St. Lawrence University's Inaugural Business Case Study Competition

St. Lawrence University’s Inaugural Business Case Study Course & Competition

Business Case Study Course
In its first semester, the Business Case Study Course has been a big hit among 17 juniors and seniors participating in the class.  Through collaborative efforts of Career Services and Career Connections, this half-credit course takes a liberal arts approach designed to provide students with necessary tools to effectively analyze and interpret real-world business problems and to develop thoughtful and intelligent solutions to these challenges.  Through a series of outstanding speakers across multiple disciplines, students explored concepts detailed below followed by group discussion and weekly reflection papers. Vasileios Prassas’14 stated, "The most attractive element of this class is that it shows us how to apply our liberal arts perspective on real life business situations. Thus, it is certainly a great bridge to our professional careers."

Course Presenters:
David Cruikshank ’86, VP BNY Mellon                                                               
Vision & Mission
David Bender, COO Canton-Potsdam Hospital                                                     
Internal Forces
Tom Coakley, former SLU VP for Operations, Economics Lecturer                        
External Forces
Ed Harcourt, (Computer Science/Mathematics)                                                    
Disruptive Innovation & Creativity
Jennifer Hansen (Philosophy), Liz Regosin (History) & Mark Raymond (Football)   
Robin Lock (Statistics), Jeff Maynes (Philosophy)                                                  
Quantitative & Qualitative Arguments
Randy Hill (Performance & Communication Arts)                                                  
Communication & Presentation

Part of the value of this course has come from the personal and professional perspectives of the speakers.   As indicated by Emily von Loesecke ’14, “For anyone looking to pursue any profession in the business or finance world, I highly recommend taking this course. Our first speaker, St. Lawrence alum and VP at BNY Mellon, David Cruikshank, gave us an interesting perspective on his approach to strategizing the implementation of a mission and a vision in a company. Through his presentation and our following class discussion, I was able to see my college pursuits come alive."  Adrian Wilson ’14 also explains, "Although I've always intended on being an entrepreneur, this class has showed me that it's not always the visibility or the image that matters when running a business. But instead, I now see that what is happening in the background--from leadership to innovation to knowing your clients-- is what matters.  After taking this class, I can now say I am more confident in pursuing this profession.”

David Cruikshank '86, who helped kick off the Business Case Study Course initiative by leading the first class lecture said, "I found it a very rewarding experience.  I am happy to have been part of this business-based course, and would gladly participate again.  Kudos to St. Lawrence for putting together such a program that brings business experience together with structured academic learning.  It's a great combination."

Business Case Study Competition:
The culminating experience of the course is a Business Case Study Competition with three student teams making formal presentations to a panel of judges comprised of alumni and experts in the field:

Tom DeRosa - Surgical Supply Chain Manager, Canton-Potsdam Hospital; CEO, Personé Staffing
Steve Kuno ’83 - Co-Owner and CEO, Kunoco Oil Company, Inc.
Carol Shaw Maxwell ’79 - Marketing Consultant, Otis Maxwell Advertising; Innovation and Entrepreneurship Mentor, Eastern New York Angels (ENYA)
Deena Giltz McCullough ’84 - President, Northern Insuring Agency, Inc.

The campus community is welcome and encouraged to attend the Business Case Study Competition on Monday, April 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the Sullivan Student Center Hannon Room.  A networking dessert reception will immediately follow the conclusion of the competition at 7:30 p.m.

Business Case Study Competition Judges:
Tom DeRosa
DeRosa’s business background, including an MBA, informs his various North Country entrepreneurial endeavors.  In addition to being CEO of Personé Staffing, a human resources firm in Potsdam, DeRosa serves as the surgical supply chain manager at Canton-Potsdam Hospital. He is also an entrepreneur, having previously owned and operated the Sandstone Grill, along with the First Crush Wine Bar and Bistro until its Fall 2013 sale.  In addition to these activities, he has also taught entrepreneurship courses, including “Designing Innovative Ventures” in the business school at Clarkson University.

Steve Kuno '83
A central New York native, Stephen C. Kuno graduated from St. Lawrence with a BA in Economics.  While attending St. Lawrence, Steve was an executive member of Sigma Pi Fraternity for three years, a four year member of the Saints Football Team, and Tri-Captain of the1982 NCAA Semifinalist SLU Hall of Fame football team, earning All-American honors at Linebacker in the same year.  Steve was also winner of the Energy Conservation Initiative Award in 1983.

In 1990, with the help and support of his wife Jacquelyn H. Kuno, SLU ’84, Steve founded Kuno Oil Company, Inc., a Canton, NY based fuel distribution and marketing company, becoming President and CEO.  Today, Kunoco has expanded and remains a strong and respected regional fuel supplier/convenience store operator serving many of St. Lawrence County’s rural markets and employing about 65 people. Through the years, Steve has served on several Boards, including town planning, grievance, senior citizens housing, and school related committees in St. Lawrence County.

Carol Shaw Maxwell '79
Carol completed her biology degree at St. Lawrence and earned an MBA at Union College.  She has worked in Sales, Marketing and Advertising for a number of companies, including Eli Lilly, Grey Advertising (now Grey Worldwide), and Bank of America. 

Active in nonprofit and community affairs, she also serves as a mentor/advisor for the Eastern Association of New York (ENYA), which provides seed funding and mentorship to early stage companies.  In addition, she mentors engineering and design students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who are developing disruptive inventions in a wide array of disciplines, such as health care, education, sustainability, agriculture, and telecom.  Most recently, she received an MAT from Union College and has embarked on a new career in secondary science education.

Deena Giltz McCullough '84
As President of Northern Insuring Agency, Inc., Deena is responsible for the corporation’s future strategic direction as well as continuing to work with key accounts.  She is a cum laude graduate of St. Lawrence University in Sociology and Fine Arts.  Beyond her work at Northern Insuring Agency, Deena is past president of several local and regional organizations and has a long family legacy of commitment to community, including serving on the board of Community Providers, Inc., The Strand Theatre Restoration Committee and the Executive Committee of Clinton County Thrive Network.  She is engaged with St. Lawrence University serving on the Laurentian Properties committee as well as a LINC mentor to students and was on the Alumni Council from 2004-12, serving as president, 2010-12.  She is a community board member of Plattsburgh State University, Champlain Valley Physicians Medical Center and an advisory board member of Mountain Lake PBS.

Business Case Study Course Advisory Committee:
Dr. Liz Regosin, Professor of History
Dr. Jennifer Hansen, Professor of Philosophy
Dr. Ed Harcourt, Associate Professor of Computer Science
Beth Larrabee, Assistant Director of Career Services
Course Coordinator
Geoff Falen, Director of Career Connections
Course Instructor