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Every year, a few Warner business senior students from our Seminar in Organizational Strategy and Policy class partner with the Florida SBDC (Small Business Development Center) at USF to assist local small businesses around Lake Wales.

The teams meet with the business owners to understand the nature of the business, client’s needs, and work throughout the semester to develop a strategic plan to address these needs.

A team of students in the Fall 2016 semester worked with the Family Elder Law Firm in Lake Wales. The group consisted of students John Kent, Travis Espich, Cody Stephens and Tiffany Hulse.


(l-r) Warner’s Dr. Verna Omanwa, Jason Penrod of Family Elder Law, and students John Kent, Tiffany Hulse and Cody Stephens


This team effectively worked with the client to develop strategic analysis providing an action plan based on the client’s needs. The students conducted extensive research and provided the client with a comprehensive report.
Due to their excellent work, the team was selected as the
2017 Florida SBDC Student Team of the Year!

“The cross-functional Family Elder Law student team effectively worked with the client to develop a strategic analysis providing a clear action plan based on the client’s needs,” Carl Hadden, Florida SBDC at USF Assistant Director, said.

“The student team applied the knowledge gained throughout their entire business program and demonstrated competence in their approach in addressing the specific needs that were communicated by the client. The team took great ownership of the project by clearly understanding the client’s vision and conducting extensive research in order to provide the client with a comprehensive report.”

Dr. Lynn Johnson
“I am really proud of the fact that our team won, especially when competing against project submissions from other schools like USF and University of Tampa,” said Dr. Lynn Johnson, Assistant Professor and Chair of the Business Department at Warner University. “This shows how serious our students take the real-life portion of their capstone.”


“On behalf of all of us at Family Elder Law, I’d like to congratulate the Warner Student Team’s selection as the Florida SBDC Student Team of the Year,” said Family Elder Law owner Jason Penrod. “Your findings and analysis have greatly benefited our firm and it is only fitting that your excellent work be recognized and commended.” 

Award Presentation, center: Dr. Verna Omanwa and Dr. Lynn Johnson