For the tenth anniversary of its annual Associate competition, the College of Business and Economics has picked Rod Staatz, president and CEO of SECU, to play the role of the “Donald.”
The Associate, a TU spin-off of the NBC reality series “The Apprentice,” places eight promising business and accounting seniors in direct competition for the coveted grand prize—a guaranteed job upon graduation, this year with SECU.
Week after week, the students are faced with challenges presented by regional companies, and tasked to work in teams to find and present resolutions. In addition to the scholarship prizes offered through the competition, the students also gain integral hands-on experience and invaluable business connections.
“We are thrilled to have Mr. Staatz as the presenting executive for the Associate,” said Lisa Michocki, the program’s director. “Students will benefit greatly from interacting with Mr. Staatz and his team throughout the duration of the program and ultimately, one of them will acquire a full-time position post-graduation. This program continues to be a wonderful opportunity for our talented students.”
As this year’s “Donald,” Staatz will oversee the competition, serve as lead judge and each week announce who will progress—and who will be eliminated.
Staatz has been president and CEO of Maryland’s largest credit union since 2003, and has more than 30 years of experience in financial services. With over 230,000 members and assets of more than $2.6 billion, SECU is ranked among the top 50 credit unions for total assets in the U.S.
Towson formed an agreement with SECU this summer to give the financial institution exclusive naming rights to its new, state-of-the-art athletics venue, now known as SECU Arena.
“I am honored to have been selected for this important role,” said Staatz. “SECU is proud of its partnership with Towson University, and this competition is another way to link our two institutions in a very meaningful way. Most importantly, Towson students will ultimately benefit the most from this program.”
Candidates will be selected by Jan. 15 and the competition will officially begin Feb. 11. The winner will be announced April 1, following the final presentations.