$150,000 Gift Creates New Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program at St. John Fisher College

November 22, 2021

A $150,000 gift from St. John Fisher College alumna and Board of Trustee member Rebecca Pelino ’86 will create a new entrepreneurship program in the School of Business.

Rebecca Pelino (center) with students from the School of Business.

This gift will establish the Rebecca Pelino ’86 Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program, funding a new faculty position at the School. The Entrepreneur-in-Residence will work collaboratively with faculty in the School of Business to develop a robust entrepreneurship program, including the potential development of an interdisciplinary minor. In addition, the resident will teach an undergraduate course, mentor students in the Entrepreneurship and Investment Clubs, and connect students with internship and experiential learning opportunities in the community. The gift will also fund student participation in business plan competitions and entrepreneurship association memberships.

“Rebecca’s gift will fund the type of experiential learning opportunities that are the hallmark of a Fisher education,” said Dr. Gerard J. Rooney, president of the College. “We are grateful for her continuing support of the College and of our students.”

Dr. Carol Wittmeyer, interim dean of the School of Business, agreed, adding that the gift will enhance the academic experience for students.

“We’re so grateful to Rebecca for investing in our entrepreneurship programming which surely invite others to join our efforts,” she said. “Her vision is exciting and she is a true—and talented—partner in our work of preparing students for the exciting opportunities to start or play significant leadership roles in entrepreneurial organizations.”

At Fisher, Pelino majored in economics; she began her career as a commercial real estate broker and worked for a national commercial real estate firm in their large asset sales department. Today, she is a founding partner and managing partner at Capital Investment Advisors (CIA), leading acquisitions, deal origination, and capital sourcing. She oversees all project management activities, contracts management as well as the leasing and sales efforts for CIA.

“I am delighted to be part of this new and exciting program. Being an entrepreneur has been a challenging and rewarding experience for me.  My hope with the Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program is to offer students the opportunity, inspiration, and confidence to pursue their visions and show them it is possible to achieve their goals with hard work,” said Pelino.

This fall, around Trustee meetings, Pelino returned to Fisher to meet with students, faculty, and staff in the School of Business. Angelea Collins ’24, president of the Entrepreneurship Club, said having the opportunity to learn about Pelino’s career journey was an honor. “Ms. Pelino is an amazing business professional whose story is very inspiring,” Collins said. “Her gift will not only help build an entrepreneurial program within the School of Business, but it will also help students pursue their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs.”

Applicants interested in the Entrepreneur-in-Residence position can email Dr. Carol Wittmeyer for more information at cwittmeyer@sjfc.edu. To learn more about St. John Fisher College and the Fisher Forward campaign, visit fisherforward.sjfc.edu

This article was written by Leslie Noble ’21, a marketing major and PR writing intern with the Office of Marketing and Communications.