UNI JPEC CBA Student Entrepreneur of the Year 2009

On April 3, the College of Business Administration (CBA) at the University of Northern Iowa announced the award of two UNI CBA John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) Student Entrepreneur of the Year Awards to students who have demonstrated success in running small businesses. The award includes a $200 cash prize for each student entrepreneur.

Stephen Rausch of Iona, a senior Supply Chain Management major received the award for his business, Rausch Brothers Trucking. Rausch Brothers Trucking is a family-owned trucking business which has grown to become one of Iowa's largest sub-contractors in the construction and agricultural lime industries. He is currently in the process of diversifying the company into handling commercial freight. Rausch donated his cash award to the UNI Student Business Incubator to help other student entrepreneurs start their own businesses.

"It is not only a great honor to accept this award from a great organization that is the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, but also a great privilege to work beside some of the finest individuals who are pioneering tomorrow's businesses," said Rausch. "The people are great, the support and help is there, and it gives you a chance to take your ideas to the next level." 

Mark Watje of Cedar Falls, a senior Marketing Management major and owner of JIT Truck Parts also received an award for the development of his small business. JIT Truck Parts specialize in providing advanced delivery of parts for truck and equipment manufacturers in Iowa, Southern Minnesota, and Eastern Illinois. Watje is currently developing a line of lights for trucks and trailers and plans to expand product offerings in the future.

"I've been very stretched between school, a part time sales job, and starting my own business. This award makes me feel that my hard work hasn't gone unnoticed. I really look forward to continuing my entrepreneurial efforts with JPEC," said Watje. "This award serves as a personal reminder for what I can accomplish with my business."

The annual award is given to outstanding UNI student entrepreneurs admitted to the CBA who own and operate an independent small business which has demonstrated sales and definable goals. The award is presented at the CBA's annual spring recognition ceremony.