Mapping Out a Business & Economics Experience and Becoming a Great Business Leader

Patrick Colletti, leadership and corporate culture expert, champion for “refounders” and author of the book “Refounder: How Transformational Leaders Take What’s Broken and Make It Better” presented his vision for student success during the Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business & Economics Lecture Series on December 2. During his visit he shared stories from his two decades as President of Net Health and of the remarkable leaders who took struggling enterprises and made them better.  He gave students tips on how they too can become a “refounder,” and provide the leadership to make any organization better – better for employees, better for customers and better for the community.

Patrick Colletti is a leadership and organizational culture expert, business growth advisor, champion for “refounders” and author of the book “Refounder.” He draws on his experience as a technology executive, scaling new and existing ventures, and a passion for creating amazing cultures. His growth-oriented guidance challenges social and cultural norms, both in the workplace and in the community. Patrick is passionate about creating and empowering the next Refounders — generational leaders and entrepreneurs who revitalize the places where they live, work and play.

During the second half of our session, CBE Co-Director Chris Allison gave an overview of The Roadmap, a planning tool for mapping out a business and economics experience that will help lead you to that dream job or acceptance into your ideal graduate school. “The Roadmap enables you to squeeze every ounce out of your educational investment,” according to Allison.

The Roadmap is a discussion guide for students with interests in the broad fields of business and economics. The real world changes constantly, and new opportunities open up every day. We created this guide to help students to start the conversation about their future with their family, Allegheny faculty, staff and alumni along with all of the people they will encounter throughout their college journey. Download the latest version at, or stop by Beth Ryan’s office, Quigley #224, for your copy.

The Lunchtime Learning Speaker Series provides students with opportunities to gain valuable information on topics and industries related to internships and careers in business and economics.  Speakers often choose one of two broad areas to discuss with students. The first is career oriented, the second is issue oriented. Both topics enable students to navigate and explore job options, understand the steps necessary to pursue opportunities and learn how to self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace.

Executive Female Talent and Managerial Inclusivity

An Interview with Paola Corna Pellegrini, CEO of Allianz Global Assistance in Milan, Italy and Allegheny President Hillary Link, moderated by Professor of Marketing Gaia Rancati

This discussion held on September 21, focused on inclusivity inside companies through an important reflection on the topic of female talent. Allegheny President Hillary Link joined CEO Paola Corna Pellegrini for a discussion on the ability of both public and private companies to recognize merit as the keystone for women in executive roles. Ms. Pellegrini and President Link explored the roles of the women who over the years have demonstrated the quality of their skills through excellent performance in executive and managerial committees.

Paola Corna Pellegrini, CEO of Allianz Global Assistance

Paola Corna Pellegrini is the President of AICEO, the Italian Association of CEOs, a non-profit association
of people, founded in July 2011 with the aim of promoting the exchange of experiences between
members to generate ideas, innovation and visions on the future, to identify successful experiences and
propose concrete solutions to the problems of companies and more generally of the country.
Always committed to the enhancement of women since 2018, she has been President of the Scientific
Committee of the Winning Women Institute, a non-profit association active in the gender equality
sector that launched the first gender equality certification in Italy, and since 2019 she has been Vice
President of the Forum of Meritocracy with which she launched the Valeria Solesin Prize that she
recounts as the genesis and the ideas in her book, “FORZA RAGAZZE, AL LAVORO! – The word to young
people for a fair, inclusive and meritocratic world. ”

In Allianz Partners since 2011 as CEO, Paola Corna Pellegrini boasts a career that began 38 years ago,
after a degree in Mathematics from the University of Padua and an MBA from the CUOA Business
School, passing from international multinational companies to family ones, which led her to hold top
positions with responsibilities both locally and internationally.

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics (CBE) prepares Allegheny College students to succeed in a diverse, global economy. The Lunchtime Learning Lecture Series provides students with opportunities to gain valuable information on topics and industries related to internships and careers. 

“Growing Diversity in the Financial Services Sector” with Robert Marchman, Esq.

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics is pleased to present Allegheny Trustee Robert A. Marchman ’80 Esq., Senior Policy Advisor on Diversity and Inclusion at the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission at our Lunchtime Learning Lecture series on October 14 at 12:30 pm on Zoom.  Mr. Marchman presented “Growing Diversity in the Financial Services Sector” to illuminate the state of Diversity and Inclusion in America’s financial center. 

Robert A Marchman, Esq.

In January 2020, Mr. Marchman was appointed to the new position of Senior Policy Advisor on Diversity and Inclusion at the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission. His responsibilities include advising Commission senior management on the development and implementation of strategies to promote diversity and inclusions both within the SEC and through external engagement with agency partners and market participants. In addition, Mr. Marchman assists the agency’s on-going efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in underserved portions of the investor community. In June 2010, Mr. Marchman joined Finra as Executive Vice President and Head of the Market Regulation Department’s Legal Group. He also assisted with the implementation of the organization’s diversity initiative and served as a member of Finra’s Executive Diversity Leadership Council. 

Prior to joining Finra, Mr. Marchman, the first African-American Executive Vice President in the NYSE’s history, headed the New York Stock Exchange Regulation’s Enforcement Division and Regulatory Risk Group as well as its Market Surveillance Division. Mr. Marchman also served as Chairman of NYSE Diversity Council from its inception in 1999 until his departure from the NYSE. Mr. Marchman is a magna cum laude graduate of Allegheny College, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. In addition, Mr. Marchman attended Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development. Mr. Marchman is engaged with numerous civic and professional organizations such as the Community Coalition on Race, the NYC Bar Association, Operation HOPE and NSHSS and has been recognized for his professional accomplishments and diversity, equity and inclusion work in the financial services industry.

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics (CBE) prepares Allegheny College students to succeed in a diverse, global economy. The Lunchtime Learning Lecture Series provides students with opportunities to gain valuable information on topics and industries related to internships and careers. 

Afua Osei ʹ08, 2021 Executive in Residence

Lunchtime Learning event with Afua Osei, from left: Arigun Bayaraa, Noah Tart, President Hillary Link, Kaylin Tang, Afua Megan Dennis, Morgan Douglas, Maya Ginter-Frankovitch and CBE Co-Director Professor Tim Bianco

Afua Osei is a social impact leader with more than 10 years of global experience in creating purposeful partnerships to advance women’s economic participation. As a Co-Founder of She Leads Africa, Afua built a digital lifestyle platform for multicultural women reaching more than 800,000 women across 100+ countries. Afua built the sales team and relationships to execute innovative brand partnerships with brands such as Facebook, Google, Unilever, Visa, Nestle and L’Oreal. Featured in the Financial Times, BBC, CNN and CNBC, Afua has had the privilege of sharing her expertise at high profile global leadership, entrepreneurship and digital conferences across North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Executive in Residence, Afua Osei ’08

As this year’s Executive and incoming Allegheny College Trustee, Ms. Osei visited classrooms and met with students in the Business & Economics and Political Science departments in Quigley Hall as well as the Allegheny IDEAS Center.

Tuesday, October 12, 12:40 to 1:30 pm
“Afua Osei ʹ08 – A Remarkable Allegheny Journey”
Quigley’s Henderson Auditorium, Q101

Wednesday, October 13, 12:40 to 1:30 PM
“Should Government be in the Business of Entrepreneurship?
Quigley’s Henderson Auditorium, Q101

The Executive in Residence program is a co-curricular activity sponsored by the Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics.  The event is designed to connect Allegheny students and faculty with prominent business executives who spend several days on the Allegheny campus speaking about their life experiences in business, paths to success and lessons learned.

Financial Literacy & Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) Certification

Gene & the Wealth Management Club Board from left: Kylie Kasavage ‘23, Gene Natali, Morgan Douglas ’23, Jacob Dukman ‘22, Morgan Libell ’22

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business & Economics and Wealth Management Club welcomed back Gene Natali ’01 on Thursday, October 5 in Quigley Auditorium. He is the CEO and co-founder of the fintech company, Troutwood. Prior to starting Troutwood, Gene spent 17-years working with large retirement plans and institutional investors.

He is an award-winning author (The Missing Semester Series) who has key-noted investment and education conferences across the country and spoken in over 500 high school and college classrooms. He is a part-time lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh where he teaches Personal Finance. Gene is a Chartered Financial Analyst, holds an MBA with a concentration in finance from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in economics from Allegheny College.

His second book in the Missing Semester series addresses the most overlooked subject in financial-literacy education-investing. Primarily addressing students and recent graduates, its lessons are not laden with jargon; its focus is topics and choices that apply to most young people, not just a few, and not those relevant only late in life. The Missing Second Semester presents a call to action: You’re in charge. Understand the opportunity, and make the choices.

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics (CBE) prepares Allegheny College students to succeed in a diverse, global economy. The Lunchtime Learning Lecture Series provides students with opportunities to gain valuable information on topics and industries related to internships and careers. The Allegheny College Wealth Management Club (ACWMC) is designed to create a structured educational environment for the Allegheny community. The primary purpose of the club is to offer participants a collaborative environment in which they can openly discuss and learn about topics relating to personal finance. ACWMC organizes seminars, panels, and excursions on issues related to investments, real estate, and credit.


Marketing Monday – Agile Neuroscience: Using remote tools to capture immersive consumer experiences

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business & Economics Marketing Monday lecture series for October featured Jorge Barraza, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of the Practice of Psychology, and Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer at Immersion, a company that provides a truly agile neuroscience tools that predict what people love.

He is a professor of Consumer Psychology at the University of Southern California (USC), specializing in applying psychology and neuroscience to understanding and predicting consumer behavior. He has published numerous articles on emotion, decision neuroscience, and the use of stories to influence decision making. He teaches Consumer Psychology, Pro-Seminar, and Treatise at USC.

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics (CBE) prepares Allegheny College students to succeed in a diverse, global economy. The Lunchtime Learning Lecture Series provides students with opportunities to gain valuable information on topics and industries related to internships and careers.

Gator Day at Quigley: Professional Experiences with the CBE Fellows

Allegheny College students can participate in a wide variety of summer experiences over the summer months including internships, research, volunteer work and self-designed learning experiences. 

To celebrate Gator Day, the CBE Fellows organized a panel discussion and networking event on Wednesday, September 22, from 11:30 am until 1:00 PM in Henderson Auditorium to share their experiences in the Business and Economics field with ideas about how students can make the most of their summer!

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics (CBE) prepares Allegheny College students to succeed in a diverse, global economy. CBE Fellows are a select group of motivated students that function as a leadership team to support CBE programming and act as student ambassadors. Gator Day is offered every fall semester and features programs and workshops that highlight educational opportunities at Allegheny, that prepare students for life after graduation, and that help to create a greater sense of campus community. Gator Day is set aside as a day with no scheduled classes or extracurricular activities, so that students are free to take advantage of the opportunity to explore what Allegheny has to offer.

CBE Summer Experiences with Arigun Bayaraa ’21

Allegheny students come to Meadville from around the world. Due to  COVID restrictions on international travel last year, CBE Fellow Arigun Bayaraa ’21 found himself working in the late evenings and early hours of the morning on ZOOM from his home in Mongolia. We were grateful that he was able to return safely to campus,  and curious to learn more about his summer internship. We asked…

How did you spend last summer?

Arigun: Last summer I completed my marketing internship at Tavan Bogd Trade Group in Mongolia. It is one of Mongolia’s biggest companies with over 11 thousand employees, 14 subsidiaries, and 4 investment companies. I worked there as a marketing intern and worked on projects like brand awareness, market research, and mystery customer surveys. It was definitely very interesting to work there in these uncertain times because I had the opportunity to work both in-person and remote in the Tavan Bogd Trade Group to see how the workforce is shifting and adjusting with the pandemic.

How difficult was it for you to return to campus from Mongolia?

Arigun: Due to the limited number of charter flights, I had only few available dates to fly out of Mongolia and that made traveling a little difficult, but I managed to arrive on campus on time!

What is your advice to incoming international students?

Arigun: I would advise incoming international students to be active and avoid being passive. Whether if it’s meeting new people or trying out new activities, I would advise them to seek discomfort to truly grow and enjoy their time. Personally, my proudest and most grateful moments were all once my greatest fear or uncertainty, but bursting out of that comfort zone really helped me to make the best use of my time here.

Arigun Bayaraa is a senior from Mongolia, majoring in Business and minoring in Communication & Culture Studies at Allegheny. He is a CBE Fellow, Global Citizen Scholar, and the HRA of Walker. His hobbies are archery, chess, and working out.

Unleashing your most potent marketing asset: Your Capital S Story

Paul FurigaThe Marketing Monday series returned on September 13th featuring Paul Furiga, President and Chief Storyteller at Word Write, a PR and digital marketing agency in Pittsburgh, PA.

Paul learned storytelling by writing and editing more than 20,000 stories during two decades as a journalist before going into public relations. At WordWrite, he ponders the question: Why should someone consider hiring us, working with us or partnering with us? The answers to those questions help him chart the next chapter in WordWrite’s evolving Capital S Story. He’s quite literally written the book on that topic, Finding Your Capital S Story, Why Your Story Drives Your Brand.

The career path that Paul traveled to PR is a story in itself. He’s been a racetrack photographer, theater usher, investigative journalist, wannabe musician, classical radio host, broadcast journalist, White House correspondent and editor.

Paul spent several years at the global agency Ketchum Public Relations, where his clients included Alcoa, Bridgestone/Firestone and Rutgers University. When he founded WordWrite in 2002, Paul’s experience in journalism and PR convinced him there was a better way to deliver results — through storytelling.

He first learned to tell stories at Miami University of Ohio — NOT the Miami in Florida. This one is much older and there are no palm trees on campus. Paul’s degree says B.S. in mass communications — and he admits, he can B.S. with the best of ‘em!

At WordWrite, Paul takes his role as teacher and mentor seriously, working to encourage, inspire and support our team and the many fine young people he meets in our profession and community.

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics (CBE) prepares Allegheny College students to succeed in a diverse, global economy. The Lunchtime Learning Lecture Series provides students with opportunities to gain valuable information on topics and industries related to internships and careers.

CBE Summer Experiences with Sarah Schmidt ’21

Women in Business and Economics Club Vice President, Sarah Schmidt ’21 prepared key research for the Department of Business & Economics through the URSCA program this summer, presenting her findings to the entire Allegheny College campus community. We asked Sarah…

What are your duties?

Sarah: For my summer research experience, I worked with Professor Martin and Professor Ormiston to create a plan to analyze gendered differences in student experiences in the Business and Economics Department. I started my research by completing a literature review to have the necessary background knowledge on gender in the field of economics. We utilized focus groups as a way to gather data about how students interact with the department and the fields of business and economics. One of my duties was to moderate these focus group experiences. We then used qualitative analysis to evaluate the data for common themes and gendered differences. I am continuing this work as my senior comp this fall. The next step is to complete more focus groups to gather more robust and representative data. I am also adding a quantitative section to test for gender difference in students’ attitudes towards economics.

Would you recommend summer research to another student?

Sarah: I would definitely recommend students to take summer research opportunities. Partaking in summer research is a great way to gain research experience that will be useful for future employment, graduate school, and especially senior comp projects. It is also a good way to explore areas of interest that are outside of what is covered in class. Through my work with the Women in Business and Economics Club, I have become interested in the issues faced by women in the field, which this research experience allowed me to explore. Depending on the topic and goal of the research, it is also a good way to make an impact on campus and the surrounding community.

Sarah Schmidt has a a double major in Economics and Environmental Science & Sustainability. On campus, she is involved in the Women in Business and Economics Club, where she serves as the Vice President. She is a member of the Global Citizens Scholar Program and the Economics Honor Society.