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University of Iowa News Release


May 15, 2008

Local students honored in Iowa business plan competition

Several University of Iowa students were winners in the Merle Volding Business Plan Competition, an annual competition sponsored by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center that helps students pursue opening their own businesses.

First place and a $2,000 prize went to Stephanie Hall of Long Grove, Iowa, for her business, Dream Day Registry. Second place and $1,500 prizes were awarded to Nathan Drew of Des Moines, Iowa, for his business Drew Holdings, Inc.; Jared Garfield of Deerfield, Ill. and John Slump of Sioux City, Iowa, for their business, J & J Solutions; and Tracey Ites of Marengo, Iowa, for her business, Build-a-Bowl.

Runners-up honors and $1,000 were awarded to Corey Gingerich of Nichols, Iowa, for Slanty Shanty Records, LLC; Jim Guarino of Mount Prospect, Ill., and Ephraim Ben-Abraham of Normal, Ill., for Entrepreneurial Connections; Blake Peterson of Des Moines, Iowa, for The Grocery; and Erik Ramirez of Elgin, Ill., for Olmeca Studios.

More information on the Volding competition is available online at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010 (office), 319-541-8434 (cell),