An Interview with Erica Swiatek of Innovate Faster


By: Jewel Watters, Fashion Merchandising Major

I interviewed our keynote speaker for this year’s Creativity Conference that is coming up on Febraury 28th, 2018. If you are looking to learn more about becoming an entrepreneur, and tips and tricks to help you get there, come to the Creativity Conference!

1) What made you want to open up your own business?

Swiatek says that she actually fell into business, she was working for a consulting business in learning and development and creative studies, and she wanted more than that. Swiatek was approached about doing the Escape Room, and she wanted to do assessments, playing and teaching personality problem solving, and taking over just fell into place.

2) What are your responsibilities as a business owner?

Swiatek says that her responsibilities are pretty much all over the place. There is lots of stuff to do every day involving marketing, paying the rent, creating the Escape Room classes, and usual day to day stuff.

3) What is one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to become an entrepreneur?

Swiatek says that you should always make sure that you are really passionate about it, because it involves a lot of day to day stuff that you are not going to love, and you will feel like this is not what you wanted, her piece of advice is to always be realistic.

4) How do you exhibit your creativity?

Swiatek says that she exhibits her creativity through playfulness. She tries to be an ambassador at play, she likes to play first learn second. She says it gives her such a different experience, and that she still plays with a slinky toy, always has fun colored nail polish, and likes to showcase her playfulness.


Experience the Creativity Conference This Semester!


By: Jewel Watters, Fashion Merchandising Major

When you were growing up, did you ever look around at all the businesses around your local town when your mother was driving you around, and think ‘owning my own business might be a fun thing to do’? You probably were also thinking that owning your own business will make you lots of money, fame, and a big nice house to live in. Well, what if I could tell you that there is a chance to learn more about what being an entrepreneur really is, and what it can do for you if you choose to pursue entrepreneurship?

Next month on Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 in the Conable Technology Building at Genesee Community College’s Batavia campus, the Business program will be hosting a ‘Creativity in the Entrepreneurial Zone’ Conference to inspire people to become entrepreneurs. This conference will have a keynote speaker, multiple breakouts with lots of speakers from different industries, and will also have a continental breakfast, and lunch. Registration will be beginning at 8:15 am, and the conference will start at 9 am with a keynote speaker.

Our keynote speaker will be Erica Swiatek, who is an entrepreneur from a company called Innovate Faster, she is also the one who does the Escape Room activities you have probably heard about. We are also hoping that Erica will demonstrate some of these escape room activities to the students here. Swiatek blends the stuff she knows best into activities, courses, and programs for other people to enjoy. These activities, courses, and programs are all about innovation, professional development, change management and team building.

Come Learn & Grow With The CEO Club


September 28th is a very exciting day, and the first of many more to come. The CEO Club will be hosting a “Year of Entrepreneurship”, and our first event will be a next Thursday in the Forum 12:30-2PM, lunch will be provided however you must RSVP with Amy Conley via email ( in order to be served lunch however anyone may attend 1-2PM without RSVP.


Our first speaker for this event is Nicole Manapol, the director of Letchworth Gateway Villages (LGV) Initiative. Manapol’s greatest concern is to help increase economic growth, including new tourism-related marketing efforts for communities that serve as a ‘gateway’ to Letchworth State Park. The USDA-funded collaboration works to stimulate economic growth and regional cooperation through the use of network building, technical assistance, and research and awareness building. Among many other things, recently they launched a blog that will highlight innovations and efforts throughout nearby communities. You can visit the site at:

You may or may not know that Dr. LaMattina and Professor Conley are the advisors for the CEO Club, and Dr. LaMattina shared her thoughts about the upcoming event. She says she is excited to have Nicole coming to GCC to help us kickoff our “Year of Entrepreneurship”. She also says the Nicole’s travels, experiences, academic degrees, career endeavors, and the energy she projects and embodies is the exact entrepreneurial spirit that GCC tries to foster.

Dr. LaMattina is also excited for the collaborative partnership with multiple local organizations throughout the “Year of Entrepreneurship”, all of which are going to even further “help nurture business ideas, plans, concepts, and an entrepreneurial spirit in the region”.

The next event in GCC’s “Year of Entrepreneurship” is October 26th, for the first annual Agri-Tourism Symposium. It will be hosted by GCC’s Tourism and Hospitality Management Program.  The goal of this event is to inspire entrepreneurial agri-tourism throughout the GLOW region with another feature keynote speaker as well as panelists and a Meet, Greet and Eat reception.

Make sure to RSVP with Professor Conley if you are interested in eating lunch prior to the event next Thursday, and if not then we will see you at 1PM to hear what Nicole Manapol has to say!

Myself and the CEO Club hope to see you there!

Stay inspired…


Professional Sales Students Host Guest Speaker


By: Harry O. Rodriguez – Professional Sales Student

Mr. Leandro de Andrade Pereira, a full time employee at Genesee Community College, visited the professional sales class taught by Professor Rick Dudkowski.

Leo is a success coach for the nursing program and he’s also a baseball coach at GCC. Pereira was an international student. He is from Curaçao. Pereira shared a little bit about his background and his selling experience with the students in class. He completed a degree in DC, and then he transferred to Florida International University and earned his bachelor’s degree in early childhood. He worked six months at Home Depot selling doors and windows. He said “you have to be assertive but not too pushy that the customers walk away”. He also worked at Verizon.

He said in order to sell you need to understand your customers. For example you would use a different approach with a homeowner than a professional contractor. There is a 75% higher chance that a customer will buy if you relate the product or service back to what they were saying or satisfying their needs.

At GCC Pereira is trying to sell the nursing program. He recently hosted tours for area high school students. Pereira also stressed that the more practice you have selling the easier it gets. After his presentation, students were given the opportunity to ask Pereira questions. At the end of the class, Pereira was given a GCC Plaid Tie as a token of appreciation for coming to class and sharing his experiences with the students.

On behalf of the class, I would like thank Mr. Pereira for his time and advice. We learned a lot from him, sincerely, Harry O. Rodriguez.

Professional Salesperson, Joseph Chappius, a Financial Advisor of Northwestern Mutual, visits Professional Sales Class


Joseph Chappius, a Financial Advisor of Northwestern Mutual, Buffalo NY, volunteered to give his advice in the Professional Sales class which is taught by Professor Dudkowski. Chappius, who lives in Albion, saw himself as a salesperson through his finance internship, many years back. He sees sales as a combination of “Art” and “Science”.

When he wanted to make sales, he followed a 10:3:1 ratio, he will talk to 10 clients and select 3 clients who he thinks he had the opportunity to make a sale to. He also stated that “Time is money” by that he means he will spend the least amount of time with the client that he thinks would not be interested in buying or investing. He stated, “I’d rather spend my time with clients that he likes and the clients who has the willingness to invest”.

Chappius shared his selling experiences with the students in the class. He mentioned that he received more “No” than “Yesses”. He said a successful salesperson had met many failures before he or she succeed. He looked at failing as “keep going”. Every time Chappius failed to make a sale, he will do a “self-reflection” and ask “what do you want for now and your future” and always “Think Big”. He said as a salesperson “you don’t want people to tell you, how much you are worth”. You want to be worth as much as you want, you do rely on a fixed paycheck. Chappius mentioned “the more people you talk with, the more customers you are going to get.” When he talked to his clients, he focused on three criteria, “Are they nice?”, “Do they want to be helped?”, and “Do they have the capacity to save?”

Chappius gave his final advice to the students in the class, which was “be a person, be yourself, know your products, never use “Me” and “I”, and always listen to your clients. After this presentation, students were given the opportunity to ask Chappius questions. At the end of the class, Chappius was given a GCC Plaid Tie as an appreciation for coming to GCC and sharing his experiences with the students.

On behalf of the class, I would like thank Mr. Chappius for his time and advice on how to be a successful salesperson. We learned a lot from him.

Kah Chan “Kevin”
President of PTK – Alpha Iota Upsilon

Healthcare Professional Talks With Sales Class


This past week I invited a business professional to speak in my professional sales class. This woman is named Julie Kumiega and she happens to be my mother.

Julie has been in healthcare for 25 years. She sells healthcare. She went to Buffalo State College and worked in many different places all in the Healthcare Industry. Julie talked about many things dealing with getting jobs, keeping jobs and other things like that. Julie discussed being able to recognize your own value, everyone makes mistakes and that is not only natural, but it’s ok, knowing your style of learning, never pass up opportunities, admit when you’re wrong and ask for help when you need it. Julie currently works at United Memorial Medical Center, however she has worked at the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Cancer Society, and more.

Bringing in professional sales people helps students get ready for the real world by being able to ask these people questions and be given real and accurate information. Thank You Julie for coming in and sharing with the class what you do and giving us plans for success.

By: Emma Shoenecker

Student Blogger: Sarah Melani


Hi Everyone,

So, I am here in New York, a Fashion Business Major. I am studying the fashion Business, creating my own company. I love the arts. I am a singer, a writer, a fashion designer, modeling, I love the arts. I cook and play sports! This is what I love, what I do. I go places, I am traveling a lot.

My new life is amazing. I have my gifts, my talents, full force, my blessing, everything is all great. Everything is all good and the great days are endless. There are no bad days, nor bad times to look to! No one can touch me. I don’t open my mind, my eyes, nor mysarah-burnett2c ears to problems. I am fearless, I am not afraid of anyone nor anything. Except for my God. I couldn’t care less.


One day at a time.

Using the time I am given well. My eyes stay on God, every day, everything, in and with Him, in His presence.

This is the beginning. And my life will be good for always! This is mine, and this is me. This is my blog, and I am Sarah Melani, and I invite you here to join me. Hello, I welcome you!

Next blog, Thanksgiving! There will be Pumpkin Pie verses Sweet Potato Pie, and, Black Friday shopping, and plenty of fun time, all of these I will be writing on in my next blog, hope you all enjoy!