Marandos Family Gift to Create Business Competition in Son's Memory

Friday, March 11, 2011
SNHU Communications Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Gregg Mazzola
Director of Communications
Southern New Hampshire University
603.314.1461
g.mazzola@snhu.edu  
                                                           
Nashua Family Donates $100,000 to SNHU’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation for Business Plan Competition in Memory of their Late Son

“Tory C. Marandos Foundation – Entrepreneurship Challenge” to Annually Provide Cash Award to a NH Entrepreneur; Competition Kicks off April 1st 

Manchester, N.H. (March 11, 2011) – Cosmos and Lynda Marandos and their daughter, Tara, all of Nashua, have donated $100,000 to Southern New Hampshire University’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation in memory of their late son and brother,  Tory. The gift will create the “Tory C. Marandos Foundation” and will be an endowed fund that will provide a cash award for an annual winner of the “Tory C. Marandos Foundation – Entrepreneurship Challenge.”

“I am delighted and honored to accept this gift on behalf of SNHU and have vowed to the Marandos Family that we will honor and respect their vision and Tory’s life in our efforts to sustain and promote this annual competition,” said SNHU President Paul LeBlanc.  “The mission of this endowment is aligned with the culture and commitment of the University to support our community.  We are truly proud to provide the Marandos Family the opportunity to honor their son while having a positive impact on small businesses in New Hampshire."

Tory Marandos, General Manager of two of the Foxy Lady Gentlemen’s Clubs in New Bedford, Mass., and Providence, RI, died tragically on Dec. 12, 2006, at the age of 30.  According to his family, friends and co-workers, he managed the organization with dedication and pride.  He was a caring young man who went above and beyond for his friends, family and anyone who came into his life. 

Tory was an entrepreneur who began his own business at 21, managing approximately 30-35 employees. Always looking to the future, he had plans to invest in the real estate market, start a restaurant, and continue developing the business where he was the general manager, when his dreams and life were cut short.  This Foundation will allow young entrepreneurs to fulfill their dreams of starting a business.

“It has been a thrilling and uplifting experience in all honesty to be able to give this money to SNHU’s Center for Entrepreneurship as a legacy to our late son, Tory, who embraced the spirit of entrepreneurship in his own lifetime,” said Cosmos Marandos.  “It was very important to our family that we find a home for this endowment that matched our belief and Tory’s belief that everybody deserves the opportunity to pursue their dreams.  We found the perfect fit with SNHU’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation, and we know that in years to come we will have played a small part in helping small businesses throughout New Hampshire grow and prosper.”

Professor Keith Moon, director of SNHU’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation was the conduit between the Marandos Family and the University and will oversee the business plan competition.

“The Marandos Family called the University with the hope of connecting with someone who could help them shepherd their idea of a business plan competition in their son’s name and we were proud to honor their request,” said Moon.  “This is what we do at SNHU.  From the leadership team on down, we recognize the value of civic and community service and with this most generous contribution from the Marandos Family, we will be able to encourage entrepreneurship in the state of New Hampshire, and help those with a vision for their business to flourish.”

According to Moon, all active businesses and potential start up businesses in New Hampshire, with less than three years in business and less than $1 million in annual gross revenue, are eligible to participate. This year’s competition will kick off on April 1st when interested entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs can begin submitting a two-page initial business concept paper.  Papers will be accepted until April 22nd.  A preliminary selection and judging committee of SNHU faculty will review the initial concept papers and in early May select five finalists to submit full business plans.  The winner, to be announced on June 11th, will be selected on a competitive basis by a finalist committee made up of University faculty and staff, a member of the Marandos Family, and representatives of the Manchester business community.  The winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize to start and/or support his or her business. 

“We came up with the idea of establishing a foundation in Tory’s name, as opposed to a scholarship, because we wanted it to be wide open to every member of the business community who came up with a great idea for a business or company, and who might just need a boost of capital to get the idea going,” said his mother, Lynda Marandos.  “Tory was always reaching out to help others succeed, and we thought what better way to honor his life than to establish a foundation that would do just that.”

“Yes, Tory would be very proud of this foundation,” said his sister, Tara, “yet, as he was in life, he would be most comfortable ‘behind the scenes’ letting others be in the spotlight.”

“We miss him every day, and being able to establish this foundation, and know that it will be used for good, helps us honor him,” added Lynda.

Tara Marandos has been the lead organizer for the past three years of the annual Tory C. Marandos Memorial Golf Tournament, and has championed her brother’s interests.  Each June, she and other family members and many friends, host a golf tournament at Overlook Country Club in Hollis to raise funds in Tory’s name.  It is the funds raised primarily from this tournament, and the Foxy Lady Golf Tournament held in Providence, RI, as well as many other donations that have provided this endowed gift to the “Tory C. Marandos Foundation – Entrepreneurship Challenge.”  This year’s golf tournament is scheduled to take place on Monday, June 27, at Overlook.

“Tory preferred to learn in an “on the job” manner so to speak, with real life experiences.  It’s what he enjoyed most,” said Tara, who teaches English at Memorial High School in Manchester.  “That’s why it’s especially important to us to that this business plan competition is open to the entire business community of New Hampshire  -  to cast a wide net and hopefully, in time, help many entrepreneurs see their dreams come true.”

Donations can be made to “The Tory C. Marandos Foundation – Entrepreneurship Challenge” by contacting Don Brezinski, Vice President, Institutional Advancement, Southern New Hampshire University, (603) 644-3109 or D.Brezinski@snhu.edu.

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About Southern New Hampshire University

The university has approximately 2,200 traditional, full-time undergraduate day students and a total annual enrollment in all divisions of 13,000. Programs are offered on campus, online and on location at our centers in New Hampshire and Maine. The university offers programs in business, community economic development, culinary arts, teacher education, hospitality management and liberal arts.

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