Digging In


Berkeley MBAs Bury the GSB in Golden Shovel Competition

It seems the Golden Shovel has grown mighty comfortable at Berkeley-Haas. The prized trophy from the NAIOP Real Estate Challenge will reside at Haas for the fourth consecutive year, after a Berkeley MBA team defeated Stanford GSB in the annual regional challenge on May 4. Evening and weekend student Charlie McEachron, MBA 12, full-time MBA 12s Dan Byrnes, Tyler Kepler, and Derek Simmons, and Environmental Design student Michael Song teamed up to win both first place and the audience choice award.

Team advisor Craig Davey, MBA 12s Charlie McEachron and Tyler Kepler, Environmental Design student Michael Song, MBA 12s Dan Byrnes and Derek Simmons, Livermore Mayor Marshall Kamena, and Competition Chair Dennis Williams
This year’s challenge was to present a multi-use development plan for three sites in Livermore, Calif. and victory was no easy feat: To determine feasibility of city-proposed uses or to propose alternate uses, the team consulted with more than 100 experts. “The Cal network served us well,” says Byrnes, “opening doors to very powerful people who certainly had other things to do besides help us with our student project.” Work lasted for two months and culminated with a 200+ page proposal, a rigorous Q & A with the jury, and presentation to an audience of 300.
“Livermore On Broadway”—victory, fully rendered 

The team’s “Livermore On Broadway” combined high-density residential and mixed-use retail. “The judges were particularly impressed with our ability to understand the city’s financial motivations and constraints, and those of the three sites, and to propose a plan that addressed these in a difficult capital markets environment. Having an incredibly gifted architect on our team certainly didn’t hurt,” says Byrnes. “Everybody brought unique strengths to the table and it really showed in the end.”

This year’s win brings the lifetime Golden Shovel score to Cal 13, Stanford 9.

Who makes you proud to be Berkeley-Haas? Tell us in the comments below or share your stories with vgilbert@haas.berkeley.edu.

About The Author

From 2011-2013, Valerie Gilbert focused on sharing stories of Berkeley MBA student achievements and connection to the Haas Defining Principles. At Haas since 2004 and now Associate Director of Content Marketing, she still enjoys revealing the different facets of life at Berkeley-Haas to a variety of audiences.