CWU News

CWU Business Students Winningest in Boeing Competition History

Pictured l-r: Wendell Jopson, Lindsey Smith, Eli Washburn  Makinzie Packwood (not pictured: Felicia Johnson)

Pictured l-r: Wendell Jopson, Lindsey Smith, Eli Washburn Makinzie Packwood (not pictured: Felicia Johnson)

A team of students representing Central Washington University took home the grand prize at this year’s Boeing Northwest Case Competition, making CWU the winningest university in the competition’s history.

“Team No Chain, No Gain!” won $2,500 and guaranteed job interviews at Boeing through a successful presentation of their plan to implement a new commercial aircraft, using strategic supply chain planning and implementation concepts while accounting for current business realities and future uncertainties.

The CWU team was comprised of Makinzie Packwood, Lindsay Smith, Felicia Johnson, Eli Washburn, and Wendell Jopson. All are supply chain management majors except for Smith, who is studying human resources.

The case was provided to the team on October 26, giving them a week to develop their proposal for the November 3 preliminaries at CWU, and ten days of intense preparation before the finals on November 13. During the award ceremony and feedback session, the panel of judges, comprised of Boeing executives, noted how strong the CWU Supply Chain Management program must be, given the quality of work put forth by the students.

“What put you [CWU Team No Chain, No Gain] over the top was your strong application of supply chain principles considering various perspectives,” one Boeing judge stated during the awards ceremony. Another judge added that “you also had a strong grasp of the market conditions, which we found impressive, but it was your diverse backgrounds and diversity of thought and perspectives that came across strongly.”

CWU maintains the strongest winning record overall, earning first place in 2014, 2015, 2018, and now 2021. Each year, up to 32 teams from CWU, Portland State University, the University of Washington, and Western Washington University face a new and different case challenge which Boeing develops and releases only to competitors. 

Through the Boeing competition and other industry partnerships, CWU students gain experience working in a fast-paced, professional scenario, and develop networking opportunities within some of Washington’s largest employers. Packwood, a member of the team, says the experience was life changing.

“Our adjudicator asked each of us about our goals and how they align with making the world a better place. I had never realized how crucial this is, but from now on I will be challenging myself and others to have this mindset,” Packwood said. “We had the pleasure of networking with current Boeing employees, which has opened career pathways we would have never considered before.”

CWU’s College of Business is among the top 5% of business schools worldwide to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The college is recognized as a business school of distinction in the Pacific Northwest, and maintains a strong relationship with Boeing.

Media contact: Rune Torgersen, Department of Public Affairs,