One-two finish for UB MBAs in prestigious Whitman competition

Release Date: April 25, 2017 This content is archived.

“Our team worked hard together on a project that required us to think outside the box and get comfortable with real-life business ambiguity. ”
Alex Mcleod, MBA ’17
University at Buffalo School of Management

BUFFALO, N.Y. — MBA students from the University at Buffalo School of Management took first and second place in the prestigious Whitman Case Competition, besting teams from universities across the country.

UB MBAs have finished in the top two seven times in the past seven years at the annual competition, hosted by the Syracuse University Martin J. Whitman School of Management on April 7-8.

Brendan McLaughlin, JD/MBA ’19, of Orchard Park; Alexandra Mcleod, MBA ’17, of Cannes, France; and Lindsay Macaluso, MBA ’17, of Rochester won a $5,000 prize for their victory.

Coming in second and collecting a $3,000 prize was a team of first-year MBAs: Sean Deacon of Hamburg, Thomas Hurd of Amherst, Owen Ortolani of Snyder and Mark Wilson of Buffalo.

In the initial round, teams analyzed a small business to develop a comprehensive growth strategy and submitted a two-page summary of their recommendations. Fourteen teams from six universities were invited to the next round to present their strategy to a panel of corporate and academic judges — and half of those teams came from the UB School of Management.

Mcleod and Ortolani were named Best Responders, winning an additional $250 prize each for their ability to answer the judges’ questions under pressure and defend their recommendations.

“After working for two startups and delivering many presentations as a UB MBA student, I was comfortable answering difficult questions about untested strategy recommendations, particularly because I trusted my teammates and believed in our ideas,” Mcleod says.

“Our team worked hard together on a project that required us to think outside the box and get comfortable with real-life business ambiguity,” she continues. “It was a privilege to represent UB in the business school community and a rewarding experience to compete.”

Registration and travel expenses were provided in part through a donation from School of Management alumnus Steven C. Verney, BS ’80, MBA ’81, chief financial officer at National Auto Care and former executive vice president and chief risk officer at Allstate Insurance Co., along with a matching grant from Allstate.

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit

Media Contact Information

Matthew Biddle
Assistant Director of Communications
School of Management