Southeast Recognized with Top Honors at PBL National Leadership Conference in Anaheim


Eight students from the Zeta Alpha Lambda chapter at Southeast Missouri State University brought home six awards, 12 individual trophies and $500 in cash awards at the Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) Awards of Excellence Program June 27 in Anaheim, California.

The students competed in 15 team and individual events and all received national recognition at the PBL National Leadership Conference. Winners are as follows:

  • Andrew Bathon (cybersecurity major from St. Louis, Missouri), Jonathan Kuntzman (sports management major from Taylorville, Illinois), Jackson Pulley (criminal justice major from Marshfield, Missouri), Kylee Stevenson (biomedical science major from Cape Girardeau, Missouri), and Benjamin Zimmer (psychology major from St. Charles, Missouri) earned seventh place in Parliamentary Procedure. Bathon served as chapter parliamentarian for 2016-2017. Stevenson served as chapter membership committee chairperson for 2016-2017 and will continue in the 2017-2018 academic year.
  • Dylan Kennedy (corporate communication major from Catron, Missouri) and Rebecca Ott (hospitality management major from Wentzville, Missouri) earned second place in Business Presentation. This event was sponsored by PDC Productions and came with a $400 cash award.  The pair also took ninth place in Hospitality Management. Kennedy served as chapter president and Missouri Phi Beta Lambda president for 2016-2017 and will be continuing his role as state president for 2017-2018.  Kennedy will serve as chapter vice president for 2017-2018.  Ott served as chapter secretary and Missouri Phi Beta Lambda Secretary for 2016-2017 and will serve as chapter president for 2017-2018 at Southeast.
  • Halley Olveda (accounting major from Cave-In-Rock, Illinois) earned third place in Financial Concepts. This event was sponsored by SunTrust Bank and came with a $100 cash award.  Olveda will serve as chapter finance committee chairperson for 2016-2017.
  • Zimmer (psychology major from St. Charles, Missouri) earned eighth place in Strategic Analysis & Decision Making. Zimmer served as chapter finance committee chairperson for 2016-2017 and will serve as chapter parliamentarian for 2017-2018.
  • The Southeast Missouri State University chapter earned eighth place in Local Chapter Annual Business Report prepared by Kennedy and Ott.

The Southeast contingent was among 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.  Participants from across the United States attended the conference to enhance their business skills, expand their networks, and participate in 60 business and business-related competitive events.

Dr. Dana Schwieger traveled with members of Southeast’s Zeta Alpha Lambda chapter as their advisor. She was nationally recognized for receiving the Outstanding Adviser award in Missouri.

Members were recognized for achieving various levels of the Career and Membership Achievement Program (CMAP) at the North Central Region meeting. The CMAP is a comprehensive membership recognition program encompassing PBL projects, goals and programs with special emphasis on career development and preparation for the world of work. The awards focus on the words surrounding the PBL Crest: Service, Education and Progress.  Members work independently through three integrated levels of the CMAP: Director, Executive and President. Stevenson was recognized for earning the Director Award which focuses on introductory community service, career research and PBL involvement at the local level.

Southeast’s Zeta Alpha Lambda chapter also completed the PBL Chapter Challenge.  This recognition program encourages recruitment, retention and member involvement. As part of the Chapter Challenge, the membership completed Super Sweeps, Non-Stop November and Action Awareness.

These awards are 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 competitions, students immersed themselves in interactive workshops, visited an information-packed exhibit hall and heard from motivational keynotes on a broad range of business topics.

About FBLA-PBL, Inc.

Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc., the premier student business organization, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) education association with a quarter million members and advisers in more than 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.

Photo Caption: In the front row, from left, are Rebecca Ott, Kylee Stevenson and Halley Olveda. In the back row, from left, are Benjamin Zimmer, Jonathan Kuntzman, Jackson Pulley, Andrew Bathon and Dylan Kennedy.