From left, Kate Benesch, Kristin Fanto, Barrie Eisenberg and Johanna Lugo represented the Heavener School in the inaugural Heavener International Case Competition.

Welcoming the World

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Heavener International Case Competition crowned its first-ever champion as Queensland University of Technology (Australia) won the inaugural event this past weekend.

QUT advanced through a competitive 20-team field, including an impressive group in the final round, to claim the title. The final round had four teams representing three continents. Joining QUT in the finals were the University of Alberta (Canada), which finished second; Concordia University (Canada), which placed third; and Singapore Management University, which finished fourth.

QUT’s Ryan Nolan won the competition’s Best Delivery Award.

The competition was a successful culmination for the Heavener School, which had wanted to host an international case competition for years. Heavener teams had traveled all over the globe performing exceptionally well in these events—including three wins and a second-place finish in 2014-15—and wanted to return the favor to their international peers by holding an event of its own. The addition of Heavener Hall, the college’s new, state of the art, undergraduate building in 2014, was the final piece the school needed to host such an event.

The majority of Heavener students with experience in international case competitions served on the event’s student committee. Therefore, Heavener’s team was composed of four rookies—Kate Benesch, Barrie Eisenberg, Kristin Fanto and Johanna Lugo. Although the team had its struggles in the first round, their performance in the second case was improved.

“How we performed in the first case really motivated us to put even more into the second case,” Eisenberg said. “You could see the difference.”

Despite the competitive nature of the event, the Heavener team was impressed with the opposition’s willingness to help. For instance, an opposing coach offered to take notes on the Heavener team’s performance because Dr. Sean Limon, who directs the Heavener case competition team, was dealing with numerous event obligations.

“We weren’t expecting that,” Fanto said. “That says a lot about these coaches.”