The Odessa Record -

By Terri King
OHS advisor for FBLA 

Odessa FBLA competes at the State Leadership Conference


April 19, 2018

--Courtesy photos.

Front row: Jakob Starkel, FBLA advisor Terri King, Tori Weishaar, Caitlyn Schuh, Maddy Wagner, McKennah Davison, Ceianne Mankel, Kenadie Elder. Second row: Theron Schlomer, Brady Walter, Marcus King, Keith Strebeck, Kassidy Crossley, Brenna Carstensen, Emma Caler, Ireland Luiten, Maddie Scrupps, Josie Westmoreland, Megan Shafer. Third row: Joshua Clark, Jett Nelson, Jayd Jennings, Colton Hunt, Jaden Hunt, Kaya Curo, Destiny German. Back row: Noah Anderson, Tim DeWulf, Camden Weber, Colt Messer, Eric Johnston, Pilot Weishaar.

The Washington State Leadership Conference of the Future Business Leaders of America was held in Bellevue on April 4-7 and was attended by 31 students from Odessa High School. The trip began with a stop at Central Washington University where former FBLA members and Odessa High graduates Carsen Weber, John DeWulf and Trevor King, all brothers of current chapter members, gave the group an awesome tour of the campus.

The trip continued to Bellevue where students were allowed to go behind the scenes of Bellevue Square and the many properties owned by the Freeman family. Students learned that because of the changes taking place in the retail sector, many of the former retail properties have been turned into offices and condos. They were invited into in a million-dollar sales office where, through a virtual reality experience, they could see a simulated view from any of the properties.

The FBLA conference began Wednesday evening with keynote speaker Anthony O'Neal. He shared his story of going into $50,000 of debt his freshmen year of college, and how he turned his life around by finding his passion and living a well-balanced life. Students competed all day Thursday and Friday against some very tough competitors in 18 events.

Colton Hunt was selected for a $1,000 Professional Division Scholarship due to his hard work and dedication to FBLA and service. Odessa received the highest level of participation, Gold. In addition, Tori Weishaar received recognition as our chapter president, and Kassidy Crossly and Brenna Carstensen were selected by Mrs. King as Outstanding Members of the Year for their willingness to work long hours to help all members of our chapter prepare for competition.

On Saturday morning, the Awards of Excellence ceremony began for competitive awards. With 1,750 students in attendance, the competition was tough, but the Odessa students were ecstatic when their names were called to the stage for awards.

Odessa's community service project this year was extremely impactful and placed first. The Odessa chapter focused on the town's senior citizens with "Operation LEAN On Us." Members sponsored SAIL (Stay Active and Independent for Life) classes, cooked and delivered 553 freezer meals, assisted with chores and hosted a Senior Night Out and Senior Fun Hour. The team of Kassidy Crossley, Brady Walter, Caitlyn Schuh, Jakob Starkel, Colton Messer and Kaya Curo were instrumental in implementing the project and wrote a 15-page report along with a seven-minute presentation describing the service project.

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 Caitlyn Schuh, Noah Anderson, Theron Schlomer and Megan Shafer. This report is also used as the criterion for many of Odessa's other awards.

Eric Johnston, Pilot Weishaar and Jayd Jennings placed first in the Business Plan competition. They wrote a 30-page business plan for a company they created called Above and Beyond, a guided off-road vehicle tour business, and gave a seven-minute presentation to win over the judges at state.

Brenna Carstensen, McKennah Davison, Joshua Clark and Jett Nelson placed first with their Partnership with Business project. Their project involved creating a partnership with the Odessa Healthcare Foundation to help improve healthcare in Odessa. This group also wrote a 15-page report and gave a seven-minute presentation for competition. Board members Nancy Floether and Danielle Scrupps were instrumental in achieving this success.

The American Enterprise Project was tackled by the team of Josie Westmoreland, Camden Weber, Marcus King, Kenadie Elder and Tim DeWulf. The prompt for the project is to teach a group of students something about the free enterprise system. This year the team decided to try something new and focused on the Retail Revolution. The team taught the 8th grade class in Odessa all about the retail past, present and future. The team wrote a 15-page report and presented a seven-minute presentation to earn first place.

Tori Weishaar, Maddy Wagner and Maddie Scrupps placed first with their Business Financial Plan. Their prompt was to apply for a business loan to open a meal delivery business. The team was able to interview the owner of Pantry Fuel in Spokane to learn more about the business. They wrote a 15-page business plan and gave a seven-minute presentation describing their need for the loan, how they would acquire it and how they would pay it back.

Josie Westmoreland took home another first place award in Client Service. In this role-playing event, she masterfully dealt with an angry customer in two different competitions to beat out over 50 contestants.

Brenna Carstensen and Kassidy Crossley took home the second place award in Graphic Design. With advice from Odessa High alum Jesse Scheller, the team designed a magazine layout for Tomorrow's Business Leader and gave a seven-minute presentation on their design process.

Two teams competed in Business Ethics. The team of Colton Hunt, Noah Anderson and Theron Schlomer placed second with their auto case study on Tesla and self-driving cars. The team of Jaden Hunt, Ireland Luiten, and Keith Strebeck placed 10th with their ethical case study on Toyota and "sticky pedals."

Colton Hunt placed fifth and Megan Shafer placed eighth in the very challenging Job Interview event. This event usually reflects FBLA's most seasoned competitors and is a very tough competition.

Social Media Campaign placed 10th. The team of Kaya Curo, Ceianne Mankel and Josie Westmoreland designed a social media campaign for a meal delivery service.

A team that spent many long hours researching a new event, Broadcast Journalism, also took home 10th place, Megan Shafer, Emma Caler and Destiny German. They were challenged to create a seven-minute broadcast that featured FBLA, the track team and bike theft. With help from Lincoln County Undersheriff and OHS alum Kelly Watkins and fellow alum and broadcaster Kolby Crossley, their broadcast wowed us all.

Two Odessa teams competed in Public Service Announcement, but unfortunately neither placed. Their prompt was to design a PSA to educate others on cyberbullying. Team 1 was Colton Messer, Tim DeWulf and Jakob Starkel, and Team 2 was Kenadie Elder, Ireland Luiten, and Keith Strebeck.

Competing in Emerging Business Issues and debating the topic of crowd sourcing was the team of Jayd Jennings, Jett Nelson and Megan Shafer.

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 $380. Most students spend months completing their projects, writing reports and preparing presentations for their competitions. Twenty-eight students from Odessa will now be competing at the National Leadership Conference in Baltimore in June.

Our chapter owes much of their success to hard work and great parental support. In addition, we were aided by all of our proofreaders, Kelly Weber, Chris Crossley, Jamie Nelson, Laura Caler and Lisa Martin and our amazing speech coaches Kelly Weber, Lisa Martin, Chris Crossley and Danielle Scrupps. We also had the steadfast support of our administrators Dan Read and Jamie Nelson, who allowed us to take on our many projects and fund raisers. The Friends of the Pool and those who supported Donors Choose were instrumental in helping us update some much needed equipment. We truly appreciate the support from the staff, school board, and our bus driver Justin Parr, who encourages us in so many ways.


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