University of Rochester

Thomas Wahl Jr. To Teach Young Entrepreneurs About Business

September 11, 2008

Local financier is named YEA! University of Rochester instructor

Local financier Thomas R. Wahl, Jr. has been named the new instructor for the University of Rochester's The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) class of 2009. YEA! is a yearlong program that guides middle and high school students in launching their own real business.

"Tom's dedication to the community and his deep entrepreneurial knowledge make him a great role model for YEA! students", says Gayle Jagel, founder and executive director of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. "Our goal is to teach students how to develop the type of entrepreneurial mindset that Tom has taken with him throughout his extremely successful and diverse career."

After graduating from St. John Fisher College with a degree in communications and journalism, Wahl got an early start in business, working alongside his father in their family restaurant business, Tom Wahl's, a chain of fast-food restaurants around the Rochester/Finger Lakes region. Currently, he is a senior vice president, wealth advisor for Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management Group; he has been in the financial services business for over 22 years.

Wahl is an active member of the community serving twenty-five years as a board member and eventually as chairman of the Finger Lakes Association and past president of the Brighton Rotary. He has used his business expertise in a number of positions including serving as treasurer for both the national board of the Log Cabin Republicans and Easter Seals New York. He also recently served as the chairman of Easter Seals, western region.

Wahl's combined dedication to the community and deep entrepreneurial knowledge make him a great role model for YEA! students. "My father gave me the opportunity to learn the ropes of our family business and I wanted the chance to give back to the community and help burgeoning CEOs fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams," says Wahl. "I am so excited to be able to pass on what I have learned over the years to our next generation of CEOs."

Through YEA! students learn to transform their ideas into enterprises that create economic and social value for a better world. Wahl joins Kristen Hanna as the program manager for YEA! at the University of Rochester.

About YEA!
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a groundbreaking nine-month program that guides students in grades 6-12 through the process of starting a real business, including business plan development, pitching an investor panel, obtaining funding, launching the venture, managing media campaigns, e-commerce and web development, sales events, and trade shows. The end result of the YEA! program, unlike other simulation models, is a fully formed and functioning business, which is carried on by students after graduation. Students, ages 12 to 17, are taught to recognize the power of their ideas, and to develop the skills necessary to turn those ideas into meaningful enterprises. All of the learning at the Young Entrepreneurs Academy is real, experiential, and fun. The program is offered in New York State at the University of Rochester with the support of a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and at the State University of New York at Geneseo with support from the Finger Lakes WIRED initiative, at Niagara University, and at the Greece Central School District. For more information about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, please call 585.275.6902 or visit