by Brent Meske
Originally Published on December 12, 2023

The team of Jonathan Beck (Integrated Business), Nicholas Caro (Finance), John Sablone (Management), Zachary Smith (Finance) and Ventura Torres (Finance), aka The Monarchs, beat out a field of 120+ teams Friday to win the Fall 2023 Great Capstone Case Competition, presented by Insight Global. The Monarchs put together a winning pitch for Royal Caribbean International, which provided the business case for this semester’s contest. Thanks to Insight Global, each winning team member was awarded $250 in scholarship funding.

Capstone Champions

“We’d like to thank Insight Global for sponsoring this event and the judges from Royal Caribbean International,” said Smith, who served as The Monarchs’ associate manager. “The Great Capstone Case Competition provided a wonderful opportunity to embody the UCF spirit of aiming for the stars.”

The Capstone course gives business students the chance to collaborate and develop their analytical, communication and teamwork skills. In this competition, students present inventive proposals for modern real-world business issues as part of their final coursework before graduation. The panel of judges included UCF Finance Executive in Residence Paul Gregg, Insight Global Director of Campus Relations Adam Reese, as well as David Vidal (AVP Assistant Controller), Jesse Gonzalez (Director, technical Accounting), and Greg Pasek (FRP Analyst) from Royal Caribbean International.

“We’ve always loved hiring through our partnership with the College of Business,” said Reese, noting that Insight Global also regularly attends The Invitational, the College of Business’s largest recruiting event each semester. “The Great Capstone Case Competition reconfirms the elite level of talent the college has in its student population.”

Team Personality Hires, featuring James Evans (Accounting), Kaya Gezen (Finance), Iris Januey-Lopez (Accounting), Jordan Rembert (Integrated Business) and Gianna Wegman (Finance), finished second with each member receiving $150 in scholarship funding.

Capstone 2nd Place

Team ASI’s Finest took third, and team members Cameron Brown (Integrated Business), Justin Davis (Management), Julia Herwood (Accounting), Katherine Ramsdell (Finance) and Megan Williams (Accounting) earned $100 each in scholarship funding.

Capstone 3rd Place

The winning team also was presented with the Nichols Cup, named in honor of longtime Capstone instructor Gary Nichols ’87, who passed away in 2021. The team’s lab instructor, Christopher Leo, will keep the trophy until the next competition.

“Cheers to the College of Business student teams for their exceptional accomplishments in the Great Capstone Case Competition,” Leo said. “Your strategic thinking and innovative solutions have set a new standard for future classes.”