December 15, 2016, 11:00 a.m. CDT
Contact Jason Hogue, Peru State College Marketing and Communications, 402.872.2429

This is the second part of a seven part series on conferences Peru State students attended in the fall of 2016.

Dallas, Texas- Students from Peru State College, all of whom are currently members or are interested in becoming members of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), attended the “A Legacy of Leadership” National Fall Leadership Conference.  Peru State’s group also worked several additional activities into the trip including a visit to Dave and Buster’s corporate headquarters, sightseeing and a visit to the American Airlines Center where the Mavericks play.

Lauren Robertson, president of Peru State’s PBL chapter, said, “Dallas was an experience of a lifetime - allowing me to broaden my horizons and my business-leadership skills.”

Eleven students were able to attend the conference in Dallas. PBL Advisor and Associate Professor of Business, Dr. Sheri Grotrian-Ryan, and Associate Professor of Education, Dr. Kyle Ryan, also attended.

Additionally, two Peru State alumni, Ryan Arnold and Amanda Jo Cleek Arnold, who now live in Houston, visited with the group in Dallas.

National Conference

The national conference was part of the 75th Anniversary of Phi Beta Lambda and Future Business Leader’s of America (FBLA). At the conference students were able to select various workshops to attend (topics included networking, dos and don’ts of public speaking, fundraising, interviewing skills, teamwork, competitive events, etc.).

Ryan and Grotrian-Ryan also presented a workshop entitled Embracing Leadership Development. The conference schedule writes of the workshop, “Students will learn how to be proactive in developing leadership skills. Specific examples will be provided so individuals know how to seek out opportunities.”

Peru State’s delegation was recognized as the largest PBL delegation to attend the conference in Dallas.

Dr. Grotrian-Ryan and Dr. Ryan presenting at the National Leadership Conference.

Dr. Grotrian-Ryan and Dr. Ryan presenting at the National Leadership Conference.

Dave and Buster’s

Dave and Buster’s is known for their family-friendly restaurants that include games of all kinds. Students were given a tour of the corporate office and met with company recruiting executives.

Students met with management and corporate recruiter, Jenee Berning, and Director of Recruiting, Dave Curtis. Berning and Curtis shared about their experience in business and leadership and then asked many questions of the students. They also offered to critique resumes and conduct mock interviews with students in the coming weeks.

Peru State students at Dave & Busters corporate headquarters in Dallas.

Peru State students with Jenee Berning at Dave & Busters corporate headquarters in Dallas.


Students were also fortunate to visit the JFK Memorial and see the location of where the assassination at the grassy knoll occurred. Additionally, students also went through the Holocaust Museum and spent a good amount of time at Reunion Tower.

Peru State students sitting on the edge of the triple fountain at the JFK Memorial.

Peru State students sitting on the edge of the triple fountain at the JFK Memorial.

American Airlines Center

The American Airlines Center is the Dallas area's Premier Sports and Entertainment arena, and home to the NHL's Dallas Stars and NBA's Dallas Mavericks.  The Mavericks were in town playing the Memphis Grizzlies the Friday night of PBL’s visit.

Grotrian-Ryan writes, “While we couldn’t get a formal tour of the venue due to arena schedule, their Senior Account Executive did reach out to inform me they had a Leadership Day that was occurring, and our group could participate with some of the Texas students. We jumped at the opportunity.”

The American Airlines Center writes, “Leadership Day is a seminar designed to provide insight into aspects of leadership for a professional sports franchise. You will hear various Mavericks staff in leadership positions discuss their personal successes as well as various leadership traits, styles, and issues. Also learn how leadership and community service are related to the success of the Dallas Mavericks franchise on and off the court.”

Rolando Blackman was the first speaker.  Blackman was drafted by the Mavericks, played 11 years with the club and two more with the New York Knicks. He is a four-time All-Star and his #22 Mavericks jersey is retired. Cory Webb, Senior Account Executive for the Dallas Mavericks, adds, “ is a great speaker and has a great story (from birth in Panama to present day). He also serves as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations.”

Dave Brown, executive vice president and general manager of the American Airlines Center, also spoke.  Brown is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Center, one of only 9 NBA/NHL facilities in the world.  He has been involved in major arena operations for over 25 years.

Ben Hunt, manager of community outreach, was the final speaker.  Hunt helps run and coordinate Center community events and the year-round Basketball Academy.

Webb continues, “has a great story as well.  He is from Australia and played college basketball at Texas Wesleyan in Fort Worth Texas.”

Peru State students were also treated to special ticket experiences at the center. Grotrian-Ryan writes, “When we checked into the event, we were given two “High Five” passes, which allowed access to the high-five line when players ran onto the court.”

“Additionally, Mr. Webb came over to me at the conclusion of the speaker series and gave us three courtside tickets. Each student spent one quarter of the game courtside, and they loved it!”

Peru State College is dedicated to providing leadership, research and networking opportunities to students in all disciplines.  Conference attendance is an important aspect of the complete college experience.

Dr. Tim Borchers, Vice President of Academic Affairs, writes, “Attending conferences as an undergraduate student not only gives our students a professional experience but it will be a competitive advantage for them as they interview for jobs or graduate school.”

Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) is a state and national business leadership fraternity. Peru State College’s chapter, Epsilon Tau, is open to all students interested in business and/or leadership. Students do not need to be a business major to join.

Peru State students pose for a photo at the American Airlines Center.

Peru State students pose for a photo at the American Airlines Center.


This is the second part of an seven part series on conferences attended by Peru State students attended in the fall of 2016. Faculty and student attendees are available to be interviewed through December and January. Call (620) 363-2461 for more information.

About Peru State College: Nestled in the historic hills of the Missouri River, the “Campus of a Thousand Oaks" is Nebraska’s oldest college and will celebrate its sesquicentennial anniversary in 2017.  Peru State College’s constant commitment to academic excellence has resulted in a unique and innovative mix of online, traditional, undergraduate and graduate programs.  Similarly, the college's ongoing student engagement promotes inquiry, discovery and innovation on-campus and across the region.  Peru State College is committed to being a good steward of education, students, the region and Nebraska for another 150 years.