A summary of our amazing experience in California.
Check out this excerpt from the FHS1 Announcements which summarizes our trip to California!Posted by Frontier Business Professionals of America on Monday, May 18, 2015
"Six BPA students competed against more than 6,000 other members from 23 states last week, at the National Leadership Conference. National Qualifiers were Christy Begley, Garrett Coghill, Mitch Cooper, Bailey Estes, Emily Ennis, Natalie Foster, and Gabby Hunte.
These members had the opportunity to fly across America to Anaheim, California and spend five days and five nights in the luxurious paradise of the Anaheim Resort. They visited Los Angeles and Hollywood; went to the beach; rode the coasters at Knotts Berry Farm; and explored the resort and Downtown Disney District. It was a BLAST!
Christy, Emily, Natalie and Gabby competed in Small Business Management Team. They were given a party services business and formed a plan to expand and market the company's services. Each time they presented, they had to draw up additional plans for new scenarios. After placing first in Indiana, they competed against at least 60 other teams at nationals.
Garrett and Bailey designed a 3D animated model of a major league baseball stadium for the Computer Animation event. They demonstrated development of animation within a storyboard and used skills in various software applications. Mitch filled in for Bailey at nationals. Garrett and Mitch presented the stadium to the judges.
Mitch also competed in Computer Programming Concepts and Mobile Applications. This year's app was a news feed reader which shows all of your favorite news in a single location. For the second consecutive year, he placed second at nationals in Mobile Applications.
Emily ran for national office with Natalie as her campaign manager. She was up against the most qualified BPA members in the nation. Although she did not obtain a position, it was a great experience for everyone involved.
Please congratulate each of the participants, as making it to nationals is an outstanding accomplishment. BPA is an incredible program that builds professional skill but also is a lot of fun. Spread the word to join Frontier BPA next year. You too can be a part of the spectacular experiences to come in the future."
Saturday was the last full day in California. On our schedule, we had plans to get up early and go to Disneyland Park for most of the day. However, we ended up choosing a different, more thrilling path.
We took a shuttle to Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park. Despite the name, it is no longer a berry farm but an amusement park featuring 40 rides including 10 roller coasters. We chose it over Disneyland Park because we had already felt the Disney experience at Downtown Disney District and wanted something more thrilling.
There, we rode several roller coasters. We even got Ms. Rogers to go on one of them with us! Several of them went upside-down and even backwards. It was definitely a more exhilerating experience than the attractions at Disneyland.
Saturday evening, the winners in all NLC events were revealed at the Grand Awards Session. It took place in the Convention Center Arena. Many friends and family members at home and around the world watched the event live on bpa.org.
Shortly after the ceremony was called to order, Emily was honored as a BPA Merit Scholar! Being a BPA Merit Scholar means you know what BPA is all about, from history to traditions to the structure of the organization.
Our participants in Small Business Management Team, Computer Animation Team, and Computer Programming Concepts did not place as finalists in those events, but they were awesome to make it as far as they did!
For the second consecutive year, Mitch placed second in the nation in Mobile Applications! His months-long project, the FeedReader app, paid off. We were informed that he was a finalist beforehand, meaning that he placed in the top ten, but it was unknown until this moment whether he would be honored for ranking in the top three. It was a moment of excitement and honor!
Following the awards, the new 2015-16 National Officer Team was revealed and introduced. The former officers said their farewells and officially declared the 2015 Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference adjourned.
We were all exhausted by the time the ceremony was over because it lasted several hours. But that didn't stop us from taking an Uber to McDonald's afterward.
Please be sure to congratulate all participants!
With most of our competitions completed on Thursday, Friday was the big day for Emily's national office campaign. The only exception was that Mitch took an objective computerized test for Computer Programming Concepts. Emily started off the day with the State Officers Breakfast, where she had the chance to talk amongst state officers.
At 5:00 P.M., the Secondary Divison Business Meeting was called to order. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss and execute official business with the secondary division. It includes a report of membership and finances. Following, the national officer candidates each had the opportunity to present speeches under two minutes in length. Emily says that she did not say her speech exactly as planned, but we felt that it still was clear and effective.
Immediately following the business meeting was the Campaign Rally. The candidates, with the help of their campaign managers, promote themselves to the public at this event, answering questions and passing out business cards. Each candidate has a reserved space for a booth. Treats and other goodies are often used to attract potential voters to their tables.
It was at the Campaign Rally that the ballots were collected. Each voter is to choose six candidates. The votes are counted by a computer which discards all ballots lacking exactly six votes. Of course, we voted for our own Emily Ennis, along with five other candidates.
Emily faced intense competition—some of the most qualified individuals in all of BPA. We were informed that the primary election had eliminated her from the race, but we know that Emily was just as passionate as the others and would have been an extraordinary leader. It was not that she performed poorly but merely the fact that there are a limited number of positions and a larger number of candidates. There was not enough room for everyone. It is truly amazing that Emily set the bar so high in the first place.
Running for office is a huge task, but she had the dedication, ambition, and willpower to accept the challenge. And the campaign was a beneficial learning experience for Emily, Natalie (her campaign manager), and future Frontier candidates.
It takes an expert to navigate this hotel! There are so many different hallways on our floor, and the room numbering is really confusing. On top of that, the elevators take ages to arrive and are always full. The hotel even is allowing us to use their service elevators, but those are fully occupied too. And get this—they're painting the stairways. It can take as long as a half an hour to get from the fifth floor to ground. No kidding!
Today was the day in which most of our competitions took place, plus some other events.
At 2:00 P.M., our Small Business Management Team (Christy, Emily, Natalie, and Gabby) presented their company reformation plan to to a panel of judges. There were some moderate technical difficulties, but in spite of that, the girls still have confidence in their presentation overall. Hopefully the judges focused on the quality of the content and their performance rather than the technical issues because these girls have proven at district and state to be masters of the category.
Also at 2:00 P.M., Mitchell demonstrated his FeedReader application at the Virtual Showcase. This was not a judged program (the scoring for Mobile Applications is already complete), but it allowed him to share ideas with other Mobile Applications participants and any other attendees.
Then at 3:00 P.M., for Computer Animation Team, Garrett and Mitch presented a computer-designed model of a major league baseball stadium. It was designed by Garrett and Bailey Estes, with Mitch filling in for Bailey who did not attend the NLC. The judge told them that the presentation was insufficient because instead of describing the structure of the model, they were to describe the processes used to create it; which was a disappointment but also valuable information for future members.
Please cross your fingers as we await the results for each of our competitors!
A few of us explored Downtown Disney District, an outdoor shopping and dining center within the Disneyland Resort. The World of Disney Store there sells just about anything you can imagine involving Disney, as well as everyday products incorporating Disney themes.
BPA hosted a Grand Celebration at the Grand Plaza for all members to enjoy. It included a number of performances by local music groups and EDM DJ's. The special event was accompanied by several food trucks serving everything from hot dogs to lobster. The Grand Celebration also provided a great opportunity for Emily and Natalie to advertise Emily's campaign for national office. Luckily there were outdoor heaters throughout the Grand Plaza, but some warmer weather still would have been nice!
Because the food trucks had small portions and we were all hungry, we decided to leave the Grand Celebration with intentions to come back later after eating dinner somewhere else. Near our hotel is Morton's Steakhouse, which we went to first, but we left because the cheapest cut of meat on the menu was sixty-six dollars. We ended up instead dining at the Mix, one of the restaurants within the Hilton Anaheim itself.
A few hours later, Frontier BPA met outside for a chapter meeting. On the fifth floor of the hotel, there is an outdoor courtyard in the middle. It almost feels as if you are at the ground level. Some of our rooms have sliding door access to the courtyard. We all met out there in the midst of a light sprinkle and enjoyed our twenty-dollar watermelon from the LA Farmers Market. It was an excellent midnight snack!
Tomorrow is the big day for Emily's campaign. More updates to come!
Our flight from Phoenix to Santa Ana was a breeze. It was on-schedule, quick and easy. The nighttime view of cities from the plane was really neat. After arriving, we retrieved our stuff from the baggage claim and luckily were able to find everything. We then took a shuttle van from John Wayne Airport to the Hilton Anaheim. The hotel is very nice. It has two pools, a food court, and lots of other commodities.
The next morning (Wednesday), we left for our Los Angeles/Hollywood tour. A shuttle bus picked us up from our hotel and drove us through downtown Los Angeles, an amazing sight. Our tour guide was quite a character, full of fun facts and utilizing a variety of sound effects.
We drove up to "Hollyweird" (as our tour guide referred to it) and stopped to take photos of the Hollywood sign. Then we got out and explored Hollywood Blvd., home to the Walk of Fame, Dolby Theatre, TCL Chinese Theatre, Madame Tussauds, and countless other renowned attractions.
On the way back, we stopped at the Los Angeles Original Farmers Market, which was nothing at all like the ones at home. It was more like an outdoor shopping mall and food court than a farmers market. But we finally found some produce—not locally-grown but imported from Mexico—and bought a twenty-dollar watermelon.
The tour guide threw in a few extra sights which were not part of the original itinerary. We drove down the famous Rodeo Drive which is home to a number of luxurious stores in Beverly Hills. We did not see the Beverly Hills neighborhoods, however, because it is illegal for tour vehicles to drive down those streets.
Later Wednesday evening, all BPA members at the conference were to assemble in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena for the Opening General Session. This is the meeting at which our national officers formally call the conference to order. Then keynote speaker Scott Backovich entertained the audience while simultaneously giving advice for self-improvement.
Finally, the candidates for the national officer team were welcomed onstage, including our very own Emily Ennis. The Opening General Session was adjourned and followed by meetings for each state. At the Indiana State Meeting, the two national officer candidates from our state were formally introduced. Emily briefly described her mission and goals.
The first official day of the conference was a blast, but Thursday will be even more significant; as our Small Business Management Team, Computer Animation Team, and Mobile Applications participants will be presenting their projects.