Peru State College
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News Release

Three Peru State students earn top honors at national business competition; seven others place in top 10

Will Fogle of Peru two-time national champion


PBL Winners
PBL Winners

(Peru, Neb.) Three Peru State College (PSC) students recently earned first place at the Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) National Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

PBL is a state and national business association. 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.

Peru State’s national champions are:

  • Kesha Beethe, a junior sport management and exercise science major from Tecumseh. Beethe won first place in the Job Interview category and was part of the three-person team that won fourth place in Community Service Project.
  • Will Fogle, a senior computer management information systems major from Peru. Fogle won first place in the category of Cyber Security and fifth place in the Networking Concepts category. Fogle is a two-time national champion, having won first place last year in Database Design & Applications. He also won second place honors in the Computer Applications category in 2011.
  • Alex Klippert, a senior criminal justice and psychology major from Hamburg, Iowa. Klippert won first place in Justice Administration.
Kesha Beethe
Kesha Beethe
Will Fogle
Will Fogle
Alex Klippert
Alex Klippert

PSC Assistant Professor of Business and PBL Advisor Sheri Grotrian-Ryan, who represented Nebraska as PBL’s advisor of the year, was named a national advisor of the year by the organization. Grotrian-Ryan said, “The National Leadership Conference allowed our students to showcase their business knowledge and talents. Based on the number of honors, it is clear that PSC students were tremendously successful.”

PSC President Dan Hanson said, “Providing undergraduate students the opportunity to present their work at a national conference is just one example of Peru State’s efforts to create unique opportunities for student engagement and active learning. Their success is a tribute to their hard work and dedication. I congratulate each on their outstanding achievements.” 

Seven PSC students finished in the top 10 nationally in each of their categories.

  • Mary Martin, a senior business and psychology major from St. Libory; Jamie Theye, a senior business, marketing and information technology major from Odell; and Kesha Beethe won fourth place in Community Service Project.
  • Andrew Conn, a senior business major from Wausa, placed fifth in Sales Presentation and  10th in Job Interview.
  • Mallory Lempka, a senior business major from Cook, and Andrew Staudt, a marketing major from Westminster, Colo., placed seventh in Small Business Management Plan.
  • Debbie Trecek, a senior marketing major from Bellevue, placed ninth in Retail Management.
  • John Beal, a sophomore computer management information systems major from Auburn, placed 10th in Business Law.

Placing in the top 15 of the competition were:

  • Rachel Rippe, a senior graphic design major from Johnson, and Tricia Lempka, a junior criminal justice counseling and psychology major from Cook, for Digital Video Production.
  • Richard Oppitz, a senior computer management information systems major from Topeka, Kan., and Paige Riza a junior marketing major from Ravenna, Texas, for Networking Design.
  • Mallory Lempka & Tricia Lempka for Business Ethics.

Four others representing PSC at the national competition include:

  • Preston Bruss, a senior business administration and criminal justice administration major from Bennet.
  • David Farmer, a junior human performance and systems management major from Lee’s Summit, Mo.
  • Shawon Nixon, a senior marketing and human performance and systems management major from Lincoln.
  • Josh West-Lesher, junior accounting major from Steele City.

As a chapter, Peru State was recognized with the Hollis and Kitty Guy Gold Seal Chapter Award of Merit in recognition and appreciation of their active participation in programs and projects advancing the goals of FBLA-PBL.