Skip to main content
Login to CatLink
Future Students

Apply online or check the status of your Admissions application:

Admission Portal

Catawba College Business Students Compete at National Leadership Conference

June 14, 2018

Category: Academics, Business & Economics, Events, Students

PBL Baltimore with Nancy Council.jpgThis summer, Catawba College students proved once again that they are among the top business students in the nation with their results from the competition at the 2018 Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) National Leadership Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

Twelve students from Catawba’s PBL Catawba were among more than 2,000 students from colleges across the United States who attended the national conference held June 23-26. The conference offered students the ability to network, attend leadership seminars, hear outstanding motivational speakers, and compete in 60 difference events with total prizes of $95,000 for top finishers

The 12 Catawba students competed in 16 different events, both individual and team competition, and all of them made it to the final rounds in their respective events. In order to qualify for national competition, each student had to place in the top three in PBL state competition at the North Carolina State Leadership Conference held in Charlotte in April. At the national level, most events had preliminary competition with only the top 14 in the nation advancing to final rounds.   

Catawba students attending included: Caitlin Gordon of Chapel Hill; Jess Daniel of Greensboro; Malen Eiriksdottir of Reykjavik, Iceland; Blake Pierce of Thomasville; Ryen Reid of Claremont; Max Bellile of Cornelius; Duane Leatherberry of Egg Harbor Township, N.J.; Ethan Davis of Winston-Salem; Sara Barbee of Salisbury; Kiersten Nichols of Mocksville; Regan Nolan of Columbus, Ohio; and Emily Najar of Villa Rica, Ga.  Dr. Pamela Thompson, PBL faculty adviser and associate professor of business and information systems, accompanied the students to Baltimore and served as an event administrator. 

While in Baltimore, students enjoyed dinner with Catawba College Trustee Nancy Councill ’80.  The evening provided an opportunity for students to receive valuable career advice and learn about Mrs. Councill’s vast experience in business.  PBL students also participated in interactive workshops and heard from motivational keynote speakers such as former Olympian and basketball coach Sherry Winn. 

“Once again our students took their outstanding Catawba business education to the national level and excelled in business competition in both presentation and testing events” said PBL adviser Thompson. “To have each student make it to the final round of competition in their respective events and to win a first place national award is a remarkable achievement.  PBL provides a wonderful opportunity for students to network and compete with students from across America; the students grow both personally and professionally at nationals.”

Dr. Thompson also expressed gratitude for all of the friends of Catawba PBL who donated time and funds to allow the large delegation to attend and compete in Baltimore.  Students also held a variety of fundraisers throughout the year including the online Clothing Closet, selling t-shirts, beach towels and working at Carowinds.  The Catawba Chapter also won $1,000 for nationals by placing first in the Food Lion canned food drive held in February. Catawba faculty who helped prepare the students for the competitions included Dr. Darin Spencer, Dr. Scott Morton, Professor Karen Gaskill and PBL Advisor Thompson.  PBL professional division members Morgan King ’16 (Former PBL President) and Andrew Chambers (Former PBL Executive Vice President) ’17 also helped with advice for the students before the NLC. 

The Catawba students’ results in the national competitive events were as follow:

Name

Event (Preliminaries for
all presentation events)

National
Placement

Caitlin Gordon

Financial Services

4

 

Forensic Accounting

9

Jess Daniel

Business Law

9

 

Integrated Marketing Campaign

2

Malen Eiriksdottir

Integrated Marketing Campaign

2

 

Social Media Challenge

1

Blake Pierce

Business Law

9

 

Forensic Accounting

9

Ryen Reid

Accounting Principles

Finalist

 

Microeconomnics

Finalist

Max Bellile

Organizational Behavior and Leadership

9

 

Financial Concepts

 

Duane Leatherberry

Public Speaking

7

Ethan Davis

Business Sustainability

7

Sarah Barbee

Business Sustainability

7

 

Business Law

9

Kiersten Nichols

Administrative Technology

6

 

Integrated Marketing Campaign

2

Regan Nolan

Social Media Challenge

1

Emily Najar

Social Media Challenge

1

 

Project Management

Finalist

Students shared these comments relative to their participation at the national conference:

“Participating in PBL’s NLC has been the highlight of my academic career.  This incredible experience brought me closer to my peers, expanded my professional network, and helped me define my strengths and interests,” shared junior SEGS student Max Bellile ‘20.

Outgoing PBL President Malen Eiriksdottir ’18 stated, “I am so proud, grateful and beyond happy that I was able to represent Catawba and North Carolina for one last time at the NLC PBL conference in Baltimore.  This weekend was full of excitement, laughter, networking and the best part was the good friendships that developed.  This is the best experience during my college career – money cannot put value on it.  I wish Catawba PBL all the best in future adventures and hope we will continue to grow and prove to everyone how smart the students from the Ketner School of Business truly are!”

Caitlin Gordon ’18 had the following words for her experience: “I’m so thankful for the opportunity to represent Catawba College and North Carolina PBL at Nationals.  The conference provided the opportunity to network and compete with students all over the United States.  The 12 students from Catawba worked hard for nationals.  We stayed up endless hours and rehearsed many times.  Thanks to all who helped us!  We are so grateful for the support from our professors and the community!”


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 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 fbla-pbl.org.

There are 40 active Phi Beta Lambda chapters in North Carolina representing two and four-year colleges and universities.  North Carolina had the largest number of state delegates attending the national conference.  The Catawba College Phi Beta Lambda chapter is the second largest in the state.

« Return to Previous