Phi Beta Lambda heads to Silicon Valley for state conference

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Chantal Romero

Jorge Ramos at Phi Beta Lambda’s State Fall Business Leadership Conference 2016 cheering for Cerritos College chapter at the inter-chapter olympics. Cerritos College held the biggest chapter with 29 delegates. Photo credit: Chantal Romero

Chantal Romero and Jenny Gonzalez

Cerritos College Phi Beta Lambda chapter has been present at State Fall Business Leadership Conference. This year a total of 29 participants were able to represent the chapter.

On Friday, Nov. 18, PBL set their way to an 8 hour drive from Cerritos College to Silicon Valley, enthusiastic about what the conference would offer them.

Cesar Garcia, president of PBL, said “Whenever there is a long bus ride, it can be mentally and physically draining but I am extremely proud of the energy our chapter was able to bring regardless of our circumstances. Ideally it only takes 5-7 hours to get from LA to Fremont area but due to traffic and other obstacles, it took around 10 hours.”

The chapter entered four competitions, Mr. PBL, Sharing Thoughts Regarding Innovative Ideas Vision and Experiences, case studies, and the Inter-Chapter Olympics during the conference.

Florence Yu, Operations and Conference Coordinator, stated that in order to make the conferences a possibility it requires a lot of planning. As soon as one conference concludes, the organization begins to plan the following conference for the upcoming year. Phi Beta Lambda hosts conferences during fall and spring.

Yu expressed, “I think the most valuable [tool] is getting the networking connections. I was in PBL when I was in college for four years and now that I’m done, some of my closest friends are other members that I met from across California [through PBL].”

Although both conferences offer the opportunity to compete with other chapters, Yu believes that the fall conference allows attendees to network with other chapters in a more relaxed way. Spring state conferences has a stronger competitive nature and you can feel it when you’re there, “…everybody is just more in that ‘I want to win’ mentality.” She added.

As a conference coordinator, she was excited to see that nearly 200 students attended the conference. Cerritos College Phi Beta Lambda took home the award for having the second highest chapter delegation at the conference with 29 delegates.

PBL Treasurer Lucio Ramirez states, “I thought it was amazing to see the leadership positions of all of our Cerritos members.They showed a great level of professionalism and dedication to pursue higher learning and to take positions in the future for leadership roles.

PBL Community Liason Steve Espinoza expressed that he was proud of the unity and school pride among the chapter. He mentions that as Community Liaison he is working with the America Cancer Society to provide internship opportunities for PBL members.

“As a business owner, you have to give back to your community so that you are doing something positive, not only monetarily satisfying what you need to satisfy to feed your own family.” He added.