Business Professionals of America
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.
|Motto||Giving Purpose to Potential|
|Legal status||Intra-Curricular Non-profit organization|
|Over 45,000 (More than 2,300 chapters) in 23 States and Puerto Rico|
|Ryan Nkongnyu (Secondary National President) and Sophia Pearson (Post-secondary National President)|
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.
Types of awardsEdit
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.
- BPA Cares Awards: Members can apply or nominate others for awards in the areas of Service Learning, Special Recognition, and Professional Awards.
- Torch Awards: Members are rewarded for excellence in seven categories such as "Patriotism," "Leadership," "Love, Hope, and Faith," "Knowledge," "Cooperation," and "Friendship".
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.
National Leadership ConferenceEdit
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. BPA will host the 2021 NLC on May 5-9th in Orlando, Florida 
On March 13, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BPA Board of Trustees had decided to cancel the 2020 National Leadership Conference. It was scheduled to be on May 6–10 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center located in Washington, DC 
Past National Leadership Conference Locations
Future National Leadership Conference Locations
|2021||Orlando, Florida||May 5–9|
|2022||Dallas, Texas||May 4–8|
|2023||Anaheim, California||April 26–30|
|2024||Chicago, Illinois||April 25–29|
|2025||Orlando, Florida||May 7–11|
|2026||Nashville, Tennessee||May 6–10|
Business Professionals of America was formed in 1966 as the Office Education Association (OEA).
|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.|
|2020||Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BPA had cancelled the 2020 National Leadership Conference, which would have taken place in Washington, DC. This was the first time in BPA's history that the National Leadership Conference had been cancelled.|