April 13, 2007
Four University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire senior marketing students - Lindsay Renneau, Altoona/Sturtevant; Ann Lundberg, Owatonna, Minn.; Bowie Burger, Eagan, Minn.; and Katrina Rademacher, New Prague, Minn., - represented UW-Eau Claire at the National Collegiate Sales Competition, held March 15-17 at Kennesaw State University near Atlanta, Georgia. LaNette Flunker, senior lecturer in management and marketing, served as the faculty coach for the UW-Eau Claire team, which was comprised of finalists from an earlier UW-Eau Claire Sales Competition.
Rademacher competed in the final round of the competition and was named third runner up at the National Sales Competition. She lost out to the overall champion by only .03 of a point. Renneau made it to the quarter finals.
The UW-Eau Claire team placed fifth nationally, beating teams from such schools as Babson College, Ball State University, Cal Poly State University-San Luis Obispo, Clemson University, Florida State University, Illinois State University, Purdue and the University of Houston.
The NCSC involves selling two different products: a good and a service. Flunker pointed out that this year's event was even more challenging than previous years.
"The change that made it more challenging was that it was run like a double elimination tournament, so Katrina completed additional role plays in order to get into the final round," said Flunker. "Each role play also had a new buyer profile to work with."
Contestants are evaluated on approach and rapport, needs identification, presentation, handling of objections, closing and communication skills.
Corporate sponsors participate as buyers and judges for the role-plays.
Getchen Hutterli, an assistant dean in the College of Business, said she was proud of the UW-Eau Claire's Team accomplishment.
"This is the best the team has ever done," said Hutterli, noting that UW-Eau Claire's team placed sixth last year, seventh in 2005 and sixth in 2004. UW-Eau Claire participated in the competition for the first time in 2003.
Flunker believes that UW-Eau Claire's continued success at the NCSC has benefited not only the competitors, but all UW-Eau Claire marketing majors, because she said more employers are now interested in recruiting students from UW-Eau Claire.
"It has been a pleasure to watch these talented students grow in skill and confidence," said Flunker.
Rademacher said competing at the NCSC was better than she could have imagined, and she appreciated the opportunity to enhance her skills and network with companies from across the United States.
"Because of the NCSC, I have found the perfect career for me, and I am looking forward to what the future will bring," Rademacher said."This opportunity has been very exciting, and one that I will never forget."
UW-Eau Claire thanks the following business people who helped the sales team prepare for nationals by meeting with students on Fridays and offering feedback and suggestions: Tony Horvath, Hormel; Mike Kapocius, Takeda Pharmaceuticals; Jon Steele and Lindsey Zastrow, Reality Works; Amy Pfau and Emily Hall, Enterprise; Jeff Kiffin and Katie Anderson, Standard Register; Jay Nygren, Matt Flaig and Jake Froiland, Cintas; and Bill Febry, Leinenkugels. Anderson and Zastrow were on the UW-Eau Claire sales teams that competed in the NCSC in 2005 and 2006.
Overall Champion – Washington State University – Nate Sholz
1st runner up – University of Central Florida – Alex Homer
2nd runner up – University of Houston – Tolulope Kuteyi
3rd runner up – University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire – Katrina Rademacher
1. Washington State University
2. University of Central Florida
3. Baylor University
4. Western Michigan University
5. University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire
6. University of Houston
7. Middle Tennessee State University & Central Missouri
8. University of Washington
9. Georgia Southern University
10. Ohio University
Source: UW-Eau Claire News Bureau