July 10, 2013
BENTON HARBOR, MI – Lake Michigan College student Eli Barker of Stevensville earned honors at the Business Professionals Association (BPA) National Leadership Conference in Florida last month. Barker competed in the Business Meeting Management Open Event, and was judged on his knowledge of business planning and strategy, organization and execution, and trust and transparency. He placed eighth out of 149 students who took part in the event.
A graphic design major at LMC, Barker’s 4.0 GPA has earned him the designation of President’s Scholar. He is treasurer of the LMC chapter of the BPA, which is in its first year. Barker has found both the conference in Florida and his chapter involvement valuable.
“I learned skills that can be applied to any workplace, such as public speaking, using good networking skills, working in a fast-paced environment, and how to work in a team setting,” Barker stated. “I'm looking forward to working with the school in helping make BPA an even bigger success than it was this past year.”
LMC Business Instructor and BPA Chapter Advisor Greg Iwaniuk accompanied Barker and two other students, Amanda Gruenberg of Stevensville, chapter president, and Kindra Jackson of Three Oaks, chapter vice president, to the conference in Orlando, Florida. They attended seminars and the job fair organized by the national sponsors of the conference.
“The conference and involvement in the BPA chapter help students develop leadership abilities, gives students insight into what skills employers are looking for, and provides them with great opportunities to network with other business students,” Iwaniuk stated. “
Iwaniuk added that involvement in BPA gives students the opportunity to give back to the community. This year the LMC BPA chapter assisted Habitat for Humanity in preparing a house for the grand opening and students worked at the ReStore retail outlet in Benton Harbor.
BPA is a career and technical student organization for students pursuing careers in business management, office administration, information technology and other related fields. BPA has 43,000 members in over 2,300 chapters in 23 states and supports business and information technology educators by offering exercises based on national standards.