ACG Cup 2023 -- Competition Details

All you need to know heading into the next competition

Mark your calendars! Our ACG Cup 2023 competition will take place on Saturday, February 25, 2023. 
 

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NEW for 2023: After two years of virtual competition, we are pleased to host the next iteration of ACG Cup in a hybrid manner at GVSU's Seidman College of Business. This year, teams will be able to choose whether they'll compete in person or via a livestream feed.

 

 

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NEW for 2023: We'll host a networking reception in-person on Friday, February 24, 2023, from 4:30 - 7:00 PM EST. This is your chance to meet judges and business community members in person and make meaningful networking connections. Place TBD, time subject to change. Questions? Reach out to us anytime at acgcup@acgwmich.org. 
 

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About
ACG Cup
IMPORTANT
Dates &
Details
Student Information &
New Competition 
Parameters
The RULES

Entry Requirements

How to 
REGISTER
Rewards Valuation Seminar NEW: Friday evening
reception 
Information for
Professors & Advisors
Judges
Gallery

NEW: ACG Cup 
Advisors

Liaisons Finance 
Feud
Career
Conversations
Hired a Competitor Participating
Colleges &
Universities
ACG Cup
Committee

Our Sponsors

     

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when


 


December 1, 2022 --
February 25, 2023

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where




Reception, 2/24:
TBD

Competition, 2/25:
Seidman College of Business,Grand Valley
State University,
Grand Rapids, MI

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Hybrid competition option! Choose
in-person attendance or livestream your
team to our judges.

Our next ACG Cup Competition is coming up! 
IMPORTANT DATES: All times are Eastern Standard Time (EST)
The 2023 ACG Cup Competition timeline is here! Every effort will be made to keep dates as they are; times may change slightly. Mark your calendar now!

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 Download/print our February competition calendar, as shown below, HERE:
 

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Learn more with our FAQs here! 

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ACG Cup is an intercollegiate competition among business school students from colleges and universities across the nation. Retaining and recruiting talent in West Michigan is a major objective of the Cup competition for AC's Western Michigan Chapter. During competition, students analyze complex business cases and present strategies involving merger and acquisition alternatives, valuation, capital markets, finance options, and corporate strategy. Student participants gain invaluable experience in a real-world context, receive feedback from leaders in the local business community, and create networks, all while competing for CASH! 

ACG Western Michigan is known for bringing together a robust and diverse group of students representing teams from around our state and the nation. Our pivot to an all-virtual competition during the last two years enabled us to welcome teams from across the United States, from Texas to New York! For 2023, teams from all over will have the choice to compete virtually via a livestreamed feed or join us in person at Grand Valley State University's Seidman College of Business. We'll also host a networking reception the evening before our competition so teams can make new connections to the West Michigan business community and judges taking part in the ACG Cup initiative.


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  •  One Competition! The ACG Cup competition will be held as a single competition open to all students who are currently registered at least half-time at participating colleges and universities during the 2022- 2023 academic year. Participants are generally finance, accounting, marketing, international business, and management majors, and teams may be comprised a mix of undergraduate and graduate students, or teams may be comprised of solely undergraduate or solely graduate  students. There will be no separate divisions for undergraduates and graduate students.
     
  • Competition Format: This year our competition will have in-person and livestreamed competition options. Teams will choose which way they'll participate upon registration. 
     
  • Team Capacity: We have a 49-team capacity total, whether your team participates in person or via a remote presentation.
     
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  • Prizes: The winning team will take home a cash prize of $8,000 and receive the chance to have a dinner or professional meeting with a competition sponsor. Likewise, the runner-up team this year will also receive the chance to have a dinner or professional meeting with a competition sponsor.
     
  • Team Size: Each team, regardless of makeup, must consist of at least three members and no more than five members. To be considered for the competition, teams must finalize team registration by 9:00 AM EST on Feburary 8, 2023. See "The Rules" and "How to Register" sections for more detailed information on competition parameters. Reach out to ACG Cup staff if your team has concerns with registration timing; we are here to help you succeed!
     
  • The Case: The case study will simulate a real-world business situation offering students a learning perspective that diverges from textbook examples. Faculty advisors are encouraged to provide guidance to students prior to the case being released to students, but after the case is released, professors are prohibited from offering advice, critiques, or detailed solutions after the case materials are distributed.
     
  • Student Investment Clubs: Are you part of a student investment club and want someone to come and speak about ACG Cup? Contact us at acgcup@acgwmich.org, and we'll be sure to put your club in contact with our liaisons.

Attention Teams: Be sure to whitelist the email address "acgcup@acgwmich.org" so you don't miss important communications about our competition!

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**Participation in the competition, including eligibility and payment of any cash prize, is subject to all applicable laws, rules, and regulations of all relevant jurisdictions.

  

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The following list is comprised of colleges and universities that have participated in our competition in the recent past. As we continue to grow our competition, we are eager to expand the list of competing institutions. If your institution is taking part for the first time in 2023, email ACG Staff at acgcup@acgwmich.org and we'll add you to this list!

 

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  1. Teams may be comprised a mix of undergraduate and graduate students, or teams may be comprised of solely undergraduate or solely graduate students. There will be no separate divisions for undergraduates and graduate students -- every team will compete for one overall winning title.
  2. Teams shall be made up of three to five members from the same institution who will present the case study in all rounds of competition for which they are eligible; schools are encouraged to register at least two teams in the competition.
  3.  No institution shall register more than five teams.
  4. Participating students must be officially registered at least half-time at participating schools during the 2022-2023 academic year.
  5. Teams shall register for the competition no later than 9:00 AM EST on Thursday, February 8, 2023. In order for teams to submit competition materials, teams must be pre-registered. 
  6. Teams choosing to compete remotely (by livestreaming their presentation to judges) will receive a link and presentation time prior to February 25, but all materials are due to ACG Western Michigan by Tuesday, February 21 (see Entry Submission Requirements below).
  7. Teams must have team names; names may NOT reference the students' school/university in any way, formal or informal. Teams not adhering to this requirement will be excluded from competition and no refunds will be issued. ACG Staff will alert teams with problematic names as soon as possible to avoid delays.
  8. Teams may NOT use outside resources to prepare the case study for the competition. They may only use the materials made available to them with the case study. Any deviation from this will result in disqualification.
  9. Teams will be placed into judging groups randomly. Depending on the size of the competition and the number of teams from each institution, teams from the same college/university might compete with one another.
  10. Students may seek general finance understanding, presentation training, and mentoring from faculty, ACG members, ACG Cup Committee members, and outside resources before the case is distributed. They may also use preparation materials located in their course pack. Teams are encouraged to attend our virtual Valuation Seminar on Friday, February 10, 2023 to better understand the intricacies of the case. 
  11. Once the case has been distributed, teams may not enlist help from outside the team, including from professors, for any aspects specific to the competition case.
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    Cover Letter: Teams must submit a cover letter for "entry" into this year's competition and will accompany your supplemental materials.The cover letter aims to evaluate your team's written communicaton skills and introduce your team of investment bankers to the Board of Directors (Judges) in a succinct manner.

    Attention Teams: Be sure to whitelist the email address "acgcup@acgwmich.org" so you don't miss important communications about our competition! [EDIT THIS SECTION  MORE FULLY]

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Teams must submit twelve (12) hard copies of presentation materials. Please see requirements for your team's choice -- in-person or virtual presentation -- below.

In-person teams must prepare the following:

  1. Cover Letter: New to the 2023 ACG Cup competition, a one-page, hard copy cover letter must accompany each team's entry materials. Details of Cover Letter components will be availble to registered teams.
  2. Hard copy handouts detailing each team's case evaluation (including the Cover Letter). Each team must provide twelve copies of all presentation materials, due at Registration the day of competition (February 25, 2023).
  3. All materials must be submitted in the English language.
  4. All team members must take part in the presentation.
  5. Teams must have team names; names may NOT reference the students' school/university in any way, formal or informal. Teams not adhering to this requirement will be excluded from competition and no refunds will be issued
  6. Teams must appoint a Team Captain or Primary Contact for ease of communication. The Team Captain will receive communication regarding entry submission of competition materials.
  7. Team attire shall consist of business wear, and shall NOT showcase any particular college/university affiliation (e.g., necktie, scarf, lapel pin, etc.) 
     

Virtual teams must prepare the following: This list is largely the same as above. Please pay close attention to items 1 and 2, as judges will still expect to receive hard copies of the teams' Cover Letters and supplemental materials prior to the actual competition date of February 25. Teams choosing to compete virtually will receive a link and presenation time prior to February 25.

  1. Cover Letter: New to the 2023 ACG Cup competition, a one-page cover letter must accompany each team's entry materials. Details of Cover Letter components will be available to registered teams.
  2. Handouts detailing each team's case evaluation (including the Cover Letter). 
  3. Materials from items 1 and 2 must be either
    a. Provided as twelve (12) hard copies printed, assembled, and shipped to ACG Western Michigan, received by same on or before Tuesday, February 21, or
    b. Emailed as a PDF to ACG Western MIchgian for assembly by same by Tuesday, February 21.
  4. All materials must be submitted in the English language.
  5. All team members must take part in the presentation.
  6. Teams must have team names; names may NOT reference the students' school/university in any way, formal or informal. Teams not adhering to this requirement will be excluded from competition and no refunds will be issued
  7. Teams must appoint a Team Captain or Primary Contact for ease of communication. The Team Captain will receive communication regarding entry submission of competition materials.
  8. Team attire shall consist of business wear, and shall NOT showcase any particular college/university affiliation (e.g., necktie, scarf, lapel pin, etc.)
  9. Teams shall not appear in front of banners, podiums, or other signage that identifies the team's university or college. Likewise, name plates and virtual backgrounds on livestreamed presentations shall not identify the team's university or college.

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REGISTRATION FOR THE ACG CUP 2023 COMPETITION WILL OPEN AT 9:00 AM EST ON THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2022.
Important steps and details for registration follow. Please be sure to read them and fill out the registration form in its entirety. 

  A. How to register
1) Complete registration must include all team members' names and emails in the appropriate section(s) of the registration form.
2) Registration information must include a team name that does not reference the team's college/university affiliation.
3) Team registration fees are $125. ACG Staff will invoice the individual identified as the team's main contact or professor/advisor as indicated on the registration form.
4) A single individual (team member) can act as the main contact and register the entire team. A team captain must be identified when registering. 
5) *IMPORTANT* Once a team has been successfully registered, each team member will receive an email notification of registration success and a link through which to upload a resume, headshot, and LinkedIn profile. 
6) If your team information requires any editing after the registration has been finalized, please email ACG Staff at acgcup@acgwmich.org for help.

 B. ACG communication with teams
1) Upon ACG staff review of registration, all team members will be notified via email. The email will contain a link to upload headshots and resumes that will allow judges and company leads to find resumes in the Resume Gallery. 
2) Only Team Captains will receive communications regarding how to enter materials after the case has been released (see above).
3) ACG staff will communicate any important updates or changes to the Team Captain, and if necessary, to the Main Contact listed on that team's registration.
4) *IMPORTANT* Once a team has been successfully registered, each team member will receive an email notification of registration success and a link through which to upload a resume, headshot, and LinkedIn profile. 
5) If your team information requires any editing after the registration has been finalized, please email ACG Staff at acgcup@acgwmich.org for help.

Questions? Contact ACG Western Michigan at acgcup@acgwmich.org or call (616) 732-7149. 

Attention Teams: Be sure to whitelist the email address "acgcup@acgwmich.org" so you don't miss important communications about our competition!


 

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  • Fees: The cost to participate in the 2023 competition is $125 per team. ACG Staff will invoice the individual identified as the team's main contact or professor/advisor indicated on the registration form. This fee is due prior to the competition entry deadline of February 8, or the team may be excluded from competition. ACG Staff has the ability to bundle team registration fees and invoice your department or liaison directly.

  • Limited number of teams: Each institution is limited to sending five (5) teams to the ACG Cup competition.

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     There are no separate divisions for undergraduate and graduate students. All students are competing together for the top prize. 
     

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  • Prizes: The winning team will take home a cash prize of $8,000 and receive the chance to have a dinner or professional meeting with a competition sponsor. Likewise, the runner-up team this year will also receive the chance to have a dinner or professional meeting with a competition sponsor.
     
  • RegistrationTeams can be registered by professors/advisors or by a team member. Professors/instructors can be identified as the person financially responsible for the team's registration fee and also act as the team's Main Contact. Each team must be registered separately. 

  • Each College/University is encouraged to assign a faculty member to work with the ACG Cup liaison and the appropriate student organizations within their institution. A student representative may also act a Cup competition contact and assist in disseminating information. 

    • E-mail ACG Staff at acgcup@acgwmich.org to share your contact information and to receive any information regarding ACG Cup liaisons to your institution.

    • Student Investment Clubs: Are your students part of a student investment club and want someone to come and speak about ACG Cup? Contact us at acgcup@acgwmich.org, and we'll be sure to put your club in contact with our liaisons.

  • Promote the competition to encourage student participation. ACG Staff will share promotional language for email and social media as it becomes available. Start early -- in the fall semester! -- and make your students aware of the upcoming ACG Cup competition.

  • Provide or facilitate training and mentoring for the student teams.

  • Distribute information on forming teams and working the case study.

  • Encourage teams to register for the Valuation Seminar. The 2023 Valuation Seminar will be held on Friday, February 10, 2023. 

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Cover Letter: Teams must submit a cover letter for "entry" into this year's competition. The Cover Letter aims to evaluate your team's written communicaton skills and introduce your team of investment bankers to the Board of Directors (Judges) in a succinct manner. Details of Cover Letter components will be available to registered teams.

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ACG Western Michigan has developed a roster of liaisons to assist professors and students understand and promote the Cup competition. Our team of liaisons is headed by an energetic duo that is ready to help answer your questions, deliver important information for your teams, and guide you through the process. Learn more about our 2022 Cup liaison support HERE and ask how they can help you communicate the excitement and importance  of the ACG Cup competition. 

 
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Chloe Benzer, Liaison
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Gunther Brinkman, Liaison Lead
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Eric Fischer, Liaison Support

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Finance Feud is a fundraising event to support ACG Cup. Held in the autumn preceding the Cup competition, Finance Feud presents a fun way for teams in business and related industries to try to one-up each other in a friendly trivia competition. This fun, high-energy trivia night pits teams from accounting and law firms as well as corporations and universities against one another. The winning team takes home the Victorious Hulk trophy and bragging rights for the next year.

Our Finance Feud to support ACG Cup 2022 made a live comback in a big way! Sixteen teams from finance, investment banking, and accounting joinied us for trivia and camaraderie at the University Club in downtown Grand Rapids on October 28, 2021, and a rollicking good time was had by all. We are grateful for our table sponsors and our door prize sponsor,  EHTC, for making the night possible. A special thank you is extended to emces Matt Fegan and Brian Hamilton, who volunteered their time and talent to help make this program a success.
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The 2021 winning team from BHS Insurance: Brainbox Ninjas! (L to R: Connor Grimes, Tony Grosso, Jasmine Piggott, Steve Amato, Spencer Olson, and Caleb Pols)

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The Valuation Seminar offers an introduction to M&A from different perspectives including, a Private Equity Group that uses the Leverage Buy-Out (LBO) methodology to acquire companies, and the Strategic Buyer that could use all cash or stock to acquire companies. The seminar focuses on theoretical and technical approaches to valuation, as well as qualitative factors that influence the value of a company. Valuation Seminar proves instrumental in understanding the ins and outs of M&A from different perspectives, and it also provides participants the opportunity to network with other students and ACG members. 

The Valuation Seminar is free to attend for any competing student, professor/advisor, and ACG Western Michigan Chapter members. This winter's Valuation Seminar will be held virtually on Friday, February 10, 2023, from 1- 3:30 PM Eastern TimeThe Valuation Seminar presents an interactive program to help our competitors understand how to approach this year's case. In that vein, this year we will once again offer a hybrid model of on-demand video clips and live presentations to encourage participation and questions. Non-competitors who wish to attend our Valuation Seminar to enhance their understanding and/or practice may register for a fee. 

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Register now for our 2023 Valuation Seminar! [REGISTRATION NOT YET AVAILABLE] Individuals from Cup teams are encouraged to attend and must register; there is no charge for Cup competitors or professors.

 


Want to know more about why you should attend the Valuation Seminar? FInd out now! 
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Learn more about our Valuation Seminar Leads HERE.
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Todd McGuire, Valuation Seminar Lead
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Nathan Olberding, Valuation Seminar Lead
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Jessica Kuster, Valuation Seminar Support


 

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Need to know more about how it'll work? Learn more HERE.
 

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During Career Conversations, student competitors meet one-on-one with company leads and decision makers looking for new talent. This year we're presenting Career Conversations in a new, informal format that will allow for face-to-face networking between ACG Cup participants and members of our business community. Competitors will be able to meet and greet judges, advisors, and others at our Friday evening reception on February 24 and throughout the morning of our Competition on Saturday, February 25. (More details to come as this event is planned.) 
 

FOR COMPETITORS
Cup competitors have the opportunity to connect and network with representatives from Michigan companies, as well as competition judges, who represent many prestigious local and regional firms. ACG Western Michigan members are actively looking for graduate and undergraduate students with a finesse for finance who possess the skills and qualities that enable them to become experts in corporate finance, investment banking, financial advisory and private equity. Career Conversations connects participants with employers in the greater West Michigan region. Every year, student competitors are hired as a direct result of participating in this competition.

FOR PARTICIPATING BUSINESS COMMUNITY MEMBERS
Career Conversations presents an opportunity for both ACG members and sponsors to create awareness about the deal making community and to expose students to potential career openings in this field. Career Conversations represents a chance for participants to GET CONNECTED with high-profile local firms. 

 

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See the list of participating companies and firms that sent representatives to our ACG Cup 2022 event. Click on any logo to learn more about them.

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 Some companies and firms that have hired a Cup competitor in the recent past are included here. Click to view their websites for more information about what sort of opportunities could await you!
 

Adamy Valuation BDO USA, LLP Blackford Capital Calder Capital
Charter Capital Partners Connection Builders Crowe LLP DWH
Mercantile Bank of Michigan NuVescor Waseyabek Development
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 Introducing ACG Cup Advisors
Feedback matters. Professional feedback about how a team can strengthen their presentation or points to address can teach our competitors so much. That's why this year, we're introducing a team of ACG Cup Advisors -- professionals from our business community who will be assigned to our competition judging rooms and offer follow-up guidance to our Round One winners. After receiving feedback from our judges on your team's presentation, each team advancing beyond Round One will receive fifteen minutes of time from an ACG Cup Advisor in a one-on-one session to help them use their feedback to strengthen their Final Round presenation. Meet our 2023 ACG Cup Advisors now.
 

       
       
       

 

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Megan Odegaard, Judges' Lead

 

Our judges' combined experience and expertise in M&A, valuation, and financial products allows them to help simulate a real-world experience for our competitors. Judges come from our business community and volunteer their time and talent to make our competition a success. Our Judges' Lead, Megan Odegaard, works with Cup Committee members to recruit and guide our judges through competition scoring and training. Megan is supported by committee members Caleb Pols and Krista Flynn, who help our judges navigate the Cup Competition. Learn more about the Judges' Support team HERE.

 

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Caleb Pols, Judges' Support
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Krista Flynn, Judges' Support

Our volunteer judges come from our business community and provide our competitors with real connections to their industries. They are professionals who dedicate their time to ensuring the ACG Cup competition is a well-rounded experience and we are so thankful for them. Please select the bios below to learn more about the professionals who volunteer their time and talents to judge our competition.

       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

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Meet the Committee that makes our ACG Cup Competition possible! 
Select a Cup Committee member to learn more about his/her background. 

Chloe Benzer, Crowe
Liaison Lead
Gunther Brinkman, Snackwerks
Liaison Lead
LoÏc Dimithe, Miller Johnson
Case Writing Lead
Heather Edwards, PAR
ACG Cup Organizer
Matt Fegan, EHTC
Finance Feud Lead
Eric Fischer, BDO USA
Liaison Support
Krista Flynn, PNC Bank
Judges' Support
Jake Helwick, Adamy Valuation
Chair

Jessica Kuster, Hello
West Michigan
Valuation Seminar Support

Todd McGuire, Plante Moran
Valuation Seminar Lead
Megan Odegaard, BDO USA
Co-Chair, Judges' Lead
Nathan Olberding, Adamy Valuation
Valuation Seminar Lead
Caleb Pols, 
Past-Chair; Judges' Support
     

 

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Our generous sponsors make it possible to bring outstanding programs and events to you. Please click below or see our main Cup page HERE to learn more about them. 
 

PLATINUM SPONSORS

   
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RUBY TALENT SPONSORS

   
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Huntington

 

 
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EMERALD TALENT SPONSORS

   
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