Press releases



NFIB YEF and Sam's Club Announce Young Entrepreneur Awards

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 25, 2008 — The National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Foundation in partnership with Sam’s Club announced the recipients of the NFIB/Sam’s Club Young Entrepreneur Awards, a scholarship program designed to reward and encourage entrepreneurial talents among high school students. The award recipients will attend the university, college, community college or vocational/technical institute of their choice with $2,000 in tuition assistance from the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation.

The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Awards program, which encourages students to consider a career in small business, made its debut in 2003 when it awarded a total of 110 scholarships nationwide. This year over 400 scholarships will be awarded, thanks to the financial support from numerous small business leaders, corporate and foundation supporters. This year’s major corporate sponsors are Visa, The McKelvey Foundation and Sam’s Club.

“We are overjoyed by the tremendous amount of interest in our scholarship program. This year more than 8,000 students applied to receive a NFIB YEF Award, demonstrating that today’s youth embody the entrepreneurial spirit and seek a place in tomorrow’s free enterprise system,” said Don V. Cogman, chair, NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Board of Directors. “NFIB congratulates this year’s winners for their tremendous accomplishments and hopes the scholarships will assist these young entrepreneurs as they continue on their paths towards successful futures.”

This is the first year Sam’s Club has participated as a sponsor in the NFIB YEF Awards program. The Walmart Foundation on behalf of Sam’s Club contributed $30,000 to the scholarship program. Sam’s Club supports small business by lowering the cost of doing business everyday for millions of entrepreneurs and offers services to help them better manage their operations.

“The opportunity to help these students is an investment in our future, and it’s rewarding to know we can play a role in supporting them and helping them achieve their goals,” said Catherine Corely, vice president, marketing at Sam’s Club.

To earn a scholarship, students were required to write an essay describing their entrepreneurial endeavors and future goals. Standardized test scores, GPA, and class rank were also considered. NFIB members around the country nominated applicants for the Young Entrepreneur Awards.

NFIB/Sam’s Club Young Entrepreneur Award recipients are:

  • Branden Forst, Sitka High School, Sitka, Alaska
  • Michael Transon, Horizon High School, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Erik Henry, Monarch High School, Louisville, Colo.
  • Cassandra McKinney, Hillcrest High School, Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • Jason Patrick, Northwood High School, Wheaton, Md.
  • Blaine Beck, Woodbury Senior High School, Woodbury, Minn.
  • Geoff Hamrick, Cardinal Gibbons High School, Raleigh, N.C.
  • Rachel Zahradka, Adams-Edmore Public School, Lawton, N.D.
  • Alexandria Fewell, Brookings Harbor High School, Brookings, Ore.
  • Kyle Markum, Coffee Co. Central High School, Manchester, Tenn.
  • Hillary White, Amarillo High School, Amarillo, Texas
  • Kelsey McCabe, Lafayette High School, Williamsburg, Va.
  • Nathan Stymiest, Oconto Falls High School, Oconto Falls, Wis.


About NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation
The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization promoting the importance of small business and free enterprise to the nation’s youth. More information is available at Foundation is associated with the National Federation of Independent Business; NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small- and independent-business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists send their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system.

About Sam’s Club
Sam’s Club is a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT). The first Sam’s Club opened its doors in Midwest City, Oklahoma in 1983. Today, Sam’s Club serves more than 47 million U.S. Members with locations nationwide, and in Brazil, Canada, China, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Sam’s Club offers exceptional values on merchandise and services for business owners and consumers. Online merchandise and club information is available at

About Philanthropy at Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and its foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the company supports initiatives focused on enhancing opportunities in education, job skills training, sustainability, and health and human services. In 2007, Walmart, Sam’s Club and the Walmart Foundation gave $296 million to communities across the United States. To learn more, visit