ST. LOUIS, Mo. (April 4, 2014)—With a campaign built on the theme “Students Cherished. Individuals Grown,” the team from Concordia University, St. Paul, Minn., took first place in the third annual Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) National Student Marketing Competition April 4 in St. Louis, Mo.
Members of the team were seniors Amanda Konetchy, of Victoria, Minn., and a member of Christ Victorious Lutheran Church, Chaska; Kayla Koenecke, of Delano, Minn.; Thomas Streed, of Minneapolis, Minn.; and Matt Buhmann, of Elk River, Minn.
The team competed against seven other Concordia University System schools, working throughout the spring semester to research and develop a cooperative marketing plan for a partnership between LCEF and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) elementary and secondary schools. Each Concordia team traveled to St. Louis to present their final work to a judging panel selected by LCEF in polished 20-minute presentations of their strategic plans, creative work and budgets. During competition day, the teams had the opportunity to watch the other teams present, tour Worldwide KFUO radio studios and the International Center, and attend chapel with area Lutheran high school students, LCEF and LCMS staff.
The St. Paul teammates used St. John’s Lutheran School in Chaska as a springboard for their research. The elementary school is struggling to rebuild enrollment, they said, after a dramatic drop.
“They’re excited [about the LCEF marketing competition] because they really need help in building awareness,” Konetchy, a former St. John’s student, said of the school’s staff and parents, including many shown in the pictures and video that were part of St. Paul’s presentation at the competition.
“As a result of this competition, students walk out of college with something impressive for their portfolio,” said Dr. Nancy Harrower, marketing professor and advisor to the St. Paul team. “When their [future] boss says, ‘Go research this and develop a presentation on that,’ they can say, ‘OK, I can do that.’ LCEF has given a great gift to our students and to our schools.”
Earning second place was the Concordia University, Irvine, Calif., team. ”A member of the Irvine team was senior Emma Shockey, who hails from Eden Prairie, Minn., and is a member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Edina, Minn.”
Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich., placed third in the competition and was led by faculty advisor Ann Glubzinski. This was Ann Arbor’s first time participating in the competition.
“This year’s assignment focused on how LCEF might work with elementary and secondary schools to help increase enrollment,” said Richard C. Robertson, LCEF President/CEO. “Our ultimate goal is to boost the sustainability of our Lutherans schools, which we see as an effective mission offering to communities.”
In addition to the top three schools, other participating universities included: Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Ill.; Concordia College—New York, Bronxville; Concordia University Nebraska, Seward; Concordia University, Portland, Ore.; and Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon (CUW).
CUW members included sophomore Lennie Childs, of Silver Spring, Md.; junior Bennett Frazier, of Waunakee, Wis., and a member of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Madison; junior Emily Mauermann, of Janesville, Wis.; and junior Zoe McMiller, of Hartland, Wis., a member of Peace Lutheran Church in Sussex. They were led by faculty advisor Dr. Jane Bishop.
LCEF presented cash prizes ranging from a $5,000 first-place award to $750 participation prizes.
See photos from the competition and get more information at lcef.org, facebook.com/MyLCEF or Twitter using #NSMC2014.