Skip to main content

Press Release

UNM Small Business Institute Student Teams Win National Awards

March 9, 2017

(Albuquerque, NM) Congratulations to students from the Anderson School of Management for earning first place honors at the 2017 National Small Business Institute Conference in San Diego.

SBI StudentsThe Anderson students came in first after competing against more than 75 SBI teams from across the nation at the graduate level in the Small Business Institute® Project of the Year Competition. 

The first of the two winning UNM teams includes student members, Kathleen Morgans, Ronaldo Olivas and Amy Slater, who, guided by Associate Professor Dimitri Kapelianis, took first place honors in the Graduate/Specialized category for their strategic marketing plan for Amrak Enterprises.  This is the fourth year in a row that Dr. Kapelianis’ student teams have won a national SBI award. 

"I have found my experience in collaborating with the UNM SBI to be deeply rewarding," says Dr. Kapelianis. "My students acquire practical skills and know-how, and local client organizations benefit from the students’ fresh perspective and keen insights; and for me, the experience keeps my teaching grounded in the practical realities of marketing strategy."

SBI StudentsAdjunct Professor Holly Hitzemann’s student team of Tim Becker, Hayley Johnson, Drew Lovelace, Sabra Medina and Raphael Pacheco received first place honors in the Graduate/Comprehensive category for their strategic business plan for Broken Trail Spirits and Brew. 

"The SBI program provides students real-world training for their future careers through this unique experiential learning opportunity, and really pushes students to a higher level of business acumen," says Professor Hitzemann. "We were all very proud of our UNM students’ work and the many accolades they received from the judges."

Professor Hitzemann’s teams have also received top honors in previous Small Business Institute® Project of the Year competitions. 

Acting Dean Shawn Berman praised the students and professors for their high achievements.

"Small businesses are extremely important to the New Mexico economy and I am proud that our students are using their Anderson knowledge to help this important sector"

UNM SBI Director, Stacy Sacco added, "We were very excited to hear about the UNM SBI awards and send our congratulations to all the professors and students!"

UNM SBI reports have received national recognition the past few years including earning top rankings among 75+ colleges participating in the National Small Business Institute’s® Project of the Year competition.  In addition, the Mid-Regional Council of Government released an independent study this past year stating that between 2014 and 2015 UNM SBI clients who applied the student’s recommendations created 195 direct and indirect jobs, which helped increase personal income statewide by $8.28 million and grow the state’s economy by $14.05 million in gross domestic product. 


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.