National FBLA conference results announced
Future Business Leaders of America 2013 National Leadership Conference was held June 27 through July 1 in Anaheim, Calif., with the theme “Igniting Innovation.”
Approximately 8,500 students, with an additional 600 advisers and judges, attended the largest national conference ever held. Iowa had approximately 150 students in attendance. which included seven of the 15 qualifying Fairfield High School students.
FBLA is the largest and oldest business student organization in the world preparing students for careers in business and building leadership skills.
The keynote speaker was Judson Laipply. His focus was Embrace Change. He said there are two kinds of change – that which you can control and that which you cannot. Let go of the change you can’t control. Just because you can’t, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. He said everybody rides the “struggle bus” sometimes.
At the opening session, FHS teacher and FBLA advisor Diane Goudy was accompanied by the Iowa State FBLA president to receive her plaque recognition as the state of Iowa outstanding advisor. To achieve the honor, local students needed to write nomination letters.
“It’s truly an honor to work with FBLA students,” said Goudy. “As a whole, they are the students who really want to build their leadership skills. They also understand that business skills are an important aspect of many careers. It requires a lot of time and responsibility being an advisor, but the benefits to the students and to the FHS program are worth it.”
A major focus of the conference was to attend informational workshops.
Jenna Nelson said she learned: “You never get a second chance for a first impression” at the workshops.
Sage Richmond said, “It’s not always who you know, it’s who knows you.”
“Networking is not about meeting people, it’s about building relationships,” said Alex Shier.
“It is important to have an impact on others,” added Adam Mueller.
“A good handshake can make or break a first impression,” pointed out Kara Greiner.
“The most important part of networking is follow up,” said Makayla Kessel.
Ammon Shaner said he learned: “Our purpose is to give the world a glimpse of heaven by everything we do.”
A second focus was for students to be involved in a service project. They worked one morning cleaning Seal Beach. Students said they were happy to help the environment.
“We left California better because we were there – we left feeling better about ourselves,” said one of the students.
Students also had the chance to see products created from recyclable materials found on the beach, such as plastic bags crocheted into rugs for the homeless.
A third focus was for students to be involved in competitive events. The students must earn the right to attend the national conference by placing with high enough scores at state conference in April.
For the first year, FHS had a four-year attendee, Nelson at national conference. She competed in the marketing area this year. Hanna Kerr and Mitch Goudy also could have been four-year attendees, but they had conflicts in their schedules.
The students and their events include:
Second year attendees, Greiner in health care administration and Richmond in banking and financial systems.
First year attendees, Mueller in business plan, Shaner and Shier in marketing and Kessel in economics.
The marketing team of Nelson, Shier, and Shaner took a marketing objective test. Their score enabled them to present a marketing case study to a panel of judges. The team receive national recognition in seventh place at the Awards of Excellence June 30.
Iowa brought home a total of seven awards this year.
Nelson is the only FHS student who received National Awards two years in a row. That is a very rare honor few FBLA students across the nation can claim, according to Goudy.
Local community members helping mentor students in the tests included: Rusty Dimmitt (marketing), Ron Haines (banking and financial services), and Stacie Kraemer (health care administration).
Local parent and Friends of FBLA Co-Chairwoman Michele Greiner accompanied the group for the second year to nationals.
Goudy also had the opportunity to network and attend professional workshops. Topic examples included: “Understanding Taxes by the IRS” and “How to Build the Ultimate FBLA Chapter.”
Membership in FBLA is open to all high school students who have a desire to build their leadership and business skills. Dues are $10 and recruitment will be in the fall. Contact Goudy at 472-2059 or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.