North Carolina Future Business Leaders of America (NC FBLA) is a career and technical student organization that serves students who are or have been enrolled in a Business Education course. NC FBLA is affiliated with FBLA-PBL, which is a national organization with 250,000 student members and 56 affiliate state organizations.

The mission of NC FBLA is to help build and sustain Business Education programs of excellence in order to serve our communities, state, and nation. NC FBLA is an integral part of North Carolina’s Business Education Program, which serves over 280,000 students. It provides students with leadership opportunities as well as a means to compete with other students in regional, state, and national conferences.

There are approximately 6,600 middle and high school student members in NC FBLA. Student members have the opportunity to attend leadership training workshops, as well as regional, state, and national conferences. Through participation in competitive events, students have opportunities for recognition. Members also have access to scholarship programs and the Vocational Education Honor Society.

NC FBLA helps prepare students pursuing job opportunities in business technologies career pathways including: accounting and finance, information systems, business management and applications, small business entrepreneurship, business administration, and office systems technology.

North Carolina FBLA History

Future Business Leaders of America grew out of a proposal made by Dr. Hamden L. Forkner of Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City. For his work with the organization, he is known as the “Father of FBLA.” Official sponsorship of FBLA was assumed by the National Council for Business Education (later to become the National Business Education Association) at its fall meeting in 1940. The first FBLA chapter was organized in Johnson City, Tennessee, on February 3, 1941. Two days later a second chapter was started in St. Albans, West Virginia. By the end of that year, thirty-nine chapters were added. Today, FBLA has grown to more than 13,000 local chapters with over 250,000 members. The first National Convention was held in Chicago, Illinois, on May 30-31, 1952.

FBLA-PBL in North Carolina has grown rapidly since the state chapter was organized in the spring of 1954. At that time, there were fewer than twenty chapters in the state. By 1959, the number of FBLA-PBL chapters in North Carolina had grown to seventy-seven.

Dr. James L. White, School of Business, East Carolina University, Greenville, organized the North Carolina State Chapter and served as State Chairperson of FBLA-PBL for ten years. Because of his contributions to the state chapter, the FBLA-PBL Executive Committee established a scholarship in his honor in 1966. The “James L. White Scholarship Award” is presented annually at the FBLA State Leadership Conference to outstanding graduating high school seniors with career goals in the field of business or business education.

In the spring of 1955, the first FBLA-PBL State Convention was held at East Carolina University. There were 262 delegates representing 20 chapters in attendance. At the 1969 FBLA-PBL State Convention held in Durham, there were 750 delegates representing sixty-five chapters. Because of the growth of FBLAPBL, the FBLA-PBL Executive Committee deemed it advisable to operate two organizations separately, and the separation was made effective July 1, 1969.

Beginning in 1966-67, the State FBLA-PBL Chairperson from the State Department of Public Instruction worked cooperatively with the State Advisor in providing state level leadership to North Carolina FBLA-PBL. Mrs. Katherine Brown Meadows served as State Chairperson and she appointed Mrs. Joyce Keller to serve as State Advisor. Effective July 1, 1976, the national FBLA-PBL office approved the state appointment of Ms. Elizabeth Douglas as the North Carolina State Chairperson for FBLA-PBL. Ms. Hattie Blue was approved to serve as State Chairperson in 1984, upon the resignation of Ms. Douglas. During the 1989-90 academic year, James Taylor was approved to serve in the position of State Chairperson. In 1995, Kenneth W. Smith assumed the State Chairperson and was followed by the current State Chairperson, Claudia Skinner, who was appointed in 2005.

Several individuals have served as State FBLA Advisor during the growth of the state organization. Beginning with the appointment of Elizabeth Douglas as State Advisor, this position was held by a business education consultant in the Department of Public Instruction. Rick Bogart served as State Advisor following the resignation of Ms. Douglas. Hattie Blue served as State Advisor from 1983- 1985, while also serving as State Chairperson. During the summer of 1985, Bob Wrisley was named State Advisor, and he held this position until the fall of 1989. Following his resignation from the Department of Public Instruction, Julie Johnson was employed as a business education consultant and was given the responsibility of State Advisor. She held this position until the summer of 1991. Isabel Mayo served as FBLA State Advisor until spring, 1992, when Debora Hollingsworth was assigned this responsibility. Following Ms. Hollingsworth’s resignation, Claudia Skinner became the State Advisor in the summer of 1997. Mrs. Deborah Seehorn was assigned this responsibility in 2000, followed by Bob Wrisley in 2005, and Lorraine Stephens in 2006. Mary Jane Thomas assumed responsibility of NC FBLA State Adviser in August, 2011.

During the school year 1975-76, North Carolina FBLA was organized at the level to include each of the eight educational regions in the state. Currently, a fall leadership development workshop is held in each of the regions and competitive events are held during the winter each year. An elected vice president from the region, along with the regional advisor, provides regional-level leadership to FBLA.

As one of the objectives of the State Chairperson, a Board of Directors was established in the spring of 1977. The formation of the Board gave state-wide representation to FBLA as each region elected a regional advisor to serve as a member of the Board. Regional Board members are local chapter advisors and are elected for a three-year term to the Board. Also serving on the Board are the elected state officers who serve a one-year term.

The Business Education Division of the North Carolina Association for Career and Technical Education began sponsoring a scholarship to the Broyhill Leadership Conference during the 1988 State Leadership Conference. One outstanding local chapter officer and one outstanding member receive this scholarship each year to attend the Leadership Camp, conducted by the Tomorrow’s America Foundation, in North Carolina during a four-day period during the summer.

Notable growth has taken place in all phases of FBLA over the years. Several competitive events have been added; others have been updated to keep abreast with trends in business technology and changes in the workplace. The business community is becoming more involved in activities of local chapters. For the past several years, the North Carolina state chapter has ranked as one of the top chapters in the nation, and recognition continues to grow.


Old State Handbook