Alum and Former GM Vice Chair Bob Lutz Announces Winners of Volt Raffle Social Media Competition

Alumnus and former GM vice chairman Bob Lutz, BS 61, MBA 62, on Friday announced the four undergraduate students who won a social media competition for a Chevy Volt raffle to benefit the school's Young Entrepreneurs at Haas (YEAH) Program.

The first-place team, which won $1,500, consisted of Akash Malhotra, BA 13 (Econ.); Niranjan Kumar, BS/BA 14 (Bus./Econ.); Pranav Tadi, BA 13 (Mol. Cell Bio.); and Prashanth Vijay, BS 13 (Mech. Engineer.). The second-place team, which also won $1,000, consisted of Felix Huang, BA 14 (Poli. Sci.); Rebecca Hui, BS/BA 13 (Bus/Arch.); Kyle Wang, BS/BA 13 (Bus./Psych.); and Vince Vo, BS 13.

After Lutz announced the winners, he led the students and audience outside to view a Chevy Volt, whose development he led at General Motors, and kick off the Volt Raffle for YEAH. The Volt is the "most advanced car on the planet," he told the students in the Haas courtyard, where the Volt was parked. "If you can maintain the spirit of innovation and excellence … America can make an industrial comeback."

Before announcing the winners, Lutz chatted with students, faculty, staff, and alumni at a luncheon in the Wells Fargo room. On Thursday night, he gave a lively talk to the Haas community about leadership and his experiences in the auto industry as part of the Dean's Speaker Series. And on Friday night, the Haas School presented Lutz with the school's 2011 Leading Through Innovation Award for driving innovation and creativity in the global auto industry.

The social media competition, which attracted 11 teams, asked undergraduates to develop a social media campaign for the Volt raffle to benefit YEAH, a self-supporting program that puts economically disadvantaged youth on the college-bound track and boasts a 100% success rate in sending its participants to college. Haas alumnus and YEAH founding board member David Eckles, MBA 73, donated the Chevrolet Volt for the raffle to help raise funds and visibility for YEAH.

The winning presentation, Leading Through Education, a play on the school's theme of Leading Through Innovation, involved not only social media but also several key events to sell raffle tickets, including the Cal vs. Stanford basketball game Jan. 29 and Cal Performances shows at Zellerbach Hall.

The winning team also proposed using technology from a new Bay Area company called ReTargeter. The technology would play, or "retarget," online ads about the Chevy Volt and YEAH Raffle after visitors to the voltraffle.com website left and surfed other sites.

The second-place team proposed incorporating a theme titled "The Story of $50: Driving a Better Future" into all marketing, noting the value of $50 to different audiences (10 bus rides for disadvantaged youth; 10 cups of coffee for college students; $50 multiplied to benefit YEAH). The social media component included student and mentor stories on Facebook.

The panel of judges for the competition consisted of Haas alumnus and angel investor Rich Chen, MBA 99; Haas lecturer, alumnus, and TV anchor Diane Dwyer, BS 87; Assistant Marketing Professor Zsolt Katona; Haas online marketing manager Debra Goldentyer, who oversees the school's social media strategy; Lecturer Peter Molloy; and an executive from Chevrolet and the owner of Bay City Chevrolet.

For more information on the Volt raffle visit voltraffle.com. For more information on YEAH, visit haas.berkeley.edu/yeah.


Alumnus and former GM vice chairman Bob Lutz (center), BS 61, MBA 62, congratulates the winners of the Volt Raffle Social Media Competition (from l. to r.): Niranjan Kumar, BS/BA 14 (Bus./Econ.); Prashanth Vijay, BS 13 (Mech. Engineer.); Akash Malhotra, BA 13 (Econ.); and Pranav Tadi, BA 13 (Mol. Cell Bio.).

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