During the 1937-38 school year, Hamden L. Forkner of Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City, proposed to various business leaders attending meetings of their respective state and regional associations that a plan of organization be setup for the thousands of business clubs in high schools and colleges throughout the country. The name "Future Business Leaders of America" was selected, and provisions were made for the establishment of local chapters, state chapters, and the national organization.
The first chapter to be chartered by the national organization in Pennsylvania was Blairsville High School on March 22, 1943. In 1952, the first state leadership conference was held on the campus of the Pennsylvania State University with six schools in attendance.
From 1952 to 1969, Dorothy Veon, George Fritz, and Betty Hutchinson served as Pennsylvania FBLA state chairmen. On June 15, 1969, the administration of the state chapter was assumed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and William Selden, Supervisor, Vocational Business Education, was appointed state chairman. Dr. Selden held this position until retirement in 1983. Clara Lea Gaston was appointed as the Business Education Specialist for the Pennsylvania Department of Education and FBLA State Chairperson in 1984. Mrs. Gaston retired in 1993, and Mr. Clayton Leach served as State Chairman until he retired in 1998. Mrs. Virginia Mountz became PA FBLA State Chairman on July 1, 1998. In 2003, Ms. Fran Vitovsky was appointed PA FBLA State Chairman.
The position of Executive Secretary of Pennsylvania FBLA has been held by Joseph Butz, Nancy Kozak, Kenneth Swatt, James DiIorio, and Bonnie Francavilla. In 1988, Joyce E. Parfet was appointed Executive Director. In 1991, Clayton E. Leach was appointed Executive Director when Joyce Parfet retired. Mr. Leach retired June 30, 1998, and was replaced by Mrs. Virginia Mountz who served as the PA FBLA Executive Director until May 2002. Mr. Bruce Boncal was appointed PA FBLA Executive Director June 1, 2002.
Past state advisers include Nancy Kozak, Alice Miller, Diane Koneffko, Barry Schwilk, Bruce Boncal, and Janet Yetsconish Skiles. In 2003, Pam Scott was appointed to this position and currently serves in this capacity.In 1991, the Board of Directors created the position of Conference Coordinator, and Bruce Boncal was appointed to serve in this position. On June 1, 2002, Mrs. Janet Skiles was appointed State Adviser/Conference Coordinator.
In 1992 the PA Department of Education provided each of the Career and Technical Student Organizations with facilitators. The position is currently vacant, and no one serves FBLA in this capacity after John Duncan's retirement in 2003. Michele Govora is the Department of Education Business Education Adviser.On June 1, 2002, the Board of Directors created the acting position of State Competitive Events Coordinator. John H. Duncan was appointed to serve as the SCEC until his retirement in 2003.Greenwood FBLA was founded in September 2001 by Mrs. Pamela Jones and Mr. Timothy Dershem. Middle School FBLA was started in September 2007 by Mrs. Sharon Ritzman.