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Executive Leadership Council and Goldman, Sachs & Co. Announce Winners of the 2005 Business Case Competition - "The Coca-Cola Company in South Africa: Focusing on Black Economic Empowerment"

The first place winner of The Executive Leadership Council 2005 Business Case Competition went to the University Of Michigan Ross School Of Business. Student teams competed today in New York at Goldman Sachs in the final round of the competition for cash prizes of $35,000. Three teams predominantly African-American MBA students presented their strategies, recommendations and factors on whether Coca-Cola should implement the best practice guidelines for the black economic empowerment in South Africa in a nation that is emerging from a legacy of apartheid.

The deciding panel of judges were President Nigeria Division, Coca-Cola Africa (CCSEA), Lawrence "Larry" Drake II; Executive Leadership Council President Carl Brooks; Vice Chair Council Board of The Executive Leadership Council, Bridgette Heller; Goldman Sachs Managing Directors Sergio Sotolongo and Jim Katzman; GE Executive on Loan and former President & CEO of GE Infrastructure Sensing, Jim Shepard and Professor, Tuck School of Business Alva Taylor. Also in attendance: David Lyons, Division President, Coca-Cola Southern and East Africa and Mandla Tisani, South Africa Division Public Affairs & Communication Director.

The winners of the 2005 Executive Leadership Competition Business Case Competition are as follows:

First Place Cash Award of $20,000:

Team #2 University of Michigan Ross School of Business

Team Captain: Sheila Collins of Brooklyn, NY;

Team Members: Karimah Malcolm of Pomona, CA; Suman Mishra of Ann Arbor, MI; Larry Thompson of Ann Arbor, MI; Sanjiv Gupta of Ann Arbor, MI

Second Place Cash Award of $10,000:

Team #1 University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School

Team Captain: Yolanda Brown of Morrisville, NC;

Team Members: Miranda McFadden of Chapel Hill, NC; Jamar S. Owens of Durham, NC; Hernan Rodriguez of Newark, NJ; Stefanie Smith of Chapel Hill, NC

Third Place Cash Award of $5,000:

Team #3 University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business

Team Captain: Ije Ikoku of Philadelphia, PA;

Team Members: Jeremy Parkes of Philadelphia, PA; C. Shon Moss of New York, NY; Afolabi Dokun of Philadelphia, PA; Robert Befidi, Jr. of Plymouth, MN

"The Coca-Cola Company was honored to be part of The Executive Leadership Council 2005 Business Case study. All three teams did great work analyzing and presenting their case for BEE in South Africa and our company will surely benefit from the experience," said Larry Drake II, President Nigeria Division, Coca-Cola Africa (CCSEA).

This initiative is funded by The Executive Leadership Foundation, the 501 (c) (3) affiliate of The Executive Leadership Council, through the generous sponsorship of Goldman, Sachs & Co. For the fourth year The Executive Leadership Council and Goldman Sachs joined together to host this event to foster the next generation of African-American corporate executives. The program offers students an educational opportunity to explore solutions for real-life business issues and present their proposals to a panel of experienced professionals in a serious, competitive environment.

Executive Leadership Council President Carl Brooks said, "This case on South Africa and Black Economic Empowerment makes us mindful of corporate America`s responsibility to the global village. The Executive Leadership Council was pleased to join with The Coca-Cola Company and Goldman Sachs to bring this compelling issue to the forefront of business leadership and give MBA students a chance to influence global business. The strategies offered by the students were innovative, offered sound business principles and great thought leadership."

"Each year this competition gets better and better. These cases are based on real life business issues faced by many professionals and to hear the strategies behind these cases was just amazing. The innovation and creativity presented today gives an example of our leaders of tomorrow" said Sergio Sotolongo, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs. "Part of the Goldman Sachs culture is teamwork, dedication and creativity which these young people have all displayed. The Executive Leadership Council continues to help young African-American students about today`s business challenges through events like this competition that are strongly supported by Goldman Sachs."

Founded in 1986, The Executive Leadership Council is the nation`s premier leadership organization of the most senior African-American corporate executives in Fortune 500 companies. Working from the classroom to the corporate boardroom, its mission is to develop the pipeline of African-American senior corporate leaders.

Goldman Sachs is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of services worldwide to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high net worth individuals. Founded in 1869, it is one of the oldest and largest investment banking firms. The firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and other major financial centers around the world.

Photographs of the event are available upon request.


(C) Copyright 2005 Business Wire & Collegiate Presswire. All Rights Reserved.

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