National Finalist Small Business Team Honored at Luncheon

Rider University’s Small Business Institute consulting team of Leslie Day of New Hope, PA and Craig Rudner of Hightstown continued the growing tradition of Rider SBI teams placing in the top 10 nationally.
Friday, May 5, 2000

Rider University’s Small Business Institute consulting team of Leslie Day of New Hope, PA and Craig Rudner of Hightstown continued the growing tradition of Rider SBI teams placing in the top 10 nationally.

For the third straight year, a SBI team has won the regional small business consulting competition and placed in the top 10 nationally in the Small Business Institute Director’s Association (SBIDA) competition.  The 1999 team won the national title.

To recognize the team’s success this year, the College of Business Administration recently honored both Day, a May 1999 graduate with a degree in liberal studies and now an MBA student; and Rudner, also a May 1999 graduate with a degree in management and marketing, during a luncheon. Rudner now works for AT&T.

Among the attendees was Jim Cochran, president of Enterprise Networks Corporation of Doylestown, PA, whose firm Day and Rudner offered consultation services. Enterprise Networks is a business-to-business network that links businesses with their suppliers electronically.

To enter the SBI competition, colleges and universities pick the best case from all projects done in the given year. Since many schools conduct 15-20 consulting projects per year, the potential nationwide pool of cases available for competition is more than 500. To become one of the 10 finalists for the top national honor, teams must first win regional honors.

“Rider students have consistently showed that, against the best student consulting teams in the country, they are equal to the challenge,” said Dr. Ron Cook, associate professor of small business at Rider and SBIDA vice president of administration. “Teams are judged on content, style and effectiveness. Rider cases have scored 94 or better out of 100 points in the last three years. This is clearly an “A” outcome.”

According to Cook, a winning case is a combination of drive and determination, effective teaching and coaching in the consulting process, and a client with a real-world application. “You cannot win without the marriage of these elements. Students typically spend approximately 100 hours on these consulting assignments.”

Through the SBI program, which began at Rider in 1994, teams of senior and graduate business students provide consulting services to area small businesses ranging from financial, managerial, marketing, computing, accounting, operations, inventory, or a combination of areas. Several area small businesses have requested this consultation and research service.

Cook coordinates the SBI program, which benefits area businesses, and works with other schools nationwide with similar activities through SBIDA.