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Brandman University and Golden State Foods Join Forces for 2018 Innovation Tournament Challenge

COSTA MESA, Calif., Sept. 2, 2017 –  Today, Brandman University and Golden State Foods (GSF), one of the largest diversified suppliers to the quick service restaurant industry, teamed up for the university’s fall immersion event attended by candidates of the Doctorate of Education in organizational leadership (Ed.D) program. Each year, Brandman University facilitates an Innovation Tournament, which is an interactive experience for students to learn the entrepreneurial process by transforming an “everyday item” into something innovative and useful for their community. This year’s everyday item given to students is shrink wrap, donated by GSF. The 72 doctoral students are divided into 14 cohorts (also known as “Hot Teams) based on location, and have the shrink wrap with the challenge of making something significant out of nothing at all. In previous years, Amazon boxes, a paint stick, washcloth, and coat hangers were offered up to students as the “mystery item.” Now in its fifth year, Brandman’s tournament is adapted from Stanford’s Global Innovation Tournament and You Innovate! hosted nationally by the Canadian Business Foundation. Brandman’s Doctorate of Education in organizational leadership program is transformational for education, business, health care and government leaders who want to practice entrepreneurship, build teamwork, leadership and creativity skills, and join in a friendly competition. “Doctoral program learning objectives focus on developing transformational leaders who can lead complex change in a changing society,” said Marilou Ryder, Ed.D., associate professor, Brandman University School of Education. “We know our students will be called upon to form teams within their organizations to solve difficult problems that often require innovative solutions. In this project, our students will experience first-hand what it’s like to participate in a Hot Team and practice skills of team building and developing innovative solutions to solve a complex problem.” GSF is honored to partner with Brandman University for their 2018 Innovation Tournament,” said Ed Rodriguez, chief human resources officer, Golden State Foods. “GSF’s success depends on our associates’ ability to adapt and innovate every single day. Brandman University’s approach to teaching teamwork and problem solving with their annual Innovation Tournament is a great way to develop future professionals who are willing to take risks in their industry.” Winners will be honored at Brandman University’s three-day immersion event in January 2018, which brings together more than 171 students enrolled in the Ed.D program. For a look at previous winners from the last four years, check out a Creative Approach to Learning from a paint stick, Reframing the Wire Hanger, The Reminder Rag and the Amazon Lilly Pad. About Brandman University Brandman University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). As part of the Chapman University System, Brandman blends a legacy of academic excellence with innovative curriculum and strong support services designed for students with busy schedules. The university offers more than 80 undergraduate, graduate, credential and certificate programs across its schools of arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and health. Brandman serves 12,000 students annually with programs available online and more than 25 campuses throughout California and Washington. The university’s online programs consistently rank among the top in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. For additional information, visit: About Golden State Foods Golden State Foods ( is one of the largest diversified suppliers to the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry. Established in 1947, the company is values-based with proven performance in superior quality, innovation and customer service throughout the QSR industry. With approximately 7,000 employees worldwide, GSF services more than 125,000 stores on five continents from its 50 facilities. Its core businesses include processing of liquid products, protein, produce, dairy and full-line logistics services to the QSR and retail industries. The company also runs the GSF Foundation, a national non-profit organization to help children and families in need. For more information, please visit:

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