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MARKETING

The Great Game of, Ah, Bird Feeders

The Springfield Remanufacturing Corp. sponsors a Junior Achievement team in a regional competition.
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The Springfield Remanufacturing Corp. (SRC), in Springfield, Mo., has become something of a legend in recent years for getting employees involved in what it calls the Great Game of Business. Lately it's been getting school kids involved as well. The students are members of the first team ever sponsored by SRC in the Ozark regional Junior Achievement competition, an annual event in which groups of enterprising teenagers vie for awards based on the success of businesses they start and run. The SRC-backed team, called Cedar Feeders, produced and sold bird feeders under the tutelage of a group of SRC employees led by Denise Bredfeldt, manager of research and development. Bredfeldt says she used the same management approach that has worked so well at SRC, based on sharing financial information and teaching people how to make money. "The kids were actually kind of bored until we started explaining the numbers," she says. "When we showed them how a share worth $1 at the beginning could turn into $10 down the road, their interest perked right up." They became so interested that they proceeded to run over their competitors. When the winners were announced, at a banquet on February 5, Cedar Feeders walked off with six of the eight individual awards, as well as the event's highest honor -- Company of the Year.

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