(Media release from Georgia Northwestern Technical College):

A Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) student has placed fifth in the nation for Small Business Management Plan at a national competition.

Aixa Rodriguez, who was born and raised in Chicago, was among three GNTC students whose placement in their competitions earlier this year at the Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) State Competition in Atlanta qualified them to compete in the PBL National Leadership Conference on June 24-27 in Chicago. Rodriguez was the only GNTC student competing in Chicago.

“Aixa did an outstanding job representing Georgia Northwestern Technical College at the Phi Beta Lambda national competition in Chicago,” said Dr. Heidi Popham, GNTC’s president. “PBL is dedicated to inspiring and developing the next generation of leaders. Over the last few days, Aixa demonstrated her knowledge in several categories and was recognized as one of the best in the nation. I am proud of her and her accomplishments and look forward to watching her growth as a leader.”

“We are so proud of Aixa and the hard work she put into her small business plan,” said Trish Wiggins, GNTC’s director of Student Engagement. “She represented GNTC and the State of Georgia very well at the national level.” 

Because Rodriguez placed in three categories in the state competition earlier this year, she was eligible to compete in those same categories at the national competition. She earned first place in Small Business Management Plan, first place in Management Concepts and second place in Entrepreneurship Concepts.

“Aixa was excited about PBL from the first time I spoke with her,” said Mark Upton, GNTC’s Marketing Management program director and PBL coordinator. “She stayed dedicated, worked hard and has continued to be a great student. In addition, she identified a competitive event topic that she was passionate about, worked hard on her business plan and presentation and finished fifth in the nation for PBL Small Business Plan. That is something to be proud of. I know I’m proud of her.”

Rodriguez, who now lives in Rome and attends classes on the Floyd County Campus in Rome, expects to complete her associate degree in Marketing Management in spring 2023. She then plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree at Georgia State University in either Marketing or Management with a Business Analysis Concentration, she said. She is currently an intern at the Greater Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB).

Future Business Leaders of America – Phi Beta Lambda is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) education association with a quarter million students preparing for careers in business and business-related fields. FBLA-PBL is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, and organized on local, state and national levels.

Photo courtesy of Georgia Northwestern Technical College