Banking team extends winning streak


by David Doremus

From left to right: Emelia Potteiger, Nicolás Gonzalez, Noah Vanhoy, Carl Larsson and Sara Kate Garman.

SUMMARY: Team from JMU College of Business prevails again in a competition which pitted them against other leading business schools.

The team from James Madison University’s College of Business has again emerged victorious in head-to-head competition with some of the nation's other leading business schools.

This most recent contest, sponsored by the Washington, D.C.-based Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), challenged participants to assess how community banks have navigated the changes which have roiled the industry in the past 10 years, and to forecast the trends likely to do so in the coming decade.

The JMU team's latest success follows its first-place finish this past April in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's "Academic Challenge," another prestigious competition.

The team included three May recipients of baccalaureate degrees from the College of Business: Sara Kate Garman (’22), from Waynesboro, VA; Nicolás Gonzalez (’22), from Viña del Mar, Chile; and Emelia Potteiger (’22), from Great Falls, VA.

They were joined by Noah Vanhoy of Staunton, VA, a rising senior majoring in finance; and video specialist Collin Blanchard (’22), a graduate of the School of Media and Arts Design who hails from Manassas, VA. The team’s advisor was Carl Larsson, associate professor of finance and business law.

Each member of the JMU team receives a $1,000 scholarship. In addition, their work will be published in the annual CSBS Journal of Community Bank Case Studies, and they will be invited to present their findings to regulators, academics and industry leaders at the Community Banking Research and Policy Conference — ”Community Banking in the 21st Century” — in St. Louis on September 28 and 29.

“This competition demonstrated to us that no deadline is unmanageable as long as everyone on the team is organized and willing to put in long hours in a condensed time-period,” said Gonzalez.

“It also required that we be able to clearly summarize extensive research into digestible, informative writing,” he added. “This was especially challenging and could not have been accomplished without the leadership of our teammate Sara Kate Garman and our advisor, Dr. Larsson.”

For the CSBS competition, staged for the eighth time this year, JMU joined forces with Timberville, VA-based F&M Bank Corp., a provider of commercial banking services to small and medium-size businesses; nonprofits; and families and individuals in the central Shenandoah Valley. JMU and F&M previously teamed up to finish second in the 2020 competition.

“We were blessed,” says Garman, “to have an amazing partner in F&M, whose executives devoted significant time to helping us imagine what the future could look like for the industry as a whole, and for F&M in particular.”

JMU was one of five schools across the country to advance to the final round of the CSBS competition. Others were Iowa State University, Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, Mississippi State University and the University of Southern Mississippi. The original field of participants consisted of 23 teams from 21 universities.

The team from Mansfield of Pennsylvania placed second, and Mississippi State's finished third.

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Published: Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Last Updated: Monday, January 8, 2024

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