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Business students come up with real-world solutions in case competition

Case Competition Group Photo

Students at the University of South Florida's Muma College of Business teamed up with The Goodman Group to develop innovative ideas for meeting consumer demand in the next decade for The Palms of Largo's senior living & health care communities.

On Nov. 14 and 15, three teams of students in the Muma College of Business undergraduate case competition met with The Goodman Group, a national leader in developing and managing senior living and health care communities and residential properties. The students were challenged to develop a "master" vision for The Palms of Largo campus to meet consumer demand in 2025.

The Palms of Largo is a 95-acre, world-class intergenerational living community that provides housing, programs, and services for individuals of all ages. The USF Muma College of Business undergraduate case competition is a twice-yearly event that gives students an opportunity to come up with solutions to a real-world business issue and present their ideas to judges, including executives from the company they examine.

The Palms of Largo provides housing, programs, and services for individuals of all ages. The campus features 183 units of independent living in a multi-story high-rise at Royal Palms, 320 assisted living units in two free-standing buildings providing assistive health and dementia care at Regal Palms, experiential child day care at The Learning Center (capacity 105), 240 skilled nursing beds with a pediatric unit, a home health care agency, 74 units of market rate family apartments at Silver Palms, and Imperial Palms, a 638-apartment home community for ages 55+.

With only 24 hours to complete the challenge, Professor Mike Bowen explained that the case competitions offer a unique and personally challenging opportunity to take on a business challenge in a stressful setting. While students identified some of the same points for The Goodman Group to focus on, every team had something unique to contribute.

On the first day of the competition, student teams toured of The Palms of Largo campus and met with The Goodman Group's management team, including Robert Delle Donne, director of real estate services, The Goodman Group, and president for The Caregivers Support Network; Sue Perlich, regional property manager, The Goodman Group; and David Slutzker, regional director of operations, Southeast Region, The Goodman Group.

The winning team was made up of the following members: management information systems major Sarah Zayas, marketing major Zachary Daise, finance major Ngoc Khanh Vu, and accounting major Linh Tuan Le. The winning team proposed unifying The Goodman Group brand through caused-based advertising and property renovations. The team also proposed streamlining operations for two of the company's properties.

"We were proud to be a sponsor and partner closely with USF Muma College of Business to provide these students with real life business experience and benefit from their thoughts, ideas and insights," said Terri McKinnon, vice president, Property Management. We look forward to working again with the business college.

Each student on the winning team was awarded a $500 scholarship prize. Goodman Group Chairman John Goodman was so pleased with all of the student teams' visions that he awarded students on the two other teams $250 each for their hard work and innovation.