Junior Achievement Chicago

The “Company Program”

Run a Real Business - Learn from Real Business Professionals - Make Real Money


Barrington Takes 1st Place at
The Company of the Year Competition

Every Saturday, 18 BHS students have been meeting with me and their JA mentor, Rohan Trivedi, in the Jr. Commons to prepare for the Junior Achievement Company of the Year competition.  Their task was to develop, market, and sell a product, then liquidate their company, create financial reports, then present to a panel of judges on April 15.  This is the fourth year BHS participated in this authentic business event. 

This year the team wanted to create something that would bring the Barrington community together.  They decided to create A Bite of Barrington, a cookbook of recipes from Barrington residents.  The company was led by its president, Armand Sarkisian. With his guidance, everyone in the company felt valued and motivated. This was a tight team, and a lot of the credit goes to Armand.

After researching several printing options, they decided to go with Morris Press Cookbooks.  The team pulled together as they had only a few days to collect at least 100 recipes from the Barrington community.  Gus Goetze, VP of Production, completed the monumental task of arranging all those recipes in the format required by Morris Press. 

In the meantime, Maddie DuBois, VP of Marketing and Sales, and Sikandar Kazi, VP of Public Relations, met with Barrington area businesses to ask if they would be willing to sponsor their company by making a donation, purchasing cookbooks, or allowing students to sell at their shops.  More than twenty area businesses agreed. We are truly thankful have such community support. 

Ali Elganzouri, VP of Finance, did an amazing job keeping track of all the sales and inventory.  This was not an easy job considering there were 18 sales people and four prices.  A Bite of Barrington offered volume discounts and other incentives.  Another strength Ali showed was his ability to motivate all company members to sell their books and turn in their money in time for the competition.

After several late nights and long weekends, the team was ready for the big day. Their total income was over $5,700 and their profit was over $2,800.  They made a sizable donation to the Cuba Food Pantry. The remaining profit is being distributed to the company employees and shareholders.

Transportation to the event was a challenge we weren’t expecting.  Normally we would have taken the train, but because of a change in school policy, a train was no longer an option.  Due to the time schedule, a school bus wouldn’t be possible, either.  We needed to be at Robert Morris University in downtown Chicago by 8 am.  The students solved this problem by researching other modes of transportation, and found Way to Go Limo.   Students definitely had a way of turning lemons into lemonade.  At 6 am we were enjoying a first class limo ride to Robert Morris.

The day started with the Networking Challenge, where high school students had the opportunity to network with professionals from Ernst & Young, Vibes, Illinois Tool Works, Allstate Insurance, HSBC, United Airlines, FleishmanHillard, LinkedIn, Operation F.A.M., Luxury Management, Microsoft, and Discover Financial.

Next, student officers set up their trade booth for the Business Expo, participated individual interviews for the Officer of the Year competition, and presented to the panel of judges for the Company of the Year competition.  At the same time, company employees participated in variety of other challenges presented by JA sponsors.

Michael Gear was on the winning team in the “Great Leadership Experiment” teambuilding event.  Ali Elganzouri won as most professionally dressed male.  Three Officer of the Year awards went to BHS students.  Armand Sarkisian won as President of the Year, Sikandar Kazi was VP of the Year for Sales and Customer Service, and Ali Elganzouri was VP of the Year for Finance. 

The last award announced was Company of the Year.  We were all so excited when they announced Bite of Barrington as the winning company.  They now qualify to advance to the national level in Washington DC in June.

On the way home, students were already starting to think of ideas for next year.

Big thanks goes to their Rohan Trivedi of Walgreens and Peter Truschke of Junior Achievement for providing professional guidance, and to the Barrington community for supporting their company by contributing recipes, purchasing a cookbook, or being a Bite of Barrington sponsor. We are truly thankful to Barrington!

Please congratulate these BHS students and our Barrington sponsors:

Officers Barrington Sponsors
President: Armand Sarkisian
VP Finance: Ali Elganzouri
VP Marketing: Maddie DuBois
VP Sales: Sikandar Kazi  
VP Production: Gus Goetze  
Barrington Bank & Trust
Barrington Village Town Hall
Berkshire Hathaway
BG Associates LLC
BHS Student Council
Brunch Cafe
Clarke's Bakery
Cook Street Coffee
Jewel Osco
Joyce’s Driving School
Mid America Tile
Spring Donut
Tommi Terri
TT Patton
Zaza's Tavola
Balasubramanian, Arjun
Baldassano, George
Bradshaw, Heather
Buitrago, Isabella   
Colagrossi, Anna
Edels, Nicholas   
Gear, Michael   
Gizel, Wesley  
Governale, Marisa   
Mehta, Yash
Nguyen, Mia
Vimawala, Aliyan
Walia, Aryan





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