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Williams PBL Brings Home More National Honors


WBC business students at PBL National Leadership Conference in Anaheim.
Williams Baptist College business students have added eight more national Phi Beta Lambda awards to an already crowded trophy case, including a first-place finish for the second time in school history.  This year’s awards make 45 national honors since 2007 for the Williams PBL group.

In the spring, Williams students earned a total of 38 certificates and placed in 26 events at the state PBL conference.  As a result of their standout state performance, 29 WBC students qualified for nationals, with 19 actually making the trek to Anaheim, Cal., to compete on June 22-25.

Summer Deprow, chair of the Williams business department and PBL sponsor said, “The students studied, researched and rehearsed for hours after the spring semester was completed.  Even those who did not place nationally had personal best performances.  I am so proud of their attitudes, enthusiasm and professionalism.”

Kevin Hennings of Biggers and Hannah Morgan of Smithville received first place accolades in the area of Emerging Business Issues. 

Ironically, the duo did not actually qualify for nationals while at the state competition.  In Little Rock, Hennings and Morgan were third place of three teams, making them an alternate if another team did not go to the national conference.

Another team from Arkansas did drop out of the national competition, allowing Hennings and Morgan a way to Anaheim, thus turning their defeat on the state level into a first place victory on the national stage.

“We worked very hard and it paid off in a way I never imagined,” remarked Morgan.  “I still get goose bumps when I think about them calling our names for first place.  It was so surreal.  We defied all the odds and did a complete turnaround, going from last in the state to first in the nation.”

Hennings added, “Making it to the final round was such a surprise, but our hard work really did pay off.”

Hennings also placed second in Retail Management.

Ethan Clark of Bono and Hugo Frutos of Fernando de la Mora, Paraguay placed third in Financial Services.

Jeff Morris of Bono received another third place finish for WBC in the area of Impromptu Speaking.

Morgan Hatcher of Marmaduke, Matthew Schweri of Bonnerdale and Zabian Sanders of Memphis, Tenn., teamed up to bring home third place in Marketing Analysis and Decision Making

Clark, Ryan Bauschlicher of Corning and Leo Li of Lin Yang, China, earned fifth place in Financial Analysis and Decision Making.

Frutos, Matt Crews of Doniphan, Mo., and Curtis Jackson of Walnut Ridge were sixth place in Human Resource Management.

Bauschlicher, Hatcher and Schweri earned a seventh place award in Business Ethics.

“To say that the PBL National Leadership Conference was great is an understatement,” Morris observed.  “Over the few days that our chapter was in Anaheim, we learned so much about professionalism, competition and certainly each other.  This was a trip that I will never forget, and I am already looking forward to what next year has in store for all of us.”

As an added milestone, WBC received the 2013 Hollis and Kitty Guy Gold Seal Chapter Award of Merit.  In April, the Williams PBL group attained Gold Chapter status at the state conference, which qualified them for the national merit award. This national gold chapter award is only given to two Arkansas schools.

Schweri, who is the club’s outgoing president, commented, “When I look back at my time at Williams, I may forget some lessons and homework, but I will never forget a moment spent with the amazing people of WBC PBL.  I will miss that part of my college experience more than any other.”

“Our goal this year was excellence.  It was embodied in our chapter slogan, emblazoned on our club shirts and seen in the effort our members put forth. We really did achieve excellence,” Schweri concluded.

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