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News Release

Jan. 30, 2018

Northwest to host FBLA district conference Feb. 8

High school students from throughout the region will converge Thursday, Feb. 8, at Northwest Missouri State University as it hosts the District I Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Conference.

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

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

The conference begins with an opening session at 8 a.m. at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts, where Capt. Tim Finley, a 17-year combat-decorated U.S. Air Force veteran, endurance horse rider and author, will deliver a keynote address about courageous leadership, endurance of character and the value of “being comfortable with being uncomfortable.” He also will present a breakout leadership workshop to FBLA members.

Before earning his officer commission from Kansas State University, Finley witnessed the events of 9/11 first-hand and folded the flags of America’s fallen as an Air Force honor guard. In 2014 and 2015, as a tactical air control party officer, Finley led the coalition air campaign against ISIS. Upon his return, he championed solutions to the veteran suicide epidemic while conquering the world's longest, toughest horse race, The Mongol Derby.

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 Cari Cline, instructor in the School of Computer Science and Information Systems, and Abbey Kriz, a Northwest graduate student.  

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


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215