NCPBL Current President Meets First NCPBL President

July 2014

     Chuck VanHoose,  North Carolina Phi Beta Lambda president, recently had the unique opportunity of meeting his predecessor of 60 years ago.

     Ms. Bobbie Lou Avant Brown was a student at East Carolina University when she was selected as president for the 1954 organizational year of North Carolina Future Business Leaders of America, with membership open to secondary and college students.

         After being graduated, Ms. Brown taught business at the college level a number of years before taking a position with a national health organization, where she traveled the country leading customer service training programs.  After retirement, she became an entrepreneur in the adult care insurance business.

     “Ms. Brown is a fascinating lady,” VanHoose commented, “and getting to meet her and spend an evening with her will be a highlight of my year as state PBL president.”

      Ms. Brown, who just celebrated her 80th birthday, is a volunteer receptionist two afternoons with her church, where she sings in the sanctuary choir and organizes a hospital visitation program.

     “We were amazed as she talked about her career, the early days of PBL, and her philosophy of life,” remarked  State Adviser Dan Hazlett, who spent several weeks searching for information about Ms. Brown and then accompanied VanHoose to Greensboro for the dinner meeting.

     A 1954 NC FBLA newsletter includes an article on Ms. Brown’s trip to that year’s national conference in Dallas.  She was the only North Carolina delegate and traveled 40 hours alone on a train to participate.

     Copies of  that article and a “best wishes” letter from her were distributed at the NC state meeting in Nashville as a conclusion for the state’s 60th Anniversary celebration.

     “Although she had lost contact with the organization, she was eager to hear about its growth and success over the years,” VanHoose says.  “She had a keen sense of humor.  She told me she didn’t get a name badge as nice as mine when she was president!  Meeting and having dinner with her was very rewarding.  She told me I didn’t have to be at the gym at 5:00 a.m. as she is, but that her advice to PBL members is to use time wisely and meet as many positive people as possible so we can learn from them.”