Calling him the “epitome of an entrepreneur,” Siena College named Transfinder Founder, President and CEO Antonio Civitella the school's inaugural Entrepreneur of the Year for how he has impacted the greater Albany, N.Y., community for the past 25 years. Civitella will receive the award on March 24.
Civitella graduated in 1991 from Siena College with a degree in computer science. As was recounted in the April 2013 issue of School Transportation News, Civitella worked as an intern while in school for Forth & Associates, a management-consulting firm run by former General Electric executive Jim Forth. Civitella was tasked with helping to develop mapping software to be used by a local medical care facility that needed to deliver registered nurses to the doors of patients.
While the concept never came to fruition, it did lead to Civitella to identify the need for a suite of school bus, transportation routing and fleet management software, and to him forming a new company: Transfinder.
"He didn't take the easy path but rather the one less traveled," said Mike Hickey, Siena College executive-in-residence and executive director of the Stack Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. "He took calculated risks, and now, Antonio, his employees, his customers and the community are enjoying the benefits of well-earned success. The fact that the first step on his journey started as an intern at Siena College only makes the story more enjoyable. We are so pleased to honor Antonio with this award."
Based in Albany, Transfinder has gone on to be a market leader in student transportation software, breaking its revenue record in 2013 by posting more than $8.6 million in sales, a 10 percent increase over the previous year. The company also increased new orders by 23 percent and added 157 news clients. Inc. 5000 named Transfinder one of the fastest-growing private companies each year for the past seven years. In October, the company also cut the ribbon on its new $7 million, state-of-the-art building.
"I get nostalgic when I think about Siena, this very special place to me. This is where I learned the skills I needed to land my first job, thanks to the good advice from one of my advisers. Little did I know that it would be the only company I would work for," said Civitella. "It is an honor to come back to Siena and be recognized as 'Entrepreneur of the Year.' It's an award I gladly share with Siena because this school provided the foundation on which my career has been built and I'm excited about the future entrepreneurs of the year being created at the college today."