SCC PBL Wins Top Awards, Including New State President

The Stanly Community College (SCC) Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) chapter returned from the business student group's recent annual leadership conference and competitive events with numerous state honors, including a "Gold Seal Chapter" designation, the top chapter annual report, and the newly-elected state president.

Meeting at the Charlotte University Place Hilton, the conference began with the announcement of seven chapters receiving the state Legacy Leadership Awards for accomplishing a list of goals related to local, state, and national projects and participation. Chapter President Amy Ray accepted SCC's plaque as well as special ribbons for delegates from the "Legacy" chapters to wear on their name badges.

The Legacy Leadership Award is named in honor of six former local chapter advisers who had served as least 20 years with the organization at the time of their retirement or passing. Presenting the awards was Mr. Dwain Perry, a 1997 retiree from Haywood Community College.

Also during the Opening Session, Ms. Tracy Hayes, financial advisor with Edward Jones in Albemarle, was presented with the 2017 NCPBL Business Person of the Year Award. Ms. Hayes was recognized as the Stanly chapter's Business Person of the Year in February and in turn nominated for the state honor.

She spoke to the group about both the challenges and rewards of business, as well as the importance of businesses being involved in community improvement activities. In addition to her work as a financial advisor, Ms. Hayes' work with SWAN (Stanly Women's Associated Network) was highlighted in her nomination.

Conference activities included a leadership development seminar series, the election of state officers, chapter recognition awards, and competition in nearly 50 events related to leadership, business, career development, and professionalism.

Two of the eight seminars held during the conference were led by local business and civic leaders Rita Love and Charlotte Maness.

Following two days of "Soar With Sams" campaigning, Katrina Sams from SCC was elected as state president. Ms. Sams served as chapter president in 2015-2016 and state historian in 2016-2017.

The 2016-2017 year marked the 75th Anniversary of Future Business Leaders of America (the secondary level) and Phi Beta Lambda (the collegiate level) as a national organization.

A highlight of the conference was a general session at which five former state presidents spoke on how their involvement in the organization had benefitted their careers. Included were John Anderson (2010-11) and Sam Miller (2011-12), both graduates of Stanly Community College and Pfeiffer University.

At the conclusion of their remarks, Rick Gardner, the 1984-85 state president while a student at SCC, introduced Ms. Bobbie Avant Brown, the organization's first state president in 1953 when she was a student at East Carolina University.

Twelve former state presidents were brought on stage as Ms. Brown was presented an NC PBL Honorary Life Membership. In addition to Mr. Gardner, Mr. Anderson, and Mr. Miller, other presidents from SCC were Carolyn Rabon Laudati (1986-87) and Chuck VanHoose (2014-15).

In competitive events, SCC received First Place for its Local Chapter Annual Business Report.

Tony Lundry and Brooke Zerweck received First Place in Hospitality Management. Following a written test, the team presented their solution to a case study before a panel of three judges. Bradley Arrowood received First Place for his Small Business Management Plan. A written document and a presentation on the plan were scored for the award.

Members may enter two competitive events, and Katrina Sams won First Place in both Management Concepts and Entrepreneurship.

Other "Top Ten" awards included Bradley Arrowood and Britney Pouch, Fourth Place in Business Decision Making; Amy Ray, Second Place in Future Business Educator; Dony Santos, Third Place in Future Business Executive; Britney Pouch, Eighth Place in Job Interview; Samantha Vang, Eighth Place in Organizational Behavior and Leadership; Amy Ray, Third Place in Public Speaking; and Brooke Zerweck, Fourth Place in Sales Presentation.

The formal Awards Banquet concluded with Ms. Ray and 11 other members from across the state being inducted into "Who's Who in North Carolina Phi Beta Lambda" and the announcement of five chapters, including SCC, being named as the state recipients and nominees for national "Gold Seal Chapter" designations.

Accompanying the students at the conference were Faculty Advisers Dana Chaney and Dan Hazlett.

State winners will advance to national competition in June in Anaheim, California. Represented, in addition to the Stanly delegation, will be members from Wake Technical Community College, Barton College, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Central Carolina Community College, Pfeiffer University, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Wake Forest University, Appalachian State University , Gaston College, Blue Ridge Community College, North Carolina Central University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson and Wales University, Louisburg College, and Catawba College.

"We are, of course, extremely proud of the Stanly students for their dedication throughout the year," Mr. Hazlett and Ms. Chaney commented. "The First Place Annual Report is a reflection of how active the chapter was in regard to local programs, state projects, and national involvement. Katrina Sams has provided outstanding local leadership and we are excited to see her as the state president for the upcoming year. We appreciate the support of the SCC administration, faculty, and staff for PBL and other student organizations which provide the leadership training that will help our students be successful in their work and in their communities."

Amy Ray

Chapter President Amy Ray (right) accepting "Legacy Leadership Award" for SCC's chapter at recent state Phi Beta Lambda Conference. Presenting the award was Mr. Dwain Perry (left), who served over 20 years as a PBL adviser before retiring from Haywood Community College in 1997.

Bobbie Avant Brown

Part of Stanly Community College's delegation to the 2017 state Phi Beta Lambda conference pose with Ms. Bobbie Avant Brown, the first president of the business student group when she was a student at East Carolina University in 1953. Ms. Brown was presented with an Honorary Lifetime Membership award at the conference.

Bradley Arrowood

Bradley Arrowood (left) makes the official nomination of SCC's Katrina Sams (right) for president of the state PBL organization. "Soar With Sams" was the successful campaign theme, as she became the seventh SCC student to be elected as state president over the chapter's 43-year history.