School of Business forms Food Industry Council, joins HV Food & Beverage Alliance

The School of Business at SUNY New Paltz is building relationships with regional retail food businesses as part of its ongoing effort to connect students with entrepreneurs and provide them with real-world business insights and experience.

To that end the School is announcing the formation of the New Paltz Food Industry Council (NPFIC), a new partnership comprised of local business leaders that will assist in the development of a food retail management program within the School of Business’s existing marketing curriculum, highlighted by the debut of two new food classes in fall ’16.

“We are very excited about this collaboration with companies in the food industry in the Hudson Valley region and beyond,” said School of Business Dean Kristin Backhaus. “Formation of the New Paltz Food Industry Council is the first step in an exciting new direction for the School of Business.”

The NPFIC will include representatives of Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation (HVEDC), Bread Alone, Satin Fine Foods, Morningnewsbeat, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Adams Fairacre Farms, County of Ulster Office of Economic Development, Constellation Brands, Bozzuto’s, Shop Rite, AdLife, Acosta Brokerage, Johnson O’Hare Brokers, Triple Eight Marketing and Brian Harris.

The School of Business has also announced that it will join the Hudson Valley Food & Beverage Alliance (HVFBA), a network of regional business owners, industry executives and academicians brought together by HVEDC that works to bolster and capitalize on the Hudson Valley’s reputation as a destination for great food and drink.

The drive to expand food industry opportunities for School of Business students is being led by Lecturer Russell J. Zwanka, who in addition to his work as an educator and mentor is CEO of Triple Eight Marketing, a retail food industry consultancy.

“The food industry is one of the most vibrant and thriving areas of our economy,” Zwanka said. “Having spent most of my career in food, I am looking to build a bridge between some of the best students in the northeast and some of the top retailers and consumer goods companies in our area. This ground-breaking food offering will set SUNY New Paltz apart from the crowd and give our students valuable skills needed to be successful in today’s environment.”

As part of the partnership with HVEDC, Zwanka will become a strategic adviser to the HVFBA and will work closely with members and stakeholders of HVEDC, helping to strengthen the ties between the School of Business and the local business community.

“By working closely with Dr. Zwanka and the School of Business, we see incredible opportunities for expanding the Hudson Valley Food & Beverage Alliance by tapping into the college’s considerable capabilities,” said Laurence Gottlieb, president & CEO of HVEDC. “Jumping off the incredible partnership we forged with their School of Science & Engineering around 3D printing technology, we see similar potential with a collaboration centering on the food and beverage industry, which is literally feeding the Hudson Valley’s economic growth in new and exciting ways.”

The College’s expansion of food-focused programming will also include membership in the Category Management Association and the National Grocer’s Alliance (NGA) University Coalition.

More information about the School of Business and the Hudson Valley Food & Beverage Alliance is available online.