19 Ethics Teams from Across the U.S. Compete at Stetson University

This year’s ethical dilemma featured Nestlé and Ginnie Springs


DELAND, Fla., March 3, 2020 – Georgetown University students took first place and received $1,500 in Stetson University’s fifth annual Templeton Business Ethics Case Competition. The case presented to the students this year was, “Nestlé and Ginnie Springs: Socially Responsible Business Practice or Harmful Extraction of a Scarce Natural Resource?”

After receiving the case, teams were given two weeks to prepare and submit an executive summary and a visual presentation. Teams represented consultants who advised the Suwannee River Water Management District about an application to extract up to 1.1 million gallons of water from the Floridan aquifer at Ginnie Springs.

Iowa State University placed second and won $1,200, St. Petersburg College came in third and earned an $800 prize and the United States Naval Academy secured fourth place and received $500. The top four teams also received trophies. The four bracket runners-up were University of Calgary, Clemson University, University of Massachusetts Amherst and Northern Illinois University. As host of the competition, Stetson’s Business Ethics Competition team does not compete.

“The Templeton Business Ethics Case Competition is a wonderful example of the transfer of learned course material to a real-world setting,” said Jim Beasley, PhD, professor of management and co-director of the event. “The use of concrete, actual business dilemmas in the cases analyzed by student participants prompts a level of learning that significantly supplements students’ curricular programs in business education. During the past five years, Templeton has become a premier program of experiential learning for business students from universities in the United States and Canada.”

During the event, teams made an oral presentation in front of a panel of judges. Bracket winners delivered a final eight-minute oral presentation to all of the 16 judges during a plenary session, which included conference attendees, members of the Stetson University community and the general public. Undergraduate students from invited institutions across the country had the opportunity to analyze and present arguments on a contemporary business matter tied to financial, legal and ethical issues.

The competition is made possible through the generous support of former university trustee and double Hatter Troy Templeton and his wife Sissy Templeton. Stetson University School of Business Administration’s Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative sponsors the event each spring.

In addition to the teams already mentioned, the 2020 competition included: Belmont University, Campbell University, Elon University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida State University, La Salle University, Pennsylvania State University, Saint Leo University, University of Florida, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of North Dakota.

Representatives from top companies across Central Florida volunteered their time to serve as judges during the two-day competition, including: Peter Brockway, executive-in-residence, Wake Forest University; Yvonne Chang, director, Club Management and Regulatory Affairs, Disney Vacation Club; Randall Croom, PhD, assistant professor of management at Stetson; Paula Christopher, CAO and managing partner, The Christopher Group; Tom Christopher, CEO and managing director, The Christopher Group; Bruce Dahlgren, CEO, Xpress Retail, a Trivest Company;  Paul Dascher, PhD, retired Stetson University School of Business Administration Dean; Theo Etzel, CEO and owner, Conditioned Air; Brent Gibbs, principal counsel, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc.; Elin Kunz, certified healthcare compliance specialist; Debbie Lashinsky, retired senior director of I.T., Ryder System; Karen Nalven, president and CEO, Better Business Bureau, West Florida; Ed Patricoff, partner, Shutts & Bowen in Miami; Nelea Patricoff, international law attorney; Jack Phifer, former managing partner, Moroch Partners; and Steve Schrimsher, partner, Schrimsher Properties.

Stetson’s Business Ethics Competition team is preparing for its next challenge during the International Business Ethics and Sustainability Case Competition, April 22-24, at Loyola Marymount University’s Silicon Beach campus in Los Angeles. Additionally, on the same dates, team members will be competing in the International Business Ethics Case Competition at the Boston Marriott Copley Place in Boston.

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