YEA equips students for financial success

BY DANIEL ENG
Opinions Editor

PHOTO BY ERICA CANFIELD
YEA members strike a pose. From left, Fabio Ricaldoni, Bryan Weathers, Matt Palumbo, Rachel Einsbruch, and Seth Plotnick.

At County College of Morris, Young Entrepreneurs of America (YEA), is equipping students for financial independence and success. YEA is a growing business club, with over 15 members, giving students the tools to be entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and financially literate for life after college.

Bryan Weathers, president of YEA and business administration major at CCM, said that he wants to prepare students for the job force and give them the power and tools they need to succeed. “YEA is all about allowing students who are either involved in business, or want to be involved in business, to come create a community and bounce business ideas off of each other.” Weathers said. Weathers himself is a business owner and has had success with his own entrepreneurship.

Weathers Cleaning Service, LLC, his commercial cleaning company, started out cleaning churches with just two employees, and has since expanded to six part-time employees-half of which are college students. Their services now include debris clean-up and building clear-outs. They have broadened their client base to include dentists’ offices, nail salons, and intend to double their client base within the next six months.

To students wanting to start their own businesses, Weathers said “go for it.”

“Too many times we get [so] wrapped up in planning for something, that we forget to actually do it,” Weathers said. “If we go for it and figure it out along the way…we’re heading in the direction of success.” Weathers isn’t the first member of YEA to find success in the business world.

Two years ago, Alex Tschopp and Anthony Scandariato founded YEA to enhance the CCM community, which at the time lacked a business club, according to Scandariato. Both Tschopp and Scandariato said the process of starting the club helped teach them leadership and communication. “Starting the club was a learning experience, it allowed me to think about things differently,” Tschopp said. “If you want to build something from the ground up, you need to leverage every relationship you have in that field or area.”

The two went on to start their own business, Collegiate Sun, in 2012. Seeing a void in a potential market, the company began to sell college-branded sunglasses, aimed at a demographic that included its founders. Collegiate Sun currently has products in 37 stores and offers 70 different school-brands. Members of YEA have learned from successes such as these and crafted their own models for success.

Seth Plotnick, YEA’s chief marketing officer and business administration major at CCM, said the benefit he’s taken from the club is motivation to pursue his own dream business. “I’m really into social media, I work for the NJ Devils Army Generals,” Plotnick said. “I want to eventually start my own social media marketing firm.”

Plotnick also explained how one of the benefits of YEA to students is having it on their resume for potential employers and schools. “If you’re a business major and you want to go to a business school, having a business club on your resume is crucial.” Plotnick said. “You want to stand out to the college you’re transferring to.”

Aaron Delmundo, vice president of YEA and business administration major at CCM, said the biggest benefit he’s taken from the club is the improvement on his public speaking and the ability to work with others.

“[It’s] really helped me work with a group of people and have a common goal,” Delmundo said. “At the same time it’s a lot of fun, you get to meet and interact with a new group of people.”

Delmundo aspires to open his own Martial Arts practice where he can teach them martial arts fundamentals and also develop their character.

Matt Palumbo, YEA’s chief financial officer and business administration major at CCM, has found his success in an area other than business thanks to the club.

“YEA has helped me learn to network with people and make connections,” Palumbo said. Palumbo recently finished a book, ‘Conscience of a Young Conservative,’ released in June of this year. “It’s kind of my political manifesto,” Palumbo said. “[It’s] mainly an economics book.”

YEA is coordinating with other clubs on campus for an upcoming Halloween Bash on October 31st. The bash will feature a costume contest, in which YEA will be coordinating with the Fashion Club. There will also be a pie eating contest, with pies provided by the Gourmet Club. There will be hot cider, coffee, and prizes provided to students in attendance. Historically, the club has gotten business speakers, such as Dr. Randall Pinkett, to give students a chance to learn first-hand what it takes to be an entrepreneur. According to Tschopp, Pinkett wanted $10 thousand for his speaking, but Tschopp was able to talk him down to $3500.

CCM has roughly 1100 business administration majors, according to Dr. Anthony Cupo, chairperson of the business department and professor at CCM. Dr. Cupo said YEA’s value comes from the learning experience they provide. “Experiential learning is more valuable than theoretical,” Cupo said. “That’s the real learning, when you’re in the trenches.”

“Business is integrated in almost all facets of society…,” Weathers said. “You’ll always have to do a budget, even if you’re just a homeowner, you’ll have to understand finance, [and] you’ll have to understand retirement.”

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