Students will help businesses with marketing, planning

April 21, 2009

A new partnership between the Greendale Village Business Association and Milwaukee Area Technical College promises to reap rewards for business owners and students.

The MATC-Greendale Synergy Center Project gives students enrolled in programs such as marketing and small business management the opportunity to gain real-life experience on projects that could help revitalize the village center.

"This is like the best-kept secret on the planet," said Deb Jansky, marketing/fashion retail management instructor, referring to Broad Street's quaint collection of shops. "So many people in the greater Milwaukee area don't know they exist."

Jansky and Richard Busalacchi, associate dean for MATC's hospitality programs and business division, are serving as co-chairs on the MATC side of the project. Their hope is that students can put an end to the village businesses' anonymity by applying the theories they have learned in the classroom.

For example, beginning this semester, marketing students will brainstorm events and promotional ideas for merchants, while small business management students will create business plans for individual merchants and the village center as a whole.

Next semester, students enrolled in the special event management class will pick up the effort, Jansky said.

The idea is that the partnership, which kicked off earlier this month, will be ongoing and "organic," she said, evolving to address changing business and instructional needs.

Recognizing that students are still learning, business owners nonetheless believe the collaboration will give them a fresh perspective, without the cost of hiring a consultant.

"They have ideas that maybe we just don't think of," said Carolyn Andrejat, president of the GVBA and owner of Gerrene's Fashion Shop, 5690 Broad St.

And for students, it beats the constraint of a textbook.

"It's very difficult sometimes to pick up aspects of learning a business when you're constantly in a classroom," Andrejat said. "This gives students a more exciting way to learn."

Greendale High School students, too, will have the opportunity to get involved, Busalacchi said, through dual-credit business courses that MATC will offer at GHS beginning next fall.

Courses will include business organization and management, marketing principles, basic office accounting and others, and students completing at least 12 credits will be awarded a "Business Smart Start" certificate from MATC.

Julie Becker can be reached at (262) 446-6606.


WHAT: MATC culinary students will decorate cakes that will be auctioned off as part of GVBA's "Spring into Greendale"

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 9

WHERE: Reiman Visitor Center, 5602 Broad St.

MORE: visit, or call (414) 423-3080


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