Midland University competitors brought home numerous top finishes earlier this month in the 2023 Nebraska Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Collegiate State Competition in Kearney, Nebraska.
Midland’s FBLA squad of 17 students gained seven first-place finishes and a total of 13 top-five finishes during the event. First and second-place finishers automatically earned spots in the FBLA National Conference, set for June 22-26 in Atlanta, Georgia. Midland could gain some additional qualifiers as well as slots are filled in each category.
FBLA advisor Rita Bristol, who was named the Nebraska Collegiate Advisor of the Year, said she couldn’t have been more proud of the effort put forth by the group. “They did a great job of representing Midland University,” Bristol said. “This was a group effort. Credit goes to our outstanding students, but I am certain much of their success is a direct result of the outstanding staff of professors in the Dunklau School of Business. Our students were so well prepared for this competition.”
Students competed in a number of categories, ranging from microeconomics and accounting to social media and website design. Midland’s six first-place showings came from Lilly Rowe (Digital Media), Riley Herring and Scott Tatum (Hospitality Management Case Competition), Herring and Bridget Praest (Integrated Marketing Campaign), Herring, Rowe, and Abby Spidle (Social Media Marketing), Praest, Spidle, and Sabrina Vosler (Strategic Analysis & Decision Making), Tatum, Herring, and Spidle (Marketing Analysis & Decision Making), and Praest (Website Design).
A runner-up finish was secured by Nolan Gyselman, Forrest Reyes, and Ethan Smith (Social Media Marketing). Max Duckweiler and Tatum teamed up to finish third in Finance Case Competition, while Kayla Monaghan took fourth in both Foundations of Accounting and Microeconomics. Dylan Amick and Zayne Wilson were fifth in Business Decision Making, with Amick also placing fifth in Sports Management & Marketing.
Midland was also awarded for having the largest FBLA chapter (23 members) of any program in the state. Bristol said it was the largest group of competitors she has ever taken to a state competition in her 33 years as an advisor. “We doubled the amount of competitors we had at state last year, and that credit goes to students and faculty for going out and recruiting more students to join,” she said. “I was really proud of our experienced team members. This was a new experience for many of our students, and I’m proud of the way our older members served as mentors to them.”
Along with excelling in the competition aspect, Midland also had two students selected as FBLA state officers for 2023-24. Rowe was voted as Vice President of Public Relations, while Tatum was tabbed as Vice President of Membership. Herring was chosen to represent Nebraska for the National FBLA Collegiate Who’s Who Award during the National Conference.
“We are so excited for nationals, and I think we have a chance to do very well,” Bristol said. “Our performance at state has built confidence in our students.”