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Feb. 28, 2008
CONTACT: Pam Young
pamela.young@emich.edu 734.487.4400

Executives share strategies at student 'Success Stories' conference

YPSILANTI — More than 235 students, educators, professionals and future entrepreneurs gathered for the 11th Annual Midwest Regional CEO Conference, Feb. 15, at the Eastern Michigan University Student Center.

“Success Stories” was the theme for the event, which featured prominent executives who discussed their business successes and challenges.

“This event exceeded our expectations,” said Joseph Venuto, president of the EMU CEO Club. “Last year we probably had 60 people attend and this year, we drew nearly four times that number. The speakers were fantastic and the guests really enjoyed their experience. It was a collaborative effort form the club and EMU that made is such a resounding success.”

The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) at EMU, the Center for Entrepreneurship and the EMU College of Business sponsored the event. CEO is a local chapter of the national organization, which aids students of all majors in learning the aspects of starting their own business.

Speakers included Richard Sheridan of Menlo Innovations in Ann Arbor, who spoke about setting goals and making them happen, and Michael Kenney, from Vision Quest, Inc. who discussed technology and how to adapt to the constant changes of the business world. Breakout sessions included panelists Amy Cell from Ann Arbor SPARK; representatives from Artrain USA; Marty Carrier of Thaw and Sell; and Rob Rickerts from DAS Professional Services.

The event attracted students and educators from Washtenaw Community College, the University of Michigan-Flint, Henry Ford Community College, Oakland University Wayne State University and Eastern Michigan University. Winners of the Business Plan Competition were:

K-12 Schools


Green Light
Eric McCabe: Huron High School


ABC Tutoring
Dhanashree Patel: Saline High School


Par 3
Kyle Larsen: Saline High School

Best Presentation: $200
Par 3: Kyle Larsen

University/Community Colleges


The Jeans Shop
Ebony White
Salvatore Marchese
Jessica Dobias


The Party Helper (EMU)
Jessica Butts
Kim Howard
Kristina Cotes


Xtreme Adventure Vacations (EMU)
Thayer Moran
Dan Seward
Teresa Frey
Kurt Michael Gessner

Best Presentation: $200
Salvatore Marchese: The Jeans Shop


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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