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At the Business Professionals of America (BPA)-Michigan Association 2017 Postsecondary Leadership Conference, held Feb. 11 at Davenport College in Grand Rapids, they placed in six competitive categories, including four first-place finishes.

  • Leah Devore won first place in Federal Income Tax Accounting; first place in Fundamental Word Processing; and third place in College Payroll Accounting.
  • Brent Goodman won first place in Computer Network Technology; first place in Systems Administration using Cisco; and second place in PC Servicing & Troubleshooting.

Nearly 170 students competed at this year’s state conference on behalf of eight Michigan postsecondary education chapters, and 105 students qualified for the national competition. Approximately 6,000 high school and postsecondary education students are expected to attend the national leadership conference.

This will be the third national BPA convention for Devore, a senior who will attempt to regain the national BPA championship that she won in 2015 for Federal Income Tax Accounting. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration accounting.

Goodman also competed at the 2016 national BPA convention. He is a senior and is earning a bachelor’s degree in information technology and security.

The four-day national conference is comprised of various events, including competitions, leadership development workshops, networking, certification options in multiple software programs, national officer elections and nationally known speakers. The theme of this year’s convention is: Spread Your Wings!

Mark Verhoeven, BCS, MBA, BPA team advisor and program director of networking and security at Baker College of Muskegon, said, “This year our team was small but mighty. Both students work full time, take classes and then had to find additional time and energy to prepare for the competition. They are an inspiration to our program and our school.”

Verhoeven, one of only two advisors in Michigan to have attained the BPA Local Chapter Advisor certification, was recognized at the postsecondary conference for five years of service as an advisor.

“The BPA competition is a measure of each student’s intellectual prowess as well as their dedication to excellence. When our students place at the top, it reflects brightly on them, on Baker College programs and on faculty members who make it a priority to mentor the students and prepare them for the competition.” - Lee Coggin, J.D., Baker College of Muskegon president.

Good Luck Leah and Brent, we will be rooting for you!

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