PUBLISHED: 3:58 PM on Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Entrepreneurial team wins regional award
The University of Alaska Southeast Students in Free Enterprise are celebrating after being awarded the Rookie of the Year Award for their presentation at the regional SIFE competition in Seattle, Washington held on Thursday, April 5th.

Representing the UAS SIFE team at this competition were, in order of presentation, Elizabeth Stickel - Project Manager of the UAS Change a Light Campaign, Toby Harbanuk - Representative of the Small Business Resources, Karen Huntsman - Representative of the UAS Branded Merchandise and Apparel Project, and Barbara Miramontes - Project Manager of the UAS School of Management Student and Graduate Reconnecting Program. Advisors for this competition were Rick Wolk and Steve Hamilton.

At this competition, the University of Alaska Southeast SIFE team gave a 24-minute presentation on four projects focused on bettering the community and university.

These projects consisted of the UAS Change a Light Campaign, Small Business Resources, Branded Merchandise and Apparel Project, and the School of Management Student and Graduate Reconnecting Program.

Each of these projects began in January of 2007 when the UAS SIFE team was formed and focused on meeting the SIFE project criteria: informing others about how a market-based economy operates, teaching success skills, informing others how to be entrepreneurs, advocating financial literacy, and promoting business ethics.

The UAS Change a Light Campaign encourages individuals and businesses to change their incandescent light bulbs to more energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs. "The campaign so far has been a huge success with 166 pledges in just 1 week" said Elizabeth Stickel. "Please visit our website to learn more about our program, CFLs, energy savings, and to take your pledge. From there, spread the word to everyone about this great program." The Web site can be accessed at

Our next project, Small Business Resources, created a database of forms, articles, and other resources to help small businesses with start up and operation and is being used to create a printed handout for entrepreneurs.

"The driving concept behind this project is that many entrepreneurs in Alaska may be short on time and energy to devote for research or technical resources to locate advising services that can aid them in areas outside of their area of business expertise" said Toby Harbanuk.

Another project, the UAS Branded Merchandise and Apparel Project, updates and places UAS branded items in areas that are easily accessible to cruise ship visitors. Karen Huntsman stated "we have created a new marketing plan, are in the investigative stage of purchasing new point of sales systems to better track information about customers, and have had discussions with cruise lines about placing UAS branded merchandise and apparel on board their ships and in their stores."

The final project, the UAS School of Management Student and Graduate Reconnecting Program, develops a connection between current students and alumni of the School of Management at UAS. With the distance education focus at the SOM, the reconnecting program will be web based with discussion boards, job postings, informative articles, podcasts, an area to look up old friends, and more. Barbara Miramontes said that "the program will be up and running by May 1."

For more information on any of these projects, to suggest future project ideas, or simply to receive more information, please contact the SIFE team at