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Asper Hosts Successful 2021 JDC West Competition

Team Toba excels at the first virtual version of the event

January 21, 2021 — 

From January 15 to 17, Asper School of Business students and alumni reinforced its place as one of the best business schools in Canada.

The JDC West organizing committee comprised of students, Asper alumni and the local business community hosted the very first virtual JDC West Competition that welcomed over 600 students from 12 of the premier post-secondary institutions in Western Canada. This competition, with a reputation as one of the most prestigious undergraduate business competitions in Canada, allows business school students to represent their schools in academic, debate, and out-of-the-box social competitions.

Over the course of the three-day event, student delegates were treated to a series of engaging networking opportunities and professional development sessions hosted by several key corporate partners. These “info sessions” covered a broad spectrum of topics, including the pursuit of specific professional designations, managing financial health, embracing diversity in the workplace, future proofing  your career, key issues in various industries, and job opportunities post-graduation.  

Many of these info sessions were hosted by this year’s JDC West partners and sponsors  that included: Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA), The Associates, The Asper School of Business, RBC Royal Bank, Canadian Western Bank, CFA Societies Canada, Raymond James, EMILI, CMC-Canada, Integrationworx, Daemon Defense Systems, Bison Transport, Red Bull, Emco, Telus, UMSU, TableSpace, PitBlado Law and Inland AV.

The event success is a result of the culmination of nearly a year and a half of planning under the leadership of JDC West Co-Chairs Daniel Molinski and Stephanie Kalo, the support of Senior Scholar and Advisor Mary Brabston, and the 40-person organizing committee comprised of students, alumni, and professors.

“Our goal was to transform the competition in a way that would not only make it virtual, but also unforgettable,” said Kalo. “From helping us put together our original bid, to planning an in-person competition, and then pivoting halfway through the year to build this weekend entirely from the ground up, our organizing committee are the real heroes of the weekend. Together, our team has a combined 90 years of competition experience and we truly couldn’t have pulled this off without the dedication, passion and true love for JDC West that they showcased every single day.”

The event was initially set to take place in person with the opportunity for the Asper School of Business to showcase its school to all the attendees and volunteers.  However, the pandemic forced the team to pivot to the virtual format in the spring.

“I am proud of how our students, alumni and community members represented our School by hosting an outstanding virtual JDC West Event,” said Dr. Gady Jacoby, Asper School of Business Dean and CPA Manitoba Chair in Business Leadership. “The ability to quickly adapt and excel in the virtual format demonstrates the resilience the Asper community has repeatedly displayed through the pandemic. I am proud of the team and look forward to next year, when we have the opportunity to host JDC West 2022 in person at the Drake Centre.”

While the organizing team, presenting partners, alumni and community members supported a well-run event, JDC West Team Toba debated, performed and presented their way to one of the School’s best-ever results. 

Team Toba won awards in a range of categories and the achievements listed below are in addition to the huge philanthropic and voluntary contributions made by the team members.

Asper placed third overall as School of the Year and as Academic School of the Year.

Our individual academic teams also had a number of top podium finishes, including:

  • 1st place in Operations Management
  • 2nd place in Business Strategy
  • 3rd place in International Business
  • 3rd place in Finance
  • 3rd place in Marketing
  • 3rd place Business Technology Management
  • 3rd place Entrepreneurship

In addition, Asper placed in a number of non-academic categories, including:

  • 1st place in Participation – Reflecting the team’s professionalism, energy, quality, and other key values.
  • 3rd place in Skit Night performance – Based on creativity, costumes, organization and enthusiasm.

Students Josef Quintana and Howard Monson also received the Executive of the Year Award – David Huynh Legacy Award.

The team’s success can also be attributed support from Faculty Advisors Lukas Neville and Howard Harmatz and from Case Competition Coach Judy Jayasuriya.

Lisa Wang, a fourth-year BComm Student majoring in actuarial mathematics was a member of the winning Team Toba Operations Management team commented on the team’s preparation in five months leading up to the event.

Lisa Wang Asper BComm Student

Asper BComm Student Lisa Wang

“It was exciting to see how well Team Toba did as a whole and witness everyone’s hard work pay off which represented Asper so well,” said Wang. “It was a surreal experience competing in a virtual setting. We truly could not have done it without the guidance of our amazing coaches and the countless hours they spent with us each week. Overall, the dedication of my teammates, coaches, and support from the team allowed us to achieve these fantastic results.”



To read more about the event and to learn about JDC West 2022 please

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