Fisher wins Big Ten Case Competition

Fisher's first-year MBA case team won the 16th annual Big Ten Case Competition held at Fisher April 10-11.

Kimani Phifer, Dan Larsen, Sally Heckman and Travis Helm beat out nine other teams to help Fisher win the competition for the first time since 2006. Helm was named the best presenter in the final round. The team was coached by Marc Ankerman, a faculty member in the Department of Management and Human Resources.

“Our students did a superb job, both in analysis and presentation, during the competition,” said Karen Hopper Wruck, associate dean for MBA programs and Dean’s Distinguished Professor. “We are very proud of their ability to do so well, particularly given the high level of competition from the MBA teams from our fellow Big Ten schools.”

Fisher along with the other two finalists - Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business and Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management, finishing second and third respectively - will compete in the Big Ten/Pacific Ten Rose Bowl challenge in January 2009 in Phoenix, Ariz.

This year’s Big Ten Case Competition pitted teams from 10 Big Ten schools in a competition that puts first-year MBA students’ skills to work on a complex venture capitalist case involving medical instruments. The event is a blind competition, teams’ school affiliation are unknown to judges and participants. Second-year MBA student Ly Zamora directed the competition.

“The competition is grueling and exhausting because the competitors only have 24 hours to create a solution for this complex problem and then present it in a simulated boardroom setting” Ankerman said. “The judges asked very poignant questions to all the competitors, which makes our win especially gratifying.”

Diane Burton, the Fred Kayne Career Development Professor of Entrepreneurship from the Sloan School of Management at MIT and author of the case used in the competition, served as the head judge for the competition.

Judges representing businesses were David Brownstein, principal, UVG Ltd; Jann Buller, principal, Booz Allen Hamilton; Bill Burke, senior vice president of Property and Casualty Insurance Operations, Nationwide Insurance; Chip Chapman, president, The Knowledge Group; John DeLeo, director of Financial Systems, Exel; Johan Ferreira, vice president, GSW Worldwide; Dennis Fisher, president/founder, Rapid Mortgage Company; Bonnie Hohlbein, vice president of Finance Operations and Services, Cardinal Health; Tony Huckeby, senior vice president and manager of International Services Group, Huntington National Bank; Tim Key, vice president of Corporate Market Research, Insights and Analytics, Nationwide Financial; Barbara Kunz, president of Health and Life Sciences Global Business and senior vice president of Battelle Memorial Institute; Hildy McNulty, director of Reporting and Systems, Luxottica Retail; David Nickel, former executive, Goodyear and Lockheed Martin (retired); Martyn Redgrave, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, Limited Brands; Bill Sparks, former president and chief operating officer, Greif Inc. (retired); Steven Weber, director of Operational Excellent Deployment Leader, Cardinal Health; Ken Weixel, managing partner of Providers Life Science and Health Care, Deloitte & Touche.