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Young entrepreneur award given at local high school

By Erin O'Connor

Staff Writer

AGAWAM Sean Walsh was awarded first place at the Annual Entrepreneur Contest at Agawam High School on Jan.11. Walsh will move onto the Young Entrepreneurial Scholars (YES) program at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC).

Walsh won the title and $100 prize with his project called "Jimi Thing" Fishing Charters. It involved a fishing company that would be based in Cape Cod and operate seasonally.

Several months ago Walsh and other Agawam High School business students were given a project to put together a business plan including business cards, a power point presentation and brochures for a fake company of their choice.

Head of the program is business teacher Mike Simpson. The event is in its third year and there are two contests per year. All students do their presentations in front of the classes of business students. The students then vote and narrow the choices down to eight to ten finalists. At this point, business leaders in the region are asked to come and judge the finalists.

At the school's contest a panel of judges chose Walsh out of the six groups of finalists competing. The judges included Mayor Richard Cohen, Dee L. Emery-Ferrero-CEO and publisher of "Western Mass Business Woman Magazine"; Anthony Cignoli, owner and public relations and political consultant for A.L. Cignoli Co.; Dan Burack, owner of the Burack Realty Company; Alan Rodgers, an investigator for the Defense Investigators Group; and Gina Fusick, manager at United Bank.

Contestants plans addressed their business goals, their educational and personal goals, and other topics. The presentations followed with a question and answer period from the judges.

Second place went to Paul Glantz and Luke DaSilva with "Spotless" Auto Detailing and third place was awarded to Alex Zmaczynski and Neil Patel with "ZP APPAREL". Second prize was awarded $50 and third place $25.

Over a thousand students in Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut are currently participating each year in the YES! program.

More information about the STCC program can be found at