"Mama Tina" Recognized for a Lifetime of Servant Leadership in PBL

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Everyone at the annual Georgia State Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) Leadership Conference knows “Mama Tina.” As Southern Regional Technical College’s Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean for School of Professional Services, Tina Strickland takes ownership of being “Mama Tina” to students, faculty, and staff alike. It is a title that aptly describes her warm nature, her philosophy of leading from behind, and her fierce devotion to students. It is not, however, a distinction that she received on a whim. Her PBL prominence has been building for quite a while.

As a teenager, Tina first became involved in the nationwide student leadership organization when she joined high school’s chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). After graduation, she sought out her college’s chapter of PBL, where she knew that her college experience would be enriched by learning and competing alongside fellow student leaders. It was when she returned to high school as a teacher that she first received the nickname “Mama Tina.” She had found her way back to FBLA, becoming a chapter advisor. As FBLA advisor, she was able to take on a new role of mentoring and championing young leaders.

In 1998, she became an instructor on the Tifton campus of the former Moultrie Tech, the college that merged with Southwest Georgia Technical College to form Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC). While in a faculty position there, she originated the Tifton chapter of PBL, a chapter that continues to nurture and support emerging business leaders to this day.

After accepting a position on the Georgia Phi Beta Lambda Executive Committee, she was soon tapped to serve as the state’s Executive Director. There, her years of experience as both member and advisor for Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc. (FBLA-PBL) provided her with the insight and inspiration to tirelessly lead the organization for over a decade.

At the Georgia State Phi Beta Lambda Leadership Conference this month, Mrs. Strickland was surrounded by hundreds of the students, faculty, and staff who have benefitted from her guidance, her tenacity, and her wisdom. It was during that conference that she was surprised by a once-in-a-lifetime kind of distinction. Mrs. Tina Strickland was awarded with a Distinguished Service Award for all of her years of commitment and dedication to FBLA-PBL.

Fittingly, her award reads, “Distinguished Service Award presented to Mama Tina. In grateful appreciation for your many years of faithful service and dedication to the students and advisers of Georgia Phi Beta Lambda.”

Of the distinction, Mrs. Strickland responded, “It is an honor to serve with fellow TCSG employee volunteers who enjoy guiding and sharing their talents with students through the Georgia Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) student organization. I enjoy helping the students develop strong leadership skills through workshops, training sessions, competitive events, and social interaction opportunities. It’s rewarding to watch the students develop servant hearts.”

FBLA-PBL is the largest career student business organization in the world. PBL inspires and prepares student to become community minded business leaders in a global society though relevant career preparation and leadership experience. Each year, FBLA-PBL helps over 230,000 members prepare for careers in business.