Winners of the Carol A. Ammon MBA Case Competition was the team AKME Consultants, which included Matt Gore, Kevin Prendergast, Edwin Brown and Adrian Farrar.

Case closed

Lerner College announces winners of Carol A. Ammon MBA Case Competition


11:06 a.m., March 21, 2012--After an immense amount of research and preparation and enduring a morning full of preliminary round presentations, Edwin Brown, Adrian Farrar, Matt Gore and Kevin Prendergast of AKME Consultants took first place at this year’s Carol A. Ammon MBA Case Competition.

The competition, which is sponsored by the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, was held last Friday afternoon on the Newark campus.

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While in previous years teams focused on case studies, this year’s unique competition brought students on a live, behind-the-scenes tour of operations at Dogfish Head, the case company.

Student finalists were then challenged to present their critiques and recommendations to a panel of Dogfish Head executives, including owner Sam Calagione, event and donation coordinator Mark Carter and regional sales manager Mike Contreras. Jackie Ivy, owner of J. Ivey and Co. LLC commercial design studio, was also a panelist.

Most of the teams agreed this year’s competition demanded that they step out of their comfort zones.

“To walk in and look at the owner of a company that you respect and you like and then to critique what he’s already done, there’s no experience on earth that’s scarier,” said Farrar. “It really pushes you in terms of what you’re capable of doing after that.”

Added teammate Gore, “Our goal was to propose ideas that would stick to Dogfish Head’s brand image, which they’ve already well defined, and any idea we had, big or small, had to stick to that.”

Tristan Simmons, of second place team SBI, also said the competition fostered growth in knowledge and experience.

“It gave us a chance to connect with other people of different backgrounds, and I ended up learning more from working with my team than I did from actually competing,” said Simmons of working with teammates Matt Wilhelm, Katie Keeports and Marilyn Talman.

Farrar was also the first to be a part of a winning team two years in a row.

“This was my second time and it was just as worth it this time around,” said Farrar.  “The competitions were two completely separate experiences and not only was my team different from last year but seeing the different approaches and styles was really enlightening.”

Rounding out the winners, Valery Caputi Lopez, Hyun Kim, Nischala Marulasiddaiah, and Xinyu Zhang of Team AMaZYng finished third. 

The three winning teams received plaques and cash awards for their accomplishments. 

Other teams, judges and coaches

Other case competition teams included: 

  • Inspiration (Lingxia Shen, Qing Wang, Song Bai, and Ning Xi); 
  • Fresh (Minle Zhang, Yaunqing Zhang, Sheng Fen, and Zilin Wu); 
  • Sunrise (Shen Wang, Shanshan Liu, Qifang Lu, and Zhe Xu); 
  • Flair (Ling Lam, Jiani Wang, Michael Ashley, and Kyle Bouchard); 
  • R&L Consulting (Rebecca Wisely, Laura Devenney, and Roshni Chopra); Busy Bees (Chang Liu, and Li Dai); 
  • Tech Tigers (Daniel Mburu, Tianjia Liu, Liming Liu, and Denise Musumeci); 
  • Chrysalis (Madhura Badade, Bhuvan Shankar, Rania Prakashan, and Shulin Wang);
  • Turnaround Specialists (Andrew Waggoner, Michael Koch, Su Pan, and Gary Jones);
  • Lucky 13 Consultants (Arpit Khaturia, Nitin Parihar, Arjun Dixit, and Samit Baindur); and 
  • The Experts (Navid Khabazian, Allison Leclair, and Rudy Bedeling).

The Lerner College Graduate and Executive Programs Competition Committee thanked the following individuals for their time and commitment: 

Coaches: Ryan Lowe; Katalin Takacs-Haynes; Meryl Gardner, associate professor of business administration; and Bill Latham, associate professor of economics; and

Preliminary round judges: Lauren Anastasio, associate at JPMorgan Chase; Ram Bala, strategic planner at AAA Mid-Atlantic; Alex Brown, BE '91M and author of Greatness and Goodness: Barbaro and His Legacy; Elmer Cherry, BE '05M and senior contracts administrator at Northrop Grumman Corporation; Mike Dwyer, internal auditor for the Police and Fire Federal Credit Union; Chip Fody, U.S. director of sales at Tissot/The Swatch Group (U.S.) Inc.; Jeanne Griffith Leslie, financial adviser at Wells Fargo Advisors; Jonathan Katz, senior department budget analyst at Barclays; Howard Keener, director of strategies and programs at the Blood Bank of Delmarva; Sanjay Mukherjee,  BE '06M and finance manager and industry researcher at JPMorgan Chase; Ioana Parja, accounting analyst at GlaxoSmithKline, R&D Finance; and Paul Reed, Smart Grid account manager at Viridity Energy.

Article by Arianne Minch

Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson

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