FBLA-PBL members learn, compete and promote FIU at State Leadership Conference.

The Fall Leadership Conference offered by Florida’s Future Business Leaders-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) on November 4, 2011, had an agenda packed with opportunities and the representatives from the FBLA-PBL chapter at Florida International University (FIU) took advantage of each and every one.

The conference, held in Clearwater Beach, drew approximately 400 people from across the state, including an FIU group of 16 members and officers along with advisor Yanyn San Luis (BA ’10).

FIU students performed quite well in competitions, starting with Ileana Maria Canizares winning the Leadership Open Event. In the FBLA-PBL Facts Competition, Claudia Capdesuner took first place and Natalie Aviles came in third.

In the “Battle of the Districts,” a test of knowledge of the organization, the five-person group from District V won, defeating nine other teams. FIU’s Natalie Aviles, Gedma Estrada and Capdesuner were on the victorious team.

Ileana Canizares, Natalie Aviles, Livia Alvarez and Claudia Capdesuner
Ileana Canizares, Natalie Aviles, Livia Alvarez and Claudia Capdesuner

“But competition is only a small part of this conference,” said Estrada, a sophomore who serves as the chapter’s executive vice president. “What we learn about leadership and the professional development training we receive in the workshops are where the focus is.”

Students recruit for the university, their organization.

The state gathering, which also draws students from middle schools and high schools, allows college students to set up a display promoting their university during a special session for high school seniors.

“We loved the chance to tell seniors not only about why FIU is a good choice but also about our organization,” Estrada said.

The FIU students certainly have reason to brag. Their chapter, one of the organizations in FIU’s College of Business Administration, is the FBLA-PBL Florida Chapter of the Year and is ranked second strongest in the nation.

The Spring State Leadership Conference will be held in Tampa in 2012.

“We plan to continue the success that was achieved in the fall,” said Louis Castillo, the chapter’s vice president of public relations.


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