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Klamath Falls
July 20, 2024

FBLA: The Business of Competition

More than 200 compete in skills conference Wednesday for a chance at a state berth.

Mazama High School student Charles Kaufman competes in the public speaking category at the 2020 FBLA Cascade
Regional Skills Conference Wednesday at Oregon Tech.

Mazama High School junior Charles Kaufman never envisioned he would be able to confidently speak in front of a group much less win a public speaking scholarship to help pay for a German student exchange trip.

But thanks to FBLA, Kaufman is doing just that. This year, instead of just taking tests and attending workshops at FBLA competitions, he is competing in the public speaking category – and doing well.

Mazama High School student Charles Kaufman competes in the public speaking category at the 2020 FBLA Cascade
Regional Skills Conference Wednesday at Oregon Tech.

Kaufman was among the more than 200 high school students from nine schools, including Lost River, Mazama, Gilchrist, and Bonanza, who attended workshops and competed at the 2020 FBLA Cascade Regional Skills Conference Wednesday at Oregon Tech for a chance to qualify for state competition.

“My goals were to strengthen confidence and improve my community,” Kaufman said, who this year took on the role of a SMART Reading site coordinator for Stearns Elementary School and he helped organize World Read Aloud Day, inviting community leaders to read with students. “Two years ago, before FBLA, I never would have dreamt of talking to the mayor.”

FBLA – Future Business Leaders of America – offers students a chance to improve their business skills in communication, ethics, management, leadership, and mathematics. Competition categories on Wednesday involved presentations before judges in categories ranging from graphic design and public speaking to a job interview and business ethics. Students also take written tests and submit community service and government promotion projects.

Students who place in the top 10 in their competition category qualify to compete in April at the FBLA State Business Leadership Conference in Portland.

Bonanza senior Cassidy Byrne and his sister, sophomore Charlize Byrne, competing in the graphic design category,
present their project – promotional materials for a band they named Beyond Blue – before judges at the 2020 FBLA Cascade Regional Skills Conference Wednesday at Oregon Tech.

Bonanza Junior-Senior High School siblings Charlize and Cassidy Bryne teamed up to compete in graphic design – and placed first overall and qualifying for the state competition. Their challenge: Create a logo, name, and all promotional materials for a band. They imagined an independent pop band called Beyond Blue.

“I love creating things,” Cassidy said. He plans to attend the University of Oregon after graduation and major in product design. Charlize has similar interests. She takes custom orders and paints designs on Hydroflasks in her spare time.

Mazama sophomore Elyse Balakas competed in a job interview on Wednesday, placing third. She also tested in business communications, placing first overall, and submitted a community service project that raised food for the local animal shelter.

“FBLA gives me experience and insight into the business world,” Balakas said. “You also learn to network.”

Her classmate Brandon Gailey won a first-place finish in ethics, speaking to judges about the negative aspects of photo manipulation. He also placed first in advertising and submitted a government promotion project. The project asked the city of Klamath Falls and Klamath County to proclaim the week of Nov. 15 FBLA Week.

Charlize Byrne, a sophomore at Bonanza, shakes hands with the judges following a presentation at the 2020 FBLA
Cascade Regional Skills Conference Wednesday at Oregon Tech.

Lost River eighth-graders Jazmin Cobian and Celeste Cobian (they are cousins) are in their second year of FBLA, which offers competitions at the middle school level. They both competed Wednesday in a category called “elevator speech.”

“They give you a topic and then you have 30 seconds to talk about it in front of the judges,” Celeste explained. Because of FBLA, both teens say they are able to give an impromptu speech about any topic. “It’s an opportunity for me to learn new skills and prepare for the future,” Celeste said. The cousins both qualified for state in the category – Jazmin placed first and Celeste second.

Gilchrist High School seniors and FBLA officers Katie McDaniel, Ashley Kelley, and Tabitha Wright attended workshops Wednesday’s regional conference. The three had already taken their tests and qualified for state in their respective categories.

McDaniel, who competed in political science and organizational leadership, said FBLA has helped her in all aspects of her life. “I’ve really improved my public speaking skills,” she said.

The following students (listed by school) qualified to compete at the state competition and for a chance to
qualify for FBLA nationals:


Bonanza Junior-Senior High School

Bonanza student Jasmine Garcia competes in the public speaking category at the 2020 FBLA Cascade Regional Skills
Conference Wednesday at Oregon Tech.

Business Communication Melinda Richter Fourth
Graphic Design Cassidy Byrne and Charlize Byrne First
Graphic Design Sophie Thompson Sixth
Health Care Administration Jasmine Garcia Eighth
Introduction to Business Josie Cole Eighth
Introduction to Business Alexa Lee Third
Introduction to Business Brooke Mosier Ninth
Introduction to Business Cameron Motz Second
Introduction to Business Sophie Thompson First
Introduction to Business Communication Toryn Aguiar Third
Introduction to Business Communication Josie Cole Fourth
Introduction to Business Communication Angelina Hadd Ninth
Introduction to Business Communication Alexa Lee Seventh
Introduction to Business Communication Belen Marin Eighth
Introduction to Business Presentation Belen Marin First
Introduction to Business Presentation Yahir Raygoza-Cortez First
Introduction to Financial Math Toryn Aguiar Eighth
Introduction to Financial Math Cameron Motz Fourth
Introduction to Financial Math Yahir Raygoza-Cortez Sixth
Introduction to Public Speaking Star Garcia Sixth
Journalism Jessie Vaughan Sixth
Personal Finance Cassidy Byrne Third
Personal Finance Chris Eck First
Personal Finance Melinda Richter Fourth
Public Speaking Jasmine Garcia Eighth
Publication Design Jessie Vaughan First
Sales Presentation Tayla Berry Second

Gilchrist High School

Advertising Ashley Kelley Third
Business Calculations, Jesse Finch, Fifth
Business Law Michael Clapp Fifth
Business Law Cassidy Newton Ninth
Business Law Tabitha Wright Third
Business Law Sierra Olsen Eighth
Computer Problem Solving Garrett Huffman Second
Cyber Security Cassidy Newton Fifth

Cyber Security Sierra Olsen Fourth
Entrepreneurship Laci Clark First
Global Business Ashley Kelley First
Help Desk Kira Pelzel Third
Hospitality Management Laci Clark Second
Introduction to Information Technology Danica Peterson Eighth
Introduction to Information Technology Deshaun Mendes Sixth
Job Interview Angelica Garcia Fifth
Management Decision Making Angelica Garcia First
Marketing Austin Gandy Fifth
Marketing Alex Colvin Fourth
Organizational Leadership Katie McDaniel Fourth
Personal Finance Tabitha Wright Sixth
Political Science Katie McDaniel Third
Sports and Entertainment Management Michael Clapp First
Gilchrist Middle School
Business Etiquette Jazzmen Cline First
Business Etiquette Dalton Peterson Fourth
Business Etiquette Blayne Buell Sixth
Business Math and Financial Literacy Anna Wright Second
Business Math and Financial Literacy Elliot Foust First
Digital Citizenship Elliot Foust Third
Elevator Speech Jazzmen Cline Fourth
Introduction to Computer Science and Coding Daniel Egger First
Multimedia and Website Development Dalton Peterson Second
Multimedia and Website Development Daniel Egger First

Lost River High School

Accounting 1 Aurora Cerri Fifth
Accounting II Giovanny Perez First
Advertising Maria Huizar Fifth
Agribusiness Carston Hartman Sixth
Agribusiness Nicolas Pena Fifth
Business Calculations Luis Romero Fourth
Business Communication Yulisa Alonzo Ninth
Business Communication Karla Hernandez Eighth
Business Communication Angela Taylor Tenth
Business Communication Ashleigh Taylor Fifth
Business Law Daniela Duran Seventh
Business Law Maria Huizar Fourth
Computer Problem Solving Kody Thomas First
Cyber Security Benjamin Hernandez Eighth
Cyber Security Kody Thomas Seventh
Economics Bianca Aguirre Second
Economics Nicolas Pena First
Future Business Leader Lizbeth Cazarez Third
Future Business Leader Stephanie Zacarias Second
Health Care Administration Stephanie Zacarias Ninth
Health Care Administration Liliana Figueroa Tenth
Insurance & Risk Management Giovanny Perez Second
Introduction to Business Johan Ayala Fourth
Introduction to Business Hector Briseno Sixth
Introduction to Business Hailey Villegas Seventh
Introduction to Business Communication Daniela Valadez Tenth
Introduction to Business Communication Jasmin Hernandez Fifth
Introduction to Business Communication Aaron Reyes Second
Introduction to Business Communication Michelle Ruedas Sixth
Introduction to Business Procedures Daniel Zacarias Third

Introduction to Business Procedures Romelia Garcia Second
Introduction to Business Procedures Daniela Valadez Fourth
Introduction to Business Procedures Alicia Venegas First
Introduction to Business Procedures Yoselin Salazar Fifth
Introduction to FBLA Grady Dunlea Tenth
Introduction to FBLA Romelia Garcia Seventh
Introduction to FBLA Johan Ayala First
Introduction to FBLA Nehemiah Hernandez Eighth
Introduction to FBLA Aaron Reyes Third
Introduction to FBLA Johana Hernandez Second
Introduction to Financial Math Michelle Ruedas Tenth
Introduction to Financial Math Nikolas Taylor First
Introduction to Information Technology Jasmin Hernandez Second
Introduction to Information Technology Nikolas Taylor First
Introduction to Information Technology Codey Lyman Seventh
Introduction to Information Technology Hector Briseno Fourth
Introduction to Information Technology Geovanni Cazarez Ninth
Introduction to Information Technology Johana Hernandez Fifth
Introduction to Parliamentary Procedure Eric Alonzo Third
Introduction to Parliamentary Procedure Piedad Valadez First
Introduction to Parliamentary Procedure Alicia Venegas Second
Journalism Yulisa Alonzo Eighth
Journalism Giovanni Rizo Ninth
Journalism Angela Taylor Tenth
Network Design Yanet Cobian Second
Networking Concepts Bianca Aguirre Fifth
Networking Concepts Yanet Cobian First
Networking Concepts Karla Hernandez Fourth
Networking Concepts Alexander Salazar Second
Organizational Leadership Lizbeth Cazarez Seventh
Organizational Leadership Ashleigh Taylor Eighth
Personal Finance Alexander Salazar Eighth
Personal Finance Daniela Duran Seventh
Political Science Liliana Figueroa Eighth
Political Science Giovanni Rizo Ninth
Securities and Investments Axel Ramos Second
Sports and Entertainment Management Carston Hartman and Axel Ramos Second

Lost River Junior High

Business Etiquette Celeste Cobian Second
Business Etiquette Chantelle Reyes Fifth
Business Etiquette Amadeus Hernandez Third
Career Exploration Amadeus Hernandez First
Digital Citizenship Braden Dawson Second
Digital Citizenship Jazmin Cobian First
Elevator Speech Celeste Cobian Second
Elevator Speech Jazmin Cobian First
Elevator Speech Cabella Wright Third
Ethical Leadership Cabella Wright Third
Ethical Leadership Chantelle Reyes Second
Ethical Leadership Braden Dawson First

Mazama High School

Accounting 1 Jordon Gulley Fourth
Accounting 1 Madalyn Holmes Third
Advertising Abbygail Blakely Second
Advertising Brandon Gailey First
Agribusiness Kenna Bernardin First
Agribusiness Aaron Renie Second

Business Calculations Nick Ambrose First
Business Calculations Chandler Hagen Third
Business Communication Sidalee Jasso Third
Business Ethics Brandon Gailey First
Client Service Adrianna Jasso Second
Computer Applications June Rios Second
Computer Applications Sander Allison First
Computer Game & Simulation Programming Diego Diaz, Matthew Elfbrandt and Alexander Lehman First
Cyber Security Isiah Schreiber Sixth
Future Business Leader Nathan Hantzmon First
Graphic Design Alex Magana Third
Health Care Administration Kaitlyn Hanson Sixth
Health Care Administration Brittany Leslie-Hull Seventh
Health Care Administration McKenna Neubert First
Health Care Administration Raine Wilcox Second
Help Desk Nick Ambrose First
Hospitality Management Nathan Hantzmon and Kristalyn Hayes First
Impromptu Speaking Kenna Bernardin Fifth
Impromptu Speaking Sidalee Jasso First
Impromptu Speaking Chandler Hagen Fourth
Introduction to Business Communication Elise Balakas First
Introduction to Business Presentation Abby Beck and Hailey Hagerty Fourth
Introduction to FBLA Jordin Cantamessa Fifth
Introduction to FBLA Kamden Mulldune Fourth
Introduction to FBLA Diego Pineda-Watley Sixth
Introduction to FBLA Hailey Hagerty Ninth
Introduction to Financial Math Ben Whalen Seventh
Introduction to Financial Math Jacob Stacey Second
Introduction to Financial Math Alexa Martinez Ninth
Introduction to Public Speaking Alexa Martinez Fifth
Introduction to Public Speaking Makayla Quirk Fourth
Introduction to Public Speaking Brittany Leslie-Hull First
Introduction to Public Speaking Kamden Mulldune Second
Job Interview Elise Balakas Third
Job Interview Macy Clemens Seventh
Job Interview Dakota Powless Fourth
Networking Concepts Cadence Balsz Third
Personal Finance Abbygail Blakely Second
Political Science Adrianna Jasso Fifth
Political Science Kristalyn Hayes Seventh
Public Speaking Charles Kaufman Fourth
Public Speaking Jeremiah Robins Seventh
Public Speaking Gabe Moran First
Sales Presentation Cadence Balsz Second
Sales Presentation Jacob Stacey Fifth
Sales Presentation Raine Wilcox Fourth
Social Media Campaign Landon Baeth, Madalyn Holmes and Jack Hunt Second
Website Design Dori Marchessault Second
Website Design Jordon Gulley, Jonathan Havener, and Isiah Schreiber Third
Word Processing Destiny Mille Third
Word Processing Jack Hunt First
Word Processing Tyler Spoon Second

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