SIC Business Club Has Impressive Showing at State Leadership Convention

SIC Business Club

Southeastern Illinois College’s Phi Beta Lambda Business (PBL) Club traveled to Effingham to compete at the 2018 Illinois Phi Beta Lambda State Leadership Convention at the Thelma Keller Convention Center April 6-7.

Of the 11 SIC PBL members, those that attended the conference were Juana Gonzales of Eldorado, Bradley Hydrick of Carmi, Mattie McGowan of Eldorado, Adam Partridge of Eldorado, EmmaLee Pruitt of Norris City and advisor and SIC business instructor, Kelsie Rodman.

There were competitors from other Illinois colleges and universities included students from Heartland Community College, Illinois Central College, Illinois State University, Kaskaskia College, Olivet Nazarene University, Olney Central College, Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, Southwestern Illinois College, University of Illinois and the Phi Beta Lambda Virtual Chapter.  All PBL members in attendance competed in business-related events ranging from online tests to professional presentations on business topics and competed against students from other colleges and universities from across the state.

At the State Leadership Conference, competitors who place first or second place are given the opportunity to represent Illinois PBL at the National Leadership Conference.  Of the events that the SIC PBL students competed in, there were three first place entries that included Business Presentation by McGowan and Pruitt, Emerging Business Issues by Hydrick and Partridge and Small Business Management Plan by McGowan.

SIC sophomore Partridge said that a lot of hard work was put into his winning presentation with Hydrick.

“With Bradley and I both working 35 plus hours a week and being full-time students it made it hard for us to get together and practice,” said Partridge.  “As the competition neared there were many late-night practices through FaceTime.  Turns out all that hard work paid off in the end.”

Adam and Bradley will be presenting their winning presentation about the difference between business models in the United States and Europe at the National Leadership Conference.

SIC also had two second place entries that included Entrepreneurship Concepts by McGowan, and Small Business Management Plan by Pruitt.  Third place entries are awarded at the state level and are given the opportunity to attend the National Leadership Conference in the event that a first or second place winner is unable to attend.  The third place winners from SIC included Client Service by Gonzales and Job Interview by Pruitt.

“I feel very blessed and honored to be the SIC PBL advisor,” said Rodman. “At the State Leadership Conference, I had the opportunity to watch SIC students excel at the highest level. The students compete against some of the top Universities and Community Colleges in the state of Illinois.”

All members that placed first or second in an event are attending the Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference that will take place in Baltimore, Maryland in June.  There they will compete against business students from across the nation in a series of preliminary and final rounds of competition.

“When I joined PBL I thought it would just give me a chance to make connections and look good on a resume,” said Pruitt.  “I never thought I would advance to Nationals in Baltimore and compete against so many different schools.”

SIC Phi Beta Lambda is currently in the process of taking the comments and critiques from the judges from the state conference and working hard to update their presentations and projects to prepare for the national competition in Baltimore.  All of the students who advanced are excited to travel to compete and hopefully continue the successfulness of the team at the national conference.

For further information on SIC’s business program and PBL, contact Rodman at 618-252-5400 ext. 2322 or at

Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc., the premier student business organization, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) education association with a quarter million members and advisers in over 6,500 active middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Its mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. The association is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. For further information, visit

Written by PBL member and student writer, Mattie McGowan.