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For Immediate Release


2013 "Shark Tank" Winners Named

Catawba Valley Community College recently named the winners of its third annual Shark Tank competition.

A takeoff on the popular ABC reality show, CVCC’s Shark Tank is sponsored by CVCC’s Business Department, the Emerging Entrepreneurs Club and Duke Energy, which underwrites scholarship awards through the CVCC Foundation Inc. The contest gives students, small business clients and staff the opportunity to pitch their business idea to a panel of business leaders and potential investors.

More than 50 people submitting a business idea for this year’s competition. The field was narrowed to 20 semi-finalists by the business faculty and the Small Business Center staff. Eleven finalists were selected to present to a panel of local business leaders.

This year’s judges included Robin Nicholson, district manager of Duke Energy; Teresa Biggs, executive director of the CVCC Foundation, Inc.; Kelly Farr, vice president of SunTrust Bank, and Dr. Michael Wimberly.

So many qualified candidates entered the competition that it was divided into three categories:  students, Small Business Center clients and faculty and staff. Duke Energy presented cash prizes to the winners.

Student Division:
The Student Division Champion was a team of three students who proposed a decedent transportation service called “A Peaceful Passage Transportation Service.” Consisting of Carolyn Elmore, Sebrina Brooks and John Lineberger, the team won an $800 cash prize.

The team presented its business plan at the regional and state SkillsUSA competition in the Entrepreneurship Business Plan competition. Competing against 27 other teams, they won the national championship held recently in Kansas City, Mo. They also entered the ’13 Catawba Chamber of Commerce Edison Project and plan to compete in the first National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship Shark Tank competition at the October national conference.

Angela Beresa finished second with her “Reading with a Purpose” learning program, which includes the books she is authoring, winning a $600 prize.

David Arnett won third place and a $400 prize with his proposed “Internet Products for Profit” business.

Kyle Thacker snagged fourth place and a $300 prize with his “Sloppy Kisses” pet grooming and kennel service proposal.

Terina Bolick captured fifth place and a $200 prize with her “Lightning Construction” roofing business.

Hazel Cordero won sixth place and a $100 cash prize for her “Latino Buffet” business idea.

Small Business Center Clients Division:
Tina Littlejohn captured first place and an $800 prize with “Grammy’s Chicken Pie,” her family’s chicken pie recipe marketing and distribution idea.

Second place and a $600 prize went to Michelle Bernard’s “Special Spellcast Farm” idea, which markets rabbits and other products.

Will Dagenhart and Terry Carr finished third with their unique “Komfy Koncepts” neck pillow design. They split a $400 prize.

Laura Martin De La Riva finished fourth and received a $200 prize for her business consulting concept.

Faculty and Staff Division:
Staff member Susan Yount was awarded the CVCC Faculty/Staff Championship with her “Timeless Art & Treasures” creative design business.

For more details on this year’s Shark Tank event or CVCC’s Business, Accounting and Entrepreneurship Programs please contact Gary Muller at or 828-327-7000, ext. 4672.

Pictured above are (from left) Carolyn Elmore; competition judge and Duke Energy District Manager Robin Nichols, Sebrina Brooks, and John Lineberger.


2550 US HIGHWAY 70 SE • HICKORY, NC • 28602-8302 • 828.327.7000
Updated 10.30.2008: Administrator