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Midland University Grabs Top Finishes at FBLA Collegiate National Leadership Conference


Midland University FBLA students brought home numerous top finishes during the 2023 Collegiate National Leadership Conference of Future Business Leaders of America June 22-25 in Atlanta, Georgia. 

FBLA’s National Leadership Conference featured over 800 college students competing in various events over four days. Students also had the opportunity to engage in learning workshops, network with alums, and meet with potential employers.

“It was a great time for our students, and I am so proud of our Midland team,” said Rita Bristol, FBLA Advisor. “They were exceptional.”

Midland’s FBLA group secured eight top 10 finishes in seven events, highlighted by a first-place finish from Ethan Smith and Forrest Reyes in Social Media Marketing. “Ethan and I did a lot of work to prepare for the social media event, and we made some changes to our presentation,” Reyes said. “When we finished our presentation, we were very confident we could land in the top 10, and when we heard our names called for first place, I couldn’t stop smiling.”

“Bringing home a first-place finish was awesome,” Smith added. “Forrest and I worked pretty hard on that presentation and felt good about how we did, but you never really know what’s going to happen once everyone gets placed. We didn’t get to see any of the competition so we didn’t know what to expect. We were super excited when we realized we were the only group left on stage. It felt great to represent our business program at a national level.”

They weren’t the only Midland team to place in Social Media Marketing, as the trio of Riley Herring, Lilly Rowe, and Abby Spidle placed fourth.

Midland gained two runner-up finishes as well. Lilly Rowe earned the honor in Digital Media with Smith and Scott Tatum teaming up to place second in Integrated Marketing Campaign. 

Bridget Praest and Spidle placed fifth in Strategic Analysis & Decision Making, while Praest also finished fifth in Website Design. 

Riley Herring and Tatum combined to finish sixth in Hospitality Management, while Reyes finished 10th in Sports Marketing & Management. 

Herring was also honored as a Who’s Who FBLA Collegiate for 2023 and Bristol was recognized as an FBLA Collegiate Outstanding Chapter Adviser.

Reyes said the experience was one he will always remember and is already looking forward to 2024. “It was an amazing experience, especially being in Atlanta,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect when I got there, and I was a little nervous going in because, unlike many of the competitors, I had never been a part of FBLA or organizations like this. I can’t wait to go back next year and compete in FBLA.”

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