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U of M, Crookston Students in Free Enterprise Places Third in their League at National Exposition in Chicago, Ill.
May 27, 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 (

The U of M, Crookston SIFE team reached a new level of success with a third place finish in their league at the National Exposition in May.
The U of M, Crookston SIFE team reached a new level of success with a third place finish in their league at the National Exposition in May.
Crookston, Minn. (May 27, 2008) – After nine regional championships, the University of Minnesota, Crookston’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) attained a new level of success at the SIFE National Exposition in Chicago, Ill., in May. By placing third in their league, the team reached the highest level of achievement in competition for any SIFE Team in Crookston campus history. The team was awarded a trophy and cash prize for their efforts.

By winning at the regional level, the U of M, Crookston SIFE team earned the opportunity to compete in the USA National Exposition. For the competition, each team produces a written annual report and a live audio-visual presentation on their community outreach projects. A panel of business leaders serve as judges and evaluate the teams on their success in creating economic opportunity for others.

“It has been a goal of the team to place in the national competition,” said Eric Burgess, SIFE advisor and business instructor at the U of M, Crookston. “Our students’ hard work paid off, and we have already set a new goal to take first place in our league and move into the semifinal round of competition.” 

The U of M, Crookston SIFE team represented the campus on the exposition’s grand stage in front of more than 140 competing teams, 3,200 students, 450 faculty and administrators, and 700 judges and guests. Members of this year’s presentation team who competed in the national competition were Chansouda Rattanavong, Warroad, Minn.; Justin Klinkhammer, Thief River Falls, Minn.; Joe Field, Thief River Falls, Minn.; Theodis Powell III, Oshkosh, Wis.; Raldy Romero, Miami Springs, Fla.; and Nari Kim, Sungon City, Gyounggi-do Korea. Technology support for the team was provided by Steve Swazee, Eagan, Minn., and Mariam Maiga, Crookston, Minn. The SIFE Team’s 2007-08 Annual Report was developed by Stephanie Onken, Round Lake, Minn., with help from Publications Editor John Zak. SIFE team advisors who attended the event were business instructors Kenneth Johnson and Eric Burgess.

The SIFE USA National Exposition brings together the top student, academic and business leaders from around the country. SIFE is a global non-profit organization active in more than 40 countries. SIFE students work in partnership with business and higher education where they are challenged to develop community out reach projects that reach SIFE’s six education topics: free market economics, success skills, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, sustainability and business ethics. The mission of SIFE at the Crookston campus is to educate, inspire, and reinvest in our community while expanding our minds in the ever changing global business world.

The University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) 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