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FBLA: Leadership In Action
FBLA, otherwise known as the Future Business Leaders of America, is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) international Career and Technical Student Organization that has its headquarters in Reston, Virginia. The mission of FBLA is to bring success and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development responsibilities and programs. FBLA is the largest student-run business related organization in the United States, with 250,000 members. FBLA is divided into:
- High school students (Gr. 9-12)
- Middle Level for junior high, middle and intermediate school students (Gr. 5-9)
- PBL for postsecondary students
- the Professional Division (formerly known as the Alumni Division) for business people, educators and parents, who support the goals of the Association.
For the past few years, FBLA had enjoyed an increased annual influx of membership. The high school level has over 250,000 members internationally.
The purpose of FBLA is to provide, as an integral part of the instruction program, oppurtunities for students to develop vocational and career competencies and to promote civic and personal responsibilities.
FBLA's goals are oriented to:
- Develop competent, aggressive business leadership.
- Strengthen the confidence of students and their work.
- Create more interest in and understanding of American Business Enterprise.
- Encourage members in the development of individual projects which contribute to the improvement of home, business and community.
- Develop character, prepare for useful citizenship, and foster patriotism.
- Encourage and practice efficient money management.
- Encourage scholarship and promote school loyalty.
- Assist students in the establishment of occupational goals.
- Facilitate the transition from school to work.
- 1937: Hamden L. Forkner of Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City, proposes to business teachers across the country that a national organization is needed for the thousands of business clubs in the nation's high schools and colleges.
- 1940: The National Council for Business Education (now known as the National Business Education Association) sponsors the proposed student organization. Committees are appointed to formulate the organization's general plans. The name "Future Business Leaders of America" is selected for the organization.
- 1942: An experimental chapter is chartered in Johnson City, Tennessee, on February 3. Second chapter is started two days later in St. Albans, West Virginia. By the end of the year, 39 chapters are added; and for the next three and one-half years, another 38 chapters join.
- 1946: The United Business Education Association assumes sponsorship of FBLA. The national center for FBLA is established at the National Education Association Center in Washington, D.C.
- 1947: Iowa becomes the first FBLA state chapter. Indiana and Ohio quickly follow. Within the next three years, FBLA state chapters total ten.
- 1958: The postsecondary division, Phi Beta Lambda, is created. The University of Northern Iowa is the first PBL chapter.
- 1969: FBLA-PBL is granted independent status as a nonprofit educational student association under Internal Revenue Code 501c(3). FBLA-PBL, Inc. acquires its own board of directors and full-time staff.
- 1973: FBLA-PBL, Inc. appoints Edward D. Miller as the association's first full-time executive director.
- 1979: The Board of Directors approves establishment of the FBLA-PBL alumni division.
- 1981: The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation purchases 1.6 acres of land in the Center for Educational Associations, Reston, Virginia, as the site for a future FBLA-PBL National Center.
- 1987: FBLA annual membership tops 200,000 for the first time.
- 1989: The professional division is formed to include alumni and professional businesspersons.
- 1990: The ground breaking ceremony is held for the FBLA-PBL National Center.
- 1991: The grand opening of the FBLA-PBL National Center is held.
- 1994: The FBLA-Middle Level division is formed for students in grades 5-9.
- 1997: Edward D. Miller retires as president and chief executive officer of the national association. Ms. Jean Buckley is appointed president and chief executive officer.
- 2001: National Center Mortgage is retired.
FBLA holds yearly competitions that include technology and speaking oriented contests such as: Computer Concepts, Information Processing, Public Speaking, and Website Development. The 2005 National Leadership Conference was held in Orlando, Florida at the Swan and Dolphin Hotels at Walt Disney World. The 2006 National Leadership Conference was held in Nashville, Tennessee at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center from June 29 to July 2. The 2007 National Leadership Conference was be held in Chicago, Illinois from June 28th to July 1st. The 2008 National Leadership Conference was held in Atlanta, Georgia from June 24 to June 30.
The competitions start at the sectional or district level, where chapters may submit people to compete in the various competitions, and winners progress to the state, then national-level. At the competitions there are many workshops that help the high school students develop leadership and business related skills and formalities.
The top ten competitors in each national-level event are featured on stage at the Awards of Excellence Program at the National Leadership Conference where they receive trophies and/or certificates. Some events are sponsored, adding a cash or scholarship award to the top competitors for that event.
Creed, Pledge and Dress Code
I believe education is the right of every person.
I believe the future depends on mutual understanding and cooperation among business, industry, labor, religious, family and educational institutions, as well as people around the world. I agree to do my utmost to bring about understanding and cooperation among all of these groups.
I believe every person should prepare for a useful occupation and carry on that occupation in a manner that brings the greatest good to the greatest number.
I believe every person should actively work toward improving social, political, community and family life.
I believe every person has the right to earn a living at a useful occupation.
I believe every person should take responsibility for carrying out assigned tasks in a manner that brings credit to self, associates, school and community.
I believe I have the responsibility to work efficiently and to think clearly. I promise to use my abilities to make the world a better place for everyone.
I solemnly promise to uphold the aims and responsibilities of Future Business Leaders of America and, as an active member, I shall strive to develop the qualities necessary in becoming a responsible business leader.
FBLA Dress Code
FBLA members and advisers should develop an awareness of the image one's appearance projects. The purpose of the dress code is to uphold the professional image of the association and its members and to prepare students for the business world. Appropriate attire is required for all attendees - advisers, members, and guests - at all general sessions, competitive events, regional meetings, workshops, and other activities unless otherwise stated in the conference program. Conference name badges are part of this dress code and must be worn for all conference functions. For safety reasons, do not wear name badges when touring.
Professional attire acceptable for official FBLA activities include:
- Business suit with collar dress shirt, and necktie or
- Sport coat, dress slacks, collar shirt, and necktie or
- Dress slacks, collar shirt, and necktie.
- Banded collar shirt may be worn only if sport coat or business suit is worn.
- Dress shoes and socks.
- Business suit with blouse or
- Business pantsuit with blouse or
- Skirt or dress slacks with blouse or sweater or
- Business dress.
- Dress shoes.
- Nylons when wearing skirts and dresses.
Inappropriate attire, for both men and women, includes:
- Jewelry in visible body piercing, other than ears
- Denim or chambray fabric clothing of any kind, overalls, shorts, skorts, stretch or stirrup pants, exercise or bike shorts
- Backless, see-through, tight-fitting, spaghetti straps, strapless, extremely short, or low-cut blouses/tops/dresses/skirts
- T-shirts, Lycra™, spandex, midriff tops, tank tops, bathing suits
- Sandals, athletic shoes, industrial work shoes, hiking boots, bare feet, or over-the-knee-boots
- Athletic wear, including sneakers
- Hats or flannel fabric clothing
- Bolo ties
- Visible foundation garments
Clarification: Many women's two-piece suits are currently designed so that they do not require a blouse. Therefore, this will be accepted. In addition, sling-back shoes, open-toe shoes, and sleeveless dresses are accepted.