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Former runner still leading the race in business world

Michael Petsky and President Dennis L. Hefner
Michael Petsky and Dennis Hefner

In the early 1980s, it was all Michael Petsky, ’85, could do to stay well fed, compete on the cross country and track and field teams, and stay on the Dean’s List.

Those challenges seem pretty minor now, compared to all he has accomplished.

Today, Petsky is recognized as one of the foremost experts on marketing, advertising and digital media industry trends and strategies for maximizing shareholder value. A highly sought speaker, he has appeared on CNN, been a guest lecturer at New York University, and frequently presents at marketing and Internet trade shows and events.

Petsky is the CEO and partner of Petsky Prunier LLC, a leading investment bank that provides merger and acquisition as well as private placement advisory services to companies in the advertising, marketing and digital media industries. The former Business Administration major, who is also a partner in a leading strategic consultancy known as the Winterberry Group, was honored at the annual Homecoming Alumni Award Luncheon on October 18.

Following the presentation of Fredonia’s Outstanding Achievement Award to him by President Dennis Hefner, Petsky delivered a humor-laden acceptance speech about the challenges and decisions that he faced during his years at Fredonia. Its general theme: what can seemingly be simple decisions you make during your years in college – the professors you befriend, the coaches you trust, the friends you meet – can have a dramatic impact on your life 20 years later.

Petsky insisted to a room full of alumni, family and friends who gathered at the Cranston Marché in the University Commons that, for those who knew him back then, he lived hand-to-mouth in terms of finances and food, and his career plans weren’t exactly planned any better.

That’s why it’s all the more remarkable to see how far Petsky has come. Today, Petsky Prunier and its related companies employ 35 people in New York, Chicago and Tampa. He also previously founded Information Authorities, a competitive intelligence and industry research firm serving direct marketing companies, which he sold in 1994 to Gruppo, Levey & Co., an investment bank specializing in catalog and direct marketing firm mergers and acquisitions.

However, this entrepreneur quickly adds that, without question, his greatest merger project involved the one between him and is wife of 21 years, Mary Beth (Kee), ’84 (Communication). Without her, he insists, he wouldn’t have become who he is today.

posted @ Monday, December 22, 2008 11:32 AM by Christine Davis Mantai

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