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Nexus newsletter is compiled by
Kyle Lahman, Accounting and
Business Club publications assistant
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Manchester wins Indiana CPA Society
Case Competition

A team of four seniors secured Manchester’s first-ever victory in the INCPAS Case Competition this November. The winning team members – senior accounting majors Benjamin Ellam, Benjamin Crim, Daniel Maringer, and Thomas Blake (pictured above with Professor Brad Pyrah) – won $750 and bragging rights for Manchester accounting alums across the country.

The competition began this fall when Manchester’s team received a case study from the Indiana CPA Society. The case centered around one question: Should a furniture company acquire a hardwood flooring company? With only 10 days to respond, Manchester’s team members prepared a 50-page response that secured them a spot in the finals.

For the final round, the team traveled to Indianapolis to defend its written response in an oral presentation. After evaluating all six finalists, the CPA judges declared Manchester the victor.

The competition was demanding; tight deadlines forced the team to spend endless hours analyzing the problem and working toward a solution. “The most difficult part of the case was the limited amount of time we had to prepare for it,” said team member Tom Blake. “Only having 10 days required us to spend countless hours in the computer lab hammering out our case.”

Blake, who has already secured a job as a staff accountant at Umbaugh and Associates, praised his coursework at Manchester for preparing him and his teammates for the competition. “Manchester does an excellent job of preparing its accounting students to think critically and find innovative solutions,” he said. “In my opinion, the classes we have taken helped us to come up with a unique solution that set us apart from the rest of the competition.”

The runner-up at the case study competition, Saint Mary’s College of Notre Dame, also has a Manchester connection. Saint Mary’s faculty advisor Mary Ann Merryman graduated from Manchester in 1976 and is a member of Manchester’s Board of Trustees.

Manchester has had strong finishes in the past, but the team’s victory proves to the rest of the state the prowess of Manchester’s accounting and business department. The team was advised by associate professor of accounting and business Brad Pyrah.

Academic Center opens to rave reviews

Manchester’s $9.1 million Academic Center, the new home of the Accounting and Business Department, opened this fall to rave reviews from students and faculty alike.

Alex Herber ’15, an accounting major, appreciates the new building’s climate-controlled environment and collaborative study spaces. “The Academic Center is nice because it is never too hot or cold like the Administration Building,” he said. “I also like the lounge areas – they are a great place to read or spend time with classmates before class starts.”

Associate professor of accounting Heather Twomey ’96,’97ma also enjoys the luxuries of the Academic Center. “The building is beautiful,” she said. “I appreciate the excellent amenities such as the addition of the café, and I love the view of the mall and Science Center from my office.”

Because she graduated from Manchester, Twomey sometimes feels nostalgic about leaving the Administration Building. But she recognizes the positive impact the Academic Center will have on the future of accounting and business at Manchester. “I do miss aspects of the Administration Building—the historic, aged beauty of the floors, doors and transoms and the many memories I have as a student and professor,” she said. “But the Academic Center symbolizes to incoming students our commitment to preparing them for their futures. Students can more readily recognize that Manchester has the resources to ensure that students are prepared for their future careers.”

Because the Academic Center is a hub for campus activity, it will establish its own tradition in no time. The building houses 11 academic departments and features technologically-advanced classrooms, study spaces, a café and an atrium.

Alumni news

Joan C. Krall ’57 LeValley has owned and operated JCL and Company, an accounting and tax practice, for 12 years.

Leara Carr ’83 Dory is the vice president of business integration and corporate compliance at EMCOR Government Services, Inc. in Maryland.

Kevin Hochstedler ’83 is the chief financial officer for Robert Weed Plywood in Mishawaka, Ind.

Denise Van Petten ’87 Phillips is a vice president at Convergence Technologies, Ltd., resellers and master developers of Sage 100ERP solutions (business management solutions), based in Fort Wayne, Ind. The company specializes in small to medium-sized closely held organizations.

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