Thursday, May 8, 2014

Emory University MBA Team Takes First Place in The Executive Leadership Foundation’s 2014 Business Case Competition

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Executives from ExxonMobil and The Executive Leadership Foundation joined members of the 2014 Business Case Competition team from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School to celebrate their 1st place win. Featured left to right are: Team Captain Rae Oglesby from Georgia; Jeffrey G. Webster, Global Learning and Professional Development Manager with ExxonMobil; JoAnn Lee, Assistant General Counsel with Exxon Mobil; Onix Ramirez, from Texas; Ronald C. Parker, President and CEO of The Executive Leadership Council and Foundation; Joe Faxio from Missouri; and Iesha Scott from New York 

African-American MBA Students Develop Strategies to Improve Educational Achievement

FAIRFAX, VA – The MBA team from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta, GA, delivered the best case for promoting the implementation of Common Core State Standards during The Executive Leadership Foundation’s (ELF’s) 2014 Business Case Competition. Goizueta was one of three finalist teams competing for $70,000 in scholarships.  Sponsored for the fifth year by Exxon Mobil Corporation, ELF’s annual competition invited MBA/MA teams from 70 business schools to analyze a compelling business issue that challenged their critical thinking, analytical, and communications skills.  The 2014 winners were selected by a distinguished panel of judges including leaders from corporations and non-profits such as BAE Systems, Comcast Corporation, DuPont, UNCF, Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, The Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering and JEA.

“This has been such a rewarding experience and has helped me know, with confidence, that there are great things that I can aspire to achieve in my career,” said Onix Ramirez, a member of the same Goizueta team that competed in 2012.  “This second time, we said, ‘We’ve been here before,’ so we decided to use our experience to try again.  We have grown, and now, we’re so happy to have taken first place just days before graduating.”

ELF’s Business Case Competition challenged this year’s teams to develop solutions for “Inspiring Success Through Common Core,” by developing strategies for the successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards to improve educational achievement and support the continued prosperity of our nation.

Goizueta’s winning recommendations included analyzing the positive, long term economic impact of successfully implementing Common Core State Standards and directly addressing growing opposition to the initiative.  The team provided strong data to support its recommendations.

“This issue is so important to the competitive success of our nation,” said Ronald C. Parker, president and CEO of The Executive Leadership Council and Foundation.  “For our nation to compete globally, we need more African-American college graduates with degrees and training in the STEM fields and these standards are part of a good start.  It will be important for corporations to build a qualified pipeline of American workers to fill these jobs,” Parker added.

In addition to the $35,000 cash scholarship award, Emory University’s team members Rae Oglesby, Joe Faxio, Iesha Scott and Onix Ramirez will be recognized during ELF’s 2014 Recognition Gala on October 30 before an audience of more than 2,000 corporate, education and government leaders at the Gaylord National.  The second place team from Washington University in St. Louis Olin Business School will receive a $20,000 cash scholarship award, with the third place team from University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business receiving $15,000.  Participating teams also had an opportunity to meet with ExxonMobil executives and recruiters during the competition to be considered for internships and entry-level employment opportunities with the company.

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University of Houston C.T. Bauer College of Business team

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Washington University in St. Louis Olin Business School team

ExxonMobil has sponsored the ELF Business Case Competition for five consecutive years on topics such as corporate philanthropy and black nonprofits, innovative STEM education for middle school students and devising an energy plan reducing greenhouse gases for the U.S. by the year 2030.

About The Executive Leadership Foundation
The Executive Leadership Foundation (ELF), the 501(c)(3) related charitable organization of The Executive Leadership Council (ELC), focuses on improving local communities and helping disadvantaged groups within the broader society through its support for education programs, and provides scholarships to deserving students interested in business and corporate careers.  The Executive Leadership Council is an independent non-profit 501(c)(6) corporation founded in 1986, and is the pre-eminent membership organization committed to increasing the number of global black executives in C-Suites, on corporate boards and in global enterprises.  Comprised of more than 500 current and former black CEOs, board members and senior executives at Fortune 500 companies and equivalents, its members work to build an inclusive business leadership pipeline that empowers global black leaders to make impactful contributions to the marketplace and the global communities they serve.  For more information about The Executive Leadership Council and Foundation, please visit

Press release/Photo credit: Mikio Togashi

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