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+ FBLA Pledge I solemnly promise to uphold the aims and responsibilities of Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda and, as an active member, I shall strive to develop the qualities necessary in becoming a responsible business leader. -

+ Welcome! Dear Western Region FBLA, Walking through the halls of your high school you are tasked with the responsibility of obtaining greatness. Pretty daunting responsibility, isn’t it? To most students it would be. Though, as members of the Future Business Leaders of America, it is nothing less than what we do at every meeting, conference, workshop, and significant events in our life. This year our theme is ―Gateway to Greatness‖ and with this theme in mind it is important to remember these key thoughts. First, take advantage of every opportunity this year. Your national officer teams efforts are largely based communicating with you the members through innovative technology about our various national programs. Stay informed and your gateway will swing wide open. Second, model leadership. Whether you’re a senior FBLA member or a newbie, students will always look up to you knowing that you are part of such an esteemed organization. Continue on throughout this year by showing your school and community that FBLA members are students who will achieve greatness! Third, and lastly, have fun! By exhibiting the three sections of FBLA; Service, Progress, and Education, you can and will make lifelong memories and friendships! Western Region FBLA, we are kicking off what is sure to be a fantastic year! Thus far we have made monumental strides in our FBLA experiences. As you continue on with your fall conferences and leadership development practices be sure you are doing it so that at the end of this year you can proudly say you opened your Gateway to Greatness! Welcome to the 2011-2012 membership year! Don’t hesitate to contact me at or through your National Officer Hotline at 801-900-FBLA. Respectfully,

Western Region Vice President

+ Western Region Executive Board Patricia Gutierrez, Arizona, Regional Secretary. I love dogs, I have had over 20 dogs in my 17 years. Jeff Niu, California, Regional Treasurer. Being born and raised in New York City, I would choose city lights and snow days over the beach and sunny summers any day in the year. Janet Chu, California, Regional Parliamentarian. I carry around my Toy Story 3 playing cards practically everywhere I go since the day I purchased them at the 2011 National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida. Nina Kamath, California, Communications Director. I have never owned an Apple product though I live 15 minutes away from the headquarters. Edward Choi, Washington, Webmaster. I had a summer job picking up garbage on the side of I-5 (since you guys are in the West Coast, you guys know what freeway I'm talking about). Katherine Liu, California, National President's Western Region Assistant. I am an avid fan of Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, and the various writings of Lewis Carroll. Sam Bhat, Arizona, First Vice President's Assistant. Outside of FBLA, I have been actively involved in martial arts for 12 years, as well as having played the violin for the same amount of time. Angela Wang, California, Vice President’s Assistant. I enjoy reading classical literature. Nikhil Mallipeddi, California, Vice President’s Assistant. Living in Cupertino, I have probably eaten more Asian food than American food. Jessica Hao, California, Vice President's Assistant. I'm trying to grow my hair long so that I can donate it to cancer patients! Connor Stakelin, Washington, Vice President Assistant. I've traveled to over 120 cities on the West Coast alone.

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SPOTLIGHT + Chapter Spotlight: Thomas Jefferson High School FBLA, Washington BY: EDWARD CHOI, WEBMASTER

In the rainy Pacific Northwest, nestled in a city bordering the city of Seattle is a Future Business Leaders of America chapter hailing from Thomas Jefferson High School. This chapter is none-other than the one I attend, and has around 30 active members. Meeting in a computer lab every Monday where a large FBLA Chapter banner hangs proudly on the wall, the membership is comprised of underclassmen and a smaller contingent of upperclassmen members. Leading the Monday meetings is chapter president Ryan Lee, who was among Thomas Jefferson's record number of qualifiers for the 2011 National Leadership Conference at Orlando; six members from Thomas Jefferson High School had qualified and competed at the national level this past summer. This chapter holds a community service event around Halloween annually, setting up a haunted house to provide scares and festivities to elementary school children in the local area. It's Thomas Jefferson FBLA's annual tradition, and has been perpetuated for many years. The school's cafeteria is completely temporarily remodeled into a fully themed haunted house in a matter of hours. Members frantically race against the clock to set up the haunted house, positioning cafeteria tables into walls, covering lights with orange construction paper, and taping the whole cafeteria with black garbage bags to darken the room. After the basics are finished, the members decorate their assigned rooms such as the kitchen, ―torture chamber,‖ graveyard, and science lab with frightening props, ranging from specimens in jars borrowed from biology class, to graveyard headstones. Skulls, skeletons, fake plastic knives, and cobwebs are scattered throughout the haunted house, establishing a truly scary experience for the kids. Members dress up in costumes, some as harmless angels, and others donning skeleton masks and grim reaper outfits whilst holding fake plastic scythes and swords. They hide in dark corners in the maze-like haunted house, jumping out to surprise and terrify the thrilled elementary school students. Halloween-themed music finishes the touch, providing the ambiance of a high quality haunted house, all in a school's cafeteria. Parents struggle to lead their kids on through the foreboding maze as they are petrified from all the fear and uncertainty of entering a haunted house. At times, some kids cry immediately before entering the haunted house.

To make the experience fun and not as intimidating for all, every kid has the option to choose the intensity of the scares, ranging from ―baby-scare‖ to ―EXTREME scare.‖ Those who enter the haunted house either donate a dollar or a can of non-perishable food, both which all goes straight to the local food bank. Every year, a large number of canned food items and money is donated to the community food bank, thanks to the droves of elementary school children and their families who choose to experience the haunted house. Along with the satisfaction of knowing that their efforts are helping the community, the members of Thomas Jefferson FBLA love scaring kids and watching their funny reactions just as much. This year, the Washington State Midwest Region Vice President, Anthony Yun, was kind enough to visit and help Thomas Jefferson FBLA run the haunted house event. I had the great learning experience of being in charge of running the event as my chapter's vice president, and I'm honestly glad that it all worked out as well as it did. The annual haunted house is a very fun and creative way to help serve the community, and it could possibly be your chapter's way of giving back to your local community in the future. TIP: Transform your chapter’s reputation in the community by hosting innovative and engaging events for community members!

+ Ask Aaron? What is the best Christmas present you have ever received, and who gave it to you? Just this past Christmas I received the new Mac Book Air laptop from my mother. It is seriously one of the most essential tools I have in high school, FBLA, and life!

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SPOTLIGHT + Member Spotlight: Jasmine Xu, Los Altos High School, California

BY: KATHERINE LIU, NATIONAL PRESIDENT’S WESTERN REGION ASSISTANT Jasmine Xu, a senior at Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California, is the president of Los Altos High’s FBLA chapter. Only one year ago, Los Altos FBLA was a new, inexperienced chapter. Now, it is one of the most active clubs on campus, hosting events almost every week. ―Now that we’ve figured out how FBLA works and what projects are available, it’s been a lot easier trying to actually incorporate projects into our chapter activities,‖ she says. ―It’s been really nice because we’re able to attract more members more easily.‖ For the past three years, Jasmine has competed in Entrepreneurship, a team event that covers business concepts like marketing, finance, and management. This past summer, Jasmine and her teammates placed first at the National Leadership Conference, pulling Los Altos FBLA out of obscurity and into the spotlight. The team’s unexpected success motivated Los Altos’s chapter to become a competitor in the national arena, leading to better organization and more action within Los Altos FBLA. Outside of FBLA, Jasmine plays badminton and writes for the school newspaper. Even with so much on her schedule, she still finds time to just relax: ―I like to eat ramen and drink pearl milk tea, in my free time I make friendship bracelets.‖ Jasmine balances all of her activities carefully, but helping Los Altos FBLA is one of her main goals, she says: ―We’ve obviously grown a lot, but we definitely still have a lot we can improve on.‖ The world is waiting to see what Los Altos FBLA will do next.

+ Ask Aaron? What is your most vivid childhood memory? Thinking back to my child hood I would have to say that my most vivid childhood memory is the fun times I would have with my cousins in the cool pool on a hot summer Arizona day!

What do you want to do after your high school and FBLA career? What plans do you have for college, work, and beyond? After high school I plan to enroll in a four year university (currently in the midst of the college application craziness!) and study either Operations Management or International Affairs. If I go the ―International Affairs‖ route I plan to pursue a career in government. If I go the ―Operations Management‖ route I would love to get a job in planning, development, and promotion of events for the Disney Corporation.

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As active members of FBLA, we all know that costs of Conferences may be a lot pricier than what we’d desire, especially in our current economic slump. For some of us, it may be easier to afford these fees, but there are always going to be members whose families struggle a bit more to make ends meet. Regardless of our socioeconomic backgrounds and family incomes, it’s still a great idea to fundraise as much as possible prior to our conferences. Subsidizing costs is beneficial for any member, and it can also prove to be quite a rewarding experience. Now, I’m sure you’re wondering: How exactly do I fundraise? There are two main methods in which a chapter can procure money. The first is through simple fundraisers, and the second is through sponsorships. With fundraising, chapters can raise money with a bake sale, car wash, tutoring, product sales—the list goes on. The real secret behind good fundraising is to cater it to local needs. This may seem self explanatory at first, but it’s important to keep in mind when organizing fundraisers. For example, if there is a local Baja Fresh across the street from your school, it would be a fantastic idea to set up a Burrito Night in which customers with FBLA Flyers have 15% of their paid meal go back into the club funds. The key here is to be consistent and get as many members involved as possible—any attention is good attention. This can be accomplished by printing out tons of flyers, creating a Facebook event or submitting a shout out in the school announcements.

Another way to cater to the needs of the community is to pay close attention to trends. For example, when the Silly Bandz craze spread, a great idea would’ve been to print FBLA or school spirit silly bandz. A mass order would be cheap and the profits would be more than enough to cover any costs. The golden rule with fundraisers is that if you don’t even have any interest in the product you’re trying to sell, it probably won’t make much money. Pick something interesting and when the time is ripe, seize the opportunity to make some extra cash. The other method to raise money is to get sponsorships. Often, we think of sponsorships as receiving big money. However, sponsorships can vary in amounts; cumulative small contributions are just as effective as a large lump sum from a generous benefactor. While finding sponsors will vary from region to region and city to city, as long as you have a determination to ―disregard limitations and acquire currency,‖ you are headed towards success. At the local level, a small sponsorship can be about $25 to $50, a medium is usually around $100 and anything over $150 can be considered a large sponsorship. The best way to approach these three tiers is to have benefits ready for the sponsor at the middle to higher levels—I would personally recommend that chapters pursue sponsorships of about $100 dollars to be reasonable. Since you are reaping the benefits from the money of a sponsor, you should be able to offer something in return— this can be by putting sponsors on the back of club shirts, passing out business cards or advertising on a website. Now this brings us to the most important question: Who can I ask to become my sponsor? Well, pretty much anyone can be a sponsor, but the best group of people to target is local businesses. As a newbie, your first step to contacting businesses can either be directly approaching the stores ready to speak to a manager, or attending local organizational meetings. These can be Chamber of Commerce meetings, Rotary International or Kiwanis Club. Simply do a bit of research and email the people in charge of these meetings requesting an invitation to attend, and they will be more than happy to welcome you to their gathering. For the meeting, wear a suit regardless of the dress code, as you are representing your chapter, with a goal to impress the adults who are present. Have a short presentation and elevator speech about FBLA ready in your arsenal of goods—pair this up with casual conversations, firm handshakes and a mental list of incentives that your chapter can provide to the sponsor. Make sure to ask individual business owners if they are interested in contributing money to your chapter and follow up with an email or an in person visit…and voila! With a few more questions here and there, you be certain that your chapter will benefit greatly from your sponsors as the year progressive. While all this may seem overwhelming or difficult at first, I strongly encourage you to try things out as the best way to learn is through personal experience. While the money you receive from sponsors and fundraisers is certainly great, the most valuable aspect of this entire process is what you learn—that is inherently priceless. So why wait any longer? Get up, go out, and make some money!

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+ Ask Aaron? What do you like to do when you're bored? I’m a HUGE movie buff! When I’m bored I like to pop in some of my favorite movies In the DVD player and watch as many movies as I can.

What is the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning? Most of the time I’m thinking ―Am I seriously up this early?‖ but then I just layout my responsibilities for the day.

TIPS AND TRICKS + Recruit, Recruit, Recruit

BY: ANGELA WANG, VICE PRESIDENT’S ASSISTANT Recruitment is an important part of keeping your local chapter active and successful. Although it has already been a couple of months into the school year, here are some tips which can be used this year or can be saved for next year! 1. Start early. Oftentimes, the best recruiting campaigns are ones that have been thought out extensively. Why should members of the student body join your chapter? What does your chapter have to offer that other organizations on campus cannot? Packaging FBLA with a thoughtful theme and promoting the organization as soon as possible is the best way to attract the attention of students. Ideas for recruitment that will be remembered and will resonate in prospective members can be difficult to think of; therefore, it is important to give your chapter enough time to put together something successful. This could mean starting the recruitment process before the previous school year is over.

3. Reach out to people personally. Recruiting people personally will make them feel more important and needed in the organization-- everyone loves a personal invitation! In addition, recruiting people face-to-face will allow your enthusiasm and passion for FBLA to show through. Finally, remember: Recruitment is an ongoing process, and never assume that because it is not the beginning of the year you should not recruit. FBLA offers an expansive variety of involvement opportunities, and regardless of the time a person decides to join, there are many ways to stay active. Even if your chapter’s initial recruitment campaign may not be extremely successful, every day is another opportunity to recruit members. Good luck, and happy recruiting!

2. Go big. Make sure that whatever recruitment tactics you employ (posters, introductory presentations, announcements or meetings) are noticeable and draw attention to the FBLA name. Make sure your chapter is represented on Club Day or during other events which your school may provide for students to be introduced to clubs on campus. Host a fun event like a kickball game or pizza party that can serve as a first impression of the organization to the student body. Some students may not even know what FBLA is, and starting recruitment with something memorable may motivate them to learn more about the organization.

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TIPS AND TRICKS + Strategic Retention

BY: SAM BHAT, FIRST VICE PRESIDENT’S ASSISTANT With the new school year well underway, the focus of many local chapters throughout our region and nation has shifted- instead of seeking to recruit tons of new members, we are now faced with retaining all of the members that have joined our chapters since the beginning of the year. This can prove to be a daunting task in some cases, because most states and sections/regions host their competitive conferences during the spring semester, leaving many chapters with seemingly no activities to look forward to during the fall semester. This problem can be solved in many ways, however- this "down time" before competitions start can be used for much more than just event practice. Community service projects are a great way for students to be more involved in their community. High school students are always looking for ways in which they can earn service hours- either for college applications or even for graduations. A chapter can organize such events, as there is never a shortage of non-profit organizations and charities looking for volunteers to help them out (especially during the holiday season!) in addition to community service, a local chapter can also benefit from visiting with local business leaders, and perhaps recruiting them into FBLA-PBL's Professional Division. The professional division of FBLA consists with "real-world" businessmen and women that want to give back to their communities and educate the future generations of leaders and entrepreneurs. The experience gained from talking to business professionals is invaluable, and it can sometimes give local chapters amazing ideas for new ways in which to learn about business, as well as how to approach a specific career pathway. Inviting business professionals to your local chapter to come and speak is an excellent way in which to connect with an individual who has working experience in the world of business. FBLA-PBL has several resources with which you can learn more about both community service, as well as how to recruit a professional division member, and they are all located at On this website, you will find all tips you need, as well as an electronic copy of our Chapter Management Handbook, which is filled with awesome ideas that anyone can take back to their local chapters. Also on this website is tons of links for competitive event practice, as well as news articles updating us on what chapters around the nation are doing during the semester. The Western Region Board wishes you the best of luck as we get closer and closer to our regional and state conferences, but in the mean time, don't forget that there is always a way to get involved within FBLA!

+ Manage Meeting Madness

BY: JANET CHU, REGIONAL PARLIAMENTARIAN Let’s face it, we don’t always see eye to eye. To some extent, this difference can be appreciated because it highlights our unique personalities, but when it comes time to settle business in a meeting our differences may cause some challenges. Parliamentary Procedure, the set of rules on how to run a successful and efficient meeting, is intended to combat just that! It works to facilitate discussion; however, Robert’s Rules in its truest form may not be applicable or practical in all situations. Instead, these rules are synthesized into general concepts that can be followed to promote the same values of equality and democracy. Here are some simplified Parliamentary Procedure concepts on how to deal with differences in opinion and avoid conflict, as well as some general tips on how to run an effective meeting: 1. One at a Time Talking over one another won’t make business run faster. Be sure to give each person an opportunity to voice their opinion. 2. Alternate to Get the Big Picture It’s advisable to allow the points of view to alternate (those in favor of the action switch off with those opposed) so that the debate is well-rounded. 3. No Hogging the Floor Has someone not spoken yet? Person A, who has yet to speak, should be allowed to speak in before Person B, who has spoken multiple times. 4. No Man Left Behind Make it clear what’s going on at what time. In an important meeting where there are many things that need to be discussed, it’s easy to lose track of what’s currently being debated or voted on. Say what is being debated or voted on multiple times if you have to, but leave no man behind! 5. Appoint a Leader It’s understandable to want everyone to be on equal ground, but having someone preside over the meeting and move items along makes for a much more efficient meeting. This person doesn’t necessary wield all the power, the majority decides the vote. The duty of the presiding officer is simply to preside! Those are five simplified Parliamentary Procedure concepts that you can incorporate into your meetings and every day debates and discussions! Learn to master these concepts and you will find that your meetings, debates, and discussions just got a whole lot more efficient!

+ Ask Aaron?

What do you enjoy most about being a National Officer for FBLA? It would definitely have to be helping facilitate national conferences! Being part of a dynamic team that puts on a national conference is a thrilling and challenging task. Page 7


+ An Experience to Remember

BY: NIKHIL MALLIPEDDI, VICE PRESIDENT’S ASSISTANT The highlight of anybody’s FBLA Year is definitely at the National Leadership Conference. Not only do you get the chance to bond with your private chapter on a whole new level, you, as a member, are given the opportunity to network with students all across the nation. With a shared passion among all members at the conference, there is no reason why you should not be having a great time. Whether it be meeting officers from other schools, networking with members from various states, or late night studying for your competitive event, Nationals gives you a chance to delve into a unique experience in the necessary and important attributes of every aspect in FBLA. It was my honor last year to attend the National Leadership Conference in Orlando. Extremely different from many places in California, Orlando presents a very unique setting to meet and immerse oneself in a culture nothing like home. At FBLA, the National Conference gives you chance to independently delve into your interests, and explore whatever you want to do. ―Living‖ on your own for a week with a multitude of opportunities is an experience that anyone would enjoy. I personally have met many friends through FBLA. Not only does this expand private networks, but connections to other people are thrown wide open, and there is no way this cannot help you. In reality, being a part of FBLA helps us meet so many new and extraneous people that it is something altogether amazing and unique in its experience and its kind. Being in FBLA is definitely something that has changed my high school life, and bar sounding cheesy, I would NOT be where I am now if it weren’t for FBLA, I’ve met so many new people, and devoted so much time towards doing something I love, and I can proudly say that I am and will always be a member of FBLA. Through fostering friendships, meeting new people, and creating a distinct environment where everyone is welcome, FBLA is truly a club and area where everybody will be happy and achieve their own Gateway to Greatness!

+ FBLA Mission Statement Our mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. -

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NLC 2012: MARK YOUR CALENDARS + Next Stop: San Antonio, Texas



After a successful National Leadership Conference 2010-2011 in Orlando, Florida, we turn our attention to this year’s National Leadership Conference in the majestic city of San Antonio, Texas. This is where members will come together to compete, travel to an amazing city, network and get to know members from all around the nation. FBLA members have the competitive edge as the best of FBLA come together to compete in over 55 competitive events that are cash sponsored. FBLA has partnered up with industry leaders to sponsor competitive events through scholarships for members who achieve national ranking. Thanks to sponsors like National Technical Honor Society, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, Microsoft Store, Disney Youth Education Series, H&R Block, People to People Leadership Ambassador Programs, members will earn money for outstanding achievement on a national platform. Over 8000 students and advisors are expected to attend this year’s NLC. NLC is not only competition but it’s about sharing each other’s successes, and learning about ideas that will impact our future through workshops and exhibits. This four day conference is considered the most exciting FBLA experience with its limitless networking opportunities. The conference even includes special minipolitical campaigns to elect officers as a part of the 2012-2013 National Officer Team. FBLA members not only compete, lead, and network but, also an opportunity to acquaint themselves to a new place during the four-day conference. The 2011-2012 NLC take place in the seventh largest city in the nation. In San Antonio, one will have the opportunity to explore the scenic Riverwalk, with restaurants and stores; discover a piece of history visiting the beautiful Alamo where the famous and historic battle took place; and experience the sights of Sea World, and ride the wonders of Six Flag—all in one place. Competition, fun, and travel awaits you in San Antonio. Be among the best and be surrounded by leaders like you. Participate and get career training. Shape your future, and achieve your goals. This is something you won't want to miss. Join the Western Region, and attend the FBLA-PBL National Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

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REGIONAL AWARDS + 2011 FBLA Membership Event Awards Winners (Based on Paid FBLA Members as of March 1)

LARGEST LOCAL CHAPTER First Place – Homestead High School, California, 270 members Second Place – Moorpark High School, California, 236 members MARKETSHARE AWARD First Place – Wilson Creek High School, Washington, 84% Second Place – Elgin High School, Oregon, 32% LARGEST STATE CHAPTER First Place – California, 6829 members Second Place – Washington, 4103 members LARGEST INCREASE IN STATE CHAPTER MEMBERSHIP First Place – California, 849 members Second Place – Arizona, 701 members LARGEST STATE RECRUITMENT OF CHAPTERS First Place – California, 46 chapters Second Place – Arizona and Washington, 16 chapters

2011 Professional Membership Event Awards Winners

Aaron Wodka Western Region Vice President

(Based on Paid Professional Members as of April 15)

LARGEST STATE CHAPTER PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIP First Place – California, 409 members Second Place – Washington, 114 members LARGEST LOCAL CHAPTER PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIP First Place – Colusa High School, California, 49 members Second Place – Live Oak High School, California, 46 members

Gateway to Greatness! Compiled by: Nina Kamath Western Region Communications Director

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Western Report V2 Issue 1  

The first publication of the 2011-2012 year is now available!

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