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Chamber/Miami U. Business team Again One of tops in U.S.
Thursday, January 9, 2003 12:00:00 AM - Monroe Ohio
The Small Business Development Center at the Mid-Miami Valley Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with Miami University Oxford, provided a team of Small Business Insititute students as consultants for a local business. They not only aided the business but have continued the string of competition winners from the local program. For the fifth year, a team of students from the program has helped a local business and also won an award for its work. With 500 universities participating in the program, the national award from the Small Business Institute is a high honor and valuable resume entry for the students involved.

Laura Holbert, Chris Jackson, Beth Twaits and Vineet Sechsaria, students in Dr. Michael Broida’s Small Business Institute, an undergraduate capstone class at Miami University Oxford, worked with the Puzzle of Light musical group to develop a marketing plan. Their plan won the Miami University and regional competitions and is now one of eight finalists in national competition. The top team in the nation will be announced on February 14.

Puzzle of Light, a jazz, classical and world music group, performed at the Downtown Middletown Partnership’s “Raze the Roof” celebration in August, 2001. It was one of Puzzle’s last stops before beginning a national tour which included a performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The trio members Michael Bashaw, Sandy Kreitzer and Bob thompson, also composed and performed music at Falling Water, the famous Frank Lloyd Wright house in Pennsylvania. The student group assisted Puzzle of Light by developing a detailed plan to market themselves as a performing group and also market their recordings and related items.

The Small Business Development Center, housed in the Mid-Miami Valley Chamber of Commerce on Central Avenue in Middletown, provides free services to start-up and developing small businesses in the area. When a client comes to the SBDC for market development or other business assistance, Craig Maynard, Director, sometimes can connect the company with a class team from Dr. Michael Broida’s class in Oxford.

This is the fifth year such student team/business matches have been made by the SBDC. And, five times a team connected with a local business has won an award. Phyllis Patrick’s idea for a storage facility in Trenton was a class project and is now a new business in Trenton. Pam Roark’s small business, Roark Communications, was a project for another team who won regional awards for their work. In 2002, the marketing plan developed for PS Group of Franklin was named the top team in the nation.

According to Maynard, “It is gratifying to see the rewards to both the business and the student team involved in each project. The students receive valuable on-the-job experience and a local business grows through the free services they receive.”

Maynard is particularly interested in the projects since he is a former student of Dr. Broida’s and also won competition at Miami University and at the state level.

Maynard said, “Dr Broida does a superb job which shows in all the awards his students win. Even more important is the assistance they provide to SBDC clients. ”
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