Peru State College
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News Release

20 Peru State Students to Compete at National Phi Beta Lambda Leadership Conference in Anaheim, California

Chapter honored with statewide Gold Excellence Award for commitment to service


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

The students earned a trip to nationals after placing in a variety of competitive events at the 2013 Nebraska PBL State Leadership Conference in Kearney.

Peru State Associate Professor of Business and PBL Advisor Dr. Sheri Grotrian-Ryan said, “Peru State’s PBL students had a fantastic showing this year at the state conference. This is the largest number of qualifiers for Nationals Peru State has had, and many of them are first-time participants. The students enjoyed putting their skills to the test against students from large state institutions, including those in the University of Nebraska system, as well as private and community colleges - yet another testament to the quality of education our students receive!”

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. Typically, the top three places in objective testing events automatically qualify for national competition; the two places in performance events qualify for national competition. Since national participants can only compete in two events, other PSC students who placed in the statewide competition have an opportunity to move up in the rankings and compete at nationals.

Peru State’s top finishers in the individual competition are listed below alphabetically by state and hometown. An asterisk (*) denotes National Leadership Conference automatic qualifiers.

Tairi Ferguson – Senior, Criminal Justice Administration & Psychology

  • 1st Place - Justice Administration*
  • 4th Place - Impromptu Speaking
  • 6th Place - Sales Presentation
  • 7th Place - Public Speaking


Richard Oppitz – Senior, Computer Management Information Systems

  • 3rd Place - Cyber Security*
  • 4th Place - Contemporary Sports Issues
  • 4th Place - Networking Concepts5th Place - Sports Management & Marketing
  • 6th Place - Project Management


Lake Tapawingo
Blake Steagall – Senior, Business Administration Management

  • 5th Place - Management Analysis & Decision Making
  • 5th Place - Project Management


Johnathan Beal - Junior, Computer Management Information Systems

  • 1st Place - Future Business Executive*
  • 3rd Place - Networking Concepts*
  • 3rd Place – Project Management
  • 6th Place – Computer Concepts


Charlotte Grooms – Senior, Business Administration Management and Marketing

  • 7th Place - International Business


Rachel Henry – Sophomore, Business Administration Management & Sport and Exercise Science

  • 2nd Place - Job Interview*
  • 6th Place - Business Communications
  • Involvement Award for Freshman/Sophomore level


Kala Taylor – Senior, Human Performance and Systems Management & Business Administration Marketing

  • 5th Place - Marketing Concepts
  • 5th Place - Telecommunications
  • 6th Place - Information Management


Preston Sunneberg – Junior, Marketing

  • 2nd Place - Sports Management & Marketing*
  • 3rd Place - Contemporary Sports Issues *


Tricia Lempka – Senior, Criminal Justice Counseling and Psychology

  • 5th Place - Justice Administration


Cedar Bluffs
Dustin Gerdes – Sophomore, Computer Management Information Systems

  • 3rd Place - Database Design & Applications
  • 5th Place - Computer Applications
  • 6th Place - Cyber Security


Allie Buesing – Sophomore, Business Administration & Sport and Exercise Science

  • 6th Place - Computer Applications
  • 6th Place - Contemporary Sports Issues


Mary Ellen Martin - Senior, Elementary and Special Education

  • 1st Place - Future Business Educator*

Shawon Nixon – Senior, Human Performance Systems Management and Marketing

  • 2nd Place - Impromptu Speaking*
  • 2nd Place - Retail Management*
  • 4th Place - Public Speaking
  • 5th Place - Sales Presentation


North Bend
Rebekha Dostal – Senior, Business Administration & Criminal Justice Counseling & Psychology

  • 2nd Place - Help Desk*


Jamie Theye – Senior, Business Marketing and Information Technology

  • 2nd Place - Future Business Educator*
  • 3rd Place - Management Concepts*
  • 4th Place - Information Management
  • 4th Place - Retail Management
  • Involvement Award for Junior/Senior level
  • Who’s Who in Nebraska PBL Award


Amanda Gilreath – Junior, Business Administration Marketing

  • 5th Place - Business Communications
  • 5th Place - Retail Management
  • 8th Place - Marketing Concepts


Amanda Jo Cleek – Senior, Business Administration Management & Psychology

  • 4th Place - Justice Administration
  • 7th Place - Computer Applications


Steele City
Josh West-Lesher – Senior, Accounting

  • 1st Place – Macroeconomics*
  • 2nd Place - Accounting Analysis & Decision Making*
  • 3rd Place - Financial Analysis & Decision Making
  • 3rd Place - Financial Concepts*
  • 5th Place - Accounting for Professionals
  • 7th Place - Impromptu Speaking


Weeping Water
Alex Wessels – Sophomore, Business Administration Marketing and Management

  • 1st Place - Sports Management & Marketing*
  • 8th Place - Microeconomics


Paige Riza – Senior, Marketing

  • 3rd Place - Marketing Concepts*
  • 4th Place - Project Management
  • 4th Place - Telecommunications


Peru State’s top finishers in the team competition are listed below alphabetically by state and hometown. If not previously listed, their year, major and hometown are included.

Ryan Arnold, Sophomore - Human Performance and Systems Management - Bellevue, John Beal & Amanda Jo Cleek

  • 4th Place - Business Decision Making

Ryan Arnold, Amanda Jo Cleek & Tricia Lempka

  • 2nd Place - Human Resource Management*
  • 2nd Place - Strategic Analysis & Decision Making*
  • 5th Place - Business Ethics

Johnathan Beal & Richard Oppitz

  • 2nd Place - Network Design*

Allie Buesing, Rachel Henry & Jamie Theye

  • 1st Place - Community Service Project*

Rebekha Dostal & Amy Poole, Junior – Business Administration & Marketing - Ashland

  • 1st Place - Business Ethics*
  • 1st Place - Website Design*

Dustin Gerdes & Preston Sunneberg

  • 6th Place - Desktop Publishing

Amanda Gilreath & Paige Riza

  • 4th Place - Business Ethics

Amanda Gilreath, Jake Long, Junior - Business Administration Marketing – Kansas City, Mo. & Paige Riza

  • 1st Place - Integrated Marketing Campaign*

Rachel Henry & Preston Sunneberg

  • 3rd Place - Business Presentation
  • 7th Place - Business Decision Making

Mary Ellen Martin & Jamie Theye

  • 1st Place Marketing Analysis & Decision Making*

Shawon Nixon & Blake Steagall

  • 1st Place - Strategic Analysis & Decision Making*

Preston Sunneberg & Alex Wessels

  • 2nd Place - Economic Analysis & Decision Making*
The Peru State chapter of PBL as a whole was honored at the statewide conference with the Gold Excellence Award for their commitment to the organization by participating in various community service projects and other activities.