For the sixth consecutive year, a Rider Small Business Institute (SBI) student team has earned national kudos.

Last month, Rider's graduate consulting team placed second in the region and in the top ten nationally in SBI's Case of the Year competition.  Representing Rider was the MBA team of Paul Rybinski '03 of Lawrenceville and John Ianniello '02 of Hillsborough. The duo developed a marketing plan for Daniel Cakin, owner of EB7, a Syracuse, NY software firm that develops a time/expense application for palm operating systems.

"I am once again amazed and proud of how well Rider students stack up against the best students at other institutions," said Dr. Ron Cook of Holland, PA, professor of management and human resources and Rider's SBI director.  "To produce a top quality student consulting report this consistently is a credit to all involved."

Since the program began in 1994, Rider's SBI program has won several awards sponsored by the directors' association. An undergraduate student team won the SBI Natrional Consulting Case of the Year Award in 1999, and another undergraduate SBI team came in second plance nationally in 2002.  Further, in 1998, the Rider program also received the Showcase Award as the outstanding SBI program among the 200 SBIDA members.

What makes Rider's program unique? Under Cook's guidance, a Rider student consulting team is matched with an area small business to help that firm analyze its specific needs, and make recommendations.  It is the focused, selective nature of Rider's SBI program that has helped produce these kinds of results.

According to Cook, it is a win-win situation.  "The students get to apply their knowledge in a real setting, and the companies get a level of assistance that would be unaffordable to most of them."