News Release

U of M Crookston SIFE Students Named Regional Champions for Eighth Consecutive Year at Business Competition in Minneapolis

By Eric Burgess, Kenneth Johnson, Elizabeth Tollefson on
Thursday, April 5, 2007
SIFE Regional Champions
SIFE Regional Champions

CROOKSTON, MN (April 5, 2007) – University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) students were recognized for their outstanding efforts to improve the quality of life for the Crookston community and the northwest region of Minnesota at a regional conference in Minneapolis. UMC Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) earned SIFE Regional Champion status at the organization's annual regional conference marking the eighth consecutive year UMC's team has earned the title.

UMC's team now advances to the 2007 SIFE USA National Exposition on May 6 – 8, in Dallas, Texas, to compete against other regional champion teams from across the country.

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

UMC students demonstrated that their programs were making the world a better place 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, Theo Powell, Chansouda Rattanavong, and Ollie Owens.  The technical support team included Mark Belanger, Martial Diby, and Deb Altepeter.  UMC SIFE advisors are Business Instructors Eric Burgess and Kenneth Johnson; Accounting Professor David Crawford; and Admissions Counselor Kelli Barnes.

Burgess said he is very proud of the team’s accomplishments and their commitment to UMC and the surrounding region. 

"I have been advising the UMC SIFE team for the past seven years and their dedication and commitment to teaching others the principles of free enterprise are truly remarkable.”

“Many meaningful projects have been implemented through our SIFE students which have enhanced the quality of life for members of the Crookston community and beyond.  The excellence in leadership, scholarship and civic engagement demonstrated by our students exemplifies the UMC mission and purpose.  Their meaningful accomplishments are truly amazing, and we are extremely proud of them.”

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 (UMC) delivers more than 25 applied-science undergraduate degree programs and 50 concentrations, including online degrees, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. UMC is dedicated to helping students and the region aim higher, reach further and dream bigger dreams. To learn more, visit