Future Business Leaders Get a Taste of Free Enterprise During Business Week at Colorado State July 30 -Aug. 4

Note to Editors: Reporters are welcome to attend the Business Week conference. Photo opportunities include various presentations by prominent Colorado business executives and students participating in mock business events. Interviews with participants and the project director can be arranged by contacting Karen Wheeler at (970) 491-6435.

Hundreds of Colorado high school sophomores and juniors will be immersed in the world of free enterprise for one week this summer when Colorado State University hosts Business Week July 30 to Aug. 4.

Organized by the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry Educational Foundation, Colorado Business Week is an opportunity for Colorado high school sophomores and juniors to learn about the world of business first hand. Any Colorado high school sophomore or junior may apply. During the week, students will live in campus residence halls and spend their days working in "companies" under the leadership of loaned business executives. Interactive presentations delivered by prominent Colorado business executives will introduce the students to the fundamental concepts of private enterprise and the decision-making process involved in running a successful business.

In addition to getting a feel for organizing and running a company, participants will hear presentations throughout the week from prominent business executives in Colorado, including Jake Jabs of American Furniture Warehouse; Roger Gibson, vice president with United Airlines; and Denver Bronco-turned-businessman Reggie Rivers, who will deliver the opening address, "Dare to Be a Leader," on Sunday afternoon.

This year’s master of ceremonies and keynote speaker is Lee Abernathy, retired CEO of International Business Machines.

The week includes lectures, discussion groups, outdoor activities and team-oriented events. Special activities such as "Hunk-O-Junk" combine learning and fun in a team environment. During this event, adult counselors will bring in found items, or pieces of junk, and place them on a table. Teams of students then must create a product from the item they’ve chosen, decide its function and devise an advertising campaign to present to the rest of the group.

"Our goal is to provide a positive experience for as many kids as we can," said Gabriella Gergely, executive director of the CACI Education Foundation. "The students pay a $75 registration fee and all other costs for the week are covered by the CACI Education Foundation and a number of businesses who sponsor ‘scholarships’ for the participants." Gergely points out that most students find local sponsors to pay the registration fee in their local school district and some companies support the program by paying both the scholarship and the registration fee.

Major sponsors for this year’s conference include United Airlines, Janus, Lucent Technologies, Hensel Phillips, The Denver Foundation, Eastman Kodak, the Schlessman Family Foundation, New Century Energies, the Monfort Family Foundation, Anthem blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation and U.S. Bank.

For more information, contact Gabriella Gergely at the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry Educational Foundation at (303) 866-9656.