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Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities to close NASDAQ July 23

July 22, 2010

Amy Schmitz
(315) 443-3834

Marine corporal Justin Bajema had plans to start his own business after his tour of duty was over, but when his vehicle was ambushed while on a nighttime patrol in Iraq, those plans were put on hold. Nevertheless, during eight surgeries and many months of physical therapy, his dream of becoming an entrepreneur never died. 

A mere five years later, on July 23, 2010, Bajema will ring the closing bell at NASDAQ, as an entrepreneur and a representative of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program. 

A live webcast of the NASDAQ Closing Bell will be available at: http://www.nasdaq.com/about/marketsitetowervideo.asx

The EBV program is a novel social venture that provides experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to veterans with disabilities. The program was first launched at the Whitman School of Management in 2007, and since its inception the EBV has expanded to five other prominent business schools across the nation, including the University of Connecticut, Florida State University, Texas A&M, UCLA and Purdue University. The EBV training is offered without any cost to post-9/11 veterans with disabilities; more than 220 veterans have graduated from the program to date.  

“I didn’t have a grand business plan,” Bajema says. “The EBV helped me pull it all together by getting it structured with achievable goals and a roadmap of what I wanted to accomplish.” 

After graduating from the EBV program, Bajema founded Access Property Management Group, a residential real estate services company providing property management and leasing services throughout the state of Michigan. Today his company manages in excess of $9.5 million in assets, and is rapidly increasing market share. 

Melvin Stith, the dean of the Whitman School and a former Army captain, says “It is an honor that the EBV Consortium is taking part in the NASDAQ closing ceremony. I am privileged that the Whitman School will be represented at the ringing of the bell and in recognition of the important work the U.S. military and its veterans do every day for our communities.” 

Joining Bajema to close the NASDAQ at 3:45 p.m. on July 23 are representatives from each of the universities offering the EBV program, and also other graduates of the program – all who are today proud business owners. EBV Consortium participants closing the NASDAQ include: 

  • Mike Haynie, creator and director of EBV and assistant professor of entrepreneurship at the Whitman School;
  • P. Christopher Earley, dean of the School of Business at the University of Connecticut;
  • Elaine Mosakowski, professor of management at the School of Business at the University of Connecticut;
  • Jerry Lynch, interim dean of the Krannert School of Management;
  • Caryn Beck-Dudley, dean of the College of Business at Florida State;
  • Randy Blass, EBV program director at the College of Business at Florida State;
  • Al Osbourne, senior associate dean in the Anderson School of Management at UCLA;
  • Elaine Hagan, executive director of the Harold Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in the Anderson School of Management at UCLA. 

EBV graduates attending the closing bell will be:

  • Justin Bajema
  • Justin Constantine
  • Andrew Wyatt
  • Ferris Butler
  • Reggie Crane
  • JR Martinez
  • Mark Feffer
  • Daryl Hill
  • Joshua Cruce
  • Peggy Laneri
  • Brian Iglesias

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