President and CEO – Business Professionals of America
Executive Director – DECA
Paul A. Wardinski is the Executive Director of DECA Inc. Wardinski brings nearly 30 years of experience in educational leadership and management, serving in roles from a marketing education teacher and DECA advisor to secondary education administrator, including Director of Student Activities, Academy Administrator, two high school principalships at McLean HS and West Springfield HS, and serving as the Director of the Office of Professional and Life Skills in the Instructional Services Department, all for Fairfax County Public Schools (Va.), the 10th largest school district in the United States.
His DECA experience began as a Collegiate DECA student member over 34 years ago at Virginia Tech. Wardinski served as a high school DECA advisor for 11 years before assuming various educational administrative positions. Wardinski continued his involvement with DECA, serving as a competitive events conference coordinator at DECA’s International Career Development Conference for 17 years. In addition, he served on the DECA Competitive Events Task Force from 2012-2014, received the DECA Inc. Outstanding Service Award in 2012, authored nearly 400 competitive events scenarios, and participated in numerous scholarship and program reviews for DECA. Wardinski was also part of a small team that created the sports and entertainment marketing curriculum in Va., and served as a reviewer and consulting editor for numerous marketing textbooks.
Co-Director – Educators Rising
Steve A. Brown
National Advisor & 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.
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.
Jean M. Buckley
President and CEO – Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL)
Jim Koeninger, Ph.D.
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.
Timothy W. Lawrence
Executive Director – SkillsUSA
Dr. Rosanne White
Executive Director – Technology Student Association (TSA)