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For their efforts to help increase library traffic and enhance local counseling services, two Trinity student consulting teams earned second- and third-place honors in the Small Business Institute's Case of the Year regional competition for 2002.

The team of Brett Hill - who was the project manager - Chad DeGroot, Katie Greco, and April Pruim garnered second place for groups with specialized reports. They evaluated the Worth (Ill.) Public Library District's operations, focusing mostly on improving and expanding services and facilities. After a series of surveys, interviews, and analysis, the students advised their client to implement a computerized catalog system, incorporate more program options for adults, and update their technological resources.

Tanya Janoch (project manager), Dan Hamstra, and Jeff Ozinga comprised the team that took third place in the comprehensive category for their work with the Chicago Christian Counseling Center. The group assessed the counseling center's need for marketing strategies and growth plans, and used the information from that research to offer recommendations for improving staff relationships and the quality of their facilities.

The Small Business Institute began in 1972 as a cooperative venture between the U. S. Small Business Administration and selected colleges and universities throughout the country. It bridges the gap between the students' academic instruction and the entry-level training that companies need. Student teams, under expert faculty supervision, provide consulting to small-business owners and managers as part of their educational experience.

Case of the Year awards are given to consulting groups on the undergraduate and graduate levels in recognition of outstanding comprehensive or specialized work on field cases. Comprehensive reports analyze several improvement areas for the client while specialized reports target one or two areas such as marketing research or accounting.

One winner from each category is picked from each of the nine regions within the institute. Trinity's teams were chosen from Region V, composed of Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, and Iowa.

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