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February 22, 2013

DWU celebrates National Entrepreneurship Week by inviting local business owners to ‘power lunch’ with students


Laura and Brian Klock, of Klock Werks in Mitchell, were guest speakers for a special luncheon at DWU on Wednesday. Six students applied for and were chosen to have lunch and network with the local business owners for an event organized by Fredel Thomas, director of the Kelley Center for Entrepreneurship at DWU, in celebration of National Entrepreneurship week.

MITCHELL — Good business advice isn’t so hard to find, if you ask the right people.

Six students applied for and were chosen to take part in a one-of-a-kind networking opportunity at Dakota Wesleyan University Wednesday during a “power lunch.”

DWU students Michael Claar, Dan Iverson, Jon Knight, Sterling Dockweiler, Renee Schroeder and Isaac Wheelock-Bouwman were chosen to have lunch with Brian and Laura Klock of Klock Werks in Mitchell – a nationally recognized and award-winning business. Brian is a 1991 graduate of DWU and has been back to campus numerous times to share his story and experience with students. They both shared their successes and fears and listened to the students’ business ideas and questions.

Fredel Thomas, director of the Kelley Center for Entrepreneurship at DWU, organized the luncheon in celebration of National Entrepreneurship week. The students applied for the opportunity to meet with local business owners.

“It was a fantastic ‘power’ lunch,” Thomas said. “We wanted the students to be introduced to some local entrepreneurs who really had to think outside of the box to become success stories, and we wanted to give the students experience in networking. Not just introducing them to prominent business types and saying ‘go for it,’ but giving them a setting where they really have to practice some social and professional skill sets – everything from dressing the part to polite dinner conversation to how to present an idea to another professional and ask for advice.  Laura and Brian provided a great atmosphere that allowed students to connect with not only two very successful people, but also two very real people who have a passion for helping others and a faith in God that drives their business.”

Thomas said that the Klocks emphasized the place God has had in their personal and professional lives, and shared valuable lessons they learned struggling with their own fears, failures and business risks. The lunch was organized to be an intimate size so that students had time to speak to the Klocks individually if they wished.

“One student realized that he might be thinking too small on a couple of his passions,” Thomas said. “Another student shared with them their business idea mission statement and they gave him some very realistic feedback and where to focus.”

After the luncheon, the Klocks gave students their business cards and offered to be available for future advice and feedback.

“I applied to take part in the power lunch because I have so much passion when it comes to entrepreneurship. I am a dreamer, I dream big and I don’t let go of those dreams,” said Schroeder, a non-traditional nursing student from Alexandria who was looking for business and networking advice as she plans to launch her site, Sassy Peaches by Renee. “I was honestly just hoping to gain a little bit of knowledge on business strategies, but I left their feeling inspired and motivated to pursue my business dreams even when fear gets in the way. Laura shared a verse, ‘So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’ from Isaiah 41:10.”


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Last updated: 2/22/13