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Cougs - Let's Paint Seattle Crimson!

The countdown has begun: March 10, 2016 marks the date for the 4th Annual CougsFirst! Show and After Party!

Need a new bank or insurance provider? Wanting to shop the deals after the holidays? Looking for a new job in 2016? There’s a Coug for that at the CougsFirst! Show and After Party. Reconnect, network and discover more than 120 Cougar-owned and-managed businesses from around the area, from business-to-business services and solutions to personal shopping and potential job leads. The party goes down on March 10 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattl.

It's free to attend, register now! Click here.

Business-to-Business Services

Owning and managing your own business can present an abundance of questions with a lack of answers, the CougsFirst! Show can connect you with a plethora of fellow Coug business owners and managers to help you find solutions that fit your needs.

For Kari A. Brotherton, attorney and CPA at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC., the annual Show has brought not only positive business results to her firm but also personal relationships.

“We have experienced the success of the CougsFirst! business network first hand,” Brotherton says. “Bringing Cougs together in this forum combines our passion for what we do professionally with our passion for WSU. Our participation in the CougsFirst! Network and annual Show has enabled our Coug attorneys to enthusiastically renew old friendships, create many new ones and introduce our existing Coug clients to other Coug products and services.”

David Heyduck’s digital technology company, Persepctive Media LLC, is at the forefront of multimedia content. A sponsor since 2015, he says last year’s Show helped to propel his startup into the big leagues.

“I walked away from the Show with solid leads and had secured five clients that I may not of had the chance to meet otherwise,” Heyduck says, one being former star quarterback Jason Gesser of WSU Cougar Athletics. “They all hired me to film aerial video for their company promotion. How great is it to be hired by our winning Rose Bowl QB to film the Cougar Legends event?”

Shop ‘til You Drop

The CougsFirst! Show offers attendees more than entrepreneurial endeavors and networking opportunities: it provides Cougs with a shame-free, Coug-saturated shopping experience. From logowear and stationary to exclusive automotive deals and discounted travel getaways, you can shop the night away.

Among retail vendors like Strideline Socks, WSU Connections and College Hill Custom Threads, shoppers can also taste morsels from Beecher’s Cheese and purchase drink sample tickets to taste from producers like Gordon Estates, William Church Winery, Heritage Distilling Co. and Doubleback. Bottles will also be available for purchase.

Back for her fourth year at the Trade Show, Katie Gipson Spring, a senior operations project manager at Microsoft, says she finds the Show’s value for shoppers has increased with each year.

“It's inspiring to see how many small, medium and large businesses are run in the Northwest by Cougar alum,” she says. “It's a great way to pick up some updated and innovative Cougar swag like scarfs and T-shirts since I don't get out to Pullman much these days. It's always good to run into so many familiar faces and reconnect with a community that made such a positive impact on my life.”

Network and Connect

The job hunt can be tedious and dimly lit—allow CougsFirst! to shine a light to an exciting new career path. Connect with WSU Career Services and CougLink, two university-based organizations that provide potential job opportunities, help to search positions and schedule interviews for current students and alumni.

Kyle Martin, a 2013 WSU Hospitality Business Management graduate, attended last year’s Show and took home a job.

“I came across the Heathman Hotel booth, we got to talking and she had a position available that I was suitable for and I started working there two weeks later,” Martin says, who is now the sous chef at Trellis Restaurant at the Kirkland, Washington hotel. “This job is amazing for me and I owe it all to the CougsFirst! Show.”

For employers searching employees, CougsFirst! Show vendors continue to recruit from the annual event. Seattle Hospitality Worldwide President, H.S. Wright III finds the Show gives his company an advantage in hiring top-notch employees.

“The greatest benefit we’ve found from being a member of CougsFirst! is the talent we’ve been able to hire,” Wright says. “We populate all of our operating companies with Cougs—and others—but Cougs have been the best performers and most loyal employees. It makes for such a community.”

It's free to attend, register now! Click here.

#cougbusinesses #tradeshow #cougsfirstsponsors #network #testimonial

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