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The Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) chapter of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) Business Club attended the virtual Oklahoma FBLA-PBL State Leadership Conference in April. In addition to nearly 50 top-ten finishes in business competitions at the annual event, Freshman Kati Smoke was selected as the 2020-2021 FBLA-PBL State President.

Future Business Leaders of America – Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) is the oldest student business organization in the world. Established to promote business education and leadership, Oklahoma FBLA-PBL hosts a state leadership conference each year. At the conference, students compete in dozens of events, including Marketing Concepts, Public Speaking, and Macroeconomics. “We are very proud of our students’ success,” said Lori Hackwell, NEO business instructor and PBL sponsor. “This year our students had to overcome some unexpected setbacks due to COVID-19, but they rose to the challenge and were able to do very well at the State Leadership Conference.”

Leading the team in competition was Sophomore Alex Pike, a Canadian international student, who secured first-place finishes in Contemporary Sports Issues, Marketing Concepts, and Sports Management & Marketing. He was joined by Tulsa Freshman Grayson Lasater, who placed first in Public Speaking and second in Impromptu Speaking. Rounding out the first-place finishes was Romanian International Freshman George Blaj-Voinescu, who placed first in Network Design, and fourth in Computer Concepts, Cyber Security, and Networking Concepts. In addition to her second-place finish in Business Communication and sixth-place finish in Cyber Security, Afton native Kati Smoke was selected as the state president. She will be tasked with helping coordinate state PBL events in the upcoming year and representing Oklahoma at the National Leadership Online Experience, scheduled for late June. Pike, Lasater, Blaj-Voinescu, and Smoke, will be joined in national competition by sophomores Hannah Tweed, Thales Vilar, Grant Pinkston, Valerie Blasingame, and freshmen James Franklin, Jr., Kaylee Brewster, and Kimberly Lopez, who all secured top-three finishes in their individual events. For more information on NEO PBL, contact Hackwell at lhackwell@neo.edu. (Photo: 2019-20 PBL Officer Team)

State Conference Results: Accounting Principles Kaylee Brewster – Third Hannah Tweed – Fifth Austin Osburn – Sixth   Business Communication Kati Smoke – Second   Computer Concepts Thales Vilar – Second George Blaj-Voinescu – Fourth Kaylee Brewster – Eighth   Contemporary Sports Issues Alex Pike – First Grant Pinkston – Third Kimberly Lopez – Sixth Nikita Konstantynovskyi – Seventh Samkelo Cele – Eighth   Cyber Security George Blaj-Voinescu – Fourth Peyton Crawford – Fifth Kati Smoke – Sixth   Entrepreneurship Concepts Hannah Tweed – Third Samantha Thompson – Fourth   Financial Concepts Nikita Konstantynovskyi – Eleventh   Impromptu Speaking Grayson Lasater – Second   Job Interview Kimberly Lopez – Second   Macroeconomics Hannah Tweed – Second Jacob Wallace – Fourth Grant Pinkston – Sixth   Management Concepts Ryleigh Cisneros – Sixth   Marketing Concepts Alex Pike – First Valerie Blasingame – Third   Microeconomics James Franklin, Jr. – Third   Network Design George Blaj-Voinescu – First   Networking Concepts George Blaj-Voinescu – Fourth   Organizational Behavior & Leadership Austin Osburn – Sixth Kaylee Brewster – Seventh Kimberly Lopez – Eighth   Personal Finance Jacob Wallace – Fourth Austin Osburn – Seventh Kaylee Brewster – Eighth Ryleigh Cisneros – Tenth   Programming Concepts Thales Vilar – Second   Project Management Grant Pinkston – Fourth Ryleigh Cisneros – Fifth Nikita Konstantynovskyi – Seventh Samkelo Cele – Eighth   Public Speaking Grayson Lasater – First   Retail Management Ryleigh Cisneros – Eighth   Sports Management & Marketing Alex Pike – First Grant Pinkston – Fifth Nikita Konstantynovskyi – Sixth Samkelo Cele – Seventh Yealex Lopez – Eighth

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