San Antonio, Texas – The Peru State Phi Beta Lambda chapter brought home 15 national awards including 13 top ten trophies. Of the 17 students representing Peru State, 16 placed in the top ten.

More than 1,300 of America’s best and brightest college students traveled to Texas to “Create. Lead. Inspire” as they competed for the opportunity to win more than $110,000 in cash awards. This year’s National Leadership Conference took place in San Antonio from June 24–27.

These highly competitive students from all over the United States took part in 60 different business and business-related events. In order to make it to the national conference, participants must first receive a first, second, or third in their event at the state level.

First Place – Tristen Nelson (Lincoln) – Human Resource Management

The Human Resources Management competition included both a 60-minute objective test and an interactive presentation based on a case study.  The case study included training, staffing, benefits, labor relations, and government regulations. Test topics included Employee Compensation and Benefits; Governmental Regulations and Issues (discrimination laws, federal labor acts); Human Resource Planning (mission, vision, internal/external issues, future needs); Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining (union management relations, employee rights, negotiating contracts); Performance Management; Staff (recruitment, selection, careers, EOE delivery); and Training and Development (performance management, safety, quality improvement, health).

Second Place – Brenda Lutz (Rock Port, Mo.) – Future Business Educator

The Future Business Educator competition required material submission at the conference, a preliminary interview, and a final interview. This year participants created a unit plan for a high school economics course. The plan included a pre-assessment, assessments, activities, and other ancillary materials as needed. The assessments were original in nature and not copied from published textbook materials.

Second Place – Sara Granfors (Fremont) and Emily Oestmann (Johnson) – Emerging Business Issues

The Emerging Business Issues provides PBL members with an opportunity to develop and demonstrate skills in researching and presenting an emerging business issue. In addition to learning research skills, participants develop speaking ability and poise through oral presentation.

This year’s presentation topic was “The perception that consumers expect businesses to focus on preserving our natural environment in conjunction with maintaining profits is a point of view repeatedly presented. Be prepared to argue the perspective that businesses should be expected to uphold the promise of people, planet, profit and purpose.  Also, be prepared to argue the perspective that businesses should not be expected to uphold the promise of people, planet, profit and purpose together.”

Third Place – Dolores McGargill (Auburn) – Human Resources Management

The Human Resources Management competition included both a 60-minute objective test and an interactive presentation based on a case study.  The case study may include training, staffing, benefits, labor relations, and government regulations. Test topics included Employee Compensation and Benefits; Governmental Regulations and Issues (discrimination laws, federal labor acts); Human Resource Planning (mission, vision, internal/external issues, future needs); Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining (union management relations, employee rights, negotiating contracts); Performance Management; Staff (recruitment, selection, careers, EOE delivery); and Training and Development (performance management, safety, quality improvement, health).

Third Place – Trey Nelson (Lincoln) – Future Business Executive

This event recognizes PBL members who have demonstrated leadership qualities and evidence of knowledge and skills essential for successful careers in business. A 60-minute objective test of competencies included the topics of Management; Accounting; Business Law; Economics; Finance; Marketing; Technology Concepts; Organizational Behavior & Leadership; Business Strategy; Communication Techniques; and Global Business. The competition also required submission of a cover letter and resume before participating in multiple job interviews.

Fourth Place – Rachael Cole (Wymore) – Local Chapter Annual Business Report

The Hamden L. Forkner Award recognizes PBL chapters that effectively summarize their year’s activities. The event provides participants with valuable experience in preparing annual business reports. The report included the chapter’s annual program of work. The report described activities of the chapter that were conducted between the start of the previous State Leadership Conference and the current State Leadership Conference.

Fifth Place – Rachael Cole (Wymore), Lindsay Harlow (Dawson), and Brooke Hays (Oxford) –  Forensic Accounting

The Forensic Accounting Presentation requires a formal presentation. Forensic Accounting is for accountants to examine books for fraudulent activity. Participants received a case study upon check-in at the national conference. Teams had until the scheduled presentation time to research, document their research, and develop a presentation. Individuals/teams were not limited in research techniques and sources. All individuals/teams also participated in a preliminary performance at the NLC.

Sixth Place – Rozlyn Cole (Wymore), Tyler Harms (Falls City), Brooke Hays (Oxford), Trey Nelson(Lincoln), and Tristen Nelson (Lincoln) – Parliamentary Procedure

The Dorothy L. Travis Award recognizes PBL members who demonstrate knowledge of parliamentary procedure principles along with an understanding of PBL’s organization and procedures. This event is based on team rather than individual competition. Team participants develop speaking ability and poise through competitive performance.

A 60-minute objective test of competencies included Parliamentary Procedure Principles (questions are drawn from the National Association of Parliamentarian’s official test bank) and PBL Bylaws.

A role play scenario was also given to simulate a regular chapter meeting. The examination and performance criteria for this event was based on Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, 11th edition.

Seventh Place – Hannah Cook (Ponca) – Retail Management

The Retail Management competition recognizes PBL members who demonstrate knowledge of the functions of retail management and the changing environment that affects retailing. Tested competencies include Retail Management Functions; Customer Value, Services, Retailing Technologies; Retail Planning and Management Process; Retail Environment; Evaluation and Identification of Retail Customers; Retailing Information Systems; Selecting the Appropriate Market and Location; Financial Aspects of Operations Management; Merchandise Buying and Handling; Human Resource Management in Retailing; Pricing in Retailing; Customer Service in Retailing; Laws and Ethics; and Diversity and Trends.

Eighth Place – Tyler Harms (Falls City) and Noah Wynn (Auburn) – Financial Analysis Decision Making

This event recognizes PBL members who possess knowledge across the core curriculum in the area of finance. A 60-minute objective test of competencies included the topics of Business Finance/Corporate Finance; Capital Management; Financial Institutions and Markets; Financial Management/Managerial Finance; and Investments. Competitors also participated in an interactive role play situation that included investments, financial management, financial institutes, etc.

Ninth Place – Rachael Cole (Wymore) – Computer Applications

This event provides recognition for PBL members who can most efficiently demonstrate computer application skills. A 60-minute objective test of competencies included Basic Computer Terminology and Concepts; Document Formatting Rules and Standards; Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling, and Proofreading; Related Computer Application Knowledge; and Netiquette. A practical test required participants to create a database and apply various functions; create a spreadsheet and apply various functions; prepare text slides with graphics; create bar, line, pie, exploded pie, & stacked bar business graphics; and word processing.

Ninth Place – Ashli Becker (Yankton, S.D.) and Rozlyn Cole (Wymore) – Integrated Marketing Campaign

Researching, creating, and presenting an integrated marketing campaign is a challenge for all prospective owners of businesses. This event provides recognition for PBL members who demonstrate a real-world understanding of marketing principles.

Tenth Place – Ashli Becker (Yankton, S.D.), Velma Hauck (Fremont), and Nancy Ramirez (Tecumseh)– Marketing Analysis and Decision Making.

This event recognizes PBL members who possess knowledge across the core curriculum in the area of marketing. A 60-minute objective test of competencies included Advertising and Promotion/Sales Management; Consumer Behavior; E-Commerce; Marketing Management; Marketing Principles and Concept; Marketing Research; Public Relations. Competitors also completed an interactive role play situation that included consumer behavior, advertising, e-commerce, public relations, research, etc.

Top 15 Finish – Brenda Lutz (Rock Port, Mo.) – Global Analysis and Decision Making

This event recognizes PBL members who develop competency and demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles of management, marketing, and economics of global business. The competition included a collaborative, objective test and a presentation. Tested competencies included Communication (including culture and language); Currency Exchange; Global Business Environment; Finance; Human Resource Management; Legal Issues; Marketing; Ownership and Management; Taxes and Government Regulations; and Treaties and Trade Agreements.

Top 15 Finish – Dolores McGargill (Auburn) – Hospitality Management

Hospitality is an important aspect of business and society. This area includes involvement in the hotel, restaurant, and tourism industry. A 60-minute objective test of competencies included Current Industry Trends; Customer Expectations; Environmental and Global Issues; Financial Management and Budgeting; Human Resources; Legal Issues; Marketing Concepts; and Operations and Management Functions. Competitors also completed an interactive role play situation that included financial management, operations, human resources, customer expectations, legal, environmental issues, etc.

Top 15 Finish – Velma Hauck (Fremont) and Nancy Rameriz (Tecumseh) – Management Analysis and Decision Making

This event recognizes PBL members who possess knowledge across the core curriculum in the area of management. A 60-minute objective test of competencies included Business Policies/Strategic Management; Management Information Systems; Organization Behavior; Organizational theory; and Production/Operations Management. Competitors also completed an interactive role play situation that included organizational behavior and theory, management principles, operations management, business policies, etc.

In addition to all of their individual successes, Peru State PBL earned the Hollis and Kitty Guy Gold Seal Chapter Award of Merit, which recognizes outstanding chapters that have actively participated in projects and programs identified with the goals of FBLA-PBL.

PBL’s advisor at Peru State, Dr. Sheri Grotrian, has presented for many years at the national conference. Her topic this year was “Leading Community Service Efforts in Phi Beta Lambda.”