Professor Kanan’s thoughts on the Wells Fargo Scandal

Professor Kanan’s thoughts on the Wells Fargo Scandal

 In my experience as a business professor, auditor and strategic consultant, such conditions that lead to fraudulent activities like the ones Wells Fargo has admitted to, are almost always rooted in a failure at the C-level of the organization; the “tone at the top”. 

Business Students Take on Thailand During Winter Break

Posted by: on Mar 5, 2018 | No Comments

Over winter break, 18 School of Business MBA and senior undergraduate students took part in the “Doing Business in Thailand” program under the leadership of Professor Davina Vora. The program was hosted by the College of Management, Mahidol University in Bangkok, and was part of a three-credit MBA level course.
During their nine day stay, students participated in company visits and took classes on topics including cross-cultural management, innovations in Thai retailing, and sustainable leadership in Thailand given by instructors from our partner university. While in Bangkok, students visited Sampran Riverside, a living museum of Thai culture, Central World, and Philip Morris. For the last portion of the trip, students traveled to Chiang Rai, where they visited Baan Doi, a home and healing center for children.

The “Doing Business in Thailand” program had a significant impact on our students. Stella Liao told us,
“Thailand has definitely been one of the best experiences of my life. Some of the major highlights would be the organizational visits. The visit to Baan Doi was one of the most humbling experiences of the program. The visit consisted of meeting/playing with the children of Baan Doi that were rescued from the streets and learning the in’s and out’s of the organization. It’s always good to be reminded and exposed to charities and organizations that broadens your perspective in life. One of the many things learned on this trip, was to be more mindful and respectful of others. This is highly beneficial in a work environment, knowing how to be aware of other’s actions and my own will make me a better teammate and employee. Another benefit from studying abroad is learning the differences of how business is run in Asia. We had a class about how crucial small actions are in Asia. Knowing how to do business internationally is beneficial to any company because no matter where you go or who you work for, there is no doubt, you will run into people of different ethnicities. Knowing the importance of cultural differences and how they affect each employee is crucial to businesses, especially since globalization has been and will affect businesses. I am very grateful for the study experience and I highly recommend all students to go study abroad!”

Welcoming New Small Business Development Center

Posted by: on Mar 5, 2018 | No Comments

A new office location of the Mid-Hudson Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will open in our very own School of Business!

The SBDC program is a state-wide initiative administered by SUNY, which focuses on providing management and technical assistance to start-up companies and existing businesses.

Its mission of delivering business expertise to communities to capitalize on makes it a natural ally of New Paltz’s School of Business, which in addition to hosting regional service organizations like The Business Institute and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, also offers courses and concentrations that emphasize business planning and entrepreneurship.

“We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to host the SBDC satellite office within the School of Business,” said Dean of the School of Business Kristin Backhaus. “As we grow our entrepreneurship program, the SBDC is a perfect partner, providing synergies that will benefit all of us.”

The Mid-Hudson SBDC has supported businesses in Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster Counties since it was established in 1985. Their record of success speaks for itself: more than 19,000 business advisory partnerships, guiding more than $600 million in investment in the regional economy, with services provided free of charge.

Click here for more info about the Mid-Hudson Small Business Development Center.


Food Marketing Students Take on This Year’s NGA Competition

Posted by: on Mar 5, 2018 | No Comments

Food marketing students Elizabeth Muzyka, Anthony Walsh, Anh Vu, and Rathan Yogi competed in the National Grocers Association (NGA) Case Competition in Las Vegas in February. This annual event pits top food marketing students in a demanding case analysis competition on the national stage. Although we did not come out on top, our students showed their professional skills in a tense and challenging setting.

Russell Zwanka, faculty advisor, stated “I could not be prouder of Liz, Anh, Anthony, and Rathan. They handled this competition with the poise and confidence that comes from the knowledge they, along with SUNY New Paltz’s Food Marketing program, belong on the same stage with some of the top Food Marketing universities in the world. Our students did a fantastic job!”

Participating against the nation’s top schools bring learning outcomes that can’t be provided in the classroom. Anh Vu expressed her appreciation for being able to participate: “I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have been part of the NGA competition… we competed against some of the top Food Marketing schools, but also we got to learn more about the food industry and talked to some innovative, successful food leaders. The NGA Show was a very eye-opening experience that helped me gain more insight about the future of food.”

For Liz Muzyka, who has participated two years in a row, participating “in workshops and networking events at the conference showed me how far my education in the food industry has come as I was able to have meaningful, in depth conversations about some of the industry’s most prevalent topics with other professionals. Participating in this conference has expanded my knowledge and passion for this industry far beyond the classroom. I worked with three other accomplished SUNY New Paltz students and Dr. Zwanka, who each made this experience a memorable one.”
Participation in this program was made possible by the NGA and our Applied Learning Support program.

Announcing our Hall of Fame 2018 Inductees

Posted by: on Mar 5, 2018 | No Comments

Since 2001, the School of Business Hall of Fame has recognized the achievements of students, faculty, alumni and community members who have made significant contributions to their respective business professions and to the educational activities at New Paltz.

The School of Business is pleased to announce its 2018 Hall of Fame inductees:

Business Person of the Year: Cheryl Bowers

On Jan 1, 2018, Cheryl Bowers became the first woman President and CEO of Rondout Savings Bank, which has served individuals and businesses in the Hudson Valley for 150 years.

She is an active participant with the New York Bankers Association, where she serves on the Education Committee and Women in Banking Conference Committee and is a regular speaker at the Annual Women’s Leadership Conference.

Bowers has also made numerous contributions to her community. Among her many regional engagements, she serves on the boards of the Ulster Community College Foundation, the Kingston Boys and Girls Club, the Lions Club of Kingston, and Vassar Brothers Medical Center. She is a past Board Chair of the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce, a past honoree of the YWCA Tribute to Women and was named Volunteer of the Decade by Gateway Community Industries.


Dean’s Award of Excellence: Denise Doring VanBuren 

Over the course of a 25-year career at Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, Denise Doring VanBuren has distinguished herself as an executive overseeing Public Relations, Corporate Communications, Economic Development, Marketing, Energy Efficiency and Governmental Affairs.

In 2005, she was awarded the title of Central Hudson Executive of the Year.

VanBuren has also enjoyed a rich and celebrated life in service and volunteerism. She is the First Vice President General for the Daughters of the American Revolution, and serves on the boards of a number of regional organizations, including the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, the MidHudson Regional Hospital of Westchester Medical Center, and Dutchess Tourism, Inc., where she holds the position of Board Chair.


Alumna of the Year: Sandra Jackson ’86 (Business Administration)

Sandra Jackson joined Covanta Energy, an international leader in providing sustainable waste and energy solutions, shortly after graduating from SUNY New Paltz. Over the course of more than two decades with the company, she has assumed increasing levels of responsibility in human resources.

She currently holds the title of vice president of diversity and employee engagement, and demonstrates leadership in guiding Covanta’s employee engagement, mergers and acquisitions, diversity and inclusion, and leadership development.

Jackson returned to campus in 2017 to share career advice and reflections with students at the annual Women’s Leadership Summit. She also serves the broader community, including as a board member of Grace Smith House, which provides services and shelter to victims of domestic violence in Dutchess County.


Student Leader of the Year: Ecegul Somay ’18 (Business Administration)

As a dual degree program enrollee, Ecegul Somay has enjoyed a decorated academic career at both SUNY New Paltz and Istanbul Technical University, where she developed skills applicable to a wide variety of international business settings. She completed an internship at Mediterranean Shipping Company, and engaged with AIESEC, a non-governmental, not-for profit organization of youth that is a recognized partner of the United Nations.

At SUNY New Paltz, Somay has thrived as a student in the School of Business and has worked to extend her successes to her peers. She is a student advisor for the SUNY-YÖK Dual Diploma program, a member of the School of Business Dean’s Student Advisory Board, and a Graduate Assistant at International Student Programs.


The School of Business will hold its 2018 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Wednesday, April 18 at the Grandview in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., beginning at 5 p.m.

The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is supported by the following sponsors:

Gold Sponsors
Capital Group Private Client Services
Rondout Savings Bank

Silver Sponsors
Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation
M & T Bank
Ulster Savings Bank

Bronze Sponsors
Northwestern Mutual
Sawyer Motors
Ward Backhaus Collision

Free Enterprise Back-to-Back Winners

Posted by: on Mar 5, 2018 | No Comments

A trio of School of Business competitors has completed the first ever back-to-back clean sweep of the SUNY Plattsburgh Free Enterprise Marathon this March. Michael Coughlin, James Terotta, and Kaitlyn DeTrinis were triumphant in the “Team Creativity and Innovation Competition”, going up against 13 other teams from around the Northeast. Kaitlyn DeTrinis, for the second year in a row, won the “Free Enterprise Speak-Off”, with a passionate and compelling speech about what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Coached by Professor Rief Kanan and supported by funding from our Applied Learning Support Program, the team has demonstrated just what a SUNY New Paltz team can do! Congratulations to our victorious team!