Team Toba “Rocks the House” at JDC West 2020

The following article was originally posted on the University of Manitoba's News website, UM Today. You can view the original article here.

With one of the best performances to date, the Asper School of Business reinforced its place as a top Canadian business school at the 2020 JDC West Competition in Regina, Saskatchewan from January 17-19, 2020. The three-day event showcases academics, athletics, debate, and out-of-the-box social competitions. 

Team Toba, co-captained by Christine Sheppard and Jacquelyn Townsend, won awards in a mix of categories. Team Toba’s preparation and cross-discipline collaboration paid off with a range of podium finishes.

Asper’s individual academic teams had a number of top podium finishes, including:

  • 1st place – Finance
  • 2nd place – Business technology
  • 2nd place – Marketing
  • 2nd place – International business
  • 3rd place – Debate

Asper placed in a number of non-academic categories, including:

  • 2nd place – Participation
  • 2nd place – Skit night performance

 “The key to our team’s success was their never-ending drive to improve week after week. Our teams put in countless hours preparing for the competition and it was incredible to see their hard work pay off,” says Co-Captain Jacquelyn Townsend.

Along with the academic, athletic and debate preparations, Team Toba made significant philanthropic and volunteer contributions to compete at event, raising impressive funds at the annual Chillin’ for Charity event and dedicating more than 2,200 volunteer hours to Shinerama and United Way Winnipeg.

Team Toba also received significant support from Asper alumni, Associates and partners in the business community. More than 50 volunteers devoted significant hours coaching the teams in specialties such as operations management, finance, marketing, human resources and business strategy. The volunteer coaches also ran workshops and helped secure sponsorship from the business community.

“I believe we performed so well due to a combination of diverse coaching and team dedication,” says Co-Captain Townsend. “Without alumni support, Team Toba would definitely not be where we are today and we are extremely grateful to have such dedicated alumni that continuously support our team.”

Asper alumnus, Jesse Greenberg [BComm (Hons)/17], was one of the alumni coaches that helped prepare the JDC West students. Greenberg competed with the JDC West team when he was an Asper student and said that his role this year was to support the international business team and provide a perspective from someone who has competed at JDC West in the recent past.

In his second year as a JDC coach, Greenberg noted that volunteering for the team has additional benefits. “I get a lot out of being there right beside the other coaches and listening to the feedback they give to the competitors. I’m able to practice my ability to give feedback to others while gaining amazing insights from some very experienced professionals in the city.” 

The Asper School of Business’ outstanding alumni commitment will be advantageous when Asper hosts the 2021 JDC West Competition that will welcome approximately 1,300 attendees and 650 undergraduate delegates to our city next January.

 “With the work of our amazing students and dedicated alumni, we plan to make JDC West 2021 the best showing Asper has ever had at a JDC West competition,” says Dr. Gady Jacoby, Dean and CPA Manitoba Chair in Business Leadership, Asper School of Business. This prestigious event will be an opportunity to showcase our School and the strength of our business community.”

In addition to our student success, Dr. Lukas Neville, Asper School of Business Assistant Professor in Organizational Behaviour, was named Faculty Advisor of the Year. He was selected from advisors from 12 of the top post secondary institutions across western Canada.

Dr. Neville has been involved as a coach for the JDC West team since 2014, initially starting out as not-for-profit team coach and then being asked this year to fill the faculty advisor position with Asper Professor, Dr. Howard Harmatz.

“I inherited the faculty advisor role from Mary Brabston. It had been her baby for a long time and she has put a huge amount of effort into building a really strong foundation for this team,” says Neville.

On being named as JDC West Faculty Advisor of the year, Neville directed his attention to how the students performed.

“It’s gratifying, but to be honest the award I’m most excited about is the students’ third place win as academic school of the year… I was just so proud of the team because they had poured their heart and soul into the competition.


Edwards School of Business wins Academic School of the Year at JDC West 2020

The following article was originally posted on the Edwards School of Business website. You can view the original article here.

Students from the Edwards School of Business brought home the coveted title of Academic School of the Year at the 2020 JDC West competition. The Edwards team was also recognized as the second place team overall for the competition among the 12 competing business schools. In total, Edwards students took home five academic awards.

JDC West is Western Canada’s largest undergraduate business student competition, showcasing academics, debate, athletics, community involvement, and an out-of-the-box social competition.

Team captains Abbie Reich and Benjamin Petruk said the experience at JDC West was rewarding.

"It’s amazing being able to watch our team put all of their hard work over the past year into action," said Abbie Reich. "All team members were outstanding in their performances and showcased the multitude of skills that Edwards students have to offer."

The student-run competition brings together over 600 students from across Western Canada and provides opportunities to gain applicable and real-world experience.

"JDC West is the perfect culmination of the skills business students need when graduating from university," said Benjamin Petruk. "They are trained in problem-solving, critical thinking, public speaking, and teamwork. While the experience of the competition itself is a bit of a blur, it is recognition of months of work."

Both captains agree they couldn’t be happier with the outcome or more proud of the team.

"The entire Edwards JDC team demonstrates our mission to develop business professionals to build nations," said Dr. Keith Willoughby, Dean of the Edwards School of Business. "The win marks the second time the team has captured Academic School of the Year in the past three years."

Guided by faculty advisor Nathalie Johnstone, the team’s standings were as follows:

School of the Year – 2nd
*includes academic categories plus athletics, participation, social, debate, etc.

Academic School of the Year – 1st
*presented to the team with the highest overall finish in competition’s ten academic categories

Business Technology – 1st
Team members: Jordan Glasman, Owen Weiss, and Ty Gitzel
Coaches: Mark Klassen, Preston Thompson, and Jordan Sinclair

International Business – 1st
Team members: Aidan Penner, Kate Langhorne, and Naina Nicodemus
Coaches: Nathalie Johnstone, Glen Kobussen, Romeo Nkunzimana, and Alex Rissling

Accounting – 2nd
Team members: Eric Turcotte, Jonathan Forest, and Kirsten Chickowski
Coaches: Brandy Mackintosh, Suresh Kalagnanem, Andrea Landstad, Taylor Reich, and Lee Farrer

Not-for-profit – 2nd
Team members: Aubrey-Anne Laliberte-Pewapisconias and Kaitlyn Robin
Coaches: Lorelei Nickel, Dani Nichols, and Cameron Choquette

Finance – 3rd
Team members: Jordan Turcotte, Luke Walsh, and Nicole Kuemper
Coaches: John Povhe, Brian Lane, and Gary Entwistle

Athletics – 3rd
Team members: Taijal Verma, Emily Sweeney, Bailey Link, Jayden Burns, Adam Paziuk, Eric McNeilly, Amanda Hundseth, Lukas Cowan
Coaches: Rhett Kappel and Tyler Wagner

In addition, team Edwards raised $14,986.35 with proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity. The students also logged more than 1,705 volunteer hours for charities such as Parkinson’s Society, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Saskatoon SPCA, Habitat for Humanity, and Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Fund.

Special thank you to Hub City Event Rentals, SaskTel, 7Shifts, EY, CPA Saskatchewan, Boston Pizza, Pinehouse Dental office, SGI, Wilde Advisory Group and the Edwards School of Business for their sponsorship.

Next year’s competition will be held at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.

The University of Saskatchewan and the Edwards School of Business congratulate Edwards JDC West on this achievement!


UWinnipeg business students score big at JDC West

This article was originally posted on the University of Winnipeg News Centre. You can view the original article here.

University of Winnipeg business students took top scores at JDC West, Western Canada’s largest business competition, including Executive of the Year, first place in debating, third place in operations management, and third place for overall participation.

“Our school coming home with four awards this year has been a huge moment for the team,” said Sophia Hershfield, co-caption of UWinnipeg’s JDC West team.

The three-day competition showcases the very best in academics, athletics, and debate from business students across Western Canada. It is a prestigious event where winning cases get the attention of business leaders, and open doors to future job possibilities.

“We have local sponsors, and our team networks with them one on one,” said Hershfield. “Many students have gone to work with sponsors after graduation.”

This year’s event, held at the University of Regina, brought together approximately 600 undergraduate delegates from 12 universities in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. A theme of Growing Forward challenged students to be innovative and cultivate a growth mindset.

UWinnipeg’s debate team took part in a playoff-style championship that required intense competition to stay in the race. In the final round, they debated the issue of Wexit, which won them top spot. 

“They had an incredible showing in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, with great support from their teammates, who were watching and cheering on every round,” said Hershfield.

UWinnipeg’s Operations Management team received third place for what Hershfield says was a well thought out and well articulated presentation on wholesale health foods. She is very proud of UWinnipeg’s success this year, and thrilled to be recognized as Executive of the Year.

“Winning Executive of the Year is such a meaningful award for myself and for Jordy,” she said. “This year was full of hard work, but it was made so worthwhile because of our amazing delegates who all performed so well.”

UWinnipeg’s team came home with the following awards:

  • Executive of the Year Award
    UWinnipeg’s 2020 team captains, Sophia Hershfield and Jordy de Oliveira, were recognized for their excellent leadership.
  • Debating (First place) 
    George Kettler, Jennifer-Ashley Hall, Khalil Qasem, and Sam Cohn were given 30 minutes to review proposals centred on topics relevant to current events in Canada’s business and political spheres before presenting their stance. The structure follows a parliamentary-style debate, where one team is Team Government and the other is Team Opposition.
  • Operations Management (Third place)
    Brennan Jackson, Jared Kuik, and Zarif Alam had three hours to analyze a business case, and create a recommendation and implementation plan, which they had 20 minutes to present to a panel of industry judges.
  • Overall Participation (Third place)
    Forty-six UWinnipeg business students competing in accounting, business strategy, business technology, entrepreneurship, finance, human resources, international business, marketing, not-for-profit, operations management, debate, athletics, and social.

Paul J. Hill Business Students Win First Place at JDC West Competition

The following article was originally posted on the University of Regina News Website. You can view the original article here.

University of Regina business students erupted in cheers and applause last night upon learning the Hill JDC West team placed first for School of the Year at JDC West – the largest undergraduate business competition in Western Canada. This first place finish is in keeping with the Hill School’s impressive record at the competition, which was hosted this past weekend at the Paul J. Hill School of Business and the University of Regina.

Competing on their home turf, the 2020 University of Regina Hill team also placed first in the categories of Entrepreneurship, Athletics, Participation, and Charitable Volunteer Hours with 5,036 hours volunteered. The team also placed second in Debate and Social, and third in Business Technology Management, Human Resources, Not-for-Profit, and Skit Performance.

“It was such a surreal experience to be able to compete at home at such a well-run competition,” says Georgia Iannone, Hill JDC West Co-Captain, and student in Marketing.

In addition to Iannone, the 2020 Hill team was led by Co-Captain Kyle Hodge (student in Marketing) and Faculty Coach Randy Linton (Instructor in Hill School).

“Kyle and I are so proud of the 52-member team, and everything we’ve accomplished this year,” says Iannone. “We couldn’t have done it without each and every individual on this team, as well as all of our coaches and sponsors. We are so thankful and proud to be part of the Hill School of Business.”

The Hill JDC West team has now placed in the top three as School of the Year 12 times – more than any other school.

“Congratulations to all of the student competitors and coaches on the Hill JDC West team, who have carried on the Hill legacy of excellence at this year’s competition,” says Dr. Gina Grandy, Dean of the Hill and Levene Schools of Business. “I am so proud of our students for maintaining the Hill School’s reputation as a top business school in Western Canada.”

Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year with the theme “Growing Forward,” the JDC West competition saw student teams from 12 of the leading universities across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba compete in academics, athletics, debate, and a social competition.

In this year’s Academics competition, teams had three hours to analyze and create a recommendation to a business case. Afterwards, they were given 20 minutes to present their recommendation to a panel of industry judges, followed by a 5-minute Q & A. 

For the Athletics component, teams competed at Boccer, a sport that combines aspects of indoor soccer and basketball, as well as Circle Rules football. Other competitions included debate presentations and a skit night, which featured a musical performance by each school. 

This year’s organizing committee was comprised of 22 Hill School alumni and seven Hill students.

“It really takes a small village to put this on,” says Mason Gardiner BBA’13, Co-Chair of JDC West. “It’s been thousands of volunteer hours for the organizing committee, but I think if you asked any one of them, they’d say it was worth it to see the delegates having an amazing life-changing experience.”

Every year the competition makes a significant economic impact on the host city, and this year was no exception. JDC West’s operating budget of $650,000 was spent entirely in Saskatchewan, with JDC West drawing approximately 1,300 people to the U of R, including volunteers, sponsors, former competitors, and approximately 650 students.

With half of the competition’s budget coming from corporate sponsorships, Gardiner says he learned a lot about budgeting and fundraising.

“The Regina community and province stepped up,” says Gardiner, adding that this event would not have happened without their generous support.

Many Hill students who have competed at JDC West have gone on to lead successful business careers in Saskatchewan and beyond.

“I would not be who I am today without JDC West,” says Emily McNair BBA’11, who competed on the Hill team in 2011. “It was a completely definitive moment for me.”

Prior to competing, McNair says she was extremely introverted, lacked confidence, and dreaded public speaking. Today, she is a Sessional Instructor at the Hill School of Business and Manager for the Centre for Management Development in the Faculty of Business Administration at the University of Regina.

“JDC West gives students real-life experience to take into the working world, so they don’t necessarily start from scratch when they get their first positions,” says McNair.  

Regina previously hosted JDC West in 2014, making this the second time the University has hosted this prestigious competition.  

“At the Hill School, we are incredibly grateful for and proud of the leadership demonstrated by both the competition organizing committee, as well as the Hill student competitors,” says Dr. Grandy. “I want to thank the JDC West 2020 Organizing Committee Co-Chairs, Cari-Lynn Schoettler BBA’17 and Mason Gardiner, and their team comprised of Hill students and alumni, for all of their work in putting together what was an incredible weekend of events.”

The 2021 edition of JDC West will be held at the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg next January.


U of R Hosting 15th Annual JDC West Event

The following article was posted by 620 CKRM in Regina. You can view the original article here.

The University of Regina is hosting a variety of schools from across western Canada for the 15th annual JDC West competition.

This competition brings about 650 delegates from the top 12 post secondary schools in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba come together to compete in a variety of sections, with the main focus being solving a business case.

Dean of the Hill and Levene Schools of Business at the U of R, Dr. Gina Grandy, says students were chosen for this years competition last February and March and have been preparing for almost a year.

“There are about 10 months where they are practicing every single Friday, many many weekends on top of their regular Friday session,” says Grandy. “This is a significant commitment on behalf of the students, faculty who support them, industry and alumni who continue to coach them.”“It’s primarily a business competition, but there is also an athletic, social and debate competition as well, and a charity aspect to show who the most well-rounded, holistic business school is,” mentions co-chair Mason Gardiner prior to the event.

Gardiner says the business competition has teams working on a business case.

“They have three hours to read a case on a real life business. They have to come up with the problem, analysis, recommendation and implementation plan in order to fix that issue,” he explains.

“Then they present it to a panel of business experts and industry experts as well, they have 20 minutes to present there and then there is a 5 minute question and answer period.”

The main competition has students solve a business case and present it to business leaders.

JDC West runs until Sunday.