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Press Release

Anderson Students Take Top Prizes at National Competition

February 20, 2014

(Albuquerque, NM) Congratulations to students from the Anderson School of Management for earning top prizes at this year's Small Business Institute's Case of the Year Competition in Las Vegas, Nevada.

2014 SBI Starlight FUNiture team: (L to R) Drew Wayner, Peter Ray, Eric Nelson, Owner Starlight FUNiture, Max Ebnother Stacie Nowell, and Kevin Roybal
2014 SBI: (L to R) Shannon Gibson, SBI VP of Programs, East Carolina University, David Hammitt, Anderson School SBI student, Dr. Raj Mahto, Director, UNM Small Business Institute.

Anderson Professor Dimitri Kapelianis and the Starlight FUNiture LLC student team captured 1st prize at the graduate level. The student team of Max Ebnother, Stacie Nowell, Peter Ray, Kevin Roybal, and Drew Wayner won in the most competitive, Comprehensive Consulting Category. At the undergraduate level, the Speakeasy LLC team of Jennifer Walker, Christine Shields, Andres Perez, and Maximo Lopez won the 3rd prize in the Business Plan Category. This is the second year UNM Anderson has captured top honors at the national SBI competition. Last year projects completed by Anderson SBI students in earned 2nd and 3rd place honors in their categories. These honors rank Anderson SBI as one of the top Small Business Institutes in the nation.

"Small businesses are the principal drivers of the New Mexico economy, and we are pleased to provide resources in support of their success," said Doug Brown, Dean of the Anderson School.

"It's a great feeling. We have the best students and great professors, a combination that is always winning," says SBI Director Dr. Raj Mahto. "Our supporters and donors also deserve recognition for helping us in building this program. Congratulations to all of them as well and we look forward to continuing this momentum next year!"

The UNM Small Business Institute program led by Professor Mahto was awarded the prestigious ‘Showcase Program of the Year' award. The Showcase Award identifies the SBI Program and its Director that is deserving of recognition for innovative development or management, or because their SBI efforts contributed to a true small business client success story.

Michael Harris, Past President and current Vice President of Membership for the National Small Business Institute had praise for Dr. Mahto and the UNM program.

"I am pleased to let you know how impressed our Board of Directors is with the work of Dr. Raj Mahto. Raj won the prestigious Small Business Institute National Showcase Award, as well as two awards for his Small Business Institute projects. He has quickly become an outstanding leader and scholar in the field of entrepreneurship and small business management, and I am very proud of his work."

Founded in 1978, the SBI at UNM Anderson has successfully assisted over six hundred businesses including startup companies, expanding businesses, non-profit organizations, and family businesses. To participate in this program small business owners can submit an application online at . For more information on the Small Business Institute program please contact David Hammitt at or (505) 277-8869.


The Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico is dedicated to excellence in professional management education. At the Anderson School, faculty, staff, and students are committed to shaping the intellect and character of the next generation of business leaders, advancing the knowledge and practice of management, promoting economic development, and building a vibrant intellectual community that serves the highest and best interests of all our stakeholders.

The School was founded in 1947 and now offers more than a dozen concentrations at the BBA and MBA levels and is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business in the top 20% of business schools in the nation. The School is funded by the State of New Mexico and further support is generated by The Anderson School of Management Foundation. For more information, the public can visit, email, or call (505) 277-6471.