Last month, Ringling College of Art and Design faculty and staff attended the Future Business Leaders of America National Leadership Conference in Atlanta. About 12,000 middle and high school students and 2,000 career and technical education teachers from across the U.S. attended the conference that took place from June 28-30, 2023.
The mission of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) is to inspire and prepare students to become community-minded business leaders in a global society, through relevant career preparation and leadership experiences.
FBLA is the largest career student business organization in the world:
• 173,279 high school student members
• 12,139 middle school student members
• 2,505 college student members
• 8,010 High School Career Education Teachers
• 1,190 Middle School Career Education Teacher
• 655 Collegiate Instructors
Ringling Department Heads Jeff Bleitz, Graphic Design; Jamie DeRuyter, Entertainment Design; Marty Murphy, Virtual Reality Development; Kathleen Sobr, Business of Art and Design; and Morgan Woolverton, Game Art attended the conference, alongside Assistant Dean of Admissions Krista Schiller and Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Curtis Anderson.
Anderson shared that, “FBLA’s conference is a great opportunity for us to connect with ambitious high school students. We can share information about the college with students who might not otherwise have thought about getting an art degree.”
Bleitz gave a presentation on developing a captivating visual personality, introducing the skills, tools, and conceptual approaches to designing branded materials. Sobr shared her insights on the many business roles available in the creative industries. DeRuyter and Woolverton presented on the immersive environments of video games and entertainment design, and those four department heads co-led a talk on the role of collaboration in creative business fields.
Murphy was invited to evaluate competitions in video games and mobile applications for both middle school and high school students. For the high school video game category, participants created word puzzle games similar to Wordle and the mobile app developers were challenged to design an information portal for their school.
In the showroom, the Admissions team fielded questions about the admissions process and programs, and passed out giveaways, including a lapel pin designed by current Illustration student Sky Chandler ’25, who designed the pin as a student worker in the Design Center during the spring semester.
FBLA holds a national and annual conference. They help over 230,000 young people prepare for careers in business each year. Read more about the organization and conference on the FBLA website.