SNC takes home First at the statewide Governor’s Cup business plan competition
by Nick Galantowicz
Eagle’s Eye Reporter
Sierra Nevada College walked away proud from the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Competition on Thursday, April 16. The winning team, 3Denim, received $25,000 for taking first place.
3Denim is made up of SNC students Evan Cooke, Kelly Benson and Brendan Wheelwright. The momentwas surreal for Benson, she hoisted and kissed the first place trophy during the announcement, like a proud athlete winning a championship.
“You could tell when SNC was presenting,” said event photographer Ryland Swiegard. “They always seemed to be the most prepared and confident when presenting their businesses.”
It all started when 38 different student teams from University of Nevada Reno, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Truckee Meadows Community College and SNC submitted their business plans to a panel of 50 judges. Those 38 applicants were filtered down to six undergraduate and six graduate finalist teams. At the Governor’s Cup, three different categories had teams competing for cash prizes upwards of $25,000: undergraduates, graduates and the LT Gov. Award.
“The prestigious Lt. Governor’s Award is given to the team that best employed clean, renewable or efficient energy technologies and services,” said Nevada Lt. Governor Mark Hutchison. “Nevada is making incredible strides on the clean and renewable energy front, and I’m confident we’ll be able to keep that forward momentum going with the vision and support of future leaders, such as the finalists you’re about to meet.”
The other two award categories were represented with businesses ranging from a Burning Man preparation service, BurnReady, to a drone shipping service, MoveoMedics. SNC participants competed in the undergraduate and LT. Governor Award categories.
Junior Brian Gaas, the sole competitor of 5G Technologies and second place winner at the 2015 Warren and Jale Trepp Business Plan Competition, competed for his first time in the Governor’s Cup as an undergraduate and Lt. Governors Award participant.
“My plan wasn’t perfect, I know that,” said Gaas. “I think the Governor’s Cup, when looking forward, needs to improve on the written grading. I was given a 49(percent) on one grading andthen an 89 (percent) on another, being scored only twice in total. Other teams were given averaged scores based off of three gradings. I think the discrepancy in my scores prevented potential success.”
This was the second year in a row SNC took the first place prize in the undergraduate category. The winning teams earned invitations to the Tri-State business competition at the Mirage in Las Vegas on May 28 for the chance to win from a$118,000 cash prize pool.
A number of the students on the Sierra Nevada College campus go on incredible adventures either through the Outdoor Adventure Leadership (ODAL) program, through events run by the Sierra Nevada College staff or adventures they create on their own. While the ODAL program is a vastly popular program on campus, some students and the community have no idea just the kinds of adventures these students take on.
On April 15, five ODAL students presented their adventure stories in the first ever Outdoor Leadership symposium held at SNC. ODAL Program Director Rosie Hackett welcomed the audience with a short opening introduction.
“We want to know what you (the students) have been doing. We do some pretty cool trips in ODAL, but you all do even radder adventures on your own,” said Hackett. “This is our opportunity to have our students showcase what they have done.”
Junior Stephen Van Den Hoogen, Senior Casey Gordon and Senior April Agranoff, Senior Carl Wernhoff and Senior Erica Nelson were the featured presenters. Their adventures included skiing in Alaska, backpacking in Argentina, the journey of working as a raft guide, internships in rock climbing and fly-fishing and lessons from getting lost in Alaska.
Senior and ODAL student Scout Sorcic was approached by Hackett and ODAL instructor Daryl Teittinen about creating a symposium while she was preparing her own presentation for a conference over winter break.
The ODAL students have never been given a platform in the past to talk about their adventures. These presentations were both a way to show-off the activities students have been doing and to bring the department closer together.
“Many people see ODAL 101 and 201 and don’t really know where to go from there on their own,” said Sorcic. “This shows what students can do and also brings the entire ODAL tribe together to put names to faces for newer students.”
With the success of this event, plans for the next symposium are currently aiming for either fall or spring.
With the school year coming to a close, the question raised is when will we have Sierra Nevada College’s next president?
The SNC Presidential Search Committee along with the help of AGBsearch(Association of Governing Boards)
consultants completed a vital step in finding the new president. On April 1, AGBsearch consultant Dr. Richard Q. Wueste released a presidential profile description of the qualities SNC is looking for in the next president.
The AGBsearch team collected information input from faculty/staff, administration and students about what is needed in a new leader, then formatted it into a profile highlighting important qualities.
By Hannah Greene
Last fall semester the back of the library was filled with laughs, caffeine and breakfast. However, students and faculty returned from winter break to an empty space where the branch of IV Coffee lab was once open.
“People were really excited about not having to go anywhere in order to still get breakfast and coffee,” said former employee Logan Garrison.
The owners of IV Coffee Lab decided to pull out of Prim Library for the 2015 spring semester at Sierra Nevada College. IV Coffee lab has a main location, open for about three years now, at 907 Tahoe Boulevard that is a little out of the way from campus. The location on campus provided a convenient amenity since October 2013, but will not be serving IV coffee this semester.
“They felt like they weren’t doing the best job they could,” said Annamarie Jones, director of Assessment and Institutional Research and Campus Store manager.
“I had actually talked with IV Coffee Lab for a while about whether or not they had a release they wanted us to say to the students here, ultimately they’re still kind of in limbo. They may come back, they might not,“ said Jones.
While unsure about reopening the campus location or not; the owners explained to Jones they needed to focus on the original location and not lose business there.
“Coffee is incredibly difficult to sell here on campus because it is always a losing venture. The margins don’t come anywhere near supporting the labor behind it,” said Jones.
Logan, an employee at the on-campus IV, resigned later last semester to help improve his grades for graduation in May, but said “there was a lack of management.”
With difficult working situations and low profit margins keeping a business open can be tough.
“The whole thing was a service to the students and faculty just because it was super convenient. The main location for the most part is out of the way of campus,” said Garrison. “That space has to be utilized, it was way too good of a service for too many people here to not be there.”
Students have ideas and thoughts on what should go into the space, but with expensive permits, and a large monetary and time commitment, getting something in the space will take some time, Jones said.
“One of the students suggested we use the space for entrepreneurial ventures for students; they could use or rent the space and launch product or idea for a short period of time,” said Jones. “The space could be used for unlimited ventures but coffee is a huge demand on campus. Another possibility is that we offer machines that provide a coffee experience such as the one in Patterson Hall.”
Whether it is used for new business ventures, IV Coffee Lab coming back, or opening a student run coffee shop the space is vacant and available.
“They should definitely open something, whether it’s IV or whatever. Students in the library need a place to get real food and a caffeine fix,” said Junior Jake Brayton.
“We were all looking forward to playing our first games of the season. We had been preparing all year and were ready to play someone besides ourselves. I knew everyone would be pumped up so I expected two big wins,” said Junior Todd Grimm
The team traveled nearly 400 miles to open their season with a conference game against HSU and a nonconference game against SOU. Despite the challenges and distractions of a long road trip, the team came away with two victories.
“Our first game against HSU was 21-5. We dominated and it was a great start to the season,” said head coach Bruce Meierdiercks. “The second game against SOU was 14-6. We jumped out to an 11-0 halftime lead but because we played back to back games, our conditioning suffered in the second half and made the game look much closer than it was.”
The Eagle’s Eye Editing team traded in the Tahoe Basin for the Big Apple for the National College Media Convention from March 10-12 in New York City.
Sage Sauerbrey, Kelly Mahoney, Jamie Wanzek, Keifer Bly, Johanna Tikkanen, Jackson Heath and Meghan Herbst, accompanied by paper advisor and journalism professor Tanya Canino, traveled across the country to attend the conference and experience the city.
With funding from the SGA, the Eagle’s Eye editors were able to attend a variety of informational journalism sessions along with 1,200 other attendees from colleges around the country.
“I am so glad I was able to participate in the NYC journalism conference. This opportunity opened my eyes to the professional world of journalism, and much more,” said Photo and Design Editor Jamie Wanzek.
The College Media Association holds national conferences every year with a variety of events, sessions and prominent keynote speakers. This year the speakers were New York Times bestselling author Chuck Klosterman; political cartoonists Daryl Cagle, Steve Sack, Adam Zyglis and Taylor Jones; along with VICE reporter Vikram Gandhi.
“Vikram produced a popular documentary and is now on the HBO series ‘VICE.’ He works for VICE Media, which is one of the organizations I am most interested in,” said Assistant Editor Meghan Herbst. “His insights and the way he talked about breaking into the business were very inspiring. He told us all to learn how to create our own stories, in our own voice.”
Sierra Nevada College has been using AGB search to find a new president for the school. The school chose AGB because they seemed like the most organized option.
“The Committee received information from five search firms. We then narrowed those down to two and ran Skype interviews with them. The search firms that the committee looked at were all very similar in process but when it came to facilitating a search, Dick Wueste of AGB Search was the most prepared. He had done his research and communicated how he would apply that information to the search process,” said Rick Parsons, Associate Professor of Fine Arts.
AGB Search has been working with the school to find a president with the best attributes. Dick Wueste came to the campus on March 4th and stayed for three days. Dick ran listening sessions with faculty members, staff, students, alumnus, community members and trustees. In these sessions Dick gathered information about the institution and the people affiliated with the institution. He will use this information to build a Presidential Profile for Sierra Nevada College.
The Presidential Attributes for an institution of this size seem pretty standard. I have not been surprised by anything I have heard up to this point. People are looking for a collaborative, transparent leader with fundraising skills. This person should have a firm understanding of academics and strong leadership skills. It is now about finding the right person to take this institution to the next level.
We all believe in the Mission and Vision of this college and are excited about its potential and the person that will help lead us toward our collective goals,” Parsons said. AGB Search should be turning some results relatively soon.
“The search firm should be sending us a draft of the profile to be proofed in the next week,” Parsons said.
The Sierra Nevada College ski and snowboard teams dominated during the week and were able to bring back home a lot of hardware. The teams won a total of eight team National Championship titles, 24 individual podiums and four overall team National Championship titles.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and Sierra Nevada College is leading the way with several different events under the title “Speak Out Against Hate.”
Beginning March 30, SNC will be providing a safe and open place for those who have experienced any form of sexual assault or for those wanting to understand the pain of dealing with such a traumatic experience. In conjunction with Tahoe Safe Alliance, these programs will help those coping with past or present issues regarding abuse and sexual assault.
Will Hoida, Director of Student Affairs, has helped put on these events in the past.
“We have been putting on events for at least part of the year for the last 10 years that I have been here,” said Hoida. “Obviously, what’s been happening in the media and what’s been happening across the country as far as colleges and universities and the government has now gotten involved stating ‘we must be proactive’, which is great because they are basically making these campuses and all these universities take action against sexual assault.”
SwapDrive co-founder Roland Schumann spoke to a crowd of inspiring entrepreneurs on Wednesday, Feb. 25, at Sierra Nevada College. As a successful entrepreneur, Schumann shared his experiences when starting his company, and insights to what an investor looks at when evaluating potential investments.
“I’m thankful the school has supported such events for students,” Junior Alex Labranche, a recent SNC Business Plan competitor, said. “As a business major, I found [Schumann’s] talk to be very helpful for future endeavors.”
While Schumann was in school at George Washington’s Masters of Science and Information Systems program, he and a classmate came up with the idea for their business, SwapDrive Incorporated.