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Special Message From CougsFirst! Chairman

WSU Alumni and Friends,

CougsFirst! is entering its fifth year and I wanted to take the opportunity to give you a quick update on where we've been and where we're going in our quest to encourage Cougars to do business with fellow Cougars. 1) Searching for Coug-owned and managed businesses is easier by the day. Our list of companies and organizations continues to grow at a rapid rate. To search for the who or what you need, simply go to the “Coug Businesses” section of our website. No need to Google it. Just Cougle it! If you do not find what you're looking for, e-mail us at and our team will search to find the Cougar company you are looking for. 2) SAVE THE DATE - The 5th Annual CougsFirst! Show & After Party is locked in for Thursday, April 6 in Seattle. We'll be at the Washington State Convention Center from 4-8 p.m. with the After Party from 8-10:30 p.m. More than 120 Cougar owned, managed and affiliated business will be showcasing a vast array of products and services, the Show is free to attend and all are welcome. Bring your colleagues, friends and family and come and join the fun! Attendance will top 2,000, not bad considering our first Show was 350 attendees. Of special note: Country singer and CMT's Music City Madness winner, Chance McKinney (a former WSU All American in track & field) will be performing at the After Party where the fun and networking continue. 3) CougsFirst! is a year-round marketing engine that can promote your business at any time of year. We've invested heavily in building our marketing reach and we now have the capacity to connect with large numbers of WSU alumni and friends to market your products and services. Through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and our Newsletter, we can reach up to 150,000 WSU alumni and friends for a single promotion. Our click-through rates are 30 percent higher than the industry average due to the fact that we have “Cougs marketing to Cougs.” The industry term for this is affinity marketing and it works. For more information on our marketing reach and results click here, CougsFirst! Advertising Results. Whether you're a current sponsor or thinking about it, you should take advantage of this unique marketing opportunity. We can drive business for you! 4) CougsFirst! is helping place WSU students in the workforce! We are working with both the WSU Academic Success and Career Center (ASCC) and the Carson College for Student Success (CCSS) to help WSU students secure internships, part-time jobs and full-time jobs. CougsFirst! is teaming up with the CCSS on April 5 to host a panel discussion for 40 WSU students with HR professionals from Starbucks, Microsoft, Tableau, Nordstrom and SAP. The session will be videotaped and promoted to all 30,000 WSU students. In addition, the students will tour major corporations in Greater Seattle and join us at the Show and After Party. Many thanks to Carson College Dean Chip Hunter for his initiative on this. Thinking CougsFirst! for hiring will be a competitive advantage for WSU in recruiting students for both academics and athletics. 5) CougsFirst! has and will continue to grow because of all of you! When starting CougsFirst! we knew that a business network for WSU alumni and friends would succeed given the loyalty and passion we all share for our university and each other!

The concept is very simple: "If you are going to purchase a product or a service why not buy it from a Coug! "

As an organization, we have come a long way and special thanks to our Board of Directors who have helped build CougsFirst! from the ground up. That being said, we still have a tremendous amount of work to do encouraging WSU alumni and friends to take the “intentional act” of seeking out Coug businesses for products and services. If you're interested in listing your business or have questions, please contact Go Cougs! CougsFirst!

Glenn Osterhout

Chairman, CougsFirst!

WSU Class of '83

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