University of Southern Indiana

2009 Berry Plastics

Ira Boots, Berry Plastics chairman and chief executive officer and a member of the USI Board of Trustees, suggested a student-engagement project as part of his involvement as Executive-in-Residence. The challenge, the Community Engagement Business Plan Competition sponsored jointly by Berry Plastics of Evansville and the College of Business, was to develop a complete business plan for a new pizza container that improves upon the cardboard box.

Three teams were selected as finalists:

  • Vanessa Fischer, senior, business administration; Neil Goebel, junior, management; Katherine Green, junior, accounting and finance; and Jennifer Rathgeber, senior, public relations and advertising and a minor in marketing. This was the winning team.
  • Gul Akyel, senior, management and marketing; Neil Kassinger, freshman, business administration; and Eseniya Matvelieva, junior, accounting and marketing.
  • Courtney Mickel, junior, marketing; Shawn Parr, senior, marketing and management; and Tegan Rush, senior, marketing.

Experts in various disciplines at Berry and a team of College of Business faculty members mentored the students during the 10-week program. Faculty members who assisted with the project were Dr. Mohammed Khayum, dean; Dr. Chad Milewicz, assistant professor of marketing; Bryan Bourdeau, instructor in business management; Jeanette Maier-Lytle, instructor in accounting; and Dr. Andy Yu, assistant professor of management.

At the final presentations, Boots said, "It is exciting to share resources between Berry Plastics and USI. I consider this a great development for the community."

Berry Plastics made four $1,000 gifts to the USI Foundation in the names of the four students on the winning team. These dollars will be used to benefit College of Business students.


College of Business Reports: Students develop professional skills in Berry-sponsored competition
Winter 2010

Contact Mr. Bryan Bourdeau


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