LEC marketing students see business ideas put into practice


Students from Lake Erie College’s MK 317: Marketing Management class are seeing their business ideas being put into practice.

MK 317 is an upper level course taught by Kathy Skledar, an adjunct instructor for marketing in the School of Business. Each semester, students in her course are required to apply the marketing theories they’ve learned in Principles of Marketing to businesses in the real world.

This past semester, a student group composed of LEC students Mark Malone, Christine Dawson and Sidney Fletcher developed a marketing plan for Imagineering Foods, a local gluten free food manufacturer owned by Lake Erie College alumnus Jeff Larbig, Class of 1986.

Drawing on marketing concepts they’d learned previously, the students developed concrete ideas that Imagineering Foods could implement to help achieve Larbig’s business goals, including pitching his business to a notable newsletter and suggesting he attend a large event in Columbus showcasing businesses like his own.

“Our group bounced around ideas that could help Jeff expand his business, including the possibility of a finding a storefront location or getting his products in newsletters that feature gluten free foods,” said Christine Dawson, a double major in business and accounting who is minoring in marketing. “We reached out to the Northeast Ohio Celiac Network on Jeff’s behalf and arranged for him to attend the group’s next meeting.”

Thanks to the students’ suggestion, Larbig attended a meeting of the group, which is an organization dedicated to helping people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. He brought samples of his products and received rave reviews on the organization’s website, being featured in one of the group’s newsletters.

“This project shows the students that the concepts they learn in the classroom are really used in real life,” said Skledar. “By picking smaller companies in the area, students are able to engage with responsive business owners who need the help, and ultimately the students are better able to think outside the box.”

Malone, Dawson and Fletcher were gratified to see their ideas put into practice. “Having worked on this project all semester long and having tried a few different avenues, it felt good to see our hard work pay off,” said Dawson. “The company didn’t have a lot of expendable income to devote to advertising, so it was great to help Jeff get some free publicity about his products.”

As Skledar argues, projects like these at Lake Erie College help to integrate students in the surrounding community while educating them on how to be responsible citizens in local, national and international communities once they graduate.

For more information on Imagineering Foods, visit https://www.imagineeringfoods.com.

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