Install a specialty digital printing press that could produce high-quality wine labels in batches of less than 10,000. Recruit young professionals to join the Penn Yan Rotary Club. Design a new brand strategy for a food service supply company with 75 years of local history. Introduce a video game for individuals with autism through a kickoff event where the crowd will source (fund) the project. Market Hunt Country Vineyard wines to prospective new customers. Promote a study-abroad program to campus students with a video.
These are just some of the recommendations that students in a Keuka College graduate program presented Feb. 20 and 21 to local merchants and business leaders as part of Dr. Yang Zhao’s Marketing for Managers class.
The students met with leaders of local companies or non-profit organizations to assess the needs of the respective businesses, then worked in small teams to develop marketing plans to address the primary issues. Each team conducted research, interviews, surveys, and financial analysis to develop recommendations for their clients. The students then created a formal marketing plans showcased them in Powerpoint presentations during the final week of the eight-week course.
The eight-week course is part of a one-year program where students earn a Master of Science degree in management with a focus on international business (MSMIB). The MSMIB is similar to an MBA, but with more practical application. Enrollment features a mix of American, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Lebanese students, as well as one from Lesotho.
According to Fredric Tassone of Syracuse, whose team prepared a plan to help the Penn Yan Rotary Club recruit six new young professionals each year, conducting surveys was the hardest part. However, after analyzing the data the research uncovered, the team recommended the club target new members in the 23-35 age range, one of three market segments they identified, and of the three, the one most likely to have the time and interest to join.
“We gave them the most feasible option, since they don’t have a lot of money to advertise, and with their networking focus, that’s probably the best way to build up the club,” Tassone said. (more…)
Keuka College’s Rotaract Club recently received the inaugural Changemaker Award from Rotary International.
The Keuka club was the only one in District 7120 to earn the award for completing an array of activities in each of Rotary’s five Avenues of Service. District 7120 includes clubs in Monroe, Wayne, Wyoming, Livingston, Ontario, Yates, Seneca, Allegany, Steuben, Chemung and Schuyler counties.
Rotaract is a Rotary-sponsored service club for young men and women ages 18 to 30. Rotaract clubs are either community or university based, and they’re sponsored by a local Rotary club. As one of Rotary’s most significant and fastest-growing service programs, Rotaract boasts more than 8,400 clubs in about 170 countries and geographical areas. (more…)
Over the many years that Celebrate Service … Celebrate Yates (CSCY) has been held, Robin Hoppe can only remember one year when the non-profit she works for did not request CSCY volunteers to come carry out yard work and other repair tasks on the annual day of service.
“I think we missed one because I lost of the track of the date,” said Hoppe, program supervisor for the three Catholic Charities residential homes in Penn Yan. The homes are part of 10 operated by the Diocese of Rochester in Yates, Wayne and Monroe Counties for adults with varying degrees of developmental disabilities.
Like other Yates County non-profits, the “to-do” list is generally longer than the volunteers available to complete needed service, so CSCY—to be held this year on Sunday, April 22—provides a much-needed helping hand to non-profits.
And the theme of CSCY, “Hands Across Yates County,” is as true today as it was nearly 15 years ago when the annual day of community service began as a joint project between Keuka College and the Yates County Chamber of Commerce. Last year, some 280 volunteers, comprised of Keuka students, families, youth and seniors, joined hands to conduct minor repairs, washing, cleaning, outdoor work and other needed tasks for some 30 non-profits – including camps, churches, fire houses, cemeteries, public trails and more—across the county.
“We schedule projects that are ones we never seem to get to, unless planned out like this,” said Hoppe, adding that requested service is usually for yard work such as clearing garden beds at two of the three properties. One house, at 219 Main St., often has its porch furniture polished by CSCY volunteers, and the special treatment lasts through the next year, she said.
Last year, CSCY volunteers began painting the porch of one home, getting the project “off to a good start,” Hoppe said. “It gave us the impetus to get it finished.”
Partnerships are key to the success of CSCY. College and community leaders team up to plan the event, with the College coordinating volunteers and transportation, and the Chamber of Commerce seeking business and service sponsors.
One of those sponsors 15 years ago was the former Clearplas Containers Inc., later acquired by Silgan Plastics.
“As one of the biggest businesses in town, we were an active supporter. We were involved in that partnership from Day One,” recalled Don Oakleaf, a Clearplas/Silgan employee who had also been inducted into the Penn Yan Rotary through former College President Art Kirk Jr.
Fellow Rotarians Sue Anderson of Lyons National Bank and Stacy Wyant of Stork Insurance helped their companies get involved as sponsors too, he said.
As for Oakleaf, he found himself coordinating the Rotary’s portion of CSCY service, where Rotary volunteers bag some 500 seedlings for elementary schoolchildren to plant in honor of Arbor Day, as well as clean a portion of Route 54A, from the water plant at the edge of the village down to Keuka’s Central Avenue “entrance.”
While the Rotary Club conducts its community service on a different Saturday in April than the “official” CSCY Sunday of service when all other volunteers meet and pitch in, the Rotarians are veteran partners in the service, donning the CSCY T-shirts as they, too, put many hands together to make light work.
“We make sure every second-grader in Penn Yan goes home with a bag with three to four seedlings ready to plant,” Oakleaf said. This year may well be the first when the Rotary’s CSCY Saturday and the “official” CSCY Sunday occur back-to-back.
“That approach has been the same for the full 15 years. We [Penn Yan Rotary] have been involved since the beginning,” he said.
Oakleaf said that if he has one “overriding thought” about CSCY, it’s “the overwhelming amount of community spirit involved in the Yates County community. This is one excellent example of the coordinated impact that people can make if they get together and work on it.”
After watching how the Catholic Charities group home residents are also able to work side-by-side the CSCY volunteers when they arrive, Hoppe agrees.
“One of our missions is to include and integrate the folks we serve — the residents at these homes— in the community. The residents help and there’s a real partnership there of working together,” Hoppe said. “We just wish [CSCY] could be longer – it’s never quite enough time – it just flies by!”
Through Friday, those interested in volunteering for this year’s event can submit their commitment form to Keuka College in time to receive a souvenir T-shirt marking the 15th anniversary. Additional volunteers are welcome to sign up, or even walk-in the day of the event, but T-shirts cannot be guaranteed. Lunch at Keuka is also included before volunteers receive transportation to the various work sites. Registration and lunch begins at 11 a.m. at Dahlstrom Student Center Sunday, April 22. Following a brief opening ceremony at 1 p.m., volunteers disperse to conduct community service work from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Also through Friday, non-profit agencies in Yates County eager to receive service the day of the event as an official work site may contact McKala Accetura or Case Hamilton at (315) 279-5397 or email [email protected]