Business Professionals of America

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Business Professionals of America
BPA Main Organization Logo.jpg
MottoGiving Purpose to Potential
Formation1966; 53 years ago (1966)
TypeYouth organization
Legal statusIntra-Curricular Non-profit organization
HeadquartersColumbus, Ohio
Region served
United States
Over 45,000 (More than 2,300 chapters) in 23 States and Puerto Rico
National Presidents
Emily White (Secondary National President) and Cassandra Lindo (Post-secondary National President)
Formerly called

Business Professionals of America (BPA) is a career and technical student organization that is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. BPA aims to develop leadership, academic, and technological skills in the workplace among students and leaders within the community. BPA's colors are navy blue, tan, and red.[1]


Every Business Professionals of America chapter has presiding officers for the national organization, state associations, and local chapters. They all share and carry out similar tasks at all levels.[2]

National State Officer Leadership Team, Secondary Division(2019–2020)

  • President - Emily White (Idaho)
  • Vice President - Rhyan Goodman (Ohio)
  • Secretary - Aliah Mir (Texas)
  • Treasurer - Kaleb Amofa (Ohio)
  • Historian - Kyle Bennett (Florida)
  • Parliamentarian - Janna Neyenhaus (Indiana)

National State Officer Leadership Team, Post-Secondary Division(2019–2020)

  • President - Cassandra Lindo (Massachusetts)
  • Vice President - Teren Smith (Indiana)
  • Secretary-Treasurer - Vacant
  • Parliamentarian - Vacant

Types of awards[edit]

BPA rewards members in three categories:

  • Competitive Events: Members are rewarded for high placement in competitive events using the Workplace Skills Assessment Program (WSAP), preparing students for success in the business world by developing skills in areas such as finance, IT, and computer applications.[3]
  • BPA Cares Awards: Members can apply or nominate others for awards in the areas of Service Learning, Special Recognition, and Professional Awards.[4]
  • Torch Awards: Members are rewarded for excellence in seven categories such as "Patriotism," "Leadership," "Love, Hope, and Faith," "Knowledge," "Cooperation," and "Friendship".[5]

Leadership conferences[edit]

There are several levels of competition held at conferences and competition advancement is sought at each level in events referred to in the awards section.

  • Regional Leadership Conference (RLC) or District Leadership Conference (DLC)
  • State Leadership Conference (SLC)
  • National Leadership Conference (NLC)

Many regions, districts, or states opt to also arrange Fall Leadership Conferences in which there is no competition. These conferences are usually less formal than at RLC/DLC, SLC, and NLC instead often focusing on workshops over areas such as social media etiquette, proper professional dress, public speaking, etc.[6]

National Leadership Conference[edit]

Every year BPA hosts a National Leadership Conference (NLC) with nearly 6,000 students from across the nation. At NLC, students compete in over 71 competitive events with students from across the United States.[7] The 2017 National Leadership Conference took place in Orlando, Florida from May 10 to May 14. The 2018 National Leadership Conference took place in Dallas, Texas on May 9 through May 13. The 2019 National Leadership Conference took take place in Anaheim, California May 1 to May 5. The 2020 National Leadership Conference will take place in Washington DC May 6 to May 10. [8]


Business Professionals of America was formed in 1966 as the Office Education Association (OEA). [9]

Year Event
1963 Vocational Education Act was passed. The need for a student organization for students enrolled in career/technical office/business programs was recognized.
1964 American Vocational Association conducted a study of 43 states indicating that 67% of the state vocational education supervisors wanted a career/technical youth group for students in office/business programs.
1965 Another study confirms the ’64 study findings; State supervisors meet to develop guidelines.
1966 In July, the Vocational Office Education Clubs of America (VOECA) was formed by the states of Iowa, Kansas, and Wisconsin. In August, VOECA convened a meeting of youth group representatives to decide the most effective means to implement the office occupations youth group. After intensive effort, articles of incorporation were filed for the Office Education Association (OEA). The first three states to affiliate were Iowa, Kansas, and Wisconsin.
1971 A national office was established for the Office Education Association in Columbus, Ohio, and the Board of Trustees approved the Alumni Division.
1973 The first full-time Executive Director of OEA was employed.
1982 The present National Center at 5454 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, Ohio was purchased.
1983 Dedication ceremonies for the new National Center were conducted in July.
1984 Board of Trustees commissioned the Market One firm of Columbus, Ohio to do a marketing study of the OEA. The resulting long-range marketing plan recommended reform of the national image of the OEA.
1988 Image reform recommendations of the marketing study were implemented—the OEA became Business Professionals of America.
1992 The National Center is paid off and the mortgage is burned in a ceremony at the National Leadership Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1998-2002 Delaware, Florida, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas pilot a New BPA Middle Level program.
2002 The Middle Level Program was approved by the Board of Trustees.
2003 The Middle Level Program was approved by BPA Corporate. The BPA Middle Level Division is born.
2004 Middle Level Division members participate in the National Leadership Conference.
2006 BPA celebrates its 40th birthday.
2009 The first rescheduling of a National Leadership Conference was in Dallas, Texas. This rescheduling was due to the H1N1 Influenza.
2010 The BPA pledge is changed from “We are met in a spirit of friendship and goodwill as we prepare for productive lives in business and office careers...” to "We are met in a spirit of friendship and goodwill as we prepare for careers in a world-class workforce...”
2012 First Walk for Special Olympics held at the 2012 National Leadership Conference in Chicago, IL.
2013 National virtual competitions introduced online.
2015 First BPA Day of Service held at the 2015 National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, CA. Over 3,800 service activities were completed during this event.
2016 BPA Celebrates five decades of student achievement with its 50-Year Anniversary in Boston, MA.
2017 The 2017-2018 National Officer Team created BPA United, a project and donation system that provided support to those members that were in regions devastated by major hurricanes.
2018 During the 2018 NLC in Dallas, the National Showcase Business Panel is officially adopted featuring a Q&A session with high-profile business partners, including Google, Hewlett-Packard, Social Assurity and Precision Exams.
2019 BPA Unveils New Logo: This is the first major brand refresh for BPA in over 30 years and helps guide the organization into the 21st century. The updates include a new logo, tagline, design approach and brand colors. The new elements will be present on the BPA website, social media channels, communications and marketing.


External links[edit]