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Getting Down to Business: DVC Business Students Excel at Virtual State Business Leadership Conference

Jun 15, 2020

DVC’s future business leaders showcased their skills at the 2020 State Business Leadership Conference, held in April. Participants were members of DVC’s chapter of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), the college level of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).

DVC PBL Members “Our chapter has been active since 2007 and is the largest, most active club on campus. We are also the largest PBL chapter in the state and the fourth largest in the country,” said Carolyn Seefer, business professor and faculty advisor for PBL.

Most members of PBL are business majors, but all majors are welcome. PBL members take part in both the fall and spring conferences. These events offer students the opportunity to network with and compete against members from other chapters across the state.

Carolyn SeeferThe spring conference is the State Business Leadership Conference (SBLC). SBLC took place online this year due to COVID-19. The virtual event (VSBLC) was exciting, and had many similarities to what would have happened at the in-person conference.

“We had two keynote addresses, one live and one prerecorded. There were a variety of networking and social events, most held live. Students were able to participate in all of the competitions. They completed proctored tests online, and submitted skills and presentations to a panel of industry experts,” said Seefer.

Each year, there are two business pageant competitions – Mr. PBL in the fall and Ms. PBL in the spring.

“Competitors in this business pageant made and posted videos of themselves answering questions and performing their talents. The winner was announced on Instagram Live at the conclusion of the conference,” said Seefer.

DVC students excelled at all levels of the competition. Multiple DVC students placed within the top 5 in their competition areas. Three of the five elected state office positions went to DVC students. DVC won the state chapter award, and DVC student Alejandra Ruiz Hernandez won the Ms. PBL competition. All students placing first or second in any of the competitions automatically qualify to compete in the National Leadership Conference (NLC).

Alejandra Ruiz HernandezDVC student and Ms. PBL winner Alejandra Ruiz Hernandez shows off her basketball skills during the Ms. PBL competition.

“I am so incredibly proud of these students. They took part in the first-ever Virtual State Business Leadership Conference (VSBLC) and thrived,” said Seefer.

Seefer is particularly impressed with how quickly DVC PBL members adapted to the online setting.

“They are holding their general meetings in Zoom. They are preparing for officer elections for the 2020-21 academic year. They are doing this by holding candidate forums in Instagram Live. Interviews for all positions will take place in Zoom,” said Seefer.

These are skills that will benefit members in the long-term.

“Flexibility is one of the key traits of a successful entrepreneur or business leader. The current situation puts that trait to work,” said Seefer.

It is expected that PBL activities will need to continue in a remote environment this fall.

“I will greatly miss seeing these students in person, but they are gaining the skills they need now to ensure that DVC PBL will continue on during the next academic year. These valuable skills will carry through with them as they transfer and embark on their careers,” said Seefer.

DVC Rankings at VSBLC

DVC Members of State TeamObjective tests
Contemporary Sports Issues:
  • Marcolius Angjaya: 5th place
Information Management:
  • Viola Lee: 4th place
Justice Administration:
  • Eline Budi: 1st place
  • Duward Noonen: 1st place
  • Gregory Carmel: 2nd place
Management Concepts:
  • Aaron Soerjohadi: 4th place
  • Taha Khan: 5th place
  • Kiara Laraissa: 2nd place
  • Gregory Carmel: 3rd place
Organizational Behavior & Leadership:
  • Sherise Netanya: 2nd place
  • Eline Budi: 5th place
Programming Concepts:
  • Scott Moses Sunarto: 4th place
Retail Management:
  • Agnes Yuwono: 3rd place
  • Bryan Halim: 4th place
Sports Management & Marketing:
  • Viola Lee: 1st place
Skill events
Administrative Technology:
  • Rafael Grande: 1st place
  • Preston Chan: 3rd place
Computer Applications:
  • Scott Moses Sunarto: 1st place
Cost Accounting:
  • Kiara Laraissa: 4th place
Presentation events

Business Decision Making:
  • Taha Kahn and Scott Moses Sunarto: 1st place
Business Presentation:
  • Aaron Soerjohadi: 1st place
  • Iris Ly and Kody Nguyen: 2nd place
Financial Analysis & Decision Making:
  • Dillon Johnson and Taha Khan: 1st place
Future Business Executive:
  • Scott Moses Sunarto: 2nd place
  • Dillon Johnson: 4th place
Management Analysis & Decision Making:
  • Madeline Iswaranata and Keerit Nijjar: 2nd place
Chapter award
  • Chapter Video Challenge: Diablo Valley College: 1st place
State office team 2020-21
  • Taha Khan: Director
  • Shawn Kim: Director
  • Dillon Johnson: President
  • Alejandra Ruiz Hernandez, Diablo Valley College


Dillon Johnson
Business Administration / Economics

Dillon Johnson is excited to be part of the DVC business program and looks forward to a career in finance.

“I hope to be a financial analyst but my main passion is teaching financial instruments to others. I want people to feel financially secure to pursue the careers they desire most,” said Johnson.

Johnson has immersed himself in activities and programs that support his career goals, including DVC’s chapter of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), the college level of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). He has also gotten involved at the state level.

“Before I was the northern membership director for the state team but I was recently elected as the 2020-21 president for the California Phi Beta Lambda state team,” said Johnson.

Johnson is grateful for the many opportunities he has had during his time at DVC.

“I went to DVC because I wanted to ‘prove to muscle’ that no matter the setting, I could find opportunity rather than waiting for it to come to me. The DVC business department and its students proved that from the moment I walked in. I’m glad that DVC invested in me and that I could give back for that opportunity,” said Johnson.