Tuesday March 8, 2011

A Student CEO

Flyer Enterprises, the University's student-run company with annual revenues of $1.3 million and more than 170 employees, has named a new executive team.

Flyer Enterprises, the University of Dayton's student-run business, has named student Jeff Firestone as president of the $1.3 million company.

Firestone, a resident of Bay Village, Ohio, and former president of the coffee divisions, will take over leadership for the 2011-12 academic year for Flyer Enterprises, one of the largest and fastest-growing student-run businesses in the country. An accounting and finance major, he will be a fifth year MBA student in the fall.

At a University that emphasizes experiential learning, Flyer Enterprises stands out as a flagship program that operates eight divisions, employs more than 170 students, and operates coffee stands, cafes and a retail shop for spirit merchandise that appeals to students, alumni and community supporters.

Flyer Enterprises also named a new executive team that Firestone said will foster entrepreneurship and research growth opportunities for the student-run company.

He'll take over on April 4 from current CEO Joseph Guy, who is graduating.

"For 2011–12, I plan to continue offering an experiential education to all employees, as well as increase the number of opportunities to get involved and learn from the business," Firestone said. "The ultimate goal for the Flyer Enterprises' team this upcoming year is to have the most successful year in Flyer Enterprises' history."

Guy expressed his confidence in Firestone's takeover, noting the new executive's four years of experience with Flyer Enterprises and outgoing personality will contribute to the company's future success.

"Firestone is an innovative leader and will not tolerate a status quo mind set," Guy said. "His vast understanding of our businesses, as well as his ability to connect on a personal level with employees make him a truly unique leader. Flyer Enterprises is in great hands moving into the next academic year, and I am proud to pass the torch on to a great friend, person and leader."

Executive team members and their new positions include:
• Peter West, chief financial officer, junior, Batavia, Ill.
• Steve Group, chief information officer, junior, Pittsburgh.
• Megan Arko, president of corporate development, junior, Cleveland.
• Jimmy Hankenhof, president of dining services joint ventures, senior, Toledo, Ohio.
• Kerri Roper, president of retail, junior, Dayton, Ohio.
• Sean Holdmeyer, president of ArtStreet Café and catering, sophomore, North Royalton, Ohio.
• Nikki Swidarski, president of coffee, junior, Hudson, Ohio.

"It feels really great to be the new CEO," Firestone said. "I love Flyer Enterprises, and I only want to see it continue to succeed and grow. I am confident that the rest of the Flyer Enterprises' team has those same goals and aspirations."

Flyer Enterprises is the sixth largest student-run business in the country and is comparable to similar programs at Georgetown, Princeton, Harvard, Cornell and Stanford. It is currently one of the fastest growing student-run businesses in the nation. In just 10 years, Flyer Enterprises has grown to operate eight divisions, employ more than 170 students and earn annual revenues of $1.3 million.

Flyer Enterprises also has created Flyer Consulting, a philanthropic arm that offers management and organizational consulting assistance to non-profit organizations. Flyer Consulting. The company prides itself on providing an environment for hands-on learning about enterprise and strives to become the national leader for experiential learning.

For more information and interviews contact Kim Balio at kim.balio@flyerenterprises.com.