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The small business division team known as “Swampers” from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) was named as a semi-finalist at the 2015 Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup competition in Oklahoma City March 25th.  This is the third year NEO has competed in the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup competition, as well as the third year for the competition to include a small business division.

The business plan this year, Swampers, capitalizes on popular boating coves of Grand Lake. Swampers food boat will deliver delicious eats to lake enthusiasts, via personal water craft delivery service. Swampers menu will highlight a variety of alligator selections, fresh jumbo shrimp, fish tacos, and frozen desserts for all ages in addition to the classics. The mobile kitchen affords Swampers the opportunity to cater to all major lake events.

The Governor’s Cup is a state-wide competition that engages students in a “real world” simulation of gathering data, researching facts, and building a business plan. The competition was judged by business professionals from around the state. Small business division entrants were limited to teams from Oklahoma’s two-year, regional or private universities who could write a business plan on any unique or innovative concept. “The Governor’s Cup competition provides a platform that energizes students to apply their education by writing a business plan that can be put to use immediately. They were challenged to envision an idea, validate the vision through market research, and develop a written business plan that lures real investor’s interest. The students have taken full advantage of this experience and will continue to see it payoff in future endeavors,” said Calvin Becker, faculty advisor.

Team members include: Daniel Hocker, a sophomore from Grove majoring in sports management, Dennis Burchette, a sophomore from Fairland majoring in business administration technology, Sydney Reynolds, a sophomore from Pullman, Washington, majoring in business administration and agriculture business, and Taylor Gee, a sophomore from Catoosa, majoring in business administration. Dr. Jeff Hale, NEO A&M College president, Dr. Bethene Fahnestock, vice president of academic affairs, and Pat Creech, chairwoman of the Business and Technology dept., helped make all of this possible by creating the class for these students. “We are so proud of the extraordinary efforts of our students and Mr. Becker,” Creech said. “To become a semi-finalist in this competition against much larger schools is indeed an accomplishment.” President’s Partners sponsored the team by helping with travel expenses.

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