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For Immediate Release


"Shark Tank" Winners Announced

In its inaugural competition, Catawba Valley Community College recently named its top three “Shark Tank” winners.

A take-off on the popular ABC reality show by the CVCC Emerging Entrepreneurs Club, the contest gave business owners—and those with an idea for a business—with an opportunity to pitch their idea to a panel of business leaders and potential investors.

Winners of CVCC's Emerging Entrepreneurs Club Shark Tank competition received scholarships sponsored by Peoples Bank.

First place winner was Kimberly Kelly, owner of Edible Landscaping. Second place winner was Kristen Bearfield, owner of KB Photography. Third place winner was Karen Cooper, Monumental Floral.

Peoples Bank president and CEO Tony Wolfe presented the winners with a CVCC Foundation scholarship funded by Peoples Bank. Kelly won a $1,000 scholarship, Bearfield won a $700 scholarship and Cooper received a $300 scholarship.

Julia Richard was awarded Youth Champion and Tonya Stephens was awarded CVCC Faculty Champion.

“We are very pleased with the number of students and faculty who participated in our first CVCC Shark Tank competition. We are proud to be the only community college in North Carolina sponsoring such an event promoting entrepreneurship, and we look forward to building on this year's success in the future,” said Gary Muller.

Those who served as judges in the final competition include Danny Hearn, president of the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce; David Sain, chairman of the CVCC Foundation; Dr. Haseeb Ahmed, Economics Chair with Johnson C. Smith University; and Tony Wolfe.

For more details, visit, or contact Muller,, 828-327-7000, ext. 4672.

Pictured above are (from left) Gary Muller, club advisor and business faculty; third place winner Karen Cooper, Monumental Floral; second place winner Kristen Bearfield, KB Photography; first place winner Kimberly Kelly, Edible Landscaping; and Tony Wolfe, president and CEO of Peoples Bank.


2550 US HIGHWAY 70 SE • HICKORY, NC • 28602-8302 • 828.327.7000
Updated 10.30.2008: Administrator