By Andrew Aguilera,
Stillman News Editor
On Thursday November 10, the Stillman School of Business and the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies held the annual Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Dinner. While the event had previously been located in the Main Lounge of the University Center, it was held at the Maplewood Country Club in Maplewood, NJ. Each year, the school honors new inductees to the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, and celebrates the accomplishments of past and current students of the Entrepreneurial Center. This year, the two inductees to the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame were Jerry Walker ’03, president and CEO of Team Walker, and Gary D. Wolfe ’71, founder and CEO of Wolfe Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc. The attendees included students and faculty of the Stillman School of Business, the honorees and their families and friends, administrators, the Entrepreneurial Center’s Board of Advisors, and more.
The event began with a greeting by Dean Joyce Strawser who welcomed everyone in attendance. President A. Gabriel Esteban followed with a few words to celebrate the accomplishments of the professionals being honored at the event. Assisting in the introductions of all the speakers was Ray Hoffman, host and producer on WCBS CEO Radio. He first introduced Professor Susan Scherreik, Founding Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and John Auriemma ’81, President and CEO of American Wear.
After their remarks, they celebrated the scholarship recipients, Corey Jones and Shaaliyah Lyons. Corey Jones is a graduate student in Stillman, pursuing an M.B.A. with a concentration in supply chain management. Jones previously spent ten years serving in the United States Marine Corps, holding jobs such as artillery cannoneer and helicopter flight line mechanic. He is a Big Brother/Big Sister of America volunteer, a member of his community emergency response team and an active member of the American Society of Safety Engineers. His long-range goal is owning/operating an avocado or citrus grove in southern California.
Shaaliyah Lyons is a senior at Stillman, majoring in sports management, with a minor in Africana Studies. She is also in the process of completing her certificate in Entrepreneurial Studies. She has a large passion for basketball, being involved as a player and coach for more than fifteen years. After interning with the Future Project in Newark, she was inspired to create a program that connected basketball with academics. Last year, she founded a non-profit called “Together We Conquer Life Skills Basketball Camp”, which provides workshops to supply young student athletes with the necessities to get into college and succeed while in college. She was a semi-finalist in the IFEL Next Level Competition, and the second place winner in Seton Hall’s Pirates Pitch competition.
Next, Vito DiGiovanni ’84 and James M. DiCarlo Jr., Founders of Fleetwash, Inc. presented the Emerging Entrepreneur Award to junior Ryan Skolnick for his business, Aveho Learning. He is triple majoring in management, marketing, and information technology management with a certificate in entrepreneurial studies. He is a past winner of the Pirates Pitch competition, and has been featured on CEO Radio. After college, Skolnick plans to continue with his company and revolutionizing the world through language learning.
Towards the end of the evening, the inductees accepted their induction into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, beginning with legendary 1992-1993 Big East Tournament Champion, Jerry Walker, who earned a B.A. in communication while at Seton Hall. He has spent twenty years as a social entrepreneur in Jersey City, his hometown. He founded Team Walker with his brother, Jasper, in 1996 to provide inner city youth with innovative after-school and summer programs that teach sports, academics, and life skills. Team Walker assists more than 400 children daily, ranging in age from 8 to 18. Since its inception, the group has been a positive influence on the lives of thousands of young people and their families.
The second inductee, Gary D. Wolfe, first worked at his father’s roofing company for two years before launching his own roofing company in 1973, when he was 23 years old. Wolfe Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc. has more than 40 employees and specializes in installing commercial roofs that span as much as 1.5 million square feet on office buildings and warehouses. He sold his company in 2015 to Tecta America, the leading national commercial roofing company in the U.S., with 50 locations. He currently serves on the Seton Hall University President’s Advisory Group.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 22nd print edition.
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