Case Study: The Canadian Ski Marathon


Monarch Business School Switzerland
© 2016 Monarch Business School Switzerland

Publication Type:

Case Study


  • Dr. Jeffrey Henderson, Monarch Business School Switzerland
  • Dr. Greg Koegl, Monarch Business School Switzerland


Entrepreneurship, Crisis Management, Management-By-Exception, Governance, Leadership, NGO


Download The Canadian Ski Marathon Case Study Here


The Canadian Ski Marathon is a cross country ski tour that was founded in 1967 by former Canadian National Ski team member Don MacLeod, as a result of a government initiative to promote a spirit of fitness, friendship and fun, and to celebrate Canada’s Centennial of the founding of Confederation. The CSM has been a great success over the years and has had tremendous participation rates. In recent years the CSM has faced several management challenges. The case presents these challenges as faced by the new administer and asks students to determine the most advantageous course of action going forward.


Mike Carlson was an avid cross country (Nordic) skier who had participated in the Canadian Ski Marathon for several years before being recruited to its Board of Directors. He was originally brought in to help raise funds for the event because of a decline in corporate and government sponsorship. Mike became President of the Canadian Ski Marathon in 2007 and it was his goal to stabilize the not-for-profit business in order to make it less dependent on external funding.

While reviewing the 2008 financial results, realizing that there was a financial loss, he received a phone call from Tim Carsley, Chairman of Sedbergh School announcing that, after 50 years, the school would be closing permanently because of poor registration. Sedbergh School is a local boarding school in Montebello that makes the CSM part of their curriculum for their students. Each year the school registers approximately 150 students at a preferred rate. The students train on trails that are actually part of the CSM trail. The school has had a tremendous presence in the event for many years. There was money owing to the CSM for the BR400 trail maintenance machine which Sedbergh shared with the CSM and unpaid student registration fees for the 2008.

To make matters worse, Mike had received a notification from Revenue Quebec that it would be performing a GST/QST (value-added sales tax) audit in the coming weeks.

It was clear to Mike that he needed to get some help to deal with all of this if the event were to continue into the future. The news was devastating and Mike called a special Board of Director’s meeting to discuss the particulars. Prior to the meeting, Mike met with Revenue Quebec to learn that his predecessors never claimed taxes on revenue collected which resulted in a $60,000 claim by the government authorities. After much negotiation, a settlement in the amount of $30,692 was agreed upon and he needed to inform his Board of the ramifications should this penalty not be paid back. Without having any cash in the bank, no credit line, a bankrupt school/partner, and a government assessment, Mike had no idea where to start at the emergency board meeting he planned…….

Download The Canadian Ski Marathon Case Study Here

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About The Authors

Dr. Koegl holds the position of Professor of Real Estate and Urban Economics at Monarch Business School Switzerland. He holds a Doctor of Management from Monarch and an MBA from McGill University in Montreal, Canada as well as a Bachelor of Technology in Architectural Science from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. Professor Dr. Koegl is a seasoned academic having taught real estate finance and urban economics at McGill university to B.Comm. and MBA students for over a decade. Dr. Koegl is an active real estate professional having held several management positions within the Canadian real estate industry, including such notable companies. During his professional career Dr. Koegl has participated in the development, acquisition and management of over $1 billion in real estate assets.

Dr. Jeffrey Henderson is the Dean of the Faculty at Monarch Business School Switzerland and Professor of Business Ethics. He holds a D.Phil. in Business Research from Monarch Business School Switzerland, a M.Sc. in Administration and International MBA from Nyenrode Unversiteit in The Netherlands as well as a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University. Dr. Henderson is an active professor of business ethics at Monarch Business School. He has also held the position of Adjunct Professor at The Grenoble Graduate School of Business as well as lecturer in Management at McGill University. His research focuses on Business Ethics, Catholic Social Theory and Austrian Economics.