STEPHEN PADLO

Woodstown High School

Running for President

Officer Candidate Test Score : 38/50

What do you believe is the biggest area of improvement NJ FBLA-PBL currently faces? How would you work to address this area?

       The biggest area of improvement NJFBLA currently faces is membership. Membership numbers have flatlined for the past 30 years with no significant growth. I have calculated a simple formula in order to increase state membership: Retention+Attention. We have to keep the members that we already have and build attention to gain new members. In order to keep current members, I want to reward them for their accomplishments in FBLA. I want to provide members scholarships that a broad range of members can apply to. Current scholarships FBLA offers only apply to a select few members. I want to provide a scholarship that the typical, everyday FBLA member can benefit from.
      In order to build publicity around FBLA, I have 2 primary goals. First, I want to connect with local newspapers, TV stations and news websites to recognize our members and their accomplishments. We do some extraordinary things in FBLA, and I believe our efforts are going unrecognized beyond the organization. I want to bring the name of FBLA into households across the ENTIRE state. Publicizing FBLA on the news will accomplish this.
     The flatline in FBLA membership numbers over the past three decades can be attributed to FBLA's dry recruitment strategies. I am proposing a new plan of recruitment that has NEVER been done in FBLA History. By the time my term is completed, I will make NJFBLA TikTok famous. I will bring FBLA into the new and modern era by appealing to the younger generation.

What will you do to increase the number of active chapters?

       In order to increase the number of active chapters, I have to make FBLA a household name. There are hundreds of high schools that do not have an FBLA chapter, nor have they ever heard of FBLA. I want to build an image of FBLA so someone at a school without an FBLA chapter will advocate to start one. As part of my platform goals, I will publicize FBLA in the news. Someone watching the news would then say, "Wow, FBLA sounds really cool and I want to join". I will start conversations at the dinner table in households across New Jersey. Parents will tell their children about this really cool club called FBLA that they saw on the news. Schools that do not have active chapters will see FBLA on the news, and they will be inspired to start their own chapter.
    A good leader has to face the world and confront issues themselves. As president, I will personally contact schools that do not currently have active chapters and inform them about the benefits of FBLA. 

What leadership roles do you have inside and outside of FBLA-PBL and how have they shaped you?

     I have been a member of FBLA for my entire high school career and president of the Woodstown High School chapter for the past 2 years. FBLA has shaped me into a better leader and has allowed me to form valuable connections with phenomenal people. Through FBLA, I am able to network and befriend people across my entire school and business leaders in the local community. I take pride in providing our members valuable life experiences and outlets for advice that they can retain for the rest of their life. I am head of the March of Dimes fundraising panel in my club. Through fundraising with March of Dimes, I have developed valuable morals of charity and altruism that has developed me as a person beyond FBLA. 
     In 2013, I started my own business selling fine art and antiques online. Through hard work and countless sacrifices, my business has grown into making thousands of dollars in profit each year. I have penetrated the international market and have sold countless items spanning the entire globe. As a business leader, I have been able to connect and form business relations with people in 17 different countries across almost every continent. My business has taught me valuable lessons about self discipline and goal setting. 
     Outside of FBLA, I have served as my class president for 3 years. Leading my entire class has taught me vital skills of leadership and teamwork. I have developed precious organizational leadership and time management skills.

How will you ensure chapters are encouraging and completing community service?

  I want to ensure that EVERY FBLA member is eager and involved in community service efforts. The March of Dimes is FBLA's primary service partner. The March of Dimes Organization benefits babies born premature and their families. It gives every baby a fighting chance, every mother a full-term and healthy pregnancy, regardless of their social or economic status. The mission of the March of Dimes has to be passed down to the members of FBLA. I want to spread the word about the mission of the March of Dimes to ensure members have a shared passion with community service and FBLA. In order to create a personal connection with the March of Dimes and our members, I plan to educate our members about the March of Dimes and the people they help. I will tell stories of success, and sometimes stories of failure, in order to appeal to the hearts of our members. Strong leadership over each chapter is vital in order to accomplish community service goals. Ultimately, each chapter is responsible for their community service efforts, but having strong leadership dictated towards community service will raise more awareness in an effort to increase statewide service. We can talk about and reference service goals as a positive aspect of FBLA, but what is really important is the people benefiting from our service efforts. Even if we help save one child from dying/prematurity, our service should be considered a success, whether we reached our service goals or not.

What current state initiatives would you like to continue and/or what new state initiatives would you like to begin?

 I am proposing an updated state initiative to educate our members more about the business world and to help members explore possible career paths.NJFBLA has failed to provide adequate business exposure to members. I have been to two state leadership conferences in Atlantic City.I was always excited to visit the information sessions to learn about supply chain, entrepreneurship, and sports marketing. Through my personal experiences last year, I believe these tracks were poorly handled. Members who attend each track session expected to learn about and gain some exposure in the specific field in business the track offers. Most of these sessions ended up being a five or ten minute introduction followed by the presenter asking, "Okay, who has questions?" I showed up to one track and the presenter did not even show up. Members were patiently sitting there until someone realised that there was no presenter and improvised a Q and A session that was not relevant to the topic. The presenters were the same people from the Rutgers business school and to be honest, became really boring really fast. I want to make information sessions that are ACTUALLY informative and members can take away from. As president, I will provide a wide variety of presenters from several different fields of study so members can actually explore the world of business and their interests. 

 GET IN TOUCH

 

NJ FBLA-PBL State Office

Kean University

Hutchinson Hall, J-202-C

1000 Morris Avenue

Union, NJ 07083

 

908-737-3980 - Voice

908-737-3945 - Fax

info@njfbla.org

 

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