The COB 300 business plan competition has come about through the efforts of its founder, Don Rainey (‘82), along with Russell “Rusty” Shepard ('86) and more than 90 other JMU alumni and business professionals. Not only have they provided financial support, they have also given generously of their time and expertise in the judging of the event. Thanks to them, the competition has been able to positively impact some 700 students during its 20-plus years of existence.

In addition to the scholarships for which they may qualify, student-participants receive mentoring—before, during and well after the competition—that has an enduring impact on the future course of their careers. Their personal networks expand to include a team of highly successful business leaders and visionaries. The competition thus becomes a lifetime investment in future entrepreneurs and executives that will pay dividends in perpetuity.

*Also served as preliminary round judge

2024 Judges

Don Rainey

Independent Investor

Rusty Shepard 

President and CIO, Angel Park Investors, LLC

Bill Corey

Board of Directors and Audit and Comp. Committees Stewart Information Services Corp., Stewart Title

Brett Danielson

Co-founder and President, BarTrack

Wm. Braun Jones, III

Entrepreneur, Investor, Investment Banker

Erin Lucien

Managing Director/Corporate Development and M&A Advisor, Springstone Advisory Services, LLC

Justin Quaglia

Managing Director, Trading, Oaktree Capital Management

2024 Alumni Coaches

Kenya Balser*

Financial Advisor, Edward Jones

Morgan Cox

Associate, ATLAS SP Partners

Trent Howard*

Data Engineer Specialist, Accenture Federal Services

Manahil Malik*

Senior User Experience Designer, Deloitte Digital

Taylor Wilk

Financial Analyst, Fannie Mae

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