City Times Staff
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Sixty-five of the best and brightest student “CEOs” in the region competed in the annual Junior Achievement of WI – Portage & Wood Counties Business Challenge on Wednesday Feb. 21.
The event provided the opportunity for students to be creative, test their leadership skills, and learn the competitive nature of the free enterprise system. The JA Business Challenge was presented by Sentry Insurance and hosted at Renaissance Learning in Wisconsin Rapids.
Nineteen Teams of local students from SPASH, John Edwards High School, Lincoln High School, Assumption High School, Stevens Point Christian Academy, and Westfield High School participated in this year’s event, competing for $6000 in scholarships sponsored by UW-Stevens Point and Mid-State Technical College.
Students were paired up with area business leaders, who acted as consultants during the competition, to test their knowledge at running a virtual business through a hands-on computer simulated business strategy tournament which utilizes JA Titan. Teams had to make their own business decisions regarding price, production, marketing, capital investment, and research and development.
Throughout the day students were also given the opportunity to hear from business leaders themselves as Tara Manzke; Owner of Bria Bella and Co., Carolyn Davis; Creative Director from Sentry Insurance, and Terry Stevens and Belky from Midwest Communications spoke with the students and shared with them some of their work life experiences and offered valuable insights and advice.
Each member of the first place finishing team received a $1000 scholarship from UWSP and a job shadow opportunity hosted by Skyward. Second place team members each earned $500 in scholarships from Mid-State technical college. The top two teams will advance to the Wisconsin JA Business Challenge on May 3, 2018 hosted and sponsored by ACUITY, Sheboygan. Additionally, a $250 scholarship from Mid-State Technical College went to each of the students in third place. The finalists were as follows:
1st Place: John Edwards High School; Peyton Kohlbeck, Ian Gibbs, and Addison Gibbs
Consultant: Jay Sandona, U.S. Bank
Sponsored by Bull’s Eye Credit Union
2nd Place: SPASH; Becca Braun, Averee Kluck, and Maggie Negaard
Consultant: Bret Kastein, Pointe Precision
Sponsored by Simplicity Credit Union
3rd Place: John Edwards High School; Kaitlyn Lyp, Katie Labarge, and Krystal Rzepka
Consultant: Scott Rockman, Rockman’s Catering
Sponsored by: CliftonLarsonAllen
As part of the competition, students also had to prepare a PSA to promote Junior Achievement. This contest was sponsored by Midwest Communications. The winning team was awarded $250 in scholarships from Mid-State Technical College, a job shadow with Midwest Communications, and they will produce their PSA to be aired on Midwest Communication channels in the coming months.
The winners of the PSA competition were from John Edwards High School. The team consultant was Inger Jacobson from Aspirus and the team was sponsored by McCain Foods.