Seven members of Elmwood Park High School’s Virtual Enterprises International (VEI) class will soon be competing for national honors in New York City.
They will be representing their own VEI company, Alectrona, which (virtually) produces solar-powered portable chargers from recyclable materials.
- Philip Budzyna
- Emma Klockenkemper
- Olivia Krzeminski
- Lillian Kulmatytska
- Victoriya Osobska
- Anthony Ontiveros
- Allison Scheidt
They will compete April 5 in the final round of VEI's 2021-22 National Competitions in Finance, Marketing and Human Resources, which will be held at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus as part of the 2022 Youth Business Summit.
"I am incredibly proud of them," said EPHS business teacher Ms. Melissa Martinez, who oversees the school's VEI program. "They have worked so hard, and they deserve this. We are going to finals with every intent on winning."
The Road to NYC
Earlier this year the students, all seniors, faced representatives from other virtual firms in VEI's Central and Northeast regions as they advanced through the first two rounds of their respective competitions.
Both rounds were done virtually. The first, held in January, was based on written presentations. The second, in February, required a five-minute video recording from each team. (The EPHS team videos are available here.)
The final round, featuring the top VEI students from across the nation, will be based on in-person or virtual presentations of each team's work to a panel of judges. The judges will ask questions and factor the responses into their final assessments.
Meet the National Finalists: Human Resources
ABOVE: Seniors Philip Budzyna and Allison Scheidt will compete in the national finals as Alectrona's human resources team. (D401 photo by Dave Porreca)
Representing EPHS and Alectrona in the VEI National Human Resources Competition will be:
- Allison Scheidt, Chief Human Resources Officer
- Philip Budzyna, Human Resources Specialist
They will compete against human resources teams from 38 other top virtual firms.
To make it to the final round, the Alectrona HR team members went up against 246 firms in the first round and 109 in the second. Judges awarded them a score of 4.0 on a 5-point scale in the first round (vs. an average score of 3.6) and 4.0 in the second (vs. 3.7 average score).
Watch the video they produced for their second round:
Meet the National Finalists: Marketing
ABOVE: Seniors Anthony Ontiveros, Emma Klockenkemper, Lillian Kulmatytska and Olivia Krzeminski will compete in the national marketing finals. (D401 photo by Dave Porreca)
Representing EPHS and Alectrona in the VEI National Marketing Competition will be:
- Anthony Ontiveros, Chief Marketing Officer
- Olivia Krzeminski, Public Relations
- Lillian Kulmatytska, Marketing Associate
- Emma Klockenkemper, Marketing Associate
They will compete against marketing teams from 37 other top virtual firms.
To make it to the final round, the Alectrona marketing team members faced 332 firms in the first round and 106 in the second. Judges awarded them a score of 3.8 in the first round (vs. 3.3 average score) and 4.5 in the second (vs. 3.7 average score).
Watch the video they produced for their second round:
Meet the National Finalists: Finance
ABOVE: Senior Victoriya Osobska will compete in finance. (D401 photo by Dave Porreca)
Representing EPHS and Alectrona in the National Finance Competition will be:
- Victoriya Osobska, Chief Financial Officer
She will compete against finance teams from 18 other top virtual firms.
To make it to the final round, the Alectrona CFO squared off against 182 firms in the first round and 70 firms in the second. Judges awarded her a score of 4.0 in the first round (vs. 2.5 average score) and 4.0 in the second (vs. 3.3 average score).
Watch the video she produced for her second round:
Other Alectrona Firm Members
Joining the three Alectrona teams in New York City will be other members of the Alectrona firm who will participate in VEI competitions separate from the national finals:
- Anna Klockenkemper, Sales Associate
- Jocelyn Mendoza, Graphic Designer
- Diego Morales, Chief Executive Officer
- Jesus Morales, Financial Specialist
- Matthew Smith, Chief Technology Officer
- Armando Torres, Sales Associate
The students will compete in Best Booth Design, Best Elevator Pitch and Best Salesmanship.
What Is VEI?
VEI is a business education nonprofit that works with schools around the world. Through VEI, students learn about business by creating and managing their own virtual companies.
With guidance from their teacher, Ms. Martinez, this year’s students created Alectrona, a virtual firm that produces solar-power portable chargers.
The students designed and launched a company website, which includes a description of their products and an executive summary stating their mission, business rationale, marketing plan and financial projections.
The company’s mission, as stated on Alectrona’s website, is to “create an eco-friendly environment by cleaning up the ocean and converting plastic waste into convenient electronic charging products for all ages. This product aims to be portable and reliable to use for those who are in demand for it. Our end goal is for everyone to contribute to reducing pollution, global warming, and create an eco-friendly environment for us and future generations.”
A Successful Year
Regardless of how the national finals turn out, this has already been a tremendous year for the EPHS VEI program.
Besides advancing to the final round in VEI's human resources, marketing and finance competitions, Alectrona staff members have won other honors this year, including:
- Philip Budzyna & Allison Scheidt, National Company Newsletter Competition: Top 10%
- Diego Morales, Elevator Pitch: Top 10%
- Allison Scheidt & Anthony Ontiveros, Design for Delight (D4D): Top 3 in Great Lakes Region
- Matthew Smith, Website Competition: Top 10%
Congratulations to all the members of Alectrona, and good luck in New York!
ABOVE: Meet the staff members of Alectrona, the 2021-22 EPHS virtual enterprise firm! Top row from left: Armando Torres, Anthony Ontiveros, Diego Morales, Jesus Morales, Matthew Smith and Philip Budzyna. Bottom row from left: Victoriya Osobska, Anna Klockenkemper, Olivia Krzeminski, Lillian Kulmatytska, Emma Klockenkemper, Allison Scheidt and Jocelyn Mendoza. Melissa Martinez is their teacher and sponsor. (D401 photo by Dave Porreca)