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Ready for nationals: BPA team takes top honors

February 28, 2024

Northwood University is sending 21 students to the Business Professionals of America’s national competition following a successful showing at the state competition in Grand Rapids.

“The team competed in multiple categories, earning 27 top-three finishes,” stated advisor Julie Adamczyk, senior alumni and engagement officer and advisor for Northwood’s BPA Chapter. “This is an impressive feat, considering we faced stiff competition against the likes of Alma College, Ferris State University, Davenport University, Montcalm Community College, and Lake Superior State University/Bay College.”

The state competition was hosted Feb. 10 at Davenport University in Grand Rapids. As a result of strong all-around performances at that tournament, the Northwood BPA team had 21 members qualify for national competition.

“Northwood BPA had an incredible performance at the state competition, with students finishing first in the state for several categories, ranging from accounting, finance, human resources, and presentation skills,” stated Brendan Van Sumeren, an Essexville sophomore who serves as the Northwood BPA Chapter’s president.

The following are students who qualified for nationals, along with their respective categories and results from the state conference:

• Logan Mathews of Harrison (No. 1 — Advanced College Accounting, No. 1 — Payroll Accounting)

• Sarah Zehr of St. Johns (No. 1 — Banking & Finance, No. 2 — Personal Financial Management)

• Audrey Rademacher of St. Johns (No. 1 — Human Resource Management)

• Bella Smylie of Clare (No. 1 — Interview Skills)

• Kara Cotton of Midland (No. 1 — Personal Financial Management)

• Steve Hackbarth of Midland and Andrew Vogel of Midland (No. 1 — Presentation Team)

• Elizabeth Henson of Blanchard (No 2 — Advanced Interview Skills)

• Carney Salo of Gladstone (No. 2 — Banking & Finance)

• Jonah Brockway of Midland (No. 2 — Computer Security)

• Brendan Van Sumeren of Essexville (No. 2 — Digital Marketing Concepts-Open, No. 3 — Parliamentary Procedure Concepts-Open)

• Steven Hackbarth of Midland (No. 2 — Entrepreneurship)

• Hattie Veenkant of Clare (No. 2 — Fundamental Spreadsheet Applications)

• Gabby Schloop of Midland (No. 2 — Payroll Accounting, No. 3 — Computer Network Technology)

• Lilliana Bernier of Oakland Township (No. 3 — Banking & Finance)

• Mario Hansen of Mt. Pleasant (No. 3 — Business Law & Ethics)

• Mikaela Lemmert of Armada (No. 3 — College Accounting)

• John Walter of Bay City (No. 3 — Device Configuration & Troubleshooting, No. 3 — Financial Math & Analysis Concepts-Open, No. 3 — Linux Operating System Fundamentals)

• Avery Smitz of Roscommon (No. 3 — Graphic Design Promotion)

• Hailey Thorson of Rochester Hills (No. 3 — Payroll Accounting)

• Logan Wilmot of Oxford (No. 3 — Personal Financial Management)

• Emily Weiss of Ossineke (No. 3 — Prepared Speech)

Now these students will head to the national tournament, which will be held in May in Chicago, Illinois.

“I am excited to see what Northwood BPA can do at nationals this year,” Van Sumeren stated.

For more information about Northwood University’s BPA Chapter, visit the organization’s webpage.

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