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Monday, September 19, 2011

Executive of Anchor Industries challenges USI students to design party tents

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Pete Mogavero
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Betty Vawter
Senior Editor, News & Information Services
Pete Mogavero, chairman and president of Evansville-based Anchor Industries, will serve as the executive in residence for the University of Southern Indiana College of Business and will introduce the 2011 ideation contest. The Anchor Ideation Challenge will offer all USI students an opportunity to pitch a new design for a party tent.

Mogavero will deliver presentations at 10 a.m. and noon September 26 in Carter Hall of the University Center. His presentations are open to the campus and the public. Mogavero will discuss the privately held company, its customers, and products. "The product we sell has been around for 3,000 years,"he said. "We don't have any worries about its future."

Anchor is a leading manufacturer of outdoor, recreational, and industrial fabric products, specializing in a broad variety of tent products, pool covers, and awnings.

Mogavero said college students are at a time in their lives when they are exposed to many parties, celebrations, weddings, and other special events.

"What better group than a bunch of college students to take on this design challenge?" Mogavero said. "We want them to say to themselves, 'Wow, wouldn't it be neat if'."

An Anchor tent will be set up in the campus quadrangle so students can see the product and understand the quality of materials, installation, and other details.

Students will work in teams of up to five people. The first- and second-place teams will receive cash awards of $2,500 and $1,500, respectively. Members of teams in the finals may interview for internships at Anchor. If Anchor develops a contest idea that leads to a patent, students involved in the design will be listed on the patent.

Mogavero said successful innovation is collaborative. "If you work with your peers, you will be amazed at how your half-baked idea gets baked when you bounce it off someone else," he said.

The competition will begin September 28 with an introductory meeting. It will conclude November 17 with three to five finalist teams making presentations at Anchor headquarters. Faculty in the College of Business and Anchor specialists in engineering, research and development, marketing, and sales will serve as mentors as the students develop their designs.

Following the competition, students in engineering will have the opportunity to further develop one or more designs as a senior design project.

Mogavero was a credit/lending officer for National Bank of Detroit from 1978-80 and a financial analyst for the Glass Division of Ford Motor Company in Detroit, Michigan, from 1980-83. Joining Anchor in 1983, he worked in sales, production, and purchasing before becoming president in 1994. He added the responsibilities of chairman in 2002.

He is a member of the board of Old National Bank, the YMCA of Southwestern Indiana, Young Life, and Beacon Group. Mogavero is a member and past president of both the University of Evansville Visitors Board and The Alliance, a forum of business leaders organized by faculty at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and an M.B.A. from Indiana University.

The USI College of Business executive-in-residence program is an annual event that gives students insights into the world of business executives. The Anchor Ideation Challenge is the third annual contest giving students an opportunity to learn about innovation, teamwork, and product development in partnership with an area company.

For more information about the Anchor Ideation Challenge, visit

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