Panel of top executives to judge WMU's first MBA case competition

contact: Mark Schwerin
| WMU News
Photo of WMU's Schneider Hall.

The case competition is the first of its kind held at WMU.

KALAMAZOO—A panel of top executives from the likes of Meijer, Stryker Corp., Dow Chemical Co. and Ernst & Young will evaluate students competing in the first Western Michigan University MBA Strategic Management Case Competition.

Thirty-nine students representing 11 teams will compete in progressive rounds, with the final round to be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 29, in 2150 Schneider Hall. The finalists will be evaluated by a panel of executives, including Paul Boyer, vice chairman emeritus, Meijer; David Hoogendoorn, market segment leader for Michigan and northwest Ohio and office managing partner for Grand Rapids, Ernst & Young LLP; Jim Koessel, senior vice president and manager, Premier Banking Group, Chemical Bank; Amy Papranec, vice president, Global Program Solutions, Stryker Corp.; and Han Zhang, sustainability leader, Sustainability Program Management Office, The Dow Chemical Co.

The competition

Carrying the tagline "Advance Strategically," the competition is being organized by faculty in the Haworth College of Business. Teams will try to advance to the finals as they examine a business case on a company's sustainability strategy. Four teams will compete in the final round, with the first-place team awarded $1,000 and the second-place team $500.

"This is a great opportunity for our students to showcase their skills for an outstanding group of business leaders in the context of an issue such as sustainability, which is relevant across many different industries," says Dr. David Flanagan, professor of management and director of the MBA Case Competition. "It is also a great chance for the business community to see the fantastic students that comprise the WMU MBA program."

The competition is a great learning opportunity for students, says Dr. Satish Deshpande, associate dean of graduate programs and operations for the Haworth College of Business.

"Business cases are essential to our curriculum in the MBA program," Deshpande says. "Students must do in-depth analysis of real business problems and formulate viable, well-researched solutions in order to become competent business leaders who can take a strategic approach to solving complex problems. Since our students are great strategic thinkers, it made perfect sense to create this event where our best MBA students can compete and further hone their skills."

The final round of competition is free and open to the public. Complimentary parking is available in Lot 72R near Schneider Hall.

To RSVP for the event, contact Dr. David Flanagan at (269) 387-6051 or

Media coverage

Members of the media are welcome. To arrange media coverage, contact Stacey Markin, director of marketing and communications for the Haworth College of Business, at (269) 387-6936 or