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Source: Kathy Brockway, 785-826-2695,

Monday, Feb. 9, 2009


SALINA -- Skip Yowell, the co-founder of one of the most internationally recognized backpack makers, JanSport, will deliver the fifth annual Students in Free Enterprise Entrepreneurship Lecture at Kansas State University at Salina.

Yowell's presentation, which is free and open to the public, is one of several events being offered at K-State at Salina's "Entrepreneurshipology 2009: A Week for the Opportunity-Obsessed," Feb. 16-20. The week is being organized by the college's chapter of Students in Free Enterprise.

Yowell, who is vice president, global public relations, of JanSport, will speak at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, in the College Center's Conference Room. A 1964 graduate of Great Bend High School, Yowell will discuss his journey from western Kansas to adventure-junkie to co-founder of a top company in the outdoor industry.

JanSport was founded in 1967 by Yowell and his cousin Murray Pletz and Pletz's wife, Jan. The company makes a variety of backpacks and travel gear, as well as collegiate apparel, all sold around the world. It is headquartered in San Leandro, Calif.

Yowell also is the author of "The Hippie Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder and Other Mountains."

"This week gives K-State at Salina students the opportunity to learn about and embrace the challenge of entrepreneurship," said Kathy Brockway, associate professor of arts, sciences and business and faculty adviser to Students in Free Enterprise.

Other events include:

* Monday, Feb. 16, Take an Entrepreneur to Class Day, featuring Tom Hanna, known as "The Tinman" and "the quintessential top fuel dragster," who will visit classrooms on campus throughout the day to discuss how race care designers/builders and entrepreneurs are alike.

* Wednesday, Feb. 18, Meet a Salina Entrepreneur, 10:30-11:20 a.m. in Room 101 of Building 820. The panel discussion will feature Salina-area entrepreneurs Lee Young, Salina Vortex; Trace Walker, Blue Beacon; Roy Applequist, Great Plains Manufacturing; and Lisa Duong, Mokas Cafe and Bakery.

* Friday, Feb. 19, Business Jeopardy, a students versus faculty competition, 11:30 a.m., in the K-State at Salina cafeteria.