FBLA Contestants
Nine members of the Salisbury FBLA chapter attended the FBLA National Leadership in Chicago, IL on June 28 - July 2.   All nine students participated in events where they competed against the best of the best from students across the nation. 10,000+ FBLA members and advisers were in attendance for the conference. 

  Salisbury’s members competed in four different events: Broadcast Journalism- Madison Linneman, Kate Kottman, Drake Whitman  Public Service Announcement- Rylan Stefankiewicz and Daniel White Publication Design - Alyssa Smedley and Emry Gutz Website Design- Kaisen Carter and Makenna Stundebeck

Each team competed in a preliminary round against 90-100 different schools/teams and only 12-15 teams move on to the final round of competition. The Broadcast Journalism and Publication Design team qualified for finals. Broadcast Journalism placed in the top 15 in the nation and the Publication Design team placed first in the nation. The chapter has had several students win at the national level, but this is Salisbury FBLA’s first national champion. 

The Publication Design team had to design and develop a logo, logo stickers, clothing tags, a print piece, and store signage for a fictitious new men’s clothing line. Emry Gutz and Alyssa Smedley created a company called Rugged Threads. They envisioned a clothing line that was strong and resilient for the hard-working, outdoorsy, mid-western man. Emry and Alyssa delivered a seven minute presentation to sell their idea and design to the judges. Adviser Stephanie Gladbach said, “Their ideas were solid, the logo and pieces they created would rival any brand you see in stores today, and they executed their presentation flawlessly. Their delivery had such passion and excitement, you would have thought Rugged Threads was a real brand.” Their presentation sold the judges as well. Alyssa and Emry were awarded on stage with the first place title in the nation for Publication Design. Emry Gutz stated, “It feels so surreal that we created and presented a product that received national recognition.” Alyssa Smedley also commented on their accomplishment, “Winning second at the State level seemed like such an amazing accomplishment and I couldn't imagine it getting much better. The next step was preparing for nationals with the help from my amazing and encouraging advisor, Stephanie Gladbach. When it came time to present in the preliminary round at Nationals things went really well and we came out smiling and confident. When the results came out that afternoon we were ecstatic about the news of us making it on to finals. In finals we competed against the top 15 teams in the Nation. When we finished presenting we knew we had nailed it and were confident we made the top ten to make it on stage. But all that was left was to wait and see how we really did. When our names were announced as top ten it was a major honor. Receiving first was beyond what words could explain. Never underestimate small town kids.”

Gladbach also said, “Getting to the national level is not easy. In the events these students competed in, they had to place first in their district competition, then in the top four in the state to move on to nationals. There are no classes of schools at these events. Small class 1 schools are competing against class 6 schools, private schools. We spend hours after school, on weekends, over Christmas break, and during summer break perfecting their projects and presentations, and practicing their delivery skills. As their adviser I can give praise and commend them on their work, but to see these students recognized nationally is outstanding. It’s amazing for their efforts to not go unnoticed and for them to see that dedication and hard work pays off. These students are also developing skills that will help them throughout their entire lives. I hope each and every one of these students remember this experience forever.”

The Salisbury FBLA students also got to take in the city of Chicago while they were there by attending a Cubs game, visiting Shedd Aquarium, taking a Ghost and Gangsters tour where they learned a lot of history about the city, ate some amazing Chicago food, visited Millennial Park, and enjoyed some fun on Lake Michigan. 

This is the ninth year in a row Salisbury FBLA has qualified for nationals and they are determined to keep their streak going.