Igniting Innovation at the Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference 2013

After one of the busiest, most successful years at Dakota State University, the Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) Business Club sent nine qualified competing members with one advisor to the National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, Calif., from June 19 to June 26.

The students attending were Tara Krause, Zach Merrill, Amy Yost, Vidur Bhalla, Craig Marquis, Andy Behrens, Austin Vogt, Jeni Habeger and Rigoberto Aguirre. These nine students were accompanied by Dan Talley, the PBL advisor and DSU professor of economics. Professor Talley has been PBL’s advisor for 16 years.

DSU has the only local active chapter for PBL in the state of South Dakota. The National Leadership Conference attendance shattered the old record with over 2,000 students attending and competing in events from all over the country including Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and North Dakota. DSU students competed in events ranging from business communications, community service project, cyber security, database design and applications, networking concepts, small business management plan, website design and more! With over 60 competitive events, students can compete in events related to their field of expertise.

DSU students also heard nationally recognized speakers and presenters, experienced networking opportunities and attended exceptional workshops. These opportunities gave members the chance to learn and build business professional skills putting DSU students ahead with professional career preparation.  The keynote speaker, Clint Pardoe, shared his personal experiences from finding life success and the lessons from his book, The 4 Secrets to College Life Success: How to Thrive in Your Life During and After College. Pardoe’s inspirational presentation electrified and set an upbeat atmosphere for the conference.

Six of DSU-PBL’s members placed in the top 10 in their events.  Jeni Habeger, Amy Yost and Vidur Bhalla placed 10th in the team event, Small Business Management Plan. Craig Marquis placed 8th in the individual event, Networking Concepts. Tara Krause and Zach Merrill placed 8th in Community Service Project. The best performance went to Tara Krause, who placed 3rd in Business Communications.

The National Leadership Conference was a memorable experience for the nine students and advisor. Andy Behrens, stated, “The conference was an awesome experience, and I would encourage anyone to go!”

Vidur Bhalla explained, “Everything was great! The whole experience was amazing! I liked every aspect of the National Leadership Conference. NLC’s should always be in LA!”

The PBL President, Zach Merrill, was proud of so many dedicated, active members in attendance at the NLC. Zach stated, “I personally had a blast, and I am thrilled that so many members attended the NLC this year. With all the hard work our members have put into preparing for NLC this year, the NLC was even more rewarding for the entire PBL club. Every member ignited innovation this year with DSU-PBL!”/p>

Throughout the week, PBL members experienced Disney’s magical theme parks, Disneyland and California Adventure Park, scenic area of Los Angeles and Anaheim, the Pirate Dinner Adventure and the Anaheim Garden Walk.PBL-2013.jpg

Pictured left to right:
Rigoberto Aguirre, Andy Behrens, Craig Marquis, Austin Vogt, Jeni Habeger, Vidur Bhalla, Amy Yost, Zach Merrill, Dan Talley


By Zach Merrill – PBL President

Last Updated: 7/8/13