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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Feb. 2, 2017

Northwest to host FBLA district conference Feb. 9

High school students from throughout the region will converge Thursday, Feb. 9, on the Northwest Missouri State University as it hosts the District I Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Conference.

More than 750 FBLA members and their advisers from nearly 40 chapters are expected to participate in workshops and competitive events. 

FBLA members will participate in performance events related to skills in job interviewing, social media, entrepreneurship, business ethics and impromptu speaking. They also will attend leadership workshops and view exhibits.

John Gilbert, a gold medalist with the U.S. men’s wheelchair basketball team will deliver a keynote address, “The Bumpy Road to Rio,” at the opening session.

John graduated from Fairfax High School and earned his bachelors and master’s degrees at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he played for Mizzou’s wheelchair basketball team. He is a five-time All American in the collegiate division and has won gold and silver medals for the U.S. at competitions in Australia, France, Columbia, South Korea, Canada, and Brazil, including the gold medal with Team USA at the Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in September 2016.

Gilbert has played wheelchair basketball for nearly 20 years and currently plays community basketball for the Missouri Predators. He has taught high school chemistry and physics at Salisbury High School for more than five years. He and his wife, Whitney, are foster parents and are looking to adopt their first child soon. He continues to inspire teammates, students and communities, and he is pursuing a specialist degree in school administration. 

Deborah Burns, the District I lead chapter adviser from Osborn High School, is organizing the conference. Northwest campus liaisons are Dr. Nancy Zeliff, a professor in the School of Computer Science and Information Systems, and Meher Gullapalli, a Northwest graduate student.  

For more information about the conference, contact Zeliff at 660.562.1292 or

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468