Executive Directors

John Fistolera

Co-Interim Executive Director

As DECA Inc.’s assistant executive director of corporate and external affairs, John Fistolera is responsible for developing strategic partnerships that drive DECA’s mission of preparing emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. DECA’s strategic partners include the members of its National Advisory Board (NAB), Congressional Advisory Board (CAB) and DECA’s public affairs media partners. John joined the DECA staff in 2004 as director of corporate development and assumed his current role, which focuses on broadening DECA’s development, government relations and public affairs reach, in 2011. He was a member of DECA in high school and served two terms as president of California DECA and one term as DECA’s National President. Before joining the DECA staff, John was the legislative director of the Northern California Power Agency (NCPA), a joint-action agency of community-owned electric utilities in northern California. As legislative director, he worked with members of the NCPA staff, the NCPA Commission and NCPA’s contract lobbyists to develop legislative strategy. John also held primary responsibility for executing that policy through state and federal legislative and regulatory bodies and broadcasting it through various media outlets. Prior to his work at NCPA, John was on the professional staff of California’s state legislature, where he advised members in both the state assembly and senate. He left in 1998 to serve as deputy director of policy and communications to California’s senate minority leader. John also worked on several political candidate and issue campaigns in California, including the re-election campaign of Governor Pete Wilson. John holds a bachelor’s degree in integral liberal studies from St. Mary’s College of California.

Mailing Address

1908 Association Drive
Reston, VA 20191


Phone: 703-860-5000 ext. 229

Email: john_fistolera@deca.org

Website: https://www.deca.org

Frank Peterson

Co-Interim Executive Director

Frank Peterson is the Director of DECA’s Communications Department. While he works in a variety of media and on an array of projects throughout the year, Frank spends most of his time designing print publications, creating custom artwork for chapters and associations and shooting video and taking photographs for various DECA events and programs.

Frank graduated from George Mason University with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and a minor in multimedia communications. His appreciation of contemporary design greatly influences both his professional and personal projects.

Mailing Address

1908 Association Drive
Reston, VA 20191


Phone: 703-860-5000 ext. 231

Email: frank_peterson@deca.org

Website: https://www.deca.org

Dan Brown

Co-Director – Educators Rising

Dan Brown, a National Board Certified Teacher, has served as Executive Director of Educators Rising since September 2013. Previously he taught high school English at a charter school in Southeast Washington, D.C., and served for a year as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education. He holds a master’s degree in education from Columbia University’s Teachers College, and is the author of The Great Expectations School: A Rookie Year in the New Blackboard Jungle, a memoir of his first year of teaching fourth grade in the Bronx. Dan’s writing on education has appeared in Education Week, the Boston Globe, and the New York Daily News, among other publications. He contributed a chapter to the book The American Public School Teacher: Past, Present, and Future, published by Harvard Education Press. In January 2014, Dan was named one of “10 Rockstar Teachers on Twitter” by Mashable. Dan Brown did not write The Da Vinci Code, and he is okay with that.

Mailing Address

Educators Rising
1525 Wilson Blvd., Suite 705
Arlington, VA 22209


Phone: 703-988-4042

Email: dan@educatorsrising.org

Website: http://www.educatorsrising.org

Steve Brown

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.

Mailing Address

National FFA Organization Headquarters Operations
1410 King Street, Suite 400
Alexandria, VA 22314


Phone: 317-802-4323

Email: sbrown@ffa.org

Website: http://www.ffa.org

Sandy Spavone

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.


Mailing Address

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)
1910 Association Dr.
Reston, VA 20191


Phone: 703-476-4900

Email: sspavone@fcclainc.org

Website: http://www.fcclainc.org

Jean M. Buckley

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.

Mailing Address

Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL)
1912 Association Drive
Reston, VA 20191-1591


Phone: 703-860-3334, Ext.111

Email: jbuckley@fbla.org

Website: http://www.fbla-pbl.org

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.

Mailing Address

HOSA–Future Health Professionals
548 Silicon Drive, Suite 101
Southlake, TX 76092


Phone: 972-874-0062

Email: jim.koeninger@hosa.org

Website: http://www.hosa.org

Timothy W. Lawrence

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.

Mailing Address

14001 SkillsUSA Way
Leesburg, VA 20176


Phone: 703-737-0601

Email: tlawrence@skillsUSA.org

Website: http://www.skillsusa.org

Dr. Rosanne White

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.

Mailing Address

Technology Student Association (TSA)
1904 Association Dr.
Reston, VA 20191


Phone: 703-860-9000

Email: rwhite@tsaweb.org

Website: http://www.tsaweb.org