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Welcome to the third edition of “Call to Order!” As we wave February behind, the season of conferences and competitive events is getting into full swing. With elections and the Parliamentary Procedure event to look forward to, now is the time to take your “parli pro” skills to the next level. The National Parliamentarian‟s Council hopes that this newsletter will prove to be a useful tool in your preparation. In it you will read instructions for holding elections, tips for the Parliamentary Procedure event, interviews with fellow student and professional parliamentarians, and much more. If you have any questions or comments, please don‟t hesitate to contact me at Best wishes,

Nadine Goldberg National Parliamentarian

“Parli Pro” competition tips

Elections 101 Interviews Professional & student


a d p u c a np

Over the last month, the National Parliamentarian‟s Council has been hard at work creating and finalizing a resource kit of parliamentary procedure information that will assist all FBLA members in developing a working knowledge of basic parliamentary procedure. Members of the council also reached out to inactive chapters through the National Target State Program and encouraged these former chapters to restart their FBLA chapters. Lastly, members strove to market the “Call to Order” newsletter through Facebook and other social media forms. We look forward to an exciting rest of the year!


This month, I interviewed Western Region Parliamentarian Janet Chu. Janet works very hard for our council and everyone knows that Janet can be counted on. I hope you all enjoy meeting Janet, and next month you will have the opportunity to meet Caleb Goodness, North Central Region Parliamentarian. Now, let’s start the interview!

Janet with her Parliamentary Procedure team after placing 1st at the 2011 California Bay Section Leadership Conference.

At the 2011 Bay Section Officer and Advisers Training Day (OAT), Janet takes some silly pictures with Lynbrook FBLA and Westmoor FBLA officers.

Q: What school do you attend? A: Lynbrook High School

Q: What other offices do you hold in FBLA? A: California Bay Section Parliamentarian and Lynbrook VP of Written Competitions.

Q: What inspired you to serve on the NPC? A: I've been actively committed to Parliamentary Procedure since the 9th grade and wanted to continue and further my passion for Robert's Rules of Order.

Q: What are your favorite things about FBLA and Parliamentary Procedure?

Interested in contacting Janet? E-mail her at!

A: I love the opportunities FBLA provides its members. I know how much I've grown from taking advantage of these opportunities, and I encourage members to take initiative and grab hold of them too! My favorite thing about Parli Pro is its unifying ability --whenever I meet someone who has also been involved with Parli Pro, I instantly feel like I have a special connection with them.

Q: Are there any awards or achievements you would like to share with FBLA? A: 1st at Section, State, National for Parliamentary Procedure in 2009, 2nd at State for Introduction to Parliamentary Procedure, 3rd at Section and State for FBLA Principles and Procedures in 2010, 1st at Section and State and 5th at National for Parliamentary Procedure in 2011.


Nancy Sylvester is a Professional Registered Parliamentarian and a Certified Professional Parliamentarian Teacher. She is one of only a handful of professional parliamentarians to receive this level of accreditation from the National Association of Parliamentarians and American Institute of Parliamentarians. She recently completed a term as the parliamentarian for the National Association of Parliamentarians. When and why did you first become interested in parliamentary procedure? In my undergraduate (as a Communications major) my favorite professor (Dr. Otis J. Aggertt) offered a class in parliamentary procedure. Since he was my favorite professor I wanted to take anything he taught. I took the class, got an A in it and got hooked on parliamentary procedure. Many years later, as a professional parliamentarian, I wrote a journal article on his style of teaching the class and dedicated the article to him. What drew you to become a credentialed parliamentarian? After receiving my Master‟s Degree in Communication I taught at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois. I soon found myself as the community expert on parliamentary procedure and decided if I was going to be the community expert, I should become a true expert. I was a college speech professor. In the late 70‟s I was then granted a one semester sabbatical from the college to do the following: become Registered and Certified, write a booklet called Basics of Parliamentary Procedure, and teach parliamentary procedure classes throughout the community. I succeeded at all three goals. What are your hobbies outside of parliamentary procedure? I really don‟t have any other hobbies. I love to spend time with my family, Jim, my husband of 40 years, and my two daughters Marcy and Holly. That is as close as I come to a hobby outside of parliamentary procedure. I do collect Robert’s books. Of the 85 printings of the first 6 editions of Robert’s, I have 77 in my collection, including a first edition Robert’s!

What has been one highlight of your career as a parliamentarian? With so many wonderful national organizations that I have served as parliamentarian for over the last thirty plus years, choosing one highlight is extremely difficult. This past September was a situation that was right up there as a highlight. In September I completed my term as the National Parliamentarian for the National Association of Parliamentarians at a convention that was extremely interesting. At that convention the delegates adopted a complete revision of the bylaws, voted to change the state of incorporation for NAP, said goodbye to our long time executive director and welcomed our new executive director and unveiled the 11th edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised. The NAP Bylaws have the “current edition” of Robert’s as the parliamentary authority. On Friday of the convention, the current edition was the 10 th edition. On Friday evening the 11th edition was unveiled. Therefore on Saturday, Sunday and Monday the convention used the 11th edition. You guessed it – that was a challenge, especially since the 11th edition was not released until Friday evening! What advice do you have for FBLA members interested in parliamentary procedure? Always keep in mind that to be a really good parliamentarian one must not be simply a rule memorizer. The top parliamentarians of course know the rules, but are problem solvers. They listen to their clients and help their clients find a way to do what they are trying to do in a manner that is within the rules.


Throughout the year there are elections at the local, regional, state, and national levels, and soon comes the time for state elections! Knowing how to run an election is a crucial skill for any parliamentarian and elections are common around this time in the FBLA year. Personally I have consulted with about three elections this year at the local and regional levels. In this article, you‟ll learn the basics of the election process. After nominations have been made, the candidate(s) often give campaign speeches and/or hold rallies. Once the time comes for the election, there are two common ways to vote, ballot and viva voce . A ballot vote is the more common of the two and is used more when there are multiple candidates for one position. There are two ways to vote by ballot defined in Robert’s Rules of Order: Newly Revised but only one is commonly used in FBLA. This first method of election by ballot is more commonly used in FBLA then any other form of voting. After nominations are made and campaigning concluded, a voting session will commence. Since all candidates have announced their candidacy, one ballot should suffice for the election. On each ballot the voting member(s) should mark their choice for each position available. After the ballots are filled out they are given to tellers to count. When the counting is concluded the teller announces the result to the assembly and the chairman repeats the announcement. A majority vote is needed to win the election. If no candidate receives a majority, then the chair announces „no election‟ and another round of voting begins.

The second method of election by ballot is not used at any state level that I know of, or at the national level. Using this method, all vacant offices are voted on individually. The chair will take nominations from the floor for a position and candidates are nominated and the election begins immediately. Ballots are simply blank pieces of paper that delegates write on the name of the candidate they wish to vote for. The last form of voting I‟ll cover is via voce. This method is commonly used in mass meetings or in elections where a candidate is unopposed or not strongly contested. Voting via voce is not allowed in all organizations because a ballot vote may be called for in the bylaws. Before you vote via voce, be sure it is allowed within your bylaws. When using this method voting delegates are asked to say yay or no to each respective candidate. The candidates are voted on in the order the nominations were made. When a candidate receives a majority vote, he is immediately announced the winner and the election ends. This method can also be used with the raising of hands or standing. These are three common methods of elections that you should become aware of. I have used all three methods within my many clubs and organizations and I‟m sure you will too. Although the first method above is used in most FBLA elections, a good parliamentarian is familiar with all methods. Elections are also permitted to be held by roll call and cumulative vote through Robert’s Rules of Order: Newly Revised.

Any questions? E-mail:!

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Parliamentary Procedure is a team competitive event consisting of a one-hour objective test and a case problem meant to “simulate a regular chapter meeting.” For more information, visit http:// 

Don‟t wait until the last minute to study for the objective test.

Familiarize yourself with the vital information at the above link.

Practice makes perfect – be sure to practice consistently throughout the year.

Project your voice and make your performance interesting to listen to – it‟s a great way to make your team stand out among the other teams.

If someone makes a mistake during your performance, correct their mistake according to the rules of parliamentary procedure. The judges might never notice that you messed up!

Wearing coordinated business attire makes your team look extra put together!

Check out winning team performances on Youtube!

Want more tips and tricks? E-mail!


As a Parliamentary Procedure fanatic, I am always looking for new ways to be more involved with Parliamentary Procedure. Though FBLA provides a plethora of ways for similarly dedicated and passionate Parliamentarians to spread their enthusiasm for Robert’s Rules of Order, many other organizations also have Parliamentary Procedure opportunities. I interviewed Peter Choi, a student at Monta Vista High School in San Jose, California, about his Parliamentarian role within Octagon, a community service organization. 1. What organization do you hold a Parliamentarian position in? I am the International Parliamentarian of Junior Optimist Octagon International - an international service organization with more than 15,500 student leaders dedicated to educating the youth about giving back to the global community. It is more often known by high school students as Octagon (the high school division of the organization). We have clubs established in various countries all over the world, some of which include: France, Canada, Jamaica, Barbados, Anguilla and all across the United States. 2. How did you get involved with this organization and its Parliamentary Procedure aspect? My involvement began in my freshman year when I joined Octagon for community service hours. Since then, I have been fully dedicated to Octagon and I was elected as the 2010-11 International Director and this year's District Governor (equivalent to a state president in FBLA terms) of the Pacific Central District, which is comprised of Nevada, Utah and Northern California. My interest in Parliamentary Procedure, on the other hand, began last year when I ran for FBLA National Parliamentarian and I fell in love with Robert's Rules of Order while studying. After 2011 NLC, I was surprised that I could understand parli pro and even catch some mistakes made during meetings held according to the rules. I continued to use Parli Pro with the international officer team as we use basic parliamentary procedure rules to conduct business meetings at Octagon headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri as well as at the international convention.

3. What are your specific duties as the International Parliamentarian for your organization? At the international convention (which is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this year) the voting delegation is involved in ratifying any proposed changes made by the international officers or suggesting their own amendments to the international bylaws. The Parliamentarian is responsible for ensuring that all changes and voting procedures are made in accordance to Robert's Rules. Additional duties include holding a workshop on parliamentary procedures to teach the convention attendees how to use Parli Pro within their own clubs or districts, and advising the International President on the rules of Parliamentary Procedure during business functions. 4. How has being involved with this organization improved your Parliamentary Procedure knowledge/ strengthened your Parliamentary Procedure interest? This is my first experience holding a position as Parliamentarian so it is exciting to see that Parliamentary Procedure isn't just a FBLA competition but is also used to conduct meetings in other organizations. Though reading RONR from cover to cover, taking a million practice tests, and reciting meeting simulations can help one understand the knowledge of parliamentary procedures, I think having real experience using Robert's Rules in a real business setting or within an organization fully reinforces Parliamentary Procedure. Teaching others about Parli Pro is also one of the best ways to learn! 5. How do you suggest interested members get more involved in Parliamentary Procedure? Get involved using Parli Pro whenever you can; run for Parliamentarian positions, apply for NAP (National Association of Parliamentarians) membership to become professionally registered or even compete in your FBLA chapter's parliamentary procedures team! You learn best through personal experience and Parli Pro takes practice, practice, practice! And of course, don't forget to keep current with Parliamentary Procedure by buying the latest version of RONR!

My interview with Peter just goes to show that opportunities in Parliamentary Procedure are everywhere. You just have to go out and look for them!


Calling all parliamentarians! Are you interested in being featured in the March issue of “Call to Order?” E-mail: “!”

Interested in viewing past issues of “Call to Order?” Visit: fblaparliamentarians

Nadine Goldberg, National Parliamentarian……… Competition Tips & Tricks Roopa Shankar, National Executive Parliamentarian……… Newsletter Design & Compilation Rachel Ford, Southern Region Parliamentarian……… Meet Janet Chu Janet Chu, Western Region Parliamentarian………Opportunities in Parliamentary Procedure Caleb Goodness, North Central Region Parliamentarian……… Elections 101 Brendan Hopkins, Eastern Region Parliamentarian……… NPC Update Trevor Sorensen, Mountain Plains Region Parliamentarian……… Professional Perspectives


National Parliamentarian's Council February Newsletter  

The third issue of Call to Order, the official National Parliamentarian's Council newsletter, is now available! Happy reading. -Compiled & d...

National Parliamentarian's Council February Newsletter  

The third issue of Call to Order, the official National Parliamentarian's Council newsletter, is now available! Happy reading. -Compiled & d...