Little Falls student earns state DECA award for project using Larson Boats

Little Falls graduate Amanda Evans completed a creative marketing DECA project using Larson Boats as a model, earning a third-place award in state DECA competition in March. Pictured are (from left): Larson Boats President Al Kuebelbeck, Evans, Executive Vice President and COO Mike O’Connell and Sales and Marketing Coordination Manager Theresa Lisson.

Little Falls graduate Amanda Evans completed a creative marketing DECA project using Larson Boats as a model, earning a third-place award in state DECA competition in March. Pictured are (from left): Larson Boats President Al Kuebelbeck, Evans, Executive Vice President and COO Mike O’Connell and Sales and Marketing Coordination Manager Theresa Lisson.

by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer

 

Recent Little Falls graduate Amanda Evans was looking for a company to use as a model for a DECA creative marketing project in fall 2012. She chose Larson Boats.

“I feel it’s a really good company and a substantial job provider in our community,” Evans said.

She approached Larson Boats President Al Kuebelbeck first and also met with Theresa Lisson, sales and marketing coordination manager.

“She showed me materials the company used for marketing,” Evans said.

“The world needs more ‘Amandas,’” said Executive Vice President and COO Mike O’Connell “She was so eager to jump in and help us. When I saw her the first day sitting in the lobby, I thought she was a junior auditor from an accounting firm. Little did I know she was still a high schooler working on a project.”

Evans continued gathering information during tours of the Triumph, Larson and Striper factories and through interviews with key Larson representatives.

Kuebelbeck talked to her about the company’s background and how the boats have changed. O’Connell gave her a lot of insight about other boat brands and advertising strategies. She was invited to attend the annual Minneapolis boat show.

“Amanda started with no knowledge of the boat business and by this spring, she had a firm grasp on how our business works,” O’Connell said. “She had some great ideas on how to make it better. She amazed us with her work ethic, persistence, passion and energy. She followed her curiosity and developed it into a winning project.”

“I sat down and decided what information I should be researching to help the company,” said Evans. “I looked at boat sales, the top 50 boating cities and boating competitors.”

A few of the recommendations Evans made to improve the company’s branding included making LED lighting available, using more compact storage and utilizing SmartCraft technology, which monitors the engine while running.

“Several competitors offer this and I think it would be a great thing to offer,” Evans said.

At the state DECA competition in March, Evans’ project received a third place trophy.

“She was very professional,” O’Donnell said. “It was a breath of fresh air to observe her enthusiasm for business, watch her apply her talent and work ethic to the project, and come back home to Little Falls a winner. She has a great future in business ahead of her.”

“I cannot say enough nice things about Amanda; she is a bright young woman who is very bright, works hard and has unlimited enthusiasm,” said Little Falls Community High School DECA adviser Mike Delaney. “It has been my pleasure to work with her the past four years and I know she will be successful in college and her future business career.”

“I hope I can stay in touch with Larson Boat Groups,” Evans said. “They’re really growing. After college, I think that would be a great place to have an internship or a job.”

Evans will be attending the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Business.

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