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Monday, April 27, 2009

International M.B.A. Student Wins Bernstein Award

Bernstein Achievement Award for Excellence

SALISBURY, MD---For the second year in a row, Salisbury University’s Bernstein Achievement Award for Excellence has gone international.

Master of Business Administration student Benjamin Bottura of Crespières, France, captured the $5,000 top prize with his business plan for La Cuisine—a French “cooking restaurant” in Washington, D.C.  Modeled on a European concept, Bottura designed an alternative dining atmosphere where a chef teaches patrons to prepare healthy French dishes—which they can then enjoy eating.

“The experience is educational, entertaining and really fun,” said Bottura, who has dined at similar restaurants in France and Germany.  He earned a B.A. in international business from ESC Rennes School of Business in France and graduates from SU’s M.B.A. program in May 2009.

“We had two finalists in the food industry and two finalists in the media/entertainment industry, with common themes of education and giving back to the community,” said William Burke, interim director of the competition, which is sponsored by SU’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business.  “The judges had to work hard to select the winner as the four finalists had excellent plans with the potential to be successful.”

Last year, German M.B.A. students Tobias Rosenberg and Henry Widera created a recycling plan for Wicomico County and became the first from abroad to capture the award, originally launched in 1987 by local entrepreneur and SU alumnus Richard Bernstein (’76).

The 2009 competition had 18 submissions.  Runner up was M.B.A. student Ryan Kooy for Chinco Chocolates, a Chincoteague-based gourmet chocolate manufacturer.  Honorable mention awards went to political science major Kiya Amajioyi, who owns a video production company in Salisbury, and business major Erik Butler for a Theatrical Warehouse retailer.

Judges were Warren Citrin, co-founder of Gloto Corporation in Fulton, MD; James Poulos, vice president of TEDCO in Columbia, MD; Jon Sherwell, administrative vice president and group manager at M&T Bank in Salisbury; and Larry Dernulc, senior vice president of The Bank of Delmarva in Salisbury. 

For more information on the Bernstein competition call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at

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