Siena’s annual celebration of its alumni entrepreneurs saw a big upgrade this year to help raise funds for student projects.
The eighth annual Maddalone Wall Induction Ceremony was hosted October 26 as a seated dinner in the SSU’s Maloney Great Room.
The Maddalone Wall, made possible through the generous support of Guy Maddalone ’89, founder and CEO of GTM Payroll Services, provides a highly visible platform to honor Siena alumni who have launched their own successful businesses, and to inspire current students who have entrepreneurial plans, according to Michael J. Hickey ’83, executive director of the Stack Center and emcee of the dinner. Inductees have a plaque with their business’s logo featured on the wall in the center.
Hickey said the former reception that is now a full-fledged dinner with table sponsorships – and the local businesses it honors - “is about an ecosystem that we’re building together, and we celebrate that.”
Maddalone, as benefactor of the annual awards, noted that the purpose behind the Wall is to “highlight the risk that Siena alumni have taken to learn, innovate, and to design products and services that will create value and make a profit, along with their desire, tenacity and refusal to give up in their pursuit of entrepreneurial excellence.”
Louis Kudla ’23, president of Siena’s student Entrepreneurship Organization, said this year’s winners “set such a great example for aspiring students to achieve similar success,” and acknowledged that the road to that success can sometimes be very bumpy.
“Failure is not something that should be shoved under the rug but is something that should be treated as part of the process,” said Kudla. “It’s not about how many times someone is punched to the ground but about how much might they have to get back up and fight another round. In order to unlock your potential, one must be willing to look failure in the face and continue to be tested.”
Hickey noted that this year the Wall reached its “century mark” – there are now 101 companies honored.
The 2021 Maddalone Wall inductees are:
Bob Blackman '69
Blackman & DeStefano Real Estate, Albany, NY
Blackman and DeStefano was founded in 1984 in Clifton Park to rent, buy, sell and appraise real estate. They merged with RealtyUSA in 2002 to become one of the Capital Region’s largest real estate brokerage firms.
Matthew Fradette '07
The Wanderlust Group, Newport, RI and Cambridge, MA
Founded in 2014, The Wanderlust Group is an outdoor technology company composed of Dockwa, Marinas.com, and Campouts.com. This marketplace and technology platform connects adventurers to destinations and helps those destinations grow.
Blake Hanan '04
Mealeo, Latham, NY
Founded in 2008, Mealeo’s website and mobile app offers customers the ability to order delivery or pickup from the best local restaurants, on-demand.
Tom Huerter '91
Huersch Marketing Group, Green Island, NY
Founded in 2002, HMG has grown from a print/fulfillment company into a technology-based full-service marketing company. Their team has expanded its capabilities to cover all aspects of their clients’ operational and marketing needs.
Robert C. Miller '65
The Windsor Companies, Clifton Park, NY
Founded in 1983, The Windsor Companies is a real estate development and professional property management firm committed to growth through responsible development and focused acquisition of commercial and mixed-use properties.