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Capital University News, California State University, Sacramento

November 8, 2004

Prof has big impact on small business

Business is always changing. But one thing that remains constant in the Sacramento area is the commitment to serve local businesses by the Center for Small Business.

Photo of: Dennis Tootelian
Dennis Tootelian

Dennis Tootelian, director of the center, makes sure services are available to dozens of local businesses each year, a longstanding commitment that resulted in his receiving the annual Outstanding Community Service Award for the College of Business Administration this year. The award recognizes faculty that have made outstanding contributions in public service.

For 30 years, Tootelian has been director of the center, which is an appointment by the dean of the College of Business Administration. Each semester, he has brought together local small businesses and undergraduate and graduate students with this program.

Students benefit from real-world experiences and businesses benefit from the assistance.

“Students make the program successful, not me,” Tootelian says. “Perhaps the best testimonial of the quality of our program is that we have about 50 companies on a waiting list for the services that our program offers. This list exists even though during the spring 2004 semester, we worked with 94 companies, an all-time high for one semester.”

The success of the center comes from community involvement and connections. Recognition and support have come from individuals such as the late Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna, Congressman Doug Ose, and Small Business Administration District Director Jim O’Neal.

Tootelian’s involvement with the program keeps him active in the Sacramento community.

He constantly makes himself available to the community and media – on more than one occasion he has flown home early from vacation to meet with the local media. That involvement is one reason so many local organizations are willing to financially support the center, and it has helped make the center a permanent fixture on the campus.

And among other work, Tootelian was recently featured in McDonald’s Worldwide Corporate Responsibility Report for his work in examining the impact that McDonald’s restaurants have on the economic vitality of the communities they serve.

“McDonald’s provides more to the community than hamburgers,” Tootelian says, explaining his findings. “They bring in revenue for the city in the form of taxes, and the compensation that employees receive ultimately gets filtered back into the community in which they live. It is a win-win situation. Aside from that, McDonald’s employs an average of 50 people per restaurant and when you consider the 1,160 restaurants in California, it means 58,000 jobs.”

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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 • infodesk@csus.edu
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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 • infodesk@csus.edu