39 business leaders graduate from CEL Core program

Release Date: June 18, 2019


BUFFALO, N.Y.—Thirty-nine established entrepreneurs are armed with the skills to move their businesses forward after graduating from the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) Core program in the University at Buffalo School of Management.

The graduates were honored at a joint ceremony for two CEL programs on June 6 at UB’s Center for the Arts.

Joe Urban, owner of Platter’s Chocolates, received the C. Taylor Kew Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, which recognizes graduates for entrepreneurial excellence and exemplifying the principles for which the late Kew stood. An energetic advocate for the CEL, Kew created and operated several companies and donated his time to several civic organizations before his tragic death in a seaplane crash in 1992.

The new Core graduates completed a peer-based, mentor-driven program to help grow, refocus or better manage their businesses. During the 10-month course, the entrepreneurs performed an in-depth analysis of their businesses, while developing expertise in such key areas as strategic planning, capital acquisition, employee relations and marketing.

The 2019 CEL Core graduates are:

  • Ed Arnold Jr., Edward Arnold Scrap Processors
  • Michelle Ashby, Tipping Point Communications
  • Matt Bagley, Merz Metal and Machine Corp.
  • Darlene Bartlett, Childrens’ Kastle Christian Learning Center
  • David Berghash, Shield Manufacturing
  • Patrick Byrne, Weaver Metal and Roofing
  • Neil Carroll, Nickel City Graphics
  • Gabe Casucci, SoundOff Signal
  • Carl Ciesla, Lakeshore Carbide Inc.
  • Curt Colopy, I Squared R Element Co.
  • Patrick Duffy, Irr Supply Centers
  • Todd Fetzer, Timberline Hardscapes
  • Wes Froebel, Minuteman Press
  • Shawn Glogowski, GCW Capital Group
  • Joe Gravino, Elite Physical Therapy
  • TJ Hirsch, Greater Buffalo Gymnastics and Fitness Center
  • Theresa Horab, Mind and Body Family Health Center
  • Dee Johnson, WitnessCARES LLC
  • Tom Leed, LEED Brakes
  • George Lund, Babcia’s Pierogi
  • Brandon Mancuso, TrainSMART Inc.
  • Michael Mertens, Master Chong’s World Class Tae Kwon Do Centers
  • Victor Morelli, Morelli Remodeling Inc.
  • Brad Nieman, Merz Metal and Machine Corp.
  • Kathryn O’Donnell, Botanicus
  • Tom O’Malley, Niagara Metals
  • Sandra Perry, Alle Designs LLC
  • Joe Polito, Buffalo Respiratory Therapy
  • Chris Reilley, Parkway Digital
  • Mike Riegel, Belmont Housing Resources for WNY
  • Joel Schreck, Share Kitchen and Bar Room
  • Alex Shotell, Milward Alloys Inc.
  • Ethan Smith, TECsmith
  • Jesse Telaak, Blast Off Inc.
  • Tami Tobias, UB School of Social Work
  • Jonathan Watts, Watts Architecture and Engineering
  • Tyler Weaver, LISKE Forensics
  • Paul Werthman Jr., Benchmark and TurnKey
  • Thanda Win, Lime House Restaurant

Applications are now open for the next CEL Core program, beginning this fall. Individuals interested in learning more about the curriculum and speaking candidly with Core alumni can register for an open house, to be held at 8 a.m. July 11 at Hyatt Place Buffalo, 5020 Main St., Amherst. To sign up for the open house or apply to the program, contact the CEL at 716-885-5715 or mgt-cel@buffalo.edu.

Established in 1987, the CEL provides participants with individualized and interactive education in entrepreneurship. More than 1,400 CEL alumni employ more than 23,000 Western New Yorkers, and their businesses are worth more than $2.3 billion to the local economy. For more information, visit mgt.buffalo.edu/cel.

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit mgt.buffalo.edu.

Media Contact Information

Kevin Manne
Associate Director of Communications
School of Management