UNK students rack up awards at state business competition

KEARNEY – University of Nebraska at Kearney business students continue to prove they’re the state’s best.

Lopers took first place in eight events and once again claimed the overall excellence award for four-year institutions during the Nebraska Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Collegiate State Leadership Conference.

Hosted Sunday and Monday at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Kearney, the annual conference gives students from colleges and universities across the state an opportunity to network, attend leadership workshops and compete in events testing their business knowledge and skills.

Fourteen members of the UNK FBLA Collegiate chapter participated in the conference, where they earned a school-record 31 top-five finishes. Joseph Hiatt of Spencer was named the Nebraska FBLA Collegiate Member of the Year and Courtney Cox of Alliance received a Who’s Who in Nebraska FBLA Collegiate recognition.

For the second year in a row, the UNK chapter received the overall excellence award presented to the top four-year institution, along with a gold-level local chapter excellence award.

Other UNK students participating in the conference were Maritza Calmo Martin of Lexington, Oliver Combs of Kearney, Jake Elliott of Burwell, Jackie Kalkwarf of Wilber, Olivia Lawless of Aurora, Trista Marx of Limon, Colorado, Ella O’Neil of Wauneta, Cody Swinarski of St. Paul, Courtney Swisher of Halsey, Brooke Thoendel of Bennington, Megan Wallman of Syracuse and Haley Wiemers of Grand Island.

The top state winners are eligible to compete at the FBLA Collegiate National Leadership Conference scheduled for June 22-25 in Atlanta, Georgia.

UNK Individual Results
Maritza Calmo Martin – first place, help desk; fourth place, human resource management; fifth place, job interview; fifth place, public speaking.
Courtney Cox – second place, finance case competition; third place, foundations of finance; fifth place, marketing concepts.
Joseph Hiatt – first place, future business executive; first place, organizational behavior and leadership; first place, entrepreneurship concepts; fourth place, marketing concepts.
Jackie Kalkwarf – first place, future business educator; third place, digital media; fourth place, social media marketing.
Olivia Lawless – second place, business communication; second place, job interview; fifth place, management concepts.
Trista Marx – fourth place, retail management.
Brooke Thoendel – first place, business ethics; second place, sports management and marketing; fourth place, future business executive.
Megan Wallman – fourth place, macroeconomics; fifth place, cybersecurity concepts; fifth place, information management; fifth place, project management.

UNK Team Results
Joseph Hiatt and Olivia Lawless – first place, emerging business issues; first place, state of the chapter presentation.
Joseph Hiatt, Olivia Lawless and Brooke Thoendel – second place, business law.
Oliver Combs and Olivia Lawless – third place, business presentation.
Jackie Kalkwarf and Haley Wiemers – third place, sales presentation.
Cody Swinarski and Brooke Thoendel – fourth place, business presentation.