R. Scott Durcanin flies the OHIO flag on top of Mount McKinley in Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. At 20,237 feet, Mckinley is the highest mountain peak in North America.
Photo courtesy of: Scott Durcanin
College of Business students in the Schey Sales Centre deliver their presentation to a full house.
Photo courtesy of: UCM
Durcanin and his daughter, Arielle, junior at the Art Institute of California in San Francisco, visit Notre Dame in Paris, France. The pair shares a love for travelling the globe.
Photo courtesy of: Scott Durcanin
Aug 8, 2014
By Hailee Tavoian
While surfing the California coastline and climbing Mount Everest and Kilimanjaro, R. Scott Durcanin, College of Business 1985 graduate, asked himself, “What have I done to give back in a meaningful way?”
And so, in appreciation for his years of “critical development” as an Ohio University student, he has established The Scott Durcanin Sales Centre Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will benefit students accepted into the Schey Sales Centre Sales Certificate program in the College of Business. The Centre aims to be the most transformational and student-centered collegiate sales education experience in the country.
“The College of Business and the Sales Centre are developing their students in a very specific, targeted way—I like that,” said Durcanin, current vice president and senior financial consultant at Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. “These programs will put students about 3 years ahead of fellow graduates. Because of the interactive environment, they are getting real world experience; they are going to learn a lot more from that collaborative approach than they would studying alone with the door closed.”
Earlier this year Durcanin paid a visit to Ohio University’s College of Business and heard presentations from students involved with the Schey Sales Centre. He left Athens feeling inspired by them and was excited to give back to a program that has grown so much in the past 30 years.
“They probably wouldn’t have had me [as a sales centre candidate] in the current day, that’s for sure,” He laughed. “The caliber of students and impressiveness of the program and everything they are doing today—I was just really blown away. The level of professionalism and dedication of and for these students is really inspiring.”
While touring the Schey Sales Centre, Durcanin was surprised to see students in suits on a Friday afternoon, delivering polished presentations to a full-house audience.
“My whole career has been in sales. Where these students are professionally—while still in school—will really reduce their years of trial-and-error experience. I didn’t think that this level of dedication could exist in college. It impressed the heck out of me,” he said.
The Schey Sales Centre certificate program is an 18-credit hour cross-disciplinary classroom experience, with a mandatory 300-hour sales internship component. Approximately 200 candidates are selected for the program each school year following a competitive selection process, with an overall acceptance rate of 60 percent.
Durcanin is originally from Akron, Ohio. Following graduation, he moved to Miami, Florida, where he landed a position with 3M selling copiers door-to-door.
“That was a tough job,” he said. “In fact, when I contacted Merrill Lynch on a sales call I said, ‘if I can sell copiers door-to-door, I can sell anything!’ They told me to win some awards and come back to them, so that is exactly what I did.”
After 3M, Durcanin moved to San Francisco, where he joined Merrill Lynch & Co. as a financial consultant in 1989, and “really learned the business.” Following Merrill Lynch, he became a regional director for Sterling Bank & Trust/Linsco Private Ledger (LPL), and that business developed into a private practice in New York City.
After nearly a decade of success with LPL, Durcanin sold his business to rejoin the corporate culture of collaboration. In 2005 he joined Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., as vice president and senior financial consultant, with a portfolio of clients waiting there for him. Today, Durcanin is consistently awarded the Circle of Excellence Award and is a member of multiple Chairman’s Clubs.
Whether it is starting a business, climbing Cotopaxi in Ecuador, mountain biking or learning to surf—as far as Scott Durcanin is concerned, success comes with a can-do attitude.
“’Can’t’ is a word you’ve got to be allergic to. Whether it is professionally, or doing something crazy like attempting Everest, it can be done,” he said. “I am a professional disruptor and it’s my job to challenge the status quo.”
Durcanin’s gift is part of OHIO’s The Promise Lives Campaign, which reached its goal of raising $450 million in support of students, faculty, programs, outreach and facilities in April—14 months ahead of the June 30, 2015 deadline. Having secured more than $464.4 million, the Campaign will continue through June 2015 and focus on increasing scholarship gifts.