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SIFE Team Earns First Place Trophy

Monday, April 13, 2009

A four-man team of Westminster College Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) earned first place in the inaugural Duel in the Dumpster competition April 2-4 at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Westminster SIFE past president Nathan Capello, a senior accounting and financial economics major, is a son of Robert and Karla Capello of Slippery Rock and a graduate of Slippery Rock Area High School.

SIFE vice president Jeffrey Downey, a senior business administration major, is a son of Robert and Maria Downey of Pittsburgh and a graduate of Seton-La Salle High School.

SIFE treasurer Steven LaRue, a sophomore business administration and financial economics major, is a son of William and Linda LaRue of Ligonier and a graduate of Ligonier Valley High School.

Stephen Previs, a junior business administration major, is a son of Charles and Rose Previs of Bethel Park and a graduate of Bethel Park High School.

The competition was the finale of the University of Arizona's annual Global Retailing Conference and was sponsored by TerraCycle, a leading developer of products made from recycled materials.

Westminster's team attended presentations by Terry J. Lundgren, Macy's, Inc., chairman, president, and CEO; Tom Szaky, TerraCycle CEO; Steve Sadove, Saks Fifth Avenue CEO; and John Fleming, WalMart EVP and chief merchandising officer.

According to Capello, the presentations were an eye-opening experience into the challenges, thought process, operations, and plans of the retailing industry.

The competition required the design of a product using only recycled materials. To accompany the design, teams developed a production/inventory plan, a complete marketing plan, and a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis in a four-page report.

The Westminster team, one of four selected to compete in the inaugural event, designed an automatically refilling pet water bowl. The team's PowerPoint presentation included photos and video and incorporated some of the concepts learned from conference speakers.

As the winning team, the Westminster group will assist TerraCycle in the final design of the product and in determining its marketability.

Contact David Smith, Westminster assistant professor of accounting and SIFE adviser, at (724) 946-7161 or e-mail smithdc@westminster.edu for additional information.

Stephen Previs, Steven LaRue, Nathan Capello, Jeffrey Downey