Joplin, MO (SNS) – For the second straight year, students from the Plaster School of Business at Missouri Southern State University have claimed the title in the NASBITE International Student Case Competition.

The five-member team completed a 20-page analysis that involves the Ohio-based Cleveland Whiskey. The small manufacturer is seeking to expand globally, focusing on the Asian market and Singapore in particular. Papers were submitted by teams from 30 universities and then blind reviewed. The top three schools were invited to make a presentation to company representatives during the 29th annual NASBITE International Conference, held April 4-8 in Newport, Rhode Island.

Competing against Missouri Southern in the finals were teams from the University of Northern Iowa and Youngstown State University in Ohio.

“Last year’s competition was a market selection case,” said Dr. Chris Moos, associate professor of international business and the team’s advisor. “Cleveland Whiskey knew where they wanted to go, but wanted to know how to enter this specific market. They had a specific budget, and asked the teams for their recommendation on naming, branding, pricing, distribution and a timeline.

“This year, there were ideas from all three finalists that Cleveland Whiskey can use, but they felt our numbers were more realistic.”

Team members are Holly Loncarich, of Fairview; Josh Foster, Carterville; Cynthia Salas, Purdy; Aliza Fahle, Joplin; and Viktoryia Johnson, an international student from Belarus.

“We spent last semester working on the paper,” said Johnson, a senior human resource management major. “When we found out in January that we had qualified for finals, we began working weekly as a group to put together a PowerPoint presentation. We made our presentation in front of the business faculty and got advice from them.”

What makes Missouri Southern’s second competition victory in a row even more special is that it’s only the second year it has been offered.

“Some schools make this a class assignment, but I hand pick the team and invite students to participate,” said Moos. “They’re a highly motivated team. Another factor is that our upper-division classes are applied project-oriented. They’ve done this kind of work in class already.

“The competition is a wonderful experience for our students that they can put on their resume.”

As the winning team, the students were presented with a check for $1,000 by Tom Lix, founder of Cleveland Whiskey.