Cody FBLA students have strong showing at state | People

It’s one thing when the judges are impressed after a team gives a great presentation at the state Future Business Leaders of America Conference.

It’s a whole other story when one of the judges actually offers a team a job after they leave the stage.

That was just one of a number of impressive results for a couple of the Cody High School FBLA students at this year’s conference, a competition that saw every single CHS student who entered for the national conference this summer in Chicago.

“I’ve never had everybody qualify before,” CHS teacher and FBLA coach Mark Landerman said. “We had all eight kids to qualify to go to nationals in multiple events.”

Out of the eight who qualified, six are planning to make the trip to Chicago in June to compete in the biggest FBLA event in the country.

Each student competed in four different events at the state competition in Laramie. They will choose one of those events they qualified in the present at nationals.

For the duo of Ethan Townsend and Wyatt McKnight, they might want to try to recapture some of the magic that had the judges thrilled with their state sales presentation.

“One of the judges came up to Ethan and me after we got off the stage and said if either of us went to UW to contact him, he would guarantee us both jobs,” McKnight said.

McKnight, a CHS junior, and Townsend, a senior, went to state prepared with a professional presentation that featured a little more showmanship than most.

The pair gave a simulated sales presentation centered around ad sales for the upcoming additions to the CHS football field, which will actually be offering advertising ad space on its new video scoreboard in the near future.

“We had pre-made business cards that we handed out to the judges and they just started smiling,” McKnight said. “We also had written contracts ready for them to sign. And we told them there was a time issue because we had other meetings lined up for later in the day. They kind of ate that up.”

They only needed to be top four to qualify for nationals. That presentation easily won them first place in Sales Presentation, a result they were both a little shocked at after heading to state with little sales or FBLA experience.

They also landed second in Hospitality/Event Management and fourth in Social Media Strategies.

“I think all of us on the team this year were on the same page,” Townsend said. “Most of us had never gone to something like that. But I think we all wanted to go to Chicago and get to nationals.”

CHS junior Ida Tallen won first place in Spreadsheet Application and third in both Organizational Leadership and Personal Finance.

Senior Luis Mata took the top prizes in both Cyber ​​Security and e-Business and fourth in Public Service Announcement.

Fellow senior Bradley Fick teamed up with Mata to take first in e-Business. He also finished second in Place Accounting and Impromptu Speaking and fourth, along with senior Paula Medina and Mata, in Public Service Announcement.

Medina also finished third in Health Care Administration and fourth in Business Law in her final state high school competition.

“Competing in four events gives you the most opportunity to get to nationals,” Fick said. “A lot of it is just being good in the moment and being committed, and a lot of it is good preparation and doing the little things you need to do.”

Fick, Medina and Mata shot, edited and presented their own PSA about veteran suicide at state, a subject that made an impact on everyone.

“We felt it was a timely and understated topic,” Fick said. “It’s something that isn’t talked about enough.”

The CHS national qualifiers also included senior Catherine Lovera who took fourth in both Digital Video and Social Media Strategies.

Freshman Elijah Cook stunned the club with first place in Intro to Social Media Strategies and fourth in Digital Video Production.

Those students planning on heading to nationals will meet in Douglas for a winners’ camp where they will meet and prepare with industry professionals from around Wyoming who are experts in their occupations to help prepare the qualifiers for Chicago.

Some of the state FBLA judges should be on hand as well to help the students prepare.

“They’ll work with the kids and help tweak and go over their presentations and reports,” Landerman said. “Ever since the state has put on these winners’ camp, the Wyoming kids have earned recognition at nationals.”

For the time being it’s getting as prepared as possible, and figuring out how to cover the expenses of such a long trip and stay in Chicago.

Once the state conference is finished, it’s up to the students to fund their trip to nationals.

A few fundraising events are in the works, some generous donations have already come in and the Blue and Gold Booster Club has helped chip in.

“Every donation will help and we are trying to come up with some ideas to raise money,” McKnight said. “The goal for us was to do well at state and get to Chicago. Now that we are going, we are going to try to win.”

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