Creative Consulting with Foster CBDC & Maya’s Catering

When Danielle McConnell, YEOC Mentor asked the students to describe consulting in their own words during her lecture, hands in the audience rose. “Consulting is advising a business on how to fix problems their company is having” a YEOC mentee said. The students were getting a grasp of what consulting was and how it can be applied to their own lives. Michael Verchot, Founding Director of the Consulting Business and Development Center (CBDC), pushed students during his workshop to think about parents, aunts, uncles or people they know who have small-family owned businesses that could benefit from the center’s programs. He described that a huge part of CBDC is focused on serving as consultants to local minority-owned businesses in the greater Puget Sound area and how any size of business can benefit from a perspective of a consultant. Jim Murphy, Executive Vice President, COO International Division of Costco Wholesale Corporation shared his career path during his Keynote speech. He focused on three keys to success that students could take away: It all starts with attitude, hard work pays off, and always strive to be the best. The YEOC mentees were now equipped to solve their own consulting project of the day.

With this month’s theme being “Creative Consulting”, each mentor team was presented with a consulting challenge to exercise their creativity: How can the locally-owned Maya’s Catering expand their target audience? With two hours to prepare, teams needed to create a strategic marketing plan and present their ideas in a PowerPoint presentation. Students were judged based on the following criteria: creativity, strategic thinking, and public speaking skills. The top three teams from the preliminary rounds participated in the final round held in Shansby Auditorium, presenting their marketing plans to 170 students and a panel of six judges – including professionals from CBDC, Liberty Mutual, and Exequiel Soltero, the Founder and Owner of Maya’s Catering. Check out all the action below:

YEOC student consulting team

YEOC Student Teams Working on their Consulting Recommendations to Maya’s Restaurant.



L-R: Maria Garcia: Costco Scholar, Hana Medina: Reporter at the Costco Connection, Jim Murphy: Executive Vice President, COO International Division of Costco Wholesale Corporation and Korrie Miller: YEOC Program Manager.


YEOC iCreate presentations

Exequiel Soltero, the Founder and Owner of Maya’s Catering joining us as a judge during final round iCreate presentations.


YEOC iCreate winners

The winning team of the iCreate challenge February session.






































This post was written by YEOC Mentor Midori Ng. Photos by YEOC Mentor Emmeline Vu and YEOC Mentor-in-Training Uyen Cao.
The mission of the YEOC (Young Executives of Color) program is to cultivate the academic potential of underrepresented high school student leaders in Washington State through college preparation, powerful mentorship, and the development of real life business skills. Find out more about the YEOC program on the Foster website.

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