Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) is the national organization for all secondary school students participating in business education programs. It functions as an integral part of the instructional program of the business education curriculum in secondary schools.
Wisconsin Future Business Leaders of America (WI FBLA) is the state organization for all students participating in business education programs. In the 2018-2019 school year, Wisconsin FBLA-PBL operated chapters at 214 schools across Wisconsin, with a total of 6832 members with an additional 53 professional division members.
The Wisconsin FBLA-PBL Foundation, Inc is a not-for-profit, volunteer-based corporation with the purpose of supporting the financial needs of FBLA members in Wisconsin. The Foundation serves members by providing support for national competitors, leadership development activities for all members, and scholarships.
FBLA is comprised of several levels of membership (links will take you to official national level sites for these organizations):
The purpose of FBLA is to provide, as an integral part of the instructional program, additional integrated learning opportunities for students in business and/or business-related fields to develop vocational and career supportive competencies and to promote civic and personal responsibilities.
- Develop competent, aggressive business leadership.
- Strengthen the confidence of students in themselves and their work.
- Create more interest in and understanding of the American business enterprise.
- Encourage members in the development of individual projects that contribute to the improvement of home, business and community.
- Develop character, prepare for useful citizenship and foster patriotism.
- Encourage and practice efficient money management.
- Encourage scholarship and promote school loyalty.
- Assist students in the establishment of occupational goals.
- Facilitate the transition from school to work.
Wisconsin’s first chapter was formed in 1942 at West Bend High School and was issued national chapter #39. More and more schools formed FBLA chapters as the years progressed.
Wisconsin FBLA was organized after the first ten chapters were formed. Ray Rupple, adviser at Waukesha High School, and his wife Murl assisted in this organization through their continuous support and enthusiasm.
The first state leadership conference was held at Waukesha High School during the 1953-54 school year. Seven chapters were represented by a total of 135 delegates.
Later in 1954 the first executive board meeting was hosted by the Beaver Dam FBLA chapter, also the site of the second annual state conference. Nine of the ten chartered chapters attended this conference.
Lorraine Missling, adviser at Nicolet High School, became the first state adviser for FBLA in 1959. Ray Rupple continued as the state chairperson.
Attendance at Wisconsin leadership conferences continued to increase, as did the number of competitive events and other special activities. The ninth annual leadership conference was held in a larger facility at Green Lake Center, Green Lake, Wisconsin. The ninth through the twenty-fourth annual leadership conferences were held in Green Lake.
Bill Drengler from Shawano High School, state president in 1968, became Wisconsin’s first national president. In 1970, Preston Smeltzer became the state adviser and Ruel Falk was appointed state chairperson. They were employed by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
In 1978, 1,200 FBLA members and advisers celebrated the 25th annual state leadership conference in Green Bay. The theme was: “Silver Standards with Golden Ideals.” The Brown County Arena was the home of the Wisconsin State Leadership Conference until 1985.
From 1985 to 2007, the FBLA State Leadership Conferences were held at the Regency Suites Convention Center in Green Bay. Since then, the State Leadership Conferences have been held in different locations around the state including Milwaukee, Wisconsin Dells, Appleton, La Crosse, including a return back to Green Bay beginning in 2019. An important reason for the success we share is that we all believe in our organization and in each other. We believe in our Creed, our goals, and our personal commitments to our national career and technical student organization for business education.