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PA FBLA History

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  1. Past Key Leaders
  2. Past State Presidents/State Officers
  3. Past Outstanding Advisers
  4. Membership History
  5. Past State Conference Locations/Program Covers
  6. FBLA History and Traditions

During the 1937-38 school year, Hamden L. Forkner of Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City, proposed to various business leaders attending meetings of their respective state and regional associations that a plan of organization be setup for the thousands of business clubs in high schools and colleges throughout the country. The name “Future Business Leaders of America” was selected, and provisions were made for the establishment of local chapters, state chapters, and the national organization.

The first chapter to be chartered by the national organization in Pennsylvania was Blairsville High School on March 22, 1943. In 1952, the first state leadership conference was held on the campus of the Pennsylvania State University with six schools in attendance.

From 1952 to 1969, Dorothy Veon, George Fritz, and Betty Hutchinson served as Pennsylvania FBLA state chairmen. On June 15, 1969, the administration of the state chapter was assumed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and William Selden, Supervisor, Vocational Business Education, was appointed state chairman. Dr. Selden held this position until retirement in 1983. Clara Lea Gaston was appointed as the Business Education Specialist for the Pennsylvania Department of Education and FBLA State Chairperson in 1984. Mrs. Gaston retired in 1993, and Mr. Clayton Leach served as State Chairman until he retired in 1998. Mrs. Virginia Mountz became PA FBLA State Chairman on July 1, 1998.  In 2003, Ms. Fran Vitovsky was appointed PA FBLA State Chairman.  In 2006, Bruce Boncal was named Executive Director/State Chairman with bylaws amendments approved by members at the 2006 SLC.

The position of Executive Secretary of Pennsylvania FBLA has been held by Joseph Butz, Nancy Kozak, Kenneth Swatt, James DiIorio, and Bonnie Francavilla. In 1988, Joyce E. Parfet was appointed Executive Director. In 1991, Clayton E. Leach was appointed Executive Director when Joyce Parfet retired.  Mr. Leach retired June 30, 1998, and was replaced by Mrs. Virginia Mountz who served as the PA FBLA Executive Director until May 2002.  Mr. Bruce Boncal was appointed PA FBLA Executive Director June 1, 2002.

Past state advisers include Nancy Kozak, Alice Miller, Diane Koneffko, Barry Schwilk, Bruce Boncal, and Janet Yetsconish Skiles. In 2003, Pam Scott was appointed to this position and served until March 31, 2006.  On April 1, 2006, Miss Kristi Ryland began her current responsibilities as state adviser.

In 1991, the Board of Directors created the position of Conference Coordinator, and Bruce Boncal was appointed to serve in this position.  On June 1, 2002, Mrs. Janet Skiles was appointed State Adviser/Conference Coordinator and currently serves as PA FBLA Conference Coordinator when the state adviser duties were split.

In 1992 the PA Department of Education provided each of the Career and Technical Student Organizations with facilitators. John Duncan served in this position until his retirement in 2003.  The position remained vacant until Mrs. Michele Sites was approved to serve in the position in January 2006.

On June 1, 2002, the Board of Directors created the acting position of State Competitive Events Coordinator.  John H. Duncan was appointed to serve as the SCEC until his retirement in 2003.  Michele Hopple served as the State Competitive Events Coordinator from November 2003 through August 2006.  In October 2006, Candace Claar and Stephanie Zigner Rowe were appointed as Co-Competitive Events Coordinators and presently serve in that position.  In September 2012, Candace Claar became the sole Competitive Events Coordinator.  In November 2013, Derek Selleck was appointed Competitive Events Coordinator replacing Candace Claar.

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