Sam’s Club Sponsors Young Entrepreneurs Academy

Sam’s Club shows that it believes in its motto, “We’re always happy to help” by investing in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, YEA!, program as a national sponsor. Each winner of the Investor Panels across the country receives a $500 gift card as well as free membership.

The Clovis winner is Chameleon Grips, a company that sells decorative tennis grips. Created by partners Jessica Chilingerian, Alyssa Melillo, Sarahi Nunez and Violette Ballecer, it is ramping up its sales at tennis tournaments and to local tennis players. Plans are to expand into golf grips and possibly wraps for go cart steering wheels. On June 8th they met with Club Manager Kim Holzhauser and Marketing Team Leader Norma Ramirez to spend their gift card and sign up for membership.

Norma Ramirez participated in the Investor Panel in March where the businesses pitched their products and services. She helped determine the amount of funding given to each company and the winner of the competition. Norma, who has represented Sam’s Club since 2010, has been involved in many events throughout the Central Valley especially those presented by non-profits.

She thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the panel. She commented, “I was so impressed with the professionalism and poise in all the students. Their business ideas, plans and power points were amazing. I see a bright future for all of them”.

The collaboration with Sam’s Club is a natural relationship based on its 32 years of assisting small businesses start up and succeed. “We are thrilled to build a relationship with the Young Entrepreneurs Academy and the U.S., Chamber Foundation to help them deliver entrepreneurial education to thousands of young people in the communities we serve,” said Seong Ohm, senior vice president of Membership Services at Sam’s Club. “Learning about savings with Sam’s Club will allow YEA! students to thrive and succeed in the long term. We look forward to growing with these amazing students and the chambers and universities that support them.”

YEA! founder Gayle Jagel commented, “This alliance is designed to generate legendary community engagement and teach young people to embrace their passion, live their dream and change the world.”

YEA! students in the Class of 2016 will take a field trip to Sam’s Club and hear about Sam Walton’s incredible business journey in addition to competing for the $500 gift card at the Investors Panel.

Applications are now available for the Class of 2016.  Visit www or call Fran Blackney at 299-7363 for more information.

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