WSU Vancouver students honored for helping local businesses grow

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 8:30am -- brenda_alling

Business Growth Mentor & Analysis Program logoVANCOUVER, Wash. — Two student teams tied for Best Project honors from Washington State University Vancouver’s Business Growth Mentor and Analysis Program. The awards were announced Thursday, May 15, at Business Growth MAP’s annual reception.

Business Growth MAP, which has just completed its third year, provides pro bono analysis consulting services to help local businesses grow and create jobs in the community. Eight students—four on each team—worked with Trellis Partners in Camas and Bleu Door Bakery in Vancouver.

“They opened my eyes to things I was too busy to notice,” said Bonnie Brasure of Bleu Door Bakery, which creates breads, pastries and other items locally from scratch in small batches. “This is a wonderful program, and I am so very happy to have been able to participate in it.”

"I was most impressed by the creativity, professionalism and ultimately, the specific recommendations of the MAP team,” said Dixie Huey, owner of Trellis Partners, a strategic marketing communications agency serving artisan epicureans in the wine, spirits and culinary industries.

Business Growth MAP pairs business students, faculty and mentors with businesses that are looking to grow. The program consulted with 41 businesses during the 2013/2014 academic year.

“Going through this program was profoundly helpful to me as a business owner,” Huey said, “and I give it my highest recommendation for local entrepreneurs looking to challenge their status quo.”

As a result of its team’s analysis and recommendations, Trellis Partners has streamlined its focus, services, pricing and policies, and the company is in the process of hiring again. Student team members were Amanda Finnegan and Andrea Studt, business administration majors; Steven Kinlock, management information systems; and Isaac Warren, finance.

Bleu Door Bakery’s team offered recommendations to improve marketing and operational efficiency. Students consulting with the bakery included Shelby Deaton and Ericka Ziegler, accounting; Dilshan Mendis, management information systems; and Shyanna Reye, management and operations.

Each of the students is a member of WSU Vancouver’s class of 2014.

Businesses that would like to be considered for Business Growth MAP may apply online at



Mistie Josephson, College of Business, 360-546-9533,

Brenda Alling, Office of Marketing and Communications, 360-546-9601,

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