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Business students earn top honors in regional competition

March 1, 2006

KALAMAZOO--A team of students enrolled in Western Michigan University's Integrated Supply Matrix Management Program took top honors in the 2006 APICS Case Competition Feb. 11 in Downer's Grove, Ill.

Nineteen schools from across the Midwest took part in the competition, which was held by Region 14 of APICS, the Association for Operations Management.

"Our teams have always performed well in the case competition, but this year is the first time the team won," says Dr. Bret Wagner, associate professor of management and director of the integrated supply management program. "We're really proud of their performance. They've set the bar for next year's team. Fortunately, some of this year's team members will be here for next year's competition."

Students say the ISM program, housed within WMU's Haworth College of Business, prepared them for the competition. The first-place award includes $800 for the business college's APICS student organization.

"The challenging ISM curriculum at WMU, some of the best supply management professors and the hard work of team members are undoubtedly the reasons Western brought home the gold," says team member Cristin McCurley.

"During the course of the two-day event our students acted with pride and professionalism in every way, and accepted their prize with the utmost class," said Rob Watson, vice president of the Southwest Michigan APICS Organization.

The two-day competition is designed to test students' knowledge of supply chain practices and innovations by evaluating a real world situation. All teams developed a plan for a business facing financial difficulties and produced a three-page paper and five-minute presentation explaining its plan to make the company in the case more efficient.

In addition to WMU, schools competing included Ball State University, Bowling Green State University, Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Indiana State University, Iowa State University, Lakeshore Technical College, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Northeastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, University of Houston, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Wichita State University.

WMU ISM Team Members

Nathan Bragg of Manchester, Mich., is a senior integrated supply management major.

Chris Burns of Portage, Mich., is a freshman, integrated supply management major.

Bill Crane of Flushing, Mich., is a senior integrated supply management major.

Rob Leda of Edwardsburg, Mich., is a sophomore integrated supply management major.

Cristin McCurley of Kalamazoo is a junior integrated supply management major.

Adam Noble of Novi, Mich., is a junior integrated supply management major.

Brian Ottman of Clarkston, Mich., is a junior integrated supply management major.

Brian Strobridge of Rockford, Mich., is a junior, integrated supply management major.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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