More Record-Setting Success for Phi Beta Lambda at Nationals


Phi Beta Lambda members who went to the organization’s national conference in Nashville in June added to the chapter’s competitive success. From left to right, back row: Dr. Vance Johnson Lewis, PBL chapter advisor, and Siddarth Vyas; middle row: Melvin Lopez, Anil Pandya, Luis Fuentes, Dr. Michele Lockhart, PBL chapter co-advisor; Omar Farid; and Saad Khan; front row: Joyce Chemplanikal, Phimlamphay (Merry) Dimahn, Puja Kalyani, Lyndsey Ibarra, Natasha Chou, Alice Zhu

Members of the business-career student group Phi Beta Lambda earned 10 awards at the organization’s recent national convention, continuing record-setting success that makes 2014 the best competitive year yet for the UT Dallas chapter.

“UT Dallas was one of the most victorious schools overall,” Dr. Vance Johnson Lewis, the PBL chapter advisor and director of the Naveen Jindal School of Management’s undergraduate program in business administration, said about the National Leadership Conference, held in Nashville June 24-27.

More than 11,000 students nationwide participate in Phi Beta Lambda, the collegiate division of the Future Business Leaders of America. The UT Dallas chapter is based in the Jindal School, and a team of 12 of the school’s students traveled to Nashville. About 1,800 students from around the country attended the convention; it featured more than 55 competitive events.

JSOM’s team members competed in 15 of those challenges. Entering individually and in teams, the students placed in the top 10 in seven events and in the top 15 in two more. Those who placed in the top three in each competition earned prize money.

“The students surpassed all I could have hoped for this year — both in and out of the competition,” Lewis said. “Going to nationals was an unforgettable experience for us all.”

Besides competing and attending other conference events, the students took advantage of time and place by attending a USA vs. Germany soccer watch party, visiting the Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson; and more.

“Participating in the Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference allowed me to put the skills I’ve learned in the classroom to the test in a competitive environment,” sophomore Alice Zhu, a global business major, said. “I’m honored to have competed among the best and brightest in the nation.”

Competing for a second year at nationals, junior Siddarth Vyas, a business administration and finance major, won two awards. As a two-member team, he and Anil Pandya, a senior marketing major, placed fourth in Management Analysis and Decision Marketing. Individually, Vyas placed 10th in Financial Concepts. “From start to finish, going to nationals was a wonderful experience,” Vyas said. “I absolutely loved it. Coming back with two awards was just icing on the cake.”

The chapter improved upon its 2013 national-convention performance in Anaheim, California, where members won four awards. The team’s Nashville showing also followed record-setting success in April at PBL’s state conference. In all, JSOM students earned 35 awards at that gathering, including 21 for first place — a state record.

At the state conference it was announced that UT Dallas would host the 2015 and 2016 state conferences at the Jindal School.

“The 2015 conference is scheduled for April 10 and 11, and we anticipate about 200 students and advisors will attend,” Lewis said. “We’re looking forward to showcasing not only the Jindal School’s great programs and facilities but all of UT Dallas.”

2014 Future Business Leaders of America – Phi Bet Lambda
National Leadership Conference Award Winners
Event Name Participants National Placement Prize Money
Organizational Behavior and Leadership Lindsey Ibarra 3rd $100
Melvin Lopez 10th
Word Processing Phimlamphay (Merry) Dimanh 3rd $100
Management Analysis and Decision Making Siddarth Vyas and Anil Pandya (team) 4th
Web Design Phimlamphay (Merry) Dimanh 6th
Sales Presentation Anil Pandya 7th
Future Business Educator Alice Zhu 10th
Financial Concepts Siddarth Vyas 10th
Business Ethics Saad Khan, Natasha Chou and Joyce Chemplanikal (team) Top 15
Hospitality Management Melvin Lopez and Omar Farid (team) Top 15