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Medifast is supporting Villa Julie College and its students by sponsoring these academic scholarships based on the outstanding performance the company's own co-op/intern and management development program has experienced over the past seven years. Medifast currently employs 18 full-time Villa Julie College graduates. Since 2000, 86% of Villa Julie students working for Medifast as co-op students were offered and accepted full-time positions with Medifast upon graduation. Medifast has become an attractive employment option for graduates from local colleges with its continued growth and prestigious recognition such as ranking 28th on Forbes' 200 best small companies list and awards such as Baltimore Smart CEO magazine's Future 50 award.
"When we transformed our business model using the Internet in 1999, we quickly identified the need for technology-proficient individuals possessing an entrepreneurial spirit to keep the model evolving. That is why Medifast is sponsoring four academic scholarships a year to Villa Julie, a local private college. We've had tremendous success developing employees who worked for our company through the college's co-op program while finishing their degrees at Villa Julie College. We believe the college is cutting edge in terms of its career focus and have been extremely impressed with the pedagogy of the college and well-developed skill sets of the students," said Brad MacDonald, Chairman and CEO.
Mr. MacDonald was named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the consumer products category in Maryland in 2006 and was recently elected to the Board of Trustees at Villa Julie College. The MacDonald family has also made a personal commitment to Villa Julie College totaling $50,000 over the next five years in appreciation of the contribution that Villa Julie interns have made to the shareholder value of Medifast.
In late 1999, the company had revenues of less than five million, an operating loss of $2 million and equity of $3.8 million, which resulted in a going concern audit. At the time, the company sought assistance from Reverend Donald Francis Reilly, O.S.A., a member of the Medifast board of directors who was a professor at Villanova University.
Villanova's Bartlett School of Business conducted a study of the Medifast business situation and assisted the company in creating a technology-based direct-to-consumer business model at a time when the popularity of the Internet was on the rise. It was also on the recommendation of Father Reilly that the company created innovative strategies for recruiting and retaining intellectual capital to support a revived business model which included recruiting talented professionals from local colleges such as Villa Julie in the fields of marketing, technology and operations. Today, Father Reilly serves on the board of directors for Medifast, Inc., Villanova University at Villanova, PA, and Merrimack College in Andover, Mass. Additionally, he is provincial of the Augustinian Order at Villanova, PA.
Medifast's business has been transformed and continues to be fueled by a blend of talented young executives and industry experts who have transformed its business model from a manufacturer, which once only sold to physicians, to a dynamic marketing company with multiple distribution channels. Medifast is committed to fostering relationships in the community and sponsoring programs such as the scholarships for students enrolled in the Villa Julie College co-op program, as it will continue to support the company's recruitment efforts and management development program.
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SOURCE: Medifast, Inc.
CONTACT: Jaime M. Elwood, Medifast, Inc., +1-410-581-8042
Web site: http://www.medifastdiet.com/