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ELC Case Team
  Front row, L-R: Sheila Collins,
Suman Mishra, Karimah Malcolm
and Larry Thompson, and back row,
ELC members
Not pictured: Sanjiv Gupta

Ross Students Win First Place in Case Competition

5/18/2005 --

BBSA students address Black economic empowerment in South Africa.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Five MBA students from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan took home $20,000 in cash after placing first in the Executive Leadership Council Business Case Competition held in New York City on May 13. This is the first year Michigan accepted an invitation for this event.

Black Business Students Association (BBSA) team captain Sheila Collins, MBA '06, and BBSA team members Karimah Malcolm, MBA '05, and Larry Thompson, MBA '06, collaborated with Sanjiv Gupta, MBA '06, and Suman Mishra, MBA '06, to defeat the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business in the final round of "The Coca-Cola Company in South Africa: The Case for Inclusion and Economic Empowerment," sponsored by Goldman Sachs.

New BBSA president, Brock Williams, MBA '06, said one of the goals for the BBSA is to increase the visibility of the organization and its membership in an effort to elevate it to the level of African-American student groups at other top business schools.

"This victory is a true testament to Michigan's commitment to diversity, action-based learning and the profound impact members from the BBSA and the Ross community at large can have in the international business community," he said.

MBA students from 35 schools across the nation were asked to present an innovative strategy to help Coca-Cola facilitate the South African government's goal to encourage economic empowerment among individuals previously disadvantaged by apartheid.

Associate Professor of Corporate Strategy & International Business Allan Afuah served as mentor to the team, providing the students with encouragement and insight into the situation in South Africa.

Teams presented their recommendations to a panel of senior executives from Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs and the Executive Leadership Council.

In addition to prize money, the Ross School team will participate in a variety of Executive Leadership Council developmental events hosted by Fortune 500 companies and be recognized at the Executive Leadership Council's 17th annual recognition dinner on October 27 in Washington, D.C.

The BBSA is dedicated to the recruitment of Black business students and the professional and academic development of its membership. The organization has 53 members who are active throughout the Ross School in leadership roles such as the Student Government Association, University of Michigan Business Students Association and the Admissions Student Committee, among others.

The Executive Leadership Council is an independent, non-partisan and non-profit corporation. It was founded in 1986 by 19 African-American corporate executive pioneers in an effort to create a support network and public leadership forum that prepares future African-American corporate executives, honors business achievements, encourages excellence in business and influences public policy on behalf of African Americans. The organization has more than 340 members who represent more than 200 companies.

For more information, contact:
Heather Thorne
Phone: (734) 936-8421