Nebraska’s Most Successful NLC!

More than 1,800 of America’s best and brightest college students traveled to Southern California to establish their own Legacy of Leadership as they competed for the opportunity to win more than $95,000 in cash awards. The Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) National Leadership Conference (NLC) was held June 24–27 in Anaheim. Participants from across the United States attended this exciting conference to enhance their business skills, expand their networks, and participate in 60 business and business-related competitive events. Nearly 100 Nebraska PBL members and advisers were among the 1,800 at the Anaheim NLC.

Nebraska PBL members captured a best-ever nine first places at their recent National Leadership Conference and the state chapter brought home a record-setting 54 Top Ten finishes. As a state, only the Florida State Chapter fared better than Nebraska PBL in 2017. In addition, a number of the members earned a cash prize along with their respective placing.

In addition, Scott Riley (Auburn) of the Peru State PBL chapter was elected to serve as the Mountain Plains Vice President for the 2017-18 year. It is believed that Riley is the first Peru State member to hold a national office since Amy Henzel was the Mountain Plains VP in 1990-91. Riley is currently serving as the president of the Nebraska State Chapter this year.

The awards earned are a part of a comprehensive national competitive events program sponsored by FBLA-PBL that recognizes and rewards excellence in a broad range of business and career-related areas. For many students, the competitive events are the capstone activity of their academic careers. In addition to the competitions, students immersed themselves in educational workshops, visited an information-packed exhibit hall, and attended motivational keynotes on a broad range of business topics.

Nine First Place Event Winners

Out of the 54 national awards won by its members and chapters, Nebraska PBL had nine first place honors.

The Parliamentary Procedure team from Doane University and University of Nebraska at Kearney took the top honors. In doing so, this was the fourth time in five years that the team primarily from Doane has captured the top honor. Members of the winning team from Doane – Tori Tetrick (Auburn), Sara Bournia (Iliff, Colo.), and Tami Myers (Franklin). The fourth member of the winning team from UNK was Abi Sheen (Kearney). Perhaps as impressive was that a second team from Doane took second place to give Nebraska the top two teams in the country!

The team of Michaela Mapes (Bennington) and Kurt Cronicon (Omaha) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln took top honors in the Business Decision Making competition.

Alexandra Kenney (Milford) from Peru State College took first place in Client Services.

Emily Karr (McCook) from McCook Community College was a double winner as she captured the top spot in Computer Animation and Desktop Publishing.

The team of Brenna Backemeyer (Elmwood) and Rose Wehrman (Kenesaw) – University of Nebraska –Lincoln – Emerging Business Issues.

Trevor Lockard (Lincoln) – University of Nebraska – Lincoln – was also a double winner taking the titles in both Macroeconomics and Microeconomics.

A Chadron State College team of Stephanie Alfred (Mitchell) and Dawson Brunswick (McCook) won the Network Design competition.

Other Top Ten Finishes

The following list includes the winners, city/state (if available), the college/university, and the event:

Second Place Winners

Ashlyn Draper (Lincoln), Samantha Hinrichs (Ankeny, Iowa), and Brooke Rudebusch (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) – Peru State College – Business Sustainability

Kurt Cronicon (Omaha) – University of Nebraska – Lincoln – Economic Analysis and Decision Making

Brady Conant (Hastings) and Rose Wehrman (Kenesaw) – Lincoln – Global Analysis and Decision Making

Michaela Mapes (Bennington) – University of Nebraska – Lincoln – Human Resource Management

Madisyn Ayers (Minden), Reba Burgett (Humboldt), Anna Bauerle (Imperial), and Corbin Heller (Sidney) – Doane University – Parliamentary Procedure

Third Place Winners

Rebecca Lorens (Stratton) and Jessica Premer (McCook) – McCook Community College – Computer Animation

Kandace Ward (North Platte) – North Platte Community College – Computer Applications

Dustin Hageman (Omaha) – Doane University – Economic Analysis and Decision Making

Kate Richerson (Lincoln) – Nebraska Wesleyan University – Justice Administration

Rebecca Otten (Crystal Lake, Minn.) – University of Nebraska – Lincoln – Microeconomics

Kate Richerson (Lincoln) – Nebraska Wesleyan University – Organizational Behavior and Leadership

Abi Sheen (Kearney) – University of Nebraska at Kearney – Retail Management

Drew Kasch (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) – Chadron State College – Sales Presentation

Troy Fields (Halsey), Drew Kasch (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), and Molly O’Connell (Belle Fourche, S.D.) – Chadron State College – Strategic Analysis and Decision Making

Fourth Place Winners

Reba Burgett (Humboldt) – Doane University – Accounting for Professionals

Kenneth Erickson (Omaha) – University of Nebraska – Lincoln – Accounting Principles

Megan Copsey (Gering), Rebekah Otten (Crystal Lake, Minn.), and Demi VanReeuwijk (Eagan, Minnesota) – University of Nebraska – Lincoln – Business Ethics

Brenna Backemeyer (Elmwood) and Jacey Olmer (Humphrey) – University of Nebraska – Lincoln – Community Service Project

Leyna Brummels (Ewing) – Chadron State College – Forensic Accounting

Tristen Nelson (Lincoln) – Peru State College – Future Business Executive

Marleigha McDonald (Gillette, Wyo.) – Chadron State College – Retail Management

Melissa Strong (Giltner) – York College – Small Business Management Plan

Fifth Place Winners

Kendra Alberts (Johnson) – Peru State College – Community Service Project

Christian Dauel (Waverly), Trevor Koger (Arlington), and Logan Riley (Eagle) – University of Nebraska Omaha – Financial Services

Haley Benedict (Springfield) and Sara Chaloupka (Grand Island) – Peru State College – Integrated Marketing Campaign

Alexandra Kenney (Milford) – Peru State College – Job Interview

Amanda Prosser (Loup City), Artur Rodrigues (Norfolk), and Chelsea Wortmann (Crofton) – Northeast Community College – Social Media Challenge

Sixth Place Winners

Sara Granfors (Seward) – Peru State College – Business Communications

Jessica Premer (McCook) – McCook Community College – Desktop Publishing

Molly O’Connell (Belle Fourche, S.D.) – Chadron State College – Small Business Management Plan

Seventh Place Winners

Trevor Koger (Arlington) – University of Nebraska Omaha – Accounting Principles

Kendra Alberts (Johnson) – Peru State College – Future Business Educator

Logan Riley (Eagle) – University of Nebraska Omaha – Management Concepts

Eighth Place Winners

Megan Copsey (Gering) – University of Nebraska – Lincoln – Help Desk

Kenneth Erickson (Omaha) – University of Nebraska – Lincoln – Social Media Challenge

Ninth Place Winners

Dustin Hageman (Omaha) – Doane University – Human Resource Management

Trey Nelson (Lincoln) and Tristen Nelson (Lincoln) – Peru State College – Marketing Analysis and Decision Making

Kiana Borengasser (Waianae, Hawaii), Lauren Robertson (Omaha), and Brooke Rudebusch (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) – Peru State College – Strategic Analysis & Decision Making

Haley Benedict (Springfield) and Sara Chaloupka (Grand Island) – Peru State – Website Design

Tenth Place Winners

Emma Wiebalhaus (Fordyce) – Northeast Community College – Administrative Technology

Cassandra Hunter (Lincoln) and Yorgelys Jaspe (San Carlos, Venezuela) – Peru State College – Business Sustainability

Axel Klaussen (Fremont) and Anna Watts (Ogallala) – Midland University – Forensic Accounting

Eirikur Arnason (Taconite, Minn.) and Jonathan Quintanilla (Emporia, Kan.) – Midland University – Global Analysis and Decision Making

Stephanie Alfred (Mitchell) and Troy Fields (Halsey) – Chadron State College – Integrated Marketing Campaign

Trey Nelson (Lincoln) – Peru State College – Job Interview

Rachael Cole (Wymore) and Lindsay Harlow (Dawson) – Peru State College – Local Chapter Annual Business Report

Who’s Who in Phi Beta Lambda

Molly O’Connell (Belle Fourche, S.D.) – Chadron State College

Other Finalists

Rozlyn Cole (Wymore), Sara Granfors (Seward), and Spencer Kerwin (Omaha) – Peru State College – Emerging Business Issues

Brooke Hays (Oxford) – Peru State College – Financial Analysis and Decision Making

Hannah Hanke (Culberston), Taylor Stettner (Hampton), and Brad Wessels (Arapahoe) – McCook Community College – Financial Analysis and Decision Making

Lindsay Harlow (Dawson) – Peru State College – Financial Services

Bailey Kool (McCook) – McCook Community College – Help Desk

Axel Klaussen (Fremont), Danielle Martin (Le Mars, Iowa), and Anna Watts (Ogallala) – Midland University – Management Analysis and Decision Making

Jacey Olmer (Humphrey) – University of Nebraska – Lincoln – Marketing Analysis and Decision Making

Other Recognitions

Lorrie Mowry from McCook Community College was recognized as Nebraska’s Outstanding Adviser of the Year. In addition, the McCook Community College PBL Chapter was recognized as a “Diamond Chapter” – just one of 21 in the nation for PBL. The recognition came as the chapter completed a series of activities over the year culminating in the national honor.

The Nebraska PBL State Chapter was awarded several certificates. The state chapter placed first in the Mountain Plains region for having the most professional division members. The state chapter was also recognized as the second-largest state chapter in the Mountain Plains region. Finally, the state chapter was awarded the State Membership Madness Challenge.

The University of Nebraska – Lincoln chapter was recognized as the second largest in the Mountain Plains Region.

The Peru State College chapter was recognized as Hollis and Kitty Guy Gold Seal Chapters of Merit which recognizes outstanding chapters that have actively participated in projects and programs identified with the goals of FBLA-PBL. In addition, the chapter was awarded the Action Awareness Award.

The Chadron State College chapter was recognized like Peru State as a Hollis and Kitty Guy Gold Seal Chapter of Merit. In addition, the chapter earned the Chapter Challenge award. Member Molly O’Connell (Belle Fourche, S.D.) was recognized as earning the CMAP President award.

The Midland University Chapter was recognized for having the highest professional division membership in the Mountain Plains region.

Nebraska PBL was well represented as well in terms of workshops as there were three different presentations made by different individuals throughout the conference. Dr. Sheri Grotrian-Ryan and Dr. Kyle Ryan from Peru State have presented for several years. Their topic this year was “Leading with High-Impact Practices.” The presentation covered the high-impact practices proved to be most successful in higher education and how to make them work for those in attendance. Rita Bristol of Midland University and Wanda Samson, an adjunct instructor for Metro Community College, presented “Take 5!” Their session provided tips on career planning and preparation with those in attendance receiving a personalized plan for reaching their career goals. Finally, the Nebraska State Officer Team stepped up to the plate and presented “Developing a Lasting Legacy.” The interactive workshop was designed to discuss partnering, recruiting, and retaining FBLA members helping them develop their lasting legacy in PBL. All seven of the state officers in attendance assisted with the presentation. They included: President Scott Riley (Auburn), VP of Membership Taylor Stettner (Hampton), VP of Communications Anna Watts (Ogallala), VP of Finance Danielle Martin (Le Mars, Iowa), VP of Technology from Peru State Kendra Alberts (Johnson), VP of Public Relations from McCook Community College Brad Wessels (Arapahoe), and Assistant VP from the University of Nebraska at Kearney Abi Sheen (Kearney).

In addition, State Adviser Ted L. Harshbarger assisted with the competitive events throughout the conference as part of the national awards program committee. He will begin a fourth term on the committee officially starting in September. Harshbarger has served as the state adviser for Nebraska PBL for 21 years.

About FBLA-PBL, Inc.

Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) education association with a quarter million members and advisers in over 6,500 active middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Its mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. The association is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC. For more information, visit