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Lakehead Accounting Students Take First Place in Asper School of Business GAAPS Competition

(February 17, 2011 – Thunder Bay, ON) Lakehead Accounting students Angela Pratola, Jessica Tolone, John Blanchette, and Michael Iorianni, won first place in the tenth Gathering of Accounting Academics, Practitioners, and Students (GAAPS) hosted by the University of Manitoba in conjunction with the Certified General Accountants (CGA) of Manitoba.

Lakehead students L-R: John Blanchette, Michael Iorianni, Angela Pratola and Jessica Tolone

Fourteen universities from across Canada sent teams of four undergraduate students to compete in the three-day conference from February 3 - 5, 2011, that included an accounting-based case competition, guest speakers, and networking events.

A judging panel comprising independent professional accountants selected the winners of the case competition. The first place win for the Lakehead University team comes with a trophy and $1,500 in prize money to share. With this achievement, the Lakehead team has improved from their last year’s third-place finish. "GAAPS was a challenging and rewarding team competition," says John Blanchette. "It provided us an opportunity to utilize all that we have learned here at Lakehead."

Student Michael Iorianni recounts how "the competition time constraint added a level of difficulty. In the first round, we were allowed two hours to analyze the case and prepare a half hour presentation for the judges. The real challenge came in the final round when the time limit was reduced to an hour and we had half the time to do the same amount of work."

"While our group was preparing the presentation, everyone felt nervous and anxious about presenting our material in-front of the panel of judges," says team member Jessica Tolone. "But once our group went up and presented, I couldn't believe how all the nerves just disappeared and how well we executed our presentation. Our education at Lakehead definitely prepared us for this type of situation and gave us the confidence to present effectively."

"We were proud to represent Lakehead University and its accounting students in GAAPS, and excelling in this competition was a great accomplishment for our team," enthused Angela Pratola. "During this competition we were not only required to use basic communication and organization skills, but also apply our general knowledge of accounting concepts. Placing first in the competition is evidence that we, along with our classmates, will enter the working world with a strong foundation of accounting knowledge that was developed through our education at Lakehead."

The Lakehead GAAPS Team is thankful for the support of the Northwestern Ontario Chartered Accountant Association (NWOCAA).


Media: For further information about the Gathering of Accounting Academics, Practitioners, and Students (GAAPS) visit To schedule interviews, please contact Camillo Lento, Lecturer, Faculty of Business Administration, at 343-8387 or

About Lakehead
Lakehead is a comprehensive university with a reputation for innovative programs and cutting-edge research. With a main campus located in Thunder Bay, Ontario and a campus in Orillia, Ontario, Lakehead has over 8,280 students and 2,250 faculty and staff, and is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. In 2006, Research Infosource Inc. named Lakehead University Canada's Research University of the Year in the undergraduate category. For more information on Lakehead University, visit
Janine Chiasson

Last updated February 18, 2011

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