Two student teams from the UNM Anderson School of Management, both guided by Dimitri Kapelianis, associate professor of marketing, received Experiential Learning Project of the Year awards at the National Small Business Institute’s® Annual Conference, held Feb. 26.

UNM student teams worked with local Small Business Institute clients on projected submitted for award consideration. The team composed of Adriana Anderson, Justin Gabaldon, Erica Grong, Sue Jones and Sara Mirza won first place in the Graduate Feasibility/Business Plan category for their work with Dance With Me. In the Graduate Specialized category, the UNM team of Byron Aguilar, Savi Janapareddi, Olga Palacios and Zac Webb took third place for their project for Rigole Winery.

SBI Team
Pictured (l. to r.): Justin Gabaldon, Sue Jones, Adriana Anderson, Erica Grong, Sara Mirza and Dimitri Kapelianis

UNM teams have consistently received top honors, competing against 75 member schools nationwide. Since 2014, student teams led by Kapelianis have received national awards seven times, the most of any participating UNM Anderson faculty members.

“We’re very excited for Anderson students to be recognized once again by the National Small Business Institute in receiving these awards, “said Kapelianis. “I’m extremely proud of the excellent work they did to receive this national recognition.”  

In addition, Anderson professor Raj Mahto was recognized by SBI National President Whitney Peak as an SBI Fellow for his "demonstrated commitment to service for the small businesses of America and in his leadership in the Small Business Institute."    

Since its founding in 1978, the UNM Small Business Institute has assisted more than 750 New Mexico-based clients, including start-ups, family enterprises and nonprofit organizations. Every semester, UNM Anderson faculty guide up to 15 student teams in assisting clients with strategic planning and marketing research studies. For more information, visit the UNM Small Business Institute website.