April 13, 2013

Southeastern Conference Announces Winners Of 2013 MBA Case Competition

University of Florida Inaugural SEC MBA Case Competition Team: Ken Miller, Spencer Siegel, Kimberly Thelwell, and Devon Grimme
University of Florida Inaugural SEC MBA Case Competition Team: Ken Miller, Spencer Siegel, Kimberly Thelwell, and Devon Grimme

By: Sean Cartell
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. A four-person team from the University of Florida captured the inaugural Southeastern Conference MBA Case Competition on Saturday. The three-day event was hosted by the University of Missouri at its Trulaske College of Business.

Each of the 14 SEC member universities sent a team of four MBA students to evaluate a real-time business case from event sponsor AT&T, create a proposal for the company and compete to identify the best solution. The proposed solutions were heard by a panel of judges, including corporate executives and academicians.

The winning team from Florida consisted of MBA students Devon Grimme, Ken Miller, Spencer Siegel and Kimberly Thelwell.

“We’re tremendously honored to have been selected by the judges to be the inaugural champion of the SEC MBA Case Competition,” said Jason Rife, Associate Director of MBA Career Services for the Hough Graduate School of Business at the University of Florida. “Students worked very hard – not just our own students, but the students from the other programs – in pulling all-nighters and going through what was a very broad case to come up with creative solutions. I think all of the teams did a great job with that. We’re tremendously happy with the results.”

The team from the University of Arkansas; comprised of Bin Liu, Saif Mir, Chris Reed and Carmen Williamson; placed second, while the Texas A&M University team of James Cerenzie, Ann McCollim, Kara Pisklak and Nithin Subramanya was third.

“We are very proud of the amazing work that was done by each and every SEC school and thank them for all they’ve done,” said Joan Gabel, Dean of the Trulaske College of Business at the University of Missouri. “The collaborative spirit was tremendous and it was in that spirit that all of our teams truly won. We are so grateful to our event sponsors AT&T, the SECU, Mizzou Athletics, our judges, and the student teams for making this event such a success.”

The Best Presenter Award, given to three students based on division, went to Brett Babcock of the University of Mississippi, Jeff Fralick of the University of South Carolina and Siegel of the University of Florida.

The Best Q&A Award, also honoring three students by division, was given to McCollim of Texas A&M University, Varsha Ramakrishnan of Vanderbilt University and Williamson of the University of Arkansas.

There was a tie for the Team Sportsmanship Award, which is selected by the participating students, between the team from Mississippi State University and the team from the University of Kentucky.

“I want to congratulate all of the individual and team winners from this first SEC MBA Case Competition, and thank everyone from the University of Missouri for organizing a great event,” SECU Executive Director Torie Johnson said. “We at the SEC, along with team advisors and students, are already excited about the future possibilities.”

The 2014 SEC MBA Case Competition is tentatively scheduled for April 10-12, 2014 at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

A full list of SEC MBA Case Competition award winners follows this release.


Final Team MBA Case Competition Results

First Place: University of Florida (Devon Grimme, Ken Miller, Spencer Siegel, Kimberly Thelwell)

Second Place: University of Arkansas (Bin Liu, Saif Mir, Chris Reed, Carmen Williamson)

Third Place: Texas A&M University (James Cerenzie, Ann McCollim, Kara Pisklak, Nithin Subramanya)

Team Sportsmanship Award – selected by the students (tie)

  • Mississippi State (Bailey Stephenson, Ethan Huber, Don McCartney, Jonny Tahai)
  • Kentucky (Kelsey Underwood, Samuel Palmer, Erin Bodge, Toni Cannon)

Best Presenter

  • Division 212 – Bret Babcock, Ole Miss
  • Division 217 – Spencer Siegel, Florida
  • Division 218 – Jeff Fralick, South Carolina

Best Q&A

  • Division 212 – Ann McCollim, Texas A&M
  • Division 217 – Varsha Ramakrishnan, Vanderbilt
  • Division 218 – Carmen Williamson, Arkansas