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PHUHS soars to new heights at the FBLA State Leadership Conference

Emma Behrmann, Staff Reporter

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4,000 teenagers, one hotel, and high hopes for success at the Florida FBLA State Leadership Conference. All members met March 23, 2017 in Orlando. In the sea of future business leaders, there were 32 PHUHS FBLA members.

Palm Harbor had success at the 2017 State Leadership Conference (SLC) and took home three first place wins, two third place, and one fourth place, along with Shady Mina being elected as State Secretary. Those who won include:

Kyle Nguyen: 1st place; Introduction to Business Communication

Quinn Hemmond: 4th place; Introduction to Business Procedures

Anuj Som: 1st place; Introduction to Financial Math

Sofia John: 1st place; Introduction to Parliamentary Procedure

Shady Mina: 3rd place; Job Interview

Jessie Ngo: 3rd place; Journalism

Shady Mina: Elected as State Secretary

Those who placed in their competitions above now have time to prepare, study, and then fly to Anaheim, California for the 2017 National Leadership Conference (NLC).

States began with the opening ceremony. All attendees of the conference gathered and the session was called to order with the sound of the gavel against the podium.

Shortly after, candidates for state office gave their speeches. As the ceremony came to a close the future business leaders were ready for a weekend of success.

“Running for state office is very exhausting but in the same time very rewarding. I was interested in running for state office to serve the organization that has taught me many valuable lessons. Being able to give my speech in front of over 4,000 attendees can be very stressful but with the help of my wonderful chapter members, my level of confidence was very high,” Shady Mina said.

Day two began bright and early with PHUHS FBLA members eager to campaign for Shady Mina. Several members had competitions on Friday but during their free time they would walk through the campaign booths where conversations were held and persuasion for votes occurred.

Voting delegates could be seen talking to candidates at each booth so they could ensure they casted the correct vote for Florida FBLA.

“I really enjoyed walking around every campaign booth and being able to talk to so many new people. I liked seeing all the different creative approaches to getting votes. Personally I really liked Zach Sahin’s fortune cookies that contained ‘Zach Facts,’” Mackenzie Mills, voting delegate, said.

One of the campaign booths seen on Friday belonged to PHUHS. Shady Mina and his team of campaigners talked to several future business leaders in an attempt to persuade them to vote Shady for a bright future.

“Campaigning was very rewarding as I had the chance to network with many other members who have different mindsets. I would like to thank my family, my chapter members, Mr. Schachter, and Mrs. Latherow for their infinite support as I could not have accomplished this without their boundless help and advice,” Shady Mina said.

The FBLA SLC was not all business; fun was included as well.

Another aspect of states was having the ability to tour Orlando with friends Friday night and during the day Saturday when there were open slots of free time. Many went to Disney Springs or Pointe Orlando, while others traveled to the Orlando Premium Outlets.

In addition, the agenda for Saturday included the second general session with a keynote speaker, Chris Bashinelli, and the awards ceremony later at night. Here, winners of each competition and those elected would be announced, wrapping up the 2017 SLC.

“Before attending FBLA states, I didn’t know what to expect, and I didn’t know we would be listening to a keynote speaker. At first I figured a boring, successful businessman would be talking to us, but instead I was surprised by the fairly inspirational, world traveler Chris. I liked his message about before being successful and accomplishing goals we need to be happy with ourselves,” Mackenzie Mills said.

The 2017 SLC was definitely a successful one for the members of PHUHS FBLA. Now the members need to prepare to compete at a national level this summer in Anaheim, California.

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The School Newspaper of Palm Harbor University High School
Next stop for future business leaders: California