New Advisors at the BEST Center Give Small Business Owners an Advantage

Dreaming of starting your own small business? Full of ideas but not sure how to make them a reality? Visit the BEST Center at Genesee Community College and speak to Dick Petitte or Richard Barth, two new advisors at the center. Funded in part by the Small Business Administration, the SBDC delivers counseling, training, and industry-specific research to small business entrepreneurs. The BEST Center hired Petitte and Barth to advise potentially new and current small business owners in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties.

Dick Petitte brings over 30 years experience in executive coaching, is past president of Consultative Learning Solutions, and has been a Senior Consultant and Director of Business Development for several organizations including the Great Lakes Regional Director for the American Management Association. Petitte, an Emmy-award winner, has produced and directed multiple programs world-wide to support marketing and business development. Dick brings a unique blend of skills that span from strategic organizational diagnosis to solution implementation.

“I’m really looking forward to helping move ideas to successful businesses with the great resources that the SBDC and BEST Center offer,” Dick said. “I think my work in strategic planning, consultative learning, and coaching and counseling businesses throughout the United States and overseas will greatly benefit area businesses.”

In addition to teaching as adjunct faculty for Cornell University, SUNY Oswego, and other area colleges, Dick has been a Lead Professor in the Bachelors and Masters degree programs in Organizational Management at Roberts Wesleyan College. He teaches online courses in E-Commerce, Grant Development, Leadership, New Business Development, and Strategic Planning nationally. Dick holds a B.A. in Communication/Journalism from St. John Fisher College and a M.S. in Instructional Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Richard Barth has owned and operated a mergers and acquisitions business that serves small business sellers and buyers for more than a dozen years. He has specialized in transfer of the ownership of businesses with annual sales of $500,000 to $20 million. Prior to starting his own business, Richard served as General Manager and Director of Operations for a state-wide agricultural association in central Pennsylvania, providing management information services to more than 6,000 member businesses.

A native and current resident of Perry, NY, Barth served 10 years in the United States Army Reserve (retired rank of Major). His formal education includes a B.S. in Agriculture and a M.S. in Agricultural Economics, both from Ohio State University. Richard is a certified business counselor, a senior business analyst, and a certified business intermediary. He is looking forward to his new role as a BEST Center advisor and hopes to help individuals understand what is required to start and own a small business.

“I started and successfully operated my own business for more than a dozen years before moving back to my roots in Western New York. What I learned about running my own company was learned by trial and error because I had no mentor,” Richard said. “I hope to transfer my hard-earned knowledge to others who need it to shorten their learning curves and improve their opportunity for success.”

The BEST Center at Genesee Community College will be offering a series of free 2-hour seminars to entrepreneurs with new business ideas and owners who have recently launched small businesses. The seminar schedule starts in February and continues through June, 2007 with all sessions running 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at each campus center location indicated below.

February, Tuesday, 20th / Starting Your Own Business / GCC Batavia Campus

- Wednesday, 14th / Starting Your Own Business / GCC Lakeville Campus 
- Wednesday, 21st / Business Planning / GCC Batavia Campus

- Wednesday, 4th / Starting Your Own Business / GCC Warsaw Campus 
- Wednesday, 11th / Marketing Your Business / GCC Batavia Campus
- Thursday, 26th / Starting Your Own Business / GCC Dansville Campus

- Tuesday, 15th / Starting Your Own Business / GCC Albion Campus 
- Wednesday, 23rd / Record Keeping for Small Business / GCC Batavia Campus

June, Wednesday, 6th / Starting Your Own Business / GCC Arcade Campus

Starting Your Own Business will cover the importance of knowing your local market, meeting customer needs, fending off competition, financing daily operations, managing information and recordkeeping, handling employee requirements, and containing risk.

Business Planning provides a complete overview of the business plans including research required, what questions have to be answered, format, and the requirements of the planning stage. This program will take away any anxiety about building a business plan and guide your organization years into the future.

Marketing Your Business will help increase foot traffic through your door or hits on your website, promotes your business through specific steps that connect you to customers, expand your creative marketing approaches that will match your personality and capabilities to your business needs.

Recordkeeping for Small Businesses tips and guidelines gained from this seminar will help maintain current and accurate information that is essential for long term decision making and avoiding legal troubles.

The BEST Center is also offering a 12-week entrepreneurship program beginning February 27. For more information about the BEST Center, to register for one of the upcoming workshops, or to make an appointment with a counselor, call (585) 345-6868.

Editor’s Note: Photographs of the new Small Business Development Center advisors are located at: > Dick Petitte > Richard Barth Dick Petitte and Richard Barth, new advisors for the Small Business Development Center at Genesee Community College’s BEST Center.