School Seminars
Ice Cream Emergency!

Entrepreneur/Business/Marketing Seminars for Students

Debra gives "The Scoop on Small Business."


Attention Teachers! Are you looking for a guest speaker for your Entrepreneurial/Business class that will WOW your students?

Need someone that is engaging, educational, and humorous? Debra's 60 minute program details her business education background starting as the Student President of DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) in High School (many, many moons ago) to mentoring students as a Corporate liaison in Retail Banking through Junior Achievement to Marketing presentations at Albertus Magnus College to creating, growing, and selling three separate, successful businesses. And then a tour of the Ice Cream Emergency Bus (and ice cream too, depending on the package selected)!!

Seminar Package available with Ice Cream served on the Ice Cream Emergency Bus for all your students!

In her seminar program, Debra will detail her entrepreneurial story, spanning over 20 years, of starting, marketing, growing, and selling three businesses. She will discuss the research done to determine if the products/services would have a market, the creation of a business plan, creating the perception of value for the products/services through website and print media, marketing strategies to grow the businesses, determining the value of the businesses to be offered for sale, and ultimately, details regarding the actual selling of the businesses.



Putnam High School Students Learning From Debra


Amy Beth St. Martin had one sweet lesson in store for the students in her Putnam High School business classes. With the help of students in the Future Business Leaders of America Club, she was able to schedule a business marketing seminar with entrepreneur Debra Arrato. Arrato got her start in the retail banking industry where she moved from loan officer to branch manager to vice president. When she decided to leave her corporate job so she wouldn't have to send her children to daycare, Arrato came up with a small business plan of her own. Her gift basket business grew from the ground up, literally. From a space adjacent to the furnace in her basement, the business evolved into one requiring its own heated, air-conditioned space with plenty of shelves full of inventory and a dedicated telephone line. When she rented a chocolate fountain to draw customers to her gift basket booth at a business convention, it spawned another business. "The smell of chocolate permeated the expo," she said. "There were 2,000 people and we were knee-deep in customers." Six months later, she sold the gift basket business and concentrated on catering events with gourmet chocolate fountains. When she noticed the market for chocolate fountains changing, she sold it to start an ice cream catering business. "You need to do your homework," Arrato told the students. She talked about doing research, collecting facts and information, making business plans, and setting goals and exit strategies. The 60-minute presentation was capped off with a visit to Arrato's brainchild: the Ice Cream Emergency rescue vehicle. The refurbished bus has been turned into a rolling ice cream parlor complete with stainless steel cabinetry, checkerboard floor, and huge ice cream cones painted on the walls and ceiling. It turned out to be a tastefully effective teaching tool: students enjoyed hot fudge sundaes after her presentation. The mobile ice cream parlor is disguised as a rescue vehicle. The staff wear scrubs when catering events. Five different "rescue" packages are offered, from single cones and scoops to "Flatliner" Sundaes. Customized Doctor's Charts, packable Frisbees and custom cup keepsakes can be ordered. "Stethoscoops," rather than stethoscopes, are used to serve the ice cream. St. Martin heard Arrato speak at a Connecticut Business Educators Association conference in October. She was so impressed with her business acumen and marketing strategies that she wanted her students to hear it for themselves. "It's neat how she shared something she was passionate about and pursued it," St. Martin said. "That resonates with students." Arrato talked about creating the perception of value for a product or service, creating websites, social media and print campaigns, determining the value, and short and long-range forecasts for businesses. The presentation gave students a valuable hands-on learning experience, according to St. Martin. For sophomore Doria Daviau, the marketing aspects of Arrato's presentation were particularly enjoyable. She liked the idea of promoting a business using light touches and a coordinated medical theme. And that tied in nicely with St. Martin's class exercises and lessons."The students wanted someone to talk about leadership and entrepreneurship," said FBLA member Heather Terron. "We found what we were looking for in Debra Arrato."

Seminars include a tour of the Ice Cream Emergency Bus!


Debra J. Arrato is a 25 year veteran entrepreneur who started out in the corporate arena in the retail banking industry. She spent 10 years as an Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager, and Loan Officer. With the goal of starting a family and being able to nurture her children, she resigned from the bank to start her own home-based business, utilizing a direct sales company business model. She is published (How the Fierce Handle Fear) and has also written an E-Book series on how to start a home-based business (The Homestyle Entrepreneur).

"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve."
– Napoleon Hill

"Never, never, never, never, never, never, never give up."
– Winston Churchill


1 Hour Seminar Package with Bus Tour
1 Hour Seminar Package with Bus Tour and Ice Cream
(Please call for specific pricing details and date availability)