Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) student organization committed to preparing students for success in business leadership. As the largest student business organization in the world, FBLA-PBL is made up of about a quarter of a million middle school, high school, and college students, as well as community and corporate supporters. FBLA-PBL is a national organization comprised of four divisions:
- FBLA Middle Level for students in grades 5-8
- FBLA for high school students
- PBL for postsecondary students
- Professional Division (PD) for business professionals and community supporters
FBLA-PBL is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, and organized on local, state, and national levels.
Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) is the collegiate division of the association, FBLA-PBL. Membership in this division reaches 12,000 nationwide and is open to all postsecondary students who have an interest in business. The FBLA-PBL Mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. The mission is brought to life through the application of the motto: Service, Education, and Progress.
FBLA-PBL has established nine goals for the organization:
- Promote competent, assertive business leadership
- Strengthen confidence of students in themselves and their work
- Create interest in and understanding of American business enterprise
- Encourage development of individual projects to improve home, business, and community
- Facilitate the transition from school to work
- Assist students in the establishment of career goals
- Encourage scholarship and promote school loyalty
- Encourage and practice sound financial management
- Develop character, prepare for useful citizenship, and foster patriotism
The FBLA concept was developed in 1937 and launched in 1940, under the sponsorship of the National Business Education Association, to unite the thousands of individual business clubs in the nation’s high schools and colleges. The first chapter was chartered at Johnson City, Tennessee on February 3, 1942. Two days later, the second chapter was organized in St. Albans, West Virginia. By the end of 1942, 39 chapters had been chartered; within three years, another 38 had joined; and 80 chapters were chartered by 1946. By 1947, the first state chapter was chartered in Iowa, with Indiana and Ohio quickly following. Within three years, a total of ten state charters had been issued.
1969 was a watershed year when articles of incorporation were signed and the association became FBLA-PBL, Inc., a non-profit student educational association with its own board of directors and full-time staff under the direction of CEO Edward Miller. Membership at this time was approximately 80,000 members in 4,500 local chapters. Dr. Miller retired as CEO of FBLA-PBL in 1997, marking a major milestone for the association. Jean Buckley was appointed at that time as the second CEO in the association’s history.
1958 marks the creation of the post-secondary division, Phi Beta Lambda, with the University of Iowa as the first PBL chapter.
For more information about the national organization, visit the FBLA-PBL National Website at www.fbla-pbl.org.
California Phi Beta Lambda (CA PBL) is the state association executing the FBLA-PBL Mission in the State of California for postsecondary students.
California’s involvement in PBL began in 1947, with the chartering of Fullerton College (formerly Fullerton Junior College). The first State Leadership Conference was held on April 29, 1950 with over 200 members witnessing the first state officers elected and constitution approved. The conference theme was “Leadership in Action.”
Despite the best efforts to research the history of Phi Beta Lambda in California, little is known about PBL within this state. However, despite an obviously proud and active history through the 1970s and 1980s, PBL began to disappear in California during the 1990s. Since that time, great progress has been made leading to PBL’s rapid explosion within institutions of higher learning throughout California.
The new millennium marked the beginning of California PBL’s revival. In 2002, the state team challenged California PBL to Soar to New Heights. In 2003, California met the challenge to keep the momentum going. Under the caring leadership of State President Danielle Tuason née Tolentino, the state chartered two new chapters and doubled its membership to 110 members. In 2004, the state faced a new challenge to Exceed Expectations. With a great officer team, hard work, and dedication, California exploded growing to eight chapters and 234 members. The 2005-2006 year provided California PBL the opportunity to prove that the previous year was not a flash in the pan. By year end, California PBL stood strong at 12 chapters and 350 members, the largest state in the Western Region. 2009 brought a new era of professionalism by hosting the State Business Leadership Conference in a hotel rather than on a university campus, and in 2010, California PBL was Making Waves, moving the State Fall Business Leadership Conference into a hotel setting.
Each California PBL local chapter operates independently, with locally elected officers and advisers. Throughout the year, chapters often work together on projects, plan joint activities, and participate in state events and conferences.
Registered chapters as of May 2016:
California Baptist University
California State Univ. Fresno
California State Univ. Fullerton
California State Univ. San Bernardino
College of the Canyons
Diablo Valley College
Las Positas College
Reedley College - North Centers
Rio Hondo College
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Riverside
University of California, San Diego
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of Southern California