Reh Center recognition dinner April 6 in Potsdam
Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 2:33 pm

From left, Reh Center for Entrepreneurship Director Erin Draper; Brooke and Charles Rouse, who received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2016; Clarkson School of Business Advisory Council member David Reh; Alex Whitney, who accepted the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award in 2016 on behalf of his mother, Rondalyn Whitney; Theresa "Terry" A. Phalon, 2016 keynote speaker; Charlotte Hayden, 2016 intern of the year; Clarkson president Tony Collins; Business school dean Dayle Smith; and Ashley Sweeney, Reh assistant director.

POTSDAM -- The Reh Center for Entrepreneurship at Clarkson University will host its seventh recognition dinner on Thursday, April 6.

North Country small business owners and interested community members are invited to attend the celebration, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Barben Rooms in Cheel Campus Center (#12 on the map at with cocktails followed by dinner.

The cost is $20, which includes dinner, dessert and drinks. RSVP at .

Washington Street properties founder Brian Murray will be the keynote speaker. Without raising any outside capital, Murray bootstrapped his way from newbie investor to the owner of a nationally recognized real estate investment and property management firm.

In addition to his endeavors in real estate, Murray has worked as a professor, technology executive, management consultant, and engineer. He also is the author of the bestselling book “Crushing It in Apartments and Commercial Real: How a Small Investor Can Make It Big.”

The annual recognition dinner will honor three individuals for their commitment to and support of entrepreneurship.

Michael Frazer, owner of Frazer Motors, will receive the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. This award is given to a practicing entrepreneur who demonstrates an unwavering commitment to building their viable small business.

Frazer is a Potsdam native who left the North Country after college with one dream: to own his own company. He started Frazer Computing before he turned 30, and moved back to the North Country 15 years ago. His company, computer software for car dealers, is growing, and he has increased his amount of employees from one to more than 80 since moving back.

Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy Ali Boolani will receive the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award, which is given annually to a student, faculty, staff member, office or organization at Clarkson University that, through the creation of a new program, organization or value added offering, demonstrates a deep commitment to the Clarkson community and the key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.

In addition to many other achievements, Boolani helped start the Clarkson Feeds program at Clarkson, which takes leftover food from campus and donates it to the people in the community who need it most. Clarkson Feeds also hosted the holiday meal at McDuff's Pub in Potsdam, this past winter and gave out presents, necessities and food to people in the community. Additionally, Boolani works with Clarkson's student-run coffee business MoJoe to donate unsold food to local families.

Patricia K. Wilson is the Economic Development Manager for the North Country at the New York Power Authority. This year she will be recognized with the Entrepreneurs' Hero Award. This award is given annually to an individual or group who provides resources resulting in increasing the viability of multiple entrepreneurs located in the communities served by the Reh Center for Entrepreneurship.

Wilson works in close collaboration with area economic and community development professionals to bolster existing businesses and build new ones. Among her areas of focus are connecting businesses to lower cost power opportunities, New York Power Authority-supported funding resources and advancing the opportunities outlined in the St. Lawrence County Economic Development Study, which includes a focus on entrepreneurial growth.

Her community involvement includes service on the Massena Village Planning Board, Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena, Boys & Girls Club of Massena and the Moving Massena Forward Task Force, and she was elected to serve two terms on the Massena Village Board.