Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Play To Win: Leadership from the Field or Boardroom

The Play to Win: Leadership from the Field or Boardroom event that took place May 9th 2017 6:00-8:00 p.m. Reid Castle was a lively discussion with our panel of women leaders. They helped illustrate how deciding on a strategic approach, then making the right choices to support it, makes the difference between just playing the game and actually winning. 

The discussion was moderated by Sharon Y. Lopez, Founder, Purple Giraffe Productions and had a panel who included Ndidi Massay, Chairperson, New York State Athletic Commission; Denise Povolny, Senior Vice President, Key Bank; Stacey Tompkins, President, Tompkins Excavating.
There were many great highlights from the event. Ndidi stressed “Strong leaders sit with their groups, not by their groups.” Denise said “making sure you are above reproach, do the right thing because it is.” She also gave a little career advice, and said “Never give up, achieve goals with hard work and perseverance, and mentor.”
Please join us for our upcoming 3rd Annual Women’s Leadership Summit –Pursue Your Dreams, on June 8,, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., at Reid Castle, Manhattanville College. It’s going to be a day filled with inspiration, professional development, and networking with like-minded professional women. For more information and to register online please visit

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Q & A with Laura Bigaouette

School of Business Graduate Assistant, Christina Surrusco sat down with Laura Bigaouette, Program Director, to learn about all the programs she manages ncluding the APPEAL adult accelerated undergraduate programs, the Post Baccalaureate in Prehealth, Summer and Winter Sessions, and the noncredit initiatives.  These programs offer targetted programming for various audiences ranging from high school students, adult, life long learners and post college professionals. 

CS: What draws students to take APPEAL Adult Accelerated Undergraduate degrees?
LB:For the APPEAL Program a big draw is the flexibility we provide our students. These adult students work on completing their bachelor’s degree in the evening so that they can have work and life balance. We also offer rolling admissions so students can start classes six times a year – 2 sessions in the spring, summer and fall.

CS: What are some of the reasons students do a Post Bac in Prehealth course of study at Manhattanville College?
LB: The Post Bac Program is primarily designed to assist with students who need to complete necessary pre-requisite core classes or seeking academic enhancement in the area of science and other course offerings. We want to help our students position and prepare for career options in the health and medical field, such as the application process to medical school. With an extraordinary science faculty, our professors are very flexible regarding the coursework that post-bac students need.  Post Bacc students also get the value-added benefit of the advice and expertise that our science faculty provides.

 How are our programs and classes unique in comparison to surrounding colleges and programs?
One of the biggest areas of our differentiation is that we provide a high level of personalized service and support to all of our students. I constantly hear from students that they value the personal support that we provide through the whole admissions process and enrollment process.

Once they are in the program, students receive guidance on setting up their academic programs and advisement is available throughout students’ programs. I advise students during their registration, speak with them regarding career goals and the ties to their courses, and they are always welcome to meet with me throughout the year.

Our faculty are also unique in the sense that they are working practitioners which allow students to gain practical and relevant knowledge in each class. With a hand-picked faculty, we are deliberate in who we hire and want to make sure they know and understand our student population. Our faculty come to the classroom prepared with real life experience that they bring to our students.

How does the curriculum meet your student’s needs?
Our professors build the curriculum based on elements from their personal experience into assignments and projects that they feel is beneficial for a practical pedagogy. This fits the needs of the students while also giving them practical case work.   The program gives students the theory behind business and behavioral science as well as that practical experience that our faculty brings, coupled with the formalized coursework.

Lasting comments…
There’s a lot of energy in our program and our students show constant enthusiasm for the work they are doing. They get to know each other throughout the program and we form a sense of family here. Classes are small, interactive, relevant and personal. For busy adult students looking to achieve that next level in their professional career, you can’t beat that combination!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Superbowl fun facts from Aaron's class

Aaron Kolodny's notes from Professor, John Rollins,  Managing Sports Business class.  Seems like a great class!
  • The projected Super Bowl revenue is approximately $620 Million with media broadcast revenue accounting for $375 Million and each 30 second commercial costs approximately $5 Million with a one-minute advertisement costing approximately $9 Million. 
  • This event is a financial boom and a logistical nightmare for local economies. What once was just a football game has turned into a marketing fiasco.              
  • It is estimated that over 200 Million will watch the game this February. 
  • The Super Bowl now consists of 10 days of activities: parties, concerts, receptions, a fan village, media day, appearances by players and celebrities and more. 
  • Companies and sponsors spend millions to be associated with the Super Bowl and in conjunction help build and enhance the Super Bowl brand.Moreover, the Super Bowl is a solid economic impetus for the host city with companies putting together weeklong entertainment packages for their clients with lavish perks. 
  • The NFL has something unique that ultimately everyone wants to be a part of and price is not a deterrent.
Here's to a great game this weekend!  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sport Business Management Student, Allaire Primiano, Breaking Barriers For Women in College Athletics

As a first year MSBM student, Allaire Primiano is far from a rookie in the field of Athletic Administration. At the young age of 26, Primiano has managed to transform herself from a Division I middle-infielder playing for Fairleigh Dickinson University to an Associate Athletic Director at Monroe College – Bronx Campus. As a fellow student in the M.S Sport Business Management  program I reached out to Primiano in an effort to inquiry about her experience as a woman in this industry as well as her time at Manhattanville School of Business 
Christina Surrusco, M.S. MSBM '18

CS: You rose through the ranks quickly at Monroe College. Can you tell me a bit more about which positions you have held and your responsibilities during your time at Monroe College?
AP: When I initially applied to the position as an assistant softball coach for Monroe College, I recognized that many of the student-athletes needed assistance throughout the Admissions process and then moving on to the NCAA Level being that we are a Junior College athletically. I then took on the role of the Athletic Admissions Advisor as well as assisting each student-athlete moving onto an NCAA School once they become eligible. I continued to ask for more of a challenge and a transition into Athletic Administration, which eventually led me into the position of the Associate Athletic Director for our Bronx Campus. Now that I am the Associate AD for Monroe College’s Bronx Campus, it has been a great transition and I honestly enjoy every single day as I learn something new!

CS: What inspired you to continue your education at Manhattanville College?
AP: I initially researched the Masters in Sport Business Management Program when I graduated with my undergraduate degree from my Alma Mater, Fairleigh Dickinson University. However, as soon as I moved back home after I graduated, I began applying for coaching positions at the Collegiate level in order to get a foot in the door and gain experience from the ground up. Being that Graduate School was not in the plans while coaching at the time, I told myself that I had to set a goal in order to further my education within a reasonable time frame. That goal was to start Graduate School at the age of 25 and that, I did. I always had my eye on the MSBM program at Manhattanville and after speaking with my former College Softball Coach at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Dale Martin, now Manhattanville’s Softball Coach, I was even more intrigued in pursuing the program. I then emailed, David Torromeo, in order to meet with him one-on-one to discuss the details of the program. After hearing the great qualities that the program had to offer from Dave, himself, along with the amount of networking that could take place, I was sold!

CS: Balancing both a full-time position and working towards a master’s degree can be challenging. How have you been able to maintain a full time position and continue your education?
AP: Everything comes down to time management and prioritizing. Yes, balancing both is most definitely challenging at times, however I believe work ethic plays an integral part, as well as being self-driven. I always make sure to set aside ample time on the weekends in order to complete everything for the upcoming week as I know that my daily schedule throughout the week days will not allow me to complete work for Graduate School.

CS: How do you feel this program has met or unmet your expectations?
AP: This program has surpassed my expectations without a doubt. The amount of knowledge that I have been able to gain and the amount of networking that this program offers is wonderful. Students within the program have the opportunity to develop a long-term relationship with their Professors, who all have extensive experience in the field, and the Professors also open doors by bringing in Guest Speakers, which one can connect with on a professional level for future advice and knowledge.
CS: Do you feel you have been able to apply your work in the classroom to your career?
AP: Yes, I actually become quite excited in class when a Professor speaks on a specific topic that I can translate to my profession the next day and even provide knowledge to my fellow Colleagues. For example, one of the first assignments for Leading in Sport Organizations is to interview an individual that is involved in the administration of sport and a career path which is of interest to you. This presented the opportunity to network beyond my own personal network. I then had the honor of connecting to a female Athletic Director within the area who holds a position that I hope to attain one day. The experience spoke for itself.

CS: As you are moving quickly in your career, where do you see yourself within the next 5 years?
AP: First and foremost, I envision myself assisting in the exponential growth for Monroe College’s Bronx Campus with our implementation of Athletics. I firmly believe that having an Athletic Program on Campus, brings about the intangibles that each and every Campus life can only long for. For myself, I would like to become a Head Athletic Director at the Collegiate Level. Whether I stay at the NJCAA Level or I make the transition to the NCAA Level in the future, I believe that I am gathering all of the essential tools as I move along. This all begins with the MS Sport Business Management program which offers an endless amount of knowledge, networking and most important of all, vision, leadership and experience.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Preparedness, Risk Management, and What We Don’t Know

Michele Braun, Director IMR
No, we can’t be prepared for all eventualities.  “It’s a stochastic world,” my grad school stats prof would remind us.  There is variability associated with all possible outcomes:  just ask the National Weather Service’s forecasters or, for that matter, political pollsters.

Still, I was more than a little surprised to read the lead-in quotation for the New York Times’ post-election DealB%k coverage [November 15, 2016], in which the CEO of a major corporation admitted that “If you were to look at our game board of all the possible outcomes of the election, this one wasn’t even on the sheet.”  Given that there were only two possible outcomes to the November 8 U.S. presidential election—a Clinton victory or a Trump victory—and two possible timings for that outcome—immediate or delayed—how is it that two of the four cells in a two-by-two matrix weren’t “even on the sheet”?

Enterprise risk management is the practice of reviewing possible outcomes and preparing to take advantage of or avoid them.  Sometimes the focus is on the most likely, but sometimes the degree of impact drives consideration of responses to less likely events.  Turning to the New York Times again, the November 27, 2016, “Vocations” column featured a senior emergency preparedness administrator for a gas and electric power utility.  His job is to plan for the unexpected and deploy staff to respond, both on home turf and as-needed to other states.  “Everyone in the company steps in when needed, and we hold drills to give them practice.”  Yes, storms and storm damage generally can be anticipated, but not the specifics.  So experts practice, review their data, and anticipate far more than one possible outcome.

A December 10 Bloomberg article reports that a Group of 20/Financial Stability Board panel will shortly recommend that “Companies should tell investors how their profits may be hit by tighter pollution rules and extreme weather events coming from climate change.”  In September, Financial Stability Board chairman and Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney, identified three key risk categories when considering risk associated with climate change:  physical risks, liability risks, and transition risks.  As identified, these are macro risks, that is, risks to economies on a broad scale.  They are also micro risks, that is, broad changes that might make significant differences in how an individual firm manages its business.   

Take that power utility contingency planner, for instance:  changes in weather patterns undoubtedly would change the “emergency” events for which his firm prepares as well as the amounts of electrical and gas power it needs to provide.

These examples raise the good questions of which outcomes should be anticipated and which prepared for as well as what level of effort and investment should an organization spend on preparedness.  The short, and not so easy answers, are that the answers will be different for every organization and will vary depending on industry, size, maturity, location, funding base, and other factors.   

Not every firm should have pondered its potential risks and plans for the election outcomes, but every organization should periodically assess what risks it should plan for, plan to avoid, or embrace.  And, every board of directors or trustees should be asking its executives what “what ifs” they are considering and which they plan to tackle or ignore, and why.

Michele Braun is the Director for the Institute For Managing Risk at the School of Business (IMR).
For more information on IMR email

Photo courtesy of Norman W. Bernstein 

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