HOLBROOK, N.Y. (March 18, 2020) — American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (AP)—a privately-held, independent broker/dealer that services financial advisors across the country—hosted the finals for the ninth annual Long Island Virtual Enterprises International (VEI) Business Plan Competition on March 10, 2020. VEI is a non-profit organization that offers in-school experiential learning programs for high school students to form entrepreneurial, start-up businesses within a live global simulated setting.
“Over the years, we have had the honor of hosting these competitions, as well as welcoming VEI interns at our home office,” states AP CEO Lon T. Dolber. “These students truly represent the promise of the future and have gained valuable insight and experience from their participation in VEI’s unique learning program.” For Dolber, social responsibility is not just a personal mission, but it is instilled within AP’s corporate goals—owing to the belief that a company has an obligation to do good work in the community. He adds, “I believe that it is vital for corporations to conduct good corporate citizenry by participating in programs of this nature.”
The firm’s commitment to nurture the talents of America’s future business leaders early in their academic careers doesn’t begin and end with sponsorship of competitive events; in 2016, AP and VEI launched the AP-VEI Internship Fellows Program. This unique program creates pathways for students who have completed VEI’s business and entrepreneurship program to go on to summer internships with AP and other companies. This multi-year, national initiative serves as the catalyst for other companies to aid in the development of the next generation’s workforce. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for both VEI students and our affiliated investment professionals,” says Dolber. “Advisors not only gain a helping hand when they take part in this program, they’re investing in our collective future as a society.”
Each year, AP looks forward to ushering in a new wave of promising, young entrepreneurs as it continues its support of educational organizations that promote business leadership. The firm has worked closely with VEI since 2014, and has nurtured a relationship that has proven to be mutually beneficial on many levels. Holding this competition at AP’s headquarters provides students with the backdrop of a true corporate experience. At the same time, the firm’s employees and investment professionals find the judging experience to be extremely rewarding.
High school teams emerging as semi-finalists in the 2020 Long Island Conference and Exhibition/Oral Business Plan Competition held on Jan. 9, 2020, at Long Island University C.W. Post later convened at the AP headquarters in Holbrook, N.Y., presenting their virtual business plans to a panel of judges. The 2020 VEI Business Plan Competition was comprised of 10 student-run business teams from 10 schools: Huntington High School (Team BioSol); Westhampton Beach High School (Team Monenti); George W. Hewlett High School (Team ReStyle); Syosset High School (Team MentorMeeter); Miller Place High School (Team Apex Auto and Air); H. Frank Carey High School (Team EcoVibe); Baldwin High School (Team SuppLI); Wellington C. Mepham High School (Team Venuefox); Walt Whitman High School (Team Kyoto); and East Islip High School (Team HEMPire).
The finalists in the business plan competition were Teams BioSol, Monenti, ReStyle, MentorMeeter, SuppLI, Kyoto and HEMPire. The winning teams will advance to the VEI National Business Plan Competition, which will be held as part of the Youth Business Summit event.
The panel of judges officiating the business plan competition were comprised of select AP staff members, as well as Dr. Kimberly R. Cline, president of Long Island University, and Stacy DeNoyior, vice president of sales for Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. Of his first time serving as a judge, AP Manager of Due Diligence Sam Rozzi, CFA, says “Judging the VEI competition was an extremely enjoyable experience. It was terrific to see the brightest stars of Long Island present very innovative and unique business ideas. This was a great event that spurs so much creative thinking, proving how connected these young students are to the world and economy.”
The presentations were held and captured in AP’s in-house production facility, Studio 454, to provide students with playback coverage of their performances as a way to improve on their presentation skills for future VEI competitions. Throughout the event, students had the opportunity to meet and network with the firm’s senior management, investment professionals and staff members. Staging the competition at AP’s corporate offices helped students to associate how their virtual business management and operating procedural plans might apply in a real business environment.
The firm looks forward to continuing its support of VEI throughout the year with internship and mentoring opportunities at its corporate offices, as well as nationwide throughout its 393 branch offices comprised of financial services business owners.
About American Portfolios
Headquartered in Holbrook, N.Y., American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (APFS) is a full-service, independent broker/dealer and member firm of FINRA and SIPC, offering a complete range of financial services, including personal financial and retirement planning, securities trading, mutual funds, access to investment research, long-term care planning, insurance products and tax-free investing. Fee-based asset management is offered through its sister subsidiary, American Portfolios Advisors, Inc., (APA), an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Both entities, along with technology entity American Portfolios Advisory Solutions, LLC, collectively reside under the legal entity American Portfolios Holdings, Inc. (APH). Full-service securities brokerage is available through a clearing firm relationship with Pershing, LLC, a BNY Mellon firm, the securities of which are held on a fully disclosed basis. The company currently supports 840 independent investment professionals—inclusive of registered assistants—and more than 375 non-registered associates, located in 393 branch locations throughout the nation. It was named Broker-Dealer of the Year* (Division III) by Investment Advisor magazine for five consecutive years (2015-2019); a wealthmanagement.com 2019 Industry Award Finalist in the category of Enhanced Customer Service Support**; one of the Best Companies to Work for in the state of New York for four consecutive years (2016-2019) by the New York State Society for Human Resources Management (NYS-SHRM) and the Best Companies Group (BCG); and one of the Top Long Island Workplaces for 2018 by Newsday.
* Based on a poll of registered representatives conducted by Investment Advisor magazine. Broker/dealers rated highest by their representatives are awarded “Broker/Dealer (B/D) of the Year.”
** Wealthmanagement.com Industry Award finalists are selected by a panel of independent judges made up of subject matter experts in the industry. Award is based on support provided to AP’s affiliated people and does not reflect public customers nor their account performance.
About Virtual Enterprises
VEI is a non-profit organization that provides experiential learning programs to schools across Long Island and beyond. Through their live global business simulation, students are offered a competitive edge through project-based collaborative learning that allows them to create and operate every facet of a virtual business. This program helps students develop 21st-century skills in entrepreneurship, global business, problem solving, communications, personal finance and technology.
Dr. Kimberly R Cline, President, Long Island University; Stacy DeNoyior, Vice President of Sales, Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.; Kimberly A. Branch, CFP®, Vice President of Marketing Strategy, American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc.; Priscilla Smith, Human Resources Generalist, American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc.; Samuel Rozzi, CFA, Manager of Due Diligence, American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc.; and Thomas Mueger, Operational Trader, American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc.