On Nov. 5, the Smeal College of Business announced the reception of the Anthony Buzzelli Endowment for Leadership, a $300,000 commitment provided by Anthony and Marta Buzzelli. The gift will enhance leadership development in the college and generate annual funding to support the Sapphire Leadership Symposium and other programs that develop leadership qualities in business students.
“The best way to learn about leadership is to lead,” Buzzelli said.
Buzzelli explained three main goals for the use of endowment funds, including a continuous leadership development program, sessions patterned around skill development and mentoring, and the hope that these programs will eventually extend beyond Smeal. An advisory board, comprised of corporate professionals and Smeal faculty, has been created to facilitate the planning and creation of programs through the endowment.
Throughout his career, Buzzelli supported the communities where he worked and lived, having served on the board of the United Way Los Angeles, the LA Police Foundation, World Affairs Council, Town Hall Los Angeles, the Southern California Leadership Network and the California Science Center.
Now, Buzzelli is on the Smeal Board of Visitors and has served on the Accounting Advisory Board. He took an active role in advising and supporting skills-based leadership development programs in Smeal, particularly the Sapphire Leadership Symposium, after Sapphires presented at a board meeting nearly two years ago.
Buzzelli helped to plan and participated in the second annual Sapphire Leadership Symposium, which occurred on Nov. 2. He, along with the team of students and faculty involved in this year’s event, hopes to see the symposium take on a larger role in a long-term leadership development program in the future.
“I think you mentally stay young when you engage with young professionals,” Buzzelli said. “I was interested in being involved because I wanted to be engaged with students on the learning and development side.”
Ken Pasch, Smeal professor and president of Ki Visions, Inc. also participated in this year’s symposium as a speaker. Pasch’s company works to help “good people become great leaders” by unlocking their potential and engaging their entrepreneurial spirit.
“I think having Tony Buzzelli as a mentor to the group is a very good thing to have because that man has so much experience and he’s seen so much and he’s done so much,” Pasch said. “I think it’s great.”
Pasch said he most enjoyed the interaction between students throughout the day and seeing people grow and develop. He said he is looking forward to future events similar to the symposium.
“I’m really looking forward to working on [the symposium] again in the future because it’s something that’s definitely important, not just to business majors but to majors in other schools as well,” said Kenny Allen (sophomore-risk management), who served as the Symposium Administrative Director this year. “I think this is going to be one of those things that Sapphire does that’s going to have a legacy in the end.”