CONTACT:  Michele Clark
Communications Coordinator

Vol. 45, No. 27

April 15, 2011

Business Students Will Be “Breaking Barriers” at Annual Conference

Missouri FBLA: Second-largest in the U.S. and still growing

More than 2,700 Missouri high school students and teachers will gather April 17-19 in Columbia for the 52nd annual Future Business Leaders of America State Leadership Conference.  The conference will begin Sunday afternoon at the Holiday Inn Executive Center.

This year’s theme is “Missouri FBLA: Breaking Barriers!”  The conference will feature more than 50 business-related events for students to test their skills in statewide competitions.  To reflect changes in the business world and to encourage students to develop skills in emerging areas, two new competitive events will be added this year: healthcare administration and hospitality management.

FBLA is a national organization for high school students preparing for careers in business and related fields.  For the sixth consecutive year, Missouri has earned an award for being the second-largest state chapter in the nation.  (Georgia has the largest FBLA membership.)  Missouri FBLA has more than 13,000 student members in 420 high school chapters statewide.

Leslie Kerns, director of business, marketing and information technology education for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, said the past six years have seen steady growth and increasing interest in business education throughout the state.

“This is an exciting time for Missouri FBLA members,” Kerns said.

Other competitive events at this year’s conference include job interview, website design, global business, entrepreneurship, parliamentary procedure, public and impromptu speaking, economics, and many more.  Top qualifiers in written, interview, performance and skill events will compete at the FBLA National Leadership conference June 28-July 1 in Orlando, Fla.

Missouri FBLA members are active in several community-service projects.  This year, chapters raised money for the March of Dimes as well as Camp Quality, a nonprofit organization that provides camping and outdoor activities for children with cancer.

For more information, contact Christina Hess, state FBLA adviser, at 573-751-3926.