Peru State College
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News Release

8 Peru State College Students Headed for National Phi Beta Lambda Leadership Conference in Nashville


(Peru, Neb.) Eight members of Peru State College’s (PSC) chapter of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), a state and national business association, will represent Nebraska at the association’s National Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tenn., in June.

The following students have each earned a trip to nationals after placing first and/or second in a variety of competitive events at the 2010 Nebraska Phi Beta Lambda State Leadership Conference in Kearney.

  • Lisa Sierks, Senior - Auburn
  • Jennifer Clark, Senior - Bellevue
  • Mallory Lempka, Junior - Cook
  • Kurt Bleach, Senior - Dorchester
  • Elizabeth McKim, Senior – Humboldt
  • Bob McLaughlin, Senior – Rising City
  • Josh Nelson, Senior - Shickley
  • Dan Swartzendruber, Senior – Shickley

Since national participants can only compete in two events, other PSC students who placed in the statewide competition also have an opportunity to move up in the rankings and compete at nationals. Those students include:

  • Wellington Ferguson, Senior – Omaha and Nassau, Bahamas
  • Eden Pinkelman, Junior - Hartington
  • Kelly Bush, Senior - Arcadia

The competition focused on a wide range of business-related tests, including subjects ranging from financial analysis and economic concepts to human resource management and business ethics. PSC Assistant Professor of Business Sheri Grotrian is the group’s advisor. 

PSC President Dan Hanson said, “These students have shown a real desire to understand all of the nuances of business, which will ultimately help prepare them for future careers in the industry. This is a tough competition, so it’s a testament to the quality of students we have here at Peru State to have eight qualify for nationals. We are proud of their outstanding accomplishments.”

The Peru State chapter of PBL as a whole was honored at the statewide conference with the Bronze Excellence Award for their commitment to the organization by participating in various community service projects and other activities.

PSC’s top finishers in the individual competition at the state level include:

Kurt Bleach
4th Place - Contemporary Sports Issues
8th Place - Business Law

Kelly Bush
5th Place - Hospitality Management

Jennifer Clark
1st Place - Future Business Teacher
5th Place - International Business

Wellington Ferguson
3rd Place - Future Business Executive 
3rd Place - Job Interview
6th Place - Hospitality Management

Mallory Lempka
6th Place - International Business

Elizabeth McKim
4th Place - Database Design & Applications
4th Place - Economic Analysis & Decision Making

Bob McLaughlin
2nd Place - Sports Management & Marketing
3rd Place - Contemporary Sports Issues
4th Place - Future Business Executive

Josh Nelson
1st Place - Future Business Executive
4th Place - Job Interview
Who's Who in PBL Award

Eden Pinkelman
8th Place - Statistical Analysis

Lisa Sierks
5th Place - Database Design & Applications
5th Place - Economic Analysis & Decision Making
7th Place - Management Concepts

Dan Swartzendruber
2nd Place - Networking Concepts
7th Place - Computer Concepts

PSC’s top finishers in the team competition at the state level include:

Kurt Bleach & Josh Nelson
4th Place - Business Decision Making

Kurt Bleach, Bob McLaughlin & Josh Nelson
2nd Place - Financial Services

Kurt Bleach & Dan Swartzendruber
3rd Place - Network Design

Kelly Bush & Jennifer Clark
4th Place - Human Resource Management

Mallory Lempka & Bob McLaughlin
2nd Place - Community Service Project

Mallory Lempka, Elizabeth McKim & Lisa Sierks
3rd Place - Financial Services 

Elizabeth McKim & Lisa Sierks
1st Place - Management Analysis & Decision Making