Keystone student wins Business Plan Competition

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Posted: 05/03/2013

Business CompetitionLa Plume – Thursday evening, May 2, proved to be a tremendous night for Keystone College at the 11th Annual Business Plan Competition at the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

A Keystone team consisting of Keystone senior business major Shawn Whitiak, Jermyn, Pa., and his teammate Michelle Mendez won the prestigious event, competing against top teams from several area colleges and universities. The Business Plan Competition is sponsored by the Great Valley Technology Alliance, a public-private partnership designed to facilitate a knowledge-based, technology-focused economy in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The team won the award for their company, Besta, which manufactures environmentally friendly products made from cork, including biodegradable flower containers and stools for children. Judges were impressed with Shawn and Michelle’s  detailed and effective business plan for their company. The Keystone team was one of three finalists competing with other highly qualified teams from the University of Scranton and King’s College.

The Keystone team was mentored by Associate Professor Dr. Sonji Lee of the Business Management and Technology Division. Dr. Lee received the Advisor Award for her superb efforts in preparing the team for the competition. 

The evening was capped off with a special honor for Keystone President Dr. Edward G. Boehm. Dr. Boehm, a longtime supporter of the Business Plan Competition,  was awarded the Smit Webster Cup which is presented annually to the winning college.       

“This is truly a wonderful night for the entire Keystone College community,” Dr. Boehm said.  “We offer our heartfelt congratulations to Shawn and Michelle and to Dr. Sonji Lee and all the dedicated faculty members of Keystone’s excellent Business, Management, and Technology Division. We also offer special thanks to all students involved in the competition who worked so hard to turn their business dreams into realities.”

“It was an honor to represent Keystone in this competition,” said Shawn. “I can't describe how much it means that Dr. Sonji Lee won the Advisor Award and President Boehm won the Webster Cup. It was truly an incredible night for Keystone. I am so lucky that I had such supportive teachers who believed in me.”

Founded in 1868, Keystone College is a fully-accredited, independent, private college committed to proving education in the liberal arts tradition in an academic setting that fosters integrity, civility, and curiosity. Located on a 270-acre campus in La Plume, Keystone serves nearly 1,800 full-and part-time students and offers 32 associate and baccalaureate degrees and a variety of certificate programs.

Photo Caption: (From Left) Keystone College student Shawn Whitiak, Keystone President Dr. Edward G. Boehm, Jr. and Shawn's teammate Michelle Mendez.