Mendoza School of Business

Notre Dame DE&I Case Competition to announce winners during April 1 event

Published: March 24, 2022 / Author: Carol Elliott


The winners of the University of Notre Dame’s inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Grow the Good in Business Case Competition will be announced during a final event at 11 a.m. ET April 1. The competition, hosted by the Mendoza College of Business, takes place in Mendoza’s Jordan Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Karrah Herring, the first chief officer of the Office of Equity, Inclusion and Opportunity for the State of Indiana, will serve as the opening speaker. Tracy Graham (BBA ‘95), managing principal at Graham Allen Partners, will serve as the keynote speaker. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb also will speak to attendees via a recorded video message.

logoThe Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Grow the Good in Business Case Competition launched in February as an innovative way to engage students from Mendoza’s Specialized Master’s Programs in finding creative business solutions that advance DE&I at work and in communities. Using a case provided by the State of Indiana, student teams specifically examined the disproportionate impact of socioeconomic challenges on communities across Indiana and to propose a business solution to the wealth gap.

The wealth gap refers to the income and wealth inequalities among different racial or ethnic groups, especially between Black households and white households. The net wealth of a typical Black family in America is estimated to be about one-tenth of that of a white family.

In addition to the State of Indiana, competition sponsors include the Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership, KPMG, the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership, 1st Source Bank and Gibson Insurance.

Altogether, student teams submitted nearly 30 plans. Ten finalists were selected by a panel of Mendoza faculty and staff in the first round of judging in March. From this group, winners will be announced during the April 1 event, with prize money awarded to the top three finalists in the amounts of $7,000, $4,000 and $2,000 respectively. Teams that finish in fourth through 10th place each will receive $1,000. Representatives from the sponsoring organizations as well as Mendoza and other Notre Dame faculty will serve as judges.

Herring is Indiana’s first Chief Equity, Inclusion and Opportunity Officer. The former attorney is responsible for working with state agencies to identify and make changes to improve equality and remove hurdles. She previously was the director of public affairs for Notre Dame since 2011, serving on the University’s human resources leadership team for four years, overseeing institutional equity and implementation of the federal civil rights Title IX law.

Graham is the founder and managing principal of Graham Allen Partners, a private equity firm that specializes in investing in and building technology and technology-enabled companies. He previously co-founded GramTel, Inc. and as president was responsible for the company’s strategic direction as well as aligning all internal and external resources to gain market share in the small and mid-sized business market.  He led the company to become the largest provider of managed data center services in the state of Indiana and the largest privately held provider in the Midwest.

For more information about the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Grow the Good in Business Case Competition, please click here or contact Kristen Collett-Schmitt, associate dean of Specialized Master’s Programs.