On a cool November morning, just three days before Thanksgiving, an executive with the world’s largest bakery product manufacturing company boarded a flight from Chicago to Buffalo with the intent of having lunch at Niagara University.
Within a few hours, Al Fischer, senior director of supply chain services for Bimbo Bakeries USA, found himself sitting at a table in Bisgrove Hall across from Cameron Tinney, an NU senior majoring in supply chain management. Over sandwiches and coffee, they discussed business, their families and college life.
Fischer and Tinney had been acquainted prior to their meeting at Niagara. The former hired the latter for a summer internship that took place in Albany, N.Y., and Greenwich, Conn.
Impressed by Tinney’s skills and work ethic, Fischer flew to Niagara University on Nov. 20 to discuss a professional position with BBU. The week after Thanksgiving, Fischer phoned Tinney to present the Rochester native with an opportunity to participate in the company’s supply chain leadership and development program, an offer Tinney eagerly accepted.
BBU is part of Grupo Bimbo, the world’s largest baking company, with operations in 24 countries. The company offers its products under household brand names that include Arnold, Brownberry, Thomas, Entenmann’s, Sara Lee, Stroehmann, among many others.
Only one other person is currently enrolled in BBU’s selective leadership program with Tinney. Commencing early in 2018, at which time Tinney will have graduated from NU, the rigorous two-year leadership program includes four six-month rotations that teach participants the various components of the supply chain operation at BBU: bakery, distribution/operations, transportation and robotics automation.
“I’m very much looking forward to traveling the country, working on projects and learning the business through and through,” Tinney said.
Tinney credits his success, in large part, to the mentorship of NU faculty members Victor Pimentel, Ph.D., and Anna McNab, Ph.D. He says they’ve helped him with resumes and career advice, and hold him to a high standard.
“Victor – he gets upset when we call him Dr. Pimentel – and Dr. McNab have been advisors every step of the way for me,” Tinney said. “Over the summer, I would email them with real-world questions while I was working. As my last semester started, I had other job offers, and would go into their offices to ask for advice. They both have been incredible support system. They put up with a lot!”
A graduate of Aquinas Institute, a college preparatory Catholic high school in Rochester, Tinney noted that he enrolled at Niagara University because its “supply chain program is the best in the state of New York.”
“I was also attracted to the small class sizes,” he added. “I visited other state schools, and hated the ‘lecture hall’ setting. As you begin to take classes in your major (at NU), you forge relationships with your professors. Those relationships are where you get value out of your education.”
Tinney and Dr. Pimentel, or “Victor,” as he calls him, have established a very close bond over the last couple years. Dr. Pimentel told Tinney early on that “my job is to get you a job, not by handing it you, but by giving you the tools to do it.”
For the past several semesters, Dr. Pimentel has done just that, instilling in Tinney the knowledge to flourish in a profession that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects to grow by 7 percent between 2016-2026. To top it off, it was Dr. Pimentel who reserved the meeting room for Tinney’s visit with Fischer – and then paid for lunch out of his own pocket.
“Cameron has the perfect combination of a strong work ethic, inquisitive mind, team-oriented mindset, technological background, and pleasant personality that will help him be very successful in whatever field he chooses to enter,” Dr. Pimentel said. “Cameron always brings a sparkle to the room when he enters. He works hard and approaches all of life with passion. He is the perfect example of what an NU graduate looks like.”
To learn more about Niagara University’s College of Business Administration, please call 716.286.8050 or visit www.niagara.edu/business.