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


Phi Beta Lambda national conference 2015CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., July 10, 2015 – Eight Southeast Missouri State University students received national recognition at the Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) National Leadership Conference June 27 in Chicago.

Seventeen members of Southeast’s Zeta Alpha Lambda Chapter attended the conference, bringing home nine awards, 12 individual trophies and $1,200 in cash awards while competing in 25 team and individual events. Southeast students placed in the Top 15 Finals for an additional three events. The chapter also received the Gold Seal Chapter Award of Merit, known as the Hollis and Kitty Guy Award, which recognizes outstanding local chapters that have actively participated in projects and programs identified with the goals of FBLA-PBL. Missouri only has two Gold Seal Chapters each year.

Southeast students receiving national recognition were as follows:

  • Andrew Crutcher (double major in computer Science and applied mathematics from St. Catharine, Missouri) earned first place in Networking Concepts. This event was sponsored by the National Technical Honor Society and came with a $700 cash award.  Crutcher is serving as chapter Finance Committee chairperson for 2015-2016.
  • Bethany Joiner (cybersecurity major from Sparta, Illinois) earned fifth place in cybersecurity.
  • Andrew Mitchell (biomedical science major from East Prairie, Missouri) earned sixth place in Retail Management and eighth place in Justice Administration.
  • Cory Herzog (business management major from Farmington, Missouri) earned ninth place in Management Concepts. Herzog served as chapter treasurer for 2014-2015 and is serving as chapter President for 2015-2016.
  • Dylan Kennedy (University Studies major from Catron, Missouri) earned ninth place in a Social Media Challenge. This was a team event allowing up to three people per team but Kennedy competed as an individual.  Kennedy is serving as chapter secretary for 2015-2016 and is the Missouri state secretary for 2015-2016.
  • Amber Joiner (technology management: graphic and interactive media major from Sparta, Illinois) and Stephen Salyer (technology management: graphic and interactive media major from Cape Girardeau) earned second place in Website Design. This event was sponsored by GEICO and came with a $500 cash award.  Joiner served as chapter president and as the Missouri state vice president of communications for 2014-2015.
  • Matt Reishman (computer information systems major from Ballwin, Missouri) and Bethany Joiner earned sixth place in Mobile Application Development. Reishman served as chapter reporter for 2014-2015 and will be serving in the same role in 2015-2016.
  • Crutcher and Reishman earned seventh place in Network Design.

Southeast students placing in the Top 15 Finals for an additional three events were:

  • Nelson Mwangi (double major in human resource management and economics from Nairobi, Kenya) placed in the Top 15 Finals in public speaking.
  • Rachel Reischman (public relations major from Chaffee, Missouri) and Tyreek Williams (pre-pharmacy major from Oran, Missouri) placed in the Top 15 Finals in hospitality management. Williams is serving as the chapter Membership Committee chairperson for 2015-2016.
  • Joe Allison (business management major from Chester, Illinois) and Mwangi placed in the Top 15 Finals in human resource management. Allison served as the chapter Finance Committee chairperson in 2014-2015 and is serving as chapter Vice President for 2015-2016.

Other Zeta Alpha Lambda Chapter members from Southeast who participated in the conference were: Emily Karleskint, an athletic training major from Jackson, Missouri; Rebecca Ott, an accounting major from Wentzville, Missouri; Tim Rosemann, a Human Resource Management major from Troy, Missouri; Tyler Rosemann, an accounting major from Troy, Missouri; and Emily Rybolt, a health management major from Edwardsville, Illinois.  All of these participants are currently or have served in an executive position within the local chapter.  In 2014-2015, Emily Karleskint was chapter Membership Committee chairperson, Tyler Rosemann was the chapter secretary, Tim Rosemann was the chapter Community Service Committee chairperson, and Rybolt was vice president.  In 2015-2016, Ott is serving as chapter treasurer.

Crutcher and Kennedy were recognized for completing the director level of the Career and Membership Achievement Program (CMAP).  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.  The Director Award focuses on introductory community service, career research, and PBL involvement at the local level.

Crutcher received a PBL National Leadership Conference Scholarship.  This scholarship is based on academic performance, letters of recommendation and an essay on the topic “How Has PBL Enhanced Your Leadership Skills?”  Only 20 of these scholarships were awarded nationally.

The awards presented at the conference were 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.

More than 1,600 of America’s best and brightest college students traveled to Chicago to “Step Up to the Challenge” as they showcased their talents as future business leaders and vied for the opportunity to win more than $81,000 in cash awards. Participants from across the United States attended the conference to enhance their business skills, expand their networks and participate in more than 55 business and business-related competitive events.

 About FBLA-PBL, Inc.

Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc., the largest and oldest student business organization, 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 of Washington, D.C. For more information, visit