Wednesday, August 10, 2011


July National Conference by Olivia Wicklund

FCCLA went from Disneyland where the memories begin, to the crazy roller coasters of Knott’s Berry Farm, all the way to the sandy beaches of the Pacific Ocean in Anaheim, California for the 2011 National Conference!

Attendance at the National Leadership Conference was at an all-time high with 6,300 members including 3,492 STAR Event participants. Minnesota’s National STAR Event advancers did outstanding, receiving silver and gold medals. Congratulations!

Another congratulations to, Morgan Croft, who served her term as National Vice President of Public Relations. She outdid herself onstage for the NLC Live, performing to the best of her abilities. The Minnesota Delegation is so proud of you!

Minnesota has another member to be proud of. Congratulations to Kaylen Larson, the new 2011-2012 National President! We are so excited to see what the new FCCLA year brings, and to watch Kaylen through her ultimate leadership experience of being a National Officer.

The National Conference was filled with so many different opportunities for its’ members. The exhibit hall was filled with career resources, fundraising ideas, including Otis Spunkmeyer, plus many educational and training materials. Workshops were in full swing throughout the entire conference varying from exploring leadership, envisioning FCCLA’s future, and gaining membership. Also featured were Nutrition/Health, fashion construction, and networking workshops. Members had a chance to learn of upcoming events like the Capitol Leadership Training in Washington, D.C. in October, and the Minneapolis Cluster Meeting in November.

Keynote speaker, Chef Jeff Henderson, inspired members as he shared with us the story of his childhood, where he grew up in the “hood,” knowing what it felt like to be hungry. His life was a constant struggle. In his teen and early adulthood years Chef Jeff spent nearly ten years in prison for a drug conviction. One of his punishments was to cook in the prison kitchen. There Mr. Henderson discovered his passion for cooking that led him to the top of the restaurant industry and to the Food Network Channel. As a motivational speaker Chef Jeff shares his story to inspire others to not only dream, but to reach their absolute full potential in life.

From the closing session, to the gala, members experienced a night of fun with an “Imagination in Action” red carpet walk, and met actors such as “Jack Sparrow” and “Will Turner,” along with “Steven Tyler.” There was food and dancing. It was a night nobody will ever forget! From the hotel to the airport, members soaked up their last bit of California sun and headed home after a successful 2011 National Conference.