Models assist with dating

Matt Knutson

Editor’s Note: From time to time, Sweeps will be introducing you to the vibrant personalities that embody 60115. These people are truly DeKalb characters…

Three NIU students blessed with an entrepreneurial spirit parlayed their summer experience into a well-selling calendar featuring the sexiest males and females on NIU’s campus.

Senior marketing majors Adam Hagg, Gene Wooden and Tanya Kevo are the proud parents of Girls and Guys of Northern Illinois calendars. Each of these calendars endured a five-week gestation period before debuting in stores.

“We are no different from anyone else on campus,” Wooden said. “We had an idea, dedicated ourselves to it and got it done. Anyone could have done this. It just took a lot of bust-ass work.”

Wooden said the original concept was to get NIU athletes to pose. Athletes such as Huskie football starters A.J. Harris and Josh Haldi committed to appearing, but the athletics department had concerns about athletes appearing above advertisements for local bars.

“At that point, we had already shot six or seven male models, so we just decided to do a male calender as well,” Hagg said. “We spent a lot more time as far as recruiting goes with the women because they sell more.”

Hagg and Wooden recruited friends, co-workers and strangers to appear in the calendar.

“Only one girl of the 30 we asked said she didn’t want to be a part of the calender,” Wooden said.

Wooden credited Kevo for dealing with several logistics during the course of the project.

“She handled the outfit part, finding the farms where we could shoot, getting the make-up done, the hair done and all of that type of stuff,” said Wooden.

The threesome toyed around with photographing the women on their own, but realized they didn’t have the time and wanted to make a professional-looking product.

“Our photographer (Al Stasch) was awesome,” Wooden said. “He did about $10,000 work for us for a lot cheaper than that”

To offset costs, Hagg and Wooden called businesses looking for sponsors to give them money with nothing more than an idea to invest in.

“Up until the last day before we printed it, there was still a time when we would have had to give everyone their money back and shut down,” Wooden said.

Next year, Hagg and Wooden plan on probing other regions like Iowa, southern Illinois and Illinois State.

“We know what works; we know what doesn’t work. We can make a business plan and present it to two people like us at every other school,” Hagg said.

Wooden said the response to the calendar has been overwhelming.