Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

April 18, 2006

Three Whitworth Teams Named Finalists in Regional Business Plan Competition

Three teams from Whitworth College's School of Global Commerce & Management were named finalists in the 2005-2006 Herbert B. Jones Foundation Grant Business Plan Competition.

This year's competition is the largest and most competitive to date, with more than 200 students participating. Forty-four plans were submitted by teams from Whitworth, Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, and Washington State University. Plans were submitted in three categories: "Student-Generated," "Community-Based," and "Social Enterprise"; three finalists were selected for each category. The winning teams will receive a total of $42,500 in prize money.

Whitworth and Gonzaga each had three teams selected as finalists, while EWU had two and WSU had one. The number of Whitworth teams selected as finalists increased from one in last year's competition. Plans were judged based on 10 criteria, including social return on investment, feasibility, scalability, funding, and quality of the operating and financial plans.

Two Whitworth teams' plans were chosen as finalists out of eight entered in the "Community-Based" category. The Whitworth finalists in this category are "Fast Construction Housing" by Pierre Boyer, Anne Briggs, Jason Colvin, Seth Lowe and Amber Matthai, and "Summit Applied Technologies, Inc." by Jeremiah Brack, Josh Breda, Jonathan Carlson, Brad Vardy and Joel Yinger. The third Whitworth team was selected out of 11 entries in the "Social Enterprise" category. The plan, "La Plaza," was created by Sara Tanzi-Dunham and Rose Ayars.

"The number of Whitworth SGCM finalists in the competition is a reflection of the growing strength and reputation of our programs, both undergraduate and graduate, not only within the college, but in comparison to those at GU, EWU, and WSU," says Kyle Usrey, dean of the School of Global Commerce & Management. "I'm proud of the hard work put in by our finalists and the other Whitworth teams who participated."

Usrey and three Whitworth faculty members assisted SGCM teams by providing academic and practical insight in areas such as marketing, finance, e-commerce, legal issues and patents. The faculty members are: Doug Laher, assistant professor of economics, business, and international finance; Entrepreneur-in-Residence Nigel Davey; and Terry Sanchez, Herbert B. Jones Foundation grant interim faculty supervisor.

Finalist presentations will take place on Friday, April 21, from 3:30-5 p.m. in Jepson Center at Gonzaga University. The results will be announced during an awards ceremony on Friday, April 28, from 5-6:30 p.m. at Gonzaga. In the "Student-Generated" category, $10,000 will go to the first-place team, $5,000 for second place and $2,500 for third place. In the "Community-Based" and "Social Enterprise" categories, $7,500 will go to the first-place teams, $3,500 to the second-place teams, and $1,500 to the third-place teams.

The business-plan competition is sponsored by Gonzaga University's Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program in collaboration with the Eastern Washington University Center for Entrepreneurial Activities and the Whitworth College School of Global Commerce & Management. Major funding for the competition was provided by the Herbert B. Jones Foundation, Itron and Avista Corp.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,400 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.


Kyle Usrey, dean, Whitworth School of Global Commerce & Management, (509) 777-4721 or kusrey@whitworth.edu.

Jo Ann Nielsen, associate director, Entrepreneurship/Micro Enterprise Services,
Herbert B. Jones grant, School of Global Commerce & Management, Whitworth College, 509-777-3242 or joannnielsen@whitworth.edu.

Paul F. Buller, Kinsey M. Robinson Professor; director, Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program, Gonzaga University, 509-323-3438.

Julie Riddle, public information officer, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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