students and adviser in front of FBLA banner

Back row: Seth Hogue, Taten Piepergerdes, Michael Rader and Andrew Spitzer-Fox; Front row: Pam Klaus and Madi Taylor

April 24, 2023–Seven Missouri Western State University business students competed at the Collegiate FBLA State Leadership Conference in Springfield, Missouri earlier this month, earning a total of 12 top-5 finishes to advance to the National Leadership Conference in Atlanta in June. 

Pam Klaus, director of the Center for Franchise Development, was the keynote speaker at the conference and was named State Collegiate FBLA Advisor of the Year.

Students who placed include:

  • Blake Goforth, junior accounting and management major from Desloge, Missouri, 4th Place in Foundations of Accounting
  • Jeffrey Henderson, junior computer science major from Grinnell, Iowa, 1st Place in Programming Concepts
  • Seth Hogue, senior management major from Butler, Missouri, 2nd Place in Retail Management and 4th Place in Entrepreneurship Concepts
  • Taten Piepergerdes, sophomore finance major from St. Joseph, 4th Place in Retail Management and 5th Place in Sports Management and Marketing
  • Michael Rader, sophomore cybersecurity major from Cameron, Missouri, 2nd Place in Computer Concepts, 2nd Place in Cyber Security and 2nd Place in Networking Concepts
  • Andrew Spitzer-Fox, junior finance major from St. Joseph, 1st Place in Social Media Marketing
  • Caitlyn Thompson, senior management major from Princeton, Kansas, 4th Place in Management Concepts and 5th Place in Entrepreneurship Concepts

Hogue is serving this year as state president and Madi Taylor, senior management major from Brookfield, Missouri, as state vice president of membership. Both were involved in planning the conference. 

Missouri Western State University is a student-centered learning community preparing individuals for lives of excellence through applied learning. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit