Wesley Leonhardt

Southwest Region Vice President

I’ve learned that fear limits you and your vision. It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you. The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities, and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path. Transforming fear into freedom – how great is that?

Final Update

Hello, Southwest Region for the final time…

As I sit here writing this post, contemplating what words I can use to sum up the past year serving as an NC FBLA State Officer, my mind runs blank, not empty of things to say, but full of so much to say that it seems impossible to express everything I desire. This post is going to contain many thank you’s, all of which being of the same level of gratitude and sincerity. Without further delay, let the thank you’s begin…

To my FBLA Adviser, Ms. Luper: Where do I begin?!?! Over the past six years of my life, you have acted as my second mother, always there for me by providing support, guidance, and honest advice when I needed it the most. You are an amazing person, for you always place others’ interests and futures above your own; this truly shows the passion and dedication you put forth towards your students and your colleagues. Over the years, we have developed many memories in which I will forever cherish. These included traveling over sixteen hours in a small SUV with three others to Chicago, IL, for NLC, late Friday nights counting money in the concession stand after home football games, and of course staying at school until midnight the three days before this year’s Southwest Region Leadership and Competitive Events Conference. Though we had our occasional disagreements, in which you were right in most, you have led me to have a broader understanding of ways to solve problems and how to be a truly competent leader. Recently, I have had thoughts of what my life would be like if you had not urged me to join FBLA. I quickly push these thoughts from my mind, for I know that I would not be anywhere near the person I am today if it wasn’t for you and your actions. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for being you and doing so much for me over the past six years!

To Ms. Thomas, NC FBLA State Adviser: I hold the utmost respect for you, Ms. Thomas! Though I have only known you for over a little over a year, I feel as if I have known you much longer! Over this past year, I have learned so much from you and your expertise. Your logic behind the three P’s, standing for acting Poised, Polished, and Professional in everything you do, is brilliant and has made a real impact on my life, for it is truly engrained in my head and is thought of before I take any actions. Moreover, we have enjoyed an abundance of memories, including the time I had to help you walk on a ledge 4 ft high in Atlanta, the time you educated me on country music singers while riding in your car; and, of course, the time I happened to take pictures that you were not prepared for! I truly appreciate the job you do for NC FBLA, as do many others, and want to thank you for all of your efforts. Virtual Hug!!!

To my Fellow State Officers: It’s crazy to think that last March, we were thrown into a room after the closing of last year’s SLC and told that over the next year we would develop into a second family. Through all of the experiences, trips, and activities we have participated in, we have developed into true groups of friends, though full of varied options and differences, that I am truly appreciative.  Taylor, I will always remember our long car rides together to events and the conversations that occurred during them, as well as the time you encouraged me to get a liter size frappuccino at Starbucks in Atlanta.  Hannah, I cherish all of the memories we have together, whether it be our long face-time calls or our fake date in Dillards.  Townsend, I cannot believe I am saying this, but your constant puns brought laughter and smiles to my face in times that I was stressed or nervous at conferences!  Brandon, I really enjoyed our random late night discussions concerning all topics of life, as well as you letting me use your portable phone charger practically all of the time.  Ting, while I didn’t enjoy your snoring, I did enjoy our technology conversations and your constant push for the state officer team to explore where we were and venture out of our comfort zones.  Grant, I can still remember right after being elected you approaching me and asking if we were related.  It was great talking to you about how small town, Lincolnton, has changed.  Bryson, as I look back over the past year, all I can think about is how you tried to sneak into a prom at one of the hotels one time and how you filled in well for Conner when he was absent.  And lastly, Conner!  It was great to get to know you over the past year.  You are full of some amazing ideas and I know you will be very successful in life.  Though I struggle to remember everything while typing this, just know that I truly love all of you.  As we end this journey in our lives, I pray that while we may go our separate ways, that we stay in touch and meet up often!

To all Advisers in the Southwest Region: As I have mentioned in the past, I continue to thank you all for your dedication and willingness to host an FBLA chapters at your schools! I know that it is not easy at times to handle both the duties of your job and gathering money and field trip permission slips for a conference other things related to FBLA, but know that the purpose behind it outweighs the hard work. As I stated earlier to Ms. Luper, FBLA has truly had a long lasting effect on my life, one that I will continue to cherish. This is the same as many of your students, whether they chose to admit it or not!  Additionally, I have enjoyed getting to know many of you over the past year at conferences, through email, and over the phone.  FBLA is not possible without your hard work and commitment, and I thank you again for doing just this for the past year!

To all FBLA Members in the Southwest Region: I cannot thank you all enough for electing me to serve in this position! I owe much of the past year of my life to you all, for your decision to elect me has led me to experience so many new things in FBLA and develop into a better leader. Through the various trips I attended, I learned more and more about how FBLA functioned, how many amazing people are involved in FBLA, and how large the organization truly is. I hope you enjoyed this year’s Southwest Region Leadership and Competitive Events Conference, for I implemented many of the things I learned and ideas from other regions into this conference. Lastly, I want to encourage you all to enjoy and value your time in FBLA. Whether you are a middle schooler just starting out or a senior like myself, enjoy every moment, for eventually, you will wish you can go back in time and experience it all again!

To my Parents and Sister: Your tremendous support and push to achieve greatness when times were stressful and challenging have greatly aided me over the past year. I want to thank you yet again for helping me in an abundance of ways, whether it be proofreading a speech, helping me set up at RCEC, giving me imput when having to solve difficult problems, and reminding me that I am going to do great things in life and to look at the broad picture of things.

State Leadership Conference

The 2017 NC FBLA State Leadership Conference is days away! As we near this conference, I want to remind you all again to approach me and have a discussion if you see me at SLC! I love getting to know new people and would love to hear your personal stories and plans for those who are seniors! Remember that attendance at the Open General Session, Southwest Regional Rally, and Awards Ceremony are required. This year’s Southwest Regional Rally will be hosted in the same location as last year, Guilford DE. I will be sending out an email to advisers in the coming days reminding them of locations, times, and more information concerning what will occur at the Southwest Regional Rally this year.

Share Your FBLA Story

The FBLA-PBL National Officer Teams has launched a new initiative to recognize FBLA-PBL members!  ‘Humans of FBLA-PBL’ is a new program designed to provide members a platform to share their favorite memories, events, and their personal stories while in FBLA-PBL.  Each week, one FBLA member and one PBL member will have their submitted story shared on the National FBLA-PBL social media accounts.  Stories can be submitted in video and text format.  FBLA-PBL wants to leave a legacy by recognizing FBLA_PBL members that make the organization the great organization it is.  Stories can be submitted by clicking here.

RCEC Winners & Pictures

I would like to also take a moment to thank everyone who attended the Southwest Region Leadership and Competitive Events Conference at Lincolnton High School on December 3rd! I am proud to say that we had 26 schools, over 250 members, 30 advisers, and 13 workshop presenters in attendance. Additionally, I would like to thank all judges from Lincoln County and surrounding areas including Catawba, Gaston, Charlotte, and even India for their support in this conference and NC FBLA. Advisers, I want to personally thank you for bringing your students to this conference. As the son of two teachers, I understand and see first-hand the amount of work and dedication it takes to do your job, so I thank you for making the time for this conference and for having your students’ futures at heart. Lastly, I would like to give another thank you to the Lincolnton High School Chapter of FBLA for helping prepare, set-up, and conduct various conference activities such as check-in, the adviser’s hospitality area, and for assisting workshop presenters.


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