UMO PBL Chapter Recognized at State Conference

UMO PBL Chapter Recognized at State Conference

MOUNT OLIVE – University of Mount Olive students and professors involved in Future Business Leaders of America—Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL), the largest and oldest student business organization, were recently recognized at the 61st Annual Phi Beta Lambda State Leadership Conference in Charlotte, NC.

Five UMO students earned respective spots in the competitive events at the conference. A team comprised of Charquele Simien of Fayetteville, Eric Roughton of Columbia, and Justin Tomlinson of Wilmington placed first in forensic accounting. Simien also earned top honors as she placed first in the project management individual event. Roughton placed second in the statistical analysis individual event, and Tomlinson placed second in the cyber security individual event. Jasmine Phillips of Goldsboro placed third in the business communications individual event, and Natalie Calderon of Rancho Cucamonga, California placed fifth in the macroeconomics individual event and seventh in the organizational behavior individual event. Simien, Roughton, and Tomlinson will proceed to compete at the national level this summer.

When reflecting on the conference, Phillips said, “It was a great opportunity to meet new people with wonderful seminars to enhance learning and teamwork skills.”

Simien added, “I have been a member of PBL for four years, and the conference was a great way to cap off my senior year. It was nice spending time with my fellow members while also getting the opportunity to interact with students from different colleges. The networking opportunities provided by the conference are invaluable.”

In addition, the University of Mount Olive Phi Beta Lambda chapter received the Gold Star Chapter recognition from the State and won first place in the Eastern Region for their large chapter affiliation. The UMO students also received the prestigious Terry Lowrance Leadership Award for completing state goals for local chapters.

The UMO Chapter was further recognized for their recruitment of three or more Professional Division Foundation members, as well as recognized for financial contributions to the March of Dimes and the North Carolina Phi Beta Lambda Professional Division Scholarship funds.

“Going to the PBL State Leadership Conference in Charlotte was an experience that the five of us will never forget.  It is an amazing experience to be a part of something bigger than yourself, and Phi Beta Lambda has provided that for us. Through PBL I have created strong bonds with my fellow members. PBL has taught us to follow your dreams, and never give up,” said Calderon, the UMO PBL president.

The students were led to the event by Sonya O’Brien, academic advising administrator, who was also acknowledged statewide in appreciation for her work to North Carolina Phi Beta Lambda.

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College.  For more information, visit

L–R: PBL Advisor Sonya O’Brien, Eric Roughton, Charquele Simien, Justin Tomlinson, Natalie Calderon, and Jasmine Phillips