Better Your Business

The SUNY New Paltz School of Business is looking for nominees for its 11th annual Hall of Fame inductions this semester.
The SUNY New Paltz School of Business is looking for nominees for its 11th annual Hall of Fame inductions this semester.

The School of Business is currently seeking nominations for it’s 2012 Hall of Fame.

This year will be the 11th year for the awards. Categories include “Student Leader of the Year,” “Alumnus of the Year,” “Business Person of the Year” and “Dean’s Award of Excellence.”

Originally established in 2001, Dean Hadi Salavitabar said he thought of the idea when he made a trip to SUNY Binghamton, his Alma mater, where they had a small-scale version of a hall.

Salavitabar said he asked himself, “how can I do that and meet a couple of goals for the School of Business?” He wanted to recognize the outstanding members of the School of Business family along with “increasing the amount of attention for their educational activities.”

The Hall of Fame has “had more success” than Salavitabar ever thought it would. According to the dean, it is a useful way for the School of Business to build a great reputation with the community. As a result a large number of community members became more committed to educational activities and student programs.

“It’s been a pleasure to recognize those that go above and beyond to improve the programs,” Salavitabar said.

Qualifications for the “Business Person of the Year” include being successful in the Hudson Valley region, hiring people and improving the work environment. They must also be involved in the educational future of SUNY New Paltz  students by offering internships and possibly future employment upon graduation.

“It’s a two way street. If businesses are involved with the school and the school with businesses, the businesses will feedback what they need to be successful to the school,”  said Vinnie Cozzolino, 2011 business person of the year. “Which will produce students with those skills who will then bring those solutions back to the businesses.  Everybody wins.”

Cozzolino founded the Solar Energy Consortium, a renewable energy business.

According to Salavitabar, ”Student Leader of the Year,” is someone who goes above and beyond what is expected of them as a student. They will have made a significant difference on campus and helped the student population, possibly by bringing a new educational program to campus. The 2011 award was given to graduate and management major, Armelle Kessler.

The third award, the “Dean’s Excellence Award,” is given to those who make a significant contribution to improving a student’s educational experience at New Paltz. It emphasizes what role they plan within the School of Business and was given to the Ulster County Savings Consortium in 2011.

Finally, the “Alumnus Award” is given to those who have significantly improved student’s overall experience at SUNY New Paltz. Past winners gave presentations and offered internship opportunities.The 2011 winner was Harold King, who was a part-time student from 2001-2007 and a Business Administration major. Since graduating, he has served on the School’s advisory board and on that board’s student intern committee and curriculum committee.

“I think it is important for students and faculty to see where business theory meets business practice and for local businesses to learn the latest theories and methods of leadership and management,” King said.

Nominations are due on Monday, Oct. 3. For more information about the Hall of Fame and to view past inductees or nominate a candidate, visit You may submit your nominations online or contact School of Business Dean Hadi Salavitabar at    845-257-2932 for a nomination form.