VE Students Participate in the Midwest Conference & Trade Exhibition For a Day of Inspiration and Joy!

On February 15, 2024, over 725 students, staff, volunteer judges, and guests from Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota participated in the VE Midwest Conference & Exhibition held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. The Opening Ceremony included a keynote address by Graziela Penna Fusaro from VE’s long time college partner, Long Island University. Fursaro is the Dean of the College of Management at LIU Post and Dean of the School of Business and Information Sciences at LIU Brooklyn. 

Student employees from 40 firms gathered to promote and sell their virtual products and services, network with students from other firms, and compete in as many as 11 separate competitions including Best Booth, and Outstanding Salesmanship. In preparation for the upcoming Youth Business Summit in New York City in April, the top 10 firms in the Human Resources, Marketing and Finance competitions competed for the top 3 qualifying spots to represent the Midwest at the national level.

“I continue to be amazed by the professionalism and creativity exhibited at this event,” remarked Midwest Regional Director Wendy Schmitt. “From booth designs to sales pitches and competitive presentations, the level of energy is exceptional!”

Congratulations to all firms in attendance; see below for the competition results.

Our sincere thanks to the many volunteers who helped to make this special day possible, including:

  • Kendra Lee, Midwest Regional Manager
  • Wendy Schmitt, Midwest Regional Director
  • Nour Fayad, Midwest Regional Program Assistant
  • Gina Pol, National Program Director
  • Graziela Penna Fusaro, Long Island University, Keynote Speaker
  • HSBC event-day judges
  • MWC&E facilitator-leaders: Karen Bear, Keith Glavan, Nolan Possley, Adam Boyer, John Hanson, Beth Schmidtgall, Dave Cook, Beth Knuth
  • Midwest Student Ambassadors: Vicki Karalis, Drew Tedrow, and Reece Ihenacho
  • And, all of our truly talented VE facilitators who devote so much of their time, talents and heart into bringing VE to life for their students!