March 2012 Newsletter
BEDC Team Wins 2012 Minority MBA Case Competition
A team from the Foster School Business and Economic Development Center (BEDC) has for the second time in four years taken the grand prize in the National Minority MBA Case Competition sponsored by Keybank and the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University.
The team of first-year Evening MBA students, Brent Bauslaugh, Ben Lapekas, Ksenia Karpisheva and Rakesh Saini, beat out teams from 18 other business schools including UCLA, Carnegie Mellon, Indiana University and Boston College to win the $7,500 first place prize. Additionally, Lapekas was recognized as the best overall presenter and Bauslaugh won first place for best question and answer.
"The University of Washington team's presentation represented a thorough understanding of a very complex and difficult case. Their recommended solutions were actionable and though provoking," said event Champion EJ Burke, head of Real Estate Capital and Corporate Banking Services.
The 18 competing teams had 20 minutes to provide a solution to a case entitled Strategic Choices for Third Party Commercial Loan Servicing Business at KeyBank. “Our students’ ability to handle ambiguity of the case and yet provide firm recommendations backed up with hard data were ultimately what differentiated them from the rest,” says team advisor Geraldine Rodriguez.
A team from the BEDC has placed in the top three teams nationally each of the last four years making it the most dominant presence over this time period.
This competition is sponsored by the Business & Economic Development Center with support from KeyBank. Each fall, the BEDC hosts an internal Diversity in Business Case Competition in order to select the team who represents Foster at the national competiton.
BEDC Without Borders
The impact of the BEDC on Washington has been substantial – with over 6,000 jobs created and $85 million in new revenue – but expansion is on the horizon.
Recently, BEDC and the Chase Foundation (the charitable arm of JPMorgan Chase) have partnered to replicate the BEDC’s model in universities across the country. This union was created with the aim of connecting business school faculty, students and staff with small businesses in low- and moderate-income communities to create jobs and build the next generation of civically engaged business leaders.
The first university to adopt the program was the Vancouver campus of Washington State University. WSU was able to launch successfully a “Business Growth Mentor & Analysis Program,” which will work with small business in SW Washington and Portland.
The next phase of the project was to expand to business schools in Arizona. BEDC Director Michael Verchot recently made a trip to the University of Arizona Eller College of Business to discuss a center like the BEDC that will work with businesses in South Tucson. The UW BEDC will continue to support their efforts for the next 18 months while the faculty of Eller College conducts research to help shape the program.
The role of the BEDC in visiting various universities is to provide technical assistance, curriculum design and a toolkit to help them launch these programs.
The BEDC will be launching a network of business schools that support small business growth and job creation in low- and moderate-income communities later this year. Please feel free to nominate a school to be part of this network by contacting Michael Verchot at (206) 543-9327 or email@example.com.
The UW Foster MBA Diversity Club
The UW Foster MBA Diversity Club (formerly Portfolio, Inc.) has been increasing its visibility on the University of Washington Seattle campus. The club was started by Brooke Spearmon, the recipient of the BEDC's inaugural African American Heritage Endowed MBA Scholarship and is currently spearheaded by a former BEDC staffer, Jesse Robbins.
The Diversity Club provides networking opportunities for MBA students in a broad, diverse network of professional organizations and employers in the Puget Sound Area and cultivates students' abilities to interact effectively with people of different cultures, worldviews and experiences.
Jesse says that, "the club aims to reshape the conversation around diversity; to promote diversity in business and make it a more approachable topic." Recently, the club worked with the Puget Sound Business Journal to bring the “Minority- and Women-owned Business Summit with the Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40” to the UW Seattle campus.
The event brought together 40 business professionals under 40 years old who are “center stage in our business community, working hard to drive the economy and demonstrating dynamic leadership.” Although the PSBJ has been sponsoring the event for the past 14 years, this was just the second time it has been in partnership with the Diversity Club. The aim of this particular gathering was to open dialogue between local entrepreneurs who are in minority-owned businesses and MBA students.
The event, moderated by Fernando Hernandez of Microsoft who leads its supplier diversity programs, featured Molly Moon Neitzel, the founder of Molly Moons Homemade Ice Cream, Melissa Acton-Buzard, the co-founder of Chameleon Technologies Inc, Kabir Shahani, and Edward Yim, CEO of Classified Ads.
To support the BEDC's African American Heritage MBA Scholarship and the Earnest Aguilar Endowed Scholarship for Latino MBA students visit the UW Foundation's web site and search for these funds or contact Michael Verchot at the BEDC (206) 543-9327 or firstname.lastname@example.org