Amazon Honors ASU Students

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amazon student winners Nov 2022 Thedford Banks (2).jpg
Two of ASU's four COBA students honored during the Amazon prize presentation (contributed).
Amazon Honors ASU COBA Students in National Competition
COBA students awarded Second and Sixth best-in-nation prizes, as well as Certificates of Excellence 
By Kenneth Mullinax/ASU 
Students from Alabama State University's Percy J. Vaughn College of Business Administration (COBA) earned nationwide accolades and awards recently during the final round at Amazon's first-ever Annual Pitch Competition, which was held Nov. 17-18 in Atlanta, Ga. ASU's team was composed of COBA students Ayianna Banks, Celeste Thedford, Chandra Mitchell and Camryn Perry.
The final round of competition consisted of students from four universities who made sales pitches before a panel of judges with a goal of encouraging Wear Brims --a luxury hat company that is owned by African-American entrepreneurs -- to utilize Amazon to sell its product. Students from ASU, Xavier University of Louisiana, Morehouse College, Tuskegee University, and Clark-University Atlanta made it through the first two rounds of competition to take part in the finals.
"I am very excited and pleased at how well our COBA students from Alabama State did throughout all three competitions and especially during the final round that obviously was shared by Amazon's judges and is evidenced by the numerous national awards won by our Bama State business students," said Dr. Sara Bliss Kiser, a professor of Management and the head coach for ASU's students during the competition. 
Kiser explained that Ayianna Banks received Amazon's Second-Place Award, as well as a check for $2500, Celeste Thedford won Amazon's Sixth-Place Award that came with an Amazon gift-card. Certificates of Excellence were presented to Camryn Perry and Chandra Mitchell for their "extraordinary ability." 
The ASU team coach added that Alabama State's four COBA students went to Atlanta to compete in round-two on Nov. 17, where they made 15-minute presentations with a short question and answer session with the judges.
"Afterward, two of our four extraordinary students, Ayianna Banks and Celeste Thedford, were selected by Amazon to advance from round-two to round-three's final competition, where they had another in-person presentation that focused on them using a specialized Amazon sales method to achieve the goal of convincing Wear Brims co-owner, Archie Clay, to select their pitch as the best one presented," Kiser stated.
"Just wait till next year. With the talent that we have from our four COBA students, I would not be surprised if we take first-place in everything in 2023," Kiser added.
News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.