West Texas A&M University’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team advanced from the first round of national competition into the Top Twenty at the SIFE USA National Exposition in Kansas City, Mo., May 23-24, eventually placing in the Top Twelve of more than 550 active SIFE teams in the United States. Speakers on the national competition presentation team were Manuel Garcia, Alex Long, Navdeep Uppal, Erin Stodghill, Jordan Cox, Juan Carlos Ramirez, Cedric Nguimatsa, and Emilee Cavaness. The media presentation was created by Yu-Hsian (Jimmy) Tseng.
WTAMU’s SIFE received the special honor of being named one of eight finalists in the Step Up for Small Business Competition sponsored by Sam’s Club. With a $1,500 grant from Sam’s Club, SIFE worked to improve the business and environmental sustainability of the new commercial kitchen at the WTAMU Enterprise Center. Bobby Martin, representing Amarillo Sam’s Club, and Melissa Kalka, kitchen manager at the WTAMU Enterprise Center, accompanied the team to a special awards presentation and dinner hosted by Sam’s Club during the National Exposition.
Ana Ramirez and Bethany Wilcox were invited to the Women in Business Forum and Luncheon, where they had the opportunity to network with women representing many Fortune 500 corporations. Marco Jimenez, Daniel Dixon, and Cody Brooks represented the WTAMU team at the Top to Future-Top Forum with corporate officials present to judge the final competition.
A major focus of the competition was a two-day Career Fair conducted by more than 50 national companies who specifically recruit SIFE students including AT&T, Microsoft, Pepsico, KPMG, Coca Cola, Edward Jones, Unilever, Hershey’s, ConAgra Foods, Home Depot, Kraft Foods and E&J Gallo Winery. Ivan Cardenas, a senior from the 2011 WTAMU SIFE team who was recruited by Digital Solutions International at last year’s national competition, was there recruiting for DSI this year.