January 2019, Norfolk, Va. – Volunteer Hampton Roads, Retail Alliance Foundation and Saint Leo University have joined forces to create a hands-on educational opportunity for MBA students at Saint Leo University’s Chesapeake campus. As part of their spring Strategic Management capstone course, graduate students will work with local Hampton Roads businesses and nonprofit organizations to provide them with a comprehensive strategic management plan.


“By connecting our students with local business owners, they get the chance to work hand-in-hand with them to develop a well-researched business plan that will directly impact those businesses and help our local business community, thereby sustaining our local economy,” commented Pamela Chandler Lee, PhD, MBA program director, associate professor of management, Saint Leo University, Chesapeake Education Center.


Five local businesses and nonprofit organizations have been selected for this opportunity: Germono Advertising Co., Adele Diamond, REACH Inc. (Reading Enriches All Children), Access Partnership and Veteran’s Home Front.


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


The course will run between March 4 and April 28, 2019. A meeting and reception was held March 1 at Saint Leo University’s Chesapeake campus, where the chosen businesses and nonprofits met the teams who will work on their business strategy. This was 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