Youth Business Discovery Day Held in Ord

Ord, NE: Fifty-six students from Valley, Greeley, and Sherman Counties joined twenty-five area business leaders in a day dedicated to entrepreneurship and business discovery, on Wednesday, October 17, 2012. Guest presenters included Tanya Babel and Elizabeth Smith- Leadership Development Trainers, Central Community College, Nancy Eberle- Special Projects Coordinator, UNL Extension, Diane Vigna-Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Textiles and Apparel, UNL and Gregg Christensen-Entrepreneurship and Career Education Specialist, Nebraska Department of Education.

Students, business leaders, and guest presenters were welcomed to Ord by Derry Trampe, Ord High School Business Teacher and co-author of the UNL Extension 4-H Entrepreneurship Curriculum.  A local entrepreneur, Melanie Boden-owner of Jubilee Catering served homemade muffins and juice for all participants while they registered for the day.

Students began the day at Ord High School visiting with a panel of local professional advisors to learn about career paths and to understand how advisors assist entrepreneurs and business owners in planning and managing their businesses.  The panel consisted of Matt Geiser-Helix Financial, Inc., Matt Eppenbach- Severson, Lammers, & Abel CPA PC, and Heather Sikyta-Sikyta Law Office, who are all Ord High School alumni.  The panelists also talked with students about making the choice to live and work in rural Nebraska.

Students participate in a leadership activity during their trainnig session at the Ord Learning Center.

Students walked to the CCC Ord Learning Center where they were grouped into leadership skill training sessions facilitated by Central Community College leadership trainers Tanya Babel and Elizabeth Smith.  Communication skills and barriers, developing trust, and achieving consensus were the themes illustrated and discussed.

All participants enjoyed lunch at Jubilee, while owner Melanie Boden visited with students about how she started her catering business and her passion for raising her family in her hometown!

After lunch, students were grouped with adult mentors and toured four local businesses including Elements Salon and Spa, Ord Sports Chiropractic and Wellness, Professional Eyecare, and Wadas Inc.  Students learned about the components of successful businesses and were given the opportunity to ask local business owners questions about entrepreneurship and effective rural business practices.

Participants tour several downtown businesses including Ord Sports Chiropractic & Wellness.

Next, students worked in teams with their peers and local business leaders to compete in a Whatchamacallit Competition!  Teams were presented with the challenge of developing a business concept and marketing plan around an unknown object and asked to present their plan to a panel of judges and their peers.  The Best Overall Presentation including business concept and marketing plan was awarded to the team that created the “The Hangman”.  Team members included Mathew Walkowiak, Shayla Trotter, Carly Marlowe, Erin Bloom, and Kaleigh Koch.  Each student on this team won a $40.00 of Chamber Bucks and other prizes, donated by the Valley County Community Foundation Fund, the Ord Area Chamber and area banks.

“I was pleased to see that we had students from 7 different schools this year.  Loup City, Spalding, and Spalding Academy sent students joining with those from Arcadia, Greeley-Wolbach, North Loup-Scotia, and Ord,” said Lu Lansman, Central Community College’s RCDI Regional Coordinator.  “The idea behind Business Discovery Day is to engage kids in activities that expand their awareness of what business is and what it can be.  Young people are not only intelligent but they are creative and naturally think ‘outside the box’.  We know that rural businesses must capitalize on this kind of energy and thinking.”

Jennifer Remmereid, Ord FBLA Coach stated “It was great to see the familiar faces of people who attended last year and to meet many new students and sponsors from additional communities within the three-county area.  Opportunities within rural Nebraska abound and I believe Business Discovery Day serves to increase awareness of these opportunities to successfully live and work in our area.  I truly appreciate the dedication of our local business leaders who give their time and talents to expose youth to our diverse local industries and to establish valuable connections between our youth and the business community.  I challenge all participating schools to consider organizing FBLA Chapters to encourage youth to develop an entrepreneurial spirit and essential business skills.”

The day concluded with Mark Hagge, Ord High School Principal and Jennifer Remmereid, Ord FBLA Coach presenting awards and prizes to the Whatchamacallit competition’s winning teams for Best Overall Presentation of Business Concept and Marketing Plan, Best Business Concept and Best Marketing Plan.  Mr. Hagge encouraged students to develop a competitive zeal and embrace the spirit of entrepreneurship throughout their lives.

The Business Discovery Day was hosted by the Ord High School, Ord Future Business Leaders of America Chapter (FBLA), Central Community College/Rural Community Development Initiative Grant-Ord Learning Center, Valley County Community Foundation Fund, Valley County Economic Development, and Ord Area Chamber. The hosts of this event would like to extend sincere appreciation to all schools, area businesses, entrepreneurs, community leaders and sponsors who supported this second annual Business Discovery Day.

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