Chamber Chat - Phi Beta Lambda

Sep 17

By Meg Moss 


The Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc. (FBLA-PBL) is the largest career student business organization in the world. Each year, FBLA-PBL helps over 230,000 members prepare for careers in business.

Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) has been dedicated to inspiring and developing the next generation of leaders by preparing members for careers in business and business-related fields.  Their conferences offer activities that build personal and professional skills, including unique career development programs, business tours, and workshops to develop students for the workforce.

According to their website, FBLA-PBL students focus on leadership development, academic competitions, educational programs, and community service.

Central Carolina Community College’s (CCCC) Phi Beta Lambda students did well in the academic competitions at this year’s national leadership conference. According to a CCCC press release, college and university students gathered in Southern California this summer to compete at the national PBL leadership conference.

About 1,800 students came from all over the country, representing academic institutions like Arizona State University, The University of Virginia, and yes,  Central Carolina Community College.

A dozen CCCC students finished among the nation’s top 10 in their events. And two of them, Matthew Rogers and Nicholas Kannarr, worked together to earn second place in Computer Animation, a competition where students created a one-minute, animated video discussing the importance of business ethics.

CCCC’s Director of Communications, R.V. Hight says people are used to seeing big-name schools on stage during awards ceremonies like these. But for anyone familiar with our local Phi Beta Lambda chapter, it was no surprise at all to see local students being recognized. CCCC has the nation’s sixth largest chapter, with 140 registered members during the academic year that just ended.

Despite their success, receiving awards during the annual competition isn’t the highest priority for the local Phi Beta Lambda chapter. Faculty advisor Michael Fann, who has been on the CCCC campus for five year, has something different at the forefront of the organization.

While most chapters focus almost exclusively on the annual competitions, Fann and co-advisor Diane Kannarr wanted to use the organization to get more students engaged in college life. They decided to shift toward community service projects, which they now perform 8 – 10 times per year.

“That’s very different from a lot of chapters,” Fann says. “Don’t get me wrong: Our students have been successful in competition and, for the past three years, have probably done better at nationals than any other college in the country. Competitions are a big deal for us, too. But it’s not the most important thing we do.”

The shift has been a big success. At the national conference, advisors from all over were asking Fann for his suggestions on how to draw more students into their organizations. When Fann stepped in front of his first chapter meeting about five years ago, there were 10 students. And now, there are about 140 students.

Congratulations to the following CCCC students, who were event winners from the National PBL National Competition: Second Place, Computer Animation: Nicholas Kannarr and Matthew Rogers; Fifth Place, Business Sustainability: Zachary Gordon and Cherie Kelly; Fifth Place, Human Resource Management: Dylan Hargis; 10th Place, Global Analysis and Decision Making: Aaron Meredith and Matthew Rogers; 10th Place, Network Design: David McAllister and Richard Morton; 10th Place, Parliamentary Procedure: Dylan Hargis, Keyon Jones, Victoria Moore, Phillip Moseley and Alexis Walker.

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