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Bolte Business School Announces Partnership With Drink Matera

Donna Klinger

Mount St. Mary’s University students of Associate Professor of Economics Alejandro Cañadas enjoy informal discussions with their professor while sipping yerba mate. Through a new partnership between the Richard J. Bolte, Sr. School of Business and Drink Matera, students will become much more familiar with mate, an herbal tea that is popular in South America, and the company that is expanding its U.S. marketing and sales. Under the partnership, students will engage in class projects as part of the Bolte School’s experiential learning opportunities for students.

olivia-p-mate-2-in-text.jpeg“In our model, students link theoretical and practical knowledge while learning key aspects of the actual businesses,” explained Dean of the Richard J. Bolte, Sr. School of Business John Nauright. “The partnership will provide Mount students with practical international business, digital marketing, entrepreneurial skills, and an opportunity to visit farms and production sites in Argentina.

Drink Matera, selling in the USA as DrinkMatera.com, seeks to share yerba mate globally while creating positive social impact by co-building economic opportunities for small-scale farmers in Argentina. Traditionally drunk from a gourd, yerba mate boosts energy and immunity. Matera provides a more convenient way to enjoy the health benefits with a reusable bottle, known as a matherma, and yerba mate from farmers in Argentina. Drink Matera has four key values: support for artisan farmers; promotion of healthy energy; creation of social impact; and sustainability.

cropped-cropped-2.-logo-matera200-e1607543067674.pngMatera Co-founder and CEO Maria Virginia Solis Wahnish is connected to the Economy of Francesco and the Laudato Si’ Action Platform as is Mount St. Mary’s. Maria Virginia was part of COP26 in Glasgow 2021 as an observer from the Christian Climate Observers Program and the Ecojesuit delegation.

“We are thrilled to partner with Drink Matera,” Nauright said. “The company is a perfect example of the Laudato Si Action Platform and promotion of The Economy of Francesco. In the Bolte School, we bring together Laudato Si’ values and effective business practices to develop students who will lead extraordinary lives in service to God and others.”  

“To create a new paradigm in the economy, it's crucial to build bridges between different sectors,” said Matera’s Solis Wahnish. “This partnership is a clear example of co-creating initiatives between 1200px-yerba_mate-pod.jpgthe entrepreneurial sector, farmers, universities and organizations from around the world.”

Leading the collaboration with Dean Nauright is Associate Professor Cañadas, a native of Argentina who is director of the Mount’s Center for Integral Ecology, Economy and iMpact (CIEEM). “I am delighted to co-create with Maria Virginia, my compatriot from Cordoba, Argentina, who is on a mission to create vehicles for social-environmental holistic impact by connecting and collaborating with us at the Bolte School of Business,” Cañadas said.

“I love drinking mate with my students at the Mount. There is a very rich cultural tradition in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil around the ‘ritual’ of getting together with friends and family to share and drink mate,” he added.

Key aspects of the partnership include:

  • Class projects in international business, sustainable production, international supply chains, digital marketing, distribution, business plans/finance and sales.
  • Participation in the Eastern United States Ambassador program where students compete to develop the best social media promotional markets for DrinkMatera.com in the USA.
  • Marketing, distribution and sales of Drink Matera products in the U.S. by Mount students working with a faculty member and with management from Matera Argentina as part of the experiential learning program. Each semester one student could operate as the local CEO as a full semester internship.
  • Reciprocal promotion by Drink Matera and Mount St. Mary’s University’s Richard J. Bolte, Sr. School of Business.
  • International study/business trips to Drink Matera Argentina sites in Argentina, including a possible internship in Argentina for a Mount Spanish and business student.

Matera also has had partnerships with the University of San Francisco and the Universidad Católica de Córdoba.

Donna Klinger