Business Case Competition returns to Grand Falls-Windsor campus after two-year pandemic hiatus

The Goal Getters take home first prize, soon headed to Montreal

12/1/2022 3:07:00 PM

GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL – CNA’s Business Case Competition returned to Grand Falls-Windsor campus last weekend after being postponed for two years due to the pandemic.

The Goal Getters, a team of students from CNA’s Grand Falls-Windsor campus, placed first overall after a full two days of competition.
The first-place team, The Goal Getters: coach Holly Dwyer, with Josh Kennedy, Noel LeDrew, Christopher Seymour and Holly Antle.

“To win first prize; it’s surreal,” said Holly Antle, a Goal Getters team member and Business Administration – Accounting student. “It feels so great to know that we worked so hard, and we can say we won. You can practice and do case studies all day long, but the pressure of the actual competition, it makes you doubt what you think you know. It’s a different atmosphere.”

The Business Case Competition, now in its 15th year, is a weekend-long event where teams of CNA students from across the province compete to determine who is the “best in business.” 

In three preliminary rounds, groups must analyze a business case study featuring a specific issue, formulate a solution, and then present their recommendations to a group of judges.
Second place went to Everest Solutions:  coach Holly Dwyer, Eric Dillon, Jennifer Quigley, Brittney Roberts and Jillian Machura. Also pictured are: Joan Pynn, Grand Falls-Windsor Campus Director and Stephen Warren, Dean of the School of Business of IT.

After the first three rounds, the four teams with the most points move on to the finals where they compete for the top prize.

Placing in second and third overall were Everest Solutions and The SWOT Team, respectively.

Team Overnight Sensations was awarded the Bob Hearn Memorial Award, which is given to a team that perseveres throughout the competition and continues to strive to get better with each round. Grand Falls-Windsor campus instructor Bob Hearn started the Business Case Competition in 2005.

“The Business Case Competition provides students with an opportunity to develop the modern essential leadership skills required to succeed in today’s economy,” said Stephen Warren, CNA’s Dean of Business and IT. “The competition challenges students to work in teams, create and present findings, and produce implementation recommendations based on real-life business cases.”

This year’s event featured students from CNA’s Grand Falls-Windsor, Corner Brook, and Prince Philip Drive (St. John’s) campuses.
Finishing in third place was The SWOT Team:  coach Holly Dwyer, Jillian Rice, Luke Rowsell and Isaac Humphries.

The teams consisted of students from CNA’s Business Administration, Comprehensive Arts & Sciences (CAS) Transfer, Business Management, Tourism & Hospitality, and Executive Office Management programs.

“It was wonderful to have students back in our building for Business Case Competition,” said Joan Pynn, Campus Director in Grand Falls-Windsor. “The level of positive energy and enthusiasm that they brought was incredible. With everything that has been going on throughout the pandemic, the fact that these students willingly agreed to step outside their comfort zones and take part in this competition says a tremendous amount about their resilience.”

For the final round’s business case, The Goal Getters were faced with the challenge of naming a successor for a prominent family business. In the case study, the current leader played the roles of CEO, head of the board, and manager of one of the company’s subsidiaries. 
Bob Hearn Memorial Award winners, The Overnight Sensations:  Madison Pike, Marcus Porto, Abigail (Abby) Murray, Ashley Bolger and Rizwan Ahamad Rafeeque.

“Given he was so involved in the company, it was hard to determine what successor to choose,” said Antle. “We had to determine who we felt was going to be able to take on such pressure, while still maintaining peace.”

“We decided to combine the alternatives that we presented to the judges by promoting the current CFO to head management, hiring a replacement for her, and offering the CEO position to his nephew … We did this because it not only kept the business in the family, but it divided the responsibilities between two people,” she explained.

Evidently, the judges liked their approach.

“The Goal Getters did a fantastic job in the final round,” said Ian MacDonald, Business Development Officer – Entrepreneurship at CNA and competition judge. “It was incredible to see the students’ progression from the first to the final round. You could clearly see the improvement in their presentation skills, their confidence, and their business recommendations. I believe this event was very valuable to our students.”

Members from The Goal Getters will now move on to represent CNA at the Scotiabank Vanier College National Marketing Case Competition, where more than 200 participants, facilitators, partners, leaders and executives from all over the country will meet in Montreal this coming March for the next level of competition.

When asked how the team will prepare, Antle quickly exclaimed, “A lot of practice!”

She says the team has a sense of what the competition setting is now, but they know they need to keep working.

“There is always room to grow, and we are definitely going to try our best to represent the outstanding teaching and mentoring at the Grand Falls-Windsor campus while in Montreal.”

For more information about programs at CNA, visit
Media contact:
Chad Harnett
Public Relations Specialist
College of the North Atlantic