PBL Candidates

Congratulations! You have taken the first step toward serving as a national officer of Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc.

Before You Begin…

Read this guide closely. It covers:

If you have any questions about running for national office or the campaign guidelines, email Lisa Smothers at membership@fbla.org.

Important Dates

(Note: all deadlines are 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time unless otherwise indicated)

May 15
Application Deadline

June 1
Draft campaign materials due: draft speech, financial statement, list of booth items, sample brochure/rack card (if applicable)

June 22
Candidate Briefings Session

June 22–23
Institute for Leaders

June 23–26
National Leadership Conference

July 24–27
National Officer Training

Application Guidelines

Candidate Eligibility

Dues must be paid by April 15. FBLA-PBL National Center staff will verify membership upon receipt of candidate application.

Application Checklist

Before you begin your online application, keep these tips in mind:

  The submission deadline is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on May 15. Please note that no applications will be accepted after this time and incomplete applications will not be accepted. The application can take a while to complete, so please be sure you start early enough to complete your submission prior to 11:59 p.m.

  To allow your adviser to review your submission, consider typing your answers in a Word document, have your adviser review, then paste into the online application for final submission.

National Officer (President, Secretary, and Treasurer) and Regional Vice President Applications

Please review the PBL Bylaws, Article VI, Section 2 for Qualifications for National Office.

Applications must include certifications from the candidate’s local chapter adviser (if member is a member of the Virtual Chapter, certification must be from state adviser) and one from the state adviser/chair.

If no candidates are submitted for a particular office by the first or second deadline, then candidates may apply for office at the National Leadership Conference. To submit an application at the NLC, potential candidates must report, with their state and local adviser, to the Candidate Briefings Session.

Potential candidates must bring copies of all of the materials that they will use in their campaign and a copy of the financial statement, all original receipts, and a portfolio of campaign materials in a three ring binder. Cover of binder must contain candidate’s name, office seeking, and onsite contact information (cell phone & email).

Potential candidates will be required to comply with the interview requirements and all other guidelines expected of candidates.

National Parliamentarian Application

Each state may nominate any member as a candidate for national parliamentarian. Candidates for the office of national parliamentarian must:

  • submit the application by May 15;
  • attend the Candidate Briefings Session;
  • take the written parliamentary procedure exam.

Candidates for national parliamentarian do not participate in the candidate interviews at the NLC and do not actively campaign.

Preparing to be a Candidate

Candidate Materials

The following campaign materials must be submitted for review at the Candidate Briefings Session (in the order below) in a 1″ three-ring binder with a cover page that includes the candidate’s name, state, and office sought:

  • final copy of campaign speech;
  • final copy of campaign financial statement with itemized receipts (this copy will not be returned, so candidates will need a separate copy to display at the campaign booth);
  • one each of any campaign items and literature (stickers, flyers, brochures, sample design of campaign signs, etc.). These items must be properly identified with the name of the candidate and office sought (may be abbreviated such as Bob for MPVP). Community or state items (literature, buttons, bumper stickers, etc.) that do not endorse or reference the candidate do not need to be personalized or submitted.

Candidates must include a description of any items which will be given away at the campaign booth to generate name recognition. In addition, candidates must provide a mockup of the campaign booth area including all items to be displayed. Mockup may be hand drawn, photograph, or computer-generated, but must be representative of booth layout and all materials contained therein.

Please remember that items may not be pinned, taped, tacked, or in any way adhered to walls, floors, ceiling, or furniture.

Money, alcohol, tobacco, and helium-filled balloons may not be displayed or distributed.

Due to hotel guidelines, no beverages (including bottled water) may be distributed at the booth.

Any food items that are distributed must be professionally sealed and packaged and must be sample size.

A written description of any audio-visuals must be included with the campaign material. It is the responsibility of the candidate to bring or rent his or her own equipment. Equipment costs (rental service, electrical access, etc.), if any, must be listed on the financial statement. Remember, rental of AV equipment through the hotel’s in-house AV provider can be very expensive. In all cases, access to electrical outlets will require an additional fee and must be included in the campaign financial statement.

Any items displayed or distributed that were not approved during pre-screening will be confiscated during campaigning and returned to the candidate at the conclusion of the NLC.

Candidate Financial Statement

A candidate may not spend or have received donated materials (at “fair market” value) and/or money totaling more than $1,000.

Substantiated documentation for donations and itemized receipts for all campaign materials must accompany the financial statement.

Audio-visual equipment rented or loaned to the candidate should be reported at either the actual rental rate or “fair market” estimation. You may use your own computer or speakers but any items donated from the school or other people must be reported at “fair market” value.

Note that power must be ordered/arranged through the conference hotel and paid by candidate. Expense must be included in campaign budget.

Note: Revenue plus Donated Items must equal Expenses. For example, if you have $500 income, donations plus expenses must equal $500. Any additional income must be returned to whoever donated it.

All donated items must be included (at fair market value) in both the income and expenses sections (see financial statement template for example).

Candidates must use the electronic financial statement form to submit a campaign budget.

Campaign Speeches

Candidates for national offices (president, secretary, treasurer) will deliver their speeches during the Campaign Rally immediately following the Opening General Session. Candidates for vice president will deliver their campaign speeches during the Regional Campaign Rally and Recognition Session.

All campaign speeches are limited to a total of two minutes. The time is monitored and strictly enforced.

No audio-visual equipment may be used during campaign speeches.

The lectern microphone or a wireless handheld microphone are the options for president, secretary, and treasurer candidates. For vice president candidates, a lectern microphone will be provided. No other microphone types may be used.

Business attire is required. Please review the official Dress Code.

Only the candidate may participate in the campaign speech (i.e., no introductions, skits, or props).

Campaign Literature, Materials, and Campaign Booths

Candidates, their adviser(s), and their campaign staff may set up their campaign booth at 7:00 a.m. on June 24.

The exhibit area will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on June 24 and from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on June 25. All candidates and their campaign staff are responsible for maintaining a clean and orderly campaign area.

Candidates should remember that the campaign booths are located in the conference exhibit area and share space with commercial (paying) exhibitors. As you plan your campaign area, please remember to be courteous to the other exhibitors and do not plan activities in the campaign area that would be disruptive to their ability to conduct their business.

Candidates may dismantle their booths from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on June 25.

Candidates will be assigned to an area for their campaign booth and will be notified of their booth assignment the week prior to NLC.

Candidates may only use the space that falls within the booth dimensions. A skirted and draped 6′ x 30″ table, two chairs and a trash can are provided.

Candidates and campaign staff may only campaign in their own booth area. Any physical campaigning outside of this area is prohibited.

Candidates and campaign staff must remain within the campaign booth area and not block other booths or aisles.

All candidates and campaign staff in the campaign area must be dressed in business attire. Candidates and campaign staff are not allowed to wear costumes, aprons, t-shirts, polo shirts, hats, etc. in the campaign booth area, campaign area, or conference sessions (workshops, meetings, general sessions, Candidate Q & A, etc.).

Candidates should make sure high value items are safely secured when they are not in use at the booth. FBLA-PBL is not responsible for any items left in campaign booths. Security is not provided when the campaign area is closed. When ordering your campaign materials, the following information may be helpful to determine quantities (approximately based on previous attendance).

Attendees Voting Delegates
NLC (Total) 1,700 472
Eastern 200 57
Mountain Plains 350 83
North Central 200 59
Southern 850 230
Western 150 43

Campaign Guidelines

Campaigning for President, Secretary, and Treasurer

Official physical campaigning for the offices of president, secretary, and treasurer may begin immediately following Opening Session and Campaign Rally.

Campaigning is strictly prohibited before or during the session with the exception of each candidate’s speech.

No material may be placed on chairs and signs may not be displayed until after the close of the Campaign Rally.

Candidates and campaign staff may display signs and distribute campaign material at the back of the room ONLY as delegates leave at the close of the Opening Session and Campaign Rally. Signs may not be attached to furniture, walls, or doors in the room.

Once the room is empty, signs must be covered again and no campaign material may be distributed until the campaign booths open.

Candidates and their campaign staff are responsible for collecting any discarded or unused materials related to their campaigns left in or outside the session room. Failure to collect these items may result in disqualification.

Campaigning for Regional Vice Presidents

Physical campaigning for the offices of the five regional vice presidents may begin on the first day of the campaign booths in the campaign area. Social media campaigning may begin after Vice President candidates are introduced at the Opening Session and Campaign Rally.

Regional vice presidents may place campaign materials on chairs before the Regional Campaign Rally and Recognition Session begins.

No material can be posted inside this room, but handheld campaign signs can be used. Signs may not be attached to furniture, walls, or doors in the room.

Regional vice president candidates and their campaign staff may distribute campaign materials at doors as students and advisers enter and leave the Regional Campaign Rally and Recognition Session.

Once the room is empty, signs must be covered again and no campaign materials may be handed out except in the campaign booth area.

Candidates and or their campaign staff are responsible for collecting any discarded or unused materials related to their campaigns. All items placed on chairs prior to the session must be collected from the room. Failure to collect these items may result in disqualification.

Campaign Policies and Procedures

Candidates may not:

  • contact members from other states prior to the NLC;
  • post the candidate’s intent to run for national office on web pages, including state websites, on state and national message boards, social media platforms, in email messages, or in print prior to the NLC;
  • create a campaign website or electronic campaign app (for smartphones or iPads).

Current national officers cannot endorse or support the campaign for any candidate. Candidates may not include quotes, photos, recommendations, or statements from current FBLA, PBL, or PD national officers.

National FBLA-PBL staff members cannot endorse or support the campaign for any candidate. Candidates may not include quotes, photos, recommendations, or statements from current national staff members.

Candidates may not endorse other candidates for national office. This includes coordinating campaign themes or social media posts. Candidates may not include other candidates’ images or quotes on his or her own campaign materials.

Social Media

Candidates may use social media to campaign at the beginning of the Campaign Rally portion of the Opening Session and Campaign Rally. If campaigning is reported prior to this time, candidates may be disqualified.

If you plan to use a conference slogan or hashtag, these must not appear on social media prior to the indicated time.

Current FBLA, PBL, or PD national officers and national FBLA-PBL staff members cannot be included on campaign social media posts (whether in photos, tags, or comments).

It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that all campaign staff and your state are aware of the timeframe for social media campaigning. This includes state chapter social media accounts, state officers, and members.

Campaign Violations

Prior to or during NLC, if you believe a violation of campaign regulations has occurred, please report it via email to pbl@fbla.org. Violating campaign regulations may result in disqualification.

Candidate Procedures at NLC

Candidate Schedule at NLC

The tentative candidate schedule below is subject to change. Candidates will receive a detailed candidate schedule prior to the NLC.

June 22
7:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Candidate Briefings Session

Each candidate and his or her local and/or state adviser/chair should attend. A roll call will be taken at this session and any candidate not present will be disqualified, unless prior arrangements have been made. Current national officers will conduct the Session. Campaign guidelines will be reviewed and booth assignments will be discussed.

June 23
11:00 a.m.–Noon
Candidate Rehearsal

2:15 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Candidate Interviews

7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Opening Session & Campaign Rally

Candidates report backstage during introduction of keynote speaker.

June 24
7:00 a.m.–8:45 a.m.
Candidate Campaign Booth Setup

9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Exhibits & Campaign Booths Open

6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Regional Campaign Rallies & Recognition Sessions

June 25
8:00 a.m.–8:45 a.m.
Voting Delegate & State President Q & A with National Candidates

9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Exhibits & Campaign Booths Open

2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Candidate Campaign Booth Dismantle

June 26
8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.
National & Regional Voting

6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Awards of Excellence Ceremony

If elected, new officers must attend a mandatory orientation immediately following the Awards of Excellence Ceremony.

Institute for Leaders

Candidates are not required to attend the Institute for Leaders; however, your attendance is strongly encouraged. If candidates attend IFL, no campaigning or announcement of candidacy is allowed.

Candidate Interview

All applicants for elected offices will complete an interview with the officer screening committee at the NLC.

Interviews will begin at 2:15 p.m. on June 23. Each interview will last approximately 15 minutes.

Applicants, their local advisers, and their state advisers should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the interview time.

The screening committee consists of members of the national board of directors and current national officers.

If a current national officer is running for national office again, he or she will not participate as part of the screening committee.

Applicants will not have to bring in any samples of campaign materials to the interview. The committee will have the applicant’s portfolio that was collected at the Candidate Briefings Session as well as the final copy of the financial statement and itemized receipts.

Business attire is required. Please review the official Dress Code.

Only applicants certified by the officer screening committee become official candidates and are eligible to run for elected office. Candidacy cannot be announced until campaigning officially begins.

Candidates for the office of national parliamentarian do not participate in candidate interviews.

Candidate Q & A

For the offices of president, secretary, and treasurer, the Q & A Session (not to total more than 15 minutes for each office) will occur on the morning of the third day of the NLC, June 25.

For the offices of the regional vice presidents, a Q & A Session (not to total more than 15 minutes) will be conducted immediately following the campaign speeches during the Regional Campaign Rally and Recognition Session.

Business attire is required for both sessions. Please review the official Dress Code.

National and Regional Voting

No campaigning is allowed during National and Regional Voting. No items may be displayed or distributed outside voting rooms or placed on chairs in the room.

Please review the PBL Bylaws, Article VI, Section 4 for specific voting procedures.

National officer elections take place on the final day of the NLC. Voting will be done by electronic ballot during one National Voting Session.

If a majority is not reached, the teller’s report will be read prior to re-voting.

Candidates are members and are allowed to serve as voting delegates. Keep in mind that campaign-related events cannot be rescheduled to accommodate other commitments including participating in individual, team, or chapter competitive events.

The office of national parliamentarian is an appointed position. According to the national bylaws, the candidate scoring the highest on the Parliamentary Procedure written test at the National Leadership Conference will be appointed to the position of national parliamentarian. This candidate must have submitted an application.

Election Results

Election results will be announced during the Awards of Excellence Ceremony. There will be no rehearsal for the officer installation.

Newly-Elected/Appointed National Officer Meeting

There is a mandatory meeting for all newly-elected/appointed national officers backstage immediately following the Awards of Excellence Ceremony.

National Officer Training

National Officer Training attendance is required. No exceptions.

PBL National Officer Training is July 24–27.