Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tokyo | July 26, 2012

Out first full day in Japan after a comfortable flight and restful evening.

We spent the day in a sizzling hot Tokyo with family, enjoying a special summer Ramen lunch (a mild spicy soup served cold), a tour of the new Sky Tree Tower complex (the tallest structure in the world – 634 meters) with a breath-taking 50 second elevator ride to the top observation deck (@ 600 meters per minute!), finishing the day with a sushi dinner – absolutely the finest seafood to be had anywhere.

Tomorrow we head off to the Ginza district for haircuts, some shopping and a luncheon place Keiko has been raving about since we planned the trip.  As close friends know, she plans many aspects of our Japan adventures around favorite dishes she wants to enjoy again or sample for the first time.

Photos will begin appearing with posts over the weekend.

While in Japan, I can be reached most directly on my Japanese mobile through

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Japan 2012 Trip

Arrived in Tokyo. No problem 13 hour flight from Detroit. Wonderful experience as I had a four seat row to myself and used as a bed! We are at an airport hotel for the evening. Stay tuned for reports on the adventure.

Sunday, June 10, 2012 Upgrade

On or about July 1, 2012 a revised edition of my web site,, will be launched.  I will attempt to update the site content immediately thereafter.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Molson Case 4

Molson case 4 was a "live" or real-life business case presented by executives of a Canadian IT firm, CGI, to the 36 competitor teams simultaneously.

CGI provides a wide range of IT out-sourcing services to customers in various of industries. The company asked the teams for their ideas and recommendations on how CGI could continue to grow its global business.

TeamMaine developed and presented an aggressive growth strategy focused on the U.S. market, specifically the government and health care sectors. In a close contest, TeamMaine won the case against the Aalto University School of Economics (Finland).

In an interesting twist of fate, Aalto last year denied Maine a slot in the semi-finals by winning a face-to-face contest by one point. Today, TeamMaine appears to have turned the tables on Aalto!

While the competition draws many students and businesspeople from Montreal as observers, TeamMaine performed today in front of Maine Business School Dean Dr. Ivan Manev and MBA student Joseph Kellner, a member of the 2011 UMaine Molson team. Thanks to both of driving here to support the team.

Molson Cases 2 & 3

Thursday was a long and exhausting day for Modson competitors with two complex cases to consider. TeamMaine ended the day with two close decisions in favor of competitors St. Mary's University and the University of Pittsburgh.

The second case was "Technology Plus: Moving Forward" focused on finance. The firm, Technology Plus, had experienced great growth through strategic acquisitions and the teams were asked to make a recommendation as to how far and how fast Technology Plus should expand, and where to obtain the necessary financing to ensure success. The fact that the three owner-executives of the firm did not get along well together added much to the complexity of the case.

Case 3 was "ABC Bank". Known in the competition as the "short" case, these cases are traditionally either crisis and/or "think-on-your-feet" in nature. The case this year concerned the structure and donation policy of a U.S. bank in the aftermath of the recent financial crisis. With only 1 hour and 45 minutes to prepare, participants were asked to present a comprehensive philanthropy plan to the ABC Bank's board.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Molson 2012 - Case 1

Team Maine had a disappointing start in the first case against the team from the Asper School of Business (Manitoba). Asper was awarded a 8-3 win. Those familiar with the competition will recognize that the judging score is not the best way to evaluate either the value of the experience or the level of presentation performance.

The first case, "Sell or Stay", presented the situation of a 23 year old recent MBA graduate and son of a 50% owner of a private eastern European firm dealing with the unfortunate death of the father. The questions of business strategy and personal decision were the focus of the case.

Teams have three hours to analysis the case and prepare their presentation, 25 minutes to present, and 15 minutes of a Q&A session with either a 5 or 3 panel of judges comprised of Montreal businesspeople.

At 7:30AM this morning, after spending last night at a Montreal Canadians hockey game, Team Maine gathered for another three hour preparation session on Case 2, "Technology Plus, Inc.: Moving Onward".

Jason and I were pleased with the team's 11:00AM Case 2 presentation and Q&A performance. More later on the judge's opinion and the Case 3 experience scheduled for this afternoon.

Let the Competition Begin

The Maine Business School (MBS) team arrived safely in a very cold Montreal on Monday, January 2 and is preparing for the Molson International MBA Case Competition to begin this afternoon.

Yesterday was spent getting acclimated to the environment, a detailed case study practice session and the opening ceremonies with the team division "draw". The UMaine team is in a division with Corvinus University of Budapest (Hungary); the Katz Graduate School of Business - University of Pittsburgh (USA); the Aalto University School of Economics (Finland); the Asper School of Business - University of Manitoba (Canada); and the Sobey School of Business - Saint Mary's University (Nova Scotia, Canada).

Members of the UMaine MBS 2012 Molson team are Ian Burns, Caitlin Clark, Richmond Dickey and Frederick Kaiser. Timothy Stormann is the team alternate. The team is co-coached by myself and Jason Harkins.

Tim will however be competing as a member of "Team Global", a special team organized by the Molson event to take the place of a team from Nigeria that could not participate due to visa issues. If an illness or other unforeseen event creates a problem for Team Maine, Tim would be allowed to rejoin his colleagues. His service also does not impact his expected participation at the 2013 event.

I hope you will follow the team's performance through this blog. Your support is greatly appreciated by the team. Go Black Bears!