Lake Norman’s FBLA members pose for a picture at the regional conference.


The 2023 North Carolina Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Northwest Regional Leadership Conference was hosted by Crossroads Arts and Science Early College at Mitchell Community College earlier this month.

More than 130 students and advisers from eight schools in Iredell and surrounding counties attended the event. Many members also participated in competitive events showcasing their skills in public speaking, career preparation and knowledge of various business-related topics.

FBLA members at Crossroads, Lake Norman, and South Iredell High School took home awards.

Here’s a list of local award winners:

♦ Accounting I: Carissa Marcum, second place, LNHS;
♦ Business Calculations: Rex Abbott, first place, LNHS;
♦ Business Calculations: Ashley Carroll, second place, Crossroads;
♦ Business Calculations: Nolan Sweatt, fourth place, LNHS;
♦ Business Communications: Annalise Walker, first place, Crossroads;
♦ Business Communications: Mikaylah Okyere-Boateng, fourth place, SIHS,
♦ Database Design & Applications: Nachammai Annamalai, first place, SIHS;
♦ Future Business Leader: Jocelyn Mills, first place, Crossroads;
♦ Future Business Leader: Abeer Saleem Naznin, third place, SIHS;
♦ Future Business Leader: Emily Parker, fourth place, LNHS;
♦ Intro to Business Procedures: Anju Nashine, first place, LNHS;
♦ Intro to Business Procedures: Cedrick Donbosco, second place, LNHS;
♦ Intro to Business Procedures: Simrah Shaik, third place, SIHS;
♦ Intro to Business Procedures: Mei Anderson, fourth place, LNHS;
♦ Into to Information Technology: Griffin Nelin, first place, LNHS;
♦ Into to Information Technology: Casen Cobb, second place, LNHS;
♦ Intro to Information Technology: Abigail Perz, third place, LNHS;
♦ Intro to Information Technology: Barry Mayfield, fourth place, LNHS;
♦ Intro to Parliamentary Procedure: Jocilyn Chester, first place, Crossroads;
♦ Intro to Parliamentary Procedure: Bryce Carpenter, third place, SIHS;
♦ Intro to Public Speaking: Iyona Reid, first place, Crossroads
♦ Into to Public Speaking: Nayla Sharma, second place, LNHS,
♦ Into to Public Speaking: Sophie Hermeling, third place, SIHS;
♦ Job Interview: Radha Suresh, first place; SIHS;
♦ Job Interview: Micah Duerr, fourth place, LNHS;
♦ Public Speaking: Mia Sundman, first place, Crossroads;
♦ Public Speaking: Franco Borsini, fourth place, LNHS;
♦ Spreadsheet Applications: Parker Shrigley, third place; LNHS;
♦ Spirit-T-shirt design: Autumn Osborne, first place, Crossroads;
♦ Spirit T-shirt design: Diane Guyot, Siya Patel and Nayla Sharma, second place, LNHS
♦ Spirit-Cheer/chant/slogan: Barry Mayfield and Quincy Sherrill, first place, Crossroads.
♦ Spirit-Web Banner and theme: Natalie McLean, first palce, Crossroads;
♦ Spirit-Web Banner and theme: Eian Guentner, Shreya Kolhe, Jaira Pyrant, second place, SIHS
♦ Spirit-Web Banner and theme: Alexis Hamby, third place, SIHS;

Students placing in the top four were recognized during the awards ceremony. They will compete at the State Leadership Conference in March.

Crossroads FBLA members pose for a picture at Mitchell Community College.

Mia Sundman, 17, a senior, at Crossroads took first place in public speaking.

“This was my first time attending a conference for FBLA and it was so much fun. I got to help out with a lot of the setup and meet so many new people,” Sundman said. “I also got to compete in my first competition and walked away with my first gold medal ever. Overall, regionals went amazing and I am so happy I got to help make it happen.”

According to Crossroads FBLA Advisor Tracy Skeens, this is the second year Crossroads has hosted the conference. Members were able to double the number of students in attendance this year.

“Planning this conference is a huge undertaking and it couldn’t be done without the help of so many people. In addition to our guest speakers, multiple volunteers were needed to facilitate our competitive events. The staff at the Huskins Library and Mitchell Community College were accommodating and helpful,” Skeens said.

“Overall, I feel like the day was a huge success, and I’m extremely proud of my students for their hard work and dedication,” she added.

Students had the opportunity to attend numerous personal development workshops and network with business professionals and other members. Topics included economic development, public speaking, local government, and artificial intelligence.

Some of the professionals included:
• Jennifer Jamison of Iredell County Crosby Scholars presented on professional speech and networking.
• Northwest Region Vice President Jocelyn Mills facilitated a Leadership Battle workshop in which students learned about different leadership styles.
• Other workshops were conducted by Iredell County Manager Beth Mull on local government.
• Iredell County Economic Development Corp. President Jenn Bosser spoke to students about economic development.

Attendees heard from keynote speakers, including local business leader Tracy Alston and Melissa Neader, the chair of the Iredell County Board of Commissioners.

Barry Mayfield, 14, a freshman at Crossroads, said that the workshops were helpful.

“I liked that even if you weren’t competing there were workshops you could do that taught you something. My favorite was learning more about how local government works with the county manager,” Mayfield said.

Lake Norman High School student Clayon Lancaster said he enjoyed the conference.

“Regionals provided me with the opportunity to connect with my fellow chapter as well as networking and learning from others,” he said.

Kayla Juiris, another student with Lake Norman’s chapter, agreed.

“I connected with students who had the same interests as well as leaders and learned valuable information. The guest speakers were wonderful and demonstrated their leadership skills and taught all of us something new,” she said.