Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December FE Updates!

Hello World!

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving filled with friends, family and food!

It's only been a month since my last post, but a lot of exciting developments to report from the FE world. As we have progressed throughout the semester, the leadership team has focused intensely on what is the most critical component of our business: the foundation. Our IT Group has worked hard establishing key strategic relationships with UDIT and Dining Services IT in order to provide more secure, reliable, and timely services to our businesses. Furthermore, the accounting group has made major improvements in our monthly auditing process as well as internal controls. Courtney Heinekamp, the CFO, and Bryan Kristy, the CIO, have done an amazing job and their leadership has been key in refocusing the foundational support structure of Flyer Enterprises.

Also, we have continued to focus on our founding principles: entrepreneurship and innovation. Last week, we delivered our proposal for a storage venture to UD administration. The new venture coordinators, Ryan Hunn and Sean Holdmeyer, did a great job in developing the initial draft of the proposal and delivered a outstanding presentation as well. Overall, UD administration was very impressed and are interested in moving on to "stage B." At present, that next step from UD's perspective is not clearly defined, but I should have an update soon. Stay tuned!

We have also continued to be innovative in our marketing tactics. We just completed our FE Passport campaign and it was very successful. We had over 100 people turn in completed passports, which equates to a 172% increase from the previous year. This success can be largely attributed to the efforts of VP of corporate development, Megan Arko, and director of marketing communications, Rachelle Patsey. They crafted a great campaign that was communicated and executed very well. Furthermore, our collaboration with Dayton to Daytona added a new dynamic to the contest and greatly increased the appeal of the promotion. A big thanks to every single FE'er for their hard work and help in spreading the word!

As we move forward, the month of December brings more than cold weather and snow, but also the beginning of our transition season (man time flies!). On December 6, the 2011-2012 CEO was announced to the company (Congrats again Jeff Firestone!) and we will now move quickly into interview season for execs then managers. While turnover is one of our biggest challenges as a student-run business, it also provides great opportunities for young FE'ers to bring fresh and innovative ideas into the company. I encourage everyone to consider applying for a leadership position within the company! While it is a lot of hard work, the impact you can make on the business and great relationships you will develop make it truly a worthwhile experience.

I wish everyone the best of luck on their upcoming exams and keep up the amazing work! As I have said numerous times, you are the most important part of FE and your hard work will ensure our continued success!

FE Love always & forever,


Monday, November 1, 2010

FE Updates!

Hello world!

First semester has been a whirlwind of exciting accomplishments and new developments for FE.
First, I have been leading a committee of talented FE employees, managers, and execs working to develop the Flyer Enterprises Alumni Association. I wanted to ensure that we gathered input from all levels within the company to ensure that a holistic vision was developed that maximizes the benefits for all of our employees.
Additionally, we have finalized and implemented the company's first Secret Shopper Program. It provides another opportunity for sales associates to get involved across the company and to continually ensure that we are providing the best service possible to our incredibly loyal customer base.
Finally, our executive team conducted our 1st Quarter Board of Directors meeting on Oct. 6. We inducted a new alumni board member, approved our updated by-laws, and also informed the board of the exciting progress we have made so far this year.

In the past two months, we have also completed the process in one of our new venture pursuits. Last year, we researched and drafted a business plan for a staffing division that staffed volunteer groups who work concession stands at UD Arena. We were one of the final two bidders considered for the contract and unfortunately were outbid by another staffing company. Despite the result, we were able to build incredible relationships with administrators in UD Athletics and the Risk Management Department of UD. Furthermore, our new venture coordinators, Peter West and Emily Rozanski, excelled and earned a tremendous learning experience.

Staying true to our entrepreneurial spirit, FE has continued to consider new products and services that would meet the needs of the UD community. I was approached during the summer of 2010 by Chris Schramm, assistant vice president for leadership development, about addressing the concern for adequate storage space on campus. This is one example of how FE strives to solve problems for the University. So far, we have put a new venture team in place to find a solution to the storage issue at UD. Sophomores Sean Holdmeyer and Ryan Hunn are serving as the new venture coordinators and have been busy at work this semester researching several different alternatives for a storage business on campus. Our goal is to deliver our final recommendation to UD administration by the end of the semester.

FE has been off to a great start this year and I look forward to pursuing other new opportunities in the future.

FE Love,


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Engage in the FE Brand

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Engage in the FE Brand

Hello World!

I would like to personally welcome all FE employees back to UD and congratulate all new employees on becoming a part of this incredible organization!

This summer, I had an outstanding internship at BlackRock in the Greater New York City area. I worked in the eBusiness group where we served as internal consultants for other business groups in the firm helping them leverage their goals and initiatives in the digital environment. For me, it was the perfect combination of strategy, data analytics, and project management all while working in the finance industry. The biggest thing I learned this summer is the importance of placing the customer at the center of your strategic focus in all key business decisions and continually enhancing your products, services, or content to keep the customer actively engaged with your brand.

This important lesson learned has inspired me to work with our director of marketing communications, Rachelle Patsey, in developing a cohesive, holistic social media strategy that incorporates all of our unique brands and drives further engagement from our already loyal customer base. As we continue to develop our online strategy, FE will look into incorporating all major aspects of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and online video distribution. Our goal is to further educate our external audience of the amazing experiences FE employees are receiving as well as constantly communicate with our customer base.

As I have said countless times, I truly believe this company is comprised of the most talented students here at UD. After my experience working at BlackRock this summer, I believe the opportunities available to our employees differentiate us from students at other top schools in the country and allow us to develop a unique skill set. I challenge every single employee in FE to get involved and use your talents and passions to propel FE to new levels of innovation and success. Most importantly, continue to give the customer an incredible experience day in and day out. This experience is much bigger than we can even realize right now. The hard work we all put in now will ensure that this organization continues to thrive years from now and future Flyers will be able to enjoy the experiences FE provides!

FE Love,


Saturday, June 5, 2010

To New Beginnings

Hello World: My name is Joe Guy (yes that is my real name) and I am the CEO of one of the largest student-run businesses in America: Flyer Enterprises. I enjoy friends, music, movies, long walks on the beach, and oh yea….leading a $1.4 million company that employs over 150 of the most talented students at UD.

My FE birthday is September 9, 2007 where I started working as a barista at The Blend. A lot of things have changed since my first day on the job, but one thing remains the same: my passion and excitement for FE is as strong now as it has ever been.

My aim is to continue to position FE for strategic growth as UD continues to renovate current facilities and expand towards the river. The seeds for our strategic growth have already been planted this year. FE has been approached by various administrators at UD this year to develop business plans for a coffee shop in Kettering Labs as well as staffing services for UD Arena. Currently, those plans are in the final stage of development. While FE has a proven track record of success with coffee shop management, the staffing services venture in UD Arena would be a new and exciting challenge. It would give our student employees an entirely new experience and allow us to build a key strategic relationship with UD athletics. It is amazing to see how our success over the years have enhanced our reputation amongst key administrators and opened up new doors for growth.

Furthermore, the recent restructuring of the executive team created a new position, the Vice President of Corporate Development, that will work to develop the future leaders of FE. The VPCD, Megan Arko, will look to provide professional seminars for employees, create a second tier to the Leadership Development Program, and develop a company-wide secret shopper program that will allow employees to provide their feedback of current divisions' performance.

It continues to amaze me what a group of passionate students can accomplish when they work together to achieve common goals. I believe Flyer Enterprises is the finest example of that passion and teamwork on UD's campus. FE really does provide more to our student employees than on-campus jobs. It is so rewarding to see our people use their talents and interests to represent FE. Whether it is service opportunities planned by our COC's, social events planned by our SAC's, new venture development by our new venture coordinators, employee incentive programs by our HR assistants, or new creative product choices by our new product development coordinator, FE employees really are the finest group of students on campus. As I have been involved with many other student organizations at UD, I can say with 100% confidence that FE really is the best of the best, and that would not be possible without the amazing people we have working here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I've Caught the FEver!

I’ve always said that the only thing wrong with Flyer Enterprises is that you can’t work for the company your whole life… they actually make you retire when you graduate! After five years of working for the best company and with the best people in the world (yep, I meant what I said in the video!), it’s amazing to see how far we have come in such a short time period.

In five years, we have opened three new ventures: The CHILL in 2006, Flyer Spirit in 2007, and FE Catering in 2009. We also created the IT Group, something that is pretty unique among other student-run businesses. We survived the heartbreak of having to close our original business venture Rudy’s Fly Buy (yes, I spelled it right!) and took away a lot of lessons from having to do so. We celebrated our 20th Anniversary as a company and reflected on all the milestones along the way. We renewed our relationship with Georgetown University’s student-run business, The Corp, which was the organization we originally benchmarked off of when we wrote our business proposals for our first student-run ventures. We have constantly pushed towards better operation and management of our divisions, so much so that we are now a useful resource for other schools who are trying to start-up a similar program. I could literally go on for hours, but I’ll cut myself off there. In summary, we have made great progress in the last five years and we have a LOT to be proud of!

Since I’ve know retirement is coming quickly, I have become quite nostalgic in my last few weeks as CEO. Being able to look beyond just the day-to-day operations of our businesses, I am truly amazed and humbled by what an incredible experience we receive in working for this company. Whether you are a member of a marketing team, a shift leader, or a president of a division, you learn so much in the workplace that you would not have learned by just studying these concepts in class. You know what types of issues regularly face a business, you know how to have difficult conversations, and you know how to work with people as a team and how to motivate them to accomplish a task. And the best part is: you learn all this without even realizing that you are doing it. I encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity available to you within Flyer Enterprises. This is such an incredible experience and you really don't realize how much you have learned until it's over.

Speaking of what you learn in class, in one of my courses this semester, Business as a Calling, I read a definition of leadership that really struck me because of it’s relevance to FE. The book Greater Than Yourself defines a leader as “someone who takes up the cause to change one part of the world for the better and that these efforts are rooted in love and motivated by a desire to create a better company.” This voiced the main theme of what I have witnessed the most throughout my five years of working for Flyer Enterprises. Many of my co-workers have tried to describe this when telling someone about their FE experience, but have never really been able to put it into words. FE leaders, whether they have a formal title or not, are individuals that take personal responsibility to improve their division, leadership role, or the company in general simply because they love this experience and want other students to be able to benefit from it like they have. This is something that these leaders take on as a goal for themselves, not because it is forced on them in any way. This has been observation in each of my roles within Flyer Enterprises over the years and I take comfort in knowing that this mentality is deeply rooted in the FE culture. The FE experience is so amazing because of all the passionate people that work here and how much everyone loves being a part of this incredible opportunity.

In closing, I will always consider FE to be the most challenging, the most enjoyable, and the most rewarding experience of my college career. Once you catch the FEver, you are never cured... FE has got your hooked for life! I will be extremely thrilled to hear about all the cool things that FE will be doing next year and beyond. I am very excited for Joe Guy and his team to take over. FE is in a great place to pursue several available growth opportunities and further improve upon our current operations to only make us bigger and better in the future. I have been extremely honored to serve as Chief Executive Officer this year. It has been an incredible experience and I will forever cherish it.

FE Love Always,

Jessi (aka “Boss Lady”)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Flyer Enterprises is Making it Happen!

During the past few months, we have seen a lot of ideas actually take off within Flyer Enterprises:

Transition time is a great opportunity for new ideas and to rethink our current structure and operations. After evaluating our leadership structure, we decided to reorganize some of the executive positions. A new position was created called the Vice President of Corporate Development who is in charge of focusing on expanding the learning opportunities available to FE employees. This position is also responsible for facilitating cross-divisional collaboration and improving alumni relations.

Two of our divisions are going through a facelift! This year, the Blend received a new granite countertop and back wall design. This re-facing helped to make the Blend match the LTC atmospherics. Also, Stuart Hall Lobby is being completely redone this summer. As part of the construction, Stuart’s Landing will be completely renovated. Stu’s will now have a new location next to the laundry room, game room, and lounge area in the renovated lobby. You will also be able to see Stu’s as soon as you walk in the building and there will be more aisles and a better delivery layout.

FE has made a strong push to increase awareness on campus and to brand itself to students. To help with these efforts, FE company t-shirts were printed and distributed to all employees. These shirts have greatly increased the visibility of the company as a whole and really help to increase the exposure of our logo on campus. Also, we have made sure that our corporate logo is displayed at each division to help remind customers that each business is part of a larger umbrella. Internally, we have also created FE L.O.V.E. posters to help remind employees how they can Live Our Values Everyday.

Within FE, there has always been a strong desire to give back to the UD community. In the past, FE has given donations to organizations on campus, but this fall, we wanted to re-energize our approach to service. We created a Community Outreach Coordinator at each division that is responsible for organizing at least one community service event for their employees each semester. So far, these individuals have helped to coordinate a company-wide Drive 75 canned food drive competition, as well as volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, Christmas on Campus and the Booth House, an non-profit organization that helps unemployed people to better prepare for job interviews.

At the end of the fall semester, the managers at The Blend and The Blend Express worked closely with our coffee supplier Boston Stoker to create our own custom blend. “Rudy’s Roast” has been rolled out at both divisions and has seen great success. Also, a percentage of the proceeds from sales of this blend will go towards a one-time scholarship to a UD student, keeping in line with FE’s push to start giving back more to the UD community.

Last but not least, administrators and faculty are taking notice of FE’s success. Several opportunities for additional ventures and product line expansions have come our way in the past few months. We can attribute this influx of growth opportunities to FE’s every strengthening reputation of operational excellence and our efforts to remain top of mind to important people in the university. We are currently researching the feasibility of many of these opportunities and will hopefully get some of them off the ground in the next few years.

Follow @FlyerEnterprise on twitter for frequent updates about FE!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Exciting Times at Flyer Enterprises

The past two months have been very exciting ones for Flyer Enterprises:

In mid-September, six FE executives took a road trip up to Georgetown University to visit members of their student-run business The Corp. We spent all day Friday touring their divisions, discussing common issues and challenges that we face in our similar positions, as well as opportunities for future growth, and we even had time to have a little fun. We also learned a lot from them about their new employee orientation, much of which we applied in the creation of the new FE 101 program. FE originally bench marked off of The Corp when the company was created in 2001, and it has been amazing to see how we have grown since then! FE and The Corp are hoping to continue our increased collaboration to help benefit both companies in the future.

At the beginning of October, Flyer Enterprises was given the opportunity to present at the University of Dayton's Board of Trustees Meeting. During this presentation, we outlined where the company has come from, where we are now, and how we benefit UD students, the university as a whole, and the Dayton community. We received very positive feedback on our presentation and seemed to have really wow-ed the trustees with how cool the FE experience really is. In addition to our presentation, we were asked by the School of Business to create a video describing the benefits of Flyer Enterprises, which can be seen on youtube.com at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dg6zhZNKFjI.

The first ever FE 101 session was held on October 18th. During this orientation, new hires were able to learn about FE history, our vision, mission, and corporate values, our current divisions and organizational structure, and what it truly means to be an FE employee. They were also able to get to know each other a little bit more and hear testimonials from several different employees within the company about their experiences.

Lastly, our Directors of Merchandise/Marketing at all of our eight divisions have worked hard to create the first ever company-wide marketing promotion. These "FE passports" were given out to over 1000 students. If these students visit all seven FE divisions (not including FE Catering), they will receive a sticker. Once their passport is filled with FE stickers, they can then turn it in for a chance to win a 26 inch TV with a built-in DVD player. This is the first time we have attempted a company-wide marketing promotion and we are excited to see how successful it is.

Overall, FE is doing some pretty cool things right now! We are looking to expand learning opportunities, creating a few new positions, and continuing to make FE bigger and better than ever before. Stay tuned for more updates!