First Gill/McDaniel College Finance Case Competition

October 24, 2011

Beer, specifically fictional Mountain Man Brewing Company, was the topic of the day for students participating in the first Gill/McDaniel College Finance Case Competition on Oct. 19 in Decker Center Forum.

Six student teams made up of Finance, Economic, and Accounting students from McDaniel College, American University in Washington, D.C., Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., Towson University in Towson, Md., and Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa., vied for the chance to win a $500 cash prize ($300 for second place and $200 for third place).

McDaniel Team One in the Gill/McDaniel College Finance Case Competiton: senior Jake Nichols of Frederick, Md.; junior Chuck Kronmiller of Norristown, Pa.; senior Crissy Kluba of Dillwyn, Va. and senior Bill Gerdes of Freehold, N.J.

The winning team was Juniata College, followed by Towson University in second place and McDaniel’s team two in third. (McDaniel had two teams compete in the competition.)

McDaniel’s case competition was the brainchild of Julie Routzhan, Economics and Business Administration professor, and was modeled on Mt. Saint Mary’s annual ethics case competition.

"I thought it was important for students to be given a real world scenario in which to utilize what they have been taught about corporate finance and marketing," Routzhan said. "It is good for all students taking business courses, not just business majors."

McDaniel Team Two in the Gill McDaniel College Finance Case Competition: Seniors Dan Labson of Lakewood, Colo.; Ben Mattox of Arlington, Va.; Micah Brown of Baltimore; Liam O’Neill of Mclean, Va., and Scott Magerer of Waltham, Mass.

The student teams participating in the case competition provided a solution to a Harvard Business Case on whether fictional Mountain Man Brewing Company should introduce a "light beer" formulation in response to changing customer tastes and demographics to a mock board of directors, including Steve Aquino, Aquino & Wolpoff Financial Group; Roger "Chip" Bair, III, director of retirement plan services, The Financial Consulate; Steve Chapin, Jr., co-founder,, Inc.; Chris Marshall, T. Rowe Price; Russell J. Weber, senior vice president of investments, UBS; and Steven A. West, CFP®, senior vice president, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

Although each of the presentations was different in terms of their recommendations for bringing a "light beer" to market, they all included an analysis of market conditions and cash-flow projections along with PowerPoint slides and other visuals. A couple of the teams also brought handouts.

"I thought it was helpful as a young entrepreneur to participate in this competition," said Micah Brown ’12 of Baltimore. "An opportunity such as this will only help us with what we decide to do in the future."

Jake Nichols ’12 of Frederick, Md., added, "I thought it was a good experience. It was a learning experience as it was the first time I presented to a board of directors. I feel like I now would have an edge."

The case competition was organized by the Department of Economics & Business Administration. Funding was provided by the Gill Fund established through donations from McDaniel trustee Ken Gill ’61, managing member of Deer Valley Corporate Center, Severna Park, Md.