Since research has been a part of Terri Champion’s teaching for many years, it only seemed natural for her to become an official part of the Research & Innovation team.
A professor in the School of Business and Co-ordinator in the Sales and Marketing Program, Champion works as a faculty lead on the marketing components of projects related to small- and medium-sized local businesses. “Some of these are very small, fledgling companies, and they all seem so different in a lot of ways, but they are all really so similar, too. They all have that entrepreneurial DNA,” she explains.
With a background in helping potential business owners tap into their entrepreneurial skills, Champion is able to guide her students through research on competitive analysis, business plans and marketing strategies.
Current projects include working with Niagara Oast House Brewery to develop branding strategy, sales kits and an integrated marketing and communications plan.
Champion has also worked on a sales analysis for Niagara Local, an online blogging site producing content about where to eat, drink or be entertained in Niagara; a market assessment for Chocolate Concepts, a small specialty manufacturer in Vaughan; and market research and strategy planning for Mahtay Café, a specialty coffee shop and art gallery in downtown St. Catharines.
“Many of our clients are doing a lot of things really well, but there are always areas of improvement that we can assist them with that they don’t necessarily have expertise in. We also serve as a sounding board and offer an unbiased view of their business – something that start-ups often need more than anything,” she explains.
Champion finds working with Research & Innovation to be one of her favourite parts of the college experience, because it combines mentorship of students with assistance of small businesses. “It is a gratifying experience to work with these businesses. And from a teaching perspective, there are a lot of situations facing businesses that make great examples in class.”
Champion holds a BA in Business Administration and a BEd, both from Brock University. She is currently working on her MBA. She has been at Niagara College since 1994, and currently teaches courses in consumer behaviour, entrepreneurship and management.
In her spare time, she has been writing books on management and entrepreneurship, but she also manages to find time for cycling, photography and travel. When all three are combined, it is the sweetest of days.