The Center for Business and Economics welcomes Darren Koch ’99 as the 2018 Executive in Residence

Darren Koch '99
Darren Koch ’99, Chief Product Officer, SAP Ariba

Mr. Koch returns to Allegheny College on November 8-9 to discuss topics and careers in big data, business analytics, and leadership.

The Executive in Residence program is a co-curricular activity sponsored by the 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.

During his visit, Koch will meet with students with interests in business, economics, math, and computer science.  He will present two public lectures for the Allegheny Community:

Thursday, November the 8th
Tillotson Room, Tippie Alumni Center from 12:15 – 1:15 pm with lunch provided beginning at noon

“Big Data in Action: Real-time Pricing for Internet Travel” processes roughly 100k transactions per day. Learn how big data and micro-economics collide to deliver significant value.

Friday, November the 9th
Quigley Hall Auditorium, 12:15 – 1:15 pm with lunch provided beginning at noon

 “Learning to Lead: How Allegheny Shaped My Leadership Style”

The leaders of tomorrow are humble, curious, and willing to take on the unknown. Learn about one Alleghenian’s path to business success.

About Darren Koch:

Darren Koch ’99  is the Chief Product Officer at SAP Ariba, a subsidiary of SAP. SAP is a multinational software company with over 80,000 employees and $26 billion in revenues. SAP Ariba runs the world’s largest business network, helping firms to manage their global supply chains and collaborate with their suppliers. SAP Ariba’s services enable the largest companies in the world to manage $2 trillion in spending. As Chief Product Officer, Mr. Koch is responsible for leading SAP Ariba’s Product and Innovation team. This team’s responsibilities include product strategy & management, engineering & development, cloud operations, pricing and positioning. Mr. Koch has previously held positions at Concur and Hotwire. He majored in Economics and Math at Allegheny. He has an MBA from UC Berkeley and an MS in Management Science/Operations Research from Case Western. Learn more at

CBE Fellows Help Classmates Navigate Their Allegheny Journey

2018 CBE Fellows Student Panel
CBE Fellows participating on the October 23 Gator Day Panel – Carlos Sanchez ’20, Trevor Day ’20, Jack Goodman ’19, Troy Elphinstone ’19, Emma Black ’20

Four years seems like a long time when you are in high school, but during the 2018 Gator Day student panel, the CBE Fellows assured underclassmen that the 4 years flies by too fast. The Fellows shared these tips for a satisfying college career and how to successfully land your ideal internship and first job after graduation:

Start early and make an appointment with the Career Education team, let them know your interests and help you to put a polish on your resume and interviewing skills.  When they get to know you, they will send opportunities your way. 

Get involved on campus early and take a leadership role, don’t sit on the sidelines.  Employers look for candidates with leadership and communication skills who work well in teams.

Network with other students, alumni, your professors and Career Education, let them know your interests and ask for their advice.  Where?  Attend CBE events, sign up for  This Week in ECON newsletter, have a LinkedIn profile, attend Alumni events, Career Education’s information sessions. career fairs and use Gator Connect.

Take a lot of different classes to discover your interests, learning what you do not like is just as important as what you do like.  Grades are very important, but don’t obsess about them; in your interview, emphasize experience over grades.  All jobs are good to mention, even if they don’t seem important to you, your interviewer will be very interested in what you learned from the experience.

The Study Abroad option here at Allegheny is an unforgettable experience. If you know you are going to study abroad, start saving your money early because chances are the cost of living in another country will be much higher than they are here in Meadville. Everyone should consider a study abroad or EL experience.

Don’t be too proud to ask for help, that’s the key to success.

Don’t let rejection defeat you, use it as motivation to keep trying.  Set a goal to apply for at least two internships a day, and let Career Education know what you’re doing so they can help.

Be proud of Allegheny College and your accomplishments here.  Your education will prepare you for anything that comes your way and you will learn that the Allegheny education has a highly regarded reputation everywhere you go.

Gator Day Student Panel, “Things We Wish We Knew 4 Years Ago”

Celebrate Gator Day with the CBE Fellows!

All are welcome to enjoy light refreshments and attend a special panel presentation by the CBE Fellows who will offer their experience and tips for taking advantage of the many opportunities Allegheny offers to help students to grow into their interests.

The Fellows will share their experiences of learning where to go and who to connect with to take the best advantage of internship opportunities, study away, Greek life and all of experiences available to students at Allegheny.

There are student presentations in the Quigley Hall lobby after the panel describing various summer internship experiences with students on hand to explain the “how to” of  discovering their ideal experiential learning experience.



Entrepreneurship, Technology and Graduate School

Steve Suchora '10


Steve Suchora ’10

Steve Suchora ‘10 will share how his economics education combined with the practical experience he gained from participating in the Gator Innovation Challenge, now known as the Zingale Big Idea Competition, inspired him to start a business and pursue a Master of Information Systems Management degree at Carnegie Mellon University.

Attend this event to learn how this path led him to his current role as a Software Quality Engineer for Confluence Technologies.

A Really Big Idea: Calc-Tech LLC

Steve created an app designed to help students improve their score on standardized tests. His company, Calc-Tech, helps students to achieve higher scores college entrance exams such as the SAT test in the college admissions process to enable them to get into their school of choice using the SAT Operating System.

How it works

Calc-Tech’s SAT Operating System (SAT_OS) is an SAT calculator program that you can purchase for $14.95 and transfer to your Texas Instruments graphing calculator using your Windows or Mac computer. The program contains a set of math functions that you can use during the SAT test to work the math problems faster and with better accuracy. To date, there are over 20,000 users of the SAT Operating System.

The use of this software is permitted under the The College Board’s official Calculator Policy.

Learn more at



CBE Lunchtime Learning: “What’s Our U.S. Economic Future?”

All are welcome to a special presentation by noted economist, Norman Robertson, titled, What’s Our U.S. Economic Future?  This special CBE Lunchtime Learning will take place on Wednesday, October 3, 12:15 – 1:30 pm in Quigley auditorium.  Come early, enjoy pizza, and take advantage of the opportunity to hear a professional analysis of the U.S. economy.

Norman Robertson

For 20 years, Robertson was the chief economist at Mellon Bank and was a member of its Senior Management Committee. He also served as an economic adviser for Smithfield Trust Company and was a consulting economist and an Adjunct Professor of Economics at Carnegie Mellon University. A native of London, Robertson studied at the London School of Economics and is a graduate of the University of London. His presentations and written commentaries on economic issues have been widely reported in national, regional and local news.

Welcome 2018/2019 Center for Business and Economics Fellows!

2018/2019 CBE Fellows
2018/2019 CBE Fellows, from left: Trevor Day ’20, Carlos Sanchez ’20, Troy Elphinstone ’19, Jack Goodman ’19, Emma Black ’20

This year the Economics Department welcomed our returning Fellow, Troy Elphinstone ’19 and new Fellows Jack Goodman ’19, Trevor Day ’20, Carlos Sanchez ’20 and Emma Black ’20.  These students are already at work bringing their energy and voice to the Center for Business and Economics activities.


Click here to learn more about our Fellows program.

Hot Cash: Why Saving The Planet Is All About Making Money

Jeffrey Ball, "Hot Cash: Why Saving the Planet Is All About Making Money"

The Allegheny Center for Business and Economics in partnership with the Law & Policy Program will present a special Lunchtime Learning event on September 26, from noon until 1:30 pm in the Tillotson Room, Tippie Alumni Center, entitled Hot Cash: Why Saving the Planet Is All About Making Money presented by award-winning writer, Jeffrey Ball.

Mr. Ball will be on the Allegheny campus to team teach a Law & Policy short course entitled, A Comprehensive Approach to the Future of Energy Policy among other appearances, and will take this opportunity to focus on the economics of creating sustainable solutions that benefit both the environment and the economy.  All are welcome to attend this special lunchtime event and learn more about the relationship between monetary policy and sustainability.

Lunch will be provided compliments of the Law and Policy Program.

Mr. Ball is an internationally renowned scholar, journalist, and author on energy and the environment. His work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, Fortune, and The New Republic among many other outlets. He is scholar-in-residence at Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance and lecturer at Stanford Law School. Prior to his post at Stanford, Ball was The Wall Street Journal’s environment editor.  Learn more at

High Impact Interviewing; How to Ace Your Next Interview and Reach Your Career Goals

You went to Resume Doctor and created a rock star resume.
You got your application in on time.
Much to your delight, you were selected for an interview!
How do you prepare?  What happens if they ask a question you can’t answer?

Steve Gavatorta ’85 Speaker, Trainer and Coach
Steve Gavatorta ’85 Speaker, Trainer and Coach

On September 11, Career Education and the Center for Business & Economics will welcome Steve Gavatorta ’85 Speaker, Trainer and Coach at a special Lunchtime Learning where he will help students master the Secrets of High Impact Interviewing based on his experience working with hundreds of major companies from General Electric to Pepsico.

Students of all majors will benefits from Steve’s insights on how major companies select the candidates for internships and entry level jobs and how students can prepare in advance.  Join us in Quigley Auditorium from 12:15 – 1:30 pm on Tuesday, September 11 to learn how to develop a successful strategy to enable you to ace that interview.

About Steve Gavatorta

Steve Gavatorta, 1985 graduate of Allegheny College, is owner of the Steve Gavatorta Group, specializes in empowering individuals and organizations in identifying, developing, and exceeding performance goals. Steve’s had the privilege of coaching and training thousands of high performers in industries including pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, healthcare, consumer packaged goods, finance, media, and advertising. From small businesses on the move to Fortune 500 companies, Steve collaborates with organizations to build foundations, set goals, and eclipse their highest potential.

Steve is also author of the recently published book In Defense of Adversity – Turning Your Toughest Challenges Into Your Greatest Success.  He is a Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst (CPBA) and Certified Professional Values Analyst (CPVA), a certified Myers-Briggs practitioner, and accredited to coach and train for Emotional Intelligence (EQ). He enjoys martial arts, practicing Muay Thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and yoga, and traveling to new places to recharge his batteries. Steve currently resides in Tampa, Florida.


Careers in Financial Planning

CFP ProStudents of all majors are invited to a special CBE Lunchtime Learning presentation on Careers in Financial Planning.  According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual wage for financial planners or advisers was $90,640 in May 2017.  Employment of personal financial planners/advisers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2025, much faster than average for all occupations.

Attend this event to learn more about the pathways to careers in financial planning and the potential opportunities for Allegheny students with distinguished alumni presenters Stuart Armstrong ’81 and Blaine Aikin ’76.  Stuart will share his improbable journey as an Allegheny graduate with a degree in biology from the laboratory to his career transition to financial planner where he pursues his passion for helping his clients to chart their course to financial independence.  Blaine Aikin, CFP®, CFA, AIFA® served on the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards from 2013 until 2017, and as Chair of CFP Board in 2017. Blaine will enlighten us about the benefits for students who wish to add this prestigious certification to their Allegheny degree.

We will be serving free pizza for as long as it lasts – so mark your calendar for Thursday, September 6 for this special lunch hour event.  Students will have to opportunity to speak with Stuart and Blaine during office hours following this presentation.  Please contact Beth Ryan to schedule your appointment by stopping in at Quigley #224, email or calling 332-2385.

Stuart ArmstrongStuart Armstrong II
CFP®, CLU®, CLTC, ADPA®, AIF® Financial Planner

Since 1986, clients have chosen Stuart Armstrong as their lead advisor because he is able to help them chart their course to financial independence with patience, integrity and wisdom. Stuart graduated from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Stuart has obtained various industry designations, including: CFP® (Certified Financial Planner®), ChFC® (Chartered Financial Consultant®), CLU® (Charted Life Underwriter®), CLTC (Certified in Long Term Care), ADPA® (Accredited Domestic Partner Advisor®), and AIF® (Accredited Investment Fiduciary®).

Stuart was honored to serve a three-year term from 2013 through 2015 on the National Board of Directors for the Financial Planning Association (FPA), the largest membership of financial planners in the United States. He is currently a member of the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning Advisory Council and also serves on the Mass Audubon Advisory Council.

In his spare time, Stuart is active in volunteering for various Boston area non-profit groups. Stuart can often be seen skiing, off to the movies and plays or out in his growing garden. Stuart has lived in the Boston area for over thirty years and he currently resides in Milton with his partner, Mike, and their cat Geo.

Blaine AikenBlaine Aikin
Executive Chairman Fi360

Blaine is executive chairman of Fi360 and a recognized thought-leader in the field of financial advice and fiduciary responsibility. He joined Fi360 in 2005 as chief knowledge officer, became chief executive officer in 2007, and was named executive chairman in 2015. He led the rise to prominence of the company’s professional development capabilities, investment management platform for advisors, and business research and practice management services that help advisors and financial institutions profitably gather, grow and protect investor assets. His rich experience includes having been a financial planning practitioner, chief investment officer and corporate executive responsible for the design, delivery and management of investment products.

Blaine is a well-known speaker and author of numerous articles on the subjects of fiduciary responsibility and investment management. He is the author of the monthly Fiduciary Corner column in Investment News magazine.  He has been named to Investment Advisor magazine’s IA25 list of the most influential people in the investment advisory community and one of the 10 most influential individuals in the 401(k) industry by RIABiz. He is currently chair of the Board of Directors for the CFP Board of Standards.

Blaine received a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from Allegheny College and his Master of Public Management and Policy degree from the Heinz School of Carnegie-Mellon University. Upon graduation from CMU, he was selected for the prestigious Presidential Management Intern Program. He is a Certified Financial Planner®  (CFP® ) professional, Chartered Financial Analyst®  (CFA® ) charter holder and Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst®  (AIFA® ) designee.

An avid outdoorsman, Blaine serves on the leadership council of the Pennsylvania Center for Private Forests and is active in the Pennsylvania Forest Stewards program.

Congratulations to Professor Tomas Nonnenmacher

Congratulations to Professor Tomas Nonnenmacher and co-authors Eric Alston, Lee J. Alston and Bernardo Mueller on the publication of their book, “Institutional and Organizational Analysis: Concepts and Applications; New Approaches to Economic and Social History.”

This book discusses how “Institutional and organizational analysis becomes the basis to show why the economic and political performance of countries worldwide have not converged, and reveals the lessons to be learned from it for business, law, and public policy.”  (quotation from Amazon introduction)

The book will be available at Amazon beginning September 30, 2018.

Tom Nonnenmacher is the Patricia Bush Tippie Chair of Economics and the Co-Director of the Center for Business and Economics (CBE) at Allegheny College. He teaches classes in Microeconomics, Industrial Organization, and Economic History. As Co-Director of the CBE, he works with a team to expose students to real-world business and economics experiences. He recently co-authored Institutional and Organizational Analysis: Concepts and Applications, published by Cambridge University Press. His other research projects include the organization and regulation of the telegraph industry in the United States and labor contracting on henequen plantations in Yucatan, Mexico.