Greetings! As educators, we believe that business skills are one of the most important assets one acquires during a lifetime. Hence, IBEA continues to dedicate its resources to promoting and furthering business education in the State of Illinois! Business skills give our students an advantage when they enter the workforce, and IBEA gives its members an advantage when they enter the classroom!

As you enter the 2016-17 School Year, IBEA wants to be sure you have all the information you need to make it great. We have many brilliant activities and learning experiences planned for you at the 2016 Fall IBEA Conference “Celebrating Business Teacher Education.” Mark your calendars now for November 9-11, 2016. First Vice-President Diane Mahinda has scheduled many great presenters and certification/credential opportunities (specific conference details are included in this issue).

Additionally, these sessions will fill your teacher’s toolbox as you work toward developing critical thinking, communication, management, decision-making, and human relations skills in your students. Hands-on training, coupled with curriculum ideas designed for practical application, has produced outstanding successes for our many conference attendees. If you’re interested in discovering what a positive, supportive educational environment directed toward business teacher skills can do for you, I invite you to discover the IBEA difference and register today!

We are educators because we know we can make a difference. Nelson Mandela once said: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” You can touch the lives of teachers and students through IBEA. We need you to make a difference. It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little—do what you can (Sydney Smith). Get involved and keep the future of business education alive in Illinois. IBEA has exhibited great success in the past through the hard work and dedication of its members. I urge you to get involved with IBEA in one of the many ways available—present at the conference, chair a session, serve on the Board, encourage co-workers to join IBEA, become active with your affiliate—we have a place for you! I would be happy to discuss how you can share your expertise in strengthening and developing future business educators who in turn grow and strengthen future business leaders.

Thank you to the many IBEA members who serve as volunteers promoting and furthering business education! A special thanks to Ethel Holladay, IBEA Executive Director, for her many years serving, guiding, and mentoring IBEA members. She has touched the lives of many students, and in her retirement from teaching continued to touch many lives of teachers. I personally thank her for her guidance and mentoring as I ventured through my work on the Board. As we all know, she makes it happen! Best of luck on her retirement from the Executive Director position, and thank you again for the awesome dedication, commitment, and many years of service to keeping IBEA GREAT!

Thank you all for your commitment to business education and allowing me to serve as your President! The past five years on the Board have been exciting and challenging. I have learned a lot and enjoyed the many opportunities to hear the concerns, challenges, and innovations that are affecting you and our profession first hand.

Remember, as Illinois continues to bounce back, we need your support and service to handle any challenge that comes our way. If we continue to advocate and educate our leaders, we will continue to grow our profession. Business Education instructors are key to preparing the business workforce of tomorrow. Share what you do in the classroom—it will make a difference. I look forward to seeing and hearing you at the fall conference in November!

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