19 Jun

Transfinder CEO in the News - Schenectady's City Mission graduates business class at BizLab

From the Times Union
By Larry Rulison 
Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Last fall, Matt Scarchilli was at the New York BizLab in Schenectady watching a talk by Mike Saccocio, executive director of the City Mission of Schenectady.

Like many who hear Saccocio speak about the City Mission and how it helps pull people out of poverty and cycles of addiction, Scarchilli, the CEO of Sandler Training, left inspired. 

Eventually the two got to talking about the potential for a crash business course that would be offered to City Mission employees, many of whom were participants in the City Mission's residential addiction recovery program called Bridges to Freedom. 

They brought in Transfinder CEO Antonio Civitella, who owns the BizLab, as well as Rick D'Errico, the managing director of the BizLab. They created an eight-week program they called Cornerstone University that met every Tuesday at the BizLab for 90 minutes at a time. 

On Tuesday, during their eighth meeting, 11 City Mission employees graduated from the class in what ended up being an emotional ceremony that was attended by Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy and SUNY Schenectady President Steady Moono. 

Scarchilli assigned the class to read a book on business etiquette and created a curriculum that started with the basics, such as how to look people in the eye and how to separate your personal identity from your role in the workplace. 

By the end, Scarchilli couldn't believe how much the students had grown in their personal and professional lives. 

"I train people for a living, and I can easily say this group of students has what it takes to be successful," Scarchilli said. "This group of students is well on their way to big things. They're ready to take on the next challenge. I would happily work side-by-side with anyone from this class." 

One of the students, Anthony Mayer, works as a Downtown Ambassador for the City Mission. Like others who participated in the CornerStone program, Mayer says he got to see the potential for himself and others who might otherwise be marginalized in society. 

"Success is not defined by how much that you have," Mayer said. "Success for me is about how much you can do for others." 

Civitella noted that many of the participants already had mentors in their lives, and he recounted a story about how he decided this year to get in shape so that he could always continue to be a mentor in the life of his son, who turned nine. 

Civitella said he lost 25 pounds just by running at least a mile a day. He also ran in the CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge race in downtown Albany in May. 

Civitella said people don't have to go out and break world records to better themselves. They just need to keep pushing themselves to do better. 

"Don't settle," Civitella said. "I want you to set goals. And beat your goals. It's called your personal best. Don't worry about the next person. Worry about yourself."