Jim Mathews Award and Fellowship for Intelligence Excellence

The Jim Mathews Award, started in 2012 by Aurora WDC and to celebrate the 8th award year in 2019, was created to remember and acknowledge the lasting professional contributions to the field of Competitive Intelligence (CI) made by Mr. James (Jim) Mathews, who passed away in October 2011.

2019 Jim Mathews Award Winner

2017 Jim Mathews Award Winners

This year’s Jim Mathews Award medalist is Marina R. Boyle. Read a little more about her below!

She has an impressive resume including:

  • Mercyhurst University, Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences (3.94 GPA)
  • Sophomore Area Resident Assistant
  • Multicultural and Student Activities Council Programme
  • Merciad Features Editor
  • International Student Association President

In her own words…

For me, a career in competitive intelligence signifies an opportunity to pursue what I love. As someone who thrives in a fast paced business environment and is fascinated by strategy, competitive intelligence is a logical and exciting career option. Moreover, competitive intelligence is a growing and dynamic field with boundless opportunity to learn, provide insight and bring success to businesses. I hope to work for some years in the field, particularly in a business relating to tourism and travel. My goals include stating my own businesses both in North America and my home country of Ireland. Afterward I hope to retire with enough money and expertise to start an NGO that allows me to use business and competitive intelligence skills for humanitarian work. When looking at a career in enterprise and service, I see competitive intelligence as the key to commercial and personal success.

Winning the Jim Matthews award means the world to me because it validates my hard work up to this point and reminds me of the extensive opportunities there are in the field. Jim Matthews is naturally someone whose career successes I would hope to emulate in any future endeavours, and I am flattered to bear an award with his name. I feel so honored to have even been considered for the award, and to win is an achievement beyond my dreams. I look forward to bringing what I can to “RECONVERGE” and to learning from all those around me throughout the four days. I hope to meet lots of like minded individuals in the industry and understand how the CI field has given purpose to their lives. I am also looking forward to seeing how I can advance my career prospects in competitive intelligence following this success and giving back to the Aurora group in gratitude.

Read her full essay here.

About the Jim Mathews Award

Aurora WDC announced its intent of this award in summer 2011, when Jim was still in the industry, with the first awards presented in May 2012 in celebration of Jim’s memory and acknowledgement of his lasting professional contributions to the field of Competitive Intelligence (CI). Sadly, he passed away in October 2011 before the first awards could be bestowed; however, when he heard of Aurora’s intent a few months prior to his passing, he was honored to know Aurora wanted to create a lasting legacy surrounding his industry contributions.

Having known Jim for nearly a decade, we viewed him as exemplifying the “gold standard” in terms of professionalism in the business and competitive intelligence arena. More so, he always loved to speak to students about entering and making a career out of the intelligence profession, and what a noble pursuit it was.

Currently-enrolled university students (undergraduate and graduate level) can compete for one of two (2) awards to allow you to attend the annual RECONVERGE:G2 Intelligence Leadership Symposium as a Jim Mathews Award recipient. As a Mathews medal winner, your registration fee will be covered by Aurora WDC to the Symposium.

Additionally, each of the two award recipients will be allocated a stipend that supports travel-related expenses associated with their participation in the Symposium. Most importantly, students will signify to potential employers their desire to achieve the levels of professionalism in their own careers that Jim Mathews was widely known for.

Thank you for considering this opportunity to advance your Intelligence career and education, and do so in memory and honor of a great and highly-respected professional.

Distinguished Judges

We would like to thank the following professionals for their participation in judging Jim Mathews Award entries:

  • Babette Bensoussan (Australia, CI Fellow)
  • Andrew Beurschgens* (UK, CI Fellow)
  • Phil Britton* (USA)
  • David Blenkhorn (Canada)
  • Robert (Bob) Fowler* (USA)
  • Martha Gleason (USA, CI Fellow)
  • Kelsey Hare (USA)
  • Rostyk Hursky (Canada, CI Fellow)
  • Terry Kerby (USA)
  • Judith Leavitt (USA, CI Fellow)
  • Dan Mulligan* (USA)
  • Ellen Naylor* (USA, CI Fellow)
  • Clay Phillips (USA)
  • Fred Wergeles (USA, CI Fellow)
  • Sheila Wright* (UK, CI Fellow)

*Served multiple times.

Submission Instructions

The following are the qualifications you must meet to in order to be eligible to apply for the Jim Mathews Award. In your submission, submit a cover page with your application that provide your contact details and also clearly indicate how you meet or exceed each of the following:


  1. Be a currently enrolled (full or part-time) student at any accredited secondary (high school) or post-secondary institution of higher learning (e.g., college, polytechnic, university) – and provide (unofficial or official) student’s proof of registration in either the current semester (Summer or Fall, 2018 and/or Winter/Spring, 2019 term)
  2. Minimum 2.6 GPA (or 75 on a 100 scale) overall – be able to provide us a (student’s, unofficial) copy of the educational institution’s record indicating cumulative GPA

Important additional elements:

  1. Have a demonstrated interest in pursuing a career in business, competitive, (commercial) economic, and/or market intelligence
  2. Articulate a strong appreciation for ethics & professional values
  3. Demonstrate leadership qualities within student or extra-curricular, community and/or professional organizations
  4. Display high levels of curiosity and persistence in your coursework and assignments.

A group of between 4-6 highly experienced and veteran CI practitioners from around the globe, all of whom have achieved success and hired practitioners during their careers, will review and rank all of the submissions. Your probability of winning is dependent on the number and quality of applications submitted. The last 3 iterations of this competition have averaged thirty applications from students and institutions around the globe.

Please select one (1) of the following four (4) essay questions. Prepare a 1000-2000-word essay, which can and also should include any illustrative exhibits you wish to refer to from within your text. If they are not text-based, these will NOT count against your word limit – so use those visual aids smartly, as your response. You will be judged on writing and presentation quality, as well as your essay’s content and persuasiveness.

As in most educational assignments, please be sure to cite (using endnotes or footnotes) or reference any direct uses of others’ IP or expertise. Past winners have typically had at least ten of these in their responses – and many have had more, which also do NOT count against the word limit. On a separate (cover) sheet submitted with the essay response, please also be sure to note how you meet each of the six qualification criteria on the prior page, as well as providing your full contact details, essay word count, & any relevant documentation of your qualifications.


  1. Computers, automation, software, the cloud, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are all growing in prominence in the world of business organizations. As such, they also impact their intelligence units/practitioners. a) Describe how you think these technologies will impact intelligence work in the next decade – what will they affect? Where will they be significant in changing current work streams? How will this affect job prospects for individual’s intent on choosing intelligence careers? b) Choose one particular technology that you feel will have the biggest impact on CI practice in the next decade (i.e., the 2020s). Please explain why you think it will have such a big impact, describe how it will change practice, and suggest to corporate executives what they should be doing now to take advantage of this impending change.
  2. For decades, skills or traits like curiosity, persistence, critical thinking, and analytic capability have served intelligence practitioners well, but some observers think that newer or emerging traits, like humility, computational thinking, cross-cultural competency, social intelligence, or virtual collaboration, might serve their organizations better in the next decade (-s). a) Please describe at least six (6) new skills, knowledge, abilities, traits or experiences (aka, competencies) that you believe will be significant to an intelligence practitioner’s success in the 2020s and beyond. Illustrate how each of these competencies is being or would be utilized in real-world business contexts. b) Choose what you view to be the most important of these traits you listed (and explain why you picked this one over the others) and make a powerful case for how it can be developed, what practitioners should be doing now to acquire/enhance it, and how it might be measured and assessed.
  3. Many members of the general public are mostly unaware that there is even a discipline known as “intelligence” that is practiced by business persons and corporate groups. In the view of some veteran intelligence professionals, new venturers or entrepreneurs who are launching new businesses, or intrapreneurs who are trying to launch new products/services from inside their existing businesses can especially derive benefit from intelligence. a) Offer a strong argument for why and how intelligence practices and processes can be beneficial, if not essential, to both 1) entrepreneurs and 2) intrapreneurs.  b) Develop an innovative plan to help educate entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs about the criticality of intelligence practices and processes. In your plan, please offer a “campaign,” including marketing communication (an elevator pitch) about an educational or learning program that can raise awareness.
  4. Gathering and analyzing data/information in order to generate insights has always been a challenging, and potentially rewarding endeavor. One of the most “protected” and secured targets of intelligence is the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe (aka, MCU) fourth edition of its Avengers offering. As of October 2018, no one knows with any confidence what its title is, or what the major plot elements may be (spoiler: At the end of Avengers 3, half of the universe, including major characters/superheroes, apparently were eliminated by the villain, Thanos). Think about how you might employ (ethical and legal) intelligence practices and come up with a plan to develop insights about these two intelligence questions (i.e., title and main plot elements). a) Illustrate, using detailed descriptions and methods, how you would apply HUMINT (primary research) practices to generate insights. b) Illustrate, using detailed descriptions and methods, how you would apply secondary methods, and/or use employ emerging technologies to generate useful insights.

As a candidate for a Jim Mathews Award, you are expected to deliver the following to the review committee. Please send all submissions through via the automated submission system, or e-mail them to Dr. Craig Fleisher at Craig.Fleisher@AuroraWDC.com. In either case, you should receive a timely confirmation of our receipt of your application materials.

  • No later than January 15, 2019 (Tuesday): all submissions due by 17:00 EST
  • Week of Feb. 11, 2019: Short interviews (by phone) take place with award finalists
  • March 4, 2018 (Monday): Final selections and notification to award recipients

The winners will be present at G2 Annual Conference, a CI leadership symposium being held this year at the Fluno Executive Center at the University of Wisconsin in downtown Madison, Wisconsin, USA from April 22-25, 2018. Mathews Award winners will get to present their award-winning essays and gain exposure not only to leading CI-related speakers, workshops and practices, but also interaction with a network of veteran CI practitioners. We look forward to seeing all of our applicants, and particularly the two winners, for an outstanding exchange of ideas and time! For more about RECONVERGE:G2, please see: http://g2.reconverge.net/

Jim Mathews Award and Fellowship

The submission deadline for 2019 is January 15, 2019.

Past Award Winners

2012 JMA Winners


Bridget Finn (Mercyhurst U.) & Shawn Ruminski (Mercyhurst U.)

2013 JMA Winners


Nita Heeg (Algonquin C., Ottawa) & Mary Kate Daley (Mercyhurst U.)

2014 JMA Winners


Sarah Stokes (Mercyhurst U) & Selina Zhang (Algonquin C., Ottawa)

2015 JMA Winners


Lisel Douglas (Algonquin C., Ottawa) & Monica Perez (Mercyhurst U.)

2016 JMA Winners


Nhi Tran (Mercyhurst U.) & Joshua Bailey (James Madison U.)

2017 JMA Winners


Thomas Hamby (Mercyhurst U.) & Connor Hamel (James Madison U.)

2017 JMA Winners


Micah Uveges (Georgetown University) & Holly Schnader (James Madison University)

Biographical Sketch of James E. Mathews

James E. (Jim) Mathews spent more than 30 years in the Defense Industry, and the last 14 in Competitive Intelligence (CI) and Price-to-Win (PTW). His whole career was centered on winning new business and he was the Lead CI Professional and/or PTW leader/co-leader on some of the largest winning proposals his company had engaged in in his last years of practice. His resume wins included the realignment of NORAD and Cheyenne Mountain (ISC2), the Joint Strike Fighter (The F-35), Coast Guard Deepwater (Recapitalization of all Coast Guard’s assets), High Altitude Airship, the Littoral Combat Ship (fast fighting ship for the shallow waters of the littorals), War Fighter Focus (Live, Virtual, and Constructive Training for the Army for the next 10 Years), and a multitude of Service Jobs and Classified Projects. Jim was medically retired from the US Air Force where, at one time, he was an Airborne Voice Controller for the Apollo program for NASA.

Jim received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida and a Master of Science Degree in Contract and Acquisition Management from the Florida Institute of Technology. Following a successful career at Lockheed Martin, he retired early in 2003, and joined Raytheon for just over three years as Director of Deal-To-Win, followed by Northrop Grumman TASC for 5 years as Director of CI/ Position-To-Win before joining Booz Allen Hamilton in December 2010 as a Principal on their GO Team.

He and his wife Bonnie resided in the McLean, Virginia area, and were die-hard Florida Gators fans. Jim had a passion for seeing young people succeed in their careers, and was always a willing mentor to professionals of any age who had a desire to learn.

Jim Mathews

The submission deadline for 2019 has passed and the winners have already been notified.