Students Win First Place in Food Industry Competition

Friday, February 22, 2013

by Michael McCarry

PHILADELPHIA (February 22, 2013) – A team of Saint Joseph’s University students won first place in the annual Food Industry University Coalition Student Case Competition. The National Grocers Association (NGA) presented the award to the SJU team at the 2013 NGA Show in Las Vegas, Nev.

The annual case competition offers professional development opportunities for students from participating university food and retail programs. It also provides student teams with the opportunity to address a real-world issue currently impacting the industry.

Teams from eleven universities across the U.S. were tasked with addressing this year’s NGA case study question from Chief Super Market, Inc, an independent grocer. Students were asked to creatively determine what the company should do to fulfill their mission and grow market share.

SJU seniors Lauren DeLeon, Norene Drici, Edward Fagan, Mary Sisti, and Devin Tanney were awarded a combined $8,000 for their first-place efforts.

The students’ advisor Mark Lang, Ph.D. an assistant professor of food marketing, says that this win “reinforces our program’s reputation as the top Food Marketing Program in the nation. In addition to winning this year, SJU was the only school to make it to the final four in each of the previous four years.”

Each year, seniors in the food marketing program are invited to submit an application to be a part of the NGA case competition team. Applicants are reviewed and selected based on academic and extra curricular accomplishments.

The SJU case team meets on Saturday mornings over the period of a few months to work on case preparation. Team members perform a significant amount of research and presentation development outside of the meetings and in addition to their regular coursework and commitments.

“We set out to make a winning plan,” says Mary Sisti, SJU case team member. “Our team spent countless hours working on the strategic plan for the problem presented to us by the NGA. We owe so much to the SJU food marketing faculty who supported us throughout the planning and conference.”

Sisti adds, “Each team member brought something different to the table. We all supported each other throughout the project and pushed each other to think deeper and surpass expectations.”

Team member Devin Tanney adds, “I learned how to take a real-world situation and develop a plan from inception to execution. The experience far exceeded my greatest expectations. I could not be more proud to associate my name with Saint Joseph’s University and the food marketing program.”

Media Contact

Carolyn Steigleman, Director of Communications/Haub School of Business, University Communications, 610-660-1355,


Founded in 1851 in the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, Saint Joseph’s University is a top-ranked Catholic University that provides a rigorous, student-centered education. With a total enrollment of 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students, SJU offers a wide-array of academic programs designed so that each graduate enters the world with a competitive resume and global perspective. This is achieved through intense academic study led by thought-leading faculty scholars, a comprehensive campus experience and robust study abroad, service-learning, internship and co-op programs. Upon graduation, nearly 100 percent of students are employed, pursuing advanced degrees or volunteering in prestigious service programs. A member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, SJU offers 20 Division I intercollegiate men’s and women’s sports. SJU alumni – over 60,000 strong - provide a powerful network that spans the globe.

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