Sometimes there are hinge-points in our lives that inspire us to save and better ourselves. Daniel Tessoni’s epiphany came at age 16. He was the fourth in a family with seven children living in Auburn, N.Y., and remembers there was “not a lot to go around.”
“I had a job while in high school and spent the money foolishly and that was a turning point for me because from that point forward I learned, I didn’t want to run out of money,” says the accounting professor in the E. Philip Saunders College at Rochester Institute of Technology.
“I couldn’t pay my tuition to go to high school at Our Lady of Mount Carmel so I had to go to the administration and ask for some relief and I didn’t like that at all.”
Tessoni was the first member of his family to graduate from high school, and when he came to Rochester to attend St. John Fisher College, he says he was motivated. “Because of that early experience I had formed an important understanding—if I wanted to do well, then I had to work hard and had to manage myself.”
Tessoni is one of many local successful business leaders highlighted in a new book, Turning Points 2, by local financial advisor Randy Schuster. An invitation-only book launch party for Turning Points 2 will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 22 in the Saunders College at RIT, 105 Lomb Memorial Drive. The book is the second in a series: In 2008, Schuster published Turning Points; Defining Moments of Top Business Leaders, a collection of 35 short stories of local business leaders and their defining moments.
Tessoni takes pride in teaching three successful RIT business alumni who are also included in the book: Joseph Lobozzo II (EMBA ’95), JML Optical Industries Inc.; Peter Parts (EMBA ’98), Peter Parts Electronics; and Mike Mandina (EMBA ’02), Optimax Systems. Also featured is RIT President Emeritus Albert J. Simone.
“The book has stories of 33 highly successful individuals in our region who come from a variety of backgrounds and circumstances, no two of which are alike,” Tessoni says. “Many are household names in Rochester and each has had some sort of experience where they had to stop and change direction in their lives.”
Turning Points 2 will be distributed to students and young adults in a collaborative venture with Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection, Junior Achievement and Rochester area schools. Tessoni will be attending a public booksigning from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 26 at Wegmans, 3195 Monroe Ave., Pittsford.