Monday, Dec 21, 2020
Team recognized among best Small Business Institute consulting projects
by Adam Grybowski
A team of Rider University graduate students placed fourth in this year’s national Small Business Institute Consulting Project of the Year competition, which recognizes the best student consulting projects from schools around the country.
A Rider graduate team has finished within the top five in the country every year since 2009.
“This year’s team proved once again to be a wonderful example of the best Rider has to offer,” says Dr. Ron Cook, Associate Dean of the Norm Brodsky College of Business, and director of the Small Business Institute (SBI) program.
The graduate students were Michael Laimann Jr. '20, Amari Johnson '20 and Ryan Gumb '20. They produced their winning consulting report as part of Cook’s consulting class in the spring 2020 semester.
In the course, students act as consultants to small firms and organizations in the area. Their client this year was Spruce Industries, a producer and distributor of cleaning products, chemicals and equipment. The project was to develop a marketing strategy to identify the most promising schools within a 30-mile radius of Spruce, the school's formal sales process and procedures, and its cleaning budget.
“The result was a market map that should allow Spruce to find potential target clientele much easier,” Cook says.
Rider competes each year in the Small Business Institute Consulting Project of the Year competition at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Since 1998, Rider students have won 36 top 10 national finishes between the two categories. This includes five national titles, seven second-place finishes and six third-place finishes.
The accolades are especially impressive when noting that Rider competes against other universities that require an SBI project in certain majors or programs, meaning Rider students' projects are evaluated next to more than 25 other high-quality entries.
This year, Joe Hudicka ’93, ’00 served as the volunteer mentor to the graduate team, meeting with them weekly. Hudicka is the managing director of Neurored, a company that provides digital solutions to supply chain networks, as well as the entrepreneur-in-residence in Rider’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.
“I want to give special thanks to Joe for his tireless commitment to Rider and to Spruce Industries for their active participation,” Cook says.