Heather Hondel Reflects on PFEW Experience

Written by Heather Hondel, Venango Chamber Marketing Assistant

In July, I had the privilege of spending a week as a Company Advisor (CA) at Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW) with a group of amazing young minds, whom I was able to see transform into business-savvy leaders in a matter of days. Kids who barely spoke on day one were leading team meetings and taking charge by the end of the week. Kids who knew very little about financial statements when they arrived were talking about how much they loved finance by the end of the week.

As a Company Advisor, I served as a business consultant to the students throughout the week. After the election of the CEO on Monday, the students took charge and I had the privilege of watching them become the business leaders I saw by the end of the week.

As part of the program, the company was split into a marketing team and a finance team. The marketing team completed tasks including designing and creating a homepage for their company website, writing and performing both radio and commercial ads, as well as creating print and social media campaigns as they saw fit. The finance team worked through a business simulation throughout the week, completing twelve quarters (or three years) worth of financial decisions. Students worked towards bettering their return on investment and quality management scores, considering factors such as inventory, research and development costs, production capacity, and cash balance. Other activities included events such as an ethics date, a business quiz game, a team-building junk night, and listening to several incredible speakers.

PFEW is truly an amazing week, unlike any other. As a student, PFEW had a lasting impact on me, and as a CA, I was able to watch other students be impacted just as powerfully as I was.

I would encourage you to promote this incredible opportunity to students you know, consider sponsoring a student for next year, or look into signing up to be a company advisor yourself. More information on the program can be found at

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s September 2023 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

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