HOLBROOK, NY--(Marketwired - March 04, 2016) - American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (APFS), a privately-held, independent broker/dealer that services financial advisors across the country, hosted the finals for the sixth annual Long Island Virtual Enterprises International (VEI) Business Plan Competition on Feb. 24, 2016.
Students from six VEI-participating high schools located throughout Long Island convened at the APFS home office in Holbrook, N.Y., to present their virtual business plans to a panel of judges. VEI is a non-profit organization that offers in-school experiential learning programs for high school students to form entrepreneurial, start-up businesses within a live global simulated setting. APFS fervently supports VEI's mission to foster future business leaders early in their academic careers. Since 2014, APFS has been involved in the judging and sponsorship of VEI's local student competitions, providing them with the backdrop of a true corporate experience.
The competition was comprised of seven student-run business teams from six schools: Westhampton Beach High School (Teams AquaTerra and Helios), East Hampton High School (Team Banana Bowls), Patchogue-Medford High School (Team EVO Tech), John F. Kennedy High School (Team On The Move), G. W. Hewlett High School (Team ROC Security) and East Islip High School (Team VE Connected). Each high school team's virtual companies became semi-finalists in the Long Island VE 2015-2016 Trade Show Competition held on Jan. 15, 2016, at Farmingdale State College. Presentations from the seven virtual companies were made during the final competition to a panel of judges comprised of APFS staff and affiliated financial advisors, as well as faculty and staff from Suffolk County Community College, Farmingdale State College and Long Island University. "Being able to judge the VEI students was a remarkable experience," said Vice President of Marketing Strategy Kimberly A. Branch. "The students' creativity, professionalism and dedication to their products, services and companies was very inspirational."
Each of the presentations was held and captured in APFS' in-house production facility, Studio 454, to provide students with playback coverage of their performances as a way to improve on their presentation skills for future VEI competitions. Throughout the event, students had the opportunity to meet and network with the firm's senior management, financial advisors and staff members. Staging the competition at APFS' corporate offices helped students to associate how their virtual business management and operating procedural plans might apply in a real business environment.
Of this year's VEI Business Plan Competition, American Portfolios' (AP) chief strategy officer, Edward Morrison, said, "It's an important part of our role as corporate citizens to cultivate America's future business leaders. These young men and women presented their business plans with professionalism and passion, inspiring us all with their innovative ideas and true entrepreneurial spirit." Since AP's first involvement with VEI, affiliated financial advisor Rick Cross has been participating as a judge in VEI's Long Island business plan competition. He remarked, "My involvement in VEI opened my eyes to this universe of young people who are looking to make a difference and willing to do the hard work necessary to accomplish their goals." Cross further added, "You get more than you give when you see what these fine young future business leaders are capable of."
Judges for the finals in the Business Plan Competition selected teams Helios in first place, AquaTerra in second place, EVO Tech in third place and ROC Security in fourth place. The winning teams will advance to the VEI National Business Plan Competition, which will be held as part of the Youth Business Summit events on Sunday, April 17, 2016, at Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus.
The firm will continue its support of VEI throughout the year with internship and mentoring opportunities at its corporate offices in Holbrook, N.Y., as well as nationwide through its nearly 400 branch offices comprised of financial services business owners.
About American Portfolios
Headquartered in Holbrook, N.Y., APFS is a full-service, independent broker/dealer and member firm of FINRA and SIPC, offering a complete range of financial services, including personal financial and retirement planning, securities trading, mutual funds, access to investment research, long-term care planning, insurance products and tax-free investing. Fee-based asset management is offered through its sister subsidiary, American Portfolios Advisors, Inc., (APA), an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Both entities, along with technology division American Outsources, LLC (AO,) collectively reside under the legal entity American Portfolios Holdings, Inc. (APH). Full-service securities brokerage is available through a clearing firm relationship with Pershing, LLC, a BNY Mellon firm, the securities of which are held on a fully disclosed basis. The company currently serves 792 independent investment professionals located in 360 branch locations throughout the nation, and was named Broker-Dealer of the Year* (Division III) by Investment Advisor magazine in 2015.
*Based on a poll of registered representatives conducted by Investment Advisor magazine. Broker/dealers rated highest by their representatives are awarded "Broker/Dealer (B/D) of the Year."
About Virtual Enterprises
VEI is a non-profit organization that provides experiential learning programs to schools across Long Island and beyond. Through their live global business simulation, students are offered a competitive edge through project-based collaborative learning that allows them to create and operate every facet of a virtual business. This program helps students develop 21st-century skills in entrepreneurship, global business, problem solving, communications, personal finance and technology.
Mary Reese Cavanaugh, Associate Dean of Student Services at Suffolk County Community College; Edward Levine, American Portfolios Financial Advisor; Kimberly A. Branch, Vice President of Marketing Strategy at American Portfolios; Dr. Kimberly R. Cline, President of Long Island University; Dr. Fran Federman, Assistant Dean of College-High School Programs at Farmingdale State College; and Richard P. Cross, American Portfolios Financial Advisor.
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