Catawba College business students compete at National Leadership Conference

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 2, 2018

Catawba College

SALISBURY — This summer, Catawba College students proved once again that they are among the top business students in the nation with the results from competition at the 2018 Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference in Baltimore.

Students from Catawba’s chapter were among more than 2,000 from colleges across the United States at 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 events with total prizes of $95,000 for top finishers

The 12 Catawba students competed in 16 events, both individual and team competition, and all of them made it to the final rounds. To qualify for national competition, each student had to place in the top three in Phi Beta Lambda state competition at the 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, New Jersey; Ethan Davis of Winston-Salem; Sara Barbee of Salisbury; Kiersten Nichols of Mocksville; Regan Nolan of Columbus, Ohio; and Emily Najar of Villa Rica, Georgia.

Pamela Thompson, Phi Beta Lambda faculty adviser and associate professor of business and information systems, accompanied the students to Baltimore.

While in Baltimore, students enjoyed dinner with Catawba College trustee Nancy Councill. The evening provided an opportunity for them to receive valuable career advice and learn about Councill’s experience in business.

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 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.”

Thompson also expressed gratitude for all the friends of Catawba’s chapter 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 and beach towels, and working at Carowinds.

The Catawba chapter 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 Darin Spencer, Scott Morton, Karen Gaskill and Thompson.

“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,” said junior Max Bellile.