URI team wins big in Boston: Students take first place at 29th Annual Minority Business Conference

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IT ALL ADDS UP: URI students who participated in the recent 29th Annual Minority Business Conference, sponsored by the Boston Metropolitan Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. are: Kelechi Agwunobi, Raven Sannon, Jasmine Tangui, Richmond Sam, Jose Perales, Kenny Adefiyiju, Danny Velazuez, Kwami Moreno, Summerly Santos, and Anthony Markey. Team members Agwunobi, Sannon, Adefiyiju, and Moreno won first-place in the student case competition.

KINGSTON, R.I. — October 31, 2013 — The Red Sox aren’t the only big winners in Boston these days. Congrats also go to a special University of Rhode Island team, the first-place winner of the student case competition at the 29th Annual Minority Business Conference sponsored by the Boston Metropolitan Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants. The event was held October 26.

All Rhode Island residents, the winning team members are captain Kelechi Agwunobi of Smithfield, a sophomore, senior Kenny Adefiyiju of Providence, junior Raven Sannon of Cranston, and sophomore Kwami Moreno of Providence. The four are among the 17 URI students who belong to the association’s Boston Metropolitan Chapter.

Although URI business students have attended the annual conference in the past, this is the first time they have participated in the student case competition, which is normally dominated by Boston area business schools such as Babson and Bentley, a fact that makes their win even more satisfying. In addition, each member of the winning team received $350.

The task of the competition was to advise Tufts Medical, a stand-alone teaching and research hospital in Boston, how to move into the future. Their idea, which centered on the aging and affluent demographic of the Boston suburbs, was for Tufts Medical to expand into the suburbs.

“They really stood out in the competition, both in the substance of their idea and in their presentation. The judges took notice,” said College of Business Professor Chet Hickox, who worked along with Professor Kathy Jervis to help the team prepare.

Agwunobi, who organized the team, attributed the win to hard work, preparation, and the support of Professors Jervis and Hickox. The group spent two weeks prior to the competition working around the clock on their presentation.

“Our first reaction to the win was shock and disbelief,” said Agwunobi. “We wanted to do a good job for URI and the College of Business. We didn’t expect to place in the competition, so winning was really satisfying.”

In addition to the winning team, six other URI students attended the conference, including URI sophomore Jose Perales, current student president of the association’s Boston Metropolitan Chapter. The group welcomes students and professionals, and is a leader in expanding the influence of minority professionals in the fields of accounting and finance. Among its goals are to promote and develop the skills of those already in the profession and to encourage and assist minority students in entering the accounting profession.