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U of M, Crookston SIFE Team Named Regional Champions for Ninth Consecutive Year at Regional Competition in Minneapolis
April 8, 2008

Contact: Eric Burgess, business instructor, 218-281-8190 (, Kenneth Johnson, business instructor, 218-281-8178 (, Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (, Stephanie Onken, communic

CROOKSTON, Minn. (April 1, 2008) – University of Minnesota, Crookston Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) students were awarded their ninth consecutive Regional Champion Award at the regional competition in Minneapolis, Minn., March 25-26, 2008.

The U of M, Crookston SIFE team now advances to the 2008 SIFE USA National Exposition held in Chicago, Illinois, to compete against other regional champion teams from around the United States.

SIFE members traveled to Minneapolis to present their year-long program of community outreach projects to a panel of twenty judges at the conference. During a 24-minute multimedia presentation, they outlined the activities they have planned and implemented. Teams were judged on the presentation, a written annual report and their portfolio of free enterprise service projects.

U of M, Crookston students demonstrated that their programs were making the world a better place one person at a time by helping others: learn how to succeed as an entrepreneur; acquire the education and training needed to succeed; understand the dynamics of free market economics; develop financial management skills necessary to achieve financial independence; and understand that long-term success and prosperity are dependent on ethical business practices.

 Members of the championship presentation team included Raldy Romero, Miami Springs, Fl.; Theodis Powell III, Oshkosh, Wis.; Chansouda "Souda" Rattanavong, Warroad, Minn.; Nari Kim, Sungon City Gyounggi-do Korea; Justin Klinkhammer, Thief River Falls, Minn.; and Joseph Field, Thief River Falls, Minn. The technical support team included Steve Swazee, Eagan, Minn.; Miriam Maiga, Crookston, Minn.; and Stephanie Onken, Round Lake, Minn. U of M, Crooksotn SIFE advisor and business instructor Eric Burgess also joined the team, as well as students and SIFE members Brittny Johnson, Warroad, Minn.; Yu Xie, Hangzhou, China; Shannon Hoff, Crookston, Minn.; Calvin McMullen, Sparta, Georgia; Natalie Lutmer, Hibbing, Minn.; Thomas Melhorn, White Bear Lake, Minn.; and Marshall Johnson, Pomona, Cal.

SIFE is a nonprofit organization that supports and enables students to learn and teach about free enterprise in real world situations.  SIFE challenges students on more than 1,800 college campuses worldwide to take what they have learned in the classroom and use it to improve the quality of life for people everywhere.  Student projects are designed to teach people about free market economics, business success skills, entrepreneurship, financial literacy and business ethics.

 The University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 applied-science undergraduate degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. Invent yourself at the University of Minnesota, Crookston – become a leader, innovate through technology and research and secure the career you want. To learn more, visit