School of Management announces winners in accounting challenge

Release Date: November 6, 2014 This content is archived.


From left, the winners of the 2014 PwC Challenge are undergraduates Brittany Popovski, Spencer Gates, Chris DiDuro, Dominic Eusanio and Gary Vinette.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A team of five undergraduate students in the University at Buffalo School of Management will share a $1,000 prize as winners of the 11th annual Challenge, the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) case competition.

Chris DiDuro of East Amherst, Dominic Eusanio of Orchard Park, Spencer Gates of Kenmore, Brittany Popovski of Orchard Park and Gary Vinette of Niagara Falls made up the winning team.

Sponsored by PwC, the Challenge is designed to help accounting students hone their analytical, problem-solving and teamwork skills by proposing solutions to a real-world business challenge.

For this year’s case, the competitors acted as accounting consultants, tasked with helping a firm evaluate an e-commerce strategy for a potential client.

Twelve teams representing 60 students took part in the competition on Oct. 31 at UB’s North Campus. Each five-member team was assigned faculty coaches and a PwC mentor.

Jing Chen and Claudia Qi, assistant professors of accounting and law in the UB School of Management, were the winning team’s faculty coaches. Heather L. Warnes, assurance experienced associate, served as the winning team’s PwC mentor.

The team had two weeks to conduct research and develop a 12-minute case analysis, which they presented to a panel of PwC judges. Eric Chapman, Adam Osteryoung and Katie Sullivan, all assurance managers at PwC, served as this year’s judges.

Nathanael Carbrey, assurance experienced associate, was the PwC Challenge coordinator. Also contributing to the competition was Mark Bruno, Lake Erie market sourcing leader.

The winning team will advance to the next round of the competition, where a video of their presentation will be judged against submissions from 50 other business schools nationwide. PwC will select five teams as finalists and invite them to present at the company’s New York City office in January.

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, the Financial Times, 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

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB’s nearly 30,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Media Contact Information

Matthew Biddle
Assistant Director of Communications
School of Management