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“And the winner is..."

June 22, 2016

James Balcarras, Sales & Marketing at Elmira Pet Products, presents the Company of the Year award to "Accord" team President Irina Opris.

As a part of our commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen, Elmira Pet Products was excited to sponsor Junior Achievement’s (JA) after school Company Program in 2015-2016 as the overall Title Sponsor.

“And the winner is…Accord!”

These words do not mean much when spoken out of context, but when spoken at the JA Company Program Awards Banquet, to a room of over 100 students, parents and supporters, it meant quite a bit to one particular group of eight high school aged students.

“Accord” is the name of one of eight teams who took part in JA’s Company Program this past year.  The program is designed to help young people appreciate and better understand how a real business works.  With the support and guidance of local business professionals, high school students get the opportunity to build their own business enterprise.  Over a 20 week period the students, referred to as Achievers, are challenged to:
  • Incorporate and capitalize by selling shares
  • Organize a Board of Directors and elect a management team
  • Produce and market a product or a service
  • Establish production and sales goals for their company, and monitor progress toward goals at regular company meetings
  • Maintain and analyze financial records
  • Compile an annual report for shareholders, pay a dividend and liquidate the business


Company of the Year award winners “Accord” (pictured above, along with James Balcarras of Elmira Pet Products), also won a number of other group and individual awards including Salesperson of the Year, VP Production of the Year, VP Finance of the Year, VP Marketing of the Year, President of the Year, Shareholders’ Report of the Year, Marketing Company of the Year & Most Valuable Graduating Achiever.

In the case of Accord, the team decided they would make and sell multi-functional para-cord bracelets with a built in whistle that they called the “Alertacord”.  Other company products and services included coasters featuring images from the Waterloo Region, other coasters featuring inspiring quotes, customisable coffee mugs, a product for getting stubborn salt stains out of fabrics, chain link jewelry with a socially responsible twist, an aromatherapy bath solution as well as an event planning service.  The event planning company took an innovative approach by selling their services to JA itself, planning all of the events that were held throughout the duration of the Company Program year.  Clever!

It is well understood among all JA participants that the awards handed out at the end of the program are just an added bonus.  The real value comes in the form of the knowledge and experience gained throughout the process of creating and running the businesses; a great thing to include on the resume of any budding young professional.

We would like to congratulate all of the students who participated in this year’s Company Program and thank all of the organisers, volunteers and other sponsors who made this opportunity available to the students. 

For more information on Junior Achievement and the Company Program visit http://www.jawaterlooregion.com/company-program.html 


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