Locate Finger Lakes Business Journal

Local Business Leaders to Lead CEO Roundtable with YEA! Students

Contact:         Andrew Poole

Phone:            315-294-8803




Prominent members of the Cayuga County business community will sit down and swap ideas and suggestions this week with students in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) at Cayuga Community College.


Designed to help the middle and high school students in YEA! learn from successful local business leaders, the CEO Roundtable promises to provide students with essential advice and experience as they prepare to start their own businesses in the spring. Students participating in the 30-week entrepreneurial program are learning to develop, launch and operate their own businesses.


The CEO Roundtable, which is open to the public, is 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 5, in the Student Lounge on Cayuga’s Auburn Campus. LOCATE Finger Lakes, which provided full $1,000 scholarships for the students, organized the event.


“The greater Cayuga County business community is filled with bright, successful leaders with plenty of experience, and we appreciate our CEOs meeting with the YEA! students,” said former New York State Senator and Chairman of the LOCATE Finger Lakes Board of Directors Mike Nozzolio. “I applaud Cayuga Community College President Dr. Brian Durant for his vision in recognizing the incredible potential of YEA!, and I thank Lyons National Bank Chairman of the Board and CEO Bob Schick for sponsoring our YEA! program.”


“We thank Senator Mike Nozzolio and LOCATE Finger Lakes for the YEA! program, and we deeply appreciate the local business leaders who are taking the time to meet with our students this week,” said Dr. Durant. “I’m sure their wisdom and advice will help our students as they launch their first businesses.”


Business leaders joining the YEA! students for the roundtable are:

  • Emcee is Bruce Sherman, Director of Development for Sessler Wrecking Inc., who previously served as Economic Development Specialist for the Cayuga County Development Agency;
  • Paul Lattimore Jr., President of the Paul L. Lattimore Jr. Agency and a local business leader for more than 50 years;
  • Joseph Calarco, Regional Sales Coordinator for AFLAC Insurance and an active community member;
  • Jerry Goodenough, Vice President of Development for Heorot Power;
  • Richard Ward, a Certified Public Accountant with Cuddy & Ward.

The business panel will exchange ideas with students who have worked since October to research and start their own business through the YEA! program. This spring students will pitch their ideas to potential investors for start-up funding and formally launch their own enterprises.

Since 2004, YEA! has helped students build entrepreneurial skills by working with instructors and local business leaders. Students design their own proposal, conduct market research, write a business plan and present the plan to investors for potential funding.


Since its inception, YEA! graduates have launched more than 6,000 enterprises, and have been featured in The New York Times, CNN, USA TODAY and the business TV show “Shark Tank.”


For more information about YEA! at Cayuga, contact Program Manager Pam Heleen at


The Young Entrepreneurs Academy

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a 501(C) 3 offering groundbreaking year-long classes that teach middle and high school students how to start and run their own businesses. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors for startup funds, and launch and run their own, fully formed companies and social movements. The project-based program empowers students to take charge of their futures.

Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! today serves thousands of students nationwide. In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation became a national sponsor and partner of the Academy to help celebrate the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders.

YEA! bridges the business and educational communities to fulfill its mission of teaching more students how to make a job, not just take a job. YEA! is made possible by The Kauffman Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the E. Philip Saunders Foundation. For more information, visit


About Cayuga Community College

Founded in 1953, Cayuga Community College is one of 64 accredited institutions that make up the State University of New York (SUNY) system.  Cayuga offers open access and an affordable gateway to higher education, with courses and degree programs offered at campuses in Auburn and Fulton, NY and online. Cayuga Community College provides a strong liberal arts foundation for further study and career preparation. The College also addresses identified community needs through targeted training and personal enrichment programs. By sustaining academic excellence within a supportive learning environment, the College, a careful steward of human and fiscal resources, serves as a valuable asset to the development of our local, regional, and global communities.


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