Cate Lawyer '20

Dave Collins ’03 returned to Siena for the final installment of the Fall School of Business Lecture Series. 

Collins is currently the third President of D.A. Collins Companies, a 70 year old family business started by his grandfather who wanted to follow the American Dream.

Unlike many 17 year olds, Collins knew exactly what he wanted to do for a living before he even went off to college. He knew he would marry his high school sweetheart Stephanie Collins ’03, and that he wanted to take a role in running the family business. At the time, Collins considered college a “roadblock,” something that he had to “check off the list.” But looking back, he sees the experience in a different light. 

“If I could relive those 4 years, I would have taken advantage of all of the opportunities Siena offered. You all have tremendous opportunities at this great school, take advantage of them,” Collins advised students. 

When it comes to working for a family business, Collins described it as a career unlike anything else. It is more than a Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm job, it’s a culture and value driven opportunity that creates a very strong inner network. 

Those who work at D.A. Collins Companies are a team. They work hard in collaboration to be as successful and satisfied as possible. Part of this satisfaction is rooted in their passion for giving back to the community. 

“People often think you have to write a really big check in order to give back. They’re wrong. They forget about time, talent, and treasure. Using just two of these attributes to give back to a not-for-profit will be one of the most amazing experiences. You’ve gotta give till it hurts.” 

Collins ended his talk by expressing to students the importance of conveying their passion for the job they have or the job they’re applying for. 

“Always go back to what you love because the passion you have will carry you through anything.” 

This semester’s School of Business Lecture speakers included:

Peter O’Malley ’88

Liska Wilson ’11