Lou DiGioia, CAE, comes to DECA after spending over 20 years working at organizations that focus on extracurricular education. For the past 11 years, he has served as Executive Director of the MATHCOUNTS Foundation. During his tenure, DiGioia led the organization through a period of transformational change and growth. He spearheaded the creation of The National Math Club and the Math Video Challenge, two programs which helped make MATHCOUNTS more inclusive and helped it shatter participation records multiple years in a row. He also led the Board of Directors through an overhaul of its governance model, which earned the organization the Prudential Leadership Award for Outstanding Nonprofit Boards from BoardSource in 2012.
Prior to his work as Executive Director of MATHCOUNTS, he served as its director of operations and oversaw the transition of the organization’s National Competition to internal operational control. Before joining MATHCOUNTS, DiGioia served as the Program Director for Presidential Classroom, a civic education program that brought top high school juniors and seniors to Washington, D.C., to learn about the federal government and meet with its leaders. Prior to that role, he served as director of graduate programs for the Washington office of the Princeton Review.
DiGioia holds an MBA in accounting and finance from George Mason University, based in Fairfax, Va., and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University, based in Washington, D.C. An active member of the American Society of Association Executives, DiGioia earned the Certified Association Executive credential in 2008. He volunteers on several nonprofit boards and was recently selected to serve as a member of the advisory group for the digitalNow conference.
1908 Association Drive
Reston, VA 20191
National Advisor and Board Chair – FFA
Dr. Steve A. Brown, National Advisor & Board Chair, National FFA Organization (FFA) is celebrating its 88th year making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Under his leadership in 2014-15 has experienced a record high national membership of 629,367 from 7,757 chapters.
Brown is a product of FFA and school-based agricultural education. He became the National Advisor in 2011 with more than 35 years of service to FFA and school-based agricultural education. He served as the National FFA Executive Secretary from 2008 to 2010. Brown began his professional career as an agricultural education instructor and FFA Advisor at the Area Career and Technical Center in Macon, Missouri. He served as a district supervisor in agricultural education and state FFA executive secretary at the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education for 23 years.
Brown received his doctoral degree in agricultural education at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Some of his previously served professional roles include president of the National Association of Supervisors of Agricultural Education and Director on the National Council for Agricultural Education. He serves as an Educational Program Specialist in the College and Career Transition Branch (CCTB), in the Division of Academic & Technical Education (DATE) of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) at the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Responsibilities include providing technical assistance, professional leadership and expertise in developing, improving, planning and evaluating Career and Technical Education programs.
National FFA Organization Headquarters Operations
1410 King Street, Suite 400
Alexandria, VA 22314
Executive Director – Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)
Sandy Spavone, Executive Director of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), has worked with youth peer education national programs for the past thirteen years. She served as the Executive Director for National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) from 2006 – 2013 and recently returned to FCCLA as their Executive Director where she formerly served as the FCCLA Director of Programs. The focus of her work has been to provide programs and opportunities for youth to have leadership tools to take a concern and turn it into action. She has developed national youth leadership training programs, programs to address specific health and safety concerns, and coordinated national campaigns. Before entering the non-profit field Mrs. Spavone taught 12th Grade English and Advanced Placement English and served as the Student Government Sponsor for eight years.
Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)
1910 Association Dr.
Reston, VA 20191
President and CEO – Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL)
Jean M. Buckley is president and chief executive officer of Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc. (FBLA-PBL), which is celebrating seventy-two years of preparing students for careers in business and business-related fields.
Jean joined FBLA-PBL in 1997. Under her leadership, the association has grown to become one of the largest career and technical student organizations, involving more than a quarter-million students and teachers across the United States and abroad. Jean provides the strategic direction for the association, ensuring its mission — “To bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs.”
During her tenure, she has increased the number of business partners, expanded competitive event offerings with a focus on technology, and grown member benefits for all divisions.
Prior to joining FBLA-PBL, Jean had a distinguished twenty-year career with Junior Achievement Inc., where she held several field office and national positions. As the senior vice president of education at the national headquarters, she was responsible for the development and implementation of K–12 business and economics curricula, as well as leading all educational outreach efforts.
Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL)
1912 Association Drive
Reston, VA 20191-1591
Executive Director – HOSA–Future Health Professionals
Since 1984, Jim has served as Executive Director of HOSA-Future Health Professionals. His 45 years of experiences in public education, higher education, corporate training and development, association management and strategic partnerships between government and corporations have been beneficial in managing a CTSO for the health industry.
Following completion of a Ph.D. program at The Ohio State University, Jim held faculty positions through the years at universities in Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma. Jim served as the leader designer and facilitator of the Walton Institute over an 18-year period for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. He authored numerous articles, monographs, training programs, videos, media productions and training manuals including a unique classroom simulation package for McGraw-Hill Book Company. Jim and his wife, Karen, co-founded the Leadership Development Institute (LDI) and conducted scores of summer camps, retreats, workshops, and regional conferences.
HOSA–Future Health Professionals
548 Silicon Drive, Suite 101
Southlake, TX 76092
Executive Director – SkillsUSA
Having been involved with SkillsUSA for most of his life, Timothy Lawrence firmly believes that getting involved in technical education and joining SkillsUSA in high school set his course for a successful future. He worked in both labor and management positions in the manufacturing industry for nine years while continuing his education, graduating Magna Cum Laude from James Madison University with a degree in Administration and Training. He fulfilled one of his life dreams when he became a teacher in Virginia in 1978. He achieved another life goal when he was named the National Trade and Industrial Education Teacher of the Year in 1983.
In 1987, he joined the Virginia Department of Education as a vocational student specialist and chief executive officer of the state SkillsUSA organization. He also served other youth initiatives with the National Safety Council’s Youth Division, Students Against Driving Drunk and numerous community service organizations. In 1996, Mr. Lawrence joined the national SkillsUSA organization as Business and Industry Partnerships Director at their National Leadership Center in Leesburg, Va. In January, 2001, Mr. Lawrence became the Chief Executive Officer of SkillsUSA, one of the nation’s largest individual membership organizations. In this position, he feels he works for the students and teachers of America’s technical education system.
14001 SkillsUSA Way
Leesburg, VA 20176
Executive Director – Technology Student Association (TSA)
During her tenure as the executive director of the Technology Student Association, Rosanne White has seen the organization grow from 60,000 middle and high school members to over 250,000 members nationwide. She holds a doctoral degree from Virginia Tech University in education administration, a master’s degree in education administration from George Mason University, and a bachelor’s degree in early childhood and special education from Radford University. Dr. White is a former instructor and program administrator with Fairfax County Public Schools and a Washington, DC area native. She is the recipient of awards from the Association of Career and Technical Education, the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association, and the National Association of Partners in Education.
Technology Student Association (TSA)
1904 Association Dr.
Reston, VA 20191