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OTC Students Medal at 2012 PBL National Competition




Eight members of the Okefenokee Technical College (OTC) chapter of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) attended the organization’s National Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas, June 24 – 27, 2012, and were among over 1,700 students from the United States, Puerto Rico, and China to compete at the conference. The competition offered over 50 categories of events, all of which are business and computer-related events.

Four OTC students placed in one or more categories, earning a place at the winner's podium. OTC brought home six awards, including a team award and an advisor award. The top ten winners in each event are recognized and called to the winner’s podium.

The PBL National Awards Program recognizes and rewards excellence in a broad range of business and career-related areas. Competitive events fall into three categories: individual, team, and chapter. Individual and team events focus on skills useful in leadership and career development; chapter events recognize overall achievement and performance in chapter management and growth. Each event is governed by specific guidelines and rating sheets.

Over $54,000 in cash awards was distributed to winners during the recognition ceremony. This is the first year that every event included a cash award for the top three to five winners.

OTC’s national winners are:

Jared Griffin
Jared Griffin
National Winner (1st Place) - Network Security
Samuel Kight
Samuel Knight
9th Place - Network Concepts
Network Design Team
Network Design Team
9th Place - Network Design
(L to R) Simon Cason, Sam Knight, Jared Griffin
David Combee
David Combee  (Brantley County)
2nd Place - Justice Administration
Simon Cason
Simon Cason
7th Place - Network Concepts
Jason Strickland
Jason Strickland, OTC Instructor and PBL Advisor
3rd  Place – Modern Technology & Information Systems
Professional Division Open Event

"Our PBL and SkillsUSA students always make us proud," stated Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Danita Cannon. "Their accomplishments are a result of hard work. We believe our students are well prepared for their chosen field, and these competitions confirm it for us each year."

“OTC advisors and instructors do a great job preparing students to go to work and to do well at competition,” stated OTC Interim President Glenn Deibert.  “It’s great to see students participate in student organizations and compete in events. It’s even better when they win. We appreciate the enthusiasm, leadership, and dedication that this groups of students has displayed.”

For Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) members living south of Macon, the journey to nationals began at Okefenokee Technical College, literally. OTC hosted the Phi Beta Lambda 2012 South District Leadership Conference Friday, March 2, 2012, on the Waycross campus, where they competed against PBL members from other technical colleges in the Technical College System of Georgia’s South District.  All schools south of Macon are in the South District.

As host, the OTC PBL Club was responsible for coordinating the event and securing competition judges and other volunteers. “Area community leaders were extremely supportive,” stated Cindy Tanner, director of public relations and information, “volunteering approximately three hours of their time to make the event a success. When the volunteers, instructors, and advisors met in Room 210 for general instructions and lunch, we were all blown away at the number of business people involved.”

Okefenokee Technical College Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) members performed extremely well at the competition. Eight students placed in 14 events, according to OTC club advisor Jason  Strickland. Winners were Simon Cason – 4th in Networking Concepts & 5th in Computer Concepts; David Combee – 1st in Justice Administration; Jared Griffin - 1st in Network Design & 1st in Networking Concepts; Samuel Knight – 2nd in Networking Concepts & 3rd in Computer Concepts; Caleb Manac – 1st in Cyber Security & 1st in Telecommunications; Megan Marsh – 4th in Accounting Principles; LeAnna Thornton – 1st in Sales Presentation & 2nd in Job Interview (group b); Courtney Walker – 2nd in Justice Administration; and in the team event “5th Battle of the Chapters,” Jared Griffin and Courtney Walker placed 5th.

Jason Strickland, OTC PBL advisor, issued a sincere thank you to everyone who made the South District Conference a success. “Your efforts helped 112 students from all across our region participate in one of our largest district conferences ever,” stated Strickland in an e-mail to supporters. “The state executive committee, advisers, and students from our southern region had high praise for everyone in the OTC community.  They particularly enjoyed the food that so many of you helped prepare as well as the friendly southern hospitality you displayed.  Our state committee also noticed how many of our OTC employees volunteered their day to participate as judges, administrators, and timekeepers.”

The state PBL competition was held in Atlanta in April. All first, second, and third place state winners in written events and first and second place winners in presentation events at that level were eligible to compete at the national level in San Antonio, Texas.

The National Leadership Conference theme was “Gateway to Greatness,” which appropriately describes the many partnerships and relationships of the two participating organizations.
Dr. Randal Pinkett, the founder, chairman, and CEO of BCT Partners, a multimillion-dollar consulting firm that specializes in information technology, organizational development and public policy, was the keynote speaker.

A special activity for FBLA-PBL members and advisors helped accentuate the success of a partnership the clubs have with the March of Dimes, March for Babies. PBL members from OTC, as well as other club members, donated to the charity and attended the mini-walk. In the nearly 40 years FBLA-PBL has been united with the March of Dimes, students and advisors have raised over $15 million to help with the fight against premature birth.

PBL is the largest and oldest student business organization in the world. The number of national chapters now exceeds 500 with approximately 6,500 active members and an outreach totaling over 11,000.

The 2012 PBL competitive events winners are posted on the FBLA-PBL Web site at Next year the national conference will be held in Anaheim, California. For additional information on PBL, contact OTC advisors Marcia Braddock, Amanda Carter Kaari, or Jason Strickland.

Group Photo
Eight OTC Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) members and their three advisors traveled to San Antonio, Texas, June 24 – 27 for the PBL 2012 National Leadership Conference. According to PBL advisor Marcia Braddock (back row, left), OTC students competed against scores of other students from postsecondary colleges and universities across the nation for national recognition and bragging rights. Congratulations to the following PBL members for their outstanding performance at the conference: Lea Thornton (seated, L to R), Sam Knight, Jared Griffin (3rd from left, L to R), Deena Newbern, Simon Cason, and Aisha Fincher. All three PBL advisors attended the conference: Marcia Braddock (back row, left), Amanda Carter Kaari (back row, 2nd from left), and Jason Strickland (back row, right).
Members and Advisors
OTC PBL members and advisors met a few days before boarding the plane for Texas to discuss final details of the trip. Cindy Tanner, OTC Foundation executive director, and Larry Godair, dean for academic affairs, joined the group to wish them well. On behalf of the Foundation, Tanner presented each student competitor with a check for $100 to recognize his/her accomplishments and help defray the cost of the trip. All eight state PBL winners were available for the photo: Courtney Walker (Front, L to R), Deena Newbern, Alisha Fincher, Simon Cason (Back, L to R), Jared Griffin, David Combee, Sam Knight, OTC instructor and PBL advisor Marcia Braddock, Lea Thornton, and OTC instructor and PBL advisor Amanda Kaari. All first, second, and third place state winners in written events and first and second place winners in presentation events at the state competition were eligible to compete at nationals.
Area Community Leaders
Area community leaders and educators volunteered their time to serve as competition judges, timekeepers, and administrators in support of Okefenokee Technical College and the OTC Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) chapter at the 2012 PBL South District Leadership Conference Friday, March 2, 2012, on the Waycross campus. According to Marcia Braddock, an OTC PBL advisor, the strong community involvement was notably impressive.






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