University of Vermont

School of Business Administration

A Global Spotlight on Family Business

Watch a slideshow of pictures from the FECC

Sixteen teams from 10 different countries on four continents descended on Burlington, Vermont last week with one goal in mind - become the winner of the University of Vermont School of Business Administration's first global Family Enterprise Case Competition (FECC).  After four days of competition, students from ESADE Business School won the coveted UVM Family Enterprise Cup.

"As you can imagine, we are very, very happy to have been so successful," said Alberto Gimeno, of ESADE Business School.  "This has been the last, or almost last academic activity for our team members, so it cannot have been more enjoyable."

The second, third and fourth places went to Wilfrid Laurier University Canada, the John Molson School of Business Cananda, and Jonkoping International Business School Sweden respectively.  While ESADE Business School was the overall winner of the cup and $2500 in prize money, the teams from Wilfrid Laurier, John Molson School of Business and Jonkoping International Business School were awarded $1000 each for being the divisional winners.

The four divisions were named after major sponsors of the competition: Robin and Charles Tauck (UVM Class of 1976 and 1977 respectively and members of the Tauck Tours family enterprise), Stephen Ifshin (UVM Class of 1958 and Chairman, DLC Management in New York), Jim Keller (UVM Class of 1972 and President, Green Mountain Business Consultants), and Cindy Lombardo (3rd/4th generation family member).

This first-of-its kind competition focused solely on issues that impact family businesses, something that many competitors know about first hand.  Forty out of the 60 competitors had family business backgrounds.

"The School of Business Administration is proud to be a leader in the field of family enterprise and be a pioneer in hosting this first ever global event," said Dean Sanjay Sharma, of the University of Vermont School of Business Administration.  "The Family Enterprise Case Competition highlighted that the isses that affect family businesses know no boundaries.  This will be an annual event and we are already looking forward to next year's competition.  This competition has put the School of Business Administration on the global map."

The four cases used in the competition were selected based on the top entries in the first annual Family Enterprise Case Writing Competition organized by the UVM School of Business Administration.  The authors of the selected cases each received $2000.

Along with the overall and divisional winners, the following awards were also handed out:

Most Creative Team Award - Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands

Team Spirit Award - Universiti Tun Abdul Razak: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Team Advisor Award - Luis Diaz-Matajira, Universidad de los Andes School of Management, Colombia

Best Overall Individual Presenter at the Competition - Daniel Figuroa, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada

Divisional Best Presenter Awards

-Scott Carr, John Molson School of Business, Canada

-Benele Levin, ESADE Business School, Spain

-Mallory McKewen, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada

-Matthias Waldkirch,  Jönköping International Business School, Sweden

Student Ambassador Awards

-Arran Joyce

-Emily Bates

Case Winners  

QADRI-Group: Sustaining Growth for Another 100 Years

-Muhammed Shakeel Sadiq Jajja - Ph.D. candidate at the Suleman Dawood School of Business at Lahore University of Management Sciences in Lahore, Pakistan, and now an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi, Pakistan

-Dr. Syed Zahoor Hassan - Professor at the Suleman Dawood School of Business Administration

Ruma's Fruit and Gift Basket: Will Dad Ever Retire?

-Edmund (Ted) Clark and John Friar fromNortheastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The American British University

-Josiane Fahed-Sreih, Associate Professor of Management, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon

Mid-State Trucking & Storage

-Edmund (Ted) Clark and John Friar of Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Sixty family business leaders and advisors from the U.S., Canada and Germany volunteered to sit on the 21 judging panels.  Each panel was a mix of family business owners and managers, advisors and service providers, and educators and scholars.  The final judging panel consisted of:

-John Ward, Co-founder of Family Business Consulting Group & Professor at Kellogg School, Northwestern University, Chicago

-John Hall, COO, Rachael Ray Inc./Watch Entertainment

-Stephen Ifshin, Chairman, DLC Management Corporation

-Cindy Lombardo, 3rd/4th Generation Family Member

-Pascale Michaud, President, Business Families Foundation

The FECC was made possible thanks to 30 individual and business sponsors, many of whom donated their time and money to help make this event a success.  

There are seven open spots for the 2014 competition, which will be expanded to 25 teams.  Contact for more information.