Southeast Recognized with Top Honors at PBL National Leadership Conference


PBL nationals 2016Six student members of the Zeta Alpha Lambda Chapter of Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), Inc., at Southeast Missouri State University received national recognition at the PBL Awards of Excellence June 27 in Atlanta, Georgia, bringing home nine awards, 10 individual trophies and $1,900 in cash awards.

A Southeast student also placed in the Top 15 Finals for an additional event.

The Southeast students joined more than 1,700 of America’s best and brightest college students June 24-27 to connect with top future business leaders and showcase their talents as they vied for the opportunity to win more than $92,000 in cash awards.  The Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) National Leadership Conference was held June 24–27, offering students the opportunity to enhance their business skills, expand their networks, and participate in 60 business and business-related competitive events.

Southeast winners were as follows:

  • Andrew Crutcher, a double major in computer science and applied mathematics from St. Catharine, Missouri, earned first place in cyber security. This event was sponsored by PITSCO and came with a $700 cash award.  Crutcher also placed third in computer concepts. This event was sponsored by Marriott and came with a $100 cash award.  Crutcher served as chapter finance committee chairperson for 2015-2016.
  • Andrew Mitchell, a political science major with a minor in business administration from East Prairie, Missouri, earned first place in music business management and first place in retail management. Retail Management was sponsored by Men’s Wearhouse Group and came with a $1,000 award.  Mitchell will be serving as chapter treasurer for 2016-2017.
  • Rebecca Ott, a hospitality management major with a minor in business administration from Wentzville, Missouri, earned ninth place in desktop publishing. Ott served as chapter treasurer for 2015-2016.  In addition to serving as chapter secretary for 2016-2017, she is also serving as Missouri PBL state secretary for 2016-2017.
  • Matt Reishman, a computer information systems major with a minor in computer networks and graphic design from Ballwin, Missouri, earned fourth place in computer animation and sixth place in website design. Reishman served as chapter reporter for 2015-2016 and graduated from Southeast in May 2016.
  • Sara Carney, a hospitality major from St. Charles, Missouri, earned ninth place in project management. Carney will serve as chapter reporter for 2016-2017.
  • Dylan Kennedy, a corporate communication major from Catron, Missouri, and Ott earned second place in a social media challenge. This event was sponsored by Friends of the Association and came with a $100 award.  Kennedy served as chapter secretary in 2015-2016 as well as the Missouri PBL state secretary.  Kennedy is serving as chapter president for 2016-2017 and is the Missouri PBL state president for 2016-2017.
  • Tyreek Williams, a pre-pharmacy major with a minor in chemistry from Oran, Missouri, placed in the Top 15 Finals in impromptu speaking. Williams served as the chapter membership committee chairperson for 2015-2016 and will be serving in the same role in 2016-2017.
  • Maria Pizzo, a philosophy major with a minor in entrepreneurship from St. Charles, Missouri, was selected as Missouri’s Who’s Who recipient. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to PBL at the local, state and national levels.  Her accomplishments “serve as an example of excellence and a source of pride” for Southeast and the State of Missouri. Pizzo served as Missouri PBL state president for 2015-2016 and will be serving as chapter vice- president in 2016-2017.

Other Zeta Alpha Lambda Chapter members from Southeast who participated in the conference were: Kyle Amelunke, an accounting major from Jackson, Missouri; Cory Herzog, a May 2016 management graduate from Farmington, Missouri; Cassie Robertson, an animal science (pre-vet) major from Gainesville, Missouri; Melissa Stephens, a sport management major with a minor in business from Jackson, Missouri; and Chance Ziegler, a management: entrepreneurship major from Cape Girardeau.  Many of these participants are currently or have served in an executive position within the local chapter.  In 2015-2016, Herzog was chapter president and Stephens was chapter community service chairperson.  In 2016-2017, Amelunke is serving as chapter finance committee chairperson and Robertson is serving as community service chairperson.

Several members were recognized for achieving various levels 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.  Members work independently through three integrated levels of the CMAP: director, executive and president.  Ott earned the Director Award which focuses on introductory community service, career research and PBL involvement at the local level.  Kennedy earned the Executive Award which focuses on developing job interview skills, state and national PBL involvement, public relations activities and leadership skills.  Pizzo earned the President Award which focuses on total association leadership, business skills and involvement in community.

Kennedy and Ott each received a PBL National Leadership Conference Scholarship.  These scholarships are based on academic performance, letters of recommendation and an essay whose topic was “How Has PBL Enhanced Your Leadership Skills?”  Only 20 of these scholarships were awarded nationally.

The chapter 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’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 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 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.