My sophomore year, I was invited by Professor Karen Carlson to become a part of the then “CEO Club." I was excited to join a club to become more involved in the campus community, but had no idea about the club, other than it was affiliated with the business program. After a few meetings, I learned the club was going through some changes and that most of the executive board was graduating the next semester. They asked if I would like to become Co-Vice President so the club would have a succession plan in place. The following fall semester, the new Club President Courtney Antkowiak, newly appointed Secretary Sofia Nardi, Treasurer Ashley Seiferheld, and I decided to make some major changes--starting with the name of the club.
We unanimously decided that the club needed to undergo major branding changes. Not every Bay Path business student aspires to be a “CEO.” Bay Path’s business program offers a wide variety of business-like majors, and to become a more inclusive community, we came up with the name, “Women in Business Club" or WIB Club for short. I took the time to create a few rough drafts of our logo, and we all decided on my design that features a maroon shoe with our name wrapped in a banner around it. It is a fun and stylish shoe, showing that business is as fun as you make it! We decided to keep the slogan: “Don’t just learn business - LIVE IT!” that was created by our former executive board. This slogan would be a motto that the club used to come up with its “coming out” event--the first ever Bay Path University Business Pitch Contest.
After two semesters of student-led planning and fundraising, Bay Path University’s Women in Business Club put on a successful Business Pitch Contest modeling TV’s Shark Tank! The Women in Business Club gave away $700 of their own funds to promote student entrepreneurship and support fellow women in business. The event was held on a Tuesday evening in April, decorated with brightly colored balloons, streamers, and participants’ trifold poster boards showcasing their business ideas.
Club members worked hard to network with professionals in the field of business to come up with a panel of judges. These judges took time out of their busy schedules to take on the difficult task of determining a winner from the pool of worthy contestants. Samalid Hogan G'12, MBA, of Massachusetts Small Business Development Center, Paul Silva of Valley Venture Mentors, and Sarah Williams, MBA of Element Athletics gave contestants feedback as each stepped up to the podium in hopes of walking away with a cash prize to go toward their education, start up their business, or fund their passion of entrepreneurism.
Mia Ryder, a liberal studies major, kicked off the evening's festivities with the brave beginning pitch of her idea of “Bracelock”, a fashionable bracelet that holds keys. Following her were contestants Hanadi Sleiman, majoring in business administration and small business management, with her all-natural room deodorizer pitch “Fresh Express”; Samantha Arasimowicz – small business development – “Back Seat Driver”; Shelby Matheus – general psychology – “A Dreamer’s Mind Journal”; La’Tieya Palmer – small business development – “L&L Unique Boutique”; Misa Mitsuhashi – business administration and small business development – “Find My Everything”; Dawa Drolma – marketing and small business development – “Himalayan Herb Medicine Candles”; Dametrice Brown – MBA, entrepreneurship and innovative practices – “4 Seasons Harvest”; and Destiny Schultz – exploratory – “Custom Lighters.”
The club members spearheaded the event, giving their peers a chance to, as their slogan goes, “Don’t just learn business – LIVE IT!” Professor Laurie Rosner, Club Faculty Advisor, and Professor Maureen McGuinness acted as mentors and guided the club in their event planning. Club members Crystal Vazquez, Janice Jackson, and Khalia Williams also made big contributions in planning and executing the event. After all contestants were given the chance to pitch, the executive members announced the winners.
In second place receiving $200 was La’Tieya Palmer and her touching pitch dedicated to those with Lymphedema. La’Tieya’s L&L unique boutique would give those with this disease a chance to wear fashionable clothes that are not offered in regular stores. First place $500 winner was given to Dametrice Brown’s 4 Seasons Harvest pitch. 4 Seasons Harvest is an innovative company dedicated to offering nutritious fruits and vegetables year-round using hydroponics instead of traditional gardening. Every contestant walked away with an enormous white rose, a certificate of participation, and valuable connections to aid them in excelling in their future entrepreneurial endeavors. Winning contestant D. Brown was asked by Laurie Rosner to pitch her idea at the Grinspoon Entrepreneurial Initiative Banquet Awards Ceremony & Banquet Elevator Pitch Competition held on Wednesday, April 26.
Interested in joining Women in Business Club? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for further information on club meeting times. Follow @BayPathWIB on Twitter or facebook.com/bpuwibclub/ for event pictures or to be updated on future events.
--Contributed by Elizabeth Demerski '18