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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

The Islanders' playoff presence could translate into a lucrative business opportunity for a group of young entrepreneurs.  This Saturday, April 14, eleven East Meadow High School students welcome fans to the Islanders team store at the Broadway Mall where they will sell a hat of their own design and celebrate the culmination of an exciting business venture.

For the past seven weeks, a select group of students have convened in the boardroom of the Nassau Coliseum to participate in the Junior Achievement Company Program.  Junior Achievement is a non-profit, worldwide organization providing curricula and interactive experiences that teach young people about entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and free enterprise.  JA relies on the help of corporate volunteers who deliver the curricula to students and share their own professional expertise. 

Terry Goldstein, Director of Merchandising for the Islanders and a JA volunteer, recognized the unique opportunity he and the Islanders organization could offer local youth.  Goldstein used the JA curriculum, which commissions participants to start their own business replete with a board of directors, product design phase, stock sales, and marketing plan, to introduce the world of sports merchandising.  The students decided to produce and market a new Islanders hat, and they cleverly dubbed their company Hat Trick.

During weekly sessions, students sold shares of the company, canvassed fans during a game to ascertain market demand, interpreted feedback to advise the design of the hat, and negotiated with a vendor to produce as many units as possible.  Goldstein broadened the perspective by inviting guests like Mike Bossy, Mike Milbury and Head Trainer Garrett Timms to address the group and illustrate the scope of sports operations and administration.

Goldstein's efforts supported JA's mission to inspire young people to succeed in a global economy by highlighting the varied duties and talents requisite to support a successful hockey team.  Opportunities abound even for those who have never strapped on a pair of skates. 

The Hat Trick Company will seize their opportunity on Saturday from 12-3 pm at the Islanders Team Store where they invite fans to view and purchase their Limited Edition caps.  Some fans may recognize the lighthouse logo that Hat Trick chose to resurrect.  The students hope their customers enjoy their tribute to Islanders history with a modern twist.  They also hope to see dozens of fans donning their new caps while celebrating an Islanders victory on Monday night.

For more information about Junior Achievement, please visit the website or contact Anne Uba at (516) 625-9452.

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