics Inc.; Aaron Fox, vice president, operations, Globalquest Solutions Inc.; Alicia Graser, sales and marketing manager, William's Florist & Gift House; Adam Hageman, president, Empire Towing and Recovery Inc.; Derek Howe, president, HDS Industrial Design & Drafting Inc.; Dharshan Jayasinghe, managing partner, StraussGroup; Marty Kearns, business manager, SuperUser Technologies Inc.; John Krouse, president, Boston Valley Terra Cotta; Michael McCartney, president/CEO, DIGITS LLC.

Also, Robert Meissner, managing partner, Cornerstone Capital Wealth Management Inc.; Jennifer Murphy, vice president, marketing/COO, NetPlus Alliance; Janet Owczarczak, vice president, Employer Services Corp.; John Paget, president, Paget Films; Michelle Parker, first assistant county attorney, Office of the Erie County Attorney; Joshua Penfold, CEO, The Penfold Group LLC; Jon Powers, president, Day & Night Plumbing Co. LLC; Rhonda Ricks, president/CEO, Inclusion Development Associates Inc.; Sarah Robitaille-Kubiak, vice president/associate broker, Robitaille Real Estate; Peter Roe, manager, Ace Flag Company.

Also, Todd Schmigel, president, Buffalo Geothermal Heating; David Shatzel, general manager/owner, Brennan's Bowery Bar & Restaurant; Michael Shatzel, owner, Coles; Adam Shine, vice president, Manitoba Corp.; Heather Sidorowicz, vice president, Southtown Audio Video; Shandra Spicer, president/CEO, S & W Contracting of WNY Inc.; James Sproull, partner, Genesis Payment Processing Group; Lisa Stefanie, president, TripleTrack; Melissa Tocha, attorney, Melissa A. Tocha Attorney at Law; Teresa Tramposch, president, Core Environmental;

Also, Christopher Tryjankowski, vice president, PCS Plumbing & Heating Inc.; Brad Wagner, managing partner, IanPage Services LLC; Mark Wisz, vice president, OtherWisz Creative Corp., Michael Wittman, vice president, Metal Preparations Co. Inc.; Matthew Wolfe, general manager, Tri-Main Development LLC; Christopher Wopperer, sales representative, Thermal Foams Inc.; and Chris Zak, program manager, Buffalo Computer Graphics.

Mark Wisz and Michelle Parker received the Taylor Kew Award, for their outstanding commitment to the CEL program as demonstrated by their personal growth and contribution to their respective classes.

Established in 1987, the UB Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership promotes business growth through leadership development and experiential learning.

"The Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership provides a crucial link between these businesses and the School of Management," said Thomas Ulbrich, executive director of the CEL. "The relationship building and sharing of expertise that takes place in the core program are invaluable to both the school and participants."

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 economy. For more information, visit http://mgt.buffalo.edu/cel or contact the CEL at 716-885-5715 or mgt-cel@buffalo.edu.

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.