The Odessa Record -

FBLA shines at state conference

 

--Courtesy photos.

Molly Schafer, Eric Johnston and Jayd Jennings place first in Business Financial Plan.

Washington state's FBLA Leadership Conference in Spokane April 19-22 was attended by 35 students from Odessa High School. The trip began with a tour of the KREM2 News studio, where members toured the facility and spent time experimenting with the green screen backdrop used for weather reports, meeting the news anchors and watching the live noon broadcast. Students found the industry fascinating and appreciated the time of our tour guide and former comedian Charlie Laborte.

The conference began Wednesday evening with keynote speaker and entertainer Jaycob Curlee, a finalist on America's Got Talent, sharing his life story.

Students competed all day Thursday and Friday against tough competitors in 19 events. Molly Schafer served on the state FBLA officer team as executive vice president. Zoe Clark was awarded a $1,000 scholarship by the Washington State Business Education Association, and Rebecca Fortner received a $1,000 Professional Division Scholarship, due to their hard work and dedication to FBLA and service. Odessa was named Outstanding Chapter of the Year, while Fortner and Clark were named Outstanding Members of the year by Odessa FBLA advisor Terri King for their dedication to all members of their chapter and their willingness to help, lead, serve and cheer in every situation.

The Awards of Excellence ceremony began Saturday morning, and the competition was tough with 2,007 students attending. Odessa's students were ecstatic when many of them were called to the stage for awards; 29 students from Odessa qualified to attend the National Leadership Conference to be held in Anaheim, Calif. in June.

The community service project was extremely impactful. The Odessa chapter implemented Four Seasons of Service. "Toasty Tots" in the fall raised money to buy warm clothing for local children. "Hunger Boxes" in the winter focused on a food drive to feed students in need over the winter break. In the spring, 500 meals were prepared and delivered to senior citizens throughout the community. To wrap up the year, the chapter donated $2,500 to Odessa's community pool.

The team of Tori Weishaar, Brad Johnston, Chance Messer, Caitlyn Schuh, Maddy Wagner, Jakob Starkel and Brady Walter was instrumental in implementing the project, writing a 15-page report and preparing a seven-minute presentation describing the service project. The judges awarded them a perfect score on their report and a first place in the competition.

Each year the Odessa chapter summarizes its activities in a 15-page Local Chapter Annual Business Report. Writing the report and placing first at state were Zoe Clark, Rebecca Fortner, Wyatt Haase and Colby Sooy. This report is also used as the criteria for Odessa's achievement as a Gold Seal Chapter of Merit and Outstanding Chapter.

Molly Schafer, Jayd Jennings and Eric Johnston placed first with their Business Financial Plan. Their prompt was to apply for a business loan to open a family entertainment center which they called, Adventure Land. The team interviewed employees at Bumpers Family Fun Center in Spokane to learn more about the business. They wrote a 15-page business plan and presentation describing their need for the loan, how they would acquire it and how they would pay it back.

Rebecca Fortner, Zoe Clark, Colton Hunt, Joshua Clark and McKennah Davison completed the Partnership with Business Project with the Lead2Feed Student Leadership Organization, which teaches students leadership skills for completing service projects. It was created by David Novak, former CEO of Yum! Brands (parent company of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut). The students worked with Debby Dodge, grant manager for the program, to develop and implement ideas to increase involvement in Lead2Feed. Members have presented at multiple regional, state and national FBLA conferences promoting Lead2Feed. They appeared on television news broadcasts in Spokane and Atlanta, Ga., then wrote a 15-page report and gave a seven-minute presentation that earned them first place.

The American Enterprise Project was tackled by the team of Brenna Carstensen, Kassidy Crossley, Destiny German, Arianna German, Theron Schlomer and Kenadie Elder. The prompt for this project was to teach a group of students something about the Free Enterprise System. This year, the team took a unique turn with the project by focusing on fair trade. The team taught the Odessa seventh-grade class all about fair trade and put on a fair-trade exhibition at school in February, where the seventh-graders found interesting ways to teach the whole school about fair trade. They compared fair-trade commodities and explained why fair trade is beneficial to more people. Then the class visited two fair trade companies in Spokane, Kizuri and Craven's Coffee. The team then provided a 15-page report and presentation to earn first place.

Colby Sooy placed first in Agribusiness, an event involving a test on the business of agriculture. Sooy used knowledge from his advanced-placement college classes to sweep the competition.

John DeWulf, Camden Weber and Marcus King placed second in the Business Plan competition, writing a 30-page business plan for a company called Chain Reaction, a mobile bike repair company. They interviewed the owner of Velofix bike repair in Spokane to research their project and their seven-minute presentation won over the judges.

The team of Zoe Clark, Colton Hunt and Brad Johnston received second place in the Business Ethics competition. They gave a seven-minute speech describing the ethical implications of using social media background checks in the hiring process for businesses.

Colby Sooy, Ireland Luiten and Jaden Hunt also competed in Business Financial Plan. Their prompt was to apply for a business loan to open Galactic Entertainment, their unique, space-themed family entertainment center. The team interviewed employees at Bumpers Family Fun Center in Spokane to research their project. Their 15-page business plan and presentation earned third place.

Competing in Social Media Campaign was the team of Elizabeth Larson, Megan Shafer and Josie Westmoreland. Their prompt was to create a new TV show and develop a social media campaign to promote it. They contacted the social media director for the Spokane Teachers' Credit Union to research their campaign. They developed a very unique sci-fi show called Time and wowed the judges (and the chapter) with their presentation, earning fifth place.

Receiving fifth place in Job Interview was Chance Messer. He created a résumé and cover letter that were carefully evaluated and then participated in a simulated job interview.

Rebecca Fortner and Lane Lobe competed separately in Electronic Career Portfolio. The prompt was to create an electronic portfolio based on the student's targeted career and give a presentation on how they have prepared for their career field. Fortner earned fifth place with her focus on broadcast journalism and Lobe earned eighth place with a focus on auto-body repair.

Placing eighth in Emerging Business Issues with an advanced technical speech on the pros and cons of using Cloud storage was the team of Ryan Moffet, Brady Walter and Joshua Clark.

Other competitors included the team of Caitlyn Schuh, Megan Shafer and Kenadie Elder in Introduction to Business Presentation; Sarina Goetz in Public Speaking I; Noah Anderson, Eric Johnston and Ireland Luiten in Public Service Announcement; the team of Maddy Wagner, McKennah Davison and Jakob Starkel in Emerging Business Issues; Zoe Clark in Future Business Leader; John DeWulf in Job Interview and Arianna German in Client Service.

McKennah Davison, Zoe Clark, Colton Hunt, Rebecca Fortner and Joshua Clark place first in Partnership with Business.

Preparations for the state FBLA competition are a year in the making. Students and their parents began fundraising last fall at Deutschesfest and won't quit until the fireworks stand closes in July. All students paid for their own conference registration fee of $325. Most students spend months completing their projects, writing reports and preparing presentations for their competitions. Everyone worked hard in every competition.

Our chapter owes much of its success to hard work and great parental support. Proofreaders made sure our reports were perfect. Success would not come to so many without speech coaches Kelly Weber, Heather Messer and Lisa Martin. Our chauffer for the week, Chris Crossley, drove in circles to make sure we were at our competitions on time. Their patience and dedication to the students, especially with so many freshmen competing this year, was heartwarming. The school administration and staff also encouraged us in so many ways.

 

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