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Webinar by Chris McCann, President
of 1-800-flowers.com, Launches
Marist College Entrepreneur Network
O
n Feb. 7, more than 160Marist alumni,
students, parents, faculty, staff, and
friends participated in a webinar hosted by
Marist Trustee Chris McCann ’83, president
of 1-800-flowers.com. The webinar is the
first step toward creating a Marist College
Entrepreneur Network,
which encompasses stu-
dents, alumni, parents,
faculty, staff, and friends.
The initiative was
sparked by none other than Marist stu-
dents. The Marist Student Entrepreneur
Network (MSEN) was organized in
February of 2011 and has grown to 100
members. MSEN offers a variety of pro-
grams for students including guest speak-
ers on campus, webinars, and workshops.
“I believe that MSEN is responsible
for my recent success,” says co-founder
and marketing major Danielle Provost ’12.
“I would like to watch this organization
grow and see other Marist students gain
success by utilizing amazing opportunities
that only this organization has been able
to provide thus far. There really is no other
thing like it on campus.”
Three Marist faculty/staff provide support
to the group: Bill Thirsk, chief information
officer, Tony DiMarco, director of strategic
initiatives, and Dr. David Gavin, assistant pro-
fessor in the School of Management. “MSEN
is a mutual win for Marist students and local
entrepreneurs,” says DiMarco. “Marist stu-
dents glean valuable nuggets of wisdom from
entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs can bounce
ideas off a cross-disciplinary group of really
talented college students—not to mention the
mutual benefit of internships and jobs sourced
through MSEN.”
When several members of MSEN gradu-
ated last May, they were disappointed that they
could no longer stay involved with the group.
In addition, the College was approached by an
alumnus entrepreneur who was looking for sup-
port from other alumni entrepreneurs when
starting his company. These were the catalysts
that convinced Marist to extend MSEN into
Chris McCann ’83
a more encompassing Marist College
Entrepreneur Network.
MSEN and the Alumni Office collabo-
rated to offer a free webinar to commence
the network. “We realize there are many
successful alumni entrepreneurs, but we
knew Chris [McCann] would be the perfect
presenter to kick off this network,” says Amy
Woods ’97, executive director of alumni
relations. “Chris’s story is truly inspiring
and he has a wealth of helpful advice for
other entrepreneurs.”
Fol lowing the webinar, a Marist
College Entrepreneur “group” was created
on LinkedIn.com. Within five days, more
than 120 members joined. The forum offers
members an opportunity to network, post
discussions, post jobs, and more.
“The network can only grow,” says Amy
Woods. “In today’s highly competitive and
challenging marketplace, more and more
people are being creative with their career
paths. With more than 34,000 Marist
alumni worldwide, thousands of parents,
and many local businesses, it’s only natural
that we rely on each other to succeed. And
Marist can offer various resources to entrepre-
neurs, such as incubator support, TelePresence
services, and student interns. We also hope this
initiative shows our students that they’re not
alone. There is a network of support waiting
for them when they graduate.”
To listen to a recording of the Chris
McCann webinar, visit www.marist.edu/
alumni/specialevents.html. To join the network,
search Marist College Entrepreneur Network
on LinkedIn.com.
Former Marist basketball players
returned to campus in February for
Men’s Basketball Alumni Day. After
touring the renovated basketball
arena and new team facilities, they,
along with their families, cheered
the Red Foxes on to an 89-77 win over
Niagara from the new basketball
suite in the McCann Center. Alumni
included (back row, left to right)
Ben Farmer ’08, Kaylen Gregory ’08,
Ray Manning ’71, Ron Alexander ’76,
TimMurphy ’87, (front row, left to
right) Jim Cosentino ’72, and James
Wright ’66. Also in attendance but
not pictured were Korey Bauer ’11, Joe
Cirasella ’75, and Allen Fairhurst ’75.