Waupun High School school hosts FBLA conference
WAUPUN – Waupun Junior/Senior High School will host the Future Business Leaders of America Regional Leadership Conference Saturday with a wide range of activities and events.
The conference is being held largely due to the efforts of junior Brelynn Bille, the first Waupun student elected to the FBLA State Officer Team, serving as Region VI Vice President.
She and FBLA adviser, Bill Yedinak, are leading efforts to hold the conference with about 800 students expected to compete, network and attend workshops.
About 60 community leaders have been enlisted to assist in judging, timing, supervising, and event check-in throughout the day.
For the uninitiated, FBLA is the high school division of Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda Inc. FBLA is a student organization that works to inspire and prepare high schoolers to become more community-minded business leaders through leadership experiences, academic competitions and educational programs.
School chapters are broken down into seven regions throughout the state by county. Each region has a Region Vice President who is in charge of communicating the needs of the region to the state executive board and state adviser, who then can bring those needs before the Wisconsin FBLA-PBL Foundation. Region vice presidents lead workshops throughout the year, contract entertainment, speak with government representatives, connect with business professionals and band together to organize the Regional Leadership Conferences.
“The number of students competing in each region varies, but this year Region VI has about 750 competitors,” said Bille. “The event in total for me this year will involve about 850 people. Students at this conference will be competing in their selected competitive event and work for their shot at advancing onto the State Leadership Conference which is being held in Green Bay in April.”
From there competitors can advance to Nationals this June in San Antonio, Texas.
“I spend about two hours a day minimum to plan for this event since there is so much that goes into it,” said Bille. “With the different connections I have made this past year, I am fortunate enough to have one of my closest friends, the Indiana FBLA state president, coming to attend the conference, as well as having our state president and two past regional VPs.
This is Waupun’s first year hosting the event.
As part of the conference, elections are held to determine next year’s state officer team and the Wisconsin FBLA State Executive Board. On Saturday, candidates for region vice presidents will give formal campaign speeches, network with members and hope to secure their votes. Campaigning includes making buttons and brochures and signs.
“This has been a huge learning experience,” said Bille.
Every aspect of the conference has to be accounted for from contracting a lunch, printing rating sheets for speaking/presentation events, printing tests, name tags, guidelines and more.
“I never thought about everything that truly goes into the conferences I attended until now hosting one here in Waupun,” Bille said. “While the past few months, especially this month, have been very stressful with finalizing all the details, I think it really gives us a greater appreciation.”
She said, “I have truly felt blessed and honored to serve Wisconsin FBLA this past year and would highly encourage all high school students to not only join a career and technical student organization like FBLA, but to truly take advantage of the leadership opportunities it provides, big or small.”