SBA Group
SBA Club with speaker Jack Belsito. (Photo by Fallon Witte)

by Fallon Witte

The Mount Saint Mary College Student Business Association (SBA) is the newest club to join the Student Government Association (SGA).

SBA’s slogan is learners today, leaders tomorrow. The club brings students together and provides them with real life experiences in the business world. To do this, the club offers meaningful career-related activities to do outside of the classroom that involves leadership opportunities.

A SBA club was started here more than 30 years ago. Dr. James Griessemer and Professor Louis Fortunato founded the club in the 1980s, but interest subsided in the early 1990s.

Assistant professor of marketing Colleen Kirk had the idea to restore the SBA last fall. She began talking to the business department about possibly starting an association for business students.

Kirk gathered 10 business students and signed them up for the potential club.  Now, there are over 40 students that participate. “It is encouraging to have students that may not typically be friends become friends because of their common goal to want to succeed,” said Kirk.

Kirk has many aspirations for SBA, “We hope that the club joins together and works together the way the business world works.”

SBA hosted its first event on Feb. 12. Jack Belsito, the former CEO of Snapper and current CEO of Voss Water, spoke at the event in the Dominican Center on the topic “Building a Brand: The Role of Marketing Strategy.”

SBA has been working with administration and SGA to plan upcoming events. SBA hosted two guest speakers in March.

On March 19, Tracy Stamper, founder and CEO of TS Financial Group Inc., was welcomed into the Dominican Center to discuss his experiences as an entrepreneur. On March 26, Lisa Noble, vice president, and Claire Carmichael, project manager at Added Value in Manhattan, talked to students about market research.

“It is eye opening to learn how much research is done before companies market their products,” said senior SBA member Tara McDermott.

“We have an exciting event coming up,” said senior SBA president, Leanne O’Reilly. On April 16, at 7:30 p.m., SBA will host a Spring Concert in Hudson auditorium. The performers will consist of The Set-Backs, The Season, Termina, The Parthanon, and S&M.

“I am proud of the SBA members’ effort to want to participate, and I will continue to work as a leader to provide success for SBA,” said O’Reilly.

SBA has club meetings every Monday at 2:30 p.m. in the old library of Aquinas and every Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the glass lounge of Hudson.