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OTC PBL Members Place at National Competition

Five members of the Okefenokee Technical College chapter of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) left for Anaheim, California, on June 19, 2009, to compete at the PBL National Leadership Conference. They left as winners and returned as winners, placing nationally in two events.  

Brandi Balbach placed 6th in the nation in “Help Desk,” and Okefenokee Technical College’s Network Design Team - Jared Bartlett, R. J. Driver, and Sean Johnson- placed 8th nationally. PBL Nationals

Balbach’s event required her to demonstrate an understanding of and ability to provide technical assistance to end users. The “Help Desk” event consisted of two parts: an objective test and a performance component. The top 15 individuals with the highest score on the objective test advanced to the final round. In the final round, Balbach had 5 minutes to role play a given scenario and demonstrate eight separate performance competencies.

The Network Design competition measures students’ ability to evaluate the needs of an organization and then design and implement network solutions. The event consisted of two parts; an objective test and a performance component. The top ten teams with the highest score on the objective component advanced to the final round. Those ten teams were then required to make a ten-minute presentation in which six performance competencies are rated.

The 2009 PBL National Leadership Conference took place June 20-23 with over 2,000 students from all 50 states and the Virgin Islands competing in various business and computer-related events. OTC’s team of leaders competed in four areas: Cyber Security, Help Desk, Network Design and Networking Concepts.

“Our advisors and instructors are to be commended for their work in preparing PBL members for national and state competition,” stated OTC President Thaxton. “Our students, of course, are the very best, and we appreciate their enthusiasm and dedication to career development.”

The theme of the conference was “Get the Edge.” According to conference coordinators, FBLA-PBL members have the competitive edge. When the best and brightest of FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America - high school chapters) and PBL convene to compete in leadership events, share their successes, and learn new ideas about shaping their career future through workshops and exhibits, they get the business edge needed for today’s competitive workplace.
The FBLA-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. FBLA-PBL is the largest business career student organization in the world. 

OTC accounting instructor and PBL advisor Leighan Byrd (third from left) traveled to Anaheim, California, recently with OTC students Kaleah Pauley (L to R), Sean Johnson, Byrd, Jared Bartlett, R.J. Driver, and Brandi Balbach to attend the PBL National Leadership Conference.


PBL Help Desk Winners – 2009

  1. Sheldon Hall, Florida
  2.  Michael Backora, Oklahoma
  3. Alexander Landry, Mississippi
  4. Gabe Williamson, Nebraska
  5. Greg Dowden, Wisconsin
  6. Brandi Balbach, Georgia
  7. Chris R Carey, North Carolina
  8. Cole R Nash, Colorado
  9. Robert Zimmerman, Mississippi
  10. Mike Catrombone, New York

PBL Network Design Winners – 2009

1. Carson Anderson,
     Jason Wright, Utah Valley University, Utah
2. Gaelan Adams,
     Jorge Bulfone, Seminole Community College, Florida
3. James R. Scarcella,
     Michael W. Schmitz, Wake Technical Community College, North Carolina
4. Ryan J. Hamman,
     Boris Jimenez, Fayetteville Technical Community College, North Carolina
5. Cody Esser,
     Ryan Hietpas, Herzing College, Wisconsin
6. Matt Lam,
     Steven Stewart,
     Adam West, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska
7. Dave Betancourt,
     Nate Hanson,
     James Rupert, Valencia Community College-E., Florida
8. Jared Bartlett,
     Randy Driver,
     Sean Johnson, Okefenokee Technical College, Georgia
9. Andrew Damin,
     Ray Graves,
     Joshua Lupardo, Herkimer County Community College, New York
10. Matt Copeland,
     Tyler Locke,
     Josh Wood, Southwest Baptist University, Missouri


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