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Algoma U Hosts 12th Annual Northern Ontario Business Case Competition

(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – March 22, 2018): Business administration students from across Northern Ontario will be put to the test in Algoma University’s 12th Annual Northern Ontario Business Case Competition on March 28th at The Water Tower Inn. Students will be joined by guest judges Maclin Williams, Mark Brand, Dave Wilkin, and Lisa LaVecchia.

“The Business Case Competition is the ultimate way for students to finish off their education at Algoma University,” said Algoma U Business and Economics Professor Cathy Denomme. “It allows them the opportunity to showcase their talents to future employers and to compete with their peers. Visiting students also get the opportunity to network in different cities, which is a bonus for those in Northern Ontario.”

This year’s event will include guest speakers and judges Maclin Williams, Mark Brand, Dave Wilkin, and Lisa LaVecchia. They will interact with students throughout the competition, visiting each of the teams for approximately 15 minutes as students work on the solution to the case. The experience allows students the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities to the guest judges and also gain vital feedback from them.

As Head of Marketing for Porter Airlines, Maclin Williams has pushed the boundaries of emerging technology and big data to transform Porter Airlines into a leader in the Canadian digital advertising space. This innovation, paired with dedication to a unique brand, landed Porter the CMA Marketer of the Year award for Excellence in Brand & Advertising. Williams has developed strategies and campaigns and produced global multi-media events for clients such as Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Honda Canada, and Kraft Canada. Williams also co-founded IN_Situ Augmented Reality. The company earned Gold for Innovation in Digital Business at the National Post & Design Exchange Awards.

Mark Brand is one of North America’s foremost social entrepreneurs. With 11 businesses, Brand believes strongly in the importance of sustainable business models that make a difference. In 2013, he created The Token Program, an alternate currency to feed those in need without a cash exchange. Since then, almost 100,000 tokens have been redeemed, filling 100,000 empty stomachs, and creating interactions between those who have, and those in need. Brand is a graduate of THNK School of Leadership, an adjunct lecturer at Stanford University, and an advisor to those working to make real change.

Dave Wilkin turns organizations into engagement engines. A celebrated social entrepreneur, Wilkin founded TenThousandCoffees.com, the world’s largest peer-to-peer mentoring service. With deep experience working with prominent brands, organizations, non-profits, and government entities, Wilkin helps leaders and organizations alike build more diverse relationships and create high performing teams.  He is a regular contributor to national print, radio, and broadcast media outlets such as The Globe and Mail, and the CBC. Additionally, Wilkin has received the Lieutenant Governor’s Award, the Governor General’s Award, and was named one of Profit magazine’s “Top 30 under 30”.

Lisa LaVecchia is the President and CEO of Destination Ontario. LaVecchia is inspired to elevate Ontario as a preferred four-season, tourist destination in a globally competitive tourism market. Her forward-thinking approach to integrated marketing strategies has led to innovative, award-winning brand campaigns that are powerful and showcase the best of Ontario, including the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games “Epic Is ON” campaign and the “Where Am I?” campaign. Before joining Destination Ontario, LaVecchia was Senior Director, Marketing Strategy and Advertising of Indigo Books and Music, and played a key role in establishing Indigo as a leading retail destination.

In previous years, the competition has featured the likes of Co-Founder of Free the Children Craig Kielburger; David Segal, the founder of DAVIDsTea; Canadian television sensation Jessi Cruickshank; Nicole Verkindt, Dragon of CBC’s Next Gen Den;  husband and wife entrepreneur duo Farah and Martin Perelmuter of Speakers Spotlight; BNN Anchor Amanda Lang; self-made millionaire Michael Hyatt; Million Dollar Neighbourhood’s Preet Banerjee; Terry O’Reilly, CBC radio host of O’Reilly on Advertising, The Age of Persuasion, and Under the Influence; Bruce Croxon, co-founder of Lavalife and former Dragon on Dragons’ Den; Evan Solomon, host of CTV’s Question Period; Tool Shed Brewery founder Graham Sherman; and Diane Buckner from CBC’s reality hit show Dragons’ Den.

Students from Algoma U, Algoma U at Brampton, Nipissing University, and Laurentian University will be participating in the competition, making it a truly Northern Ontario event. Students from Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan will also be competing.

Approximately 250 people will be taking part in the Northern Ontario Business Case Competition.

The Water Tower Inn, Northern Credit Union, and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation are generously supporting the event along with other Sault Ste. Marie businesses.

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