Baker College of Muskegon student wins gold, silver, other top-10 rankings at 3rd national BPA competition

Business News |May 25, 2017|2 min read


MUSKEGON, Mich. – For the third consecutive year, Baker College of Muskegon student Leah Devore has brought home multiple top-10 awards from the Business Professionals of America (BPA) National Leadership Conference.


At the 2017 conference, May 10-14, in Orlando, Florida, she placed first in fundamental word processing, second in federal income tax accounting, sixth in project management concepts and eighth in accounting mathematics concepts. The Lincoln native is on track to graduate with a bachelor’s in accounting in June.


“Leah demonstrated that what she’s learned at Baker College is on par with the best in the nation,” said Lee Coggin, J.D., Baker College of Muskegon president. “Her hard work is paying off, not only for the competition but it is helping to identify her as a standout who can contribute to the success of her employer on day one.”


Devore’s previous national awards include first place in federal income tax accounting and multiple top-10 awards for college accounting and for financial math and analysis concepts. She qualified for the national competitions at the annual Michigan BPA conferences.


She is working part time for a not-for-profit organization and would like to stay in Muskegon and work full time in bookkeeping, which, she says, “will allow me to use all the skills I’ve learned at Baker College.” Her next goal is to become a certified accountant.


Mark Verhoeven, Baker College director of computer networking programs and BPA team advisor, accompanied Devore to the national competition. He is one of a handful of certified BPA Local Chapter Advisors in Michigan.


The four-day national convention drew more than 6,000 students and advisors from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. It was comprised of various activities, including competitions, leadership development workshops, networking, certification options in software programs, national officer elections and nationally known speakers.


BPA has more than 45,000 members through chapters in 25 states and Puerto Rico and is known as the premier career and technical student organization for students pursuing business-related careers.


For more information about Baker College business and computer technology programs, contact Debbie Smith in the Baker College of Muskegon admissions office at 231.777.5200 or or visit