Huntington High School’s HomeTown Virtual Enterprise course has made a splash nationally, placing among the best companies in the country in a series of recent competitions.
HomeTown captured a spot in the top 10 percent nationwide in the Elevator Pitch competition and the top 25 percent in the company branding category.
HomeTown also qualified for the second round of both the human resources and marketing competitions. The company is advanced to the regional finals of the business plan contest, earning a spot among the top 40 percent that qualified for the next round.
Founded in 2020, HomeTown bills itself as “a unique and kindhearted food delivery service that focuses on bringing relocated Long Islanders a taste from home, revolutionizing the way people eat and enjoy their favorite meals by delivering Long Island’s most popular foods, starting with pizza and bagels with plans for expansion,” according to the company.
The HomeTown company team consists of Naysa Escobar (chief executive officer), Christopher Maichin (chief operating officer), Alyson Baker (chief financial officer), Ashley Genao (chief sales and marketing officer), Margo Nitekman (chief technical officer), Jillian LoTurco (chief human resources officer), Aiden Lefebvre (research specialist), Kailey Rappel (social media specialist), Gretel Cassell (vice president of marketing), Robert Smith (vice president of sales), Liam Lennon (sales associate), Aidan McNulty (sales associate), Lisa Martin (marketing associate), Osiris Shepherd (marketing associate), Jackson Dunn (design associate),
Molly Fallon (human resources associate), Gianna Prosseda: (human resources associate), Kevin Drake (accounting associate) and Richard Rongo (accounting associate).
“With just one tap from our website customers will be able to enjoy any of our bundles from the one time purchase to our party package,” Ms. Escobar said. “During the course of time we plan to expand nationwide, not only bringing our customers the taste of Long Island but the taste from their own home as fast as next day delivery.”
Visit HomeTown’s website by logging onto https://hometownny.wixsite.com/website. The site was designed by Mr. Dunn and Ms. Escobar. Visit the company’s Instagram page by logging onto https://www.instagram.com/hometown.ve/. The page is operated by Ms. Rappel and Ms. Nitekman.
“Although it’s been a challenging year due to the pandemic, HomeTown has made it work,” Ms. Genao said. “This group is very talented. We advanced to the second round of the business competition. Not only that, but my marketing team has been working extremely hard and made it to the second round of the marketing competition. I couldn’t be more proud and excited. My sales team has been working incredibly hard as well. Seeing all of our hard work pay off and being able to advance not only in the competitions, but as a VE firm makes me so happy and fortunate to be part of HomeTown. So far this year I have experienced and learned so much. I can’t wait to see what the rest of this year has in store.”
The full-year, one credit Virtual Enterprise business course is available to juniors and seniors. “Virtual Enterprise is a simulated business that is set-up and run by students to prepare them for working in a real business environment,” according to the high school’s course bulletin.
The class is working closely with business teacher Paige Tyree Furman, who helps guide the group and provides insightful advice, but otherwise lets the teenagers do their thing and create.
“I am amazed at how hard our entire Virtual Enterprise team is willing to work and it clearly paid off since we advanced to the next round of our group business presentation,” Ms. LoTurco said. “We have all learned so much about starting and running a company, but my main focus has been with human resources, focusing on making our employees feel motivated and engaged while trying to come up with creative ways of accomplishing that. Molly Fallon, Gianna Prosseda and I have worked really well together and we’re all so excited that the HR department also advanced in the individual competition. Moving forward, I have no doubt that we will all continue to work hard and hopefully continue to advance. We could not have accomplished all of the success we have had without the help and guidance of Mrs. Tyree. She has put in countless hours to guide us throughout this process and we are extremely grateful.”
The HomeTown team has plenty to keep it motivated the remainder of the year as it continues to chase down its goals.
“I’m so immensely proud of our HomeTown team and want to let the world know,” Ms. Escobar said. “HomeTown is the best team I could ever ask for.”