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THE EASTERN REGIONER Career Connection Are you interested in a career in law? Want to know how FBLA can get you there? This section interviews three accomplished professionals and a current law school student.

Natalie Tran College Advice A comprehensive guide to the dreaded Common App from an admissions counselor!

A message from your Eastern Region Vice President, Natalie Tran. Hear about all of the upcoming national initiatives!

NFLC Update Making a statement Interested to know what other states are up to? This all new section keeps our region up to date and connected!

The Official Publication of Eastern Region FBLA

Fall 2013 Edition

An update from Communication Director, Andrew Lopez.


4 Natalie Tran

12 College Advice

A message from your Eastern Region Vice President about all of the upcoming national initiatives!

Going to college? Don’t know where to start? This section will help!

5 NFLC Update

14 Career Connection

An update from Communications Director, Andrew Lopez. Get the latest news for your location!

Interested in a career in law? Check out these interviews with some of the top professionals in the legal field!

6 Making a STATEment

17 March of Dimes

Want to know what other states are up to? Check out this section!

Need community service ideas? Fundraising tips? Here National Youth Board Member Drew Marx’s tips!

10 Local Chapter Spotlight

18 Meet the Board

This section features an outstanding local chapter in FBLA. You can nominate a local chapter to be featured!

Get to know the members of the Eastern Region Executive Board!

11 FBLA Alumni

19 Editor’s Corner

Want to know what FBLA alumni are up to? This section showcases the post FBLA accomplishments of alumni as well as showcasing how FBLA helped them.

Interested in contributing to The Eastern Regioner? Check this section our for more information.

#FBLAask Have questions for your Eastern Region VP? Need advice on chapter enhancement? Want to be featured in the Eastern Regioner? On January 15th, log onto Twitter and Facebook to ask your Eastern Region VP FBLA questions using #FBLAask. Your question could be featured in the Eastern Region newsletter!

WHEN: January 15th, 2014 at 7 PM EST WHERE: Facebook and Twitter QUESTIONS? Contact Natalie Tran at



In order to strengthen the entire region, we need to make sure we

Time sure can fly! It seems just like

provide our local chapters with

yesterday the National Leadership

additional tools and resources to

Conference was going on in Anaheim.

become the best they can be. If you

Since then, the National Officer Team,

go on to the Eastern Region Website,

Eastern Region Executive Board, and

you can find resources to help

myself have been hard at work to make

members, local chapters, and state

this the best year of FBLA yet. Here’s

officer teams. Anyone can

some information about both National and Eastern Region Initiatives:

contribute to the document library. Just email your contribution to me at

On Wednesday, January 15th starting at 7 PM EST, the Eastern Region will be holding a social media town hall forum! Simply go on Facebook or Twitter and ask a question with the hashtag #FBLAask . Myself or a member of the EREB will answer as many questions as we can, and there’s a chance your tweet/post could end up in our next newsletter! Make sure to spread the word and get everyone involved! and you can see it

For the latest scoop on National

up there. Also, if you are looking for a

and Eastern progress, make sure

specific type of resource, just email

to “Like” the FBLA Eastern Region

me and we will create one for you!

Vice President Facebook page and follow me @NatFBLAERVP on

This year, there is a plethora of programs

This year the Eastern Region Website

for you to choose from! Although Super

will be used to continuously provide

Sweeps is over, there is still plenty of

updates on the Eastern Region!

time to participate in other Chapter

Make sure to check out the website

Challenge Components. You can also try

and have you, other members, and

out the new Community Service Awards

advisers sign up for the Eastern

(CSAs), or participate in the classic

Region E-Blasts! These email blasts

Business Achievement Awards (BAAs).

will keep you up to date on both national and regional projects.

Twitter! As you can see, there is a lot in store for the members this year, so please get connected, get involved, and put Excellence in Action this year! -Natalie Tran

All About Natalie: Natalie Tran, a senior at River Hill High School in Clarksville, Maryland , is honored to serve as your Eastern Region Vice President. For Natalie, this is no ordinary high school club; this organization has allowed her to grow and develop into a true leader. A fourtime local officer and two-time state officer, Natalie definitely has a passion for this organization. She wants to give back to the organization that has helped her so much along the way, and is excited to contribute to FBLA-PBL in any way she can. If you have any questions about FBLA, please feel free to contact Natalie.

2013 NFLC

with Communications Director, Andrew Lopez


Salt Lake City


Hello Eastern Region FBLA, Speaking from experience, I can truly attest to the experience of a National Fall Leadership Conference. This conference is held in 3 major cities across the country, in order to give FBLA members more accessibility as well as variety. Each city offers something completely unique to its visitors. Not only do members have the opportunity to network with members, advisers, and professionals from around the country, but they can explore the array of culture present within each city. If you plan on attending an NFLC, I encourage you not only to enrich your skills by attending workshops, but to also explore your surrounding area. National Fall Leadership Conferences are a fantastic medium to enrich a member’s experience. Local and State Chapters find this conference to be an experience of unity. No matter what town, county, or state a member comes from, each member leaves this conference with a newfound or enhanced pride for their respective background. If you want more information on an NFLC, please visit “” under the ‘Conferences” tab. You can also contact any member of the Eastern Region Executive Board. I wish you all the best and hope to see you at an NFLC! I myself will be in Cleveland, Ohio come November and your Eastern Region VP, Natalie Tran will be at Salt Lake City!


























Andrew Lopez

Making A Statement An all new section on what states in the Eastern Region are accomplishing

Connecticut Connecticut FBLA is enthusiastic about the upcoming school year. This year their primary goal is to not only increase communication but a sense of unity. Each officer will be visiting a minimum of two chapters to touch base on local achievements, help them prepare for state leadership conferences, and encourage them to bring in local business leaders from the community. In addition to this, CT FBLA is further promoting national programs and membership enrollment. They have already activated two new chapters and are in the process of two more. This year they are fortunate to have a team of highly dedicated officers and they are confident that we can contribute to the Future Business Leaders of America on the national level.

Washington D.C.

DC FBLA’s main focus is spread the word around DC about the organization and get new members to experience the FBLA life along with the benefits they will receive by doing so. As of now DC FBLA is currently raising money to prepare for the National Fall Leadership Conference in Ohio.

Massachusetts MA FBLA plans to enhance their Chapter Guide to better assist chapters in planning their Programs of Work for the year and to provide fundraising and recruitment tips and ideas. They want to increase communication and collaboration among MA chapters to foster camaraderie, idea sharing, and membership expansion, as well as to discuss plans, goals, and events. MA FBLA will establish partnerships with local businesses in an effort to raise money to offset national conference costs for officers, provide funding for the State Leadership Conference, scholarships to outstanding members. They plan on joining the March of Dimes and uniting their chapters towards this common fundraising initiative.

Making A Statement An all new section on what states in the Eastern Region are accomplishing

Maryland This coming year Maryland FBLA is going above and beyond to display our Excellence in Action. In addition to our goals of substantially increasing membership, they are striving to increase participation across the state of Maryland. With their State Development Project Committee, MD is aiming to get all members throughout the state involved in their community service projects. As Maryland representation continues to increase, they will also encourage our members to attend conferences and make them aware of the endless opportunities of workshops, competitions, and social networking. Secondly, with their knowledge on use of the internet, they plan to enhance their communication within the state of Maryland. Lastly, they intend to keep state legislators informed on the progress and strides FBLA has made on behalf of the state of Maryland.

New Hampshire


Maine FBLA has chosen the Good Shepherd Food Bank as their State Service Project. As a state board, they will be volunteering on an upcoming Sunday at a Portland, Maine soup kitchen. Individual chapters will be volunteering at their local soup kitchens and will have fundraisers for the Good Shepherd Food Bank. At their State Leadership Conference in March they will also be conducting a food drive to later donate to the Good Shepherd. To get more schools involved in FBLA, the state board is focusing on chapter recruitment by composing a letter about FBLA and how to start a chapter and then sending that letter to several Maine schools that do not currently have a chapter. They also want to get to know the officers of the local chapters so we can stay in contact more with the local chapters, so we plan on having a meeting where the local officers will be invited to join the state board.

NH FBLA would like to increase interaction on social media by increasing “likes� on Facebook to 200 by their SLC. They would also like to increase involvement in FLW/SLC by 10% by showcasing conference activities and benefits. In addition, they would like to recruit three new or reactivated chapters by February 1, 2014. Lastly, NH FBLA wants to have at least 10 eligible candidates for State Officer 2014-2015 at SLC

Making A Statement An all new section on what states in the Eastern Region are accomplishing

New Jersey New Jersey FBLA is excited to start off the new year with an array of innovative programs. NJ FBLA is partnering up with Johnson & Johnson to launch a Titan Virtual Business Challenge for its members. They aim to have an increase in membership, conference attendance, and community service hours. New Jersey will be attending NFLC in Cleveland, Ohio and is excited to put Excellence Into Action!

New York NYS FBLA hopes to increase their membership dramatically. They have a lot to focus on fundraising, networking, and of course, extensive pre-planning to give the members of FBLA exactly what they were promised, which is an absolutely amazing State Leadership Conference! Their State Officer Team spent an entire week in Greenwich, New York this past July where they worked tirelessly to establish their Program of Work, culminating in their respective, Fall and Spring District Meetings and their State Leadership Conference next April.


This year PA FBLA will be working with Donate Life Pennsylvania as a state project and has set a fundraising goal of $30,000. By the end of this year PA FBLA would like to have 13,500 high school members as well as an increase in middle level & virtual chapter members. Incentive programs are being offered to all those who participate in this challenging membership goal. Another key focus area for PA FBLA is community service. This year’s goal is 25,000 hours and they hope that their members will meet and exceed that goal. Some of their additional goals involve social media, spotlighting different chapters in the Penn Pal (their quarterly newsletter), and a creating a College Fair Style track at their State Leadership Workshop.

Making A Statement An all new section on what states in the Eastern Region are accomplishing

puerto rico This year FBLA Puerto Rico continues with many challenges and goals. They would like to raise money for the March of Dimes Foundation. In October they will be celebrating their first President’s Congress [FBLA -DECA]. In December they will be holding their student activity meeting where active FBLA members gather and spend time together. PR FBLA’s most challenging event is the competitions. They will be conducting their annual Leadership Conference at the Embassy Suites in Dorado, Puerto Rico.

rhode island Approximately 600 RI FBLA-PBL students participate in business/career-related experiences, state workshops and conferences and competitive events. Students have opportunities to compete to prepare a business plan, develop desktop publishing and accounting skills or select a performance event. Workshops, beginning with the SFLC on October 15, are held to assist students to understand business, personal finance and leadership, as examples. A State Leadership Conference in February offers students the opportunity to compete in specific events. A “kickoff” dinner meeting was held in September as part of the “Excellence in Action” theme for the year. Five State Officers currently make up the student executive council. In RI, FBLA members are enrolled in a local high school and follow a required course of study. FBLA is a co-curricular opportunity which enhances students’ academic and technical skill development and is consistent with National Standards for Business Education.

virgin islands Virgin Islands FBLA plans to strengthen partnerships with their business community, activate their State Advisory Council, reactivate 3 inactive chapters, increase their service to the community, increase their presence in the state, revitalize their March of Dimes State Community Service Project, and attend the 2014 National Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.


Local Chapter Spotlight History: In the fall 2010, the Hendrick Hudson School District reactivated their membership in FBLA. Over the past three years this has been a building experience for their chapter. In 2011, they sent 4 students to states with none qualifying for nationals, in 2012 they sent 6 students to states with 1 going to nationals and in 2013 they are proud to say they had 5 students attend states, with 3 going to nationals. Activities throughout 2012-2013 included fundraisers for cancer awareness (Happiness is Camping) in October, Habitat for Humanity Westchester specifically for Sandy Relief in November and can tab collections in March which were donated to Ronald McDonald House in White Plains, NY.

Present: At NYS SLC in April 2013 they had a strong showing at the events. Kevin Kiley was one of the top ten for Future Business Leader, Taylor Crisci competed in the Public Speaking I event by placing at the SDM, Bradley Barthelmes placed 1st in Sports Management and 5th place in Accounting and the team of Bradley Barthelmes, Taylor Crisci and Kevin Kiley placed 2nd in the Team Entrepreneurship competition. The team decided to go together to nationals to compete in the Entrepreneurship final competition. These students placed 5th in the nation at nationals on a team consisting of 2 senior students and 1 freshman student. Hendrick Hudson High School expects to continue to expand their involvement in FBLA including within their school, district, state and nationals. The chapter plans to expand on fundraising initiatives and will donate to the March of Dimes. This year they plan on hosting a variety of community activities like the Tennis Racquet Ball Tournament, Video Game Tournament, and a Haunted High School. The chapter plans on attending multiple state and national conferences.

Leader, Innovator, Critical Thinker,



Karan Parekh is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania, specifically the Wharton School of Business. He is interested in concentrating in Finance, OPIM and Statistics. Can you give us a little background of your past involvement with the organization? Sure. I was the Secretary of NJ FBLA during my senior year of high school (2011-2012) and the President my local chapter. I was involved with FBLA throughout the four years of high school and was fortunate enough to take part in many of its activities, from placing in the competitions from the regional to national level, attending the conferences and getting to plan the State Leadership Conference with my fellow state officers. What was your favorite part of FBLA? The people. FBLA is a leadership organization, and its members are leaders in all walks of life. I will never forget the relationships I forged and the memories I made with the organization’s diverse members, and I still keep in touch with many of the people I met throughout my four years. Can you tell the reader’s a little about your business? The startup I founded last year is called Textbook Friend ( It’s an online platform in which students can buy and sell textbooks to each other directly on campus (think of it as a hyper local craigslist for college students). Students post their books on our website by school, subject and course, and buyers can browse by price or other characteristics and contact the seller directly to meet and perform the transaction. It’s a 100% free service for students, and our goal is to help students save money by cutting out middlemen such as campus bookstores and Amazon. We are currently in 35 schools and continuing to grow, which is very exciting. What is one unique experience that you’ve had with your company? One unique experience for me was participating in the Wharton Business Plan Competition. Pitching the business to prominent venture capitalists and building out a full business plan with various types of analyses and projections helped me form long-term goals for the company and really hash out where we want to take the service. Competing against MBA students and fellow undergraduates really forced us to think harder than we would have otherwise, and ending up in the top 25 of MBA and undergraduate ventures nationally really helped validate the company idea. Do you have any advice for FBLA members who want to run their own business? Go for it. Students don’t often take the risk of starting their own ventures, but for me, Textbook Friend been the single most rewarding and educational part of my college experience so far. Universities are often very supportive and can provide many resources, and starting a venture is much more manageable than it seems. Can students get involved in your venture? Yes! We’re looking for bright, motivated students to get involved with Textbook Friend. We are looking to develop our website further and are looking for students with programming background, specifically in Python, with Django experience preferred. If anyone would like to be a campus representative for our organization as well and help bring Textbook Friend to his or her school, please also reach out to me. My email is

COLLEGE ADVICE UChicago Senior Assistant Director of Admissions: Mr. Garrett Brinker "The truth is that the college application process begins long before a student ever directs their browser to the Common App. The application itself represents four years of growth and maturation, allowing incredible insight into the character and potential of an applicant. The transcript, for example, provides more than a summary of a student’s academic performance – it can also demonstrate ambition, drive, and intellectual curiosity. Remember, the application is designed to provide an accurate representation of the applicant, both as a student and, just as critically, as a person. As such, spend some time to consider the application as a whole rather than just the sum of its parts. Does it provide an honest and positive perspective on who you are and what you’ve accomplished? Colleges, like students, vary in personality and character. Your goal in this process should be to find an institution whose personality aligns with your own. Do your research, decide what is most important to you, and put together a list of schools at which you will be both happy and successful. This careful preparation provides two important benefits. First, it will empower you to craft applications which will appeal to the particular character of each college. Second, it ensures a rewarding college experience, no matter where you end up. We truly hope that students enjoy the college application process. The application rewards you for thinking seriously about your strengths and weakness, desires and dreams. The very best applications come from students who have devoted a significant amount of time to introspection and preparation. So take some time, think deeply, and don’t forget to enjoy the process while it lasts."

Career Connection: Law “Be passionate about what you do” Deputy Chief at the Department of Justice, Alberto Ruisanchez, on representing the rights of Americans.

Alberto Ruisanchez is a Deputy Chief in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he works to enforce federal laws that prohibit discrimination. He has helped to enforce the Fair Housing Act, the Public Accommodations Act, and the Voting Rights Act, which prohibit discrimination in housing, places of public accommodation, and voting, respectively. Mr. Ruisanchez currently works in the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division helping to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor on the Harvard Law Review and a Heyman Fellow, and graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University. Can you tell us a little about the company you work for?   The Department of Justice is a Federal Agency in the United States that is responsible for the administration of justice. The Agency is composed of lawyers who represent the United States. Whenever the United States wants to file a lawsuit against an individual or group, the DOJ’s lawyers litigate the case and enforce anti discrimination laws.   What is the most rewarding What is your current position in part of your career?  said company?    I help to knock down Deputy Chief in the Disability discriminatory barriers. Part of Rights Section. There are multiple my job is to make sure sections to enforce separate acts. everybody has equal access to opportunity. I restore a sense of What kind of work do you do in justice in victims whose rights your present position? have been violated and harmed. For me, this is an extremely I help to enforce the Americans rewarding career because I With Disabilities Act. We represent the public interest and investigate thousands of complaints the United States as a whole. alleging violations of justice. We are a relatively small office that has a large responsibility with little resources. When processing a What is one experience that potential case, we determine you will never forget?  complaints, investigate those   complaints, interview witnesses to There was one incident with a collect facts and documents, and Public Housing Authority where then see if the complaint has we heard complaints that the merit. If there has not been a authority was discriminating on violation, we close the investigation. However, if there is a the basis of race and segregating violation we take some the tenants. The DOJ filed a enforcement action. Sometimes we lawsuit and working on this case reach a settlement without filing a was extremely rewarding lawsuit. Most cases never go to because we reached a settlement trial and end up settling. I have where the authority changed its found this to be true across the practices and we received board in civil litigation. monetary compensation for the victims.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone aspiring to be in your spot?   I think it certainly helps in my line of work to feel the sense of injustice that a client feels. Use this sense of injustice as a motivational and inspirational tool. However, it certainly should not cloud your judgement. There is a big difference between connecting with your clients and letting your emotions get in the way of your judgement. Make sure you have a true commitment to your work. Law is an extremely rational exercise where a lawyer needs to be passionate about what they do. What is something you wish you knew before you started your career?  Litigation in the United States is the process of suing and fighting it out in court, the process can be extremely slow and frustrating. Lawyers tend to spend a lot more time in preparation and building up for a case than portrayed on television. Popular culture such as Law & Order tends to give an untrue perspective of the legal field.

Career Connection: Law “my practice puts me into contact with business persons from many different cultures.” Partner at Squire & Sanders D.C., Alvaro Mestre, on what its like to be an international transactional lawyer. Alvaro J. Mestre is a transactional lawyer and partner resident in the Squire Sanders Washington DC office. Alvaro represents a mix of developers, owner/sponsors, manufacturers, contractors and other interested parties in the structuring and overall development of large infrastructure projects. With a specific focus on the energy industry, he has represented clients in diverse forms of multinational corporate transactions involving various renewable and conventional power producing technologies including solar, nuclear, natural gas, wind and biofuels, and in addition has extensive experience in developing fuel transportation and storage projects. Can you tell us a little about the company you work for?   Squire Sanders is a full-service top-20 global legal practice that has over 1,350 lawyers located in 39 offices in 19 countries on five continents. The client base of our global legal practice spans every type of business, both private and public, worldwide. We advise a diverse mix of clients, from Fortune 100 and FTSE 100 corporations to emerging companies and from individuals to local and national governments. In the private sector, we provide the full range of legal advice required to implement practical strategies and resolve disputes. In the public sector, we counsel governments on privatization of whole industries and on establishment of regulatory systems under which new private businesses can compete. We also serve the regional needs of the countries and cities we call home.  What is your current position in said company?    I first joined Squire Sanders in 1998 as an associate, and have been a partner at the Firm since 2005. What kind of work do you do in your present position?    I represent a mix of developers, owner/sponsors, manufacturers, contractors and other interested parties in the structuring and overall development of large infrastructure projects. With a specific focus on the energy industry, I have represented clients in diverse forms of multinational corporate transactions involving various renewable and conventional power producing technologies including solar, nuclear, natural gas, wind and biofuels. My practice has historically been focused on Latin America, but I have represented clients in numerous projects sited throughout the United States, Europe and Africa as well. I regularly negotiate material project agreements on behalf of clients including engineering, procurement and construction contracts; transportation services agreements; power purchase agreements; diverse interconnection agreements; operation and maintenance agreements; and fuel supply contracts. In addition, I often represent clients in connection with the acquisition and divestiture of projects and assets in the quickly evolving renewable energy sector. As an additional service, I advise clients on compliance matters and have specific experience in connection with the preparation and implementation of compliance programs focused on the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In this capacity, I provide a full array of services including management-level briefings, in-house training and ongoing consultation services for my corporate clients.

What is the most rewarding part of your career?   My practice puts me into frequent contact with business persons from many different cultures and nationalities.  The very nature of my work requires me to interface with these persons and to dive into the intricacies and complexities of the legal and business systems and cultures of other nations.    This is both professionally challenging and also intensely rewarding.  No deal is exactly like the other, and each client brings a unique set of expectations and goals. 

What is one experience that you will never forget?   It is difficult to choose one single paramount experience, but the most rewarding experiences are when clients invite me on site visits of projects that I have helped to develop.  After months (if not years) of intense negotiation of project contracts, it is incredibly satisfying to see and observe how a critical piece of infrastructure emerges out of the volumes of paper and begins to operate.  In the end, I know that these projects allow lesser developed areas of our world to gain access to power, or in some cases to obtain cheaper, cleaner and more efficient sources of power. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone aspiring to be in your spot? 

Were in difficult economic times, and that results in a highly competitive and relatively closed job market. Be patient and continue to expand your network of like-minded and ambitious persons. Those connections will enrich your life, and ultimately will pay off in some fashion. What is something you wish you knew before you started your career?   

I wish I knew from the beginning of my career how important it is to balance work and stress with relaxation, family and friends. I’ve achieved a good balance, but it would have been nice to avoid so much stress in the beginning.  Take time for yourself.  In the end, you’ll be happier and you’ll be a greater success in your profession of choice.

Career Connection: Law “Let your discomfort be your guide” Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Demetria Johnson, on managing inclusion initiatives. Demetria Johnson is the Director of Diversity & Inclusion for

Hogan Lovells US LLP. She is based in Hogan Lovells Washington, D.C. office. Demetria is responsible for directing and managing the firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives for both lawyers and staff for Hogan Lovells domestic offices. In addition, Demetria provides support to Hogan Lovells International LLP Global Diversity team and the U.S. Women’s Network. Demetria is an active member of several professional organizations. Currently she serves as the Co-Chair of the 2013 NALP Annual Education Conference. For the past six years she served on the Board of the Washington Area Legal Recruitment Administrators Association (WALRAA), a Washington based city group committed to promote member professionalism and expertise through outstanding educational opportunities and innovative programming and events. In 2010, Demetria served as President of WALRAA and is still an active member. Demetria is also an active member of the Association for Law Firm Diversity Professionals (ALFDP), a national organization focused on the advancement of diversity in the legal profession, where she currently serves as an At-Large Board Member. Demetria has served as a speaker on the topic of diversity and recruiting for law school and legal professional organizations.

Can you tell us a little about the company you work for? Hogan Lovells is a global legal practice that helps corporations, financial institutions, and governmental entities across the spectrum of their critical business and legal issues globally and locally. We have over 2,300 lawyers operating out of more than 40 offices in the United States, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.

What is one experience that you will never forget? The experience that resonates with me the most is one that was also most recent -- the 2013 HNBF Gala Awards. Hogan Lovells received the Visionary Award by the Hispanic National Bar Foundation, and I was asked to accept the award on behalf of the firm by our Miami office managing partner, Richard Lorenzo. The reason this was such a special moment for me is that because of Richard’s dedication and commitment to the HNBF and as a long time Board member, Hogan Lovells has forged a partnership with this great organization. And because of my partnership and work with Richard, he felt that I deserved to accept the award on behalf of the firm.

What is your current position in said company? I am the Director of Diversity and Inclusion.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone aspiring to be in your spot?

What kind of work do you do in your present position? I am responsible for directing and managing the firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives for both lawyers and staff for Hogan Lovells domestic offices. In addition, I provide support to Hogan Lovells International LLP Global Diversity team and the U.S. Women’s Network.

I’m not sure there is one piece of advice that I could give, but there is one piece of advice that I received from someone much younger but very close to me, and that is… “let your discomfort be your guide. It is something that I will never forget. Be it when I am working through a tough situation or complex work issue, that phrase has always provided me with a sense of peace.

What is the most rewarding part of your career? The most rewarding aspect of my career at this moment is the excitement I get as I learn more and become exposed to new diversity trends and initiatives within the legal industry. It gives me job security!

What is something you wish you knew before you started your career? I wish that I had chosen this path earlier in my career. I made a U-turn in my career when most people are establishing themselves (I went from the financial field to the legal industry).

Career Connection: Law School “I strive to one day work for the federal government and influence policy change” Law Student, Steven Ayala, on law school admissions and experiences. Steven Ayala is a 3L at Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Steven is originally from Arizona and moved to California to attend Loyola Marymount University. He graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in Business Administration. Upon graduation, Steven worked as a paralegal at a social security disability law firm in Los Angeles before joining the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. For a year, he lived in Cleveland, Ohio resettling refugees from areas like Southeast Asia and Eastern Africa through Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services. Steven is actively involved as President of the Marquette Immigration Law Association and Vice President of the Hispanic Law Student Association. Additionally, Steven serves as the student coordinator of the "Know Your Rights" Immigrant Detention Project through the Office of Public Service at Marquette Law School. What law school do you attend? Marquette University Law School Where did you go for you're undergraduate degree? Loyola Marymount University What made you want to attend law school?

I have spent a lot of time volunteering within immigrant communities and I have noticed a strong need to be a legal advocate for a population that is vulnerable to exploitation and unaware of the law. What is your favorite part about law school? I enjoy meeting people of different backgrounds that introduce me to different reasons for becoming an attorney. Their insight diversifies my experience as a law student. What is one experience that you will never forget? I will never forget listening to my professor explain the importance of not being a "hired gun" for a client, emphasizing the ethical rules that bind all attorneys in their practice of law. One piece of advice for getting into law school? It is important to maintain good grades throughout college and achieve a good LSAT score, but it is equally important to display a fun and challenging extracurricular activity that distinguishes you from the next student possessing similar academic credentials.

One piece of advice for staying in law school? While in law school, remember to not take yourself too seriously and to take good care of your physical and emotional health. It is important to remain focused on succeeding in law school without pushing away those who support you the most. Something you wished before going to law school? Prior to starting law school, I always wished that I could work for the United Nations or to get a job abroad. Perhaps I will still get the chance to travel a lot, but my concentration on US immigration law inversely places me in an inward domestic position looking outwards. Future plans? I plan to practice immigration law in one of the major US cities, and I strive to one day work for the federal government and influence policy change, particularly within the immigration court system.

March of Dimes Drew Marx, National Youth Council-Knowing Your Resources and Market

Educated Volunteers and Extraordinary Results As members of FBLA-PBL, you have joined an organization that has a remarkable history of success with the March of Dimes. Last year, your membership raised more than $490,000 for the March of Dimes, funding research and education that works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. More than 4 million babies were born in the United States last year and the March of Dimes helped each and every one through 75 years of research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs. Many infant health problems have been solved. But with nearly half a million babies each year born in the United States too soon or sick, we know there’s more to be done. Get involved, year-round with the March of Dimes and help make a difference for babies everywhere. In the Fall educate your peers and community on the costly effects of preterm birth during World Prematurity Day (November 17), and this Spring, take part in March for Babies, our signature fundraiser! The statistics are staggering. Globally, 15 million babies are born too soon; and over 1 million babies do not make it to their first birthday because of preterm birth complications. In addition, rising health care costs and the possibilities for future complications make premature birth even more impactful on families. The March of Dimes creates vital programs for families and supports breakthrough research in addressing the unknown causes of premature birth. With your help, the March of Dimes is also able to work with hospitals and lawmakers to educate people on the known causes of prematurity, discovered by March of Dimes-funded research.

By educating your peers and communities about the serious and costly problems of preterm birth you are helping us reach a day when all babies are born healthy. Join the March of Dimes this November for Prematurity Awareness Month and World Prematurity Day. Share our mission: If you or someone you know has been touched by the mission of the March of Dimes, invite them to share their story before or during homecoming (or any big school event this semester) to engage students and faculty. Educate your peers: Host an information booth at school and provide information on preterm birth and the March of Dimes. Show off your purple! Decorate your school buildings, hallways or lobbies in purple! Ask students and faculty to wear purple or create “1 in 9� shirts. In the Spring, lead a team in March for Babies as you raise funds to support stronger, healthier babies! Most walks happen in the Spring.

A great way to raise awareness and help your chapter reach your fundraising goal is to host an event at school or in your community. Here are just a few ideas to get you started. Feel free to customize these events to better appeal to your community. Before getting started, remember to check with your school administration for approval. Game Night: Organize a fun night with food and games, with a $5.00 admission. See how many different games you can include: board games, trivia, charades, etc. Go the extra mile and host a competition to see who can be champion. March of Dimes Talent Show: Invite your classmates and faculty to share their talents and charge an admission fee. Let attendees know that the funds raised support our mission. To make the event exciting, ask a leader at your school to host. A beloved or well-known student or faculty member may be a great asset to your event.

550k Goal FBLA-PBL, you can make a difference this year. Your efforts are helping babies receive a fighting chance for a healthy life. Thank you so much for your commitment to raise funds for babies who need our help to survive and thrive.

Meet the board Executive Assistant, Mimi Hess, New Jersey Mimi has served on multiple state committees and has been recognized as a state gold member. Currently, she serves as the NJ FBLA State Historian and Publicity Committee Chair. Outside of FBLA, Mimi is a varsity basketball player, the treasurer of her senior class, and a volunteer at her local hospital.

Communications Director, Andrew Lopez, New Jersey Andrew is a two term state officer and currently serves as NJ FBLA’s Southern Region Vice President. In addition to serving on the EREB, he is the Executive Treasurer on the National Treasurer’s Council and his local chapter President. Outside of FBLA, Andrew is the President of National Honor Society, Intern for a Senate Campaign, and English Tutor to international PhD Candidates through Princeton University’s International Center (He is the youngest tutor to ever take part in the program).

Vice President’s Assistant, Steven Blumberg, Pennsylvania Steven also serves as the Eastern Region Treasurer, the First Vice President of Pennsylvania and chapter Co-Vice President. He is excited to give back to the organization that has done so much for him along the way. In addition to FBLA, Steven enjoys playing soccer and volunteering in his community.

Vice President’s Assistant, Regan Butler, New Hampshire Regan currently serves as her Local Chapter President, New Hampshire State President, and as a Vice President's Assistant on the Eastern Region Executive Board. In the past, she has been a Local Chapter Historian and a State Officer. Besides FBLA, she has been involved in crew, Girl Scouts, and the International Thespian Society.

Vice President’s Assistant, Sabrena Sabet, New York

Sabrena began FBLA in her freshman year and since then a spark of passion had developed resulting in her achieving the position of Chapter Reporter. This passion also helped further her FBLA career when she ran for the position of State Vice President for District 3S, and now nationally as a Eastern Region Board Member. Sabrena has competed at the state and national levels and has won awards such as the BAA.

The Editor’s Corner

Final Thought

Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage.


Eastern Region FBLA, I hope you enjoyed this edition of The Eastern Regioner. The Eastern Region Executive Board and I have been working extremely hard in order to make this year in FBLA, a successful one. You may have noticed some new, innovative sections along with the name change of this publication.

This is all in effort to rebrand the Eastern Region and promote the idea of unity. I would really love to hear your feedback! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at or contact me via social media. My twitter handle is @Andrewlopez96 and my Facebook name is “Andrew Lopez” In addition, if you or someone you know would like to be featured in this publication or if you have a new idea, please do not be afraid to reach out to a Board member. Keep putting Excellence Into Action. -Andrew Lopez

Thoughts on excellence IN THE NEXT EDITION:

Making a STATEment

Career connection

March of dimes

alumni interview

Local Chapter Spotlight: South Korea Career Connection: Business Leaders #FBLAask: Answers to YOUR questions ...and so much more!

meet the board

The Eastern Regioner: Autumn Edition  
The Eastern Regioner: Autumn Edition  

The Official Publication of Eastern Region Future Business Leaders of America-Autumn Edition For the 2013-14 Year