Skip to main content

Direct response pioneer honored at entrepreneur symposium

Share on:

Posted on Monday, March 22, 2021

Rick Cesari, a 1978 Westminster College alumnus, was named the Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year at the virtual 2021 Westminster Entrepreneurship Center (WEC) Symposium on March 6.

Cesari, a pioneer in the direct response advertising industry, has used brand response strategies to help build many iconic brands such as The George Foreman Grill, OxiClean and Rug Doctor.

The author of “Buy Now: Creative Marketing that Gets Customers to Respond to You and Your Product,” “Building Billion Dollar Brands” and “Video Persuasion: Grow Your Brand, Increase Sales and Build Your Business,” Cesari has helped take companies like GoPro from a start-up to over a billion dollars in sales in just a few short years.

Cesari spoke to WEC students about his entrepreneurial journey, highlighting his experiences and achievements. Cesari said three fundamentals—which he learned as a football player while at Westminster—helped guide him through the years: the importance of having a winning attitude, discipline and the benefit of teamwork.

To learn more about Rick Cesari, click here.

The symposium also recognized School of Business scholarship recipients and offered opportunities for WEC students to network with more than 50 industry professionals in Zoom breakout rooms.

“The Westminster Entrepreneurship Symposium is a great way for WEC students to gain real world practical application and understanding of what the business world of the 21st century looks like,” said Eric Gaber, lecturer of business and the Scheller-Edwards Entrepreneur in Residence.

The WEC is located in Westminster’s School of Business and offers students the opportunity to be exposed to concept creation, innovation of ideas and business ownership strategies. The WEC provides spaces and resources for student entrepreneurs to turn their business ideas into new enterprises. Through entrepreneurial exposures, leadership collaboration, entrepreneurial engagements, competitions and events, students are exposed to real world practical experiences.

This year’s WEC students are currently working with more than a dozen external companies and organizations from New Castle, Pittsburgh, Youngstown and Brazil.

The School of Business established the Westminster College Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2014. For more information about the award or the Westminster Entrepreneurship Center, please contact Gaber at 724-946-7161 or