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Ossining Students Place First in Business Olympics

OSSINING, N.Y. – The Ossining High School business team placed first out of 13 high school teams in an annual Youth Business Skills Olympics competition.

For the competition, sponsored by the African American Men of Westchester, PepsiCo Corp and Berkeley College, students were asked to analyze, articulate and solve a Harvard Business School case study in front of a panel of judges. The case study asked a question of an online company, Demand Media: Should Demand Media continue with its current business model or look into social media?

All participating teams received the case one week in advance. At the competition, held at PepsiCo in Purchase on Nov. 18, teams were given three hours to develop a business plan and five minutes to present it to a panel of judges.

"The first thing our team said was that the company had to eliminate the 'dead weight' and cut services and products that are not profitable," said Debra Jacoby, a business teacher at Ossining High School who led the team. "That might seem obvious to a business executive, but Ossining was the only team that made that recommendation as part of its plan."

Teams were evaluated not only on the soundness of their business advice but on the cohesiveness of the group, Jacoby said.

The seven business team members were Veronica Galindo, Orlanys Arias, Rich Zeoli, Ryan Sweeney, Matt D'Emic, Jon Scorcia and Joe Direitinho.

As a prize for placing first, each team member will receive a Kindle Fire book reader and Ossining High School will receive a championship cup.

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