Volunteer Hampton Roads, Retail Alliance Foundation and Saint Leo University are continuing in partnership to create hands-on educational opportunities for MBA students at Saint Leo University.  As part of their Strategic Management capstone course, graduate students work with local Hampton Roads businesses and nonprofit organizations to provide them with a comprehensive strategic management plan.

“This continues to be an invaluable partnership that bridges the academic, business and nonprofit communities for the good of Hampton Roads.  Our students are being provided a great opportunity to network, display their research and make a difference in their community,” commented Pamela Chandler Lee, PhD, MBA program director, associate professor of management, Saint Leo University, Chesapeake Education Center. “Small local business benefit by having an introspective look at all areas of their business at no cost.  The total value of approximately $9,000 in research creates a win-win.”

Now in its fourth iteration, six local businesses and nonprofit organizations have been selected for this opportunity:  A Mindful Mess, Braids N’ More LLC, Mad Hatter Studio, Marianne Linen & Equipment Rental, Samantha Makes It a Little Easier (SMILE), and Troopster. Students are currently wrapping up analyses for Capstan Bar Brewing Company and Northern Neck Popcorn Bag. Previous participants have been Germono Advertising Co., REACH Inc. (Reading Enriches All Children), Access Partnership, Veteran’s HomeFront, Ability Center of Virginia and Fully Promoted (Diamond Springs).

Students are required to research the company, their competitors, and the industry, in order to develop an in-depth analysis, they will present to the organization to aid in its efforts to enhance performance.

The course will run between October 14—December 8, 2019. A meeting and reception will be held on October 17 at Saint Leo University’s Chesapeake campus, where the chosen businesses and nonprofits will meet the teams who will work on their business strategy. This is an opportunity for everyone to exchange contact information and gain an appreciation for the expectations of this initiative.

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About Retail Alliance Foundation

Retail Alliance Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the educational and charitable efforts of existing and aspiring business owners.  Serving the interests of local retailers in Hampton Roads since 2010, the Foundation is a part of the Retail Alliance founded in 1903.

About Saint Leo

Saint Leo University is a regionally accredited, liberal-arts-based institu­tion known for an inclusive Catholic heritage, enduring values, and capacity for innovation. The school was chartered in 1889 by Catholic Benedictine monks in rural Pasco County, FL, making Saint Leo the first Catholic college in the state. Saint Leo provides access to education to people of all faiths, emphasizing the Benedictine philosophy of balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit. The university welcomes learners from all generations and back­grounds, from civilian occupations and the armed forces, and from across the country and more than 60 nations around the world. Saint Leo’s more than 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students may elect to study at the beautiful University Campus in Florida, at more than 30 teaching locations in seven states, or online from other locations. The university’s degree programs range from the associate to the doctorate. Throughout these rich offer­ings, Saint Leo develops principled leaders for a challenging world. Saint Leo University boasts nearly 93,000 alumni in all 50 states, Washington, DC, five U.S. territories, and 72 countries.

About VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads

Volunteer Hampton Roads has been strengthening nonprofits and increasing civic engagement in Hampton Roads for 62 years. Our mission is to CONNECT businesses with opportunities which create a positive impact on our community; to EQUIP nonprofits with the resources they need to achieve their mission; to MOBILIZE a community of volunteers to create change. VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads is a member of HandsOn Network and United Way of South Hampton Roads. www.volunteerhr.org