Hundreds of Future Business Leaders of America members from all over the north state gathered in Colusa on Saturday for the 69th annual FBLA Northern Leadership Conference.
Nikole Burg, Colusa FBLA Chapter Advisor, said as the Northern Section co-director she volunteered Colusa High School to host the event for the first time this year.
Burg said the conference is primarily centered around students competing in a variety of business-related competitions ranging from public speaking and job interview to objective tests on topics like organizational leadership, banking and financial systems and agribusiness.
“It’s a chance for students to showcase their education and compete in a non-athletic way,” said Berg.
According to Burg, the Northern Section Officer Team was responsible for putting on the event, making sure that it was a day full of memories, friendship building and educational opportunities for all in attendance.
“My Northern Section team and I worked diligently for four months prior to the conference planning entertainment, writing scripts, and doing whatever we could to make sure this event was memorable for all 350 members in attendance,” said Northern Section President Kelsea Whiting. “I was amazed at the professionalism and determination that my fellow officers displayed while hosting this event. Our hard work did not go unnoticed as some of the members said that this was the best Section Conference they had ever attended. It is comments like this that make all of the stressful days leading up to the conference worthwhile.”
This years Officer Team includes Whiting from Colusa Hight School, Vice President Shahil Pal from Center High School in Antelope, Secretary and Treasurer Renee Wrysinski from Colusa High School, Public Relations Officer Nitya Agarwal from Cosumnes Oaks High School in Elk Grove and Executive Secretary Emily Cerney from Colusa High School.
Burg said more than 350 students from 11 schools were in attendance this year from as far away as Elk Grove, Susanville and Westwood. More than 60 of Colusa’s FBLA members attended as well, eagerly hoping to bring home several plaques presented at the Awards of Excellence Ceremony held at the end of the day. Members from Pierce High School attended as well.
Qualifiers from the competitive events will move on to compete at the State Leadership Conference in Ontario April 23-26.
In addition to the many competitions, there were several other activities throughout the day-long event.
Assemblyman James Gallagher gave the keynote speech during the mornings opening session.
There was also a March of Dimes fundraiser, a talent show, family feud trivia and networking bingo.
Elections for the 2020-2021 Northern Section Officer Team were also held during the event and Colusa High student Jaspreet Shoker was in the running for Executive Secretary.
Berg, who was involved in FBLA while going to school in Maxwell, said this event has been especially rewarding because of the tremendous community outreach.
“Dozens of local volunteers – from former Colusa FBLA members to generous members of the community as well as volunteer chaperones and advisers from the other schools attending the conference – have helped to make this event a success,” said Burg. “Volunteers primarily help with serving as judges for the various events like broadcast journalism and sales presentations or any of the public speaking events.”
Berg said her favorite part about attending the conference is seeing the kids on stage, cheering for one another and all of their successes.
“It’s a point of pride for their academics and brings the same competitive drive and school spirit that you see in sports,” said Burg.
Burg said that while there are no formal plans for Colusa High to host the conference in the future, she would be happy to host it again and her students agree.
“I am very pleased with the way the conference turned out and I cannot wait to do it all over again next year!” said Whiting.