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By Susan Anderson
A strong collective effort by students, alumni, family and friends pushed St. Bonaventure University’s Students in Money Management (SIMM) over its goal in meeting the #SIMMChallenge posed by founders Chris and Eileen Kinslow and the SIMM advisory board.
In September, SIMM members were given an “all or nothing” challenge: raise $16,250 by Oct. 31 and the Kinslows and advisory board would award a matching amount to boost the level of the student-managed investment portfolio as well as to sustain the SIMM experience.
More than 100 donors took on the challenge, contributing $20,690 during the six-week crowdfunding campaign.
“The enthusiasm and generosity of the Bonaventure community in support of SIMM has been tremendous,” said Chris Kinslow, ’85, president of SNK Capital LLC. “We’re proud of everyone involved and thankful to those who donated. SIMM is all about the students, engaging them early in their academic careers and allowing them to learn about the investment process through hands-on experience.”
Advisory board member Rene Pochop, ’86, president of Pochop Financial Management, Inc., agreed with Kinslow, saying that SIMM is “a great prelude” to the professional world.
With two children enrolled in the program, Pochop has seen its effects firsthand. Daughter Alex is a senior finance major and son Ethan is a sophomore finance major.
“SIMM has allowed both of them to see what it’s like to work in the real world, managing money, making investment decisions, being held accountable to a board, and also working with peers to make decisions,” said Pochop. “Every year their roles grow as they become more involved and more knowledgeable of the finance field.”
Founded in 2004, SIMM offers students in any major the opportunity to manage money — with real-life gains and losses — through their own valuation techniques and portfolio strategies. Today, the students manage approximately $500,000 in real assets.
Raising funds to boost the portfolio was a top priority during the #SIMMChallenge. According to Kinslow, more money in the account offers more flexibility for option trading and also raises awareness of SIMM, helping to recruit more students.
Another key component of the challenge was to enhance and sustain the SIMM experience. Donations to the #SIMMChallenge will help cover costs for trips to the trading floors of Wall Street and Chicago, and will help pay for such things as journal subscriptions and license fees.
The Kinslows committed $10,000 to the challenge, with board members pledging the remaining amount. Members of the advisory board include: Tony Annunziato, ’71; Ed Evans, ’85; Bridget Karg, ’08; Chris Kinslow, ’85; Sean Lynch, ’06; Kevin Mjaatvedt, ’11; Chris O’Donnell, ’86; and Rene Pochop, ’86.
“‘Leave it better than you found it’ is what I always say each semester to SIMM members,” said Kinslow. “This year’s membership has done exactly that by taking on the #SIMMChallenge and not only meeting their goal, but far surpassing it. They did a terrific job in improving the future of the funds and in keeping career doors opening for SIMM members.”
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